After persuasion by Kerrison, I sat down and decided to write another part to this. I thought it was perfect where I left it, but then I thought about it, and I was like nah. I'm adding another piece to it. If you don't want to review, it's alright with me. I just had to. :D

I'm dedicating this to two people: Silent Falling Rain because her birthday was yesterday, and Kerrison because she got me thinking about this enough to write it.


She was trying to sleep when he came by. Ducky had long since gone to work, leaving a note for her on the kitchen counter saying there was food in the oven. She got one more day off than everyone else, to which at first she complained, but then after a full week of work, she took her weekend off. She needed time to heal, to recuperate after what happened.

So, she was honestly surprised when he knocked on the front door. She actually thought he would just pick the lock like she taught him, but apparently he wanted to be gentleman like. As she stumbled down the stairs, her hair a mess and her shirt completely off center of her body, not one thought in her brain was on the fact that he might be on the other side of the door.

She expected Gibbs before him.

When she opened the door, they just stared at each other for a second. He looked like he wanted to say something, but his mouth shut quickly. He was looking her up and down, one of the looks he had given her in the past. She was strangely angered and happy to see it return.

"What do you want?" She asked, trying to not sound bitter. Like Ducky said, she had to work things out. It was her turn to talk, and she needed to go at it the right way. Sometimes, she was grateful to have such great friends.

"I just-" He stopped, obviously forgetting. She didn't blame him though. She stepped aside, and he walked inside carefully. He was wary of her personal space, and kept himself more than two feet away from her. She shut the door, yawning and moving through the entry way and into the lounge. She grabbed the blanket that had been declared hers, and sat down on the couch with it. He sat opposite her, on a different couch, his feet flat on the ground. He tried his hardest to look anywhere but her, but eventually his eyes found hers.

"I'm fine, if that is what you are wondering." She said shortly, and he shook his head.

"That was part of it." He said, laughing to himself. She heard the sounds, wondering when he got back the ability. It seemed to have been forever since she had last heard his laugh. And even more so in a light, good hearted way.

"When what?" She asked, sounding bitterer than she felt. She was happy he was here, happy she didn't have to take the first step and ask to talk to him alone. He had presented the perfect opportunity; all she had to do was take it.

"I don't know Ziva." He said, rubbing his face with his hands. She watched him, and decided her voice wasn't going to fail her now.

"Look, I am sorry for what happened." She said in a voice that suggested she was having a hard time thinking it through. He heard this, and kept his mouth shut. He had already said too much.

"And I guess you are right. It really is never too late." She said, trying to work out her next sentence in her head before she said it.

"I also understand what you mean, about the 'us'. I know that we used to be closer, and I should have trusted you. I owe you more than that, but I should have trusted you in your ways. Even if they caused me pain." She saw him wince at the last part, and tried to segway away from that topic.

"I'm sorry for putting you on the spot the other day. That wasn't the right place to get into that kind of stuff, even if we were forced against our will into the elevator by Gibbs." She said, her tone a little light. Tony laughed with her, but it died off when it became uncomfortable. She continued.

"And, I meant what I said. Too much was left unsaid, and it blew up in our faces. Badly." She said, finishing off her monologue. She felt exposed, and she shrunk back into the couch. She pulled the blanket up to her mouth, moving her hands under the blanket and onto her cheeks. She didn't look at him, and their silence was somewhat uncomfortable.

Finally, Tony shifted. It wasn't much, but he moved so he elbows were on his legs and he was leaning forward towards Ziva. She saw this out of the corner of eyes, but didn't move.

"What do we do about us?" He asked, and she shrugged.

"I know how you feel. I am still figuring out how I feel." She was wary of his reaction, watching him as he heard her words. He didn't say anything, and he didn't move. They were quiet, until Ziva couldn't stand it anymore.

"What do you want me to say?" She asked, meeting his gaze. Her voice was impatient, and bitter. Tony shrugged.

"You don't have to say anything." He said, cracking his knuckles. It was a noise that made her move her ears.

"Then what do you want?" She stressed each word, and he sighed.

"I just want a little honesty." He said, and she was a little scared at how alike those words were to her thoughts.

As they sat, the silence the consumed them wasn't as uncomfortable as it had been before.

"What if I said I want to work on getting back to the way we were?" She asked, and he pursed his lips.

"We can't be the way we were, ever again." He said, and she nodded.

"But, no one said we couldn't try." She said, and he smiled. Slowly, he got up off the couch and moved next to her. He sat with a space in between them, and very tentatively he reached over and took her hand in his own. He squeezed it gently, and she smiled at him.

She turned her hand over in his, and entwined their fingers.

--

Ducky watched as his 'family members' sat around his dining room table, food being passed around and conversation light in the air. He smiled at the sight of Jethro sitting at the other head seating of the table. Abby and McGee sat to Ducky's right, arguing over the potatoes. Abby was wearing her hair in braids, not the usual pigtails. They were each wearing casual clothes, and Abby had a purple scarf around her neck.

To Ducky's left, Tony and Ziva sat with their chairs close. They were talking quietly; their heads close as they shared food off each others plates. It had been a year since they decided to try. It started out slow, something that needed to be nursed and coddled. It was a tender flame, which was fed and kept in a guarded pit. As the year went on, the flame seemed to grow stronger. Their friendship was growing, and their trust was building again. Anyone could see their walls were still up, but around each other they seemed to let their guards' down just enough to work.

Ducky smiled as Tony gently fed Ziva some mash potatoes, and she smiled at him. Her hair had finally grown out to be all the same length, and most of her scars were gone. The left side of her face still bearded the redness of the huge swelling that manifested there. The look on Tony's face when Ziva finally said she could touch her face without any sort of pain was priceless, and even Gibbs had smiled.

Everyone's attention was drawn to the pair as Tony gently pushed hair off Ziva's face. She smiled at him, and cut a piece of meat for him. Their gentle demeanor and care they showed was something that made their friends' smile, glad that even after all that happened, they could sit together at a table and feed each other food.

And even Gibbs felt his heart strings tug when Tony leaned in, and gently kissed Ziva. A completely different kiss than the one they had shared in the bullpen over a year ago. That kiss was fueled by an argument, one that had been forced upon them and had fixed nothing.

This kiss was simple, and seemed to 'seal the deal' in a way. Because, finally, the partners were at peace.


The ending is as cheezy as a Costco pizza, and that is greasy and gross and.... cheezy. haha. That was cute though, and Costco pizza isn't cute. :) :)(: (:

Smiley faces galore. :D :) :] :} :P :) ;) ;] ;D ^__^ Okay, done now. Review if you want to make me happy. I'm running on reviews, candy, popsicles and three hours of sleep that I got yesterday.

-Izzzzzzzzzzzzy