Chapter 2

As the Daedalus got closer to Atlantis, Ziva’s nervousness increased with the closing distance. They would be arriving later that day and he was clear that her anxiety was beginning to affect some people. Ronon asked Sheppard a number of times if he could just knock her out only to be declined. Teyla offered meditation but the woman couldn’t sit still long enough. Ziva’s mind tuned out McKay a few days earlier so his rambling had no effect anymore.

She couldn’t go running, which previously helped calm her down at times. A crowded ship just wasn’t the right place for exercise and the amount of reading she had to get through didn’t allow her the luxury of using the Daedalus gym. Ziva felt so outside of herself that she was truly lost and wondered if things would return to, well relatively, normal soon.

“Do something about that woman of yours before Caldwell throws her in the brig for being such a…”

Sheppard looked at McKay and frowned, “Say it and I’ll end you,” To be honest, John was a bit fed up with Ziva’s cabin fever as well, but he was sure it’d all work out once they were on Atlantis. He hated to be stuck on the Daedalus as well, because unlike McKay, he didn’t have anything to do but paper work and he had finished it all days before. Working out with Ronon in the gym sort of helped him release the frustration he had about being stuck and just couldn’t wait to be home again.

“I can’t believe you just said that,” Rodney said shocked. “What’s so bad about being on the Daedalus for two weeks? Well apart from the food that is.”

“Oh I don’t know Rodney, I can’t tinker all day long with the ship’s systems and try and improve everything despite this ship having the best crew possible who know the ship better than you.”

“You need to get out more.”

He just glared at Rodney while he ate his sandwich. How could you ‘go out more’ when stuck in a tin can?

Back in the mess hall, Ziva sat by herself staring out at the subspace blue flying by. John’s alien friends were a few tables away watching curiously but she didn’t care. She just continued to stare in between stabbing her imitation stuffed chicken and wilted broccoli. If she didn’t get off this ship soon, she would be searching for – other – ways to entertain herself.

John headed to the mess hall to get some more coffee before he’d just rejoin McKay in one of the labs for the time being because he was just bored and Rodney’s rambling kept him sane, enough. But when he saw Ziva in the mess hall trying to dig her way through her food tray and the table, he decided to join her. “Just a couple more hours,” he said.

She looked at him with that of a caged lion that wanted its freedom. “Only a few hours?” she asked. “Please tell me there is plenty of room that I can go for a decent run. Last night my legs were cramping so bad that I had to seek medication for the pain because I have not had any decent exercise.”

“Yeah, Atlantis is huge,” he responded. “Ronon and I usually go for a run when we’re off duty or have a late start of the day.”

Nodding, she continued to stare out at the blue subspace. “Just a few more hours,” she murmured to herself as if trying to calm down some. She was so tightly wound that she could easily be mistaken for a spitting cobra that everyone pretty much stayed away. Because this was her first trip, no one said much and tried to make her as comfortable as possible, but it was not an easy task.

“It does get easier when you’ve done this more often,” John said, “However, it doesn’t go away completely.” he added. “I know that you’ve turned down Teyla’s offer to meditate and Ronon’s offer to beat the crap out of you, how about I’ll give you a massage?”

Ziva smiled at John and reached out to hold his hand. “That does sound lovely. I was never much for meditation. It was only a means to ignore Tony and McGee when they got under my skin and I’m afraid that I would end up hurting your friend more so I declined. Please do extend my gratitude to your friends for trying.”

He grinned. “Nothing can hurt Ronon… no one can, he needs a challenge,” he smiled. “But I will, and well, giving you a massage will ease my frustration as well, by the time we get beamed down to Atlantis, you’ll be as relaxed as a new born kitten.”

“Oh?” she asked with a teasing smile. “You have some frustration that needs releasing? I could certainly help that…” she whispered with a knowing grin.

“Dear God help me,” he groaned. “No, no absolutely not going to happen. A massage.” he said. “Nothing more, it’s ridiculous to use sex as a means of releasing tension when you’re surrounded by thin walls and people walking around in the corridor.” he shook his head. “No way that’s going to happen, you’ll just have to wait for that for when we’re on Atlantis.”

Ziva only smiled as she got up from her seat, pulling John behind her. She knew fully well that full on sex was out of the question. She wasn’t that crazy…but that didn’t mean that he couldn’t enjoy himself a little if he had the ability to keep his mouth shut for what she had in mind.

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Teyla observed John and Ziva ever since John had walked in to the mess hall to get his coffee, and smiled when she saw the look on Ziva’s face as she was pulling John away. “I think John’s in for a lot of trouble,” Teyla told Ronon.

“Yeah well, I don’t feel sorry for him,” Ronon shrugged. “He should have offered her that massage days ago!”

She smiled and nodded with her friend in agreement. “Yes, but hopefully once we arrive to Atlantis, we will get the opportunity to know her better. John did mention to me that he was eager for you and her to be friends.”

Ronon shrugged, “Whatever.”

“Why do you not try to get to know this woman?” Teyla asked curiously as she sipped her tea.

“I don’t know,” Ronon stuffed his mouth with his sandwich. “Probably because she reminds me of Sateda for some reason.”

She didn’t understand what he meant by that. Ziva appeared to be like every other Earth human that she met for the most part. Closer to those that were involved with the military but with more femininity than others. “Perhaps she was a warrior amongst her people? I would think that would be a common ground for you to learn about each other.”

“Fine.” Ronon grunted.

Teyla rolled her eyes and returned to her tea and lunch. Just a few more hours, she told herself, Then hopefully everyone will find their calm.

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“I said I was going to give you a massage,” John looked at Ziva who had him stashed between the wall and her bed somewhere.

She hummed and smiled at him as she finished up with her intended goal and stood with a satisfied grin. “You’re not going to tell me that you did not enjoy that,” she replied seeing the look on his face.

He blinked and got up just to gently push Ziva to the bed. “Oh I did,” he whispered in her ear with a low voice. “But I was going to give YOU something to relax to, not the other way around.”

“Well then I’m all yours,” Ziva said as she laid down on the bunk and rested her head over her folded hands. “I am entirely at your mercy.”

Not soon after he was finished giving Ziva a thorough massage, Caldwell’s voice sounded through the intercom that they were about to exit hyperspace and that everyone should get ready to get beamed down to Atlantis.

“It’s about time!” Ziva exclaimed as she sat up to shove John aside to get her personal things together. If her eagerness wasn’t know before, it was plainly obvious to a blind idiot now.

John grinned and kissed her. “I’ll see you in a bit.” He left her to pack her things, and went to his own temporary quarters to get his own bag.

Rodney had found him on his way to his bunk. “I can’t believe we’re already home.”

“I’m glad.”

“No, really, there’s still so many things that I can do here…”

“Too bad,” John shrugged and opened the door. “We need you on Atlantis, you never really told me what that foothold situation was on Atlantis when I was supposed to return home through the gate.”

“Oh, no foothold situation,” Rodney shrugged. “Something Sam thought up so you could spend more time with Ziva.”

“I’m going to kill her.”

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