Chapter 04

He woke up the following morning when it was still dark, because Ziva was prodding his bladder area with her paw. “What?” he groaned and pulled the pillow over his face.

I need to take a crap, she said and poked him again.

Sighing he got up and walked to the bathroom to take a leak, he washed his hands and then walked with her to the South East Pier.

Finally, Ziva exclaimed as she ran down to then end away from him. God this is so embarrassing… she thought as she did what she needed to. At least in her room, she was able to pee in the tub so that it went through the drain. She’ll just have to scrub it down when she could later. When she was done, she made her way back to John, keeping her head down as she hated the fact that everyone knew if or when she took a dump.

He had come prepared and was glad that she had taken a dump on the edge of the pier, which made it easier for him to scoop it up with half of a dustpan and to toss it overboard into the water. “There,” he nodded, still a bit sleepy. “Can we go back to bed now or are you hungry?”

She looked at him feeling bad. While she was hungry, she knew he needed sleep. Walking over to him, she nuzzled her nose into his hand trying to let him know whatever he wanted, she was fine with. Sighing, Ziva knew it was going to be another long day.

“I’ll get you some breakfast then,” he nodded. “I’m sure that the kitchen staff has prepared something more to your liking today, and then, I’ll try to catch a few more hours of sleep.” John decided to take Ziva with him to the empty messhall, and wandered into the kitchen where the staff was preparing themselves for breakfast rush hour in a couple of hours. “I’ve got a hungry girlfriend.” he announced and one of the staff handed him a big square container of meat.

He looked down at it and made a face. “Yum.”

Ziva sat at the doorway looking in, not wanting to freak anyone else out anymore than she needed to. Her stomach growled as she eyed the container he held. Licking her choppers, which she couldn’t help, she waited for John as patiently as she could.

“Thanks,” he nodded and walked out of the kitchen with the container in his hands. “I’m not going to open it before we’re back in your quarters so stop looking at me as if you could have me for breakfast.” he warned her. “If I open this now, I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep anymore because of the smell.”

She whimpered and started heading back to her room. Ziva knew he didn’t like rare meat and quickly thought about how she could accommodate him and her need to eat. As soon as he let her in, she pawed at the balcony door, letting him know she wanted to go out there.

“I love you and your brains.” he grinned and opened the balcony doors. He loosened the lid of the container, knowing that Ziva could just shove the lid off of it. “Enjoy your breakfast,” he yawned and walked back inside to get a few more hours of shut eye.

Breakfast was finished fairly quickly and it was certainly better on her taste buds than the cooked meat he’d given her the night before. When she was done, she went back inside and looked at John who was already passed out again. Sighing, she was thirsty and not about to drink from the toilet. She went into the bathroom and tried to turn on the faucet to the tub. After several unsuccessful tries, she managed to get some running water going. Lapping it up until she had her fill, she shook her head and left it running before climbing back into the bed and curled up against John.

“Colonel Sheppard to the control room please,” Chuck’s voice sounded through the intercom in Ziva’s quarters, quite loudly too.

“No,” he groaned and tried to get up, but Ziva was laying half on top of him. “Ziva…” he prodded her. “Get off me.”

She moved so that he could go but was tired herself again and turned over to go back to sleep, with a soft big cat snore.

“So not fair,” he shook his head and got into his boots, he hadn’t bothered to undress himself, and quite frankly it would have been weird to share a bed with a cat while he was in his underwear despite the fact that that cat was his girlfriend. He couldn’t help but smell like wet cat and wondered what was wrong, until he heard the water running in the bathroom. “Of course,” he muttered and shut off the faucet and headed towards the control room, not even bothering with getting himself cleaned up. Whatever it was, it’d better be news from Rodney.

“I’m here,” he said and looked at the control room techs who were making faces at him. “What?”

“No offence sir, but you smell like…”

“Ziva.” John nodded. “Get over it, what am I doing here?”

“McKay sent word that he might have found a way to turn Ziva back into her normal self, sir.” Chuck replied. “But he’s not entirely sure, so he’ll call again when he’s absolutely sure that nothing can go wrong.”

“What happened to the time where machines could just be put into reverse to… well… you know, reverse things?” John shook his head, “And wake me up for something like that again, an ‘uncertain’ thing, I will hurt you,” he said and then immediately apologized. “Sorry, baby sitting makes me more tired than I thought.”

And crankier, Chuck thought. “Not a problem Sir. I’ll just inform you over the radio with any updates.”

“Thank you,” he turned around and walked back to Ziva’s quarters. He kicked off his shoes and crawled back in bed with his smelly kitty girlfriend.

—————————————-—————————————-——-

By the time he woke up again, the sun was shining and somewhere after lunch, according to Ziva, who was immediately on the balcony at the empty container the second he stirred in bed. “You should have woken me…” he yawned and got out of bed, changing the sheets and then looked at her, “I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to take a shower first, then I’ll take you for breakfast,” he said, grabbing a spare set of his uniform out of her closet. “Because no offence… you smell.”

Well what the hell do you want me to do about it? You can give me a bath you know, Ziva said with an irritating snort and shoved the container at him with her nose then plopped down on the balcony floor.

“5 more minutes, that’s all I’m asking,” he said while he was taking off his dirty clothes in full sight of Ziva.

Oh God, she thought staring and trying to cover her face with her paw. I hate you!

“Mission accomplished,” He smirked and hopped under the shower for a quick wash. As soon as he somewhat smelled better with help of soap, he dried himself off and got into his clean set of slacks and his t-shirt. “Right, lunch?” he said while he picked up the container from the balcony.

Ziva threw her head up. Her going to the mess now would be a bad idea, and she stayed put. She stared at him to try to say that but with his sleep ridden mind, she wasn’t sure.

“Right… lunch time, busy…” he blinked. “You’re staying here, I’ll be back soon.” he gently pat her head and headed out of the door.

And hopefully a bath. How the hell can I get him to leave some water in the tub during the day or night when he is sleeping? she wondered as she settled back down to look out over the water as she waited.

He returned with another full container of meat for Ziva, and a tray with turkey sandwiches and coffee for himself, because he had sort of skipped dinner last night, he was hungry as a horse. “Lunch time,” he smiled and set the container down on the floor and then got the lid off it for her. “If you want me to give you a bath, just walk to the bathroom then, okay? Though I doubt that you’ll like water… you’re a cat now.”

Ziva nudged the lid off again and ate quickly. It wasn’t much but better than nothing. For the few days that she would be stuck like that, she could handle it. As a human she went with far less that one summer. When she was done, she headed back in and laid at John’s feet while he ate. She would go in for the bath request when he was done. She felt so bad about the imposition that she was putting him in and wondered what they would do if she was stuck like this. It was a discussion – somehow – that they needed to have.

“You know…” he said while he munched on his sandwich. “It’s good to chew your food,” he took a sip of his coffee and finished eating his lunch. “So, do you want that bath or not?”

She jumped up and hurried into the bathroom to wait for him. Luckily she had scored a really nice set that gave her enough room in her current form. Hurry up… And yes, panthers do enjoy water.

He walked after her and smiled. “I just hope that your coat of fur likes your shampoo, not that you’d get a rash or anything,” he had to laugh because Ziva sat in the tub with eagerness in her eyes, and he had to admit that she was one adorable panther, but he really hoped that McKay would have some good news today. He turned on the faucet. “Warm or cold?” He opted for warm to the touch and started to carefully rinse off Ziva, carefully stroking her fur coat as he did, making sure her entire body was wet before applying shampoo.

Ziva sat patiently and was extremely pleased to being washed. She didn’t think she smelled but she trusted him when he said she did. Sitting back, she helped as much as possible by lifting her legs when he needed and such and loved when he began to massage the shampoo in.

“I promise, once you’re back to normal, I’m going to pamper you all day long,” he said softly. “Give you a bath, a massage… some good food…”

You better. I’ll hold you to it, she thought as she purred for him. She so wanted to ask if she didn’t smell as bad anymore but that would be an epic fail. Where was Rodney? He should have had more information with his ego being larger than galaxy itself.

He rinsed off the shampoo, careful not to get it into her eyes (it stung for a human, he didn’t want to find out what it’d feel like for a cat) and then looked at her. “Now, you probably want to shake yourself dry a little as a dog… please do that after I’ve left the bathroom.” he grinned. “Then, I’ll rub you dry with a towel.” and backed out of the bathroom.

Oh thanks, she snorted and waited. She would have been more grateful if he at least closed the tub door so the everything didn’t get soaked. Sighing Ziva shook herself off and waited for John to come back in for her to shake a second time for spite.

“That’s mean!” John laughed, soaked and water dripping off his forehead as he grabbed one of Ziva’s bigger towels. He gently started to rub her down, with her tail having involuntarily movements when he’d rub her on her back. Bored of talking to himself, and trying to guess what Ziva was trying to tell him, he started to sing a silly children’s song. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…

If she could, Ziva would be shuddering. Why he was so fascinated by that song, she could never guess. He sometimes sang it in his sleep or when hyped up on pain medication when he lands up in the infirmary. She didn’t mind his voice as he actually had a nice jazz style voice but for that song…No.

When Ziva made an objective growl he stopped singing and looked at her. “What?” he shrugged. “I can’t help it that it’s stuck in my head most of the time.”

I’ll unstick it as soon as I’m back to normal, she growled. I’m tired, she yawned and curled up on the floor. No bed until she was dry.

While Ziva snoozed on the floor, he dried the bathroom and sat down at his desk to start on his paperwork without any distraction, waiting for more news from McKay. He had to laugh when after a while, he could hear Ziva snore, quite loudly, and it was adorable, as she, as a human, rarely snored.

Clearly John still has not been under cover with her. Something in Ziva makes her snore worse than drunken sailors on crack. It drove Tony crazy, but then again, he snored as well and it woke her up. In her sleep, she started growling and her foot twitching as she dreamed.

He grabbed one of his remaining sandwiches off his lunch tray and stuffed it in his mouth as he checked his inbox of messages; Lorne needed more of this, Ramsey more of something else, and John wondered when he became the janitor. If they wanted pens, or whatever, they could just go to the supply closet and get it, or go to the actual supplies person that made sure that everything was in stock on Atlantis.

Right before dinner time, and before Ziva woke up from her snooze, Rodney radioed him.

“I’m going to have dinner, and then we’re all heading back to the planet,” Rodney’s voice sounded over the radio. “I figured it out.”

“Oh, that’s good Rodney, thanks,” John said relieved. “Just tell me when you’re done,” he smiled and turned back to his paper work.

Ziva stretched soundly when she woke up and blinked up at John. Snorting at the sight, she had never seen him do so much of his paperwork before. Getting up, she ambled over and rubbed up against him, nearly knocking him off the chair completely with her big size.

“Yes, I love you too.” he smiled and managed to stop himself from falling backwards. He took her head between his hands and kissed the top of her snout. “Rodney called, he’s figured out how to turn you back into you.”

FINALLY! she purred louder. Running over to the door, she stood up on her hind quarters coming incredibly tall as she looked to get out. She wanted back to that planet. For one, to do one last hunt. That was freaking fun! Then to turn back so that she could screw the ever loving daylights out of her man.

“After Rodney’s done with his dinner, Ziva, you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer, sorry.” he apologized.

She was not having that. Coming back down, she stalked over towards John growling harshly. She wanted her freedom and be back to normal. Damn McKay and his food.

“Sweetheart, you should know by now not to come between McKay and his food…” he said hesitantly, reminding himself that should Ziva become dangerous that he had his stunner… somewhere. “No need to hurt me,”

When it was clear to him that Ziva wouldn’t stop complaining and even scratching the door, he took her to his quarters for him to change in his uniform, then headed to the mess hall with Ziva the big black cat to get McKay’s butt in gear. Needless to say, everyone’s eyes were on Ziva and on himself when he walked into the mess hall towards Rodney’s table.

“I said, after food…” Rodney started, and John saw the color drain from his face when Ziva bared her teeth and started to growl.

“I think you’d better obey the lady,” John replied. “I’m quite confident that she wouldn’t hurt you now but she might hurt you when she’s human again if you don’t hurry up.”

Ziva growled louder and stepped closer towards McKay before crouching down lower.

“Fine!” Rodney exclaimed and got up. “If I pass out, it’s on you.”

Ronon and Teyla looked amused. “You won’t faint.” Ronon grinned.

I’ll just catch him one of those deer, Ziva said to herself as she growled lowly following Rodney out of the mess hall.

Once they were on the planet again, Ziva ran off into the bushes and John sighed. “We’re about to turn you back to normal and you need food? Come back here!”

He heard a loud roar in return, which made Ronon laugh. “You’re not the boss of her.”

“Apparently not.” John shrugged

It wasn’t long before she returned bloodied, and with a half eaten deer creature. She dropped the carcass by Rodney and sat down to lick her paws. It was almost as if she had a smirk on her face if one looked hard enough.

“Dinner’s served,” John grinned, much to Rodney’s dismay.

“Right…” McKay sighed and started to punch a few buttons on the console. “Are you ready, Ziva?”

She laid down and looked up at him just wanting to get it over with already. What do you think…

Rodney pushed another button and the machine started to light up and roar. John, Teyla and Ronon had taken a few steps back, just in case. A blue glowly light appeared from the machine and engulfed Ziva in it, slowly changing back to her normal self. He had no idea why Elizabeth Weir… well her old self, had developed feelings for this Janus person. Sure, he was a brilliant ancient, but apart from the time travel Jumper, all the most recent finds of his secret labs were stupid practical jokes compared to that Jumper.

Once the machine turned off, John immediately threw his vest over Ziva to cover most of her body, as for some reason, the machine decided not to return her clothes to her and she was naked, and unconscious. “Ziva?” he started to take off his shirt and wrapped her up in it, before lifting her up from the floor. “Rodney, I’ll hurt you if she’s hurt in anyway.”

“Transformations take a lot of energy!” Rodney spluttered. “I’m sure she’s fine!”

“Let’s get her back to Carson just to be sure,” Teyla said, smiling gently to Rodney as she went to get John to leave the lab before he hurt his friend.

“Seriously! He was out cold for days when he turned back from being a bug!”

“Yeah well, I don’t remember being out cold for days now do I?” John snapped, cradling Ziva in his arms and started to head back to the gate.

“You’re welcome!” Rodney growled as he followed them.

—————————————-————————

The following afternoon, Ziva finally began to wake up slowly. The lights that filtered into the room were a little bright for her and had to squint, but otherwise she felt no change so far, or maybe didn’t realise anything yet. Looking around with a small moan, she saw John asleep in his chair with his arms cross and his feet up on the bed next to her.

She let out a deep sigh and lifted her hand that was connected to IV tubing and groaned. At least she was human again, she thought as she looked at her arm.

He woke up from hearing Ziva sigh and groan behind him and smiled. “Hey, you’re awake!”

“Yeah,” she moaned and tugged on the IV line. “How long have I been out?”

“Almost a full day,” he replied and softly kissed her. ” It’s so good to hear you speak again. Leave that IV alone, I’m going to get Carson.”

She groaned and let her head fall back to the pillow. Licking her lips and found them dry, Ziva looked around for something she didn’t know what really. “I want out of here. I can sleep in my own bed…” she mumbled as she fidgeted.

“I’m sure you can, but Carson needs to give his permission first, Ziva.”

Whining, she looked up John and pouted. “Am I not back to normal or something? Is this really necessary?”

“Yes,” John nodded. “Apparently going through a transformation is hard on someone’s body, and Carson will need to clear you before you’re allowed to leave.” he shrugged. “Sorry babe, but for once I’ll have to agree with him and let him check you over first.”

She made a face and settled down stubbornly.

It didn’t take long for Carson to show up, especially after Ziva decided to get Carson’s attention by starting to throw things on the floor. “Alright already!” Carson said as he walked in, “Eager to get out, are we?”

“What do you think?” she asked grumpily. “I’d like to get some – breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever freaking time it is and go to sleep in my own bed!”

“Aye, I can understand that, however, I will have to check you over to make sure you’ve returned to normal. Sometimes it can take days for any kind of transformation to leave a system.”

Ziva rolled her eyes. “Check away please. Just get me out of here…Please!”

John waited outside the infirmary for Ziva. Earlier on, Carson had already informed him that everything looked normal, but he wanted to check again when she’d wake up. Carson knew about Ziva’s problems with doctors and infirmaries, and had already told John that she’d be allowed to go to her quarters as soon as she got cleared by him.

Carson was rather quick to clear her when she threatened to kill him twenty different ways from Sunday with just his clip board. After changing into a pair of scrubs, she was on her way out barefooted. She couldn’t get away fast enough. “Alright, let’s go…” Ziva demanded, pulling John with her as she shuffled passed.

Knowing fully well that she’d kill him if he’d lifted her up, he followed her to her quarters. “See? You worry too much, I knew Rodney was able to reverse whatever Janus’ machinery did to you.”

“Yeah, I know you did, but right now I just want a giant steak and glass of milk…”

“What?” he asked puzzled.

Ziva stopped and looked at him. “What?” she asked, wondering why he appeared confused. “I’m hungry…I told you that.”

“Well, you didn’t have any chance to eat Kosher as a kitty, but… steak? Really? You usually nearly gag when I eat one.”

She looked at him with a deadpanned expression before a smile slowly slipped through until he realized what she was up to. Giggling, she raised an eyebrow and turned to go back to her quarters.

“Well the penny would have dropped sooner if you’d said you were in the mood for a sausage!” he walked after her, laughing.

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