A/N: The sad conclusion.
Later that day, Tony went to see Ziva. The moment he stepped into her room, he felt a sudden change in his hopeful mood. It was like dread drenched him, head to toe. He brushed it off, and blamed it on the burrito McGee had given him for lunch. Tony wouldn't think anything of this feeling until much later. He walked over to her bed and plopped himself down in the chair next to it. He sat in silence for hours before finally speaking.
"You've had an awfully long nap now Sleeping Beauty. It's time to wake up and face the evil dragon. And by dragon, I mean Gibbs." He scrunched his face up in thought. "I guess Gibbs isn't evil." He laughed as he had a sudden thought. "I guess he'd be more like Prince Charming." When he'd realized what he had said, his face scrunched up in slight disgust. "That is slightly disturbing." He looked over at his sleeping friend and sighed. "Just forget this conversation ever happened."
"What conversation?" McGee asked from the door way. Tony turned to look at him and then turned back to Ziva.
McGee sighed and walked over to stand by Tony.
"You've been here for hours."
"Yeah, so, what's your point?" Tony replied, his eyes still on Ziva.
"It's time to go home Tony." McGee gently stated.
Tony sighed. He knew McGee was right, but he didn't want to admit it. All he wanted to do was stay with his partner until she woke up. "I know."
"Come on. Let's go to The Pink Flamingo. I'll buy you a beer." McGee had a hopeful smile on his face.
Tony stood up and shook his head. "Nah. I'm not really in the mood. But thanks Tim." And with that, Tony left, leaving McGee in the room with his unconscious partner.
Days passed, and Ziva made no improvement. The team had each visited her daily and her room has become quite colorful with the vases full of different kinds of flowers and cards. The NCIS team had become quite acquainted with the nursing staff as well.
Tony, Abby and McGee were currently in with Ziva, giving her details on their latest case.
"Hey," McGee said, interrupting Abby's explanation as to how she and McGee hacked into a major corporation to catch a serial killer, "what's going on with Ziva?"
Abby and Tony quickly turned their attention to Ziva, who was clenching her jaw.
"Oh no." Abby whispered.
"What's going on Abs?" Tony asked, but got no answer.
Abby bolted from her chair into the hall. "We need some help in here!" She screamed, and a moment later, three nurses ran into the room.
"What's going on?" The second nurse asked and Abby pointed to Ziva who was still clenching her jaw.
"Call Doctor Maxwell." The first nurse said and the third nurse ran out of the room.
"Will someone please tell me what's going on?!"
Abby was hesitant for a minute, but that was too long for Tony.
"Abs! Will you please tell me what's going on!" He yelled.
"That is exactly what I'd like to know." Doctor Maxwell announced as he ran into the room. "Oh no." As soon as he saw Ziva he went to the one of the cabinets in the room and pulled out a syringe.
"What's that?" Tony yelled, but Maxwell ignored him and stuck it into Ziva's IV line. "Hey!" He yelled again.
"Diazepam. It should help her relax."
"What's going on?" Tony yelled.
Doctor Maxwell was quiet for a moment.
"Doc?" McGee asked quietly.
"What just happened to Ms. David is called lockjaw." He paused and Tony cut in.
"And what is that mean?!"
Doctor Maxwell sighed. "It means that Ms. David, most likely, has tetanus."
The room was silent for, what seemed like, eons, but in reality only a few moments.
"Tetanus?" Tony whispered and Doctor Maxwell nodded.
Suddenly, Ziva's heart rate monitor started to beep rapidly and Doctor Maxwell's head whipped around to see his patient. Tony, Abby and McGee did the same thing.
Ziva was arching her back so that her back was as far off the mattress as it could possibly be.
"Dammit!" The doctor swore and then turned to the nurses. "Get them out of here!"
The nurses began to usher a crying Abby, a concerned McGee and a resisting Tony out of the room as several more doctors came rushing into Ziva's room.
"What is taking so long?" Tony exasperatedly yelled as he paced the waiting room.
"I don't know." Ducky answered solemnly. The old doctor was fearing the worst. He knew the tetanus survival rates were extremely low, and worried that Ziva might not be able to make it through this.
The whole team, Palmer included, were currently gathered in the ICU waiting room, waiting for any information on their friend. Minutes passed, and just when Tony was going to complain again, Doctor Maxwell walked in.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs looked up when he heard the door open and searched the doctors face for any indication for the condition of his coworker. His heart fell when he saw the pained expression on his face. It's not good.
The doctor took a deep breath before speaking. "We did absolutely everything that we could, but the damage was done. I am very sorry to tell you," He sighed, "that Ms. David has passed away."
Tony felt like he had been kicked in the stomach. He felt like he couldn't breathe. His partner was dead. His Ziva was dead. Ziva was dead. Time seemed to stop for the senior agent. He looked back at the doctor, making sure that he had heard right. The expression on Doctor Maxwell's face confirmed that he had heard right, and Tony felt like he had been kicked again.
McGee felt like he had crashed into a brick wall while going full speed in his car. Another coworker had died. He turned his attention to Abby and pulled her into his arms. He felt his shirt turn wet and deduced that it was Abby's tears. He felt the tears prickling the back of his eyes and allowed his tears to fall down his face.
Abby's breath caught in her throat, and she quickly swallowed the lump that was forming. Automatically, her eyes filled with tears and she felt them to flow down her face. Her best friend was gone. Ziva was gone. Dead. Because of a dog. She felt a sudden hatred to all living things, including Jethro the dog, and then felt someone pulling her into a hug. She allowed herself to be engulfed in the hug.
Jenny was in shock. She had known Ziva for years and had witnessed her survive all kinds of attacks. She never suspected that the life of Ziva David would be ended by a dog attack. She looked down and realized that her hands were shaking, and was surprised when Gibbs' took her hands in his and rubbed her palm with his thumb.
Ducky felt his mouth go dry. As bad as it was to think about Ziva dying, he wasn't surprised. He took off his glasses and wiped his eyes with his handkerchief. He dreaded having to do an autopsy on another friend, but he knew that he would have to work through that dread, and do it anyway.
Palmer was speechless. Sure, he hadn't known Ziva like the other's had, but he knew that he'd liked her. He looked around at the rest of the team, devastation was on each of their faces.
Gibbs' heart sunk low in his chest. First Kate and now Ziva? It didn't seem fair. He blamed himself right away. Blamed himself for taking Ziva to the arrest. Blamed himself for letting her be on his team. Blamed himself for…for everything. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that Jenny was shaking. Not even realizing what he was doing, he reached over and took her hands into his and began to stroke her palm with his thumb. He glared at the doctor, sending him on his way, leaving his family alone to grieve.
1 Year Later
Tony let out the breath that he hadn't realized he had been holding as he walked up to Ziva's grave. He bent down and carefully placed the bouquet of lily's in front of the headstone. He stayed bent down and lightly traced the letters on the stone.
A great friend, daughter and sister.
You will be missed.
There was Hebrew script underneath it that said the same thing.
The day after Ziva's funeral, Gibbs had come into the office to find Tony's desk empty. A few months later, he got rid of rule 12. A few weeks after that, Abby and McGee announced that they were dating. Two months following, Gibbs and Jenny decided that life was too short, that they still had feelings for each other, and that they'd give their relationship another try.
Tony stood in front of Ziva's headstone. Over the past 12 months, he had become a regular visitor to the cemetery where she lay to rest. He usually came twice a week, sometimes more. Tony was currently working as a local LEO. So far he'd been forced to work with NCIS once. The moment he stepped into the bullpen, memories of Ziva had flooded back to him. Some good, some bad. He surprised himself by being able to work through them and catch the bad guy.
"I miss you Zee." He swallowed the lump in his throat. "Damn. I swore that I wouldn't cry today." He bit his lip. "Kendall asked me out today. I told her no. It's only been a year, and I can't stop thinking about you." He felt the tears starting to form in his eyes, and quickly blinked them back. "I keep thinking about what could have happened between us, ya know?"
Kendall 'Keni' Lewis was Tony's new partner. She had had a thing for him since day one, but Tony had always ignored her advances.
"What if…What if we got married? What if we had a family?" He wiped his eyes. "What if you and I…were soul mates?"
Tony flashed back to the day that Ziva brought up that same subject. They were standing by the vending machines, and he had made a joke, completely ruining the 'moment' that they could have shared.
"I've felt…I feel, so different…since you…" He took a deep breath. "I really, really miss you Ziva. More than you'll ever know." He took a deep breath to calm himself down. "I'll see you tomorrow Ziva." He kissed his finger tips and gently put them on the top of the headstone, then turned and walked away.
A/N: Wow. That feels like (dare I say) my best work. Please, please, please let me know what you think. Did you tear up? I did a little bit. See you all next time!