AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Ziva David/Jeanne Benoit
SUMMARY: A sequel to Out Of Death. Following Tony's funeral, Ziva and Jeanne arrange to go for a drink together.
WORD COUNT: 1,070
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Ziva stared into the mirror as she tried first one hair style and then another; she plaited it, she clipped it back from her face, she tied it back, she put it up on top her hair, but nothing felt right. Finally she sighed, pulled the clips out and shook her head allowing the hair to tumble around her face, framing it with waves. That would have to do; it was the only way that felt right.
Her hair decided on, she got up from her dressing table and went to her closet and stared at the clothes. She pulled out a few outfits and looked at them, before sighing and discarding them onto her bed. As with her hair nothing felt right; nothing caught her attention, nothing gave her the right feeling. Finally she decided on a simple white fitted shirt, black trousers and a fawn jacket. At the last moment she grabbed a emerald green scarf and tied it loosely around her neck.
She pushed her feet into medium height shoes, put a pair of small gold hooped earrings on, and spent a few minutes putting on some light make-up and perfume before she ran her hand through her hair, grabbed her purse and headed towards the front door of her apartment.
As she closed and locked it she realized she had never spent as long getting ready for a date, never agonized so much as to what to wear and how to have her hair. As she headed down the stairs she frowned; it wasn't a date she was going on; she and Jeanne had simply arranged, before they had parted after Tony's funeral, to meet up one night for a drink and that is what they were going to do. That is all it was: a drink.
And yet was that all it was? They had held hands during Tony's funeral and Ziva knew she had felt . . . Something, she wasn't entirely certain what the something was, but she had felt something when she had turned to look at Jeanne and she was fairly certain Jeanne had felt it too.
But surely it was too soon; too soon for both of them; certainly too soon for her. Maybe it was not too soon for Jeanne, after all it had been several years since Tony had let Jeanne walk out of his life; several years since, at her own encouragement, he had lied to the woman he had loved; lied to her and thus made her walk away from him. But for her . . . Tony had only been dead a few weeks and they had loved one another - yes, it was much too soon for her to even think about Jeanne as anything other than a person with whom she was going to have a drink. Another person who had loved and been loved by Anthony DiNozzo. And yet . . . She shook her head.
Ziva had never thought anyone would ever see Jeanne again, thus she had been surprised when she had turned up at Tony's funeral and even more surprised when she had ended up holding hands with her and sharing - what she was not certain.
As she headed towards the bar at which she was to meet Jeanne, Ziva sighed softly; maybe this had been a mistake. Maybe they should simply have said goodbye after the funeral and returned to their own lives. Maybe she should call Jeanne now and tell her something had come up and she had to work. But Jeanne had been lied to by NCIS personnel too many times; Ziva was not about to be another person to lie to her.
She turned the corner, hurrying a little as she realized she was going to be a few minutes late. However as she reached the door of the bar she saw Jeanne coming from the opposite direction, also hurrying a little. Ziva stopped at the door and felt herself suddenly relax, felt a smile touch her lips as she watched Jeanne come towards her.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Ziva," Jeanne said as she reached her.
"You are not. Well, you are, but then so was I," Ziva smiled and touched Jeanne's hand. She forced herself not to gasp as a wave of something she could not quite identify but did not dislike passed through her body. "You look . . ." she trailed off and glanced away.
"So do you," Jeanne said, putting her hand over the hand Ziva still had on her arm. "Look, Ziva, I know we said a drink, but . . . Well, have you eaten?"
Ziva looked back at Jeanne and shook her head. "Not since lunchtime, no."
"Nor have I. There's a new Greek restaurant that's just opened and apparently it's very good and - Shall we?" she said.
Ziva stared at Jeanne. Dinner; that was definitely more date-like than a simple drink. Did she want to take this meeting to that level? Dinner implied a deeper level of conversation than one could necessarily have in a bar; a deeper level of intimacy; it meant more. Surely it was too soon for dinner?
But was it? In Ziva's life 'too soon' wasn't really a phrase she had ever employed; after all she had lived most of her life knowing that it might be her last day, her last hour, her last minute alive - in Mossad one did not put things off for fear that one might never do them. And whilst her life as an NCIS agent was not quite so dangerous, she still did risk her life if not quite on a daily basis, then certainly quite often.
She was aware she had not answered Jeanne and saw that Jeanne was now staring at her with an anxious look in her eyes. Ziva smiled and turned her hand beneath Jeanne's and linked her fingers with Jeanne's; too soon or not it felt right. "I would like to have dinner with you, Jeanne, very much indeed." She said.
The smile that lit up Jeanne's face told Ziva just how pleased she was. "Good," she said. "Come on then, it isn't far."
It was only when they reached the restaurant and a young man clearly of Greek heritage opened the door for them and ushered them inside that Ziva realized she and Jeanne were still holding hands.