Here it is – the way to long waited chapter. Sorry. I would recommend you to read the former chapter so you can remember the situation

"You know, some people would find it disturbing that you use the men's room instead of the ladies room" he sent her a weak smile. Joking did not help today, but it was an easy way out. Much better than actually facing the problem. She once again sat on the floor, why couldn't he just leave her alone? That he blamed her was one thing, but if he decided that now was the time to rub it in her face, she would not be responsible for her actions.

"Ziva" he signed, this made her look up. His eyes were tired, his body was tired, and his mind was tired. For the first time Ziva noticed how the age was coming for him. Not that he wasn't still attractive, oh yes he was, and his charm was still intact, but he wasn't so… fit anymore. His eyes lacked the usual glint, not that it was something most people would notice, but she did. His hair was getting a few gray spots and where his skin used to be smooth, with a hint of arrogance, were small wrinkles obtained. Life was finally marking him. He could no longer run from the things he wanted to, because with or without his knowledge, he was involved in a commitment. Not with a girl. But with life. In the past, he had moved and played. Never had a real home or family, and no matter how cliché it sounds, he has both now. He has an apartment, a job, and colleagues. Colleagues that now were the closest thing he has to a family. He has no woman in his house, nor has he children to come home to. But his friends are prepared to die for him, and once in a while, when life decides to screw with him, it always knows his soft spots. His friends and, at the same time, his family. Kate and Jenny are gone. It almost took Gibbs. Next was Ziva, twice within two years. He could not lose her again. Last time's result confirmed that.

"I'm sorry" the words hung heavy in the air. Tony knew that the words were not even near being enough, but it was everything he could do. At least for now.

"It a sign of weakness"

"Not between friends"

They stared into each other's eyes for a moment before Ziva looked away.

"Ziva I'm sorry I did not response your calls. I got every single one of them; I am not going to deny it. I cut of all contact with the team. Not only you…" Tony ran his hands through his hair and over his face "I… I would not make it more painful than it already was. I was pathetic; I wanted to swell in my own self pity, even though I knew I deserved it".

Ziva was lost of words. Normally he would deny it. Deny everything or at least to try to joke his way out. And yet here he stood with an apologetic face, the truth on his tongue and regret in his eyes. She knew she should be mad at him. Yell at him that if he had answered just one of her calls, things may not have ended the way they did. But she did not; she just wanted to know one thing.

"What would you have done if the baby had survived?"

Tony tried to look her in the eyes, but he just… couldn't.

"I… I would like to say that I would step up for you. That I would help and be a great dad. But I can't say that. Because, hell, I couldn't even answer your calls! I guess I would have tried, but run away. Given you the money you needed to give it the life it deserves" Tony briefly closed his eyes, "but that's a while ago Ziva. Lots of thing happened since then. I have changed. I hope you know that".

"I know"

The deep purple dress clung tight to her body at the top just for falling from her hips and down. The back was bare. The front was deep. Brown waves kissed her face on their way down. Temptation was the keyword. What a shame to destroy this precious sight.

"Everything is made from dreams…"

True, Ziva, true. But it is true words dropping from the mouth of a liar.

Michal got her hint. Discreetly following him out of the room, leaving her to deal with a pure mess as the bomb exploded.

Tony felt the cold embrace him like a blanket. Ziva being blown up. Her baby being… no their baby. He was a part of it too. Seeing this, one and a half year later, made it all worse. He could have prevented it! One way or the other. If he hadn't been such an ass, he could... should have been the…

His thoughts were cut off by a head slap. Blue eyes stared at him, knowing exactly how the self blame was tearing up his inside. In relationships Tony hated the control his partner always seemed to suffocate him in. With the team it was different. Or the probie was like his dates, nice to tease, funny to screw with, but as soon as the seriousness entered the atmosphere, he would run like the macho italiano he was. Gibbs was the control and stability he needed in his life and Ziva, well Ziva was Ziva. Ziva. The taste of her name in his mouth made him want to cut out all the memories and hide in the corner.

The light reflected on the white walls of the hospitals room, blinding the intruders. The nurse blocked the light with her hand and slowly released the curtains, quietly so she wouldn't wake up the patient. Rifts and wounds were covering up the emotionless face. As the nurse quietly left the room, the eyes opened briefly. Brown perhaps. With a hint of gray. No it wasn't gray. It was sorrow. That kind of sorrow that fills you up when God tears something very precious away from you. That kind of sorrow, no human should be forced to go through. In this case, losing your child. The Israeli woman peaked out of her eyes hook again, the picture of the room standing a bit more clearly than before. But only for a moment, before the scenario played for her eyes again, and tears replaced it.

She hadn't giving the doctors any sign of her wakefulness in the two days she had been in the room. She did not need to hear what they had to say. They didn't know anything she didn't. The baby was gone. A single tear escaped her grip a rolled down her cheek. Leaving a wet pattern. All the nights of lying awake, trying to find a way out of the nightmare, and a simple explosion set her free…

Yet here she was. Crying for the baby that never was. For the life she had failed.
A hand crossed her face. It felt like a soft and kindly touch, but it left a dangerously red handprint behind. And a lightly tingling in her right hand.
Matching the sunsets reddish carpet framing Israel's curves.

Not a sound was heard as the Mossad agent left the room.

Ducky sat in his seat. The tears were slowly rolling down his face. This was a site of Ziva he had never seen. Oh he knew she had one. Very much. But never seen it.
She was such a strong and independent woman, but at the same time, she was thirsting for someone who was cable of tearing down her walls. Willing to try. However no one had ever had the strength.

The Scottish man felt pity. Something he very well knew the Israeli did not appreciate. She had suffered so much through her whole life. Lost so many loved ones. It was a world only few had insight into. The anger boiled in him.

As Ziva tried to convince her.. former boss.. of her good health, while they shared information from the Morocco-case. The pieces fit almost as in a puzzle, leaving satisfied feeling in the agents. But Gibbs knew. She could see it in his appearance. How he tensed in a way that must have been painful. The blue eyes followed every action in the opposite room. To shut off the conversation, Ziva let the words linger as she left the room.

"I'll be on the next flight".

This (pre)chapter will give me an idea of whether you are still interested in this story, or if I should cut it off. I hope you will come with some feedback.