After getting lunch, Tony ended up back in the observation room, intending to think through some things in the dark before spending the rest of the day trying to track down Mossad agents. He was interrupted by seeing Ziva laying on the table in the interrogation room staring at the ceiling, swinging her lower legs below the table. Tony walked closer so he was almost touching the glass. She turned her head to the side and looked directly at him.
Her thoughts were racing a mile a minute going over the time since she had seen him jump out of the squad car that morning. She had intended to leave the crime scene. Getting booked was not supposed to be part of the plan. But she had wanted to talk to him again. Wanted to learn something about him. It was entirely a fluke that she had been in the same spot as him. Not having a name made tracking down someone an awful lot harder and she didn't have the time to dedicate to locating him. She had work to do. But now she was here, staring at nothing. She was sure that he was in there, watching her. But the only thing that she could see was her reflection.
Tony turned around as Director Vance opened the door to the observation room. "A colleague of mine put me in contact with her father."
"He'll be here in a few hours and until then she has to stay in the building with an agent supervising her. I asked McGee, but he said that you already knew her."
"That's a strong word."
Vance clasped his hands behind his back. "Just give her a tour or something."
Tony nodded and walked over to the interrogation room.
He opened the door and Ziva sat up and hopped off the table. She followed him out of the room.
"Do I get my knife back?"
"I wouldn't give you a paperclip."
"That is wise, but I would have a hard time killing you with a paperclip."
"What does that mean?"
"Are you hungry?"
She looked him up and down and licked her lips before making an mmm-hmm sound.
He turned to her and stopped abruptly. She ran into him. He grabbed her shoulders and looked down at her. "I meant, do you want a sandwich?"
"Sure. I could go for that too."
In the bullpen, Tony gave her the second sandwich that he'd picked up for lunch and hadn't eaten. She sat on the edge of his desk, invading his personal space while he checked his email. He opened one from McGee which contained a link to an online version of Ziva's file. He glanced at Ziva who was ignoring him while eating the sandwich and opened the file. He hadn't bothered to read anything before, just looked at the pictures. He scrolled through the section of generic information and stopped when he saw the words "confirmed hits." 31. He glanced back up and noticed that Ziva was gone. How had he not realized that she had moved?
She leaned over him, one hand resting on his shoulder, the other over his on the mouse.
"Thirty-one?" She whispered in his ear. She scrolled further down the page. "There's so many things wrong here. They even got my age wrong." She scrolled further down to where a grainy picture of her holding a long-range rifle was. "That's a very unflattering picture."
McGee walked passed the two of them, staring determinedly ahead.
"Do you want to do something other than critique your file?" Tony asked.
"Oh, yes." She lowered her voice and moved her mouth closer to his ear.
Some sort of feeling settled in his stomach and before his thoughts could turn dirty he pushed Ziva back, stood up, grabbed her wrist, and drug her off to the elevator.
"Ooh, where are we going?"
"Autopsy?" she asked incredulously.
"That's the goal." He raised his eyes to the ceiling trying not to think about what it would feel like to have her pressed against him.
The elevator opened and Tony pulled her out, his hand still clamped around her wrist. The sailor was laying on one of the autopsy tables and Tony charged in and stared at the body for a minute. Palmer looked up from the desk where he was looking over notes.
"How are you Tony?"
"Fine," he said shortly. "Any surprises?"
"No, he's been strangled by someone with a height advantage. There's nothing in the tox screens to suggest drugging. I already told Gibbs everything though?"
"Eh, I couldn't find him."
Ziva was closely looking at the marks on the sailors neck. "I would strangle someone the same way. It is an easy way to exert the pressure where it matters most," she announced to the room at large.
Palmer stopped his speech about strangulation mid-word to look at Ziva. "And who are you?"
Tony snapped his head in her direction so fast that she got whiplash. He thought she was done with fake names.
Ziva pulled her wrist out of Tony's hand and spun his body around so she was behind him. She wrapped her hands around his neck and started to squeeze. Tony tried to protest but he was thinking more about her chest pressing against his back than her hands wrapped around his neck.
"See?" she asked Palmer. "There are other ways to do this and it is even easier if you have bigger hands. And if you slowly increase the pressure the person is less likely to struggle violently." She squeezed tighter and Tony started to consider the possibility that she was actually about to kill him. "See he is not even struggling."
"I think that's because he's afraid." Palmer noted before turning his back on them and walking back to his desk.
Ziva's hands dropped from his neck. Tony reached up to touch his neck gingerly.
"I'm glad you were helping me avoid getting strangled Palmer," Tony accused.
"You didn't seem to care!" Palmer protested. "Besides if she did kill you, really it's a convenient place."
When Tony continued to glare at him, Palmer stopped laughing, turned back around, and started writing furiously.
"Oh relax Tony. That will not even leave a bruise."
Tony made a high-pitched whining noise.
"Come on. Where to next?" she asked.
"Tony, you are fine." She traced her arm around his waist and tugged to pull him into the elevator. She stabbed a random button on the elevator panel. When the doors opened again, she pulled him out and down the hallway. "What is down here?"
Her eyes lit up and she tried to walk faster, but Tony dragged his feet, sure that he was going to have a repeat of his strangulation in autopsy. She drug him through the gym doors, passed the weights and treadmills to the punching bags. She let go of him and shrugged off her jacket. She selected a bag and pulled her hair back into a ponytail.
She pulled her arm back to swing when Tony grabbed it.
"What are you doing?"
"What?" she asked harshly. "Are you trying to volunteer?"
"No! Don't you want gloves or at least tape?"
She shoved him away and took a swing. She grunted when her fist connected with the bag and Tony felt something twitch in his stomach. The bag swung back and forth and Ziva turned around with her eyebrows raised and a smirk on her face.
"While I am waiting for that to stop swinging… How are your fighting skills."
"What? Are you scared?" she teased.
"Yes," Tony said bluntly.
Her eyebrows moved further up her face. "Really?" She took a step closer to him. "I am not going to hurt you."
Tony took a step back. "See, I like my face the way it is and I'd like to avoid ruining my best feature."
Ziva took a step forward. "I like your face too, but I doubt that it is your best feature." She took another step forward as she looked him up and down again, her eyes pausing somewhere well below his face.
Tony tried to take another step back, but he hit a wall. He put out his arms onto Ziva's shoulders to stop her from coming any closer and trained his eyes over her shoulder.
She rolled her eyes and pulled him reluctantly away from the wall. She pushed his jacket off his shoulders and draped it over a rack of equipment. Tony again looked over her shoulder trying not to think about what was happening right then. She was undressing him and he knew it was because she wanted to fight with him but his brain couldn't help but focus on the what ifs. She unbuttoned the cuffs of his shirt and pushed the sleeves up to his elbows. Then she started to loosen his tie, her fingers brushing against his Adam's apple. He gulped. The what ifs in his brain were working overtime.
"Can we get on with it? I'd rather you beat the shit out of me now than later."
She pulled the tie over his head and dropped it over his jacket. "I am not going to beat the shit out of you." She started undoing the top few buttons of his shirt.
Tony's brain was in overdrive, until the thought of Gibbs or McGee or Vance walking into the gym right now looking for him or Ziva and what they would think was going on. He slapped her hands away from his shirt, ran his hand through his hair, sighed, and brought his fists up in a defensive position.
Ziva smiled at him and eyed him up. She took a swing and he just managed to block it, though he was certain that he would have a massive bruise on his forearm after this. He jabbed at her and she blocked him easily. She used a wicked left hook and made contact with his head, right above his ear.
A whine rose from his throat unconsciously.
"That could not have hurt that much."
"I thought you weren't going to hit me in the head," he pouted. He brought one of his hands up above his ear and touched it. "There's blood!" he accused.
Ziva took the opportunity of his distraction and with a swift kick to the back of his knee, he went down. She sat on his chest and pulled his arms over his head.
"That's my blood, no? From when I hit the punching bag?" She showed him the knuckles on her left hand, which sure enough were bleeding.
Tony's breathing grew faster as he became hyperaware of the position that they were in. He tried to free his hands without success and asked, somewhat breathless, "I can't tap out if you don't let go of my hands."
"Tapping out? Why do you not just fight back?"
Tony made a noncommittal grunt and jerked his head.
"What? You think I cannot take it?"
Tony sighed. He was more worried about what she would do to him if he did fight back. "No, I just…"
"Then fight back!" If she was trying to make him angry, it was working. He was wound up like a spring, more from the unresolved sexual tension than anything else but maybe he could use that.
Tony swung his legs around, knocking them both off balance and accidentally-on-purpose ended up on top of her, his forearm pining her wrists to the matted floor, and his face inches from hers. He considered closing the space, leaning down to fill the gap, but he ignored the urge. She was breathing hard, much harder than she should have been for the amount that she had exerted herself.
"See, that was not so hard, was it?" She nudged him in the side with her boot, hard enough that it hurt, and hard enough that he thought it would bruise. He loosened her grip on her and she flipped them over again. Expecting it, Tony was able to knock her arms out from under her so she fell flush against him.
This wasn't so hard, Tony thought. Although it was much more like sex than any sort of wrestling match he'd ever seen. And with that thought, his brain was off on a tangent, thinking about how different it would be if they weren't in the NCIS gym and if they weren't wearing clothes. And at that thought, his anatomy followed his brains precedence.
He rolled them over again, grabbing both her wrists and forcing them up next to her ears. He leaned closer to her and lowered his voice. "Would you please stop taking it easy on me?"
She opened her mouth to reply when someone cleared their throat. Tony's head shot up and he saw Gibbs staring at him. He froze. How long had Gibbs been watching them roll around on the floor like that?
"Um… boss. This isn't what it looks like."
Gibbs didn't answer and continued with his gaze.
Ziva spoke up. "Actually," she yanked her hand out of Tony's and gave him a resounding elbow in the ribs causing him to suck in his breath and roll off of her. "It is exactly what it looks like."
Tony turned his head to glare at her from where he was lying face down on the gym mats. She could have at least tried to help him out. She was already standing up, looking Gibbs straight in the face while he continued to stare at her. Her back was to him and he spent a minute admiring the view. Her shirt had risen up a few inches exposing the skin and the dimples right over the top of her pants. And her ass. He couldn't complain about that.
"Ms. David, your father has arrived. He's meeting with Director Vance right now but he'll take you soon."
Tony pushed himself slowly to his feet and picked up his jacket and tie from where they had fallen onto the floor. He made a face when he touched the spot on his temple. His fingers were bloody when he pulled them away. That was definitely not just her blood. He unbuttoned his shirt the rest of the way and looked at the places on his sides where she had hit him. The skin was still red, and there was surely going to be a bruise there later.
"God DiNozzo, did you at least get a punch to land on her?"
"He tried," Ziva answered for him, showing Gibbs the spot on her arm where she had blocked his first punch. There was a small bruise forming, but it wouldn't be turning green and yellow like the ones on Tony's side.
"I pinned her though," Tony answered in defense. He hadn't buttoned his shirt back up and Ziva was making direct eye contact with chest.
Her eyes flicked up to his, "I pinned you first!"
Tony opened his mouth to argue back but Gibbs stopped him. "Shut up DiNozzo. I don't care. Ducky, go."
Tony grumbled to himself and walked past the two. Gibbs gave him a sharp slap on the back of his head, much to Ziva's amusement.