Part 6~

The story goes on...

Throughout the next day, Ziva forces herself to focus solely on her work. After last night, she didn't dare give Tony even a single word- not even a glance. She simply kept to herself throughout the day and did her job. On the contrary, she did notice that Tony was giving her the completely opposite treatment. Every so often she would feel his gaze bearing into her before he'd simply look back to his own work. She could definitely tell though that last night was eating him alive.

Perhaps it was doing the same for Ziva too...

She kept going over the scene where she decided to come out with her idea of 'punishment'- which then led to a downward spiral of things. She knew that Tony hadn't expected this certain type of punishment from their little bet that they had made, but at the same time she couldn't quite understand his reaction to come so... willingly.

At first he had seemed speechless and almost slow to the idea...

Did he not like it? She just couldn't tell. She then goes back to the moment where she decided to leave and it somehow saddens her now that she was really thinking about it- seeming Tony of course had begun begging for her to stay... in his own way that is. He had said to her that she would always be welcomed at his place with open arms...

That was enough for Ziva to realize what kind of friend he was to her.

And that is also the reason as to why she had decided to leave so abruptly. She had wanted to think things over- like she typically did on these things- because it nearly seemed impossible coming from the guy who basically slept with any woman he could give his number to...

She knew well enough though that this was way more sincere and she didn't quite know how to take his sudden outburst of hospitality. It had simply all happened too fast for her.

So... you left. But should you have? What if he thinks that you do not care for what he had to say? What if he thinks you are not coming back tonight?...

The Israeli pauses in her thoughts on that note.

Am I coming back tonight?

She hadn't decided yet. She didn't know if things would become awkward between her and her best friend; especially since she just abandoned ship so quickly.

She hoped he would understand. She just simply needed some time to gather her thoughts on everything that was happening within their friendship.

One moment she is turning him on in bed, and the next moment he tells her that he'd always welcome her into his home... Where is the logic in that?

How can this man be so sweet yet annoyingly fun at the same time?

She smiles to herself just at the knowledge that Tony was probably still casting glances at her every so often...

From the way he was acting now must mean that he probably thought she had been angry with him last night... or something.

But no. She wasn't angry. She was just unsure.

"That's it. Go home you three." The sudden voice of Gibbs randomly breaks the the silence of the squadroom and all three agents look up.

"Boss?" McGee questions.

"It's late. We can finish busy work tomorrow." Gibbs gives a slight nod before he starts collecting his things.

The other agents then start moving for their things too and within a matter of seconds Gibbs was heading for the elevator.

Ziva, who still was not about to look at Tony just yet- out of pure hopes of keeping things interesting, turns to grab her things next. She shuts down her computer and then grabs her bag before she too heads for the elevator.

Tony DiNozzo watched as his Israeli partner headed for the elevators now. He just couldn't get his things together fast enough to be able to walk out with her in hopes of breaking the "Silent" ice between them. He had waited all day to get a chance to speak with her and this had been his last hope.

He hurriedly flings his coat over his shoulders and then grabs his backpack. He goes to throw it over his shoulder when it accidentally hits his computer monitor and it causes for the desktop screen to blur and start acting up.

"Auggh!" DiNozzo chirps irritably before going to place his stuff down. He tries turning the monitor off with the button at its base but nothing happens. He then glances back at the elevator to see the doors closing and his heart sinks.

Dang it!

"Come on! Lousy thing!" He starts hitting the kill switch over and over until the screen goes blue and that is when he about loses it. He furrows his brow hard and opens his mouth to yell something again when Timothy McGee comes rushing over and gives him a look. "Hey, hey, whoa! You alright there, Tony?" The computer expert gives him a small frown for being so rude to the 'technology piece' but right now Tony didn't give heck.

"Yeah, I'm fine McNosy. I just hate that these things always has to happen to me in like the worst-" Tony begins furiously typing on the keyboard before finally McGee just cuts him off and sets down his things. "Hey, you know what? I've got this. Let me fix it for you."

Tony pauses in his rage fit before blinking towards the man. "What?"

McGee just shrugs. "Yeah, hey, it's fine. You uh, can go catch up if you want?" McGee tries nodding towards the elevator with the smallest of smiles before he moves into Tony's desk space to find the source of the frizzing computer.

Tony just stands there for a moment feeling incredulous. He then starts to bite the bottom of his lip while he finishes grabbing his things. "Thanks Probie..." He nods at his usual victim-of-pranks before slowly starting for the elevator. A sudden act of kindness from Timothy McGee?...

"Don't mention it!" Tim calls back with a widening smile.

After feeling like he had spent a couple of lifetimes in the elevator- the doors finally open to the downstairs lobby and out comes a fast-moving Tony DiNozzo. He glances around before speed-walking for the doors that would lead to the parking garage. Once outside though, his eyes instantly go for Ziva's typical parking spot to find it empty. Devoid of Ziva or her car.

Dang it DiNozzo... When are you gonna learn the moves and speed of Sean Connery and actually get out here like James Bond would!

The man scuffs his foot out of annoyance for himself before he starts making his way towards his own car.

I guess she's not going to come over tonight..

Tony could feel the weight of the disappointment on him like a disease. How could he have let her slip away without a single word?

Well, she seemed to not want anything to do with me today. He reminds himself. No eye contact, no talks of her 'winning' last night's bet. Heck knows that if it had been the other way around- if HE had won the bet- there would be no end to his flaunting...

But why was today different? Didn't she want to rub it in even a little?

That's just not like her.

He gets to his car and opens the door to his Cadillac; grunting a bit out of remembrance of his beautiful 66' Mustang he once owned.

But that was a long time ago... Kind of like how his happiness felt. Gone. Never able to return from something like this.

He slowly gets in and heaves a sigh. What were his plans now? Pizza? A bar on the way home?

Nah. Might as well just go home. He tells himself rather forcefully. He knew however that once he got home he'd be reminded of the previous two nights with her at his place. Her beautiful curls swirling around her as she had made her way to his bedroom... the way she never came prepared for the stays so she had to go in one of his T-shirts... and nothing but panties.

The way they had played with each other- so sexually at that. Neither of them wanting to come out as loser to the other..

Guess I'm a double loser then. He jokes mockingly to himself with a smile as he pulls out of the parking garage now.

For losing against her at the bet and then for letting her get away so easily... He finishes his explanation in his head- as if it were his confession to a crime he had committed.

The whole ride home was filled with nothing but thoughts of Ziva. He thought back to how she had literally been touching on him and he loosens a smirk to himself. He'd never forget that...

I just wish things could still be like that. I mean, what did I do wrong?

He glances over at his phone which lay in the passenger seat next to him. Should he try calling her?

Perhaps she didn't feel well or something? But why had she avoided him all day?

"Oh Ziva.. What did I do wrong?" He mutters to himself sadly as he finally pulls around to his apartment. He parks, gets his things, and then heads up for his place.

Upon nearing the door to his apartment, he pauses a moment and gets a sudden idea.

What if she's already inside? What if she's planning on surprising me this way?

Somehow a hopeful grins comes to cross his face and he eagerly hurries to unlock the door.

Besides, Ziva wouldn't need a key to my apartment anyways! She's a master at picking locks!

Once he unlocks it though, he swings the door open to find his place empty and lifeless.

"Great." He saunters in sluggishly and throws his things down before sighing. He then turns on some lights and then heads for the kitchen.

Perhaps food will do me good. Can never go wrong with food. He picks up his phone next. How bout that pizza?

He then goes to sit on his usual barstool and starts searching for pizza places that were still open at this time of night. It's then when he hears a knock at his door and his breath nearly hitches in his throat.

He whirls around and raises his brow. "Ziva?" He barely whispers her name out of disbelief before he struts for the door.

Once he opens it, his eyes finally light up upon finding his beautifully stunning partner just waiting outside.

"Ziva! Hey!" He blinks multiple times out of shock. "What are you doing back here?"

The woman looks at him with her large round eyes and just leans forward playfully on the tips of her toes. "Umm... I thought we had an agreement Tony? The bet?" She gives him a light-hearted frown for his "forgetfulness" before pushing past him to let herself in.

Tony just grins- Hard. He knew he could count on her. How could he have doubted that she would come tonight?

"I-I just thought... I-" Tony closes the door for her and then turns to look at her while scratching the back of his head. "Y-You just seemed-"

"Hmm?" Ziva smiles and then shrugs. "I do not know what you are talking about... however," She pauses, "If you are talking about today and the fact that we never really spoke- I do not wish to make you feel... avoided." She sits down on the sofa and clasps her hands together while Tony just continues standing; his heart still pounding due to the fact that she had actually showed up.

"I.. Did not mean to leave so suddenly like I did last night either, Tony." She starts casting her gaze in different directions now; unable to look at him with a sense of guilt pricking at her side. "I was merely wanting to-" Ziva is abruptly cut off however by the jubilant man. "No, no. There's no need to apologize or explain yourself, Zi. I understand. You do you, aright?" He advances forward slowly before coming to stand directly in front of her. He then squats down to her level and nearly chuckles. "I uh.. I simply thought you had too much of me last night to even speak to me today."

Ziva just looks at him while he tries to hold a straight face before he cracks. He smiles widely before Ziva just scoffs and punches him playfully. "Oh shut up. It's you who could not handle me, remember?" She pats him on the cheek of his face before she gets to her feet and he in turn joins her.

"I am just glad we are still friends, yes?" She smiles and Tony just winks and and smiles back. He was ever so glad that she was here again. Maybe this really could become a regular thing for the two of them... He enjoyed this way too much.

"So um, what should we do now?" The lovely foreign woman goes to take off her fleece jacket before she struts for the kitchen area. Tony follows and helps her finish taking off her jacket- like a true gentleman would. "My lady." He imitates a respectful British accent before going to hang it up on the coat rack. Ziva just beams and raises her eyebrows in a mockingly impressed manner.

"No uh, actually I was just about to order some pizza." Tony comes strutting back into the kitchen area and points to the phone which was still out on the counter top. "But, now that you're here- we could go somewhere nicer? Or-"

Ziva nearly gapes and crosses her arms at him next. "Are you seriously trying to take me out to dinner Mr. DiNozzo?"

At this, Tony's face heats up and he goes to run a hand along his neck. "Ahh.. no? I-I was just wondering if you were hungry or wanted something better than pizza." He tries to shrug it off nonchalantly; when in fact, it had sort of been an invitation to dinner with her...

He just couldn't help himself around her and especially not now.

Ziva goes to lean her elbows on the countertop and puckers her lip simply. "Hmm... Perhaps not tonight. I feel like I should dress better for such an occasion."

Tony instantly scoffs at this though. "What? You? You look amazing!" He tries to make it sound like a forced compliment between co-workers but... heck, things were just going out the window by now.

"That is sweet of you Tony, but no." She gives a slightly nervous chuckle. "How about tomorrow or something. We can have your pizza tonight?"

Tony's everlastingly famous grin comes back to reside on his lips again. "Deal."

To Be Continued...

I loved getting to write this chapter honestly... Tony and Ziva really needed some scenes like this in NCIS.. just saying..

BUT HEY maybe a Tiva reunion will happen soon since she's back!

Thanks for reading and I will continue writing soon!