A/N - Oh my gosh what am I doing? I must be insane to write another NCIS story when I am still in the middle of writing 3 other ones still going AND a Bones fic. I promise that I won't let this new story get in the way of my updating the other ones. I just came up with this story and had to pursue it. This is actually my first fic NOT based on an actual episode – even though this chapter is more humorous than anything, it's definitely going to get more dangerous and intense for Tony and possibly other team members. As with all my stories I will have lots of Tony whump but others may get hurt as well along the way. This won't be as long as my other ongoing fics – maybe ten chapters total. Pls review and let me know how you like it so far. ~BnBfanatic~

A Deadly Phobia

Scene One

Tony was cranky starting nearly the very moment he woke up - worsening so much during his morning commute into work that by the time he came out of the elevator and sauntered into the bullpen, he was downright cantankerous!

"Good morning Tony." came the unusually sing song-y voice of his all too happy partner before he had even sat down. Looking up at her in the midst of putting his gun and badge into his top desk drawer he shot her his best impression of the 'Gibbs' glare' that he could muster.

"Is it?" he finally answered.

"Geez Tony, d'you have trouble uh – performing on your hot date last night er somethin'?" McGee said as he joined the conversation.

Tony's glare shifted away from Ziva and became even more deadly when he slowly turned his attention to McGee. "Excuuse me my confused little probie, but I have never . . . EV-er had that problem. You must be confusing me with someone else . . . oh I knowww-who, maybe yourself!" he said, feeling better for the moment as the cleverness of his own come back. Then he winced just slightly but unfortunately for him, it wasn't slight enough for his two eagle eye partners to miss.

"Ohh-hh haha." Ziva jumped on the opportunity to harass him about the wince. "Is that a hangover that is causing you pain Tony? Perhaps a headache caused by over indulging? Maybe you are right McGee! After all, every woman knows the affect that too much alcohol can have one a man's ability to . . . perform. Hahaha."

"Hung over DiNozzo?"

All three of the agents froze in place at the booming sound of their boss who seemed to be as cranky as Tony was.

"Uh, no boss. You know I never have more than a couple a beers on a school night. The uh, the probie's were just speculating . . ." he explained – then shooting a dirty look back and forth at his partners he added, "Very badly!"

"Alright then – grab yer gear! Dead Sergeant – Quantico." Gibbs was used to his team fighting like siblings, but another thing he knew for sure was when Tony said he never drank on a work night, he was telling the truth. As juvenile and carefree as he wanted everyone to think he was, Gibbs knew that a lot of it was merely a cover. He took his job more seriously than anyone – sometimes even more so than Gibbs himself.

Tony rolled his eyes at the thought of having to deal with a case when he already felt so poorly. Pulling his gun back out of his drawer, he sluggishly dropped it into his shoulder holster and leaned down to grab his back pack, wincing again as blood rushed to his face causing the severely painful toothache he had woken up with, to throb mercilessly. This time to his relief, no one saw the grimace.

. . . Three Hours Later . . .

Walking back into the bullpen after doing what they did best and processing the crime scene with well rehearsed proficiency, Tony felt exhausted as he dropped his stuff off at his desk and immediately headed towards the men's room. His toothache had expanded it's territory and was now taking up residence in his entire jaw as well. He wanted to just splash ice cold water hoping if he splashed enough he could somehow numb his face for a minute. Leaning down he filled his hands with as much of the ice cold liquid that he could hold, throwing it back into his face and keeping his head down to allow the dripping water to land back down into the sink. After doing the same thing three more times while keeping his eyes closed to protect them from the water, he finally raised his head up to look in the mirror.

But the last thing he expected to see along with own reflection, was the looming face of Ziva as she stood too closely behind him – watching him through his reflection in the mirror.

"GEEZUS! - Dammit ZIVA! You trying to gimme a heart attack? What the hell are you doin' in here anyway? " he retaliated, but then before she had a chance to answer he continued, "Ya know, you need counseling! You really do!". His heart still beating in his throat from the scare, also causing enough of an increase in his blood pressure to cause his jaw to throb even harder and again eliciting a wince and a moad from him before he could stop it. 'So much for the cold water' he thought to himself.

"Ah-ha! There it is again! I saw you wince earlier which raised my suspicions, so I watched you all morning waiting to see if you did it again or if perhaps it was a once time thing. Now I've got you!"

Tony had already turned around while she spoke so they were now standing face to face He kept his facial expression as cool as possible, grinning slightly to make her think she was over reacting.

"There's no way you can hide from me now Tony – I know what I saw – and the moan-nn you added! Haha-ha! That was priceless! Now you can't deny that you are hurting – yes?" then before he could stop her she reached out and placed her hand onto the side of his face, pinching his cheek roughly.

"So what is it Tony? You can tell m-" she started trying to get a confession out of him while reaching out to pinch his cheek in jest. But the look of sheer agony that came over his face as she was pinching him stopped her in her tracks!

"OOWWW!" Dammit Ziva!" Tony's hand quickly shot up to rub his sore cheek, opening and closing his mouth as if she had punched him. He bent over slightly with his eyes squeezed tightly shut in pain.

"Oh my gosh Tony what is it? I barely touched you!" Ziva's hand grabbed his shoulder lightly as she tried to get him to talk to her. She felt terrible now, what started out as fun teasing which they both enjoyed doing to each other, wasn't so fun anymore as her mocking turned into genuine concern.

Tony stood back upright, still holding his hand against his throbbing cheek and trying to think of how he could get out of this mess - avoid telling her the truth. But the minute he saw the look of genuine empathy and worry in her eyes his resolved started to weaken. "It's nothing Ziva! Just leave it be, please?" he made on last attempt to convince her he was fine.

"Tony, it is obvious you are in pain. I know you are trying hard to hide it from everyone but, you are not succeeding so why don't you just give it up already. I promise I won't tell Gibbs . . . or Ducky if you just trust me." She softened her look and her touch, her hand still laying gently on his shoulder. "Look Ziva, it's not about trust okay? I do trust you and I appreciate your concern but it's ridiculous because I'm fine! It's just . . . it's just a little toothache. Okay? There, I told you – are you happy now?"

She had to force herself not to laugh at him, "What? A toothache? That's it?" she then did laugh as she couldn't contain herself any longer.

"Look it's not funny! I thought it would just go away and it just keeps getting worse."

"Well Tony, I'm only laughing because all you have to do is go to the Dentist! It's not like you're going to the hospital to have a bullet removed, it's a TOOTH for peak safe."

"The term is PETE'S SAKE Ziva. SAKE!" he corrected her misuse of yet another idiom. The longer he worked with her the less patience he had when she did that and even though arguing was only making his jaw throb worse, he couldn't stop himself. "I mean what the hell does 'PEAK SAFE' even mean anyway? That is hands down the worst idiom you've messed up by far."

"Well it makes more sense than Pete's sake! I mean who the hell is this 'Pete' person in the first place? I like my term better, peak safe has more to do with your well being than that of some stranger named Pete!" she argued. "Wait a second. I know what you are doing. You are trying to change the subject Tony and it's not going to work." then it dawned on her, "Wait a minute . . . ohh-hohh, you're not afraid of the Dentist are you Tony?"

Seeing his wide eyed response as if he was caught doing something naughty, confirmed her suspicion. "Ahh-ha! You ARE! Hahaha oh this is priceless! Big macho tough guy Agent Tony DiNozzo is afraid of a little ole Dentist!"

"Okay very funny, you've had your little laugh of the day at my expense. This conversation is over. You can think what you want, I'm leaving before Gibbs comes in here to personally escort both of us back to work!" he shook off her hand and headed toward the exit. Ziva decided to let it be for now. She would approach him after work and offer to come with him. Even though she was laughing at his predicament, she did care about him and it pained her more to see him hurting, than if she herself had been the one physically hurting.

The rest of the afternoon was business as usual with the exception of Tony trying to think of a reason for not eating when they ordered in lunch so they could keep working on the case per Gibbs' orders. Tony glared at Ziva after he made up an excuse that he was trying to lose a few pounds, almost daring her to tell everyone about his tooth and blow his cover. Gibbs had seen the entire scene out of the corner of his eye, something was up. He had seen almost every grimace that Tony had let slip and even an occasional moan when he thought no one was around. Now apparently Ziva was covering for him too.

But he would get to the bottom of their charade sooner or later and they would both be sore from the head slaps that would be getting for their secrecy.