Ziva tapped away at her computer keyboard, looking to all the world as though she had a million and one things to do, all the while watching Tony from beneath her lashes. He had been acting strangely all day- for the last few months, actually, now that she came to think about it. And it wasn’t just him.
Leaning across from his own desk, McGee said something in a low voice, making Tony smile.
She frowned at the computer screen. If there was one thing she hated it was not knowing what was going on.
Tony looked up sharply as Gibbs strode into the office.
“Have you found me that car yet?” The same car that had, earlier that morning, been part of a drive-by on a Navy Lieutenant whilst she was out walking her dog.
“Not yet. We’ve got a BOLO out but it’s likely to be burned out somewhere by this point.”
“Boss, I just finished running the plates; I’ve got an address,” McGee chipped in, effectively saving Tony’s ass from a pissed off Gibbs.
“Well?” Gibbs glared at them both. “What the hell are you still doing sitting around here?”
McGee and DiNozzo scrambled to get their jackets and make a run for the door, but they weren’t fast enough. Gibbs caught Tony with a smack to the back of the head as he hurried past.
“Ow! What was that for?”
Gibbs pointed to the notepad on Tony’s desk, the one the agent had been scribbling on when Gibbs had walked in. She had thought he was busy but obviously not. Tony’s face flushed slightly and he grabbed the notepad, tearing off the top page and stuffing it in his pocket.
Ziva made a mental note to get hold of it as soon as possible and see if she could still read anything. She would give her right arm to see what had made the usually- unflappable agent DiNozzo blush. When Gibbs’ focus turned to her, she ducked back behind her computer screen, but not before she saw him smile.
The pair returned two hours later, admitting that the address had turned out to be useless.
“Guy who lived there, Marcus Simms, was evicted three months ago,” Tony told Gibbs. “I guess he never told the DMV. The couple who live there now say they haven’t a clue where he went to; he didn’t leave a forwarding address for mail or anything.”
“They did say that the mail wasn’t for that name, though,” McGee pointed out.
Tony glared at him. “Yes, probie, I was getting to that.”
They finished reporting to Gibbs and headed for their desks again, oblivious to the scrutiny they were under.
“You call me that just to annoy me, don’t you?” McGee asked. He didn’t actually sound irritated, though, Ziva noted curiously. He sounded amused.
“What would you rather I called you?”
“Well, let me think,” McGee said dryly. “Tim, maybe?”
“Can I call you Timmy?”
“Not if you want me to answer.”
Tony grinned. “You didn’t seem to mind earlier,” he pointed out.
Tim’s cheeks turned a brilliant shade of scarlet.
“That was different,” he mumbled, keeping his eyes down as he sat behind his desk
Tony sauntered back to his own desk chuckling to himself.
Ziva turned, startled, to Abby.
“Do not sneak up on me.”
“Who are you hiding from?” Abby leaned out around the filing cabinet, looked around, and frowned. “McGee?” she asked in disbelief. “You’re hiding from McGee?”
“No. I am not hiding,” Ziva protested. “I merely do not wish for him to see me.”
Abby laughed. “So why are you watching him?”
“They are acting strangely.”
“McGee and Tony,” she said, as though in disbelief that Abby didn’t already know.
Abby frowned. “I’m confused.”
“Well, I am not sure what is going on,” Ziva told her. She ducked back out of sight as Tony came into the office, took his jacket from the back of his chair. As he made for the elevator, he called back to Tim, who followed him out. “But I intend to find out.”
“You’re going to follow them?”
Ziva nodded. “Yes, of course. Care to join me?”
“You can’t go around stalking people,” Abby scolded. She paused and thought for a moment. “Let me get my coat.”
Three hours later, Abby shuffled in the passenger seat of Ziva’s car.
“It’s a bar. They went for a drink after work,” she pointed out. “There is nothing unusual about that.”
Ziva sighed. “Since when do McGee and Tony socialise? Usually, they fight like children.”
Suddenly, she grabbed Abby and pulled her down, sliding down behind the steering wheel as the two men came out of the bar and headed for Tony’s SUV. As soon as she was sure they wouldn’t see her, she sat up and started the engine. Ignoring Abby’s protests, she followed and parked a few houses down from Tony’s.
“Ziva, this is pointless. Hey! Where are you going?”
But Ziva was already half way to Tony’s front yard, creeping stealthily towards the kitchen window. Abby was almost tempted to take the car and go home, leaving Ziva on her ridiculous quest, but she knew she’d feel guilty. Five minutes, she decided. She’d give Ziva five minutes and then the woman was walking home. She pulled her i-pod out of her pocket and put in her headphones, closing her eyes. She would not go skulking about, spying on her colleagues.
Ten minutes later, Ziva climbed back into the car, startling Abby out of her music. She had a huge grin on her face.
“I told you so.”
“What are you talking about?”
Ziva held out her cell phone to Abby, watching the reaction on Abby’s face as she looked at the photo.
“Not quite what I was expecting,” Ziva admitted, her eyes sparkling. “This is much better.”
The following day, Ziva found that she couldn’t keep her gaze off Tony and McGee. Now that she knew what was going on, her fascination had, if anything, increased. It was almost fun trying to spot the little signs that she had missed before, such as the fact that Tony brought Tim coffee at lunch. Not that he hadn’t done so in the past, but it was usually under protest at being the one sent to get it. A couple of times, one of them glanced up and caught her watching them, but she couldn’t help herself.
“It’s because of how adorable they look together,” Abby informed her when she stopped by the office to bring some information up to Gibbs. Heading back to her lab, she detoured long enough to give both Tony and McGee a rib-crunching hug.
Ziva laughed at the confused expressions on their faces as they glanced at each other for some kind of explanation before obviously putting it down to Abby just being Abby.
“Alright, that’s it.” After the second time Abby had hugged him, Tony took her by the arm and led her to Ziva’s desk, where McGee had already cornered Ziva.
“The pair of you have been acting weird all day, well, weirder than usual anyway,” he corrected. “Spill.”
Ziva looked between them, as Abby did, and she couldn’t stop the grin from curving her mouth, seeing the two men look increasingly worried. “They look so cute when they are nervous, do they not, Abby? But not as cute as this.” She held out her cell phone with a flourish and Tony snatched it off her when he saw what was on the screen. She had a photo of himself and Tim kissing on the couch in his house, Tim’s hands just sneaking under his shirt.
“You’ve been spying on us?”
“Only a little, but you should have told us,” Ziva said. “We are a team, and I thought we were your friends. How long?”
“A couple of months,” McGee told her, looking somewhat uncomfortable under her scrutiny. “Don’t blame Tony; I wasn’t sure how you’d react if you found out.”
“We are your friends but Tim wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sure what kind of a welcome we’d get.” Tony’s eyes flicked between them. “You’re OK with this?”
“This is so great! I am so happy for you two.” Abby hugged them both again. “I can’t believe you thought we wouldn’t be.”
Just then Gibbs strode past on his way back from the director’s office, cardboard coffee cup in one hand. He paused at the sight of Abby with her arms around Tim and Tony and raised an eyebrow in question.
“Don’t you people have work to do?”
“Yes, boss,” they all chorused immediately, all suddenly finding something crucial to do, Abby fleeing back to her lab.
Gibbs just took a sip of his coffee and sat down behind his desk. Looking directly at Tony and McGee he said,
“They finally figured you two out, huh?” He took in the stunned expressions on their faces and then looked pointedly at Ziva. “Took ‘em long enough.”
“How did you…?”
Gibbs smirked at the two men. “Security cameras in the parking lot.”
There was a moment where Tony and McGee shared a confused look.
Ziva burst out laughing; the look on Tony’s face was priceless.