Tony is watching Ziva.
A pre-het story.
Written: March 2011. Word count: 500.
He watches her pick up the phone.
He watches her frown as she hears the voice.
He watches the color drain from her face.
He listens to the soft gasp she makes; he can see she hadn't intended to make it.
He listens as she begins to speak at speed in her own language. Not for the first time he wishes he spoke or at least understood more than the odd word.
He watches as she runs her hand through her hair.
He listens as she says, in Hebrew, 'no', 'yes', 'no', no' and finally 'Shalom'.
He watches as she replaces the receiver, taking great care to put it down. He is certain he can see her hand shaking.
He watches as she looks across the room at him. He forces himself not to look away; he wants her to know he's been watching her. He thinks he can see the faint glistening of tears in her eyes, but she blinks and they are gone. "Is everything okay, Ziva?" he asks.
She nods. "Why should it not be?"
"The phone call . . ." he trails off. "Has something happened?"
She shakes her head once. "Lo," she says. "Everything is -" Abruptly she stands up, pushes her chair away from her and hurries out of the squad room. As he watches her go, he wonders if she even knew she'd answered him in Hebrew rather than English. He thinks she wasn't aware.
He keeps watch over her for the rest of the day, making sure he's as unobtrusive as possible. He does not believe her denial, he's sure something has happened, something bad.
He keeps watch because he cares about her as a coworker.
He keeps watch because he cares about her as a friend.
He keeps watch because he cares about her as far more than just a coworker and friend.
He keeps watch because he loves her.
He watches Gibbs give her a quizzical look once or twice. He watches Ducky pause by her desk and glance at her, his look very similar to Gibbs's, before he continues on his way to Gibbs's desk. But apart from those few looks, no one seems to notice anything is wrong with her. But something is. Something is very wrong. Something is very, very wrong. He knows that.
He wonders if it is something to do with Ray, he wonders if he's been hurt or killed. But his cop's instinct tells him it isn't Ray. Her reaction, the gasp, the ashen complexion, the fact she spoke Hebrew, tells him the problem is in Israel.
He watches her watch the clock, something she never does.
He watches her turn off her computer, grab her bag and coat and leave, pausing barely long enough to murmur 'goodnight'. She doesn't even wait to see Gibbs nod and hear McGee and him echo her 'goodnight'.
Thirty minutes later he stands up, says his own goodnight and leaves the squad room. Once in his car he heads for her apartment.
Quite Long Enough is the sequel to this story.
Feedback is always appreciated
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