Title: A Walk To Remember
Disclaimer: I do not own ANY of the original characters from the show, they belong to the writers of NCIS but i do however claim ownership of all other non-original characters from the show.
Author's note:I'M NOT DEAD! :P I know it's been FOREVER since I last uploaded a story, but I have been incredibly busy with schoolwork. (I have two senior sciences and two essay courses in the same semester so it's been crazy). That, on top of my part-time job, left me with no time to write. So, I apologize, but I hope to make it up to you with this story. :P Everyone who commented on my question of "should I write a sequal to A Walk To Remember" said 'yes,' so here's the sequel. I know it's been forever since you read the first story, and that not everyone reading this story read A Walk To Remember, so that's why I made sure to put flashbacks of that story in the first chapter and make references to events in it. So basically, this chapter is to (1) remind/introduce everyone to the backstory to this story, and (2) to set the rest of this story up. :P
Anyways, like I said, I haven't posted in FOREVER so I am SO psyched to be doing so again and that's why I'm rambling. :P Anyways, enjoy! (And sorry for the wait).
Nervous green eyes stared back at 21 year-old Anthony DiNozzo through the mirror that resided in the front hallway of his house. The young man had dark rings under his eyes, a mute testimony to the fact that he hadn't been getting much sleep lately.
It had been three days since Ziva DiNozzo, the love of his life and newlywed wife, had come out of the coma she'd fallen into during a risky heart transplant that had saved her life. The young Israeli had been suffering from a fatal disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy after her heart was damaged in an explosion that killed her entire family. Tony could still remember the fear that filled him when he'd learned that Ziva had fallen into a coma.
He'd been sitting in the hospital's waiting room with Jethro and Jenny Gibbs, Ziva's adoptive parents. After hours of waiting, Tony had become frantic. He'd been pacing back and forth over the same ten feet in the waiting room and running his fingers through his hair in worry.
Tony had asked his in laws why the surgery was taking so long and Gibbs had just answered that heart transplants usually took hours when a grim-faced nurse called out to them.
A chill ran up and down Tony's spine as he remembered what happened next. The nurse's words were still all-too-fresh in his mind.
"As you know, we had to put Mrs. DiNozzo under for the surgery. Unfortunately, it appears that she is having difficulty waking up… I'm sorry to inform you, but… Mrs. DiNozzo has fallen into a coma."
That memory stung, but it also triggered another. This one set just after Ziva woke up from her coma two weeks later. For a few short seconds, Tony had believed that everything would be alright. Then, just as it seemed like everything was falling perfectly into place, life threw in one more devastating twist.
"Well…" Ziva's doctor began, "I suggest that everyone leave so that Mrs. DiNozzo can rest undisturbed."
"Mrs. DiNozzo?" Ziva finally spoke, her head was spinning as the doctor looked at her in concern.
"Yes my dear, that is your name. Don't you recall who you are?"
Ziva closed her eyes in an effort to lessen the pain in her head, "I…" She wet her lips and tried again, "My name is Ziva David."
And there it was. As if everything he'd suffered through in the past year hadn't been enough, life deemed it necessary to deliver one final blow that flipped his whole world upside down.
The woman that Tony loved more than life and would do anything for—the woman he married and dreamed of spending the rest of his life with—didn't even know who he was.
Tears sprung to Tony's eyes, but he quickly wiped them away. He didn't have time to feel sorry for himself--he was already running a little late. The young man glanced at his watch, causing his eyes to bulge when he realized that he was much more than a "little" late. He was already supposed to be at the hospital by now.
"Dad's going to kill me." Tony muttered under his breath as he shrugged on his coat and grabbed his keys from the kitchen counter. As strict as Gibbs could be on tardiness, however, Tony realized that the older man was the least of his problems. The rest of his life depended on how today went.
Though Ziva had come out of her coma three days ago, everyone had decided that it would be best if Tony didn't see her until she'd had a few days to rest up and recover from the trauma she'd been through. After nearly two weeks in a coma, they didn't want to cause her any unnecessary stress by telling her that, even though she didn't remember him, she had a husband.
So today, Tony would be seeing his wife again for the first time since she came out of her coma. Jenny and Gibbs had already explained everything to Ziva yesterday, so that she could digest all the information being thrown at her before she actually "met" Tony. That, however, was why Tony was so nervous. If today didn't go well... he wasn't sure if Ziva would ever want back into their relationship if he made a bad first impression. After all, it would mean nothing to her at the moment if she simply asked for a divorce and left--her feelings for Tony, at the moment, were non-existent.
DiNozzo took a deep breath before turning away from the mirror he'd been inspecting himself in. Though Tony knew that his behavior was much more important than his looks today, he still wanted to make the best "first" impression he could in any and every way possible.
DiNozzo tried to calm the butterflies in his stomach as he pulled into the hospital parking lot. The young man's sweating hands stuck to the steering wheel of his 1966 Mustang as he parked the car close to the hospital entrance.
Though Tony would much rather to park further away, then use the time of walking towards the hospital to clear his head and calm his nerves, there was no time for that now. He was already late, and the last thing he wanted Ziva to believe was that he wasn't eager to see her. Because in truth, he was. In fact, DiNozzo wasn't sure if he'd ever been so eager to see anyone in his entire life.
He loved Ziva more than life itself and not being able to see her for the last three days, on top of the two weeks she'd spent in a coma, had been killing him. Still, he was in no way oblivious to the weight that today held. Maybe that was the most confusing part of all this for Tony. Part of him wanted nothing more than to rush into that hospital and see his wife, while another part was screaming at him not to go inside... the same part was warning him not to mess this up.
Slowly, and yet still way too fast for Tony, he made his way towards the hospital and up to the third floor where Ziva was staying. As soon as he stepped out of the elevator, a hand collided with the back of his head. Tony turned around to find Gibbs waiting for him, "You're late."
"I know Dad I'm so--"
Gibbs' hand collided with the back of Tony's head again as the older man started walking towards Ziva's room. "Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness. Now come on, she knows you're coming."
Tony's stomach dropped and his heart rate accelerated as he grew closer to the hospital room where his estranged wife was staying. When he finally reached her door, DiNozzo couldn't help but pause. It was odd, knowing that his whole life depended on the next few minutes--odd, to think that his entire fate would be determined in the very next room.
Taking a deep breath, Tony closed his eyes and pushed the door open, then stepped inside. For the first time in what felt like forever, his eyes met with Ziva's. An awkward silence filled the room as husband and wife stared at each other, both at a total loss for words. It was Gibbs who finally broke the silence when he cleared his throat and began, "Jen and I are going to get some coffee."
Ziva looked at her parents with wide eyes, and Tony could practically read the question in them. Why are you leaving me alone with him?
Saying that seeing the look in her eyes didn't hurt would be a lie, and even though Tony knew it wasn't her fault, he couldn't stop a wave of grief from washing over him. Overwhelmed, the young man backed out of the room, then turned and began walking swiftly down the hall, away from the love of his life.
For a few long seconds, everyone simply stared at the recently vacated door in shock. It wasn't long, however, before Gibbs stood up and went to follow his son-in-law.
Tony's heart was bruised and bleeding as he ran out of Ziva's hospital room. The pain in his chest was nearly unbearable as he simply kept on running, oblivious to everything that was going on around him.
At the moment, the whole world was a blur, and Tony felt as if the only way to make sense of it all was to leave. As much of a coward as it made him, Tony ran, because he needed to escape.
Down the hallway and three flights of stairs, DiNozzo continued running as he left the hospital building all together. He was just crossing over a small section of grass that separated parking spaces from the driving area of the parking lot when Tony felt someone tackle him to the ground.
Whoever had tackled Tony was now lying on top of him, limiting his movements, and DiNozzo struggled to get back up.
The man who had fallen on top of Tony quickly stood up, but pushed DiNozzo back down as soon as he did the same. "You're not going anywhere until you stop being such an idiot!" The voice growled, and Tony instantly recognized it at Gibbs'.
The younger man tried to get up once again, and this time his father-in-law let him. Still, Gibbs didn't bother to hide the anger in his eyes as he glared at Tony.
"You have one minute to explain yourself before I shoot you." Gibbs spat, causing Tony's eyes to widen. Though the two men had a generally good relationship, and Gibbs had genuinely come to care for Tony as his own son, he was still very protective of Ziva and would not hesitate to harm anyone who hurt her--especially now, considering the state she was in.
"Shut up." Gibbs interrupted Tony, apparently, the younger man's "minute" of explanation time was up. "Don't call me Dad unless you intend to keep me as your father."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Tony questioned, his own level of anger rising now. Still, Gibbs was seething and refused to back down.
"You know damn well what it means. I gave my blessing for you to marry my daughter on your wedding day. Don't make me regret it."
"Listen Gibbs," Tony began, anger coursing through his veins. However, Gibbs cut him off once again.
"No. You listen Tony. Three days ago Ziva woke up from her coma. She didn't remember who you were and we were all devastated, not just you. Do you seriously think that this is any easier on Ziva than it is on you?!"
Tony shook his head meekly, and as the younger man seemed to deflate, Gibbs softened his tone. "Do you remember the promise you made both to me, Ziva, and yourself only a few minutes after you learned of Ziva's memory loss?"
Suddenly, Tony's eyes took on a far-away look as the memory Gibbs was referring to washed over him.
After learning that Ziva didn't remember who he was, Tony had lost it. He'd tried to run, but the young man's legs had gone weak from the shock, and were no longer able to support him after he'd left his wife's room.
Slumping down to the ground in the hallway, Tony stared at Ziva, who had already fallen asleep and was completely oblivious to the way she was breaking his heart. Gibbs, seeing how distressed his son-in-law was, left Ziva's room and sat down beside Tony on the floor.
After letting Tony rant about how unfair life was for quite a few minutes, Gibbs stopped the younger man angrily after Tony questioned if Ziva ever truly loved him, after all, she had no problem remembering her parents.
Gibbs eyes turned to ice as he looked at the young man before him. "Are you leaving her?"
Tony's head shot straight up at Gibbs' words."What?!"
"You heard me, DiNozzo. Are. You. Going. To. Leave. Her?"
When Tony didn't answer Gibbs' rage grew, "Because I swear if you leave her now when she needs you the most I will not stop myself from beating the crap outta you!"
"I'm not leaving her." Tony answered as soon as he got over the shock from Gibbs' accusation. Now it was his turn to get angry. He looked at the older man with darkened green eyes and was barely able to keep his voice even, "How dare you ever ask me that?"
Gibbs stared Tony down, but was surprised to see the younger man stand his ground—something that few people did with him.
As soon as he was sure that Tony wasn't lying, Gibbs nodded approvingly, "Good. Because if you ever left—"
"I wouldn't." Tony stated with confidence as he cut Gibbs off. The older man nodded.
"Okay." He waited until Tony was standing up and looking in Ziva's room before questioning, "And what if she never gets her memory back?"
Tony paused for a moment as he considered his answer. It broke his heart to know that it was very likely she never would remember.
Still, there was no way he'd ever leave her. Tony took in Ziva's sleeping form and couldn't help but smile at how peaceful she looked. He never took his eyes off her while answering Gibbs, "Then I guess we'll have to fall in love all over again."
"We'll fall in love all over again." Tony murmured softly to himself before straightening his back in determination. He'd keep the promise that he made.
Even though it would, no doubt, be difficult for both of them to rebuild the life they'd lost, there was no way Tony was going to let the best thing that had ever happened to him go. He still loved Ziva, and even if she didn't remember who he was at the moment, Tony was sure that, deep down, Ziva still loved him too.
"What?" Gibbs questioned, forcing the younger man out of his thoughts and back into reality.
Tony looked at his father-in-law, to the hospital, and back before making his intentions clear, "I said 'for better or worse' and meant it. There's no way I'm leaving Ziva when she needs me most."
Gibbs nodded his approval and the two men headed back towards the hospital. It was only when the elevator doors closed behind them and they started moving back up to Ziva's floor that Tony finished his thought. There's no way I'm leaving Ziva when she needs me most… There's no way I'd leave her at all.
:D So how was it? I hope that everyone who didn't read A Walk To Remember understands what is going on, if you don't just message me (or if you can't because you don't have an account, leave an anonymous review) and I'll explain it to you. :) Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this. Like I said, it was more of an introductory chapter to set things up, but I still hope that it wasn't too boring. Lol, I can promise you that the rest of the story won't be. :P
Anyways, it's great to be writing again and I hope you all enjoyed!