Note From The Author—Well it would seem the tables turned last night. This time it was Tony who was left aching and unable to comfort. We all knew I couldn't leave this one alone.
Disclaimer—I don't own the characters of NCIS
Tony followed her to the bar that night. He wasn't sure what he hoped would come out of it; he only knew he needed to make sure she was okay. He knew she was giving Michael the other woman's number, just as surely as he knew how bad it was hurting her.
She wasn't inside very long, and when she came out the front door she wasn't surprised to find him there, slouching against the wall. "Somehow I knew you would not be able to leave well enough alone Tony."
He shook his head. "Talk to me Ziva."
"Why? Why are you so eager to be my shoulder to cry on?" she questioned.
Tony found he didn't have the answer, a state he was somewhat uncomfortable with. "I don't know." He rose to his full height and turned to face her. "I just know that you're hurting right now, and that it'll be better if you talk about it."
"The way you talked to me when you were in pain?" she spit our derisively.
This woman constantly left him speechless, and he wasn't used to it. "I learned the hard way that holding it in never helps. I should have taken the opportunity to let it all out."
She couldn't escape from the earnest caring emanating from the depths of his deep blue eyes and she felt trapped, boxed in both by his worry and her own raging emotions. "Tony I…." Her hands came up only to drop uselessly to her side. "I feel like I am falling to pieces."
He nodded. "I know."
"Do you?" she asked, desperation edging her voice. "Do you know what it feels like, to find yourself with nowhere to run? Do you know what it feels like to have the body of the man you just shot to save your own life drop on you like twenty pounds of lead?"
The tears coursing down her cheeks about brought him to his knees. "Ziva…"
She cut him off with a firm shake of her head. "No. You wanted to be here for me, you hear it all. Do you have any idea what it feels like to wipe away the blood? What it's like to know in an instant that you could die?"
"You know I do," he said quietly.
"Then you should know how I feel Tony. I'm better than this; I do not misstep or wait to take action. I do not…" She brought a shaking fist to her mouth, casting her eyes skyward. "I do not…" Ziva's words were finally cut off by the tears she couldn't seem to control.
Each of those tears stabbed at Tony like a knife. Needing to soothe, to comfort he pulled her into his arms. She fought him at first, beating at his chest and pulling against the confines of his arms, but she lost the will to fight as he stroked a hand over her hair and whispered to her, "I've got you."
Sobbing, she fell into him. "I cannot control anything. I have faced death so many times and yet…"
"It never gets any easier Ziva."
"It only gets harder," she told him, clinging to him as she was tossed about in the storm of her own emotions. "I did not want to die Tony. I do not want to die," she whispered.
When he spoke it was with steely conviction. "You didn't, and you won't."
She shook her head against his chest. "You cannot know that."
"I can." He brushed a kiss against hair.
Neither of them said a word for a long while. He only held onto her in silence as she battled back the demons. When her weary body finally stopped trembling and her tears began to dry on her cheeks he only raised her face gently in his hands and brushed the last away.
"You're a survivor Ziva, I know it."
Note From The Author—I know, dramatic much? But I was evidently feeling a little wrecked at one o'clock this morning and this was the result. I'm all into the comfort lately.