Ziva looked at the quiet office, no-one throwing crumpled paper with silly jokes written on them, bringing her cold coffee or proclaiming how annoyed they were with the coding. Arian had been absent for a week. She tried to call, dozens of messages filled his machine but nothing since their double date. Miguel continued to send flirtatious messages which she ignored, whilst the initial few had been sweet, they were becoming inappropriate. Brushing it aside the question remained, where was Arian?
Her rocket sat unfinished in the garden, she stared with vacant expression through the kitchen window, wondering what it would be like to jet off, get up close to the stars. Ziva jumped, Aria entered, a sheepish Arian followed, his gaze drifting from Ziva to the floor and then to Aria. They stood awkwardly for a moment until Aria realised it was she who needed to leave. A shift from one foot to the other, Arian indicated eventually that a discussion over chess might be in order. As they set out the board, the pair remained silent through the first set of moves, Ziva knew she was losing, pushing all her pieces towards him, it was time for answers. He dropped the rook sighing, pressing his lips together, his intentions had been honest, a first date, the potential for sparks, gatecrashed by his friend Lee, and his jealous emotions when Miguel showed interest in her. Arian really had meant to call her the next day to apologise when he received a call from a rival software company offering him a new job. It was a step up the career ladder, taking a leave of absence allowed him to familiarise himself with the new company. Rearranging the chess pieces, his fingers rolled the queen, placing it in front of Ziva, he paused admiring the way the stray lock of hair shaped her face. The promotion took him from Newcrest and while Ziva planned to move on too, to leave Aria in the care of her brother felt wrong and for a relationship that had yet to have a proper first date, it was a risk. Chess continued with what could have been lingering in their minds.
The dent in his bank balance was worth every penny, bowling, dinner, long strolls through the park and tonight, a movie. Rylan brushed his hair, gel held curls back and he posed in the mirror to ensure he looked the part of the boyfriend. Aria smiled, he looked so grown up and at last focused on work and this new woman; maybe he would bring her home, the changes in him were undeniable. His pranks, unfortunately, were still evident, a spider decorated his sister’s pillow, mice-infested fridge and cockroaches on the toilet, while all were fake, Ziva and Aria freaked, much to his amusement.
Rylan paced the pavement outside the cinema, his hands sweating, beat against his trouser leg, he had it all planned. First she arrives, they hug, he compliments her, perhaps brushes the hair from her face, drawing her in for that perfect first kiss. Emilie crept closer, a sharp “Boo” in his ear, Rylan jumped causing a complete loss of composure and he moved in for the kiss, his clumsy lips met hers. She giggled her face bright red, pulling him back for a much improved second attempt. Words jumbled themselves, a tongue twisted wordsmith reliant on his girl to request tickets and popcorn, his eyes captivated were by her as he handed over cash, forgetting the change.