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Control Freak: NCIS, Ziva (Secret Santa for rhombohedron)


matilda3948

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Merry Christmas, rhombohedron! santasmiley.png You were my Secret Santa this year and I hope you have as much fun reading this story as I did writing it. Always super fun to write about one of my favorite control freaks wink.png I tried to include as many of your preferences as possible.

She shifted her weight slightly and sniffled in the cold air. Her feet were falling asleep from laying on the cold, wet ground for so long and she needed to be ready to be up and running at a moment's notice. She never took her eyes away from the rifle's scope though. Ziva knew the moment she looked away was when their suspect would show up and she needed to have her team's back—needed to have her finger on the trigger in case he tried anything that threatened Gibbs or Tony. She'd been laying flat on her stomach, sniper rifle poised and ready for the last three hours. Gibbs and Tony were posing as domestic terrorists and had set a meeting with a lab technician selling anthrax on the black market. Of course they just had to pick an outdoor location in February after three days of alternating rain and snow. Despite her best efforts to clear some ground for a good sniper's nest, Ziva could feel near-freezing water seeping up through her clothes the longer she laid there. No doubt she'd be a chilly, muddy mess by the time things were over. She sniffed again and sighed. A moment later she heard Gibbs' voice crackle through her ear piece.

"Still with us, David?"

"Yes, Gibbs. Just wishing this guy would get his butt in beer."

"In gear, Ziva. Gees," Tony said.

“Why would he want his butt in a gear?”

“Why would he want it in beer?”

“Hey! The two of you knock it off,” Gibbs said.

***

The sting was successful—their suspect apprehended without having to fire a shot. Tony and McGee took the man in for questioning while Gibbs waited for Ziva to pack up her gear. He shook his head when he saw how messy she’d gotten laying in wait for their suspect.

“Oh admit it, Gibbs. You miss it,” she said with a smile. He shrugged.

“Maybe a little,” he conceded. “You want to stop at your apartment on the way back and change?” He loaded her gear in the car and they both got inside.

“It is alright. I have spare clothes at NCIS.” Gibbs nodded and started the car. He turned the heat on and tilted the vents towards his agent. They drove in silence for a few minutes before Ziva felt her nose begin to run. The warm air was making it tingle after so many hours out in the cold. She sniffed once and sensed Gibbs’ eyes flick towards her. Instead of sniffling again, she rested her elbow on the passenger’s side door frame and rested her head in her hand pretending to stare out the window. It allowed her to keep one finger pressed under her nose so she didn’t have to sniffle as much.

Her mind must have started to wander because she jumped as she felt something brush against her arm.

“Easy, Ziver,” Gibbs said. They’d stopped at a red light and he’d taken off his jacket and was putting it over her.

“Sorry,” she mumbled, embarrassed both that she’d zoned out and that she’d been startled by Gibbs. Ziva looked down at the coat now draped over her and shot him a questioning glance.

“You’re shivering,” he said as he pulled through the green light. Ziva looked down. She hadn’t really noticed it, but he was right. She was shivering. That was odd—normally she had to be much colder for much longer before her body betrayed her like that. Her training with Mossad had taught her to never betray any sign of weakness and shivering definitely counted as weakness. She shifted in her seat and drew the jacket tighter around herself, mentally scolding her body for not behaving. However, a moment later and Ziva realized that shivering wasn’t going to be her body’s only sign of protest. A deep tickle was beginning to take root in her nose. The longer Ziva sat in the warm car, the more concerned she became. She shouldn’t still feel cold. Her nose shouldn’t still be running, and she definitely, definitely shouldn’t have to sneeze.

Except she did. She desperately had to sneeze. Ziva pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth and clenched her lips together. She’d give nearly anything to not sneeze in front of Gibbs. Why wouldn’t her nose cooperate? She ventured a small sniffle.

“You okay?” Gibbs asked.

“Fine,” she managed before pinching her nose between her thumb and forefinger and stifling a sneeze. HehhNKT!

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes.” She sniffed and said a silent thanks that they were nearing the Navy Yard. Whatever was going on with her was not an isolated incident and she was ready to be out from under Gibbs’ watch. While she wasn’t ready to admit that she might be catching a cold, Ziva couldn’t rule out the possibility. The damp, cold winters of DC were such a change from the arid warmth of Israel, that every now and then she would manage to contract some kind of cold or flu that she never seemed to catch when she was in the Middle East.

As soon as Gibbs parked the car, she hopped out and sniffed deeply to try and stave off any additional sneezes. When her boss joined her, she handed his jacket back to him and they walked side by side into the building. She made it as far as the elevator before her nose began to tickle again. Ziva wracked her brain for a reason not to step inside that small, enclosed space with Gibbs. Every step brought her closer to a place where she wouldn’t be able to hide her…her whatever this affliction was. When the steel doors opened though, she had no choice but to step inside and hope for the best.

Sadly, her best was not very good and they’d barely gone up two floors before she turned her head and stifled a sneeze. AhhNTKs! A shuddering gasp escaped her, followed by a full-bodied sneeze. Hahhh!! AhhhKTSCHHeew! She felt the elevator come to a sudden halt and the emergency lights turn on. When she raised her head and brushed her hair out of her face, she was not surprised to find Gibbs standing in front of her with his arms crossed.

“You sick?” he asked.

“No.” He raised an eyebrow and she revised. “No, I am just…” her voice trailed off and her nostrils flared slightly as the urge to sneeze swelled through her nose again. This time she was able to fight it off though and she resumed speaking. “I am just chilled, Gibbs.” As usual, she couldn’t tell what he was thinking, so Ziva just had to wait until he made up his mind. Gibbs uncrossed his arms, reached over, and pressed a hand to her forehead. He didn’t say a word, but switched the elevator back on.

“You head straight to the locker rooms and change,” he said.

“But Tony and McGee will already—”

“I see you come within ten yards of that interrogation room I will put you on cold cases for a month. Got it?”

“Got it,” Ziva said, quickly slipping out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened. She made a fast stop at her desk to grab her spare clothes and then went to the locker room to change. Goosebumps flashed across her skin as she peeled off her wet clothes. She was glad that she had a sweater to put on over the cotton top she’d changed into. Ziva looked at herself in the mirror over the sink. She did look pale and as she gave herself a silent pep-talk, her nose began to tickle and run. The tickle started deep inside near the bridge of her nose. A few seconds later it had spread down towards the tip and she couldn’t stop herself from sniffling once…then again. She willed her nostrils not to flare, but failed. Her breath audibly hitched and she pinched the bridge of her nose. She had to find a technique that worked to hold her sneezes back. As a high-pitched double escaped, it became clear that pinching the bridge of her nose wouldn’t work. AhhTSCHHii! TSHHii!

Her next option was to try holding her breath. The urge to sneeze was still nearly overwhelming, so Ziva took a deep breath and held it. Her eyes narrowed and watered—the tickling so strong she wasn’t sure she could hold it back. She’d been trained to hold her breath for a very long time, but eventually she was going to have to give in and take another breath. She waited until the tickle died down a little and quickly exhaled. She immediately took a shaky breath and doubled over in a quick fit of sneezes. AhhTSCHHiii! Ahhtsschh! HahhKTSSSHiii! TSSSCHHiii!

She swore in Hebrew and blew her nose in a paper towel. She’d already wasted enough time and wanted to get to the interrogation room as soon as possible. She rubbed her nose fiercely and squared her shoulders. “Enough of this,” she said out loud. “Just stop.”

***

She paused outside the interrogation observation room and sniffed a couple times to make sure there wasn’t another sneeze (or four) lurking. As soon as she was sure there was nothing threatening to embarrass her, she opened the door and joined DiNozzo and McGee.

“Ah, Ziva, you’re just in time,” Tony said. “Gibbs is about the break this idiot.”

“Man, I’d hate to be on the other side of that table,” McGee said, watching their boss laying out their evidence to the suspect.

“He’s using the quiet voice. I hate the quiet voice,” Tony said.

“Yeah, it’s usually right before the guillotine drops,” McGee added.

Normally Ziva would engage in their admiration of Gibbs’ interrogation techniques. He really was one of the best in the business. She had more pressing concerns at the moment though. Her nose was already starting to bother her again, promising more sneezing in the near future. She took a small step back so Tony and Tim were slightly in front of her and then rubbed her nose. Ziva loathed any minor loss of control in front of others and she deemed sneezing as more than a “minor” loss of control. Worse still, she knew she was catching a cold. She may have told Gibbs she was just chilled, but even then she knew it was more.

“Ziva? Ziva?”

“What?” she snapped.

“I was asking if you want to take bets on whether or not this suspect will cry. McGee says no, but I think he will.”

“Tony, I do not care if the suspect cries—only if he confesses,” she said. Her voice rose at the end of the sentence and was punctuated by a couple vocal, breathy hitches.

“Ziva, you okay?” McGee asked. She nodded and waived off his concern, but her breath became more uneven and her eyes were fluttering shut. After a prolonged battle, she couldn’t hold the tickle back any longer. Ziva turned her back to her colleagues and sneezed into her hands. AhhTSSCHHiii! TSCHHiii!

“Bless you,” both men said, the interview temporarily forgotten. DiNozzo and McGee watched her stay frozen with her hands over her nose, eyes closed, still battling the urge to sneeze again. They watched her shoulder rise and fall several times before succumbing to another barrage of feminine, itchy sneeze. Hahh Ehh…HahhTISHH! AhhKTschhii! HahhNTSSHHiii!

“Bless you. Here, Ziva,” McGee said, grabbing a couple tissues from the box on a nearby table.

“Thank you,” she sniffled. “I apologize. I do not know—AhhTSCHHiii!—why I am sneezing.”

“You sound sick,” Tony said. She spun around and punched him on the arm. “Ow!”

“I am not sick!” It was hard to be convincing when she couldn’t seem to stop her sneezing fit. AHH! HahhNtchhii! AhhTSCHiii!

“Bless you,” McGee said. Watching Ziva sneeze was a bit of a novelty—not that either of them would admit it of course. They’d likely end up with a paperclip lodged in their trachea. Sneezing seemed so anti-Ziva—imperfect, vulnerable, human. That’s probably why she hated it so much. It didn’t help that her sneezes were so utterly feminine, high-pitched, and came clustered in little fits (especially when she was sick). She pinched her nose in the tissues and focused on getting her nose to calm down for just a minute or two. When she finally felt confident that she could speak and not sneeze, she turned back to her teammates.

“I am going to go back and look into our suspect’s finances again,” she said. “Make sure we haven’t missed anything.” She was barely out of the room before they heard another handful of sneezes from her as she walked down the hall. Tony shivered.

“Ugh, Ziva with a cold. That should make for a fun week.”

“Maybe it was just some dust or something,” McGee offered.

“No, she only sneezes in fits like that when she’s sick. Plus that was a pretty weak punch—not even going to leave a bruise,” Tony said.

“You acted like it hurt.”

“Never kick a ninja when she’s down,” Tony said.

“Book that idiot,” Gibbs said, coming out of interrogation. It hadn’t taken too long to get a confession. “Where’s David?” he asked, looking at his two male agents. He thought the woman would be back by now.

“She’s looking into the suspect’s financial records again,” McGee said.

“Yeah, but she was only doing that because she couldn’t stop sneezing and wanted to get away from us,” Tony said. Tim shot him a disbelieving look. “What? He’s gonna take one look at her and know she’s sick.”

“Already knew,” Gibbs said.

“See?” Tony said, giving McGee a shove. “Never try to put one over on the boss.” A quick head-slap ended the bickering.

***

Ziva looked up when a mug was set down on her desk.

“Gibbs?”

“Drink that.”

She picked up the warm cup and took a sip—peppermint tea sweetened just the way she liked.

“Thank you,” she said to the man still standing over her.

“When you’re done, pack your gear and head home.”

“Gibbs, I am—”

“No, you’re not,” he said. “People who are fine do not sneeze uncontrollably.” She made a mental note to kill Tim and Tony. As if reading her mind, Gibbs continued, “Don’t blame them. You’ve got a fever too. You have from the time we left the crime scene.”

“There is no reason why I cannot continue to work,” she said.

“I do not need you here in this condition,” he said, going over to his desk.

She drank her tea extremely slowly, trying to delay her dismissal from the office. DiNozzo and McGee were handling the transfer of their suspect to a prison cell, leaving her alone with Gibbs. Ziva wasn’t stupid enough to think that Gibbs would just forget that she was still sitting there, but she was spending an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to keep her nose in check. She didn’t want to advertise how sick she was feeling. It seemed the moment that Gibbs mentioned that she had a fever, Ziva began to notice how freezing the bullpen was. She’d be willing to be that she was on the verge of shivering again and she was starting to feel the nagging tickle gathering strength in her nose once again. What would be less humiliating? Admitting she was sick and going home or suffering a sneezing fit in front of Gibbs, then admitting she was sick and going home? It seemed she had her answer, so she shut down her computer and began gathering her things.

Gibbs watched her out the corner of his eye. He knew she must really be feeling bad to not put up more of a fight about going home. Maybe he should make her see Ducky first.

Ziva rushed to put everything into her bag. Her nose was beginning to burn and she knew she had precious little time before the sneezing would start again. She was wrapping her scarf around her neck when the scales tipped and she lost the battle. She took a huge, gasping breath and nearly doubled over with the force of the first sneeze. AhhhTSSCHHIIII! The others were smaller, but relentless. AhhhTSCHiii! NTSCHHiii! HahhKTchhhiii! TSCHHiiii! She dug out the crumpled tissues McGee had given her earlier and pressed them to her nose. All she wanted was to grab her coat and bag and finish her sneezing fit in the privacy of the elevator, but the itchy, tickly sensation was too strong. She couldn’t keep her eyes open long enough to make any progress, her breath coming in small, hitching gasps. HahhTSCHiii! TSCHiiii! AhhhNTSCHHHIIII!

“Bless you,” Gibbs said quietly. When she opened her eyes she saw him standing right next to her, holding out a handkerchief.

“Thank you.” HahhTSCHHii! KTSHHiii!

“Come on, I’m taking you home,” Gibbs said. He bent down and picked up the scarf that had fallen off while she was sneezing. He looped it around her neck and reached for her coat.

“You do not need—AhhTSCHHHii!—to drive—TSSSchhiii! me home. HahhKTSSHHiii!

He rolled his eyes and lead his sneezing agent towards the elevator. It seemed she was either mid-sneeze or mid-buildup. He punched the button and the doors immediately opened.

“Come on,” he said.

“Gibbs, I can—AHHHtsschhIIII! KTSCHHiiii! TsschhhIII!—get myself home.”

He hit the emergency stop button and crossed his arms.

HahhTSCHHiii! What are you—Tschhhiii! TSCHHiii! doing?” she asked.

“Waiting.”

“For—AhhTSCHH! TSCHHiii! HahhKTSCHHii! For what?”

“For you to stop.” Ziva sighed and leaned against the wall of the elevator. She was worn out, her throat starting to ache from sneezing over and over. The fit continued for another nine sneezes before she finally blew her nose and made an exhausted little noise.

“Done?” Gibbs asked.

“For now.”

“Come on, put your coat on.” Gibbs held her jacket out and she slipped her arms inside. He pulled it close around her and was surprised when he thought he saw tears in her eyes. “Ziver?”

“I am sorry,” she whispered. “I hate this.” Gibbs tugged her towards him and kissed her temple.

“Just a cold, kid. Everybody gets them,” he said quietly, lips still close to her ear.

“You never do,” she sniffled, resting her forehead against his chest. He cracked a smile and gave her another quick kiss on the side of her head, before turning the elevator back on again.

“What virus would be dumb enough to mess with me?” he said.

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Oh my goodness, MATILDA! This is INCREDIBLE! Holy cats, woman. I am in awe. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You amazing genius, you!

Back when I pick up the pieces of my shattered brain... I will give you even more feedback on just how phenomenal this is!

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I don't even know a thing about this fandom, yet it was written so well!

Kudos to you, my friend!

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Oh man... Stories like this one set really high standards for this year's secret santa! Amazing job! Gibbs in the last paragraph was perfection! <3 *goes back to read last paragraph again*

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great characterization in this.

“I am sorry,” she whispered. “I hate this.” Gibbs tugged her towards him and kissed her temple.

“Just a cold, kid. Everybody gets them,” he said quietly, lips still close to her ear.

Aww <3

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Please o dear mother of everything. CONTINUE THIS! OR WRITE MORE! Ziva is my FAVORITE. I am SO disappointed I can't find more of this kind of stuff with HER being the sick/sneezy one. It's SO AMAZING YES GOOD THANK YOU!

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  • 6 months later...

AAAAAWWWW; this is so amazing!!! Sneezy (and or sick) Ziva is the best because she's just so ADORABLE, and sneezing just increases that!

Seriously though, this was awesome--Papa Bear Gibbs :)

If you or anyone ever wanted to revive the Sneeva...who HASN'T comforted her yet-? ABBY!!! Just an idea...

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