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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:55 am 
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Feeling the Heat
By EmyPink

Written for StarvingScriptWriter (Linda) as part of NFA’s 2009 White Elephant Fanfiction Exchange
Disclaimer: All names and trademarks recognised as “NCIS” do not belong to me; I’ve just borrowed the characters.
Rating: FR13
Parings: Tiva
Characters: Ziva, Tony
Genres: Drama, Het
Warnings: None, but set sometime pre-season six
Summary: Trapped in an abandoned mine, will Ziva and Tony succumb to their feelings?

A/N This is set #13 and I’ve chosen to go with prompt two, which is a Tiva one: What if they were on a case together, and ended up in a very dangerous, not sure if we’re ever going to get out of it type of situation? How would they solve their predicament? What kind of things might come up during the course of the action? Would they confess all to each other? And, once the case is solved - will they pretend nothing ever happened, or will they explore their newly discovered relationship?

Discussion thread is here.

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The current challenge is WWC #49: Catch Up.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:56 am 
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Name: Emy
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Part One

“It’s like the middle of the bloody Sahara,” Tony complained as he staggered theatrically along the dirt path.

“It is the middle of summer; what do you expect?” Ziva rolled her eyes.

Tony and Ziva had been ordered by Gibbs to follow a lead about the disappearance of a Petty Officer. This lead, unfortunately, had forced them into the middle of an old, abandoned and deserted mining complex that had now been overrun by weeds and foliage. The mining complex was now, according to Gibbs, a crime scene. Despite Tony’s protests that the area was unsafe, here they were in the midday heat.

“We’re going to die of thirst or hunger or dehydration or . . .”

“Me. Stop complaining like a child or I will kill you myself,” Ziva snapped. She was getting very tired of Tony’s complaining.

Tony looked indignant. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” He grinned cheekily. “Or maybe it’s that time of the . . .”

“If it was,” Ziva finished through gritted teeth, “I would have left you hanging in a tree half an hour ago.”

“Ooh, touchy.” He raised his hands and took two steps backwards.

Ziva growled in frustration and tried her best to ignore Tony. She shuffled forward and unzipped the regulation NCIS jacket she was wearing. Tony was (for once) right; it was hot. Ziva cursed NCIS and their crime scene regulations.

“I’m hot,” Tony whined after they’d walked about another hundred metres.

Ziva was ready to bang her head against one of the trees. “Suck it up, Tony. What are you? A girl?”

“Hey, no need to get personal.” Tony looked laid back and had a casual grin on his face.

Ziva closed her eyes and counted to ten slowly. Most days, Tony was just irritating. But today, he was downright annoying.

“How much further,” Tony complained and Ziva had to restrain herself from slapping him in the face.

She sighed. “You are the one with the map, Tony.”

“Oh.” Tony looked down at the map and grinned sheepishly. “Right. My bad.”

He studied it for a moment, then announced, “If we take the right here, we should find the pot of gold at the other end of the yellow brick road, or in this case, the dirt road.”

“Right. Are you sure?” Ziva questioned. She didn’t fancy getting lost out here.

“Absolutely.” Tony nodded firmly. “I have the map after all.”

“That’s not saying much,” Ziva muttered.

“What was that?” Tony called.

“Nothing.”

“If you say so, Zee-vah,” Tony replied cheerfully. “The fork should be just up ahead.” Tony pointed to the point just ahead where their dirt path diverged either to the left or the right.

“You are sure?” Ziva asked again as she veered to the right, ready to take the right branch.

“When have I ever been wrong?” Tony said confidently.

Ziva still looked unsure. “Maybe I should . . .”

Tony looked defensive and slightly put-out. “Are you saying I don’t know what I’m doing?”

“Noooo . . .” Ziva’s drawn out ‘no’ wasn’t very convincing.

“Well, thanks a lot,” Tony huffed, sounding hurt. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” He sped up and stormed past Ziva.

She sighed and massaged her temples. If she didn’t know any better, she’d say she was getting a migraine. It was a stupid idea to send the pair here in the first place, and now Tony had gone all stroppy with her. Could it get any worse?

“Tony, I . . .” she called after him, but Tony had already disappeared down the path and around the corner. She was a little annoyed by his slightly immature take on the situation, but pushed it out of her mind and concentrated on the task at hand.

She finally caught up to him after he’d decided to slow down. He was panting and sweating, and Ziva couldn’t help but smirk a little.

“Tired, are we?” she teased as she walked up along side of him.

“No,” he panted.

Ziva gave him a ‘I don’t believe you look’ and said, “It cannot be far now.”

“Right.” Tony looked grateful as he stopped to peer at the map. He studied it for a moment, turned slightly worried and tipped the map upside down.

“Um, Ziva . . .”

“What?” Ziva asked impatiently. She was tying up her shoelace and couldn’t see Tony’s face.

“I think I had the map upside down,” he finished meekly. He held the map out in front of him.

“What?!” Ziva exclaimed, yanking the map out of his hands. “You are joking, yes?”

Tony shook his head weakly. “Nope. We should have taken the left back there.”

Ziva advanced on Tony angrily. “Are you saying we walked all that way for nothing.”

Tony took a step back and went on the defensive. “Hey, anyone could have . . .” He took another step back. “. . . Made that mis –”

As he took a third step, Tony suddenly felt nothing under his foot. He flailed and stuck his hands out blindly, as if to steady himself. His foot disappeared through the crack in the ground, and as Ziva lunged for him, the ground underneath them gave way and they plummeted through the ground.

---

Slowly, Tony became aware he wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Wait. That wasn’t right. He groaned and brought his hand to his head; it hurt. He stuck out his hand and found himself pushing against dirt granules. At least they’d made it to the bottom. They . . . Ziva . . .

“Ziva?” he rasped as he tried to clear his head of the fog. “Ziva?”

There was a quiet moan somewhere above him and it finally registered that there was something heavy on him, crushing his chest.

“Yo, Ziva,” he coughed. “Mind moving there? You’re kinda heavy.”

Tony struggled to sit up and Ziva rolled harmlessly off his back with a groan. Slowly, she sat up and rubbed her head.

She looked around, slightly confused at first and then muttered, “What on earth have you done, DiNozzo?”

“I wasn’t the one who built the bloody thing, was I?” Tony snapped back, wincing. He had probably cracked a rib or two.

Ziva looked up and saw a faint patch of sunlight way out of either of their reach. “We are stuck.” She gingerly started to test her joints, starting with her wrists.

Tony rolled his eyes and tried to stand up. “No kidding,” he said sarcastically. “I . . .”

Tony yelped in pain as he stood and put weight on his right foot. Immediately, he tumbled back to the ground and lay in the dirt.

“I think it’s broken,” he remarked childishly.

Ziva sighed and once she had found nothing broken, shuffled over to where Tony lay in an unceremonious heap. She reached out and pushed up the pant of his trousers before tugging at his sock.

Tony winced violently and exclaimed, “Ouch!”

After a moment, Ziva gently put his foot back on the ground and announced, “Stop complaining. It is sprained, not broken. You will live.”

“Are you sure?” Tony asked, bending over to rub his ankle protectively.

“I have seen many broken ankles,” Ziva replied, “and yours is not one of them. It is sprained.”

“Well, it hurts like hell,” Tony muttered and Ziva shot his a small, sympathetic look.

“There is not much I can do,” she said, slightly apologetic. “All you can do is stay still and elevate it.”

Ziva glanced around and her eyes fell on the backpack she’d been carrying on one shoulder. It must have slipped off during their fall. She plucked it off the ground and made Tony shuffle backwards so that he was propped against the wall.

“Keep still and don’t move,” she ordered as she elevated his ankle and rested it on the backpack. “There, that will have to do.”

“Feels better already,” Tony announced cheerfully. He grinned, but he soon discovered that grinning hurt his head. And really, his ankle did not feel any better.

He watched as Ziva stood and rubbed the back of her head. It might have been his imagination or the position he was sitting in, but Tony thought he had seen Ziva sway on the spot as she stood. But now, she looked perfectly fine. But still . . .

“You okay?” Tony asked.

Ziva looked down and saw the concern on Tony’s face. It was kinda sweet. She gave him a reassuring smile and said, “I am fine.”

“Really?” Tony didn’t look convinced. “I mean, I thought I . . .”

“You saw nothing,” Ziva snapped irritably. “Now be quiet. I need to think.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Tony saluted.

“Right . . .” Ziva started to mutter to herself. She started to pace up and down the abandoned mine they’d fallen into.

Tony was quiet for a few minutes as he watched Ziva’s rhythmic movements. But then a bolt of pain shot up his leg and he winced.

“Ouch,” Tony complained. “This it slightly uncomfortable.”

Ziva shot him a look, but ignored his complaint. She was trying to figure out a way for them to get out of the mine. Climbing was outof the question, as was tunnelling, but Ziva was sure she could figure something out.

After another ten minutes, Tony looked up at the faint patch of sunlight. It definitely wasn’t getting any cooler down there (despite being “underground”) and Tony felt a feeling of dread wash over him. There was no way they could climb out, and they were not stupid enough to try and dig through one of the sides. It could bring the whole thing down on them, drowning the pair with dirt and debris.

“I take it that the situation is not looking too good, huh,” Tony commented warily and Ziva responded with a ‘what do you think’ look.

“So . . .” Tony started after a few beats. “Got a plan, Miss Mossad Ninja?”

Ziva looked down at him irritably. “I am working on it.”

“Then work faster,” Tony muttered, sounding harsher than he’d wanted to. They’d been in this mine for less than an hour, but he wanted out. Preferably sooner rather than later.

There was another few minutes of silence before Tony remarked, “How many people die in mine shafts each year, do you think?”

“Am I supposed to know?” Ziva replied, distracted.

Tony shrugged. “I bet McGeek would know. Him being that scout-y thing and all that.”

“I am not McGee, am I?” Ziva glowered. “How should I know? Just be quiet and don’t move.”

“Couldn’t if I wanted to.” Tony gestured to his elevated leg.

Another minute passed and Tony announced, “You know, there was this movie I saw once. Can’t remember it’s name, but a bunch of people were trapped down a mine and . . .”

Tony trailed off and cocked his head to the side. “And . . . I don’t think I saw the ending. I was a kid and got scared by . . .” He trailed off again.

“Never mind,” he muttered.

Thirty seconds passed and Tony shrugged off his NCIS regulation jacket. He undid his tie and loosened his shirt.

“Is it just me, or is it infinitely hotter down here,” he complained. Tony looked up at Ziva and though she didn’t respond, he could see beads of perspiration on her forehead.

So it wasn’t just him. It was like a bloody sauna, but a sauna that kept getting hotter. Tony sighed dramatically and wished he had some water. He’d kill for some water.

Finally, Tony got sick of the heat and the silence, so moaned, “We’re gonna die of starvation or heat or a collapsed . . .”

Ziva cut him off. “Can you please stop sounding like a doomsday clock,” she snapped. “It’s not helping.”

“I don’t see you doing anything helpful,” Tony retorted, wincing as his ankle cramped. “All you’re doing is making me dizzy.”

“I am trying to find a way out of here,” Ziva replied stiffly. “Unless you want to stay down here forever.”

“With you in that mood, no thank you.”

“Then shut up.”

“Fine,” Tony huffed, crossed his arms and moaned, “I’ll just die of pain over here.”

“Die quietly,” Ziva muttered and rolled her eyes. “You have a sprain, Tony. You’re not going to die.”

“How do you know?” he pouted.

“I just do,” Ziva replied, trying to force reassurance into her voice. “Now just sit still and I will figure out a way to get out of this mess.”

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The Weekly Writing Challenge is back!!
The current challenge is WWC #49: Catch Up.
To find past challenges, please go here.


New Fic: Spray - FR13, Jimmy/Breena, Post-ep for 8x24 Pyramid


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:56 am 
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Part Two

“We’re not getting out of this, are we?” Tony murmured quietly after they’d been stuck down the mine for a few hours.

Ziva had given up pacing and was now sitting opposite Tony with her legs stretched out in front of her. “I am still thinking,” she replied, half-hearted.

“Liar,” Tony shot back in good-nature.

Ziva shrugged and sighed dejectedly. “If you have any shiny ideas, then this would be the time.”

“It's bright ideas, Zee-vah,” Tony corrected, “and no, I don’t.”

“Great,” Ziva muttered. “So we are stuck.”

Tony gave her a boyish grin. “You don’t have any secret Mossad ‘get out of mine’ skills in there?”

She gave him a withering look. “If I did, I would have used them by now.”

“Oh.” Tony knew that, but it was worth a try. “Well . . . I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

Ziva looked half-amused. “Me? And what shall you be doing while I come up with this something.”

“Oh, you know, the usual,” Tony replied casually. “Relax, watch some TV, maybe order some room service, you know, the usual.”

Ziva rolled her eyes. “Cute, Tony, real cute.”

He shrugged and grinned. “I do what I can. But still, you have more experience with . . . uh . . . you know . . .” Tony trailed off under Ziva’s stare.

“With what, Tony?”

“You know,” Tony replied sheepishly, gesturing with his hands, “the whole getting out of mines thing.”

She gave him a look. “Do you really think I spend every other weekend down a mineshaft?”

Tony shook his head. “Noooo . . . but, well, you know . . .”

Ziva shook her head with an exasperated sigh. “Perhaps you should just stop now, Tony.”

“Yeah,” he agreed, “before I dig myself into an even bigger hole.”

They fell back into companionable silence until Tony watched as Ziva briefly closed her eyes before opening them. Did she look paler than before? Tony wasn’t sure.

“Are you okay?” he asked again, hoping that he wouldn’t get another brush off.

“It’s just hot,” Ziva replied, giving him a small smile that Tony could see was fake.

“Then lose the jacket,” Tony suggested.

Ziva looked down at her NCIS jacket which she’d forgotten about in her attempts to think of a possible escape plan.

“Right.” Ziva shrugged off the jacket and it tumbled to the ground. She picked it up and folded it neatly.

“Better?” Tony inquired.

Ziva gave him a tight smile and nodded. Tony wasn’t convinced.

“Are you sure you’re . . .”

“I said I was fine, didn’t I?” Ziva snapped hastily. “Just leave it.”

“Ziva . . .”

She ignored him and leaned against the wall. It was slightly cooler than the small area that she and Tony occupied. She was hot, bothered and her head hurt, not that she wanted to admit that to Tony. He had enough of his own pain to worry about, never mind hers.

“Hey. Hey. You okay over there, Ziva?” Tony sounded really concerned and Ziva felt slightly guilty. Despite this, she couldn’t bring herself to look over to him.

“Ziva . . .” Tony said her name again and she looked up. He was struggling to manoeuvre himself over to her.

“You should not be moving,” she muttered as her head pounded.

Tony shrugged. “Can’t get any worse.” He grinned. “And it’s much cooler over here.”

Ziva looked at him bitterly because she wasn’t in the mood for jokes. It certainly wasn’t any cooler over here. But Tony just shrugged and awkwardly managed to sit himself down next to Ziva.

“See,” he grinned, “much better.”

Ziva rolled her eyes, but said nothing. Tony had, Ziva saw, brought over the backpack and was now awkwardly trying to prop his leg on it.

She sighed and said, “Here, let me do it.”

Ziva shifted positions, lifted Tony’s leg and shuffled the bag underneath it. Tony winced and Ziva replied with, “Don’t be such a baby.”

She lowered his leg onto the backpack and while Tony winced, he also said, “Thank you.”

Ziva gave a half-shrug and returned to her original position against the wall, although slightly closer to Tony. If it wasn’t so hot, it might have been considered cosy.

“So . . .” Tony asked casually as he tapped his fingers against his leg. “Seen any good movies lately?”

Ziva glared at him and muttered, “Do we really need to make small talk?”

“Well, excuse me for trying to make this situation more entertaining,” Tony replied sarcastically. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask for the mine with the Jacuzzi and cable TV!”

“No need to be sarcastic,” Ziva snapped back. “Do you think I am enjoying this any more than you are?”

“I dunno? Maybe?” Tony exclaimed pettily, and then suggested, “Why don’t we just stop talking.”

“Good idea,” Ziva replied curtly.

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

They sat in silence for about ten minutes before Tony broke it, saying, “This is stupid, you know that. Why are we fighting in the first place?”

“Who said anything about fighting?” Ziva replied. “If it were a fight, I’d have you cuffed and on the floor . . . twenty minutes ago.”

Tony grinned cheekily. “That an offer, Miss David?”

Ziva sighed, exasperated. “Grow up, Tony.”

Tony pretended to scratch his head. “Growing up?” he repeated. “What’s that?”

Ziva shook her head in amusement. “Something, obviously, you have never heard of.”

They lapsed into silence again until Ziva asked, “How is your leg?”

“Fine,” Tony replied and totally contradicted himself by wincing. “Okay, so it hurts a bit, but I’ve had worse.” Tony looked proud. “I was an athlete, after all.”

Ziva snorted. “An athlete? You bounced a ball through hoops. Try running barefooted along the backstreets of Tel Aviv while being chased by the secret police.”

Tony paused and cocked his head to the side. “You are joking?” he asked warily.

Ziva just glanced at him, giving him a questioning look that said ‘am I?’

“It’s just . . .” Tony waved his hands around. “Sometimes I don’t know what to believe. You are a super secret Mossad ninja after all.”

“If you insist.” Ziva sounded uninterested and bored. Then she said, “Is it just me, or is it getting hotter.”

“Well, you are in the presence of a DiNozzo,” Tony replied with a grin, prompting Ziva to roll her eyes.

“Other than that,” she remarked dryly.

“Then yeah, it’s hot,” Tony agreed, complaining. “It is the middle of summer.” He repeated Ziva’s earlier words.

Ziva sighed softly and closed her eyes, trying to think of someplace cool. The only thing worse than being trapped down a mine in the heat, Ziva concluded, would have been being trapped down a mine in the middle of winter. At the moment, though, Ziva was keen on the latter.

“You okay?” Tony asked, concerned and Ziva was slightly annoyed by the fact he was continuously worried about her. She could look after herself, you know.

“Fine,” Ziva muttered as she felt her head swarm dangerously.

“You don’t look fine,” Tony demanded. “You’re pale and sweaty. Maybe you have concussion from the fall?”

Ziva opened her eyes and gave him a dirty look. “As I recall, I was the one who landed on you. Perhaps you have the concussion and it is distorting your perception.”

“My perception is perfectly fine, thank you,” Tony huffed. “And I’d know if I had concussion, which I don’t. I got a banged up ankle from this deal; I think that’s enough.”

Then he turned serious. “Seriously, if something is wrong, you would tell me. Right?”

Ziva gave him what she hoped was a reassuring smile and said, “Of course.” In reality, she didn’t need someone coddling her because she might have a slight concussion. As Tony had said earlier, she’d had worse.

“Now why is it that I don’t believe you,” Tony replied, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

“Believe what you like,” Ziva snapped back and sighed.

Making a split second condition, Ziva divested herself of her shirt and folded it neatly into a little square, leaving her clad only in a red singlet top.

Tony, being a male, couldn’t help but take in the shapely curves of Ziva’s body. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t seen it before (he still remembered their time as Sophie and Jean-Paul fondly), but still, he was a male and he was Tony.

“Red light behaviour,” Ziva smirked when she noticed Tony eyeing her.

“Wha . . . huh . . . um . . .” Tony looked slightly confused.

“Sexual harassment seminar? Traffic lights? Ear and tongue?” Ziva spoke slowly and pronounced, as if she were talking to a child.

“Wha . . . right. That. I remember that. Good times,” Tony managed to reply once he’d successfully figured out what Ziva had been going on about.

“And,” he finished coyly, “if red light is for a casual glance, what’s the colour for something more?”

Ziva looked amused. “Are you propositioning me?”

He grinned. “You said it, not me. I was merely stating that . . .”

“I gathered,” Ziva replied dryly.

“But if you’re offering . . .” Tony let his words dangle in the air.

“I am not that desperate, yet,” Ziva replied and Tony looked faintly hurt. “But it is not like we have not done it before.”

“Us and twenty-one of our closest friends,” Tony corrected and then grinned wistfully. “It was fun messing with the FBI and Probie, though. ‘Did they or didn’t they?’”

Ziva shook her head. “You are mean, you do know that.”

Tony smiled brightly at her. “Absolutely.”

---

“How long do you think it’s been?” Tony asked quietly, later that same day.

Ziva looked up at the small patch of light that served as their only reminder that life outside still existed. “Four, five hours maybe.”

“They’d be looking for us, right?” Tony sounded slightly worried and unlike his usual self.

“Of course,” Ziva reassured, just as much for her own benefit as Tony’s.

While she did believe that Gibbs and McGee would have gotten worried when they hadn’t returned, she highly doubted that they’d realise Tony was reading the map upside down. Then again, it was Tony, so maybe someone might think of that.

Tony nodded mutely and winced at his ankle. Ziva, with a lack of anything better to do, decided to play doctor with Tony’s foot. He winced as she prodded and considered it carefully.

“So, what do you think, doc?” Tony asked, mock-serious. “Will I live?”

“Unfortunately,” Ziva deadpanned. “I stand by my original diagnosis – a sprain and you being a big baby.”

Tony pouted. “But it hurts.”

“I know,” Ziva replied gently, “which is why I am going to strap it.”

“With what?” Tony asked. “It’s not like we have Ducky’s medical kit here.”

“Give me some credit, Tony,” Ziva commented, giving Tony a withering glare. “I probably know more battlefield first-aid than most. I can improvise.”

“I’m sure you can,” Tony replied and said it in such a way that it sounded dirtier than it actually was.

Ziva riffled through the backpack that had fallen down with them, but found nothing suitable. She glanced around the mine, looking for some inspiration, before her eyes fell on Tony’s chest.

“Take off your shirt,” she ordered.

“Zee-vah,” Tony replied with a trademark grin. “I know I am supremely attractive and handsome, but . . .”

“Just give me the shirt,” Ziva sighed. “I want to use it to strap your ankle.

“Use your own,” Tony retorted. “After all, do you think I have something underneath this thing?”

“So? You are a guy, yes?” Ziva replied plainly. “Do you not walk around topless like most others of your gender?”

“Well, yeah, but . . . hang on,” Tony yelped. “At least you have underwear on underneath your top. And don’t bother denying it; I can always tell if a woman’s wearing or not.”

Ziva held out her hand and pointed to the shirt. “Off.”

Tony tried to stare Ziva down, but failed miserably. Sighing, Tony removed his shirt and as he’d done before, Ziva couldn’t help but rake her eyes over his body. They were only human, right.

“See,” she smirked, “that wasn’t so hard.”

Ziva took the shirt and formed it into something that resembled a long rectangle. Expertly, Ziva wrapped his ankle using the shirt and moved away from it with a satisfied grin.

“Not bad,” Tony commented as he admired Ziva’s handy-work. “Better than what I could have done, anyhow.”

“Told you,” Ziva replied in a know-all voice.

“And you’re right, it does feel a little better,” he smiled. “Thanks.”

“Not a problem.” Ziva smiled gently, though even that small action made her steadily growing headache ache even more.

Tony must have noticed Ziva tense up, because he commented lightly, “Maybe you should lie down or something.”

Ziva looked at him weakly. “Is that your expert opinion?”

“Well, no, but you don’t look great,” Tony answered. “We don’t need you passing out on me.”

“I am not going to pass out.” She looked affronted by the suggestion.

“Then take it easy, Dr Ziva,” Tony said firmly.

“You cannot get any more easy than sitting around in a abandoned mineshaft,” Ziva replied sarcastically as Tony suddenly became two Tonys.

“Ziva?” She could fuzzily hear Tony calling her name and saying something. But really, she just wanted the buzzing to stop.

The next thing she knew, her head was resting on Tony’s shoulder and he was muttering, “Please don’t die.”

She opened one eye, but decided against removing her head from Tony’s shoulder. It was rather comforting. She attempted to look at his face, faintly amused.

“It takes more than a fall to kill me, Tony,” she said, wincing. “You should know that.”

“Not even Mossad ninjas are indestructible,” Tony replied softly. “Nor are NCIS agents.” Ziva knew he was referring to Kate and/or Paula.

“You are correct,” Ziva replied quietly, reaching out for his hand, “but we have greater odds than some. We are only human, Tony, despite what people might think of us.”

“Maybe that’s the scary bit,” Tony replied. “We like to think we are protected because we carry guns and know how to fight, but in reality, we’re just as vulnerable as your average Joe.”

They were silent for a few moments, before Ziva asked, “Since when did you get so philosophical?”

Tony shrugged and grinned. “About a minute ago.”

“Figures,” Ziva replied and realised something was wrong. She looked down and exclaimed,

“Tony!”

He followed her line of sight and looked sheepish. “Yeah, about that . . .” he trailed off at Ziva’s hard glare.

He held up his hands. “Hey, you looked all hot and sweaty so I . . .”

“Thought that you would take off my top?!” she exclaimed, looking down at her lacy bra.

“To cool you down!” Tony protested. “Seriously. And I wasn’t the one who ordered me to strip.”

“I ask you for your shirt for a legitimate medical reason,” Ziva retorted, looking more than annoyed.

“I did the same!” Tony defended.

Ziva harrumphed and crossed her arms over her body. Tony was probably right and had most likely done it for honourable reasons, but it was Tony so you never knew.

“Well,” Ziva sighed, “what’s done is done. You have seen me in less, after all.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Slightly insulted, Ziva lifted her head from Tony’s shoulder and gave him a good whack on the back of his head.

“Hey!” he exclaimed. “What was that for?”

“For permanently living in the gutter,” Ziva replied. “Gibbs would have done it, had he been here –”

“Thank God he’s not,” Tony interjected. “At least we’ve done it all before. The box, remember.”

“Yes,” Ziva replied and winced, but it wasn’t because of her head. “I think it is permanently etched into my mind as something I never want to do again.”

“Yet here we are . . .” Tony finished.

“This is different.”

“Yeah, I think it’s pretty much the same,” Tony replied, shrugging. “Alone. Trapped. In mortal danger.”

“Hardly mortal danger,” Ziva scoffed. “Gibbs and McGee will find us sooner or later.”

“But will it be as flesh or skeleton?” Tony questioned morbidly.

“Oh, grow up.” Ziva’s patience was wearing thin. “You are starting to sound like a dented record.”

“It’s broken record, for the record, but . . .” he was cut off by a low rumbling.

“I don’t like the sound of . . .” Tony never got to finish his sentence as the walls around them started to crumble.

It only lasted a few seconds, but when Tony dared to open his eyes, he could feel the dirt sticking to his bare and sweaty flesh. He shook his head and some debris went flying. Then someone coughed and he looked down, blinking.

In his panic, Tony had pushed Ziva to the ground and now he was pressed against her, with his hands either side of her body.

“Was that a . . .”

Ziva nodded.

“Are you okay?”

Ziva nodded again.

As Tony’s mind tried to process the fact that he’d just escaped death from a collapsing mine, he kissed Ziva.

Why he did it was probably something he’d never understand. Maybe it was the fact that he was still alive and had just cheated death (after all, they could have been buried alive). Perhaps it was the fact that he had been, for a while, slightly attracted to his female partner. Or maybe it was just because, at that moment, Ziva was pressed against him and he had to admit (like last time), it felt damn good.

And before he knew it, Ziva’s bra was hitting the other side of the mine and clattering silently to the ground.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:57 am 
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Part Three

Dawn was breaking when Ziva finally awoke. Groggily, she opened one eye, then the other. She shifted slightly and bumped against another warm body. Shaking the fog from her mind, Ziva glanced next to her and cursed. She was pressed up against Tony’s body and suddenly, a rush of memories came back.

She didn’t, did she? Oh, crap. Had they . . . Yes, she concluded, they had. She groaned and detangled herself from Tony’s arm. They hadn’t . . . Well, apparently they did.

“Tony, wake up,” Ziva hissed, shaking his shoulder.

He mumbled something incomprehensible and cracked open an eye. “Wha . . . Is it morning already?”

“What do you think?” Ziva all but snapped as she reached for her discarded shirt. She was, thankfully, still in her underwear and trousers.

“Wha-what happened?” Tony rubbed his eyes and sat up.

Ziva glanced at him with a ‘what do you think happened’ looked. Tony’s eyes widened in apparent shock and he exclaimed, “We didn’t?”

Ziva nodded grimly. “We did.”

“But h-how?”

“You remember it just as well as I do,” Ziva replied, slipping on her dusty shirt. “How do you think it happened?”

Tony cursed and scrambled for his own shirt. He winced painfully as he put pressure on his injured ankle. “This is a mess,” he muttered, mostly to himself.

“Too right it is,” Ziva agreed.

Tony struggled with his shirt for a moment before managing to get it over his head. He fell back against the wall and collapsed to the ground.

“Ouch,” he moaned, leaning against the wall.

“Careful,” Ziva hissed. “We do not want to cause another collapse. Look where the last one got us.”

“Good point.” Tony gingerly shifted away from the wall, wincing theatrically with each movement. “How’s the head.”

“Fine.” At Tony’s look, she amended, “Better than yesterday, anyway. It is just a headache.”

“If you’re sure . . .” Tony looked uncertain.

Ziva waved away his concern. “My head is fine. I am fine. What we need to do is concentrate on a way to get out of this.”

“Exactly,” Tony agreed enthusiastically as his tummy rumbled. “Don’t suppose we could order some room service?”

Ziva just shook her head.

---

It was fully light when Ziva heard the first sounds of movement above them.

“Shh,” Ziva muttered, holding up her hand to signal Tony to shut up about the movie he was prattling on about. “Do you hear that?”

“What?” Tony strained his neck.

There was a muffled yell from above them and Ziva replied, “That.”

They looked at each other, and Tony grinned. “Our rescue party, do you think?”

“Let’s hope so,” Ziva replied, almost grimly. “We would not want it to be some else, I think.”

They listened again, and this time they heard the unmistakeable calls of “Tony” and “Ziva” coming from somewhere above them.

“Is that . . .” Tony asked.

“I think it is . . .” Ziva replied.

“McGee,” they said together as their colleague’s voice became even clearer.

“Ziva! Tony! If you can hear . . .” they heard McGee call.

“Down here, Probie!” Tony called back, though his voice was quieter than a normal shout and slightly husky from the dust they’d breathed in.

Tony and Ziva heard the people above them stop, and heard McGee say to the others, “Did you hear that? I thought I heard something.”

“Down here, McGeek!” Tony called again.

“Tony?!”

“We’re in a mine!” Tony shouted.

“You’re in a what?” McGee shouted back. “It’s hard to make you out. Can you repeat . . . oh.”

Suddenly, Ziva and Tony looked up to see the face of Tim McGee hovering over the small opening. Tony yelped and jarred his ankle against the ground. Ziva smirked at his reaction and McGee was barely concealing a grin.

“Tony? Ziva?” he called down, half amused, half worried.

“It’s us, Probie,” Tony sighed, rubbing his foot.

“Are you okay?” McGee asked. “Didn’t anyone tell you that it’s unsafe to go mining without the correct equipment?”

“Does it look like we just decided to go on a little jaunt in an abandoned mine?” Tony retorted. “Of course not. And we’re fine . . . mostly. Ziva has a concussion and I’ve screwed my ankle.”

“Okay,” McGee called. “Just hang on. We’ve radioed for the rescue team. We’ll have you out in no time . . . though you might want to stay down there once Gibbs gets his hands on you.”

“He’s that angry?” Tony asked meekly.

“He’s that angry,” McGee confirmed and added as an afterthought, “He’s worried, really worried, actually. And I think that’s just turned into anger. You know Gibbs.”

“Unfortunately,” Tony muttered and then said louder, “Is he . . .”

“Nope.” McGee shook his head. “He’s with another team. But he’s on his way now.”

“Fabulous,” Tony groaned, not wanting to face his boss, especially when it was his stuff up that had gotten them into this mess in the first place.

“How did you get down there in the first place?” McGee queried, looking both amused and slightly upset.

“Do not ask,” Ziva grumbled. “Or at the very least, ask him.” She pointed to Tony who shrugged innocently.

“I coulda guess,” McGee grinned. “Abby was certain something awful had happened, but I was going with someone stuffed up and read the map upside down.”

Tony looked sheepish. “You thought of that, did you.”

McGee nodded. “Yeah. Gibbs’ idea. He had the inspiration last night, actually, but we had to wait until daylight to pursue it. Sorry about that. I’m sure you found something to pass the time with.”

Ziva coughed loudly and Tony blushed a faint red. McGee just looked confused at their reactions and instead called, “I think the rescue team is here. And . . .”

“What the hell did you get yourself into this time, DiNozzo?” Gibbs barked.

Tony winced and it wasn’t because of his ankle. “Hey, boss.”

McGee’s head disappeared and Gibbs’ appeared in its place. He looked down at the pair and sighed. “Why is it always you two?”

Tony shrugged. “I guess we’re just unlucky.”

“Or you just attract the trouble,” Gibbs sighed. He looked across to Ziva. “You okay, Ziva?”

“Fine,” she called back. “But glad to see you.”

“I bet.” Gibbs looked amused.

“You gonna get us out of here anytime soon, boss?” Tony asked hopefully.

“Thinking about it, DiNozzo. Might have to let you sit and think about what an idiot you’ve been.”

“I’m fine,” Tony huffed. “Thanks for asking.”

“I can see you’re fine,” Gibbs replied. And thank God too, he thought.

“The rescue team’s ready,” McGee announced from the top of the mineshaft. “Who’s first?”

Tony glanced quickly at Ziva before announcing, “Ziva.”

Ziva made a move to protest, but Tony cut her off with a firm, “Ziva’s coming up first.”

McGee and Gibbs looked over to Ziva who shrugged. “As long as I get out of here, I do not care who goes first.”

“Excellent,” McGee replied. “The rescue team is lowering the rope now. Just attach yourself to it and we’ll pull you up. Easy.”

As the rope was being lowered down, Tony turned quickly to Ziva and said is a hushed whisper, “What about . . . you know. What do we . . . do?”

“Nothing,” Ziva snapped back quietly. “Okay? Nothing. As you say, what happens in the mine, stays in the mine.”

“Right. Okay.” Tony nodded quickly. “If that’s what you think is for the best.”

“It is,” Ziva muttered. “What happened was a result of many different things. It would have never happened otherwise.”

Tony looked slightly crestfallen at that statement, but agreed quickly. The rope finished its descent and Tony (slightly awkwardly) helped secure Ziva in it. Just as he was about to send her up, he commented quietly,

“What happens in the mine, stays in the mine,” he repeated. “Got it.”

Then he called to the rescue team, “She’d good to go.”

---

“What took you so long?” Tony asked as he winced in the bright daylight. Until now, he hadn’t realised how dark it had been down that mine.

“No one thought you were idiotic enough to read a map upside down,” Gibbs replied dryly as McGee helped Tony clamber out of the mine.

“Well . . . I guess I can take that as a compliment.” Tony finally put his feat on solid ground again and immediately toppled sideways.

“Ouch,” he complained.

McGee said nothing, but swung Tony’s arm around his shoulder to help keep him upright.

“Where’s Ziva?” Tony questioned as he looked around for his partner.

“Getting checked out by a search and rescue guy,” McGee replied, nodding to a tree that was sheltering Ziva and an unknown medic.

“She okay?”

“She’ll be fine,” Gibbs answered curtly. “Which is more than I can say for you.” He looked down at Tony’s ankle. “You’re gonna be out of the field for at least a month. Ziva for a week.”

Tony groaned and winced. Great, just great. This was all he needed.

“Just think about it,” Gibbs commented cheerfully (well, cheerfully for Gibbs), “imagine all the paperwork you can get done in that time.”

Tony groaned again and McGee smirked. “Maybe you should read the map the correct way around next time.”

Tony sighed and leaned heavily against McGee. “I’m never going to live that down, am I?”

“Probably not,” McGee grinned and then mused, “I wonder if I could use that in my next book. Might make a good story.”

---

One week later, and Ziva was back at work. Tony had been back for a few days already, after being told by Gibbs and the Director to have a couple of days off to recover. Other than the ankle and the concussion, the pair had been fine. Hungry, but fine.

“Oooh,” Abby squealed as she raced across the bullpen. “You’re back!”

She flung her arms around Ziva who had just exited the elevator. Ziva was slightly bemused, but hugged Abby back.

“It is good to be back, Abby,” she said, absolutely meaning it.

“But you’re back and okay,” Abby exclaimed, removing her arms from Ziva. “You and Tony both. I don’t know what I would have done if you weren’t.”

She sniffled a little and Gibbs strolled in, saying, “They’re fine, Abs. Feeling a little sore and silly, but fine.”

“I know that,” Abby replied and hugged Ziva again before racing over to hug Tony who was sitting behind his desk.

Gibbs smiled slightly at Ziva. “Nice to have you back, Ziva.”

“It is nice to be back.” Ziva returned the smile. “I was going crazy at home.”

“I bet,” Tony grinned from his desk. “Nice to see you, Zee-vah.”

She sighed and said in good-nature, “Wish I could say the same about you.”

Tony childishly stuck out his tongue and Ziva laughed, prompting Tony to scowl. The phone rang and Gibbs picked it up. He listened for a moment, before replying, “On our way.”

“Gear up,” he said, directing his comment to Ziva and McGee. “We’ve got a dead naval officer. And no, DiNozzo, you stay here.”

Tony harrumphed and looked put out, so Abby took pity on him and hugged him again. “You can help me,” she offered brightly. “Major Mass Spec and I would be glad to have you. Providing you don’t touch anything, that is.”

“Geez, thanks,” Tony muttered. “Way to make a man feel loved.”

Ziva smirked as she followed Gibbs and McGee to the elevator. As the doors closed, Gibbs called back, “Make sure you don’t destroy the place while we’re gone. And don’t touch a map.”

---

Later that same day, Tony spied Ziva entering the female bathroom. Picking up the crutches the doctors had forced on him, Tony slowly hobbled over to the bathrooms and leaned against the orange walls. Since it had take him awhile to make his way over to the bathroom entrance, he only had to wait a minute before the door opened and Ziva stepped out.

“We need to talk,” he muttered as she walked past.

Ziva stopped in her tracks, turned around and sighed. “Okay, but not here.”

She walked back over to Tony and marched him into the men’s bathroom. She locked the door behind her as Tony propped his crutches against the wall and leaned against the hand dryer.

Ziva folded her arms and looked at Tony. “Talk.”

“We need to, erm, talk about what happened down the mine,” he said finally and Ziva didn’t look surprised.

“I guessed as much,” she replied quietly.

“It’s just . . .” Tony started awkwardly. “I know we said what happens in the mine, stays in the mine, but it’s just . . . I can’t stop thinking about it, no matter what I do.”

Ziva showed no emotion as she replied, “So, what do we do?”

Tony sighed. “I don’t know.”

“Me either,” Ziva sighed back. “It is not as if we planned for that-this to happen.”

Tony shrugged. “Oh, I don’t know. I’ve always thought that, you know, there was something between you and me.”

“We flirt a bit,” Ziva clarified. “It’s what we do.”

“What if we made it something more?” Tony said hesitantly, bracing himself for some backlash. “After all, I think we’d work okay together.”

“Really?” Ziva looked sceptical.

Tony nodded. “Well, yeah. Maybe. I don’t know. I guess we’ll never know if we don’t try.”

“I guess,” Ziva replied.

“So . . .”

Ziva sighed. “What do you want from me, Tony?”

“I don’t know,” Tony hissed. “A chance, maybe? I know I don’t have the best reputation, but still.”

Ziva said nothing so Tony exclaimed, “You can’t honestly say you felt nothing when we, you know.” He gestured his hands.

“We were both under a lot of stress,” Ziva replied logically, after a moment. “And we were scared. The mine had just decided to have a mini-cave in and we were just there. It happened because we needed some comfort.”

“So? Despite how it happened, it happened and I can’t forget about it,” Tony snapped. “Maybe you can, but I can’t.”

“I never said that,” Ziva replied in a barely audible voice.

“Then what do we have to lose?” Tony retorted, but under Ziva’s glare, backtracked and amened, “Okay, so maybe we could lose a lot. But what’s life without a few risks?”

“Do you really think it would work? You and me?” Ziva still looked doubtful.

“We’ll never know unless we try,” Tony replied honestly. “One drink. We can try and be normal people for a change. What do you say?”

“One drink?”

“One drink,” Tony repeated firmly. “And then we can see where it’ll go from there. We can go forward, or back to the way it was. Either way, I don’t want to lose you from my life.”

“You won’t,” Ziva murmured.

“So . . . one drink?”

“One drink?” Ziva asked again and Tony nodded.

“Deal.”

Finis

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Your chapter stories floor me. I have read two now and you hit the descriptive and dialogue nail on the head you are prefect for writing whatever you set your mind to.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Wow, thank you. That's one of the nicest things someone has said about my writing. :hug2col:

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