Almost everyone at NCIS headquarters had gone home hours ago except for team Gibbs, excluding Abby who had left at 2100. Tony had just hung up the phone, or more like slammed the phone down on his desk, hitting yet another dead end on finding a lead as to where Ziva was. She had exaggerated herself in her letter when she said that Gibbs and Tony would probably find her. Seeing as though she is a Mossad agent, or was a Mossad agent, trying to locate a Ziva who didn't want to be found would be quite difficult.
Tony sighed as the hopelessness of ever finding Ziva raced through him and placed his head in his hands thinking back to the day's events. After the team had returned from Ziva's apartment they had went straight to work first to eliminate any possibility that Ziva had been kidnapped, though they realized soon that, that was not the case and Ziva had actually left at her own will. McGee had went about posting warrants up on the FBI boards saying that anyone who had a lead or saw her were to contact NCIS immediately. Tony had started calling all people that Ziva would have come in contact with in her pursuit to leave. He tried her Landlord, who gave Tony the surprise to know that she had moved out two days before last Friday. Then he spoke with the movers who had moved all of the furniture out of her apartment, who told Tony that they never met Ziva but only spoke to her over the phone to arrange when they were supposed to come by and pick up the furniture which they were told to donate to a homeless shelter. Ziva had in fact been very thorough in disappearing. Now the stress of the situation had caused Tony to react oddly throughout the entire day. At first he was just lashing out at any and everyone in his frustration, and then around noon he became quiet only speaking on the phone in search of her. As the night drew he seemed warn out physically and emotionally by the situation though he promised himself, he would not give up until he had her back.
"Tony…Tony!" Gibbs exclaimed pulling Tony out of his thought
"Yeah?" Tony lifted his head looking tired, but the same determination in his eyes as they where earlier that morning.
"DiNozzo, go home you need rest."
"I'm fine boss, I'm just going to go get some coffee after I call one more person-" Tony replied picking up the phone on his desk
Gibbs walked over to his senior agent and took the phone from his hand as he was dialing and hung it up. "Tony," Gibbs voice was low so that only he could hear him "go home your no good to us like this, I don't want to see you back here until tomorrow 0700."
"Boss I can't stop…I can't just go home, she's getting further and further away from me every second, I don't have time to waste, I have to find her now!!" Tony raised his voice causing an also tired McGee to stop what he was doing to look over
"Well you won't find her tonight DiNozzo." Gibbs raised his voice to match Tony's
"But I have to try!" Tony said in a distraught voice
Gibbs stared at Tony. He did not missing the fact that Tony had said 'further away from me' and not 'us'.
"Tony go home, you too McGee," Gibbs said turning his head towards the younger agent then back to stare at Tony adding "and that's an order."
Even though they were not in the military and Gibbs was not a superior officer, Tony knew that when Gibbs gave an order it was best to follow. Tony defeated, reluctantly grabbed his bag and headed towards the elevator with a desperate brokenhearted look on his face. McGee followed behind him. Tony dreaded going home knowing that the last thing he would be able to do was relax, not knowing where Ziva was or if she was safe or not.
Before Tony reached the elevator Gibbs called to him, "Yeah Boss?" Tony answered
Gibbs looked more serious than Tony had ever seen him before, "We all want her back just as much as you do, and we will find her Tony." Gibbs said emphasizing on the 'we' part. Tony nodded and stepped into the elevator. McGee who had said nothing during this entire time pushed a button to make the door close then pushed floor number 1.
Tony couldn't help but deny what Gibbs had said as he thought, No one wants her back as much as I do. No one. Where ever you are Ziva, please be ok. He begged within his mind.
As if McGee could hear Tony's thoughts he spoke up as the elevator opened on the first floor.
"Tony, I'm sure Ziva is safe were ever she is." McGee said reassuringly trying to help
"But we don't know that for sure McKnowitall, now do we." Tony replied sarcastically
Tony saw McGee wince at his words, "Sorry Probie, I didn't mean it." Tony apologized as they walked in silence to their cars in the parking lot.
Then Tony spoke quietly, "Even if she is safe, where ever she is…she won't be for long when Mossad finds out that she's gone." Tony finished fear evident in his voice. McGee not knowing what else to say just told Tony good night and went to his car two spots over and drove away. Tony understood.
Then Tony proceeded to get into his car. He sat, leaning his head back against the seat and closed his eyes. God Ziva why did you have to leave, please be ok where ever you are. He though yet again
Then Tony started up his car and pulled out of the parking lot heading home knowing that he would try to get some sleep but most likely would not.
After Harm had gotten out of the shower and into more comfortable clothes he came out and saw Mac and Ziva on different side of his apartment. Ziva sat on one of the couches unobservant of almost everything around her lost in her own world and Mac sat in the kitchen looking at menus of different restaurants to order from. Harm suddenly felt annoyed, he had expected that the two woman would have immediately become friends being as they were more alike than different. They were both very strong/tough independent woman, who didn't take crap from anyone though they both had soft hearts. Yes, Ziva had a bit more baggage than Mac and a bit more protective of her feelings but she was a softie at heart. He knew that, he had seen that during his time with her in Israel.
Harm became more annoyed with Mac out of the two, he had always known Mac to be friendly with most people and was disappointed at the way she was acting towards Ziva, at least Ziva had a reason for being so distant.
"Ok," Harm spoke breaking the silence Ziva jumped a little not really noticing him walk into the room and Mac simply looked up. Harm continued "Have you two decided on what we're ordering?"
"I am not hungry." Ziva said plainly clearly not interested in holding conversation right then.
Harm turned to Ziva and gave her a look that vaguely reminded her of Gibbs's glare that he would give her whenever he wanted her to comply with what he was saying, "Ok, I will eat something" she said giving in. This made Harm worried. Ziva never gave in this easily from what he could remember. He really needed to find out what was going on in her head.
"Any particular favorites?" Harm asked Ziva trying to engage her in conversation
"It does not matter." She replied shortly
"Ok." He decided to let it go and not push her, she had agreed to eat something that was good enough. Harm walked into the kitchen area and leaned against the table Mac was sitting at. "Looks like it's your choice Mac."
"Pizza it is" Harm confirmed
In seconds, they had agreed on one large pepperoni and sausage pizza for Mac and Ziva (Ziva just nodding at Harm asking if the selection that was ok) and a small vegetarian pizza for himself.
Harm put the phone down after ordering, the pizza would take about 45 minutes to arrive. Not being able to take the silence anymore Harm thought of something.
"Ok the pizza will take about 45 minutes to get here, and we," Harm said pointing at himself and both the women in his apartment "are going to play Scrabble." Harm exclaimed
"No thank you" Ziva spoke up instantly
"It wasn't really a request, Ziva"
Ziva sat up in the chair she was sitting in and looked up at Harm wildly, "Last time I checked it was you who is enlisted in the U.S army, not I, and so I take orders from no one." There was fire in her eyes
Harm backed up a little at the livid woman's glare and placed his hands up in the air in defense. "Ok Zi," Harm said in a calming voice "I was just trying to lighten the mood." Then his face turned serious, and a little hurt "I don't like seeing you upset. I was simply suggesting we do something to take your mind off of whatever it is going on in your head that you won't talk to me about." He gave her a small smile showing his innocence.
"Sorry." Ziva apologized lightening her glare and leaning back in the couch she sat on. 'He is only trying to help Ziva stop snapping at him.' Ziva then thought 'It could not hurt to try and not think about NCIS and everything'.
"And you are right," Ziva sighed "I should try taking my mind away from everything. It could help."
Harm smiled big and triumphantly at the fact that she was starting to release a little.
"Ok let me go get the game from Mattie and I'll be back in a minute."
As Harm left, Ziva decided to attempt and make conversation with Mac, in search of anyway to distract her from her troubling thoughts, and so she walked over to the woman sitting at the kitchen table and sat across from her. Mac looked surprised at this, not expecting Ziva to even attempt making any unnecessary interaction with her.
"So…who is Mattie?" Ziva asked expecting the answer to be 'a next door neighbor', though she definitely did not expect the answer she got.
"Mattie is his daughter." Mac said simply
Ziva's face looked up to Mac's with shock, "Harm is a father? And she doesn't live with him?
"Well…biologically no, Harm adopted Mattie, her father is a drunk and Harm…" Mac couldn't find the words to describe what Harm had done yet again. "Harm saved her." She settled with
"You say that as if he saves a lot of people." Ziva asked as a question
Mac looked up at Ziva and answered whole heartedly "He does."
Ziva heard a hidden meaning in what Mac spoke. She decided to pry a little more, "So he saved you before, yes?"
Mac looked away from Ziva's stare but answered her question "Yes he has…more than once." She said blushing. This did not go unnoticed by Ziva.
Mac heard a light laugh coming from Ziva, she turned her attention back to see the Israeli woman smiling in a knowing way.
"What?" Mac asked totally and unaware of the conclusion Ziva had come to, and as to why she'd be laughing
"It is nothing" Ziva said but the smile was still apparent on her face
"What?" Mac asked again really wondering about Ziva's sanity for a minute. 'First she acts defensive to everyone and depressed, and now she laughs out of now where' Mac thought 'what's wrong with her?'
Mac was drawn from her thinking at what words came out of Ziva's mouth next.
"You loved him." Ziva accused with the smile still tugging at her lips
Mac stared into Ziva's eyes as her face went completely pale for a brief moment only to be quickly replaced by a nuclear blush that erupted all over her face and neck. 'How the heck could she tell that from just holding a single conversation with me? Am I that invisible? Will she tell Harm? Oh God.' Her thoughts raced through her head and she didn't know what to say to Ziva's accusation. The fact that she couldn't speak didn't help either.
Ziva could see that Mac was struggling to find a way to answer her but she didn't need an answer the blush spoke for her.
"I take it that my assumption is correct." Ziva said. Mac's eyes widened bigger as Ziva laughed lightly at her expression.
Mac finally found her voice. "No, that's ridiculous." Mac said getting up to grab a glass and fill it with water from the faucet.
Ziva rolled her eyes "You do not honestly think that I will believe that with that huge blush spread all over your face, do you?"
Mac turned slowly to face her, "I…I do not love him, we are partners…we work together…we are best friends, nothing more." Ziva listened to Mac ramble as it sounded like she was trying to convince herself more than her.
Ziva couldn't help but think back to a time when she was in Abby's lab and Abby had cornered her into talking about Tony. That was when she first admitted that she loved him to anyone.
Flashback to Abby's Lab
"You sooo, love Tony!!" Abby said
"NO I DO NOT!" Ziva countered
Abby ignored her best friend as Ziva was blushing, "Ooooh I knew that you loved him, you two are perfect for each other!!!" Abby was bouncing up and down in place ecstatic.
"Abby! I do not love Tony. We are partners, we work together nothing else!" Ziva nearly yelled angry at her friends giddiness. Ziva was trying really hard not to blush again though became weak as she thought of Tony again and her face lit up bright red.
"Ah-Ha," Ziva was caught as Abby yelped "You do love him, you do!!! Admit it, you love Tony!"
Ziva sighed and gave in deciding it best, not wanting to see exactly how loud Abby could yell 'YOU DO LOVE HIM' from the top of her lungs.
" Yes," she spoke in a quiet voice "I do."
Abby nearly suffocated her as she engulfed Ziva in a bone crunching hug. "Ohhh! You have got to tell him Ziva!"
"NO! and neither will you" Ziva said glaring at Abby with worry that her secret would be revealed
"But-" Abby began but was cut off by a warning look from Ziva as to say 'don't to push'. "Fine, I won't tell him but you need to!!!" Abby begged with Ziva just as Tony walked in, though neither of them saw him.
"Tell him what?" Tony asked curious, surprising both women
Ziva stiffened and turned around to Tony as she said quickly, "Nothing." Then she made eye contact with a now over excited Abby and gave her the warning look again this time it saying, 'don't you dare'. Abby closed her mouth tightly and returned to her computer.
Ziva let out a breath she didn't know she was holding and Tony looked at her questionably. Then Ziva turned and quickly left the lab heading towards the elevator.
Ziva looked sad suddenly and wished deep down that she had told Tony that she had loved him before all of this happened. Then she asked herself why she hadn't told him, then she realized 'He does not love you Ziva, that is why you never told him, you didn't want to get hurt. At least it is obvious that Harm loves Mac too, but Tony obviously does not love you. Get over it, he loves all woman but you, so you just have to deal with it Ziva.' She thought to herself. At least she could help Mac and Harm out.
"You love him." Ziva repeated, though this time with more emotion and very serious. Mac looked down at her hands and began to fumble with them knowing that Ziva had figured her out.
"You should tell him." Ziva continued and Mac looked up at Ziva with vulnerability in her entire appearance. She was about to speak when she Harm came walking through the front door with a SCRABBLE game in hand, and she stopped what she was about to say immediately.
"Nice to see you two talking," Harm said obviously pleased "and nice to see you off that couch Zi, I thought you would make it your new home the way you never left it, just staring into space." Harm joked and hoped that he didn't say anything wrong. 'Damn Harm you got to learn to think before you speak.' He mentally scolded himself.
Though Ziva just glared at Harm for a second then turned away not letting his comment bother her. Harm visibly relaxed.
"Ok so who is up for a little scrabble?" Harm exclaimed a bit too over theatrical.
Sorry I haven't updated in a bit. I really hope you enjoyed reading this chapter. As always I appreciated your reviews from the other chapters and please keep them coming I love reading them.
Next Chapter; Honestly I have no idea yet but I'll try and get it up ASAP!!!