Ziva sighed as she heard the distinct sound of a woman crying. She stood up, for she was alone in the bullpen, and followed the sound. She could only guess who it was that was crying, and she really didn't want to see them at that moment, however, she wanted to lend out a 'helping hand', to get poor Jeanne Benoit through this. She knew that Tony never meant to harm her. He may be a 'player' as the American's called it, but he was definitely very careful with his women, especially the women he fell in love with. Another reason why he wasn't careful with Ziva. He had taken it slow with Jeanne, while unknowingly send Ziva through a phase of despair and jealousy.
She saw her sitting in the break room, staring over her cup of coffee. Ziva carefully took a seat across from her, "Jeanne?" She asked, and the woman looked up at her. Ziva had to admit that she was beautiful, even through the numerous tears that were streaming down her face.
"Yes? Who are you…w-what do you want?"
"I am Ziva David." She said, "I just wanted to know if you were…okay."
"Fine." She snapped, "Sorry for being rude. You don't know what I'm going through. First my father is murdered by my boyfriend, who apparently lied to me the entire time about our relationship!" She cried, sniffing a little, trying to wipe the tears away, "But you wouldn't understand."
"Your boyfriend's name was Tony DiNozzo, wasn't it? Er…Tony DiNardo."
"Yes."She said, looking up. She looked surprised, "How do you know him?"
"I am his partner." She said, taking in a deep breath as she watched the woman's face turn almost pale white.
"You're the one." She said, "You're the one he was in love with the entire time." This shocked Ziva. She sat back in her chair, away from Jeanne.
Tony did not love her. She knew that. He did not love her. She didn't know what she was talking about, half of her didn't want to know what she was talking about. She had been slightly less than obvious about where she wanted their relationship to go, beyond the 'best friend, partner stage.' Tony, however, obviously had other plans.
"Tony is not in love with me." Ziva slowly said, "Do you need a refill?" She kindly asked, wanting to change the subject as quickly as possible. Jeanne, however, didn't feel like she wanted to change the subject, which kept Ziva in a trap. Whenever Tony didn't want to talk about certain things, or dodge certain questions, he'd just change the subject or cover up with a joke or witty movie remark, sending her deep over the edge. However, she had gotten used to his normal 'dodging', and simply brushed it off. She often found herself doing the same thing to Tony himself. She didn't like a question he asked; she simply ignored it and changed the subject. It was a way for them to get out of talking about feelings with each other.
"No…but Tony, he never loved me, so obviously he had to love someone else. He was always on the phone, and then when he got off, he always left."
"At least he answered your phone calls." Ziva said, "He never answered any of mine. As a partner at NCIS, it was my responsibility to make sure that I knew where he was at all times. His undercover mission with you prevented me from doing so. He should have never gotten involved with you, it was all fake." Ziva bit her lip. She shouldn't have said that, she really shouldn't have. She knew that Tony thought it, she could see it in his eyes, but she knew that she wasn't the one that was supposed to say that. That was her partner's job. It was also her partner's job to inform her where he was at all times, and yet he had failed to do that over the past year.
Jeanne suddenly burst into tears, "He never loved me…he never loved me!" She moaned, and Ziva reached out and patted her back soothingly.
"I should not have said that. Tony was in love with you. He just knew that it could not be. With his mission, he was not even himself."
"You're just saying it so you can be with him yourself."
"I can not." She said, "Gibbs would not allow it."
She wiped her tears away and looked up at the Israeli, "You're very pretty." She smiled, "Gorgeous." Ziva blushed and looked down at the table.
"Thank you." She said, "But you are much better looking than me."
"Don't say that." She said, and they both started to laugh, "We sound like idiots."
Ziva agreed, "Yes. We do. But that is all right." She said, "Are you going to be okay? I am sure that there are plenty other men out there that would love to date you. You are beautiful, smart, and you have, I have no doubt, a great personality. Tony likes that in a woman. He loved you, so you must be an angel on earth." It was her turn to blush.
"Thank you, Ziva."
"No problem." She smiled, "Are you going to be all right?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine." She said, standing up and throwing away her untouched coffee. She held out her arms towards the Officer, "Hug?" she asked, and Ziva was shocked by her actions as she stood up and pulled her into a friendly hug, "Thank you." She whispered as she let go, "If only Tony would be a man and tell me to my face that he's lying, and that he doesn't love me, maybe I'll forgive him. But I still wish I never met him. He's turned my life upside down. The only choice I have is to leave the country."
"It's okay, Ziva." She said, stopping her, "Tony obviously is not ready to be mature and handle a long term relationship."
"I believe he is. But he could not, because of the mission that you should not have been pulled into."
"I know. But if he would just be a man…"
"Miss Benoit?" She turned to see one of the escorts from downstairs at the front desk peep his head through the doorway, "You ready to go?"
"I should go." Ziva said, and she patted Jeanne's shoulder, "It will be okay." She said before she left the break room and started back towards the bullpen. It was still empty, and she had been hoping that Tony was there so she could tell him what Jeanne had said about being a man. She suddenly heard the sound of a body against a metal filing cabinet, and she stood up as she watched Tony stand in front of Trent Kort, his hand up to his nose.
"Hey Trent," She could hear Tony say as she started towards them. She knew that this was going to get out of hand, and fast, "It wasn't just an operative. It was somebody's father." See? She knew that he still loved her. It almost made Ziva's heart break. She had loved him. For two and a half years, she had loved him. She had been blatantly obvious about it too, and he had yet to do anything about it. Trent shoved him, and she could read the anger in Tony's eyes as he glared at Trent. She stopped in front of the two. She quickly moved and brushed up against Tony's shoulder, signaling that he should stop, that she was there. Trent stared at her before staring back at Tony and then moving past Ziva, who moved her shoulder away, and walked away. She saw Jeanne walk by, with the escort. She stopped and stared at Tony. Ziva stared at her partner, who looked deeply hurt as Jeanne continued on.
Ziva took in a deep breath as she studied his face. He was about to cry, she knew that. She could see the unique face a million miles away and know that he was about to cry, "Be a man, Tony" She said, softly.
He quickly turned to her, "She accused me of murder."
"Who is the bad guy?" She demanded, "Be a man." She said, stronger, with more emotion, however, she refused to look him in the eyes, "Go tell her what she needs to hear." Tony studied her face, and she studied his for a couple of seconds, but it felt like hours, felt like days. Tony couldn't possibly have fallen in love with her on his undercover mission. No, not Ziva. She turned and watched as Tony stopped the escort and Jeanne as they stood in front of the elevator. She had told Tony to be a man, and tell her what she needed to hear. That should be good enough for her.
"Was any of it real?" She heard Jeanne ask, once she finally gave in and decided to eaves drop on their conversation. She knew it was wrong, but she had to know that Tony and Jeanne were both going to get through this.
Tony paused for a moment, a long moment. Half of her wanted to be cruel and tell him to say no while the other half almost wanted him to say yes. But that would mean losing Tony forever. Maybe, "No." Tony replied as the elevator doors slipped open and she stepped in. Even from her vantage point, she could tell that Jeanne was about to cry.
"I wish I never met you." She whispered, her voice cracking. She desperately was trying to keep the tears out of her voice as the elevator doors closed. Ziva waited a little and then, when she realized that Tony wasn't going to move from his spot in front of the elevator doors, she moved over and shook his shoulder, gently, cautiously.
"Tony…" She started, "Hey." She said, walking in front of him, so she could see his face. She put her hand softly on his cheek, "Do you want to go and get some drinks?" She asked, "Together? As friends?"
"No." he said, and she nodded, understanding, even though she was very disappointed, "I want to go with you as my best friend, Ziva."
"Would you like to see a movie and get pizza as well?" She offered, wanting desperately for him to flash her that huge DiNozzo smile of his. She failed.
"Sure. I need to get my mind off of Jeanne."
"She is gone, Tony." She reminded him, and he nodded, "I know, Ziva." He said, staring deep into her eyes, "I know."
She grinned, "Tony, cheer up." She said, "Smile. Think about McGee dumping coffee all over Gibbs." She said, thinking of the worst case scenario, "Think about how mad Gibbs would be. Think about how he would punish him."
She watched his face turn up in a huge smile before he threw his arms around her and hugged her tightly to his chest. She returned it just as he let go, "Thank you so much, Ziva. Let's go and get that drink. Last one to the car is taking shot gun!" He called as he took off towards the stairs. She laughed and followed him, realizing that everything was going to be all right. Tony got over things fast, she figured, or he was very good and covering up his true emotions.
Maybe he should have been an actor.