Ziva: All Work and No Play??

Hushed tones, everyone looked studious, keeping their heads down, avoiding eye contact; the CEO stepped from the lift and stared, impressed. Ziva glanced up as he walked through catching his eye. Smiling, Ziva was keen to show a positive and polite impression and greeted him warmly, asking if he enjoyed the tour. Conversation flowed as he showed interest in her role, project and life. The supervisor waited patiently, her colleagues looked on with hesitant glances, wondering when Ziva would take the hint. His next question, interrupted by the supervisor, reminded him there would be other occasions to chat with the staff at the upcoming party. Nodding, with an apology, he moved on, Ziva beamed with renewed confidence, impressed that the company leaders were so in tune with the workforce, that they wanted to speak and engage. Her supervisor rolled his eyes, the tilted head telling her to return to work instead of daydreaming.

Arian ruffled his black hair and leaned on her desk, pressing random keys on her keyboard to annoy her, she brushed him off with a playful giggle. Late Friday afternoon with most people leaving for the day, Arian came to ask Ziva on a date, she blushed unsure if dating co-workers was sensible, worried that things would get awkward whichever route they took. Perched on her desk he smiled, a loose curl flopping in front of his face, she had refused his advances a couple of times, this time however, Ziva took a deep breath, staring at the program code that had been giving her a headache, she finally said – maybe he could pick her up at seven.

A table for four was a disappointing change to the evening as Arian’s housemates joined them making a double date. Lee had a shock of white hair, cream suit and natural tan, he regarded her silently as he took the last chair next to her. He had nothing much to say, and Arian’s dissatisfaction with the situation was evident. Miguel, however, was talkative, bordering on flirtatious. Being a vet, he loved reciting stories, dog running off with pizza slices, cats falling from first-story windows and the chaos of a busy surgery. Ziva felt her own stories were bland and unimaginative, except when sharing the crazy things her brother did

The foods arrival brought a change in mood for the couples, Lee relaxed as the wine flowed and Arian managed to smile, his attention focused on an engaging Ziva, her confidence growing as the evening progressed. Time slipped by, with irritated waiters clearing tables, trying to interrupt their spirited laughter and vibrant conversation, keen they should move to the bar area so they could close the restaurant. It was 3 am, realising they were alone, the couples made their way into the pre-dawn hours to stroll through Oasis Springs. Its desert lands looked inviting at this time, rather than in the blistering heat of the day. Ziva wondered what possessed her grandmother’s family, to stay in such a place for so long.

Aria slept intermittently, checking to see if Ziva had arrived home, surprised each time to find her bed not slept in; deepening the creases of her brow, worried where she could be. Downstairs, Aria stared into the pale fridge, light illuminating its choices; drumming up inspiration to bake comfort food, the need to keep herself busy. As she reached for the milk, the key clicked in the back door, the carton split, spilling the contents, Aria steadied herself against the fridge, shocked and relieved the intruder was Ziva. Glowing, Ziva swept across the kitchen full of apologies, helping to clean up the mess, gushing over the evening, new friendships and the delicious the food. Her animated enthusiasm continued, watching Aria dice fruit and threading them on skewers. Ziva followed her mother outside, pausing her monologue to light the barbecue. Perhaps it was the animals that drew her in, either way, Ziva found herself drawn to Miguel, her voice became softer and Aria noticed she blushed when recalling his stories, and a brighter pink pinched her cheeks when a message from him popped up on her phone

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