Chapter 6

John blinked when Ziva suggested they’d watch Wormhole X-treme the movie, he never figured she liked science fiction movies. Ten minutes in, he just couldn’t contain his laughter. “This is so bad.”

“What?” she asked laughing with him as she threw popcorn at his head which got stuck in the mess of unruly hair of his. “I like it. Don’t make fun!”

“I’m not, I’m just saying it’s bad,” he chuckled. “I mean… the acting is even worse,” he nodded. “Starship Troopers was a better movie, and even that sucked.”

Ziva shrugged. “Well I like to think I could just walk through something and be somewhere else sometimes. Somewhere far away from here. Don’t get me wrong, I love my team. They are my family but I’d like to be able to experience something new,” she said as she turned back to the movie.

“Alright, well I suppose that the idea of this movie is somewhat appealing.” he nodded.

Looking up at the clock, she sighed and pushed herself off the couch. “We should get ready for bed. Our flight leaves early in the morning,” she said as she went down the hall to get towels out of the linen closet. “Here you go. The shower is just in here,” she added going into the bathroom just off the living room to put the large fluffy towel on the sink for him. “If you need anything else, just let me know.”

He nodded, he was far from being tired, but unlike himself, Ziva had worked today and was probably pooped. “Thanks for letting me stay here.”

“Anytime,” she smiled up at him, feeling a sense of warmth come over her.

He softly planted a kiss on her cheek. “Goodnight.”

She turned to look at him after his kiss and blinked. “Goodnight,” she whispered, before carefully making her way back to her room to get ready herself and finish packing her bag until he was done with the shower for her own turn.

He really liked Ziva, there was this unspoken thing between them and it was comforting and frightening at the same time. When he was done showering, he realized he had forgotten to bring a shirt from this bag in the other room, but was glad that he did bring his sweatpants, she had seen him in his swimming trunks, no big deal. He almost bumped into Ziva when he exited the bathroom. “Sorry.”

Something about this run in was strangely intimate. When John was on the beach it was one thing, but here, in her apartment… “Sorry,” she replied, her cheeks flushing with crimson. “I erm was just going to get myself a fresh towel…”

“Sorry,” he said again, “It must be weird for you to deal with someone else in your apartment.”

“Um, not really,” Ziva said tucking her hair behind her ear but not elaborating further. Michael stayed with her every time he was in the area but that was then and she did not wish to dwell on such painful memories. “Do you need anything else?”

“Nah, I’m good.” he smiled widely and made his way towards Ziva’s spare room. Christ John, do you really think this is a good idea? he thought and hopped onto the bed.

Ziva let out a breath that she didn’t know she was holding. Thankfully, John had closed his door so he couldn’t see her come close to hyperventilating. He was the first man in a long while that she let get this close to her outside of the team. Once she was composed again, she went about taking her shower and returned to her room. Sleep did not come easily and she could not help but think of that man just a few doors down the hall.

He was up early the following morning and started to make breakfast for the both of them as he was bored and hadn’t been able to sleep since 4 am, and he was sure Ziva wouldn’t mind if he’d nose around in the kitchen. He switched on the coffee pot and started to make eggs.

Ziva stirred in bed and looked over at her clock. The alarm hadn’t gone off yet and she could smell the aroma of fresh coffee. Moaning as she stretched, she sat up sleepily and tried to place what was going on. Remembering John, she cursed to herself and went to throw on a robe around her. Making her way out to the kitchen she was surprised to see him at the stove.

“Good morning,” she yawned as she went to start the tea kettle. “You didn’t have to make breakfast.”

“Good morning,” he replied and smiled. “And yes, breakfast,” John nodded. “You’ll have to indulge me, I rarely am able to cook something decent when I’m out of the country.” She looked adorable with her hair all messed up.

She narrowed her eyes at him playfully as she stole a slice of toast that just popped then. “One day I will get you to tell me what you do exactly,” she teased.

“One day, I might.” he nodded and chuckled.

As they went about having their breakfast and getting ready for their trip, their conversations flowed easily as their banter. Ziva shared more stories about her teammates and antics that they’ve been through. The laughter didn’t end at her apartment either. It continued the entire trip to the airport and right into their neighboring seats in the first class cabin for their flight north.

“So then Rodney disturbed this holy thing at the settlement.” he grinned. “The locals picked him up and threw him in the water, making him float down stream between crocodiles, he wasn’t happy.” Of course, in his head, the locals were actually afraid of Rodney (and the rest of the team), somehow managed to overpower them and they did toss Rodney in the river, but he ended up at a Wraith camp, which wasn’t that great.

“That is just – wow!” she said completely enthralled by his stories. “You must have quite an adventure wherever you’re based.” It wasn’t long that the pilot announced that they would be landing soon. The exchanges had certainly helped pass the time – even if the stewardess continued to flirt with John almost the entire flight.

He shrugged. “Sometimes I do long for the normal type of jobs, I spent almost a year flying in Antarctica, mind numbing, but for some reason very peaceful at the same time.”

The rest of the short trip was spent in comfortable silence. Ziva however, was beginning to feel a little territorial whenever the stewardess paid extra close attention to John’s needs. Much so to the point that Ziva made a not so obvious gesture of holding his hand and resting her head on his shoulder.

John, of course, was oblivious to the extra attention the stewardess had given him and when they were at the airport and gathering their belongings from the luggage belt, he grinned at Ziva, who looked slightly annoyed. “Hey, stop frowning,” he said, “It would be a shame if your face would freeze into place like that for the rest of your life.”

“It just bugs me when people are so … so…” she couldn’t even think of the word she wanted. If she could have, she would have shoved the woman out the door while the plane was still in the air. Which was also unexpected because she wasn’t usually a jealous person herself.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” he thought for a minute and laughed. “Stewardesses are supposed to make you comfortable on the plane, you know.”

Ziva gave him a look. “She would have been just as happy to fluff more than your pillow for you.”

“You…” he placed his hands on her shoulders and gently squeezed them. “Need to relax, we’re going skiing for the weekend, no stupid co-workers, just us, having fun.”

She looked at him and breathed out nodding. “You’re right. Let’s go,” she replied. Thankful for the wheels on her bag, she was able to drag it behind her allowing her free arm to wrap around his in case anyone else felt the need to interrupt them again.

He walked to the car rental service and picked out an SUV. He was sure that the resort they were going to would have rental ski’s and all they needed to do was head in to town to buy their equipment. “So, you want to get our equipment first or do you want to go to the resort? I’ve been there before, it’s awesome.”

“Let’s drop our bags off first that way I could also change into something a little more appropriate for the weather,” she said rubbing her hands together. Winters in DC are never this cold.

John chuckled when he put their bags in the back of the SUV and helped her inside the car. He then turned up the heat the moment he started to drive. “It’s not that ridiculously cold, I went to Antarctica!”

Ziva scoffed. “Tell that to someone who isn’t from a desert country,” she replied as she nearly face-planted herself in front of the blower for heat.

He started to laugh. “I think it’s cute.”

She turned to look at him and stuck her tongue out. “Alright let’s go. I need to get another layer on at least for the slopes.”

“I still have to buy appropriate skiing gear.” he noted. “I travel light, remember?”

“Don’t they rent equipment at the lodge?”

“Yes, but I hate rented clothes,” he said making a face.

Ziva shrugged and settled back in the seat as he drove. She mostly looked out the window or at him, wondering more about the man. Occasionally, she pointed out some sights that she found interesting or scenic areas that were simply gorgeous with the freshly fallen snow.

It was great to see some snow again. For some reason, they rarely encountered snow in the Pegasus galaxy. This was going to be one heck of a skiing trip. The Lodge they were going to stay at was part of Stowe’s Mountain Resort, and the rooms were awesome and he just knew that Ziva would love to spend some time at the Spa.

After all the shopping for necessities was done and they got to their room, Ziva sighed and dropped the bags she held in the middle of the room. Just the environment was very relaxing for her and truthfully, she would be just as entertained by curling up to the fire with a good book rather than hitting the slopes. She went to see what kind of refreshments that were left in the small kitchen as John came in with his bags. “I don’t see the point in unpacking if we’re staying for just two nights,” she replied finding a bottle of wine.

“Then don’t.” he replied. “This weekend is all about relaxation for the both of us,” he nodded. Sure, he had spent a night in the infirmary because Carson was afraid he had a concussion from being thrown around on their last mission, despite John insisting that he didn’t hit his head and that Ronon had stunned most of the angry villagers. But he hardly called the infirmary ‘relaxing’.

“Wine?” she asked as she looked in the cabinet for glasses. It might be just the thing for them to unwind and open themselves to each other a little more.

“Sure, why not.” he shrugged and went to set the logs of the fireplace on fire.

“Do you want to stay in tonight and we can do the skiing all day tomorrow?” she asked as she brought over the bottle and glasses to the sitting area. “Even though it wasn’t a long flight, it was still a little busy of a day for travel.”

“Sure, whatever you want,” he smiled widely. He took over the bottle and uncorked it, then poured them their glasses.

Ziva sat back on the sofa and sighed as she watched the fire flicker to life. “This is nice,” she said sipping her glass. She turned to him and smiled, surprised to find him staring at her intently. “Something wrong? Do I have something in my hair?” she asked immediately reaching up to feel if maybe a leaf or twig got stuck when she walked under the tree outside the lodge.

“How come you’re so gorgeous?” he blatantly asked. He was never good at flirting, and he had no idea why he tried with Ziva, but it felt the right thing to do. He always felt uneasy around women, was usually oblivious to their actions (like the stewardess on the plane) but he was fully aware of what Ziva and her presence was doing to him.

Blushing, she glanced away before turning back. “I suppose it might be the same reason why you’re so endearing and so warm to be around,” she said softly. With the wine and the light from the fire dancing in the room, the ambiance was a romantic one. While intentioned, it was there and neither one could ignore it.

“Now those two words have never been associated with me,” he chuckled and took a sip of his wine. He knew he had to be careful with drinking alcohol; despite the fact that they did have alcohol sometimes on Atlantis, he could never really drink as much as he used to drink before without getting wasted. He thoroughly enjoyed the couple of days in Miami with her (despite her being mostly working but she always managed to find him surfing), and it felt as if he knew her longer than was actually reality.

“But you are, and more,” she insisted as she reached out to cup his face.

“You know, I might as well just kiss you,” he grinned and moved in to kiss her gently on the lips.

She broke out into a grin herself at the chaste kiss. Ziva was never one to be truly shy and canted her head, “I’m sure you could do better than that…”

He turned around to face her properly and gently stroked her left cheek with the back of his hand. “Is that a dare?” he smiled widely.

“No,” she whispered as she looked into his green eyes. “It’s a request.”

“How can I deny a gorgeous woman who requests something like a proper kiss?” he shrugged a little and started to kiss her again, first softly on her lips, then using his tongue to part them.

Ziva returned his attentions with equal intensity. There was a fire that seemed to spark inside her that burned for more, to give more. She’d never actually felt emotions such as the ones that come to her whenever he was mentioned or when with the man. Not even with Michael, where there was always a sense that there was something darker present.

They needed air, eventually, and he gently broke off the intense kiss. “What are you doing to me, Ziva?” he said softly and kissed the tip of her nose.

Breathless, she nuzzled him affectionately. “I should be asking you the same thing,” she said, licking her lips. Ziva could still taste him and it only made her want more…Something that she was unable to hide as she stared in his eyes and her fingers tangled in his shirt.

“I swear, if something’s in the waters of Miami, I’m going to be so pissed,” he muttered and started to kiss her again, this time he grabbed the back of her neck and caressed her back with his other hand.

“I’m not complaining,” Ziva muttered as she went back to kissing – or rather making out by now – with John. Their hands began exploring each other over their clothes but the position that they were in beside each other was not quite conducive for the activity. She felt his hand wrap around the back of her thigh, pulling her onto his lap where it was certainly more comfortable and a little more surprising as she settled down over him.

“Oh…” she exclaimed.

He felt how his face turned beet red. “Yeah, sorry.” he shrugged. “It’s been a while.” He moved her hair out of the way of his target; her beautiful neck was something he could occupy himself with.

Grinning, she shrugged. “Nothing to be sorry about,” she said as her eyes rolled back when he hit a particularly sensitive spot for her. “Although,” Ziva struggled to say, “I think we might want to go into the other room if this continues…”

“Do you want to take this further?” John asked softly.

She looked at him as she thought about it. “Only if you want to,” she started to say before shaking her head as if to clear it. “I’m not saying I don’t want to. I do, I mean I am incredibly attracted to you yes, probably more than I should be. I just cannot help how I am feeling when I am with you.”

“Same here… although part of me thinks we’re moving a bit too fast,” he said. “But yes, Ziva. I want to take you to that bedroom.” He pointed in to the general direction of it, “And screw your brains out.”

“Life is fast, and we should live life,” was her answer.

He got up and lifted her up from the floor, taking her in his arms and walked towards the bedroom. “You ask, and you shall receive,” he grinned.

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