A/N: Hey everyone, so this is a short story I've had in mind for a while. I wanted to try some Tiva. Basically it's revolved around Tony's empathy towards Ziva during a severe thunderstorm. So, I hope you enjoy and please tell me what you think because I was precise and careful with the word choice for this story. Wanted to really capture their essence together.


Enthusiasm starts ebbing into his emotions. He couldn't wait. It was that special time of the week again. Friday night.

All throughout the week he would look forward to Friday. It had become a naturally scheduled event- etched down within his mind. And he enjoyed it greatly.

It was this night that the two had chosen as their 'together' night- or as one very Special Agent DiNozzo likes calling it; Movie night.

How he had come to possess such time-consuming evenings with his partner, miss Ziva David, he did not know. It had all started about a month ago, and so far they had watched several movies together which spanned across variously diverse genres.

Tonight he would surprise his movie-buddy with one of his all time favorites... Top Gun.

He completely had to watch this movie with her. It would be her first time watching it! He loved the plot and he especially would love the many questions and comments that he'd get to answer from his partner all throughout the movie.

He simply couldn't wait for this.

Tony DiNozzo pulls up to his partner's house with arising excitement for the upcoming evening ahead. Before he knew it, he had already turned off the car and was making his way up to Ziva's doorstep which would lead him into her apartment. Every so often they'd switch off from each other's apartments for their little 'occasion', but this Friday night it had happened to fall on Ziva's end.

A low rumbling noise sounds from overhead.

Tony clenches the movie within his hands as he peers up at the sky with his usual smirk already plastering to his face. Dark clouds dot the heavens above- which only made him grin harder. A movie and a storm?

How could things get any better... A storm will make the perfect atmosphere for Top Gun! His thoughts roil with compliance for the blackening clouds as he ascends the steps with promptness.

He eagerly pauses at the door now before going to fix his hair a little. He was always wanting to look his best for any circumstance. This however was not just a mere circumstance. This was movie night with his partner- of course he was going to make sure he was in tip-top shape. Within seconds though, the door to the apartment opens- revealing none other than her.

Tony practically jumps before going to throw his arms out within an exasperating manner. The young woman smirks at her 'intruder'. She had her dark hair tied back into a tight braid and her attire was more comfy-looking than what she usually wore at work. She looked exactly the way he liked her.

"How on earth did you know I was here already?" Tony feels confusion warp at him for only a few moments before he shrugs it off simply. His partner was literally a ninja. Why should he question her senses?

"Oh come on, Tony. I would think that you'd know me better than that." Comes the Israeli woman's explicit response before she opens the door farther- beckoning him in from the winds that were beginning to pick up.

It is hard for Tony to keep his emotions contained. He beams at her with a chuckle before coolly strutting into her abode.

"So let me guess..." Ziva begins, as she closes the door behind the bright-eyed male agent. "You have already picked the movie for tonight, yes?"

Tony twirls the movie box around within his hands. She knew him too well. "Oh you will not be disappointed."

She looks at him and gives him a sophisticating quirk of an eyebrow. "What is it called?"

The Senior agent pauses for a moment- in high hopes of a dramatic effect. "Oh... I don't know, maybe something simple like... Top Gun!"

As the name of the movie is revealed, Ziva only casts a look of confusion. This quickly crumbles Tony's essence of surprise. He frowns at her. "What!? Oh, come on Zi! At least tell me you've heard of it?" He throws his hands in the air. Had she really never heard of one of his all time favorites? How could this even be possible!

The Israeli only bites her lip- not liking the idea of disappointing him. Tony all the while changes his outlook upon the situation quickly and blinks at her. He couldn't stand it when she did little things like that. It made her look so exceedingly attractive- Although he'd never truly admit it. He tries to hold his hard gaze at her, but how could he? How could he even try to be agitated with someone who looked like that...

"Well... I..." Ziva tries to think of a good excuse for not hearing of his movie much- but she cannot. She's only actually ever heard Tony talk about this 'Top Gun' film. She trails off, while still holding her large brown eyes on him. She hoped to not diffuse his excitement for the movie all so abruptly.

The cinema-loving man goes to open his mouth again to tease her about 'getting around' more, when suddenly a low rumble of thunder comes from outside. This causes for both of the colleagues' heads to look up. It sounds distant, but Tony had already viewed the forecast earlier today. It would soon get worst- if not real bad. He didn't mind this fact though... It actually made his movie-night seem more appealing within his personal opinion.

"Was that thunder?" Ziva however, feels somewhat different on the idea of a storm. Her attention is immediately up and off of him. She glances towards the closest window before going to look out of it.

Tony casually watches her move; her hips undeniably swaying as she made for the window. He couldn't help himself...

He lets a small smile loosen upon his lips before he follows her and places his hands playfully along her shoulders. "Ahh, what could be better than watching a movie during a storm?" He nudges her and begins thinking of the scenario again. Alone- just him and Ziva. Together- huddled closely upon the couch, while the storm rages from outside.

Now he was really looking forward to movie night. It made things 10 times better!

Ziva on the other hand, only stares at the darkening clouds which claims the horizon now. Her mind dims a bit and she furrows her brow ever so slightly. Tony didn't seem to understand the situation like she did.

Would it even be safe to have the T.V. going throughout a horrible storm? In all honesty, she didn't quite like the idea of a storm at all... For several reasons at that.

"Zi! Come on! We gonna start the popcorn yet?" Tony's voice drags her from her thoughts and back to reality. He had already moved from her side and was glancing around her apartment again with anticipation for their evening together. Ziva slowly turns to respond to him; her mind still lingering on the approaching clouds though.

"Oh. Yes. And this time I bought your favorite kind with extra butter." She gives him a small vexing look from the thought of the extra calories. Tony though only grins wildly before rushing into the kitchen area of the apartment. "You didn't!" His voice rings with disbelief. "Man, you are the best! I seriously can't wait for this!"

He throws the bag of popcorn into the microwave before heading back into the main lounge area to input the movie disk. This was it. The whole day at work just thinking about tonight- and finally the actual moment had arrived!

Just wait for the many comments and remarks she'll have for this movie... Gosh, I love watching movies! Tony's thoughts were whirling happily around within his head; he is about to zip back into the kitchen to check on the popcorn, when suddenly his eyes snap back onto Ziva and the fact that she has yet to move from her position by the window...

He pauses dead in his tracks to stare at her before tipping his head to one side like a dog would. What was up with Ziva? Why wasn't she acting as excited as she usually did for the movie?

Was she not interested in Top Gun or something...?

Hmm. Tony tries to get back to what he was doing, but his mind stays on his partner. He did not like how things were shaping out to be.

Was it something I said? Tony questions himself rather irritably and begins trying to think of anything offensive he may have said or came across as towards her. But he couldn't exactly pick anything that he had previously said wrongly. This was Ziva though- and it took a lot to degrade her anyhow.

He hurriedly dumps the contents of the popcorn bag into a large bowl that had intricate markings on it before flying back into the room. Once he arrives however, this time his ninja is missing.

His mind clouds with confusion as he sets the bowl of sweet-smelling popcorn down upon the coffee table. "Ziva?"

He is answered by a voice that comes from the bedroom's direction. "Just freshening up!"

Tony pauses. Perhaps he was overreacting? Maybe she's fine?

He blinks before going to slowly cross his arms; his eyes training on her closed bedroom door now. He feels a sudden urge to go and 'help' her freshen up... But he contains himself. He knew that they were only partners... And besides. She probably wouldn't even want him around her like that anyways...

But more than that, he needed to figure out what was on her mind. Why did it seem like she was acting off or something? Normally movie nights had this woman pumped.

Within seconds though, Tony's Israeli woman finally reappears at the door- and instantly his troubling thoughts quickly evaporate on the spot. He immediately feels himself lick his lips.

Wow. He thinks to himself solemnly.

Ziva now had on nothing but a loose white tank-top and some comfy sweatpants which had the words 'Touch Me And Die' written in bold print on the sides of them. Her hair wasn't pulled back anymore either. Her hair is down and her curls are now draping over her shoulders- the thick dark brown spirals looking more and more like chocolate each time he blinked.

Tony gawks at her sudden change for a few heartbeats. He really enjoyed when she got more comfortable around him. But this? This was overkill.

She picked that outfit on purpose. Came his first thoughts.

She looked poised and flawless and he nonetheless started to gain the agonizing urge to go against the wording on her pants and touch her. He wanted to touch her and the words only made him want to do it more so. He wanted to prove that he could not be subdued by some flimsy wording. He didn't want to listen to anything- much less anyone...

But then his mind suddenly falls upon Gibbs- and so he restrains himself for the sake of his career. He couldn't just do whatever he wanted with her. What kind of man would he be? Besides, he'd never want to do anything to ruin their friendship together. He enjoyed her presence too much.

Instead, he gives a measly smile at her entrance and clears his throat abruptly. "U-Uh... Nice outfit."

Ziva feels a hint of dismay run through her body.

That's it?

She rolls her eyes and places her hands on her hips. She obviously expected a little more. She knew the effect she had on him. And she liked it. This however, is what bothered Tony the most. She knew what she did to him...

"Are you sure that is all you have to say to me, Tony? I mean, I did not want to disappoint you on your big special movie night." She flashes him an enticing look before strutting provocatively over towards the couch.

"W-Well, uh..." Tony's mouth is dry as he watches her go; her hips swaying playfully. He tries to swallow but his salivary glands seemed to have stopped their flow at the moment.

He frowns.

Get it together DiNozzo. She's your partner. He scolds himself irritably before heading for her side. He lowers himself nonchalantly onto the couch next to her- his mind still agonizingly trying to restrain his hands.

He couldn't help but notice how she then inches closer to him- their arms practically grazing each other's. Nothing was making the situation easier for him.

"Okay. So, what is this film exactly about?" Thankfully, his amazingly stunning partner changes the subject from her attire.

He brightens at the mention of the movie again. "Oh! This is Top Gun! This is like... The Movie! Other than James Bond of course." He enthusiastically reclines his legs up atop the coffee table before reaching to bring his bowl of freshly-made popcorn to his side.

Ziva though instantly gives him a glare. "Feet off, DiNozzo!"

Not wanting to get killed, he hurriedly drags his feet off from her coffee table and gives her a small guilty smile. "My bad." He then reaches for the remote. "Yeah, so... This is about a guy who is in the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School; a place where only the elite flyers go to compete for the title of- you guessed it, Top Gun!... Which is the top fighter pilot." He then begins going into depth about why he likes the movie and why everyone on the face of the planet should at least watch this movie once within their lifetime.

Instinctively, throughout his summary on the movie, Tony goes to casually wrap an arm around Ziva to pull her closer towards him- and she doesn't mind this act. In fact, it was beginning to become a more natural thing for the two. Every movie night they only seemed to get closer to one another; as if they couldn't get enough of their small evening spent together.

On the contrary, they had also been trying to keep their special movie nights a secret from the team. They didn't want to seem like they were getting to be 'closer than partners' and yet they greatly enjoyed the company of each other- even after spending all week at work together. But both of them knew that Gibbs would find out about it sooner or later... Nothing escaped his knowings.

"-And! As if that already isn't enough! The director of this movie? His name? Tony Scott! I mean that's my name!" Tony flashes his teeth at Ziva as he talks; and all the while she just listens and watches him with a fascinated expression. She enjoyed it when he rambled on like this. She used to hate it when she first met him. She would constantly be wishing for the man to shut up about his movies. But now, after years of getting to know him more, she really enjoyed it when he would go on as if what he talked about meant so much to life... when in reality, it actually didn't.

She even starts to feel an urge to lean in towards him more- his green eyes gleaming from the T.V.'s light. She felt completely happy around him- and she liked the non-secretive fact that she was able to sort of playfully 'arouse' her partner. She knew where his weaknesses were anyhow... And she greatly enjoyed enthralling him this way.

Their friendship was really special to Ziva. She wouldn't want to be doing this with any other man...

"And so, that is when I first saw it and-" Tony is still going on about Top Gun, when suddenly another rumble of thunder awakens the quiet atmosphere around the two.

Tony feels his partner cringe from beside him and instantly he turns to give her a look- her eyes snapping onto his.

A bleak silence falls between them before Tony goes to pull her closer to him with his arm still wrapped tightly around her.

"Zi? Did... Did you just jump?" He couldn't help it. He needed to ask. Why was his ninja acting so strange tonight? He had never really seen her so... tense before.

The assassin quickly gives a shrug of the shoulders before scowling at Tony in reply. "I did not jump. You probably imagined it, yes?" Her voice is now steely and hard- as if she were definitely certain of the point she was making.

Tony however doesn't buy it. This was all so mind-boggling. Why couldn't she just admit that she had jumped? And... over what exactly? But in the end, he decides not to press her on the matter. He didn't want to get on her bad side anyhow.

"Okay.. Well..." He turns his attention back on the T.V. before continuing, "You are seriously going to enjoy this movie. It has it all! The action, the romance, the high-flying speed of being an awesome fighter pilot! I mean, C'mon!" He grins wildly and Ziva only gives a small smile in return.

This was it. Finally the true moment had come. He is about to begin the movie when another rumble of thunder sounds from outside again. This time, Tony notices how Ziva quickly bites her lip before forcing her eyes onto the T.V. screen.

Tony is simply left to speculate.

As the movie starts to begin though, the Senior Field Agent slowly goes to slide his gaze onto his ninja. He couldn't take it. Something was surely going on with Ziva. And he was determined to figure out what.

Tonight didn't really feel the way he had thought it would feel. Instead of the many questions and comments about his choice of movie, all he gets is a rather rigid-looking Ziva with her eyes hardly even focusing on the screen of the television. Instead, every so often she'd sneak a look towards the windows and the blacker than black clouds that now loomed outside their framework.

That's it.

He did not like how she was trying to hide something from him. It was obvious she wasn't into the movie. Heck, she seemed too busy focusing on the storm outside.

Guess I'll have to do this the hard way then. He tries to console his mind before deciding that he needed to get to the very bottom of this. He hurriedly conjures up a good excuse.

"Oh, wait, hold on!" Tony leaps to his feet before going to stop the movie for a moment. Ziva gives an exasperated look at him before frowning with confusion. "Now what?" She snaps.

Tony simply points his finger towards the bathroom. "I need to use the head. Be right back!" He hurries away before rounding the small corner of the apartment which led to the closest bathroom. He waits a few moments- wanting to collect his thoughts. How does one tell someone else that they think that person is hiding something from them...?

Was he really risking to do this right now? Was he seriously going to risk getting on his partner's bad side? And during Top Gun too?

This will not be good. He concludes with a soft groan before going to flush the toilet for sound effects. He then turns on the faucet to the sink- faking his hand washing before finally rounding the corner again. As he re-enters the room though, a sudden flash of lightning illuminates the darkened room; which causes for Ziva and Tony to both look up at each other in unison.

Only next did the thunder sound.

A massive, rumbling, explosion of noise roars from outside- and, within only a matter of seconds, Tony watches as Ziva casts her gaze around the room wildly. Her dark eyes expand as she then turns to hurriedly snatch up the couch blanket that lay thrown over the back of the cushions and she rapidly pulls it over herself; her eyes wide and her body stiffening as if on high-alert.

Tony blinks at the scene with insight before coming to take his seat beside the rigid woman again- another low rumble of thunder echoing within the distance from outside. He feels compassion wash over him for his partner. She almost looked... afraid? But no. This was Ziva. She wasn't afraid of anything... was she?

Ziva then goes to curl herself into a small tight ball- her legs pulled into her chest and her arms wrapped around herself protectively. She looks to Tony next with a questioning look- as if she had been oblivious to his presence practically the whole time.

"What!?" She growls- her eyes quickly darting back towards the windows again.

Tony is sort of at a loss for words. His mind reels with incomprehension.

What was happening to his world? Could it truly be that Ziva is afraid of... storms?

"Ziva?" Her name escapes his lips and he shifts towards her.

He moves in close to the unyielding girl and places an arm around her for comfort; her amazingly appealing scent filling his nostrils all the while. His Ninja-girl always smelled so good.

He clears his throat next and leans forward. "Ziva, are you okay?" His voice is almost a whisper as the pitter-patter of rainfall begins abruptly upon the windowpanes just outside.

Ziva bites her lip again and sends him a death look. "I am fine. Perfectly fine Tony. Now, play the movie." She demands threateningly; but Tony ignores her request.

"Answer me. Are you seriously okay?" He repeats this again before nodding towards the windows. The wind was now howling from outside- and the rain was pouring nothing but buckets.

It made the apartment seem smaller and darker.

"Are you like, afraid of storms or something, Zi?" Tony softens his voice before pulling her closer towards him- her large dark brown doe-eyes still clinging to him; as if they were penetrating through to his soul, but he did not mind this. She seemed so small while curled into her tight ball. She somehow seemed... so misunderstood.

He didn't want for her to feel like she had to contain things from him though. Even if she weren't too proud of things such as this.

Ziva only goes to flash him another harsh look though. She didn't like being so defensive of herself but she did what she felt was necessary.

"Tony. Listen to me. I am fine. And No. I am not afraid of storms." She seethes, her brows furrowing over.

Tony only blinks at her. "Honestly Ziva.. It's okay if you are. You've been acting restless ever since I first arrived." He didn't want to anger her, but he felt like he wasn't getting the full picture here. "Hey, it's alright. You can tell me anything." He presses.

Ziva however only breaks away from him now. She's had enough of this. "No! Tony! I am not afraid of storms! I am not afraid of anything at all!" She speaks through clenched teeth, but Tony doesn't stop. He doesn't give up.

Instead, he moves towards her and attempts to wrap his arm around her again within a reassuring embrace. "I think you should calm down, girl."

Ziva still holds her ground though. She jerks from his touch and goes to wrap the throw blanket around herself even tighter. "Tony! Just stop! Please listen to me!" She's yells aggravatingly- her irritated voice causing for the man to finally take a pause within his efforts to console his partner.

"I said I am NOT afraid of storms!" She groans. But after a few short shaky breaths- she finally looks to him indifferently. "But..." She begins slowly, and Tony feels himself sit up; on edge for her next words.

"I... may not really like... the thunder." She lets her shoulders fall and she closes her eyes as if in defeat of the situation.

Tony on the other hand only gains an intense urge to move closer to her. He felt like practically holding her now. He looks to her and then towards the windows.

Ziva not liking thunder?

Hmm... I didn't think she'd ever consider sharing something like this with me... Tony decides that this was much more important than their simple fun-filled movie night together now. No, things had escalated. Things were different tonight. And it was all because of the weather.

Ziva didn't like thunder... and for what reasons, he could care less. He just wanted to make her feel better.

He was going to be there for her. One way or another.

"Ziva..." He places a hand on her shoulder before going to reach for her hand. To his surprise, she doesn't retract or jerk away.

Instead, she blinks at him with slight appreciation. Of all people, she knew she felt most comfortable with sharing things like this with Tony. He'd always listen and understand her. And this was why she greatly enjoyed being around him.

She tries a small smile but she fails and reverts to grasping at some of the blanket again.

Another rumble of thunder comes from outside- and this time, Ziva concedes. She leans in and almost even lays her head on Tony's broad shoulder. She knew he wouldn't mind of course...

Tony blinks slowly at her before going to caress her arm. He then moves his hand slowly into her hair and begins playing with it. He knew she liked the feeling- perhaps it would help calm her.

Another flash of lightning comes from the windows again and Ziva goes to compress her body towards Tony's now- which instantly causes for the man to feel transfixed from the amazing Israeli's body against his own.

It felt spellbinding. Captivating.

He liked it. He liked the feeling of her, and he couldn't help but feel slightly triumphant towards her clothing's wordings again.

He feels like giving his best friend an uplifting grin or something next. But instead, the two just sits there together in silence as the rain poured down from the skies outside.

Finally though, Ziva clears her throat before exhaling loudly. She did not like appearing this way to people; much less Tony DiNozzo. She turns her head so that she can make eye contact with the man that she was so physically close to.

"Tony?"

The handsome Italian-American looks to her. "Yes, my ninja?"

"If... If you would like," Ziva begins slowly, "I could tell you why I do not... appreciate thunder. Y-You deserve to know. You are my partner anyhow." She suggests with benevolence in her sweet voice, and Tony only places his forehead to hers.

"You don't have to tell me Zi. I understand." He replies honestly.

Ziva however only shakes her head. "No. I want to tell you." She admits; and with this, Tony only smiles. "Alright. Let's talk about it. You and me..." He decides encouragingly.

As the rain thrummed hard from outside- the two only seemed to cave for each other even more so.

And the movie? One of Tony DiNozzo's favorites; had simply been forgotten...

A/N: Hope you enjoyed my first piece of Tiva! Stay tuned for more of the story!