Curiouser and Curiouser
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“I cannot believe Gibbs made us come out here,” Ziva said, disgusted, as she and McGee wandered through the lot filled with hundreds of metal shipping containers.

McGee shone his flashlight into one of the containers, then turned to face Ziva. “I told you not to turn around.”

She threw her arms up. “How was I supposed to know that Gibbs was standing there and I would knock his coffee to the floor? I don’t have these secret spy skills that everyone seems to think I have.” She looked back at the container on her right, then up at the one stacked above it, sighing. “Give me a boost.”

McGee dropped his flashlight into his pants and walked over to her, squatting so she could climb onto his shoulders. “No one thinks you have secret spy skills, Ziva. Except for maybe Tony. But he’s an ass.”

He stood, Ziva balancing precariously atop him, and she reached her hand down for his flashlight, which he handed to her. She shone the light into the open box, letting out a noise of discovery as she did so.

“What?” McGee asked, attempting to ignore the fact that her boots were grinding into his neck.

“Looks like our cash,” she announced, flicking the flashlight off again.

“I think you mean ‘stash,’ Ziva,” McGee said, grunting under her weight.

“Whatever,” she said, exasperated, “the drugs are here, and that’s what important.” She paused. “I’m going in.”

“You can’t go in there by yourself.”

She looked down at him, but couldn’t really see him. “Well, then, you can join me. Not an issue.”

He tipped his head slightly, hitting Ziva’s leg as he did so. “And how am I supposed to get up there?”

Ziva shrugged, already climbing into the container. As she lifted her second foot off McGee’s shoulders, he rolled them in an attempt to get feeling back to that area of his body, and when he looked up, Ziva was looking down at him. “Climb.”

He let out a short laugh. “Me? Climb? That’s like asking Abby to give up Caf-Pow!s. Not gonna happen.” Ziva glared down at him, and he finally crumbled. “Fine. But you are not telling Tony about this.”

Ziva smirked in triumph as McGee latched his hands onto the lower container, hefting himself unceremoniously upwards, struggling to keep his balance. She held back a laugh as he continued to slip downwards before deciding she should help him. “Give me your hand,” she ordered, holding her hand down to him.

“Right, like you’re going to drag me up there,” he grunted, still struggling to climb to the upper container.

“Maybe it’s one of my secret spy skills,” she deadpanned, and he looked up at her, a shocked look on his face. “A joke, McGee. Come on. I’m sure I’ve dealt with heavier men.”

“Thank you, Ziva,” McGee said sarcastically, and after another failed attempt to make his leg stay in place, he relented. “Okay.” He lifted a hand to Ziva, who grabbed it with both her hands and proceeded to drag him up into the container with her, a difficult feat.

As she finally succeeded in pulling him up next to her, they felt a jolt and McGee rolled into Ziva. “What the hell was that?” Ziva commented, shaking her head from the movement.

McGee stood up shakily. “I think that,” he replied, looking out upon the lot, which was jerkily moving away from their view, “was us being lifted.”

“What?” Ziva pushed herself to her feet, wobbling, and McGee stuck out his arms to catch her should she fall. As she made her way to the front of the container to look out, it started swaying back and forth like a pendulum, causing the two of them to grab for the walls.

“I think we should go to the back,” McGee yelled to her over the sound of what they could now tell was some sort of crane.

Ziva nodded her agreement and they felt their way along the walls to the back of the container, which was filled with garbage bags full of what they could only assume was cocaine.

“Well,” Ziva said as she surveyed the loot, “at least we’ll have something soft to sit on.” She made as if to sit, but McGee grabbed her arm before she could. She turned and looked at him, a curious look on her face.

“You don’t want to risk exposing us,” he explained. “If those bags really do have drugs in them, and it’s loose...”

“Well, then, I guess we’ll just have to find out, won’t we?” Ziva said, kneeling to the ground and pulling a knife from her pants.

“Ziva, no!” McGee cried out, but she had slashed the top from one of the bags already. She chuckled at her discovery. “What’s in there? Is it drugs?”

“Gee, McGee, you sound as if you’re about to pee your pants like a little boy,” Ziva teased, her face over the bag. He didn’t answer, so she turned to face him, her hands still on the bag. “It’s not drugs.”

His shoulders slumped in relief. “Well, then, what’s in there?”

She brought her hand forward. In it was...

“Bananas?” McGee asked, confused.

“Apparently so,” Ziva said. She tossed the banana she was holding from one hand to the other. “Look at the bright side, McGee: At least we won’t go hungry.”

He slumped down along the wall. “I wonder when Gibbs will realize we’re gone.”

Ziva shrugged, contemplating the fruit she held. “Sooner or later. He always does. Like when Tony and I were trapped in that container.”

“Ziva, you easily could have died then! I don’t want that same thing to happen here.”

She looked up from the banana. “Panicking isn’t going to help anything, McGee.”

He sighed. “I realize that. I just... He was really mad, Ziva. You spilled his coffee.”

Ziva rolled her eyes. “I don’t think he would let us die, McGee.”

“I don’t know. I’ve been working with him longer than you.”

“Exactly. He’s not going to let anything happen to you. Me, I’m not so sure about.” She glanced at the banana again. “Do you think these are laced with drugs?”

McGee studied her. She was still unsure about her role at NCIS, feeling like she was constantly letting Gibbs down when she made one tiny mistake, and he wasn’t helping that with his negativity. “I’m sorry, Ziva,” he apologized, causing her to look up at him.

“What do you have to be sorry about? I was the one who convinced you to join me up here.”

“That’s not what I meant,” he corrected, but she waved his comment away.

“Don’t apologize. It’s understandable. I screwed up.”

“Ziva,” he groaned, “don’t do this to yourself. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made more than I can count at this job. And you know Tony’s not perfect.” She nodded her head in agreement, still studying the banana. “Not even Gibbs knows everything. You can’t let mistakes get you down.”

Ziva dropped the banana back into the bag. “But if I make mistakes, they cost people their lives. How am I expected to be an officer of the law if innocent people die as a result of my actions?” She looked back at McGee, her eyes filled with something he wasn’t used to seeing in her – fear.

He instantly softened, and for a moment, she was nothing but a woman to him. “Ziva,” he said, leaning forward.

She shook her head. “No, I’m just getting emotional.” She brushed her hands over her pants. “Maybe all the sayings are true, women shouldn’t be in law enforcement.”

“But Ziva, you’re not...”

“If you even think of telling me I’m not a woman...”

“You’re not like other women,” he finished, causing her to look up at him. “I think you know that just as much as everyone else.”

“Don’t remind me,” she scoffed. “Just because I’m a trained killer, men are afraid of me.” She shook her head and then looked over at McGee, who was raising his eyebrow at her. She laughed. “Okay, so that’s understandable. But most men around me... It’s like I have bigger testicles than they do.”

“Um, I think you mean balls, and yes, pleasant image there.”

Ziva ignored him, continuing on. “Sometimes I just wish a man would surprise me, kiss me out of the blue or make me a romantic dinner. And that’s not even close to saying what I’d want a man to do in the bedroom...”

“Ziva, should we be talking about this?” McGee squirmed in his spot.

Ziva glanced up, just seeming to notice his presence. “Why is it that men discuss their sex lives with each other, but when a woman tries to bring sex up, it’s an issue?” She stared him down, waiting for an answer.

“I didn’t realize we were discussing sex lives and let’s please not get into that,” McGee replied quickly, not wanting to be having this discussion with Ziva, of all people.

“Why?” Ziva twisted her legs under her and crawled over to sit next to McGee. “Are you...” she ran a finger down his chest, “scared?”

“Of course not,” he responded, attempting to avoid touching her, for fear that things would get unprofessional very quickly if he did so. “I just don’t think it’s appropriate for co-workers to discuss things of that nature.”

She sighed and flopped against the wall, thinking. Finally, she spoke. “If I were the last woman on Earth, would you sleep with me?”

“Ohhh, Zivaaaa,” McGee moaned, wanting to get off that subject once and for all.

“Just answer the question.”

He sighed. “Yes, I would sleep with you.”

“What if we were about to die right now?”

He rolled his eyes. “Or if we were about to die. Yes.” She opened her mouth to say something else, and he continued. “Or if Tony dared us to or the Raiders won the Super Bowl or we elected a woman as president. I would have sex with you any of those times or any other time.” He finished his ramble and looked at Ziva, who was giving him a wide-eyed look. “Sorry.”

“No, don’t apologize.” She looked down at her hands for a minute, then spoke again. “Maybe I feel the same way.”

He snuck a glance out of the corner of his eye at her, and she did the same to him. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” he asked.

“If you’re thinking, ‘I wonder if anyone can see us up here,’ then yes,” she responded. And with that, Ziva was straddling McGee, kissing him with fervor. She unbuttoned his shirt as she did so, and he unzipped her sweatshirt and slid it down her arms.

“This is a really bad idea,” McGee muttered between kisses, then turned his attention to Ziva’s neck.

Ziva made a little purring sound in her throat as he nibbled on the delicate skin. “Oh, but it is so good.”

McGee chuckled, a low sound that rumbled through Ziva’s neck and caused her to let out a deep moan, which in turn caused a certain part of his anatomy to rise to the occasion, so to speak. “If Gibbs finds out...”

“Don’t go mentioning Gibbs and ruining the mood,” Ziva said, her head thrown back for McGee to gain better access to her throat. He stopped kissing her and sighed against her neck, and she brought her head back down. “What?”

“I can’t do this.”

“Unless that’s your flashlight I’m feeling, I’d say you were pretty capable,” Ziva commented, looking him in the eye.

He glared at her. “You know what I meant.” She sighed and turned her body, remaining on his lap and leaning against the wall with him. He took one of her hands in his, running his thumb across her fingers. “This sucks.”

“Well, no one has to know,” Ziva rationalized. “Who’s going to see us up here, anyway?”

He shook his head, his cheek brushing her curls as he did so. “You know damn well that I wouldn’t let this be a one-time thing if we did this, right?”

“Yes, and your point is...?”

“We don’t need to complicate things,” he responded, frustrated by her casualness.

She turned again, so she sat on his knees and could look him in the eye while talking to him. “Who says things will get complicated? It’s just sex.” He sighed and looked down at his lap. “Oh, I see. You want a relationship.”

“No, no, it’s not that,” he corrected her. “I just don’t want things to be weird between us if something bad happened.”

“You don’t have any FTDs, do you?”

“FTD is a floral delivery service. I think you mean STDs.”

“Yes, yes, that. You don’t have any, do you?”

McGee gave her a shocked look. “No, I don’t have any STDs.”

“Well, then, what’s the problem?”

“Ziva, I’m bound to get attached to you if we start having sex...”

“Aw, that’s sweet.”

He gave her a look. “And that’s going to be an issue. Not to mention that Gibbs is practically psychic when it comes to reading people. He’d be able to tell and one or both of us would get transferred.”

“I don’t think he’s as observant as you give him credit for. Either that, or he really doesn’t believe in Rule 12.” She avoided his eyes as she spoke, looking outside at the swaying scenery.

McGee furrowed his eyebrows. “Why do you say that? Are you trying to say...”

She shrugged. “Maybe I’ve been hiding some feelings.”

“You’re not in love with me, are you?” McGee asked, shocked.

“Don’t sound so pleased,” she said, sliding from his lap and facing the opening of the container. “And no, I’m not in love with you.”

“Sorry,” McGee apologized. “You just took me by surprise, that’s all. I thought you had some kind of thing for Tony...”

“Tony?” Ziva spit out. “And what would my reasoning be for being attracted to him?”

“Well, let’s see,” he said, putting a finger to his chin and pretending to think about it. “He’s attractive...”

Ziva snorted. “You’ve noticed?”

He glared at her. “He’s a seasoned cop, he knows his way around the ladies... He is the guy to be attracted to at NCIS.”

Ziva glanced back at him, hearing something in his voice that said he was vulnerable, too. “You don’t give yourself very much credit, Tim.”

He looked up at her at the use of his first name. “I guess that makes two of us.”

She slowly slid back towards him. “So.”

“So.” He nodded his head slowly a few times, then sighed, holding out his right arm. “I guess we can attempt privacy.”

Ziva smiled and scooted back to lean into his embrace, wrapping her left arm around his waist as she did so. “So that solves one problem. And now to figure out our other.”

He looked at her. “How the hell are we getting down from here?”

Ziva sighed. “That I do not know. But hey, we do have sustenance.” She leaned across his lap and dug in the garbage bag, pulling out two bananas.

“Uh, I don’t know if we should...” McGee started, but Ziva had already peeled her banana and started eating it before he could finish his sentence. He looked at her in anticipation. “Well?”

“Hmm,” she muttered.

“ “Hmm?” That’s not good. Uh, what can we use to flush it out of your system?” McGee attempted to stand, but Ziva threw her leg over his, leaving him sitting.

“These aren’t very ripe,” she finished, swallowing the bit of fruit in her mouth and grinning at him.

McGee let out a breath, his shoulders slumping with the movement. “You’re not funny, Ziva. There could have been drugs in there.”

She laughed. “Oh, my silly little McGee.” He frowned at the use of his last name again. “Who would lace bananas with drugs? Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people would end up high as kites.” McGee gave her a look of appreciation, more for getting the saying right than for the rationalizing. “So eat up.” She handed him the other banana.

He took it, shaking his head and grinning at her. “What an adventure, Ziva, what an adventure.” Just as he was peeling the fruit, the container swayed even more than it had been, and Ziva grabbed for McGee, and they held onto each other and the walls and floor of the container, trying their damndest to hang on and not fall out of the now rapidly descending box.

Before they knew it, though, they were back on solid ground. McGee rubbed his head, as he had hit it against the side of the container during the fall, and he turned to see how Ziva was, but she was nowhere in sight.

He instantly panicked, assuming she had slid from the container and was now dredged in the water somewhere or, worse, sprawled on the concrete of some parking lot. “Ziva?” he called out, in the hopes that she was somewhere around and had just used some sort of superhuman speed to escape the container. “Ziva!” He bit his lower lip. “Please be okay, please be okay,” he repeated as he stood. Well, attempted to stand.

He found that standing wasn’t going to go over so well and ended up sitting again, agonizing that Ziva could be out there, dead, and there was nothing he could have done to prevent it.

Suddenly, the sound of footsteps erupted across the pavement. He perked up, calling out, “Ziva, is that you?”

A form appeared in front of the container – Ziva. McGee let out a huge breath. “Oh, Ziva, thank God, I thought you were dead. Can you help me up?”

She rushed in and helped him stand, and his arms instantly went around her, and that’s when he noticed the men standing behind her. He quickly ended the embrace and addressed them. “Gibbs. Tony.”

Tony smirked at him. “Someone seemed a little too happy to see you again, Zee-vah.” He waggled his eyebrows at McGee. Gibbs smacked him upside the head. “Right, Boss. Find the drugs.” He scurried off to investigate other containers, leaving McGee and Ziva alone with Gibbs.

“I think I’m gonna...sit down again,” McGee announced, and lowered himself carefully to the floor of the container.

“You guys discover anything of interest while you were in there?” Gibbs asked, raising an eyebrow at the two of them.

“Yes,” Ziva said defiantly, and McGee sighed, sure that she was going to reveal the contents of their conversation, even if she said she wasn’t.

Tony heard the content of the conversation and stopped in his investigation to listen in, leaning his body towards the trio.

Gibbs jutted his head forward. “What? Not a mind reader, David.”

“Oh, oh yes, of course,” Ziva said, and McGee was sure he was about to lose his job. She turned around, pointing to the back of the container, then faced Gibbs again. “Bananas.”

“What?”

“Bananas. Go look for yourself.” With that, she turned and exited the container, then faced in again, giving McGee a wink. He attempted to keep a straight face, as he saw Tony watching them and didn’t want him to suspect anything.

Gibbs snooped through the bags and then turned himself. “It’s bananas.”

“So we’re still looking for the drugs?” Tony called over.

“No, DiNozzo, we’re going home,” he replied. “Of course we’re still looking for the drugs!” As Tony retreated back to search the remaining containers, Gibbs stopped and addressed the two remaining agents. “And if I hear even one peep out of you two involving your sex life, you’re outta here.” He walked away, leaving both McGee and Ziva boggled as to how he knew. Gibbs just smiled as he walked to his car. He knew because, well, Gibbs knew everything that went on with his team. Call it ... super secret spy skills.