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The knife flashed through the air, flipping end over end faster than the eye could follow. It slammed into the wall and stuck, quivering with the impact. Almost an inch of blade was buried from sight in the wooden target.
"Wow." McGee was looking between Ziva and the target with an impressed, but slightly scared look on his face.
"Very impressive, Ziva," Tony drawled out her name in the way that he knew irritated her.
Ziva frowned slightly. She was slightly out of practice. Once she'd been able to determine whether she struck her target with the blade or the handle of the knife. It was a shame. She would have loved to demonstrate that skill to Tony at that particular moment. Leaving him with a resounding headache would have been her pleasure.
She ignored the men standing on either side of her and picked up the second knife. She paused, cocked her arm back and threw it in one smooth motion.
McGee choked. Tony's cough sounded forced, almost as if he'd been caught between laughing and choking himself. He turned to gloat at Ziva with a smirk.
"I think you missed, Ziva," He pointed to her second target. "The heart is a little bit higher...and to the left."
"Ah, but you would be wrong, Tony. I hit exactly what I was aiming for."
McGee swallowed. "Ah, right. I think I'll just go, uh, do something. Somewhere else."
"There was no need to scare the Probie like that, Ziva," Tony said in a mock-scolding voice.
"Perhaps he was not frightened. He may have been taking appropriate caution."
"Ah-ah, I don't buy that scary Mossad-assassin act, Ziva."
"It is not an act, Tony."
There was something about the way that she said those words that stopped Tony short. He looked in her eyes and what she saw kept him from making another glib remark.
"Maybe Probie's right. You are one scary woman, Ziva."
She smiled as if he'd just given her a compliment. Ziva held the smile until he was gone. Then she frowned and went to collect the knives that she'd already lodged in the target.
"Didn't Gibbs warn you about scaring the boys?"
The low purr of Jenny's voice made Ziva freeze in place. She wondered how long the Director had been watching them in silence.
"Tony does not make it easy to resist," Ziva admitted as she paced back to the place where she'd been standing before and chose a third target.
"Did you really do that on purpose?"
Ziva turned a hurt look on her. "Of course. I am not that out of practice." She turned her attention back to the target, and tried not to look back again as she heard Jenny moving up behind her.
Bringing her arm back for another throw, Ziva took a breath and then her arm lurched forward in a clumsy move as she felt warm fingers come into contact with silky skin.
The knife flew from her fingers and skittered across the floor until it slammed into the base of the target.
"Oh, you look pretty out of practice to me," Jenny remarked calmly.
"That," Ziva said plaintively, "Was not fair."
"I think you just need more practice," Jenny countered. "After all, practice makes perfect."
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