There was a moment, on board that ship, that grey and hating ship, when she wanted to say something, and she didn't.

They were a world apart, and Ziva was never any good at building bridges, and she never has the words she needs. I miss you. I like you. I think I might love you.

I want you to come home with me. I can't leave you on this ship. I can't fly away from you.

And so she says "You could have called" and by the time she realises what she's done, it's too late.

In a way, it always has been.

***

When she catches sight of those photos, she feigns outrage. She sees the smirk and half-fear in his eyes, and tells herself oh, he's the same old Tony. But he isn't, and she can tell.

When she catches sight of those photos, those photos, she feigns outrage, but what she really feels is disappointment.

She wanted him to keep them under his pillow and in his pocket, and next to his skin, and to take them out when it was quiet and trace her smile with a gentle thumb. The one blurry shot she has of him has been worn away by the furtive caresses of a fingertip.

Sometimes, she tries to remember his face and she can't. And it kills her.

She does not want him to hang them up, display them, because instantly they become the property of every man on that ship, every prying eye and love starved hand, and all she really wants is to be his, only his.

***

He runs through that dusty grey floating box shouting like a triumphant child and she hopes so hard that it will be the same.

But she doesn't want the same. The frightened, desperate jagged feeling that flies between them like a bird caught in a cage. The angry snarl of his wanting eyes and the utter lack of words on her pretty lips. The things they did not do, and the things they did wrong.

No. She does not want it to be the same. She wants to be able to kiss him with soft and honest lips. She wants to wake up next to him and find him watching her with smiling sleepy eyes, and she wants to wear his shirt and make breakfast and curl, like a cat, in his lap on a slow Sunday afternoon.

She does not want bombs and guns and death and dust.

She wants to put away her work in a little box and lock it tight, shut, and take his hand and let him lead her to bed.

She wants for there to be more to her than simply what she does.

What she can do.

***

Killing's all your good for, the voice whispers – silky, so silky – in her ear, every night, and she can't escape it, because it is the truth. You'll never be a wife or a mother, or a pillar of the community. You'll never bake or paint or live a carefree life.

You can shoot with deadly aim.

***

They gather, warm and soft, in the light of the bullpen, and Abby is a child, and Gibbs is a father, and McGee is much more of a man than he remembers. And Ziva is so silent, and half smiling, and watchful, and guarded, and caged.

He does not hear her footsteps when she moves, and only wants to hear her breathing in his ear.

He sighs.

It is good to be home.

***

She stands in front of a mirror and wonders how it ever got to this, and then she feels his fingers on her skin and remembers what it was like to taste his lips and pretend to be pretending.

She is so caught up in something, and she doesn't quite know what it is.

He wants to kiss her, and doesn't know where to start.

They are lonely souls.

I just needed to write some mindless, plotless Tiva drabble. Hopefully you'll all enjoy it, should get started on a major thang soon but I'm so tiredddd. 4 more days of school, yippee!