HE KNOWS HER
Tony notices Ziva is acting out of character and wants to know why.
A first time story.
Written: June 2010. Word count: 300.
As soon as she walks into the squad room Tony notices something isn't right. It's not the lack of make-up or how her hair hangs limply around her face or her ill-matching clothes or the lack of eye contact or her body language. It's just he knows her and she isn't Ziva.
The feeling grows deeper during the day. She doesn't frown when he makes a movie reference or banter with him when he teases her. And worst of all, she doesn't pass comment that in one way he's like their murderer, who loved money so much he killed to get it. As soon as they find out the reason for the killings: avarice, Tony expects her to tease him. She doesn't.
LATER THAT NIGHT
"Tony. What are you doing here?"
He doesn't speak. Instead he guides her back into her apartment and gathers her gently into his arms. For a moment she stiffens and tries to pull away, but he holds her; the fact he can hold her is more evidence she is not right.
Finally she ceases to struggle and slumps in his embrace. "Tell me," he says softly. "Tell me what's wrong, Ziva."
He feels her shuddering sigh. "My father," she says her voice low. "He is dead. And I -" Sobs overtake her and he pulls her closer, pushing her head down onto his shoulder.
Several minutes later she raises her head and moves back a little to look at him. "I should not -"
"Hush," he says, lightly kissing her lips. "He's your dad. No matter what he did, he was your dad. You should grieve."
They don't make love that night. Instead he stays awake listening to her talk about the man she'd grown to hate, but the man she still loved. There'll be plenty of time for lovemaking.
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