DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to: cirroco_desade for the editing help.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Minor spoilers for "Capitol Offense"

Sciuto's Rules
By Mammothluv


Rule 14: Never start a day without caffeine

Abby rubbed her eyes as she stumbled into her kitchen. Just moments ago her alarm had pulled her out of a particularly pleasant dream about...

"Good morning."

"Huh? Who said that?"

Turning quickly to find the source of the greeting, Abby narrowly avoided slamming her head on a cabinet. She spotted Ziva sitting at the kitchen counter, sipping a coffee and looking obnoxiously chipper.

"Are those sweats you're wearing, Ziva? Have you been out running?"

Abby let out an exhausted sigh as she fell dramatically into the chair next to Ziva. Her relationship with Ziva was new enough that she was still getting used to their differing sleep schedules. Ziva went from sleep to perky - well, Ziva's version of perky, anyway - in less than a second. Abby was usually the more chipper of the two of them but not until she'd had her first CafPow of the day.

"I have been running," Ziva replied enthusiastically. "Early to bed and early to rise gets the worm, Abby! I don't know why you never run with me. Perhaps if you'd run you would not look so frumpy in the morning."

"Frumpy? I don't look frumpy."

Looking down at her pajamas, Abby frowned. They were cute pajamas - black with glittery little cartoon skulls. She'd picked them out specifically because Ziva was staying over. They were definitely not frumpy.

"Oh, not frumpy. I meant grumpy. Yes! You look grumpy. That is it."

Ziva made an exaggerated frown and slumped in her chair in imitation of Abby.

"It's Monday, Ziva. It's Monday and it's early and I haven't had my caffeine. Can you please not mock me?"

"You are quite unpleasant in the morning. Perhaps this will help."

Ziva reached into a bag sitting on the counter and produced an extra large CafPow which she handed to Abby. Abby took a gulp and offered Ziva a bright smile.

"There. That is better," Ziva said.

"You got me a CafPow."

Abby's smile widened as she took another sip. There were definite perks to Ziva being a morning person and early morning CafPow delivery was one of them.

"Yes. I picked it up on the way back from my run and, seeing how you behave before you have had one, I am glad that I did."

Abby leaned over to give Ziva a quick kiss on the cheek before springing from her chair.

"You're the best, Ziva," she shouted as she ran off to get dressed.

Rule 23: Let no crime go unpunished.

Observing Abby from the doorway to her lab, Ziva noted that Abby was careful with her movements as she placed a drop of blood on a slide and then positioned that slide under the microscope lens. Her anger seemed to have cooled since she'd discovered McGee was the cupcake thief.

Ziva enjoyed watching Abby work. She loved the way Abby's forehead would crinkle just slightly in the center as she concentrated on a piece of evidence. It was a few moments before Ziva could bring herself to interrupt.

"You were mean to McGee," she finally said.

Abby looked up from her work and turned her attention to Ziva. At the mention of McGee, Abby's anger seemed to return.

"He stole my cupcake."

Abby stomped her feet to emphasize her displeasure and Ziva did her best not to smile at the childish gesture.

"It was just a cupcake, Abby."

"No! It was from you. It was a Ziva cupcake. A chocoholics choice cupcake. It was my Zivacake! And McGee stole it."

Ziva crossed her arms and leaned against Abby's desk. She was usually able to figure Abby out so this unusual reaction to McGee's thievery was beginning to bug her.

"McGee and Tony always steal food. It is obnoxious, yes, but I do not see why it was such a big deal this time."

"Well, it's just that it was the first gift you got me since we... you know," Abby said waving her hand between herself and Ziva. "Well, you did bring me a CafPow but I didn't count that. Food seems like more of a gift than a beverage, doesn't it? I wonder why that is. Plus the cupcake was in a box with a little ribbon on it so it looked giftish and..."

Ziva knew from experience that she had to interrupt Abby or she would never get to the point.

"Abby, I am losing track of what you are taking about. You are saying that because the cupcake was the first gift I gave you since we started sleeping together..."

"The first, non-beverage gift," Abby said, interrupting.

Ziva nodded.

"Since this was the first non-beverage gift I had given you since we began sleeping together, it was significant?" Ziva asked.

"Of course it was. And it it isn't fair that McGee got to enjoy it instead of me!"

Abby stomped her feet again. Ziva considered her reasoning and decided Abby was correct.

"You are right. He deserved it."

"Thank you. He did deserve it."

Though it did not seem to satisfy Abby entirely, she seemed pleased that Ziva had agreed with her. Sitting down in her chair, Abby cast a forlorn look at her cupcakeless fridge.

"Still it is not a complete loss," Ziva said. "You are cute when you are angry."

Ziva wasn't sure what else to say so she reached for Abby and slowly began to massage her shoulders. Bending down, Ziva placed a soft kiss on Abby's forehead. She was still figuring this relationship with Abby out but she was certain she'd done the right thing when she felt Abby's muscles begin to relax under her hands and Abby looked up at her and smiled. Tomorrow she would just have to get Abby a better cupcake and she would shoot McGee if he so much as looked at it.

Rule 3: Music can never be too loud.

Upon exiting the elevator, Tim found Tony with his ear pressed against the closed door of Abby's lab. Loud music was blaring from inside the lab.

"Tony, what are you doing?"

He had to shout the question to be heard over Abby's music.

"Shut up, Probie. I'm doing reconnaissance."

"Well, I need to talk to Abby. So, whatever you're doing, get out of my way."

Moving to the side, Tony watched McGee attempt to open Abby's door.

"It's no good McGeek. Door's locked."

"Thank you, Tony, for that helpful information."

Doing his best to ignore Tony, McGee thumped loudly on the door. When there was no response, Tony pushed McGee out of the way and once again pressed his ear to the door.

"What are you listening for anyway, Tony?"

"Ha!" Tony shouted as he pointed triumphantly at the door. "Did you hear that? I definitely heard a moan."

"I think that's the music, Ton... Wait. What do you a mean a moan? You think Abby is...? In there? No way."

Moving closer, Tim pressed his ear against the door. He was about to call Tony's bluff when he heard what was definitely a moan coming from inside the lab.

"Who do you think she's in there with?" he asked Tony.

Tony answered his question with a smack upside the head.

"Don't be dense, McGee. It's obvious. I knew it. It's been going on for weeks right in front of our eyes."

Tony was doing what could only be described as a DiNozzo victory dance. He was jumping from foot to foot and pointing at McGee and then at the door.

"I knew it before you did!" he shouted.

Before Tim could ask Tony what exactly was so obvious, the door to the lab swished open and Ziva walked out and cast a bemused look in their direction.

"Button," Tony said, pointing at Ziva.

"What?" Ziva asked.

"Your top button is undone," Tony said while once again pointing at Ziva's shirt.

"Ah, so it is."

Ziva buttoned her shirt as she boarded the elevator. She smiled at McGee and Tony as the doors closed.

Just then, Abby poked her head out into the hallway. McGee was pretty sure he saw her adjusting her skirt as she asked, "Did you guys need something?"

All he could do was stare at Abby. Tony was right, he really hadn't seen that coming.

The End

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