"Tony maybe tonight would not be a good night. I understand that you have questions, that you would like to talk to me but..." Ziva paused, "we will talk next week. Pick a day. I will make you dinner." "Really?" Tony exclaimed. "Okay, I may not make dinner, but we will talk." She held up her hand, "I promise." "Back to your car it is then little lady," Tony responded. Dropping Ziva off at her car was hard, he'd wanted her to come home with him, he'd wanted to talk to her about his feelings... their feelings and most of all he'd wanted to make passionate love after holding her most of the night. He watched in his rearview mirror as she pulled away from the bar and turned left onto the street. He stopped himself from following her home, he didn't want to scare her. But he had waited all these years... he sighed. What was a few more days?
He drove home completely unaware of his surroundings. He was used to unlocking his door without Ziva by his side, but last night it felt so right despite her being a bit incapacitated. He shut the door behind him, threw his keys on the side table where Ziva's bottle of water still sat and plopped down on the couch. He sighed and talked aloud to himself said, "DiNozzo you've got to get it together. She's just like any other girl, telling her your feelings should be simple." But who was he kidding, she wasn't just any girl. He ran his fingers through his hair, pondering the many questions he had. He hoped that she had made it home okay. As if on cue his phone beeped, Ziva's name flashed across the screen with the text message symbol. He sat looking at the phone afraid to open it, afraid she wanted to write him off. He breathed in deeply and flipped the phone open. Reading the contents out loud he smiled. "I am grateful for your assistance last night. I am home in one piece, I know you would worry." She knew him all too well. He didn't know what to text back without sounding over eager or desparate. He settled for a simple message. "No problem. I'm not worried anymore." He hit the send button and almost regretted not typing the three words he really wanted to say. But over text message was not the way he envisioned a confession of feelings. He kicked his shoes off and made his way to the bathroom to take a shower. When he stepped out, he wrapped a towel around his waist and went to the kitchen to get a beer. He knew he shouldn't be drinking, but he needed a memory blocker tonight or he'd never get any sleep. A knock sounded at his door and for a moment he looked confused. It was almost midnight, not even his frat buddies would pop up unannounced at this hour. He ignored looking into the keyhole and flung the door open. Standing there was Ziva. His mouth dropped open slightly, he didn't expect that in the least. "Ziva..." he shook his head not sure what to say. She didn't say a word to him, instead she just looked him from his toes up to eye level and bit her lip. She looked so innocent, so vulnerable at that moment. They both then smiled remembering back to their very first meeting. She took a breath, stepped forward, put her hand on his bare chest and pressed her lips against his. Then as suddenly as she was there she was gone... down the stairs before he could even react. His head was reeling and he stood frozen in place. He virtually Gibbs slapped himself and without thinking he flew down the stairs and out the door hoping to catch Ziva before she pulled away from the curb. He looked up and down the street, but she was already gone. He was slightly out of breath and put his hands on his hips still trying to comprehend what had just happened. A few passerby's from the corner pub caught his attention and he turned to look at them. "Hey buddy you drunk or something?" the older man laughed. He didn't answer & walked back inside. He emptied his beer in the sink knowing he didn't really need it and now after that kiss he didn't want anything to touch his lips so that her chapstick would linger as long as possible.
He paced his floor, thinking. He was tempted to play house tag, go kiss her & leave the way she did him, but he knew if he saw her again tonight nothing could stop him from ravaging her body over and over and over again. He looked at the clock beside his bed. 2:36 am. Now exhausted, he lay down on the bed and sleep quickly overcame him. He dreamt of Ziva, as he had done many nights before, but this time there was nothing in the way of their feelings, the admission was not at work as he'd always predicted it would be, and making love to her wasn't the best thing about it. When he awoke in the morning his mind was filled of her smiles, he loved seeing her smile and last night's dream was full of nothing but smiles shared between them & behind each other's backs when they thought the other wasn't looking. He put his hands behind his head & enjoyed the pictures still dancing around in his head. He decided that today would be the day he'd tell her his feelings, after years of waiting he couldn't wait anymore. He got dressed, ate breakfast and went to the grocery store just as he did every Sunday. This Sunday though everyone noticed his cheerful mood, and the good-looking cashier winked at him knowing what his good moods usually were about. He grinned and told her that the reason he was happy wasn't why she thought it was.
She chuckled and nodded, she obviously didn't believe him but he didn't care today. He went home, put the grocery's away and text Ziva. All he put in the body of the text was "Taylor Mallum Park. 2 pm." He hoped she would show up.
He'd been there for 45 minutes already. He didn't want to be late, so instead he showed up almost an hour early. He had set up the blanket and the small picnik lunch he'd packed. He'd put 1 single orchid into a small vase & placed it near the basket, then stepped back to survey his work. His shoulders slumped, he thought to himself how cheesy this must look. He should have put more thought into it, why didn't he copy one of George Clooney's moves? "Tony?" Ziva called his name. He closed his eyes and smiled hearing his name come out of her mouth, then he turned to look at her. "Hey Zee-vah," he smiled at her. She looked at the picnik, "Is that where we will be eating?" "Uh yeah, I just thought it would be more relaxing than a restaurant," Tony responded. "Yes I agree," she nodded towards him curtly. He put on his signature grin & rubbed his hands together, "Alright, lets eat first, then talk." He watched Ziva sit on one edge of the blanket, her chocolate curls hanging softly over her shoulders, her jeans fit more loosely today than they had Friday night and her t-shirt clung to her frame beautifully. She looked up & her eyes meant his. He sat down close enough to her to satisfy his need, but far enough away not to alert her. He pulled out the sandwiches and fruit he brought from the deli and handed her a water. They exchanged a few words, but much was left unsaid as usual. The entire time he was thinking about how to tell her he loved her without scaring her, but this was Ziva she was not easily scared. Then again she had been through so much lately that her emotional state was more fragile than usual. "Tony?" her voice cut through his thoughts. He looked up but didn't say a word. "Are you going to answer my question?" "Uh yeah...see I..." he stumbled over his words. "NCIS. How did you get into the agency?", Ziva repeated to him. "Oh that's easy. I smiled." Tony grinned. Then he frowned remembering his conversation with Kate over this exact topic, and he'd just supplied the same exact answer to Ziva. He hadn't thought about Kate in months. He wondered how Kate & Ziva would have gotten along, they were polar opposites, but so were Abby & Kate who had gotten along so well. If only Kate could see him now, she'd never believe his feelings for Ziva were real. But they were, every little peice of emotion was real & raw.
...To Be Continued...