Ziva couldn't stop thinking about him. She usually had trouble doing so. But today, she was concerned about him. She had never seen him like this. He was like a ticking time bomb. Whenever they were together, the air felt thick. She hated not talking to him. She had become so accustomed to it over the past four years. Have I been too guarded? She asked herself for the first time. Of course I have. And now any chance we had might be ruined. Great. The longer Ziva thought about the love she felt for the man who had so coldly shown her how he didn't feel, the more it hurt. As she finished the last piece of paperwork, butterflies filled her stomach. Tony and Gibbs had been gone for hours. Where could they be? What were they doing? Could they be talking about—she never got to finish her thought. Her phone was ringing and she hoped it was him. It happened to be Ducky, asking her to come down to Autopsy.
Odd, Ziva thought, We have had no new cases and no new bodies. What could he want? She walked into the elevator and literally into Ducky.
"Sorry!" She said with a smile. Just the sight of Ducky cheered her up.
"It's quite alright, my dear. Would you like to take a seat?" Ducky gestured to the chair at his desk with a caring smile.
"No thank you. What can I do for you, Ducky?"
"Tell me what's on your mind," the Scottish man said, leaning up against one of his tables.
"Am I not supposed to be the one who asks that?"
"Not this time, dear girl. McGee came to me and said you've been distracted lately. After some observation myself, I came to the conclusion that he was right. Care to share?" Ziva sighed.
"I am quite alright, Ducky,"
"Apparently not. Your friends are worried about you,"
"They have no reason to be,"
"Mmm, so like Jenny," he mused.
"I do not know what you mean,"
"Jenny tried so hard to hide her feelings. She rarely opened up to anyone. She was strong, yes, but it was difficult for her to ask for help," Ziva was silent. She knew that Ducky had her, spot on. "You see, my dear, we all must open up sometimes,"
With another sigh, Ziva began to share her heart with the doctor who looked on her with such understanding and care.
"I am in love with someone," She said matter of factly. "I admit it. But I cannot figure him out. He drives me crazy and he is so childish and every time we get close to talking... And those moments… I can hardly breathe," Ziva finished, feeling exasperated with herself. "It must be my fault,"
"My dear, love is no easy thing. There will always be hurt. That is love. One must be patient. There are times to take action and times to just let it take its course. So for now, perhaps it is best not to do anything. Let Anthony come to you,"
"How…?" Ziva asked her eyes wide with wonder.
"Well it's not hard to figure out,"
"Am I that obvious?" Ziva asked, her irritation growing, not with the doctor, but with herself.
"I like to think it's because I have well developed skills of observation," Ziva smiled. She stood and gave Ducky a kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you," Though nothing had been resolved and no plan mapped out, she felt as if the world were a bit clearer.
"Pick up Ziva, come on…" Tony paced back and forth in the parking lot.
"David," The familiar voice answered. Tony suddenly felt warm though the air was cold.
"Look out the window," he said. Standing in the parking lot on his cell phone, he saw a woman appear at the window. Though he was far away, Ziva could see the smile on his face and the determination in his eyes he always got whenever he had something up his sleeve.
"What are you doing?" She asked, a skeptical half-smile played on her face. He couldn't know it from her chastising tone, but her own heart with pounding so hard inside of her she almost felt dizzy.
"Come out," Tony gently demanded. "Gibbs is letting us off early today,"
After a moment, Ziva answered, "It is getting dark," She crossed her arms to make her point.
"Please," Tony said, nearly sounding as if he was begging.
Her doubtful expression was replaced with a genuine smile. She gave in, grabbed her things and joined him outside, trying to appear as if she was not desperate. He led her to the car and opened her door. Normally Ziva would likely protest to such an act, defending her pride, but today, today things were different. She took a deep breath before he got in the car, trying to prepare herself for whatever he might say. David, you must be strong. You are Mossad. You are an NCIS special agent. Be professional about this.
He drove her to a small marsh, surprised that he knew where he was going with such a distraction as the beauty sitting beside him. As they drove he talked quietly about movies and Ziva listened patiently for the first time.
"Come with me," he said. They began to walk slowly along the shoreline. The rain had just lifted, but a golden fog surrounded them. A cool breeze swept Ziva's long brown curls away from her face.
"You drive me crazy," He finally said after they had been walking a while.
"The feeling is mutual," Ziva replied, playfully hitting his arm. He laughed ever so slightly, revealing the smile that had chipped away the stone surroundings of her heart for the past four years. Ziva's own smile grew wider as she watched him walk with his head down. They had left their shoes in the car despite the bitter cold.
"Four years changes a lot," he began. "So does four months." It was the summer away from one another that he was referring to. He looked up and stared out at the water, illuminated from the vibrant hues that glowed through the misty air. Ziva caught her breath, though she forced her expression to remain unchanged. "I'm really not good at this," he muttered. They stopped and he stared into her amber brown eyes for a moment. Ziva felt her cheeks grow warm, inwardly admonishing herself. It was certainly not like her to blush. "Ziva, a lot of things have changed these past few years. Including how I feel about you," Her eyes darted up to his face, meeting is own blue eyes.
"When I met you, I saw a gorgeous woman. I thought wanted her only to give me happiness. I thought wanted a merely physical relationship,"
"You are infamous for such things," Ziva said as she began to walk again, slowly.
"But I don't want that anymore. I've grown up a lot. Changed," Tony kept standing in the same place.
"Who do you see now?" she dared herself to ask. She couldn't bear to look at his face for fear of seeing only rejection. Ziva pulled her long black coat closer to her as she heard thunder roll behind them despite the golden cast the setting had set on the clouds in front of them.
"A gorgeous woman. She cares about people and she's strong and incredible and I… I want her. She's an amazing partner but I've come to see her as something more. I think it's time that she lets someone in,"
"Really?" Ziva questioned him sharply, staring at the sand beneath her feet. Tony walked to her, took hold of her upper left arm, and with the other hand, pulled her neck to him in a soft, passionate kiss. It was not what she had expected. In that moment, the remainders of her icy walls of heart were melted and the invisible wall had been knocked down.
"I love her," he said, looking into her eyes, his hand still gently holding onto the back of her neck. Tears welled in her eyes.
"Really?" she asked in a whisper. He answered with another kiss. Her hands found their way to his shoulders. He pulled her closer.
"Very much," he said in a whisper, wiping away the tear that had escaped her eye. She blushed again. She laughed quietly at herself and sniffed.
"Tony," she said as he caressed her face. "I love you too." A small smile emerged as she looked up into the eyes man who she loved and who she now knew loved her back.