Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Genre: Contains Some Angst
Challenge: ncis_flashfic Amnesty 2007; Five Things Challenge
Potential Spoilers: Undercovers; Boxed In
Word Count: 920
Summary: Tony DiNozzo was sure that Ziva David would be the death of him some day, but luckily for him these weren't those days.
The first time it happened, Ziva claimed it was an accident. It occurred not too long after their fake love making for the undercover assignment gone to hell. Tony never saw how she did it, but a cup of scalding hot coffee had somehow landed his lap. Granted, it probably wouldn’t have killed him, but he sure felt like dying as he doubled over from the pain in his crotch. He thought he heard a mumbled, “I know that was not your knee Tony,” but he couldn’t be sure.
The second time, it was her actions that almost did it. When he arrived to his empty apartment with a throbbing arm the night they got out of that storage container, he was a place he hadn’t been since childhood. The dark place in his mind where he told himself over and over that no one cares about him and that no one wants him around. His father’s voice saying, “You’re worthless,” rang loud and clear.
His mind took brief trips over all the items in the apartment that could accomplish the task; knife, gun, razor… they were all available. He jumped at the firm knocking at his door. It took several minutes for him to cross the apartment to open the door. When he did, he found Gibbs standing impatiently on the other side holding out a pain killer bottle.
“Don’t even think about not taking them DiNozzo,” Gibbs said in his gruff voice. “I’ll force feed them to you if I have to. Why don’t you have any coffee made?” Gibbs had already moved to the kitchen and Tony was still holding the door open but a small smile was forming on his face. ‘Maybe they do care,’ some part of him said just as another small part in the back of his mind added the pill bottle to the inventory list.
The third time really was an accident. Ziva was doing a knife throwing demonstration for some new agents in the evidence garage. Unknowingly, Tony stepped right in the line of fire as she released her knife. If McGee hadn’t of called out his name in that split second, causing Tony to turn his head, he would have been struck right between the eyes. As it was, he had a hard time explaining to his hair dresser exactly how he was missing hair in a small section on the back of his head.
The fourth time was almost his death by Gibbs, but Ziva was the one that started it. Somehow, she had found a copy of a letter he had written, but never sent, to Director Morrow. It had been written three months into his job at NCIS and at the end of a very long case involving some kidnapped kids.
In the letter, Tony itemized all instances of Gibbs’ ‘abuse’ against him and noted how he was treated differently from the other agents working the case. The head slaps, the put downs, the demands, they had been overwhelming him and he wanted to find a way to stop them or transfer to a different team.
In the end, he hadn’t sent the letter to the director. That night Gibbs had shown up at his door unannounced with a 12-pack of beer. They drank in silence watching some old Cary Grant movies and fell asleep on the couch. The next morning, Gibbs invited him to go sailing on a boat he had reserved. Not much was said, but Tony would think back on that weekend anytime the urge to protest the treatment he received flared inside him.
After she handed the letter to Gibbs, the look Tony received would have killed lesser men, but he stood his ground. “Check the dates,” was all he said.
Gibbs glanced down and squinted at the small print until a slight grimace crossed his face. He wadded the paper up, tossed it back at Ziva and walked towards the elevator.
Tony was expecting the knock at his apartment door that night. He already had “Operation Petticoat” set up in the DVD player.
The fifth time required lots of paperwork, time spent in the hospital and a month off of active duty, but Tony would not trade any of that for what could have happened. Something had gone wrong at a scene and he had found himself being held hostage in a vice like grip by a marine. If it hadn’t been for his breathing issues from the hand wrapped around his throat, he might have been more worried about the gun the other hand had pointed at his temple.
Gibbs and McGee were at the wrong angle to make any shot with out risking him. Ziva was the only one who had a chance. It was a snowball’s chance in hell, but still a chance. Time seemed to slow as they all stared at each other in a silent show of wills.
Finally, Tony smiled through his pain, looked at Ziva and gasped out, “I think I saw this movie.”
Ziva took his cue and her gun reverberated through the warehouse.
Later, as Tony sat in the hospital bed, enjoying his pain medication for the gunshot wound to his thigh, he grinned at Ziva. “Guess you were wrong about those being my last words Zee-va.”
“Oh, I don’t know Tony, perhaps a few inches to the right,” she reached out and let her finger trace from the outer part of his left leg towards his crotch. “And I think I might have killed you.”