DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've had this idea since last summer after I moved. Thank goodness I finally got it out of my head!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Caught In A Bottle
By Jaina


The hint of pink that will soon turn into an angry red seemed obscene against the usual pale skin of Abby's legs. Ziva wasn't even entirely certain that she'd seen Abby in sunlight before. Of course Abby's burning skin wasn't the only indication that it was incredibly, painfully hot.

As Ziva leaned casually against a large tree that she thought might be a pine tree, she could feel the incredible weight of the air pressing down on her. It was so humid that she could almost see the moisture in the air. It was miserable really, and the worst part was that Abby hadn't seemed to notice the weather at all as she bounced around the long abandoned crime scene.

Ziva shifted her weight forward and stepped away from the tree that she had been leaning on. She took several quick steps forward and closed the distance between she and Abby.

"We are almost done here, yes?" Ziva asked, abruptly as she peered over Abby's shoulder.

Abby jumped in surprise, sucking in a sharp breath, before she turned to glare at Ziva. "That wasn't nice."

"Neither is making me spend the past six hours checking out a deserted clearing where a crime was committed many years ago and any evidence has long since been swept away by Father Nature."

"Mother Nature," Abby corrected, with a cock of her head, "Although I guess there could be a pretty good argument made for Father Nature too." She caught Ziva's glare and grinned even brighter. "It's not my fault that the Director decided to assign us to go over cold cases while Gibbs was at that 'Leadership In A New Era' Conference."

"No one thought Gibbs would actually go," Ziva countered, and then remembered why she had been subjected to this particular form of outdoor torture. "And were you not the one that suggested that you never got to go out in the field?"

Abby shrugged and pouted a little. "Gibbs never lets me."

Ziva bit back a comment about the frequency in which Abby found her life endangered even without the forensic scientist being present in the field. Gibbs' coma and her own bruises were still to fresh for Abby to find the comment amusing.

"Perhaps he realized how much you enjoyed standing in sweltering hot clearings, staring at nothing and decided to spare the rest of us," Ziva muttered just a little too loudly.

Abby grinned at Ziva's now obvious discomfort and the thin lines of sweat that were trickling down her face. "I thought you were supposed to be from a desert country?"

Ziva glared. "Heat, yes. Air that is so thick that you can almost drink, no," She bit the words off sharply.

"Well D.C. in August is nothing compared to New Orleans in August," Abby's face took on the slightly far away look that she always got now when she thought about the place where she had grown up. She looked around once more and then shrugged. "I didn't find anything new though, so I guess we can go."

She seemed disappointed and Ziva suddenly wished that she hadn't said anything about the heat. She had certainly endured worse and she and Abby were so rarely completely comfortable around one another lately. When she had first joined NCIS, Kate's death had stood to fresh between them and then more recently Gibbs' injuries and their subsequent argument had made things between them...tense.

Ziva glanced around the clearing, suddenly wishing that she would see something that might require them to investigate further. She gazed across the distance of the clearing and then blinked as a tiny light flickered and then went out. She dismissed it as the fading sun glinting off of a small rock or something else reflective and then squinted as she saw the flickering light again - this time distinctly in the air.

She grabbed Abby's arm, and pointed towards the far side of the clearing where she could now see the small lights flickering in and out.


To her surprise, Abby darted forward. "Lightning bugs," the Goth woman said with delight as she reached out and snatched one of the lights out of the air. "I haven't seen any in..." Abby thought and then rolled her eyes. "It's been a while."

"Lightning bugs," Ziva said questioningly as she looked more closely at the small bug flitting madly around inside the tiny cage made by Abby's loosely cupped hands.

"Yeah," Abby said enthusiastically, looking up at Ziva. "They glow. It's a chemical reaction. The enzyme luciferase acts on luciferin in this organ to stimulate light emission. Pretty cool, huh?" She asked as the little bug in her hands began to flicker.

Ziva nodded, content to watch and listen. She had never seen anything like these before. "Yes."

"When I was a little girl we used to catch these and put them in little jars with air holes in them to keep as little lights through the night." Abby sighed as she opened her hand to let the small bug go. "They were always dead by the next morning," She explained.

Ziva felt Abby shiver and then realized that her hand was still gripping Abby's elbow. "Your fingers are cold," Abby said apologetically.

Ziva looked down at the offending digits and felt the slight stickiness of Abby's skin under her fingers. "They are not," she responded indignantly. "How could they be?" She didn't wait for a response, but let go of Abby's arm with a certain reluctance. "You just have a sunburn."

Abby grimaced. "Bad day to forget my parasol at home."

"Perhaps you will tan," Ziva said optimistically.

Abby wrinkled her brow at the notion. "Not gonna happen." She gestured at her pale skin, now glowing pink. "I burn and then I peel and then I'm back to this." She shrugged.

Once again Ziva felt her eyes following the line of Abby's arm, as she took in the pink skin, until her gaze had drifted across Abby's shoulders, up her neck and past the studded leather collar that would surely create a tan line and met Abby's eyes. Only to find that Abby had caught her staring.

She tried to think of an excuse for her casual perusal, but for a Mossad agent, her mind was suddenly empty of plausible and completely untruthful explanations. Instead Ziva just forced herself to continue to meet Abby's gaze until she noticed that Abby was smiling just a little.

"It's like lightning," Abby said just as she ducked closer and pressed her lips to Ziva's.

The sensation of her lips against Ziva's were gone again just as quickly, but Ziva was left with the faint trace of Abby's lipstick on her own lips and a hint of salty moisture. She blinked for a moment and stared at Abby as she had the lightning bugs earlier.

She half-mimicked Abby's movements and slowly cupped her hand behind Abby's neck, pulling the taller woman down to her more slowly. She tasted Abby's lips again, and pulled away more slowly still.

"Yes, I think so."

The End

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