DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to abby_forever for beta'ing this for me. She's the best. Set very early Season 3 - or possibly mid-season-ish.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She has brown eyes.
Standing over the remnants of a blown up suitcase, it's the first thing that Abby notices about Ziva that doesn't make her hate Ziva more. She's not quite ready to stop hating Ziva just yet, but she files the information away for later.
She's always had a thing for brown eyes.
It takes a while for her to get to the point where she isn't actually filled with feelings of loathing when she sees Ziva. Especially since Ziva doesn't always make it easy.
She's stubborn and argumentative; she gives Tony as good as she gets and she scares McGee. Worst of all she's rude and has no sense of tact. She's also some how earned Gibbs' approval - at least as much as anyone can. That means there must be something about her to respect.
And when she looks, it's actually easier to see things about Ziva that she respects than she would have imagined - or wanted to think about.
Ziva may be stubborn, but she's also loyal to a fault, when her loyalty has been earned. She's dangerous - or extremely skilled. It's a matter of perspective.
She can make Abby laugh, even when she doesn't want to, even when she doesn't allow herself to laugh.
She's also very smart.
Smart enough, observant enough, that she catches Abby whenever she's trying to subtly study her from across the room. Her brown eyes meet Abby's and Abby can read the knowing amusement in them.
It almost makes her angry all over again.
She isn't prepared when Ziva comes into her lab, without any of the others. It's rare that they spend time together without the buffer of the team.
Almost immediately, Ziva is invading her personal space, standing just a little too close or leaning over her shoulder as she looks at test results.
"You have been watching me," Ziva whispers, her breath warm against Abby's ear, as she steps passed Abby to stand beside her.
Abby cuts her eyes to the side, but doesn't comment.
"Why have you been watching me?"
Abby tries to focus on the fingerprints blurring into a scroll of motion as the program searches for a match.
"It does not make sense to watch someone and also ignore them." Ziva folds her arms over her chest. "And you are one of the smartest people that I have ever met."
Ziva, Abby is realizing, in addition to being very persistent, is also highly skilled in the ancient art of flattery, but she won't crack.
"I haven't been watching you."
Ziva lets out a sharp snort. When she speaks however, her voice is silky and smooth. "We both know that is a lie."
Her fingers ghost over Abby's arm, running from the back of her hand up to the crook of her elbow. Abby's head snaps up to meet Ziva's eyes. She finds herself getting lost in them before she can help herself. She's so mesmerized by Ziva's eyes, the rich shades of brown in them, that she doesn't even notice until Ziva's lips are already against hers.
Abby draws back with a hiss of breath and eyes Ziva warily. She's not sure what to say. Her first instinct is to yell; protest; demand to know what the hell Ziva thinks she's doing, but something holds her back from following that instinct. Maybe it's the fact that she's still reeling from that kiss she's supposed to be pissed off about.
Ziva doesn't make things any easier as she smirks and brushes passed her before Abby even has a chance to find any other words.
An hour later, when Ziva comes back in with the rest of the team to be updated on what she's found with the evidence that they brought her, Abby's flustered and distracted. She glares any time Ziva crosses her line of sight. The whole team is aware that she's pissed, but not even Gibbs can determine what Ziva did to piss her off.
He brushes passed Ziva on the way out of the lab.
"Fix it," He mutters sharply, for her ears alone. "I don't care how. Fix it."
Ziva folds her arms over her chest. "I am working on it," She says slowly.
Gibbs gives her a curt nod before he walks away.
She waits until she's certain that there was no one else in hearing range before she looks back towards Abby. The Goth woman bustles around the room, moving between her computer and her other equipment, refusing to stand still.
"Was it so horrible a kiss?" Ziva doesn't come any closer, allowing Abby her space.
Abby freezes, and then finishes sliding the evidence she's handling back into it's bag and carefully seals it before she looks up at Ziva.
"I don't like you."
"You think you do not like me," Ziva corrects her. "You do not wish to like me. It makes you angry, because you do like me."
"What is this," Abby snarks, "Fifth grade?" She drops her hands to her hips and stalks closer to Ziva. "Punching me in the shoulder and running away is not an acceptable way to ask a girl for a date."
"I have not punched you in the shoulder - or anywhere else. You would remember if I had," Ziva said calmly, "But you are correct."
"I am? I am." Abby repeats more solidly, struggling to hold on to her anger.
"You are." Ziva turns on her heel and walks away, heading towards the elevator.
Abby can't help but notice the extra sway in Ziva's hips as she walks away, and almost groans as she notices herself noticing. Ziva can't be right; she just can't.
The next morning there's a single black rose lying in plain view on top of her keyboard when she comes into her lab. There's no note or no hint about who it's from.
The unexpected gesture is a surprise and it leaves Abby smiling and just a little bit distracted all morning. She tackles Gibbs with a hug when he comes down and thanks him, but his expression is bewildered and she realizes almost immediately that her flower was not from him.
Similar conversations with McGee and DiNozzo leave her both puzzled and curious. Later that afternoon, she steps out to get some trace from Ducky in autopsy. When she returns, a fresh Caf-Pow sits next to her Mass Spec and to her surprise all of the paperwork that she's been putting off to rush this through for Gibbs has been straightened and organized just the way she likes it but never has time to do.
Her mind is working overtime now, every second she's not focusing on the case.
She's distracted and not a little bit annoyed that she can't figure out who her mysterious donor is. She goes through the daily grind in a secure work place; this can't be the work of some random stranger.
When Ziva comes in, she's edgy, bouncing on the tip of her toes, waiting for a report to finish up so that she can finally - finally - go home.
"What do you want?"
Okay, so her tone isn't the nicest. It's been a long day. She really shouldn't be feeling that bad about it. She would have done the same to Tony or Tim. Honestly.
"You were right," Ziva says, unperturbed.
"Okay." Her pigtails are bouncing off the top of her shoulders, jiggling up and down in time with the rest of her.
"I like you, Abby." Ziva's statement is calm, almost bland, but firm. "You're funny and smart and you have the ability to scare grown men. I like that skill in a woman." Her hand drops to Abby's shoulder and the bouncing slows, until Abby is standing still in front of her.
Slowed down, possibly for the first time that day, Abby suddenly finds herself staring into Ziva's eyes. She misses the next thing that Ziva says completely.
Ziva smiles slowly, knowingly. It's infuriating, but also kinda charming. "I asked if you would like to get a drink with me tonight. As a date."
"Oh," Abby says slowly. All the reasons why she shouldn't flash through her mind. There's a lot that she can think of, and then she looks back into Ziva's eyes.
She always had a thing for brown eyes.
"Yeah. Yeah, I'd like that."
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