Author: Deirdra098 PM
But he's tired. It's been a long case. It's been a long year. And it's different for some of us. Post ep one-shot for Pyramid 8X24Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Tony D. & Ziva D. - Words: 1,033 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 3 - Published: 05-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7004635
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Just a quick post-ep one-shot for Pyramid (8X24). Specific allusions to Endgame (7X07) and A Man Walks Into A Bar (8X14)
"Do you remember," she starts to ask, and then quickly shuts her mouth, but it's too late and Tony's already turned his head, attention immediately removed from one of the TV screens by the bar, green eyes locked on hers. Damn it.
He doesn't say anything. He just keeps looking at her, his hand on his beer. And he's ready to listen, but won't force her.
She inhales, fills her lungs, and finishes the thought, "When you followed me into the bathroom and asked me about Chad Dunham?"
Tony glanced down at his beer, took a sip to swallow the dryness in his mouth.
I came to NCIS to make a home for myself.
"I do," he confirmed with a sharp nod.
He looks over at her and sees her eyes boring into him, watery and wide and… focused. Like she's trying to get him to understand, will him to understand.
But he's tired. It's been a long case. It's been a long year.
Everything with Gibbs and EJ and Franks and SecNav, and fuck, if he hadn't thought that he had lost Ziva again. He thought he had done better to keep it under lock this time, but tell that to Kort and the wall of his apartment that he had put his fist through when he got home after Franks' funeral.
"Is CI-Ray moving in?" The nickname isn't so much a hit at the guy anymore, just a habit.
She exhales, almost a breathy and mildly bitter laugh. "No, he's not."
He accidently meets her eyes just then, and something has shifted again. He doesn't know what to say and he doesn't feel like making a joke or playing a game and because it's Ziva he knows that he doesn't have to.
"He gave me an empty box." Tony looks up, completely confused. "An empty ring box," she clarifies. She sighs, shakes her head, takes a sip of her drink, and gives him a strange smile. "He says that it's a promise."
"Sounds like an empty promise." The words are out of his mouth before he can stop them and for a moment he's afraid of how she's going to react – because she still had a cut on her head and her boyfriend gave her an empty ring box and a year ago she wanted to make a home for herself and she doesn't have that quite yet. "Sorry."
"No, that's what I thought," she tells him simply. "He left."
Tony looks up at her again, "Where'd he go?"
She shakes her head softly, "He did not tell me. He said… he said a lot of things, Tony."
Because what else is he supposed to say? Is he supposed to bash the guy that supposedly loves her? The guy who implied that he wants to marry her? Or is he supposed to tell her to stick around and wait for him?
"But just because he says them… does not mean that he really means them."
"Doesn't mean he doesn't," Tony shrugs.
"No. But… there is something that is… off," she almost makes it sound like a question, like Tony would know better than she would about what was going on with the guy.
And finally her composure is gone for just a second, a momentary fury of frustration when she immediately says, "I think he's keeping something from me and-"
"He just says a lot of things, Tony," she says as a means of an explanation, her voice is more controlled and much softer this time.
"Maybe you need time," he offers with a lame shrug. "Everyone's emotions have been a little… heightened lately."
"Heightened," she repeats in a low murmur, so quiet that he barely hears it. "I don't know if I'm supposed to wait for him. I don't know if I can keep waiting."
The way she says it, the way she looks at him, makes him feel funny. Squirmy, like he needs to move, because he doesn't know if it's just Ray that they are discussing now.
"Tony," she says his name like she's about to ask him something important, say something important.
"I should go," she finally says after she finishes her drink. "I am meeting Abby for an early lunch tomorrow."
Ziva doesn't move, and her eyes stay focused on him, like she's trying to make up her mind about something.
"Ziva," he finally says after she stands up, and she turns and looks at him with something strange in her eyes. "Sometimes the words aren't right. Doesn't mean they care any less."
She looks like she doesn't know what to say to him. She tells him goodnight and leaves the bar.
He watches her back until he can't see it anymore, and then send hers a quick text: Let me know you got home safe?
He stays in the booth and thinks about empty promises and job promotions and handmade caskets and finally his thoughts float to Jimmy and the impending wedding and he's glad the guy made it back home safely after the whole P2P thing and he hopes that the rest of his life is much less eventful than that.
He finishes his beer, walks out to the parking lot, drives back to his apartment and thinks about buying a place of his own.
He thinks he needs something permanent.
His phone buzzes.
Something that can't be taken away.
She's home and she's safe and she says she's going to bed and thanks for the drink.
He's starting to think it's too much to ask.
He tells her to have a good lunch with Abby, says goodnight, and falls into his own bed.
It's just different for some of us.