One Headlight


Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or the song or the band.


Author's Note: Yes, I probably do have an unhealthy addiction to songfics, I'm sorry.


So long ago, I don't remember when

That's when they say I lost my only friend

Tony would never forget Kate; she was one of his best friends.

Ziva would never forget Tali; she was her greatest friend.

They were both those things that you say you'll never forget; however, eventually, everything blends together and you'll remember the big things like a sniper or a suicide bombing, but you forget things like words or if there were clouds in the sky.

Well, they said she died easy of a broken heart disease

As I listened through the cemetery trees

Both Tali and Kate were beautiful people with beautiful souls. They hadn't deserved what had happened to them, but if you were one of those people who said that everything happened for a reason, it was more than easy to say that the deaths had came to change the lives of those around them.

Sometimes Tony would sit in the silences and watch Kate walk into the squadroom. He would talk to her about little things. He would ask her about the afterlife and she would be vague. She would tease him about Ziva and he would avoid the question.

At night, Ziva would sit on the edge of her bed and Tali would come sit beside her and they would discuss whatever came to mind. Ziva would ask her if she was in a better place and Tali would only smile. Tali would ask her what Tony was like and Ziva would smile back at her little sister.

And then they would realize that there was no one else in the room. Everything would go back to the still and silent gloom that it had been before.

I seen the sun comin' up at the funeral at dawn

The long broken arm of human law

They had wanted revenge for what had been taken from them. They both knew that it wasn't a healthy desire, but they couldn't help it.

When Tony learned that Ari had been killed, he had to hold in a cheer.

When Ziva killed the head of the terrorist cell that had sent in the bomber who killed Tali, she had to restrain herself from kicking the corpse's face in with her heavy military boots.

Now it always seemed such a a waste

She always had a pretty face

They were both beautiful women.

It was a shame that Kate never got to marry and raise a family of her own.

It was a shame that Tali never got to finish high school and go on to college; to meet her soulmate and fall in love.

What a waste of such beauty.

So I wondered

How she hung around this place

Tony didn't even know why someone like Kate would want to take a career in the fields she was in. It wasn't the type of job for someone like Kate. Sure she could handle it. She could more than handle it, but still.

Ziva questioned why Tali had been born a David. She didn't deserve that. Tali was too sensitive. Their father had raised them to be strong and obedient. Raised them in a military household, which came to suit Ziva. Tali, however, never fit in with the rest of the family. She was fun-loving and pacifistic. She was everything that Ziva and their father were not.

Hey

Come on try a little

Nothing is forever

They knew that they wouldn't have lived forever, but they thought that they would at least be around a little longer.

There's got to be something better than

In the middle

But they were tired of mourning. They would always remember Tali and Kate, but they didn't have to live in the shadow of their deaths any longer.

But me and Cinderella

We put it all together

We can drive it home

With one headlight

It was time to move on.


She said it's cold

It feels like Independence Day

And I can't break away from this parade

Ziva knocked on Tony's door and he scrambled to open it. It was the middle of the night, actually early in the morning, and he could tell who it was without even looking.

"Ziva," he stated, opening the door and looking at her.

It was snowing lightly and their were white flakes sticking in her almost black hair. And yet, there she stood in a short sleeved shirt without so much as a jacket.

"You should come in," he held the door open and stepped back so that she could come in.

She stepped in, but they didn't go farther than five feet from the door.

"Am I cold, Tony?" she asked suddenly.

"Well, you were standing outside in the snow without a coat-"

"No, Tony, emotionally. Am I emotionally cold?"

"What do you mean?"

"I was just remembering something that Abby told me once...That I acted like an emotionless robot or something like that..."

"Didn't she take that back, Ziva?"

"Yes, but it's been bothering me lately."

"Have you been drinking, Ziva?"

"No."

He gave her a look.

"...Maybe a little."

He looked at her with a superior look.

"Oh, like you haven't!" she said, pointing to two empty beer bottles and a third, half-full, bottle on a table in his living room.

"It's different," he mumbled.

"How?!" she snapped.

He mumbled and stuttered for a moment before saying, "You want a beer?"

Before she could answer, he had already headed to the kitchen to get a beer out of his fridge.

But there's got to be an opening

Somewhere here in front of me

Through this maze of ugliness and greed

She hopped up onto his kitchen counter and leaned up against the cabinets. He handed her the beer and went to the living room and got his own beer and came back to the kitchen.

He hopped onto the kitchen counter beside him.

For a moment, they just sat there, looking across the kitchen at the wall on the other side.

They both knew what they were avoiding, but they didn't know how to handle the situation. All they wanted was to forget the grief.

And I seen the sun up ahead

At the county line bridge

Sayin' all is good and nothingness is dead

Why were they here?

What had made her come to him?

They were both so hopeless. All they wanted was to not wallow in pity alone.

At that moment, they felt hopeless and lost. There was nothing ahead of them to look forward to.

We'll run until she's out of breath

She ran until there's nothing left

She his the end

It's just her window ledge

He jumped down and put on his coat, then turned back to her and held out his hand, "Come on."

"Where are we going?" she asked, following him.

"Come on," he repeated, walking out the door.

They jogged down the stairs, him leading her to his car.

"You're drunk," she stated.

"I'm not drunk. Let's go," he said, opening the door.

"Where are we going?" she asked again, climbing into the passenger seat.

He didn't even look up as he dug through his pockets for his keys.

"Tony," she said in a warning tone, "Where are we going?"

In reply, he turned the key and revved the engine.

Hey

Come on try a little

He just had to get out of that apartment.

Nothing is forever

There's got to be something better than

In the middle

He had felt guilty for the last time.

But me and Cinderella

We put it all together

He had thought about doing this all night and when Ziva came over, he knew what he needed to do.

We can drive it home

With one headlight

He had a vague idea of where he was going, but that was all he needed.

Well, this place is old

It feels just like a beat-up truck

I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn

He drove, taking back roads whenever he could.

After the first ten minutes, Ziva had stopped asking where they were going. He took that as a sign that she trusted him. She had finally fallen asleep. They had been driving for over forty-five minutes.

Well it smells of cheap wine, cigarettes

This place is always such a mess

Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn

He stopped at a red light in what was getting close to the middle of nowhere. He looked around and saw a trashy little town surrounding him. His anger swelled at the town. Nothing would please him more than to see it go up in flames.

Right after Kate was killed, Tony had taken off driving with nowhere in mind to go to. He had ended up here in this little town. Every thing about it reeked of anger and guilt. This little melancholy hellhole.

I'm so alone and I fell just like somebody else

Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same

In essence, they were both the same. The had not gone out of their way to change after Kate or Tali died.

At the same time, Tony wouldn't have even known that this town existed before Kate died.

And Ziva would have never thought about love enough to trust Tony here and now had it not been for Tali's memory.

They weren't the same Tony and Ziva that they had been, but on the outside you would never know.

But somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin' dreams

I think her death, it must be killin' me

On the inside, they were dying. The guilt and grief had built up. If they didn't release it soon, they would die.

That's what he was trying to do. The night after Kate was killed, he knew he had to leave the city. The city was Kate's.

Now, he knew the same thing. Only this time, he knew it for Ziva. He had to get her out of the city. This time, the city was Tali's.

He stopped the car and reached over to shake Ziva awake, "Hey, wake up."

She groggily raised her head and looked around through half-opened eyes, "Where are we?" she mumbled.

"Come on," he said again. He got out of the car and walked over to her side and opened the door, "Take off your shoes," he commanded. She complied and he did the same.

He took her hands and led her out into the darkness. She heard a familiar sound, but she just could not place it.

Soon she felt the texture of the ground change beneath her feet. Sand.

Then she recognized the sound. Waves.

"Tony where are we?" she asked again.

"Shh," he whispered, moving to stand behind her.

He sat down on the sand and pulled her with him so that she was sitting in his lap.

Hey hey hey

Come on try a little

Nothing is forever

"I'm finished with the past," he whispered, putting his jaw on her shoulder. Her heart-rate sped up and her breathing became a little more rushed.

"I'm done feeling guilty over what happened to Kate. There was nothing I could do," he said before continuing, "And there was nothing you could do about Tali."

She drew in a deep breath and stiffened up.
"It's over, Ziva. You're done, okay? You can keep mourning her and remember her, but you don't have to feel guilty anymore," he continued. It was like he could read her mind.

"You don't know..." she said and he could feel the sobs she was holding back.

"I don't need to. It doesn't matter. You've moved past that."

"How can I? She was my little sister, Tony," she was crying a little now.

"You don't have to forget, but you don't have to blame yourself," he whispered, rubbing her arms to comfort and warm her.

There's got to be something better than

In the middle

"I know it's not easy to just let go, but we can, right?" he said, almost questioning himself.

"Why are we here, Tony?"

"It's time to move on. Alright? Right here and right now is where the rest of our lives start. No more guilt over Kate or Tali or even Jenny. This is where we start over," he stated, moving so that he could look her in the eyes.

They looked at each other for a while before Ziva said, "Let's go."

He looked at her, not knowing what she meant by that.

"I'm ready to start a new life," she said, looking off over the dark waters.

"Me, too," he said, kissing the top of her head and wrapping his arms tightly around her middle.

He put his knees up on either side of her and she sat between his legs, leaning back against his chest.

But me and Cinderella

We put it all together

"We're not doing this alone," she said, giving him a small smile.

"No, no more doing things alone."

"Thank you, Tony," she said, looking him in the eyes.

"For what?"

"I think you saved my life," she replied softly.

He gently placed a hand on her jaw and brought her face down to meet his. He lightly brushed his lips against hers, but she caught him and drew the kiss out a little longer than he had expected.

"I'm always gonna be here for you, Ziva," he smiled, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.

"Likewise, Tony," she smiled back.

"I love you, Ziva," he said softly.

"I love you, Tony," she replied.

He brought her back down for another, more passionate, kiss.

We can drive it home

With one headlight

They broke apart and Tony looked at her for a while before saying, "It certainly has brightened up since we first got here."

She turned and looked around and gasped a little. It was beautiful.

They were setting on the beach with small waves lightly lapping at the shore. The sun was just coming up and the sky was shades of pinks, oranges, and blues.

"Oh, Tony," she said, speechless.

"Yeah, I know. I came here one time because I didn't know where I was going, now I come here to think."

"It's beautiful," she said.

"Yeah," he said, watching her look out over the Chesapeake Bay.

He stood up, dusted the sand off of him and reached down to help Ziva up.

"Come on," he said, offering his hand to her.

This time she didn't even ask where they were going. As long as they were together, it would be alright.


A.N.: The song is One Headlight by The Wallflowers.

This story is for Jeremiah, Brittany, and Zach. On the way back from the quiz bowl tournament today (this was supposed to be up Saturday so that's when the tournement was), they sang a song together and now, thanks to them, I have them singing Desperado stuck in my head. But it's a really nice song to get stuck in your head. Those guys have more singing talent than I could ever dream of having. This one's for them!

Please review!