Chapter 03

“What? Not good enough for you?” He said while he started to eat his potatoes.

She hopped down and worked on the meat just to appease him. It didn’t take more than a couple decent gobbles and it was gone and she was licking the tray across the floor until it was shoved under his bed unintentionally.

“I’ll get that when I’m done, don’t worry,” he said and took a sip of his coffee. He really hoped that Ziva wouldn’t be like other cats, when he was in the mess hall Chuck joked about cats being active during the night. John just hoped that Ziva would be as tired as he was right now.

Sighing as she laid back down on the bed, she wished she could go for a major run. The several hours they been back left her muscles feeling tight from having been stuck in the small room. She didn’t have much else to do besides sleep so she just watched John as he ate.

“Now you’re just being annoying,” he told her. “You’re not getting my food.”

I don’t want it you idiot, she said and continued watching him.

He couldn’t eat while she was looking at him like that. He put his utensils down and looked at her. “You’re bored, I guess, I could take you to one of the non-populated areas so you can do whatever you want?”

Could you fuck me? she asked, purposely joking and wished he understood.

“Ehm… knowing you… no, that doesn’t include sex.” he shook his head and grabbed his coffee. “Let’s go for a walk then.”

Thank you! She was very fast when she hopped off the bed and jetted to wait at the door for him. Great. Now I’m like a dog. Gibbs would be so proud.

He opened the door and followed her out. “We’re going to the transporter, Ziva.”

Yeah…no. Not happening. I won’t fit, she pointed out uselessly. When they got there, she looked at him with a stupid face when there was no way for her to get in the transporter comfortably.

“Yeah, you’re not going to fit…” he sighed, “Alright, let’s walk.” he said and started to walk towards the stairs. People were looking at them, and getting out of their way with a scared look on their faces. “Really, do you scare them that much?” he wondered out loud and continued to walk towards his intended goal, which would take about an hour to get there on foot.

I’m a trained assassin, what do you think? Ziva sighed and kept walking. She really wanted to run and often got a little ahead of herself needing to stop for John to catch up, whining because she couldn’t let loose.

“Sorry Ziva, there are still too many people around for you to actually run around freely, I don’t want Carter to get pissed at me,” he apologized.

She hoped that he would let her run when they got to the empty area that Sam approved of otherwise she might go insane before Rodney fixed her back to normal. Sniffing the floor along the way, she picked up a scent that she didn’t like. Growling, the hair on her back stood up as one of the scientists that frequently made passes at John came out from a lab they were about to pass. Skank.

“Ziva!” he hissed and nudged her with his knee to continue walking. “We’re nearly there, stop it.”

“Colonel Sheppard!” Alice Mirksi greeted. “How are you tod….Oh my god!” she cried when she saw the panther.

“Hi Alice,” John greeted her back. “Something wrong?” he asked sheepishly.

Alice? When were you on the first name basis with her?

“Umm…” she replied pointing at the very large cat with very sharp claws. “When did Atlantis get that?” she asked with a failing flirty smile as she pretended badly to be okay with the situation.

“What?” He looked around sheepishly. “I don’t see anything out of the ordinary,” he shrugged. “Are you okay? Have you been inhaling fumes again?”

“You don’t see the very big cat?” Alice asked, looking at her unknown enemy who started to bare her teeth but stayed behind John.

“Uhm… no?” John said carefully. “Maybe you should go and see Doctor Beckett, besides you and me, there isn’t anything here.” He hated Alice, he could never remember her last name, and she always smelled like she had been rolling into paint thinner and compost for some reason, and she wasn’t even a botanist.

She nodded and left without even her customary goodbye of trying to shove his face in her cleavage. Practically running, likely to the shrink in the city, Ziva laughed to herself and grinned innocently up at John.

“What?” he grinned, “Even I can have some fun sometime.” he gently stroked Ziva’s head. “Come on, it’s not that much further.”

Great, she said and trotted ahead a little without going too far for him to yell at her. When they hit a junction, she wasn’t sure which direction they were supposed to go and had been permitted for her.

“Go left,” John said from the other end of the corridor. “I’ll catch up.”

Ziva looked back at him. You’re letting me run? she hesitated, but hopeful.

“Yeah go already,” he laughed. “Just as soon as you see people you turn around and come back to me, okay?”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, she said and took off stretching her legs happily. She really needed this. While she had a good run during her hunt back at lunch, she hadn’t had been able to do much else and was confined. Ziva now had a new sympathy for zoo and circus animals.

When he had finally caught up with her, or was actually closer than he had been, he found a spot to sit down and drained the remaining coffee from his cup. It was cold, but it was worth it.

She ran a few laps up and down the corridor passing John several times before she felt much better and loose enough to relax without driving him insane. Coming back to him after her last round, she looked a lot better as she went to sit out on the nearby balcony and watch things there to think.

“Are you done?” he called for her, not moving from his spot, and fiddled with his empty cup of coffee instead. He now remembered why he gave shitty baby sit jobs to marines instead of taking it up on himself. But he didn’t trust anyone with Ziva, and right now he didn’t trust Ziva to be alone with anyone but him either.

Ziva looked back at him before turning back to the scenic view and laying down in the setting sunlight. I wonder how many days I have to be like this before McKay figures that machine out, she thought with a sigh.

When he didn’t hear from her, he got up and went to look for her, finding her on the balcony. “I’m not even going to ask if you’re okay,” he said, sitting down next to her.

Thanks, she said and rolled until she leaned against him. Had she been human in this moment, it would have been extremely romantic, with a bottle of champagne, blanket and just them…Ziva didn’t want to think about it anymore.

He slowly started to caress her stomach and smiled. “You know, since we can’t do our nightly question and answer sharing, maybe I could tell you something without you asking me.”

She raised her head and looked at him. About 90% of the time, she started with the questions as he rarely brought it up himself first. This was a great step for him and she was proud. She continued to stare at him with a mixture of curiosity and anticipation.

“I’m not sure what to say to be honest, or what to tell you,” he continued to stroke her belly, and then a bit higher between her two front paws. “I was the one getting bullied in school,” he finally said. “But look at me now, I have the best job in the world.”

Ziva nuzzled him and licked his neck affectionately while purring. It was a small piece of himself but he shared it on his own and she could not be prouder.

He smiled and caressed her back. “I wish you could talk.”

She would laugh if she could but if she were honest, she was having some fun with this. It would help them in learning each other’s demeanor and emotions better than they were already aware of each other. She went and gave him a nice big and wet lick across his face.

“Ziva,” he chuckled, “As much as I usually love your sloppy kisses, this is really sloppy and sticky and your tongue feels as if it needs a shave.”

Good, now you know how I feel sometimes, she said to herself and looked back out across the water to find the sun had fully set. Sighing she stood up to walk back in and waited for John.

“Alright, let’s go back to my quarters,” he replied and followed her back in.

At this point, Ziva would prefer her own and actually started that way instead. Hopefully John would be open to it. For one, her bed was certainly bigger and they both could lay comfortably if he was alright with that. The other is that she had the balcony if she wanted to get a little air and sunlight.

“Hey where…” he started and then realized she was heading towards her quarters. “Okay, fine.” he said and followed her as she walked towards her quarters. Once in, Ziva immediately hopped on to the bed which made him chuckle. “Yes, your bed is bigger than mine, so what?”

She just let out a puff of breath through her nose and laid down to settle into sleep. Her paw hung off the edge of the bed as she closed her eyes and nodded off easily.

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