Set after Judgment Day.

Anthony DiNozzo was a lonely man. He was 36 and had never been in a long term relationship, he had never fully understood why, until tonight.

In a drawer he had forgotten, he had stashed away all meaningless photos of crime scenes, or rather the people investigating them.

He was depressed again; Jen was dead, he was an agent afloat, McGee was in cybercrimes and Ziva had been booted back to Mossad. Tony was looking for alcohol in and shape or form. He had depleted Ducky's stash and had tried to break into Gibbs' basement but had only managed to drink a bottle of bourbon before Gibbs' found him. He had been forced to hope that he had something hidden away at home; he had turned his place upside down, looking for a bottle of any kind of fermented liquid. He had broken open the jammed drawer in his kitchen but didn't find the bounty of booze he had hoped for, but a small treasury of photographs.

Drunkenly he pulled the collection out and sat on the floor among the broken bits of wood. He sifted through the pile; nearly all of them were of Ziva. Sure he had some of McGee, Gibbs (when he could manage), even some of Kate and the occasional Ducky, but more often than not, Ziva was in every second photo. A lot of the time she had shielded her face from view with her hands but between her fingers he saw her smile, and Tony smiled too. His numb fingers dropped the stack and the photos scattered across the floor. Tony sighed and collected them up again.

The last photo made him stop. It was of Ziva, yes, but it wasn't like the others; she wasn't bending over or shielding her face, she must have been climbing out of the truck and had looked up at him through her lashes. All that the camera caught was her chocolate brown eyes, a snipet of her dark, wavy hair and her petite nose. It was a supermodel shot and they hadn't even tried.

There was something that her eyes were saying but Tony's befuddled brain failed to pin-point what it was. She was beautiful, she was smart, she was forbidden and he loved her. He knew that now… but it was too late. She was gone, his chance was gone. Tomorrow he would be on a ship and he would never see her again. He would never know that look in her eyes again.

On the ship.

His wall was plastered with her, mainly from when they were in LA, but Ziva was all that kept him sane on this sallow, depressing piece of corrugated iron. He stood in front of her pictures, wanting to touch her again, to smell her hair, to see her smile, to be with her… he picked up the phone and dialed her number.

"Shalom." He heard her voice again, she was real again. For once in his life Tony was at a loss for words.

"Hello?" she tried. Tony sighed.

"Bonjour?" she tried in French. Speak Italian. He silently urged.

"Who is there? Speak!" Tony hung up. He didn't know why he had called in the first place. He flopped down on his small bed and reached under his pillow for the photo of her eyes.

Ziva gazed up at him and he felt as if her were falling through space. Tony picked up the phone again.

* * *

Tony called her everyday but he never spoke, he just listened to her talk to reassure himself she was still alive. He listened to her shout and get angry at the person who kept calling her.

After two weeks it was Ziva who hung up on Tony. After three weeks Tony stopped calling and just sat in depressive silence, clutching her picture in his hands; afraid to let it go… afraid to let her go.

He still couldn't find what her eyes were saying; even when he was completely sober. There were just too many walls around Ziva David.

"You hide too many secrets." He whispered to the photo. He put it away and pulled out a picture of an angry looking Gibbs.

"Come on Boss. This is getting bad… I'm talking to freakin' pictures!" he rounded on another photo, "What are you laughing at McGee?" he looked at Ziva's bikini clad form and wished that the past 4 months had never happened. He wanted to get off the ship, he wanted to go home… he wanted Ziva.

* * *

He had gotten the call; Ziva was back in DC. She wasn't dead, she hadn't died in that explosion in Morocco, she was very much alive and he was still on the SS Roald Reagan. McGee was on Gibbs' team again and, after insulting the Director without even knowing he was even there, he was informed that Gibbs and Ziva were on their way.

"Nice tan." Were the first words out of her mouth, not 'I missed you', 'good to see you' or even a sincere smile. Instead it was mocking teasing, just like the old days. The days he wanted to leave behind.

"You seem, um… different."

"Taller? Hotter?"

"Older." She said, cutting him off.

"Well it has been four months." She looked at him sadly.

"You still beating yourself up over Jenny?" Tony looked away from her.

"Not as much as I used to."


"Not as much as I used to." She touched his shoulder gently.

"You could have called." And she walked away.

If only you knew.

"Tony! What are these doing on your wall?" Ziva exclaimed, indicating angrily at the pictures from LA.

"I don't know." He mumbled absent-mindedly. He wasn't as excited to see Ziva as he thought he would be. She didn't seem pleased to be back from Israel and she definitely didn't seem to be happy to see him.

"Hell of a co-winki-dink."

"What is quink-a-dink?"

"Coincidence." He explained.

"Oh, and you believe this is a co-winki-quink?"

"Sarcasm Ziva, we're back in America now. Flip the switch."

"Well technically we are not."

"American ship, American soil… oh American soil." He moaned longingly.

"Enough already, you have three more months. What is the big deal?"

"Easy for you to say." He mumbled

"What is that supposed to mean?" she snapped back.

"You're back in DC, it's what you wanted." A pained expression flashed across Ziva's face and then she looked away. Tony felt like he had sprinted into a wall.

"Isn't it?"

"You get orders Tony, you may not like them but you follow them. That is why they are called orders."

"That's not what I asked. Something happened in Israel didn't it? You'll say you don't want to talk about it but your eyes won't shut up. Something you left behind maybe? Or someone?"

"You are right Tony. I do not want to talk about it." She replied, looking him in the eyes. There were walls behind the brown surface, walls that he couldn't get through.

"I missed you Ziva." He said before crashing his lips on hers. She didn't resist, running her fingers through his hair, sucking on his lower lip while her pinned her up against the wall. When they broke apart there were tears in her eyes… slowly melting down the walls like they were acid.

"I thought you wouldn't care if I was gone. I…I thought-"Tony silenced her with a kiss, soft, tender and loving.

"Rule number 12?" she asked between his kisses.

"Not on American soil… it's out the window."

"Are you sure?" she asked breathlessly, looking up at him from between her lashes. It was nearly the same image that was under his pillow. In her eyes was love and desire and both were for him.

"Positive." And they sank to the cold steel floor.

Ziva had lied, she wasn't a screamer she was a seductress.

She collapsed on top of Tony, that was the best sex she had ever had; even if it was on an incredibly uncomfortable floor.

"I have a problem Tony… I think I'm falling in love with you."

"I had that problem a long time ago." He said, kissing her.

"How long ago?"

"Since I saw the look in your eyes."

I don't normally write mushy love, happy ending stories but I get a soft spot if it's my fave pair.

So tell me what you think.