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We Are an Ocean

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"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." -Ryunosuke Satoro

The first time they sleep together, it's easy. It makes sense. They've been undercover, faked being a couple, nearly died; how else could the day end?

They're back in the bullpen, wrapping up loose ends on the case. Ducky checks up on Tony's wounds, the team makes fun of Ziva's driving, and then desks empty out one by one.

Collectively, the group decides that Tony's to be driven home by McGee, which leaves Ziva feeling a little put out. Her driving isn't that bad, is it? She's an efficient driver, nothing less, nothing more. She thinks she could have Tony at his apartment and resting in his bed by the time the careful McGee could have the car out of the Naval yard, but her vote is outnumbered; apparently, Tony isn't the only one afraid of her vehicular skill set.

As she helps load her possibly mildly concussed coworker into the passenger seat of his car, however, she makes an impulsive decision. She finishes getting Tony in and climbs in the backseat. McGee, just about to start the ignition, turns around to look questioningly at her.

"You may be driving him, McGee, but I intend to see him home safely, as well," she tells him matter-of-factly.

The sound of her voice alerts Tony to her presence, too, and though he doesn't turn to look at her, he replies. "You going to tuck me in and nurse my wounds, David?" Ziva can hear the amusement in his voice. "Somehow, that seems out-of-character for our little team assassin… or are you one of those strict head nurse types? That might fit."

Ziva tilts her head to one side, a half-smile lifting one corner of her mouth. She catches Tony's eye in the rearview. "If you are into that, DiNozzo," she says, deliberately letting her voice slide down to a more sultry pitch. "It would not surprise me if you enjoy… taking orders." The suggestion in her voice is clear, though the teasing is, too.

"I'm still here, you guys," McGee mutters from the driver's seat as he maneuvers the car out of the parking lot. It makes Ziva laugh, and she leans forward between the two front seats, intending to tease the driver now.

"What about you, McGoo?" Tony quips, his mind evidently going in the same direction as Ziva's. "Are you the one giving orders, or the one taking them?"

McGee, annoyed, starts to answer, but Tony cuts him off. "Just kidding, probie. We all know there are no orders being given at all in your sad little social life!"

Ziva and Tony both chuckle, enjoying the scowl on McGee's face. He shakes his head at them, eyes still on the road, and navigates onto the freeway. For just a moment, the way they're ganging up on him reminds him of his early days with Tony and Kate, and that takes the slight sting out of his teammates' ridicule. "I'll have you know that any orders being given in my life are none of your business," he informs them, but he's smiling a little, too.

"Oh, but McCelibate, that nonanswer is all the answer I need. Thanks for confirming that I was right!" Tony launches off into a movie reference that goes over Ziva's head, and she lets herself zone out, looking out the window instead. Tim and Tony transition easily into a conversation that doesn't require her input.

It isn't long before they pull up to Tony's building, and Ziva waves off McGee's offer to help get Tony upstairs. "I am stronger than you anyway," she teases.

"That's probably true," McGee concedes with a snort, and after giving Tony his well wishes, he parks the car and goes down to the street to hail a cab.

Tony's a little unsteady on his feet, but he's able to walk of his own power with Ziva's help balancing, and with little difficulty, Ziva gets him inside and on the elevator. There, he seems to lose some steam, and he leans against the wall.

"How is your head, Tony?" Ziva asks him. On the surface, her voice holds nothing other than clinical interest. She sees no reason to let her underlying emotions show for now.

Tony's eyes have slid shut, and he cracks one to look at her. "Can't say this is the least my head has ever hurt, but I'll live." The eye shuts again.

"I am glad to hear it," Ziva answers, and as they're arriving at Tony's floor, she helps him out and to his door. He fumbles with his keys for a moment before she loses patience and takes them out of his hand, smoothly sliding the correct one into the lock on the first try. Ushering him inside in a manner that's firm but not ungentle, she deposits him on the couch.

Tony watches curiously from there as Ziva heads to his kitchen. She opens a few cabinets and his fridge, prompting him to smirk. "Nosy, aren't we? What are you looking for?"

"Something with more nutritional value than plain sucar," she answers promptly, and Tony doesn't have to speak Hebrew to know that she's insulting his diet.

Doubtful that she'll find much, Tony relaxes into the sofa back and leaves her to it. He starts taking off his shoes and jacket, and by the time he's done, she's standing in front of him with her arms crossed. "How do you survive on this nonsense that you eat?" she demands. "Have you ever purchased a vegetable?"

"No, what's that?" he answers facetiously. "Honestly, Ziva, I'm a big boy. I can feed myself. I'm home, I'm safe, and you can go now."

Ziva gives him a dirty look, ignores what he's said, and marches back to his kitchen. Annoyed, he doesn't try to stop her, but he does roll his eyes and watch to see what she'll do next. She goes through several of his drawers and after a moment, she seems to find what she's looking for. She has her back to him so he can't see what she has in hand, but it doesn't take long to figure it out once she pulls her phone out and dials a number. A moment later, she's talking into it. "Hello, I would like to place an order." A pause. "Yes, delivery, please." She gives Tony's address. "Two orders of chicken chow mein with extra vegetables."

Reluctantly amused, Tony waits until she finishes and returns to him to speak. "Did you miss the part where I said I could feed myself?" he asks, the hard tone of annoyance gone from his voice.

"No, I did not miss it, but I do not believe you know what you are saying." She taps her temple as if to remind him that he's a little concussed, and he shakes his head but smiles. "Come, Tony, you need rest." She lightly pushes on his shoulder, her gentleness surprising her partner, and coaxes him into a more reclined position. Next, she hands him the blanket resting on the back of the sofa and gives him the TV remote. "Rest," she repeats as an order, and he feels strangely compelled to follow it.

By the time the food arrives, he's starting to feel much better. There's an Ohio State basketball game playing and his team is doing well, he's finally able to relax with no bugs or surveillance cameras for the first time since the op, and his headache is beginning to recede.

Ziva is an unexpectedly competent caretaker, though he supposes he shouldn't be surprised. She's probably learned a lot about basic first aid in her Mossad training. Still, it feels nice to be taken care of by her in a way that he wasn't anticipating. She attends to him in a way that could almost be mistaken for impersonal if he didn't see the shadows that occasionally cross her features, and he realizes that she must feel a little guilty for the shape he's in.

The doorbell rings, signaling impending Chinese food, and as Ziva crosses the room to answer it, Tony stops her. "Ziva?" he asks, his voice uncharacteristically soft. She looks back at him, her hand on the doorknob and a question on her face. "Thank you," he says, and gives her a small but genuine smile.

"It is nothing," she answers, but her answering smile is so warm that it stuns him and he's left to stare at her back thinking about it as she opens the door and pays the delivery boy.

"What?" she asks as she carries the food to where he's sitting.

Realizing he's still staring at her, Tony shakes his head. "Nothing," he insists, and he moves his feet out of the way as she nudges them so she can sit next to him.

After a few minutes of slightly awkward silence as they begin to eat, Ziva pipes up with a question about the game he's watching, and with that, all awkwardness dissipates. This is the first time they've spent much time together outside of work, and they're both a little surprised at how easy the conversational flow feels. It isn't long before empty food cartons are abandoned and they're fully focused on a lively debate about which "American" sport is the best one.

Ziva turns away from the TV and leans in to defend her point, only to find that Tony has done the same thing. All at once, they fall silent, and there's a beat or two were they both process the fact that their faces are suddenly mere inches apart.

Then, neither knowing who initiated it, they're kissing. It's too rough to be sweet, and there isn't much romance to it; Tony recognizes at once that Ziva wants a release of stress just as much as he does.

When the hard kiss starts to make his bruised mouth ache, Tony breaks it and moves his lips slightly more gently to Ziva's jaw. His hands fall, one to the opposite side of her neck and the other to her waist. She inhales sharply, involuntarily, and leans her head back to give him better access. "Tony," Ziva mumbles, her voice unsteady. "Should we… ah, should we do this?"

"Absolutely not," he answers into her skin immediately, moving his lips down to her throat. He feels her hands move to his chest, caressing for a moment before starting to unbutton his shirt. Her fingernails scrape his skin more than once, and it takes several moments for Tony to realize that she's doing it intentionally. The realization pulls a quiet growl from his throat, and in retaliation, he nips her collarbone.

She squeaks, making him laugh, and she shuts him up by pulling his mouth back to hers. They fight for dominance for a few minutes, the kisses growing more and more fierce, and he leans in, intending to end up on top of her. She stops, though, breaking the kiss and breathing hard; her hands land on his shoulders.

"Tony, stop," she commands. They're both a little disheveled and wide-eyed, and Tony thinks that she's never looked quite this attractive before. It's somewhat regrettable since she seems to be putting an end to whatever's happening between them, but he's allowed to appreciate the view, right?

Before he can get too disappointed, though, she starts climbing onto his lap. "What're you—"

She cuts him off. "You have just taken several blows to the head, Tony," she answers. "You cannot be on top, doing all of the work."

He grins and catches her up in a kiss again; curiously, his previously aching lips seem to feel just fine right now. As much as they can without moving away from one another, they start making quick work of removing each other's clothes. Ziva's shirt goes first, soon followed by Tony's. Tony finds himself far too entranced by the newly revealed skin of her chest to go straight to unhooking her bra, however, so Ziva spend several enjoyable minutes as the recipient of a thorough exploration. She starts to rock her hips without consciously making the choice to do so, and Tony groans deeply as she does.

"Ziva," he gasps. "Lose the pants."

She grins and stands up briefly to comply—she takes her own bra off as she does it—and watches as Tony shoves his pants and boxers down, too; he doesn't see any reason to push them down past his knees, feeling impatient. Then Ziva's back in his lap, legs on either side of his, delaying their joining for one crucial reason. "Condom?" she asks, hoping he has one handy. She thinks she has one somewhere, too, but she doesn't want to go digging for it.

Luckily, after struggling to pull his wallet out of his pants pocket without unseating Ziva, Tony is able to fish one out. He starts to put it on, but much like with his apartment keys, he finds the condom taken firmly out of his hands and being rolled on by the self-assured Israeli beauty in his lap.

She kisses him one more time—hard enough to bruise if he wasn't already bruised—and then lifts herself up to sink onto him with no ceremony. He learns very quickly as she starts to move that Ziva is quite the noise-maker, and he has a very brief thought about complaining neighbors before Ziva picks up her pace and thought leaves his head altogether. All he can focus on is keeping himself still so he doesn't mess up Ziva's rhythm, and handling her breasts in such a way that she gives him more of those delicious moans she keeps letting out.

Maybe it's the concussion. Maybe it's the fact that he hasn't slept with anyone in a week or two. Maybe it's even because he's been fantasizing idly about his partner ever since she started at NCIS or because she seems to know exactly the right way to move on top of him. Whatever it is, there's something that's moving him to the brink of orgasm with embarrassing speed.

"Ziva," he grunts, "I'm—" He can't even finish the thought, but she seems to understand.

Without stopping the movement of her hips, she leans in until her lips are right at his ear. Tony feels his stomach tighten as she ruggedly whispers "do it."

Maybe he does like taking commands or maybe it's just her, but he follows her order immediately. His hands roughly grip her hips, stilling her as he spills into the condom.

She waits until he's completely finished before lifting herself off of him, and for a long moment, he feels way too weak to move at all. By the time he can, Ziva's tossing him a box of tissues from his bathroom and closing the door behind her to clean up.

Tony gets himself cleaned up, too, and as he listens to the sound of running water from the bathroom, he starts to feel a little ashamed of himself. This is not who he is! He's a better lover than this, and unless every woman he's been with in the past few years has been faking, he can't remember the last time he slept with a woman and didn't bring her to at least one orgasm before getting there himself.

He's still feeling this way when Ziva emerges, looking completely comfortable with her state of complete nudity and making Tony speechless. He's put his own clothes back on in her absence, and now he's wishing he hadn't.

"You are nearly out of hand soap," is all she says as she starts to pull her clothing back on.

He nods dumbly, watching her, and she notices after a moment. "Have you never seen a woman dress, Tony?" she suggests, amused.

"Ziva, I'm sorry," he blurts in reply.

"Sorry for what?" she asks, finishing with the buttons on her top.

"You didn't…" You're a grown-ass man, Tony DiNozzo, he tells himself furiously. You can say the word orgasm. Somehow, though, right here and right now, he can't. He and Ziva may have just gotten to know one another on a more primal level than the level of intimacy they've shared previously, but his brain is hung up on the fact that she's still his coworker; he's sure that if he says a word like orgasm, Gibbs will somehow know and he'll give Tony a head slap that rivals the beating he's already gotten today.

"No, I did not," she agrees, taking pity on him as she watches his thoughts play across his face. "It does not happen every time."

"It should," Tony argues.

"Perhaps, but men are selfish lovers, yes?" It's a tease, not a jab, and when she grins at him, he can't help but grin back.

"Some of them probably are," he agrees, "but I'm usually not. That's why I'm such a coveted one-night stand." The typical DiNozzo bravado making its way into his voice makes Ziva laugh.

"You will just have to do better next time and prove it to me, then," she tells him with a wink, starting to clear away the empty Chinese food boxes.

"Next time…" Tony murmurs in reply, caught up quite suddenly in the possibilities.

Ziva, ignoring his musing, interrupts as she returns from the kitchen trash can. "We are even now," she informs him primly, sitting lightly on the sofa next to him.

"Even? Even for what?"

"You received a beating earlier for my sake, which was less than ideal for you. I did not orgasm, which happened for your sake and was less than ideal for me. So now we are even, yes?"

Tony can't help but laugh out loud at this logic, and Ziva secretly feels a little bit of pride at pulling that carefree expression back to his features after what they've gone through this week. "Worth it," he says, feeling absolutely fond. Ziva David is turning out to be an excellent partner.

She chuckles, too, but it only lasts a few seconds before the humor falls from her face. It becomes more neutral, hardened, and Tony instinctively knows that she's shutting out her emotions so she doesn't accidentally show them to him. "I am sorry," she says formally, "for what happened today, and I wish to thank you. You were brave and unselfish. That is what a good partner does, and I am glad that you are mine."

Tony smiles at her so genuinely that her guilt melts away—it couldn't be more clear that he doesn't blame her at all. It's a nicer, softer smile than the arrogant one that he often wears around her. "That's what partners do," he agrees, and what he's really saying is to think nothing of it.

"You know that I would take a bat for you, too?" Ziva asks.

Tony chuckles. "The expression you're looking for is go to bat, but you know what? This time, the Ziva-ism works better." He pats her on the shoulder. "I know. That's what partners do," he says again.

By the time she leaves his apartment for the night, having made sure that Tony's completely fine and doesn't need her help, they're both feeling much better.