It's ten p.m. when Abby sets down her empty Caf Pow, rolls her shoulders and decides to call it a day. Night. Whatever.
Tim's been down here earlier, probably about an hour or two ago -- they're all pulling late-nighters on this case. "It's coming down pretty hard out there. I heard they might close the Metro early. You want a lift home?"
She'd given him a hug, told him she appreciated the gesture, but she was good; she felt like she was nearing a breakthrough, and she hated to either interrupt her work or make poor Tim wait around while she finished running her samples. Two hours later, though, all she's got to show for the evening is an eyestrain headache and a growing exhaustion that not even three Caf Pows in a row can beat back. Right now all she can think about is a long hot bath, a glass of red wine, and a warm, welcoming coffin-bed with a Netflix movie on her laptop.
She looks down ruefully at her knee-high black boots with the three-inch heels -- stylish and awesome as they seemed this morning, they're looking considerably less practical for slogging through the snow. Well, I guess I'll just have to walk fast, she thinks, pulling her coat over her shoulders, and opening the door into the corridor and --
-- almost colliding with Ziva David. Both of Abby's arms try to go into the same coat sleeve, and there's a bit of a scramble.
"Sorry, sorry!" she says, as Ziva says "Sorry!" and then they both stare at each other for a minute. Abby likes Ziva, she does, it's just -- she doesn't really know her yet, and she's tired, and for a moment she's totally gone blank on anything to say.
"I'm, um, going home," Abby says after a moment, when Ziva doesn't move, and they begin an awkward little shuffling dance in the corridor.
Ziva smiles brightly. "Me too! May I walk with you?"
"I ... guess so?"
Ziva reaches the elevator a step ahead, and helpfully pushes the elevator button for them both.
"I thought everyone had gone home," Abby says, juggling her shoulder bag as she gets her coat on the right way and follows Ziva into the elevator.
"I had some paperwork to catch up."
There is something a trifle convenient about that, especially the timing of Ziva showing up in the lab, and Abby does have an IQ on the upper end of the 100s, after all ... "Are you here because I had to stay late? Did you stay just so I wouldn't be alone?"
Ziva's lack of answer ... and evasive eye movement ... pretty much settles the question. "Oh, that's so sweet. Thank you!" Abby gives her a quick hug, as best she can since the elevator doors have opened and now Ziva seems to be trying to dodge her.
"It was not my idea," Ziva says quickly. "That is, it was everyone's idea. We drew straws." She shrugs. "I had the shorter straw."
"Well, it's still sweet." Abby hugs her again; this time, Ziva doesn't have a chance to dodge. The exit lies in one direction; the parking garage, where Ziva's car would be, is the other way. "Good night," Abby adds, and starts away, but Ziva moves with disturbing speed and catches up to her.
"Don't you have a car, Abby?"
"It's in the shop," Abby explains, which is really the very short answer for the very long list of things that are wrong with the hearse -- she loves driving it, but it wasn't in good shape when she bought it, and maintaining it makes her wonder if it might not be easier to just trade it in for something less cool but more reliable. "I just need to walk to my Metro stop." And she starts moving again, but Ziva catches her sleeve.
"No, no. I will give you a ride to your stop."
"It's only a short walk."
"It is very wet," Ziva points out, and she's already walking away, and why is Abby turning down a free ride anyway?
"Wait up!" she calls, tottering after Ziva in her heels -- Ziva, of course, is wearing practical flat shoes, and as Abby's arches cramp up, she swears quietly to herself that she doesn't care if these boots are very cute and make her calves look great and cost $200: she's throwing them away as soon as she gets home.
But now Ziva has stopped, and she's looking over her shoulder, and the smile that she throws back Abby's way is shy and a little bit sweet.
"I am waiting," she says, and Abby smiles back.
Pauley Perrette with Cote de Pablo, posted to pauley_daily by cassanlyx on LJ.