Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the scene flash before him.

Brown eyes, echoing pain and betrayal, searching the room and seeking Ziva's face.

Tony heard her screams, could see her gun dropped to to the floor in a careless and uncharacteristic clatter and could see her rush to Michael's side.

He watched as her hands cradled Rivkin's head and her fingers pushed against his bloody shoulder, trying to staunch the flow.

She had shot Tony a death-glare over his shoulder, the likes of which he had never seen from her before. Well, not directed at him anyway.

And his heart slowly broke.

He wondered, in that fleeting second, if he'd ever be able to repair things with them. Or if they'd live in this permanent state of distrust and hatred.

He didn't know if he could bear that.

And now, sitting at his desk, the bullpen dim and empty, the scene replayed itself in front of him every time he closed his eyes.

Which explained the two empty cans of Redbull on his desk.

He'd pass out from exhaustion before he voluntarily succumbed to sleep.

He scrubbed his face with the heels of his hand and groaned. The sound of the aluminum cans hitting his waste basket made him jump about three feet out of his chair before he focused on the angry brunette who had stepped away from his desk and towards her own.

"I will not miss my flight tomorrow morning because you overslept. You know how you crash after you drink that stuff."

Ziva's hair was damp and hanging down her back, having obviously just come from the showers at the gym.

He hadn't seen her since she jumped into the ambulance with Rivkin. And, knowing Ziva, she hadn't stopped at home to clean up before coming back to the base; a shower on base was the quickest and most efficient solution. And that was Ziva- Quick and Efficient.

Tony watched as she removed personal item after personal item off her desk, loading up her backpack.

"You're doing some serious packing, there," he commented.


"Does that mean I have to break in a new probie?"

"That is up to Gibbs," she replied.

"So, what, you're going to go back to Israel and sit by his bedside while he gets his shoulder sewn shut?" He snipped, immediately regretting the words the moment they were out of his mouth.

She turned on him, her dark eyes sparking with anger. "He is my partner, Tony. He got shot, or do I need to remind you of that since it was your unnecessary bullet that put a hole in him in the first place!?"


"Where would you have me be if it were you with a bullet wound? I'd be by your side, too. Assuming there wasn't some doctor, taking up space," she spat out between clenched teeth.

"Jeanne was a case!" He hissed. "Leave that out of it!"

"How can I leave that out of it? It has everything to do with it!" She grabbed Rivkin's photo out of her desk drawer and shoved it into her backpack, zipping it shut. "I sat at my desk and waited for you to tell me everything; I waited for you to trust me. And what do I get? Betrayal. You loved her, Tony. And the first person who has loved me, you SHOOT in the shoulder!"

"I thought he had a gun!" Tony shouted, his fist slamming against his desk top. "I thought – I thought he was going to shoot you!!" He knew his voice was erratic and his words weren't clear; but there was no way he could vocalize the fear he felt when he had thought that that Rivkin was about to off his target – Ziva.

"Of course he has a gun, you idiot. He's Mossad!" she sighed and rolled her eyes. "But he was not reaching for it. He was reaching for this!" she flashed her hand in his direction. "He was trying to propose."

Tony's eyes caught the flash of light against a glimmering white stone and he felt his stomach churn and his heart rush with anger.

He swallowed, feeling the bile in his throat. "Then I suppose congratulations are in order, along with my most sincere apologies."

She looked down at her feet before meeting his eyes finally. "Not yet. I have asked him for some time."

"But you're wearing the ring. That's usually pretty much as good as a yes."

Ziva nodded, a few of her wet tendrils of hair falling in her face. Tony felt his fingers itch to reach out and tuck the hair behind her ear.

"Usually. But I will wear it for safe keeping until I finish thinking."

Tony felt himself nod and he swallowed again, and cleared his throat. "Anything particular you have to think about?"

She flicked her eyes up to him quickly before reaching on the top of her filing cabinet and grabbing a photo frame that had escaped her earlier packing.

"I have much to think about, Tony," she stroked the glass lovingly one more time before setting the photo back on her desk. She turned, shouldered her bag, and walked away from him.

"Do not be late for the flight tomorrow," she cautioned, calling over her shoulder to him before as the stairwell door slammed shut.

In two quick steps, he strode across the aisle and picked up the picture frame. He took in the photo of the two of them, hair wild, sunglasses in place, grins from ear to ear.

It had been well worth the ten bucks he had paid the boardwalk tourist-trap photographer. The guy sold candid photos to tourists on the boardwalk and, Tony had no doubt, made a decent living doing so.

Tony had laughingly agreed to have their photo taken and he had slung his arm across her shoulders and pulled her to his side in a side-ways hug. Ziva was glancing up at him, over her sunglasses, laughing at how the photographer had said they looked so in love. If Tony recalled, neither had corrected the guy. And Tony had slipped him a handsome tip.

When they returned, her copy of the photo had gone up in a frame on her filing cabinet. His copy was wallet size and slightly dog-eared from all the times he caressed it with what he knew to be a wistful look on his face.

Tony's fingers caressed the picture in the frame and her words filtered through his head.

Maybe he needed to give her something to think about. Maybe it was now or never.

Tony sighed and put the picture frame on his own filing cabinet, determined to have it ready for her when he brought her back from Israel.

Like hell she was staying there.