Disclaimer: I do not own any of the original characters from the show, they belong to the writers of NCIS.
Author's note: Hey. :) So I managed to get this chapter up pretty quickly (just a few days, which, considering how busy I've been re-adjusting to school, I think is pretty good.) Plus, this chapter is the longest one yet, and has A LOT happening in it. Unfortunately, it is also the last chapter but, hey, every story has to end sometime. :)
There's a longer author's note at the bottom, so I won't keep you much longer. Just wanted to say thanks for all the reviews and enjoy!
"I went to the hospital and asked the doctor how she was doing and he said that she was in a coma and it didn't look good." Tony sucked in his breath as Abby sniffed back more tears and continued. "But the doctor said that she has a much better chance of coming out of her coma and surviving if people she knows and cares for talk to her. Please Tony, Ziva needs you... you have to come."
Tony closed his eyes to think more clearly, then opened them again, his voice shaking as spoke. "I am not sure that she will want me there Abby, Ziva hates me... and rightfully so."
"Tony, Ziva doesn't hate you. Right before she fell into the coma, she said your name."
Tony's heart was pounding in his ears as his taxi driver sped down the street. He and Abby had decided that she would go straight to the hospital and, since he didn't have a car, he would take a taxi back to NCIS headquarters where he'd tell Gibbs and McGee what happened, then take one of their cars to Bethesda.
The Mossad officer's heart ached as he thought back to the phone call he'd shared with Abby only five minutes ago.
She's in a coma… It's not looking good… You need to come… She said your name.
DiNozzo shook his head in order to clear his thoughts and ran both hands through his hair in anxiety. The butterflies in his stomach stirred mercilessly as it finally began to sank in that Ziva was in danger again.
The whole world seemed to spinning wildly out of control as Tony got out of the cab and paid the driver before running blindly towards the stairs. When he saw that they were closed, however, the Mossad officer swore under his breath before heading towards the elevator.
Why did this happen to her? Why Ziva? She had just recovered from the stabbing and now some idiot driver not only put her back in the hospital, but also in a coma?
Rage burned through Tony as he jabbed at the elevator call button. It wasn't fair. Everyone knew that Ziva was a better driver than him, so why was she the one who got hurt. Why couldn't it have been him? He would've gladly taken her place.
By the time the elevator had arrived, DiNozzo was on the brink of tears. Blinking them away, he stepped into the elevator and, only vaguely aware of another presence in the small metal box, selected his floor. While doing all this, he tried to ignore the nagging voice at the back of his mind that echoed his worst fear: She may not make it this time.
Tony ran both hands through his hair and began to pace the width of the elevator, only stopping when a familiar voice spoke to him. "I'm surprised you came."
The Mossad officer's eyes widened as he spun around to look at the other person in the elevator for the first time. His heart soared as his eyes took her presence in. "Ziva?!"
Ziva stared intently at Tony as the Mossad officer whirled around to face her. His face showed obvious shock and disbelief as he questioned, "Ziva?!"
DiNozzo's eyes lit up as he took in the presence of his former partner. He took one step towards her to pull her into a hug before he realized that she had lied to him. Anger and indignation quickly swept through his veins and the Mossad officer wiped all emotion from his face as he took a step away from Ziva and straightened his back.
"What is the purpose of this?!" He practically hissed, but Ziva only rolled her eyes.
"You wouldn't be reasoned with at the airport, so Abby and I decided to reason with you here, at NCIS."
"So you lied to me and made me think that you were going to die?!" Tony spat, getting angrier by the minute. He couldn't believe this—he couldn't believe that they'd ever stoop this low.
"It was the only way to get you back here." Ziva stated as if it was the simplest thing on earth. Reaching over, she stopped the elevator before turning to face the man she used to date. Tony opened his mouth to yell at her again, but the NCIS agent cut him off, anger fuelling her own words. "Do not bother to tell me that I was out of line Tony, because your actions in the last two weeks and a half are inexcusable. You have no right to tell anyone else that what they're doing is wrong."
Tony stood there silently, barely able to control his emotions as Ziva ranted on. "I was in the hospital with a stab wound and you never even visited me once! Everyone else came to see me! Abby! Gibbs! McGee! Ducky! Jenny! Even Palmer for goodness sake! But you—" Ziva jabbed her finger into Tony's chest harshly, no longer caring about whether she hurt him or not. "You never even visited me once! Just the first day and then never again! Who does that? You're my partner, you should've been there for me!"
"Was." Tony forced the word out through clenched teeth, then, at the confused look on Ziva's face, clarified. "I was your partner." And I wanted to be so much more…
Tony shook the thought from his head as he glared at Ziva, watching for her reaction. He hadn't been expecting his words to do any real damage so when Ziva flinched slightly and pain flashed through her eyes, guilt assaulted him. He was about to apologize when another thought came to him.
"What did you mean when you said that you were 'surprised I came?'" Ziva didn't say anything, but something prodded Tony to continue with his line of questioning. "When I first came into the elevator, why did you say that you were 'surprised I came?'"
"You were never there for me before, why should you bother starting now?" Ziva replied harshly, even though she knew it wasn't the truth. In reality, she'd said that because she knew he didn't care about her, therefore he didn't care about what happened to her. He'd made that clear not only by refusing to visit her in the hospital, but also by his actions at the airport.
Tony closed his eyes and breathed deeply through his nose as he attempted to calm himself. There was no denying the fact that Ziva's words hurt but something told him she was lying. "I want the truth Ziva. Why were you surprised I came?"
"You want the truth?" Ziva asked incredulously, her anger started to rise to an unhealthy level, and the NCIS agent needed a means to escape this situation. "As Col. Jessop from 'A Few Good Men' would tell you, you can't handle the truth!"
At this, Tony had had enough. "IS EVERYTHING IN LIFE A JOKE TO YOU? NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOUR STUPID MOVIES!"
"I like those stupid movies!" Ziva countered quickly, "Whether you like it or not those movies are a part of my life and a part of me. If you hate them than that means that you hate me too!" Ziva's voice lowered several notches as she practically whispered, "But then again, this isn't exactly new news to me."
"What?" DiNozzo's eyebrows met his hairline in surprise at Ziva's words. "After everything we have been through how could you believe I hate you?"
"Well you've made it pretty clear!" Ziva spat, "You wouldn't visit me in the hospital and I go to the airport to ask you to stay with me here in America and what do you do? YOU ASK ME TO LEAVE!"
Not really wanting to get into the reasons for his actions, Tony tried to make eye contact with Ziva as he told her in the most sincere voice he could, "I do not hate you Ziva… I could never hate you."
The NCIS agent scoffed and rolled her eyes, clearly not believing Tony. "You're not the only one who wants the truth Tony. After all that you've put me through in the past few days, I think I deserve some honesty from you."
"I am being honest." DiNozzo defended himself as he took one step closer to Ziva. "I do not hate you." I love you.
When the brown-haired woman before him kept her eyes focused on her shoes and remained silent, Tony tried again. Deciding to take a chance, he stepped closer to her and, using one finger, gently raised her face to his so that their eyes met.
DiNozzo almost took a step backwards in surprise at what he found hidden deep inside Ziva's soul.
Pain, suffering, hope… a variety of emotions were present in her beautiful brown eyes, but right now he only cared about one because now, right there before him, Tony found the love he had wished for so many months ago when Ziva ended their relationship.
The Mossad officer wanted nothing more than to kiss the woman he loved, but held back, needing to hear her say the words he'd wanted, even needed, to hear for so long.
Feeling uncomfortable under Tony's penetrating gaze, Ziva cleared her throat and took a small step back. It was only when she noted the look on his face that fear struck her because, at that moment, she realized that Tony knew how much she cared for him.
Reaching over, she quickly restarted the elevator and faced the metal doors, hoping in vain that DiNozzo would leave things alone.
"Ziva…" The NCIS agent closed her eyes, silently praying that Tony would simply stop. She knew that he did not feel the same way about her as she felt for him and did not want to be pressed about how much she cared.
"Leave it alone Tony." She demanded, but even to her ears it sounded more like pleading.
It was only when Tony grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him so that they were forced to lock eyes that the NCIS agent began to truly panic. She needed a way out. She couldn't talk about this yet. Not now, not ever.
"I said leave it alone." Ziva tried weakly to protest, but they both knew that it was no use. Tony slowly lowered his mouth to hers, sending shockwaves through Ziva as the two agents shared the sweetest kiss of their lives.
When they pulled apart, Tony stared deep into Ziva's eyes before pulling her even closer to him and whispering softly in her ear. "I love you."
Joy and fear flowed simultaneously through Ziva at Tony's words. The overwhelming emotions flooded through her veins, causing her to take a step back in confusion. As glad as she was that Tony returned her feelings, the NCIS agent found herself unable to suppress the crushing sense of fear that coursed through her veins at his words. No matter how much she wanted to be, she simply wasn't ready for love.
"I… I can't." She saw the pain flash through Tony's eyes at the rejection, but found herself unable to do the one thing that would ease it. The whole world seemed to stop spinning and Ziva stood, paralysed, as Tony stared into her eyes.
"Then I can not stay." With that, DiNozzo turned, walking through the now-open elevator doors, into the NCIS parking lot and out of Ziva's life forever.
Ziva stared after Tony in stunned silence as he stormed out of the elevator. She couldn't blame him for leaving, but it still hurt to see him do so.
The NCIS agent knew that it was cruel of her to play with his heart like this but, in reality, she wasn't trying to. She cared for him too much to simply mess with his emotions, and Tony meant more to her than any other man ever had.
Ziva knew that she loved him, and she knew that he loved her, but she also knew that she wasn't ready for love yet. That was why she couldn't tell him how much she cared. She wasn't ready and, therefore, would not be able to handle such a serious relationship. As much as it hurt to watch Tony leave, Ziva knew that it would devastate them both to go through another break-up—something that was sure to happen when she was involved.
Even though Ziva knew she was saving them both from heartbreak, she was surprised at just how much it hurt to watch Tony leave, knowing full well that he was walking out of her life forever.
Right before the elevator doors closed, Ziva stepped outside. Knowing that this would be the last time she ever saw Tony, the NCIS agent didn't want to leave things like this.
Mustering all the courage she could, Ziva took a deep breath and walked towards Tony, trying to appear much more confident than she felt. DiNozzo didn't even bother to look at her as she stopped right beside him. "Good-bye Tony."
When the Mossad officer didn't reply, Ziva sighed. "We will never see each other again, is this really the way you want to leave things?" When DiNozzo remained silent, Ziva turned to face him. "Don't I at least get a good-bye?"
"As far as I am concerned, you are not worth one."
Tony's words stung, and Ziva took a few steps back in surprise. Hurt, she turned away, unable to stop herself from delivering one last blow before she left. "If this is what love is, I want no part of it."
Tony showed no emotion as Ziva walked away, but inside he was dying. You have already made it clear that you want no part of my love.
Refusing to turn around and watch her leave, Tony remained silent as he waited for the taxi he'd called to arrive and take him to the airport and away from this city forever.
Ziva stormed off towards the stairs, but stopped as she placed her hand on the door. For some reason, she couldn't bring herself to leave. Turning around, she saw Tony's taxi arrive.
Her heart plummeted as she realized that this was it. Tony was really leaving her.
It was only when DiNozzo placed his bags in the trunk that Ziva realized, no matter how much it would hurt if they did break up, she couldn't let him leave. She loved him and, whether she was ready to make that step or not, she had to tell him before he left, hating her forever.
Ziva began running frantically towards the cab and was only twenty feet away when Tony pulled open the door. Just as he was about to get inside, Ziva called out to him. "Tony wait!"
The Mossad officer turned around to look at Ziva, a sad look in his eyes as he shook his head slowly. "I already told you that I cannot stay Ziva, please just let me leave."
"NO!" Tony raised his voice to cut Ziva off before lowering it again, "I have no reason to stay here Ziva. America holds nothing for me."
The two agent's eyes met, Ziva's begging Tony to stay, while DiNozzo's pleaded for her not to make this any harder. After a few moments of silence, Tony turned back towards the car. "I have to go."
Seeing that she had to act quickly if she was going to convince him to stay, Ziva placed a hand on his shoulder, causing Tony to turn around. "Stay for me."
Tony's eyes showed confusion, and Ziva couldn't blame him, but hopefully, three small words could clear the air. "I love you."
Joy surged through Tony, but he couldn't help but feel doubtful. Just ten minutes ago, she said she didn't love him, and know she was saying she did? How could he be sure that she wasn't simply toying with his heart again.
Seeing Tony's uncertainty, Ziva did the one thing she knew would convince him. Standing on her toes, she gently pressed her lips to his in a kiss that said more than words ever could. Pulling back, she smiled at him. "I love you."
Ziva was just able to get the words out before Tony's lips crashed down on hers. He pulled her closer to him, one hand at the small of her back and the other tangled in her hair before he finally pulled away. After a few moments of searching the other's eyes, both agents were smiling.
Ziva's smile, however, grew even wider at Tony's next words. "I will stay."
Gibbs sat silently behind his desk, watching Abby and McGee anxiously glance towards the elevator for what seemed like the hundredth time that day. Their faces grew even more distressed when the elevator opened and it wasn't Tony and Ziva who walked out.
Even Jenny was waiting in the bullpen, hoping desperately that things would turn out to be okay. She had known Tony before he came to work at NCIS, having worked with him several years ago in Cairo, where he saved her life. Since then, the two had become good friends, which was how Jenny knew how much Tony cared for Ziva.
After what seemed like an eternity, the elevator doors opened once again, but everyone was disappointed to see that it still wasn't Tony and Ziva. After a few moments of intense silence, a voice questioned. "I can't say for sure, but I think they're waiting for someone."
Everyone turned around quickly to see Tony and Ziva both grinning at them all. When Abby came up and hugged them both, the happy couple shared a smile. Tony grabbed Ziva's hand, unafraid of the consequences, as Gibbs approached them.
"Far as I'm concerned," Jethro began calmly, "You two worked better as a couple than after you broke up. Keep it out of the office and anywhere else I can see you."
"Thank you Gibbs." Tony and Ziva said simultaneously, grinning at eachother as they leaned in for a quick kiss. They broke apart, however, when each of them where delivered a slap to the back of their head.
"What part of 'keep it out of the office' do you two not understand?" Gibbs barked, but anyone could see that he wasn't mad.
Jenny chuckled as she stepped in front of Tony and Ziva and, in an uncharacteristic show of affection, hugged them both. "If you two have even managed to convince Jethro to let you date, who am I to stand in the way?"
Tony chuckled and Ziva smiled, turning to look at Tim who was standing a little away from the crowd, looking awkward. Opening her arms wide, Ziva smiled at the younger agent. "Come on McGee, come and give me a McHug."
Everyone except Ziva, who laughed at her own joke, rolled their eyes.
"I'm glad everything worked out for the two of you." McGee said honestly as he gave them each a hug.
"Do not worry McGee," Tony started in a teasing tone as he glanced not-so-subtly at Abby, "I am sure that you will find a happily-ever-after too, yes?"
Both Abby and Tim blushed, but Ziva decided to give them a break as she smiled at Jenny and Gibbs, "But we do not want to leave the bosses out, right?"
Jen scowled at Ziva, blushing, but Gibbs simply sent his agent a smirk before dealing her another head-slap.
Everyone but Ziva laughed, and Jethro rolled his eyes as he began walking away from the group. "Coffee run." He offered as a short explanation. Just before the elevator doors closed behind him, however, Gibbs threw an object towards Tony.
Looking down, the Mossad officer smiled to see his NCIS badge. He gave his boss a small smile, which Gibbs responded to with a dismissive nod. "Welcome back ."
So... how did I do? Let me know with a review! (Please?)
So that's the end of this story, but don't worry, I am by no means done writing. I have two stories in mind (one was an idea by Penelopie Louise) and is about Tony and Ziva going undercover to catch Jeanne, who took over her father's work. The other story is a sequal to A Walk To Remember. Which one should I do first? I can't decide so whichever one gets the most interest in reviews will be the one I do first. :)
I hope you liked this story (sorry that I took so long to update this one!) but I still want to know what you think. So... review! Lol, seriously though, I hope you liked this story and thanks to everyone who did review on it.
Look forward to more stories soon!