Hey guys, a new story from me. It's a bit angsty and a bit sad really. But i'm feeling like that at the moment. Hayley has left us... But hey, here it is, this is just a oneshot unless another chapter is requested. Hope you like it. Rated T for a teensy bit of swearing, probably over rated, but hey.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. *sobs* If i did i would not be on here!

It had been a weird day.

Ziva had been weird, McGee had been normal, so weird and Gibbs had a weirdly sympathetic look on his face every time he looked Ziva's way.

In fact, today, Tony was the only one who'd been actually normal. It had been an ok day really, they'd closed the case, got the murderer who'd killed Petty officer Lines, and they actually had every right to be quite pleased with themselves. Yet everyone was being weird. And it was beginning to really irritate Tony, because he didn't know why. Ziva had this sort of sad, serene look on her face. There hadn't been the usual friendly and flirting banter between the two, which was enough to worry Tony, and she was being very… quiet. And un-Ziva like.

This bothered him, it wasn't like his partner to be like this at all, especially not all day, and today had been a good day. His was admittedly curious, but he was also concerned for Ziva she rarely looked so…sad.

He looked across at the bullpen now, she was sat very still, very calm, the only part of her that was moving was her right hand, which was fiddling absent mindedly with the delicate star of David necklace around her neck. Her hair was down, and today she had taken the effort to straighten it, which was also unusual. Personally he preferred it curly, it was so natural and gorgeous. But then again, she looked stunning either way. Her dark blue top complimented her smooth, tanned skin, and the little make up she was wearing made her eyes look even darker than usual. Tony sometimes hated his partner for being so insanely attractive, it sometimes made it difficult to concentrate. He knew better than most people, than Ziva was complicated. There are so many different levels to her, and Tony knew that. But the one thing he's sure of is that she is a good person.

She'd caught him staring… oops that was a never a good thing. He quickly looked away and pretended to look at his computer screen. Normally she sent him daggers when she caught him staring at her. But she just caught his eye, lost in her deep chocolate eyes for a moment, Tony couldn't breath. She could draw him in so easily, it almost wasn't fair, she had such an effect on him, it was pathetic really. "Pull yourself together Dinozzo." He thought. When she'd caught his eye, it hadn't been the usual sexy, teasing glance though - he'd seen a flash of sadness, which had been so intense he'd almost forgotten where he was, and why he wasn't telling her how he felt about her.

He'd come close so many times, but he couldn't there was the rule, and more importantly the fear of getting hurt, badly.

The silence in the bullpen was awkward for some, and comfortable for others. Tony and McGee were the ones finding it awkward, whereas Ziva was completely lost in a world of her own, and would quite happily sit in silence sometimes anyway, and Gibbs was comfortable with silence. Words aren't always necessary among people you know so well, and Gibbs got that. He didn't mind being alone either. It was very Gibbs.

Ziva looked like she was barely with them, she was so deep in thought. She looked very intense, and if Tony was reading her correctly, which was very likely, then there was a hint of regret there as well.

Ok, so now he really wanted to know what was wrong.

"Boss, can I go?" McGee asked, "I've done everything I need to do, and my sister is coming for din-"

"Go on," Gibbs said, "I'm gonna go up to MTAC with the Director, so you two can go when you're done."

And within about five minutes, Tony got his wish, it was just him and Ziva left in the bullpen.

He decided just to go straight in there, "What's wrong Zee?"

She recognized the use of "Zee" and quickly realized this wasn't Tony being irritating, it was him knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, but she decided to ignore it, and tried the deflect tactic half heartedly, knowing full well it wouldn't work. "Nothing is wrong Tony, I don't know what you're talking about."

He looked at her, "Come on, I know you and something's wrong."

She sighed, she'd known it would work.

"You don't know me Tony." She said quietly.

That stung him, and Ziva regretted the words the instant they came out of her mouth, as she witnessed the flash of hurt in his eyes. The truth was, she knew her too well. He had broken down the carefully constructed walls she placed around herself, bit by bit. Gradually she'd let him in, she'd let all of them in, but especially Tony. And it terrified her, if he knew what she'd done, certain things that she regretted so much it was painful to think about, some of her memories… she wished could erase them from her mind, blank it all out.

"I do, and you know that, you're just not admitting it." He replied softly.

Damn, He saw straight through her. How did he do that? She was a trained Mossad Agent, goddamnit, how the hell did he do it?

"There is nothing wrong, look Tony I'm going home." She hastily gathered together her things, grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder.

"I'll see you tomorrow," She said.

And then she was gone.

He wasn't having that, she couldn't just leave him. He sat and thought about it for a few seconds, and then jumped up – she was not getting away with this, he deserved to know what was wrong with her, he was just worried about his partner. That was all. Well, at least that's what he told himself, but he couldn't lie to himself forever…. It's not good for you.

So he followed drove to her apartment, after dropping off and getting a pizza, to hopefully win her over, whilst knowing full well that he probably wouldn't be alive in the morning if he chose to knock on her door, but really not caring.

Hesitating slightly, he went to knock on her door, and waited, nervously.

Waiting was the worst bit, he decided.

When she finally opened the door, after what felt like forever she saw him, and rolled her eyes.

She looked so tired, how had he not noticed that before?

"Tony, go away."

Had she been crying? No… surely it was Tony's imagination. But her eyes looked sore, and her eyes were watery…

"I brought pizza! Come on Zee, it's just a partner thing, and…. I brought pizza!" "Please let me in, please let me in," he was screaming inside his head.

"I got that the first time Tony."

"You know you want me to come in," He smiled that Dinozzo smile, and prayed it would work.

She sighed in defeat, "Fine come in." She stood aside to let him pass.

The rational side of her said the last thing she needed on a day like today was Tony, coming to interrogate her, but she found herself craving human company and really he was a welcome distraction.

He collapsed onto the couch.

He was tired too, he realized.

She sat down, slightly more elegantly, beside him.

Are you going to tell me what's wrong?"

She sighed, and looked at him, her dark eyes pleading with his blue ones.

"You've been weird all day, you look upset, you left when I started to question you earlier, can you just tell me, you can trust me Ziva."

The look she gave him melted his heart, "I know I can Tony, but I don't want to talk about it."

"You don't have to talk, just tell me what's got to you so much," he begged.

She looked desperate, but then something changed, and she was suddenly very calm, and it was like the fight in her was gone, and it would be a relief to share her burden. Tony took this as a good sign, and just waited in silence, knowing she was going to talk.

"Today… it's Tali's birthday, she would have been 30." Tears brimmed over the edge of her eye, and she let them fall.

Tony's heart twisted in pain as she said that. It was her sister.

Ziva was so strong, she'd lived through so much pain, and she didn't deserve any of it.

"I'm sorry," she wiped her tears away, Tony caught her wrist, and pulled it down gently. She let him. It was ok to cry for things you've lost, and he was telling her that.

No words were spoken. They were simply unnecessary.

He opened her arms, and she happily accepted.

Sat on her couch, Tony's arms safely wrapped around her, Ziva felt a mixture of emotions that she frequently tried to squash down, they were big and scary and had the potential of hurting her. A lot.

They spent the rest of the evening eating the pizza and watching crappy TV. And trying hard not to move.

It was a good night, a slightly sad one, but she was comforted by the fact he was there. And he was comforted that he could ease her pain ever so slightly.

But having the woman he loved in his arms was difficult. She had stopped crying, but was feeling vulnerable and delicate, not that she would ever admit it. Ever. He was blessed to even be allowed to see her like this. He knew he was one of the few.

One of the few that was allowed to help her when she was hurting this badly.

Eventually, he realized she had fallen asleep.

She looked like an angel.

Life was so unfair, god he loved her so much. He was an idiot not to tell her, he was too scared. Of getting hurt. And he knew if they hurt each other, if things went wrong, the pain would be practically unbearable.

Was it worth it?

He didn't know.

Did she return his feelings?

God he hoped so.

But again he didn't know.

So for know, he was content with the fact that he had managed to help her, even if it was just slight.

And satisfied him with gently pressing his lips to the silky soft skin of her forehead, and whispering so so softly in her ear, "I love you."

Please please review! It will make me feel better.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx