DISCLAIMER: I don't own these wonderful characters. They're owned by Dick Wolf, CBS and scads of other people, who might also include the Navy. Regardless, they definitely aren't owned by me. I'm only borrowing them - no copyright infringement is occurring, no money is being made, no profit is to be had anywhere.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Del Robertson


"It was a dark and stormy night."

Special Agent Ziva David jumped up from the sofa, crossing the room in three long strides. Cautiously pulling the curtain back a minuscule amount, she peered through the blinds. Palm itching, she surreptitiously rubbed her flesh across the butt of the gun holstered at her side.

"It is neither of those things," she argued, "Dusk, bordering on dark, I'll give you. But, not stormy."

"You take things to literal sometimes, Ziva," Abby giggled. "I was only trying to set the mood." She gingerly patted the vacant seat next to her on the sofa. "Come back and sit down."

"Ah," Ziva blushed, only slightly embarrassed at yet another thing she had misinterpreted.

America was a strange country to her - with lots of strange ways. And, although she was learning every single day, she knew there was so much she still did not understand. Some days, she wondered if she would ever truly learn everything there was to know about this new country. Truth be told, she hadn't wanted to learn. If the country was typically made up of jerks like Tony, she would have been ecstatic to have been deported.

But, then she met Abby, the cute Goth girl that could crack any computer-encrypted code given nothing more than an hour and a super-sized cup of caffeine. And, under her tutelage, Ziva no longer felt stupid about the little everyday things she hadn't yet mastered. Granted, Abby sometimes couldn't resist the urge to tease; but she never did it in a mean or cruel fashion. Her easy acceptance of Ziva, the way she didn't judge, had slowly allowed her to worm her way into the deadly assassin's heart.

Slowly, inexorably, she found herself spending more and more time in the young woman's presence. And, inevitably, she was lured to Abby's apartment for what promised to be a truly traditional Halloween-filled night. At least, according to Abby. Upon hearing that, Tony and McGee had warned Ziva to back out before she found herself at the local cemetery, dancing naked in the moonlight and digging up the corpse of their former teammate, Kate Todd.

Despite their heart-felt warnings and concern for her safety, she had readily accepted Abby's invitation. She had expected the apartment to be decorated for the holiday, and she was not disappointed. The entire apartment was decorated in spooky decor, from the blood-curdling scream resonating from the door bell to the cobwebs hanging from every corner. A smoke machine was cleverly hidden behind a tombstone, creating a mysterious fog in Abby's rendition of a graveyard. And, of course, Abby herself was decorated, too. Ziva had always secretly compared Abby to a creature of the night, but even she hadn't guessed the young woman would make such a convincing vampiress.

They had what Abby described as a traditional Halloween dinner of spaghetti. At Ziva's unconvinced look, Abby went into great detail to describe how the spaghetti was supposed to resemble worms. And, they were dining in the middle of the makeshift cemetery, so naturally, they would be eating worms for dinner. With blood red wine, of course.

From there, the night had progressed to a random scattering of trick-or-treaters. Ziva had been amused at Abby's antics, ranging from "Oh, isn't she cute" to every little Princess that came to the door to "I've come to drink your blood" to every little monster and hobgoblin she saw. She was so gifted with children and had such an easy rapport with them, it was a pleasure for Ziva to sit back and merely watch Abby at her work.

Finally, the last of the trick-or-treaters were gone and they had settled onto the sofa in front of the television. "So, it was a dark and stormy night?" Ziva prompted, reaching for a handful of popcorn from the bowl situated on Abby's lap.

"Yeah," Abby stated around a mouthful of popcorn, never taking her eyes from the screen. "And, the main characters, Brad and Janet, they're on the way to see an old friend when their car has a flat. But, they come upon an old castle out in the countryside and they ask the handyman if they can use the phone."

"They should have brought a spare. And a cell phone," Ziva decided.

"Look at the outfits and the car. This film was made before cell phones were created. And, if they had a spare, well, that would have just ruined all the fun."

"Being stranded in the woods on a dark and stormy night is fun?" One dark eyebrow arched.

"It can be, if you're with the right person," Abby giggled, slapping Ziva's leg playfully. "Oh, look, there's the mad scientist," she said, pointing at the screen. She flicked a glance at her companion. "Take off your shoes and get comfortable," she advised, "We've got three more movies to go."

"Three?" asked Ziva.

"Three." She cast a sidelong look at the woman beside her, cutting her off before she could even think of voicing a protest. "Tradition."

Wordlessly, Ziva did as she was told. Kicking off her sneakers, she turned, tucking both bare feet beneath herself as she settled into the sofa. Abby fought down a snicker. She'd expected Ziva to run screaming from the apartment long before now, but the agent had gamely put up with every request she'd made. Of course, it probably hadn't hurt that Abby had batted her eyes with every suggestion and pointed out that it was 'tradtion'.

Secretly, though, Abby had convinced herself that it was the batting of the eyes, the flirtatious way she posed every request. And, she was counting on her intuition that told her the mysterious agent would refuse her nothing. To Abby, Halloween was almost like Christmas. And, there was no better gift she could think of than to spend her holiday with the Ziva. Intelligent, aloof, enigmatic, sexy and dangerous; she was everything that Abby could want. A self-assured smile on her face, she turned her attention once again to the movie.

Ziva anticipated the next grisly chainsaw killing and braced herself accordingly. After watching the first two movies, it didn't take much deductive reasoning to see the pattern. First, came the scantily clad woman, breathing loudly, bosoms heaving, placed in a irresponsible, implausible situation. For example: Knowing there's a crazed psycho on the loose, you strip down for a pajama party and answer the door when there's a mysterious knock without so much as looking through the peephole.

Cue the scary music.

Then, the fake-out to lull you into a false sense of security.

Followed by the sudden leap from out of nowhere by the chainsaw-wielding maniac that is bent on cutting to pieces said scantily-clad buxom-blonde.

In turn, followed by Abby's leap into her arms.

The last part of the equation she didn't mind so much. Truth be told, she was rather looking forward to it. Abby screamed, launched herself across the sofa, and latched onto Ziva's midsection, burying her face in the agent's bosom. Ziva cooed reassuring words in her ear, stroked strong hands down Abby's back, rubbing in comforting circles. Gradually, Abby would look up, barely opening one eye, peering out at the screen until she was convinced the scary part was past.

"I thought you'd seen this before," Ziva stated, looking down at an obviously still shaken Abby.

"I have."

"Then," Ziva pursed her lips, "You should know when all the scary parts are coming."

"I do."

Ziva arched an eyebrow. "Then, why - " she shrugged her shoulders, as if to draw attention to their embrace.

"Just because I know it's coming doesn't make it any less scary," Abby defended herself.

"Then, why watch it?"

"Tradition," came the reply she'd been expecting.

Ziva felt Abby stiffen as if she meant to move out of her embrace again. Inexplicably, she felt her arms tighten about the other woman, effectively trapping her against her body. "Is there a tradition that says you have to stay on the opposite side of the sofa?" she asked. When she received no answer, she continued, "Because, if there's not, I wouldn't mind you staying here."

She felt Abby settle down in her arms, laying her head upon her breast. Reaching behind her, Ziva grabbed the edge of a throw, pulled it over to cover the both of them. Settling back, she turned her head towards the screen. Finding her nose now level with the top of Abby's head, she inhaled deeply, breathing in the scent of her shampoo.

Abruptly, Abby sat up, dropping a quick kiss on Ziva's lips. "Thanks, Ziva," she smiled, already settling back into Ziva's embrace, laying her head against her breast before Ziva could even think to react. "I'm really glad you're here."

"And, I'm glad you invited me to share your traditional Halloween," Ziva offered. "I'm having a great time."

"Good." One of Abby's hands splayed over the opening of Ziva's shirt, long, black fingernails delicately biting into exposed skin. "Just wait'll we have sex in my coffin." She heard Ziva's heartbeat triple beneath her ear; a sly grin spread over her features. "Tradition."

The End

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