Chapter 21

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~Tony's pov~

It was late at night when the plane finally landed near Washington D.C. They had both just woken up and got out of their snuggling position. It had become rather uncomfortable after a few hours, but neither of them had really minded it as they had slept through almost the entire flight. When one of them did wake up, they had been too afraid to wake up the other, so they just forced themselves back to sleep. Now the two of them were stretching, their muscles, aching. He thought the pain was worth it as he got to hold Ziva for so long. It was not something that had happened very often before.
They got out of the plane and walked to a busy street near the airport. This time Ziva could carry her own bag, now that she didn't have to hold Sarah anymore. Instead of feeling relief that he didn't have to carry it, he felt a pang in his heart, along with a strong feeling of emptiness. It had been 12 hours and he already missed that child. He could only imagine how Ziva must be feeling.
Since they had talked briefly in the plane, they hadn't really exchanged words longer that two syllables, or real sentences for that matter. He didn't want to push her over the edge, so he shut up about it. He thought he would sit her down after a week or so, giving her some time to process it. Giving himself some time to process it.
After ten minutes of waving around and Ziva lazily sitting on her suitcase and her bag on her lap--he saw her smile a little as he did a little dance to get the driver's attention, which was enough reason for him to let her sit down instead of helping-- a cab finally pulled over. They loaded their suitcases and bags into the trunk and went to sit in the backseat. He told the driver Ziva's adress first so she could go to bed quickly, which earned him another smile as a way of thanking him.
The driver shut the glass that was between the frontseat and the backseat of the car to give the two agents some privacy. At first, they kept their usual silence, but after ten minutes or so, Ziva finally really spoke for the first time since they were at Angelina's.

'I just do not understand, Tony.'

She then stopped talking again for a few seconds, but before he could ask anything, she continued.

'How could I get so attached to a child who, first of all, is not even mine and secondly, I knew I had to leave behind?'

She talked pretty loudly and in her typical 'Ziva way' like she always did when she was annoyed at someone. This time, it seemed that she was annoyed at herself, for letting it come so far.
He looked her deep in the eyes and smiled a bit.

'You can't blame yourself for that, Ziva. I mean, even I got attached to Sarah. She was adorable. And, well, let's just say that I'm usually not too great with kids.'

'Hah! Usually? You say that as if everything went smoothly this time,' she teased. He couldn't help but laugh. And back was the Ziva he knew! He decided to tease back.

'Also, it's because of your natural maternal instinct. You can't help it! Have you ever seen Tarzan? I bet you have, it's a classic. It's like when Kala finds Tarzan, a child from a completely different species, and she immediately adopts him as her own. That's what happened to you!'

'Are you comparing me to a gorilla, Tony?'

He shrugged smilingly, as if to say 'well yeah, maybe I am' and tussled her hair. Instead of fighting him off, she laughed and gently hit him against the chest.
Then, they returned to silence, but both with a slight smile on their faces.

The cab had finally arrived at their destination. Tony quickly got out of the car and ran to the other side to open the door for Ziva. He reached put with his hand and she took it, gracefully stepping out of the cab. As gracefully as one can in a pair of thick cargo pants, that is. But somehow it looked sexy.
The driver got back in the car after getting Ziva's luggage, now waiting for Tony to get back in.
They were standing opposite from each other in front of the door, under the dim light of an old street lantern. Ziva stood with her suitcase and bag next to her on the floor. Both were looking at the ground, until Ziva finally spoke up.

'I must say that I have had a lovely time in Amsterdam with you. Despite the...minor inconveniences.'

They chuckled. He then remembered a rather nice moment they had shared and couldn't help but confront her about it.

'I especially liked when I woke up this morning. You know, when you were spooning me?'

Instead of looking surprised, she smiled and that's when he understood that she had been faking her sleep again.

'You've become really good at pretending to be asleep. First in the plane, then in the hotel... And always at very convenient moments, like having to change diapers and...'

She tilted her head.

'And what?' What was so conventient about the second time?'

'You got a taste of spending a night with Anthony DiNozzo Junior, for starters! You can't deny that you were pretty comfortable.'

She pursed her lips and shrugged as if to, in fact, deny it.

'Oh c'mon,' he said while slowly walking towards her, 'I basically had to push your leg of me with all my strength, you were very clingy!'

'Then you just do not have a lot of physical strength.'

Their noses were now almost touching. He smiled at both her comeback and their closeness. She laughed, then looked back at the ground. She looked somewhat embarrassed.

'Tony, I owe you an apology. What I said to you in Amsterdam when we lost Sarah... I was under a lot of stress and I was worried to death. I blamed you for something you could not possibly have seen coming. I know we joke about it a lot, but I think you would make a great, caring father.'

For reasons he did not fully understand, his eyes started watering and instead of saying anything back, he framed her face with his hands and pulled her lips onto his. They were much softer than he'd expected. She carefully bit his lip and slightly pulled at it, opening his mouth and granting her access. Then she slipped her tongue in his mouth and he did the same. His heart started beating faster and harder, to the point where it almost hurt. He didn't care at all. He was actually kissing Ziva! He felt her lips curl up into a smile, as if she knew what he was thinking. He couldn't help but smile as well.
The sudden sound of the car's horn startled them, causing them to break the kiss.

I'm probably the driver's last ride for the day, he wants to go home.
He laughed awkwardly and back away a little bit.

'The meter's running and he's getting a little impatient. I should probably...get...going.'

He ended his sentence with a few pauzes, because he was looking in astonishment as Ziva promptly walked over to the passengers seat window of the cab. She took a few paper bills out of one of her many pockets and paid the driver. She then walked over to the trunk, opened it, pulled his luggage out of it with a 'humpf' --he had packed way too much for this small trip-- and closed it. The cab took off quickly when Ziva tapped the back of the car, indicating that the driver was free to go.
And there she stood, on the sidewalk, with his luggage next to her on the ground. He looked at her with a puzzled look on his face. She then very slowly walked back to him, taking large steps. When she was close enough to reach him, she grabbed his T-shit with both hands. He saw a little sparkle in her eye. He had seen it many times before whenever they were teasing each other, but never this clear and intense. It was sexy.
She smiled, revealing her teeth to him. She then pulled him closer and lifted her head to look him in the eyes. He thought it was adorable that she was smaller than him and had to look up. It also was very ironic that a woman this small had so much strenght in her, both physically and mentally. He admired that in her.
When she spoke --nearly whispered-- he could feel the hot air of her breath against his chin and mouth.

'How about a somewhat bigger taste of spending a night with Anthony DiNozzo Junior?'

He flashed his DiNozzo smile at her, causing her to snigger. She then let go of him and rushed to get her luggage and get inside. She looked back when she stood in the doorway, tipping her head to indicate he should follow. Then she dissapeared into the still unlit house. He nearly ran after her, then remembered his own luggage, so he turned around and quickly grabbed them. He then followed her into the house.
The door slammed shut behind him.

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