Author: Sparkiebunny PM
Shock sets in and I run blindly to my partner, desperately performing all the training I recall, citing off the steps as if reading a book. But I have seen wounds like this before. And I know how this story ends. Death Fic, TIVA.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Tragedy/Romance - Ziva D. & Tony D. - Words: 1,501 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 2 - Published: 06-13-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6048437
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Section in italics is a flashback. Please enjoy and review. Thanks!
Disclaimer: I don't own much, but wish that I did.
One-partner backup. One second too late.
That's all the opportunity a bullet needs to enter the coronary artery, severing it completely.
. . .
I am too late. I fly around the corner just in time to see the bullet enter his body. The shooter is dead before he hits the ground.
Shock sets in and I run blindly to my partner, desperately performing all the training I recall, citing off the steps as if reading a book. But I have seen wounds like this before. And I know how this story ends.
I stare blankly at the spreading liquid saturating my hands.
"Hey," a weak voice says. "No crying."
I gently remove one of my hands from his broken body to feel my cheek. Wet, salty tears are flowing from my eyes. I had not realized.
I turn my vacant stare to his pale face. The sight fills me with awareness. And with that awareness comes absolute panic. I feel my breath quicken as the reality of the situation hits me.
He stares at me with surprising intensity, the life in his eyes wholly contradicting the limpness of his fading body. As his open gaze penetrates my hard exterior, my heart speeds, then plummets. This cannot happen. Not now.
"Zi," he says. His voice is so quiet…so raspy…His voice should never sound like that.
"Do not speak," I say harshly. The words are not mine. They are a stranger's. I am trapped inside myself while someone takes control of my body. It is not me pressing so hard into his bloody chest. It cannot be me. I cannot move. I cannot speak. I can only watch.
"I have to," he continues. "Otherwise it'll be too late."
"It will not! Now stop talking. You are wasting your energy." There is that voice again. The one that does not belong to me. The Stranger.
"Please, Zi," he persists. The strangled desperation in his voice shocks me out of my paralyzed state. The Stranger has gone. It is now me and him. One with a bleeding heart. One with a broken one.
"I should have said it earlier. I should have told you," he begins, his normal bravado reduced to a faint whisper.
I cut him off. "You do not need to tell me anything, Tony. You may tell me later."
A small pause. "I don't think there's gonna be a later, Zi."
"No!" I say angrily. "I am ashamed of you, Anthony DiNozzo. You will not speak like that! Help is coming. They will be here soon." Lie. They are nowhere near, and even if they were, nothing could be done.
A wry smile briefly lights up his face. "Ziva, I need to say it. Before it's too late. I need to say it now."
I say nothing, only stare.
"I love you."
My breath halts. I gaze into his eyes. The pain in them is distant, fading. Replaced by blind, faithful, pure adoration. Moisture clouds my vision. He continues to gaze up at me, expectantly, waiting for some kind of response. Does he not realize I have none? I cannot focus on his words. I must focus on his wounds. I must resolve matters of the body before I consider supposed matters of the heart.
"I'm…sorry," he rasps out sadly. He has mistaken my silence for rejection. But it is not his love I am rejecting. It is the reality before me I wish to reject. What was it he said in Somalia? He is the wild card…Looks at the reality in front of him and refuses to accept it. I want to…I want to so badly. Yet acceptance reluctantly creeps through my veins, making its way into my body, numbing my senses. I am trying to fight it…I really am…
"Do not be sorry," I say to him. The crack in my voice betrays me. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
He lifts his hand, caked in blood, and softly grazes my cheek, pushing a stray strand of hair behind my ear. I close my eyes and melt into his touch.
After an endless second, his hand falls limply to the ground, as a gentle whoosh escapes his lungs. I hear no more. I feel no more. I am no more.
In that moment, the world stops. At least I think it does. It doesn't. Not really. But in that infinite second, I feel the ground collapse and the sky crumble. All motion halts, all surroundings fade away. There is nothing. There is no one. The world has ended. No, not ended, just ceased to exist. After all, there could be no world without him. If he is a shell, the earth is a shell. Neither existing.
My fearful chocolate eyes become stuck on his lifeless hazel orbs, straining to see even the smallest flicker of life…just one small flash signaling there was still hope…
Nothing. Just emptiness.
I pinch my eyes closed, unwilling to reopen them, for fear that I will be forced to accept the truth. That my coworker, my friend, was dead.
Eyelids still mercifully shielding me, I desperately hope for that moment, when you wake in the morning from a terrible dream. You slowly open your eyes, images flashing through your disparaged mind. For a split second, your heart clenches, but soon releases as relief floods through your system. A dream…it was just a dream…
But the moment never comes. My heart remains tight in my chest, my mind screaming at me to breathe. I reluctantly obey, though living seems so trivial now. Everything seems trivial.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and hear a voice speaking softly to me. But I still cannot open my eyes. I cannot face it. Not yet. I would much rather stay here, with my memories and false hope.
. . .
"You realize, Ziva, that we were meant to be together. It was destined," Tony said with a wink. Reclining smoothly on the couch, he sipped his beer, turning to face the Israeli. "We might as well be Harry and Sally."
Ziva simply rolled her eyes, grabbing the bottle from Tony's hand and taking a swig. "In your dreams, Tony."
With a suggestive raise of his eyebrows, he replied with a smirk, "Why yes, how did you know?"
After a playful punch and a few laughs, the two were immersed in the movie that was playing before them.
Two hours later, Tony grinned as his favorite part came on. Ziva was asleep, leaning softly against his shoulder. He delicately put his arm around her and pulled her close, eyes fixed on the television.
Billy Crystal was on-screen, passionately giving a speech to Meg Ryan. "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
Listening to the words, Tony gazed down at the beautiful woman snoring lightly into his chest. Moisture formed in his hazel eyes as he placed a tender kiss on the top of her head.
Drawing inspiration from his favorite holiday classic, he murmured gently into her ear, nearly inaudibly.
"Ziva David, I will love you till the day I die."
. . .
"I love you, too," I whisper too late. Far too late. Slowly, I pry my eyes open. Someone has closed his. Perfect opposites. We always did balance each other out.
I gaze sorrowfully at his prone form. But it is no longer him. It is a shell. Just as the world is a shell. Just as I will be after this storm has passed. No, the broken body on the ground is just that. A body. That is not my coworker. That is not my friend. That is not my would-be lover. Those men are gone forever, left to reside in memories, left to fade away slowly from minds but never hearts…
I just hope that, wherever that man…my coworker, my friend, my lover…is, he can somehow still hear me. That he forgives me for being too late, in every sense.
I love you, too.