This refers to a chapter of my series Conversations in which Tony and Ziva having sex the night before being sent away after Judgment Day II. You don't need to have read that to make sense of this, though.

I feel like I've written a lot of Ziva-trauma stories lately, but I blame that mostly on the show—believe me, it's not my favorite subject matter. It needs resolution, though, and somehow I don't think they're going to show that in prime time.

Warning: There are references in this story to both consensual sex and rape. I'm not sure it really warrants an M rating, but I thought it might so it has one.


Tony stands still beneath the stream of water, head bent, his breath coming in panting sobs though tears have not yet joined the water pouring down his face. He presses a hand over his eyes, fighting the nausea the past hour has left in him.


Four months Ziva had been back, four months of her slowly recovering and their banter slowly returning. It had returned with something new. Every so often Tony would catch her eye, and there would be such deep emotion between them that they'd be caught, a current of acknowledgment and assurance connecting them--and the promise that something was waiting to happen.

They'd been in the restaurant downstairs trying to get a glimpse of a serial killer who was going after couples at this particular establishment. When they'd finished eating and paid but still hadn't seen him, Ziva had led Tony to the dance floor, stalling for more time to catch sight of the suspect.

She'd glanced up at him while dancing and the current was there, augmented by the heat of their bodies pressed close together. In an instant, Ziva's eyelids had drooped, her pupils dilating, her mouth softening, and Tony's lips were on hers before either could say a word. The sensation of her fingernails on the back of his neck brought back instantly a thousand memories of the night, nearly a year and a half ago, when they'd finally given in. They were both losing each other, they both cared for each other—there seemed no logic strong enough to keep them apart that night. In the darkness before morning Ziva had whispered to him something Gibbs had told her about Jenny, about how warriors like her, like him, defended from everyone, could only ever be truly vulnerable, truly abandoned to passion, with their partners.

After the boat, after Israel, they were not the same. She'd had someone even if she kept it a secret; he'd had enough time to think to get terrified again. They had never spoken of that night.

Except that kissing her, feeling her tongue pressing into his mouth, his hand tightening on the silky fabric at the small of her back, Tony knew exactly what he wanted.

A buzzing in his ear reminded Tony what his job was, and he pulled back as he listened to Gibbs' directions to get a room and continue the charade; the dining room appeared to be central to the killer, so they should stick around until breakfast. And make it believable.

Tony softly relayed the message to Ziva, then they left to make the arrangements. She pressed against him in line and in the crowded elevator, and Tony's senses were going wild.

As they stepped into the room, Tony hesitated, but then went in for a kiss. She was his wife, after all, they had to play the scene out. And her lips were incredibly soft. Slipping a hand behind her head, Tony kissed her deeper. And then he heard her whimper. Softly, involuntarily. A noise he'd never heard from her last time they were undercover, a noise that told him that she, Ziva, was the one kissing him back.

Nothing had ever turned him on more in his life. Desperate for her, Tony took two quick steps forward until Ziva's back met the door and his hips sank against hers, flooding him with sensation.

Just as quickly he was thrust backward, Ziva's hands shoving at his shoulders.

Trying not to break character but shocked with rejection, Tony slammed his hands against the wall on either side of her head.

"I thought you were enjoying yourself," he hissed as quietly as he could, his tone petulant and angry.

Ziva didn't answer, but her jaw trembled. Her eyes meeting Tony's were wide with fear; she pressed backward into the door, away from him.

As soon as Tony registered her anxiety, he dropped his hands, then rested them lightly on her shoulders in case there was any kind of surveillance.

"I'm sorry," he offered softly.

She nodded, but didn't answer.

He waited.

Finally she spoke. "I have not been with anyone since Somalia," Ziva said nervously. "I did not mean to hurt you, you startled me when you pinned me--"

Tony shook his head, cutting her off. "Why didn't you stop me sooner?" he whispered, agonized that he'd scared her. "We could have refused to stay over night."

She averted her eyes, her cheeks flushing. Ziva forced the words out. "I was enjoying it." She looked back up at him, watching the wheels turning in his mind.

Tony straightened but didn't back away from her.

Ziva reached up and laid a hand along his jaw. Slowly she pressed up on her toes and pressed her mouth to his again.

His nostrils flared in awareness of her; he tried to fight his body's reaction.

"Come here." Tony took her hand and pulled her toward the bed.

"Let me--" Ziva reached toward the light switch and paused, glancing back uncertainly.

He raised his eyebrows in question.

She pursed her lips.

Tony leaned in to kiss her neck, giving her a chance to murmur in his ear.

Ziva was relieved she didn't have to look him in the eyes. "I'm not sure if it's better to have the lights on so I don't forget it's you or if I'd rather you not see my body."

He pulled back and kissed her forehead. "I opt for you seeing me and me staying alive," he whispered into her widow's peak. He was rewarded with a chuckle against his throat. Tony led her toward the bed.

"Sit down," she said softly when they reached it. "I'll do this." She gave him a sultry glance, but Tony worried she wasn't ready to be touched yet. He sat and waited.

Ziva turned, glancing at him over her shoulder. God, if circumstances were different he'd have thrown her down on the bed and taken her by now—Tony stopped the thought. Circumstances were what they were. He would do whatever she needed.

And then she slid her dress around her ankles and stepped out of it and his desire died. Nothing had ever made him less excited than the sight of the ruin that had been wrought upon Ziva's body. Lines, burns, twisted scar tissue marred Ziva's back. And he could tell from the tension in her shoulders and neck that she knew he was looking, that this sight might be the most intimate thing she allowed him all night.

Tony leaned forward and slipped his hands around her waist, pulled her toward him. "Does it still hurt?" he asked softly against her skin.

"No," she whispered.

Without further question, he laid his lips in the small of her back. She gasped, and he wasn't sure why, but Tony didn't stop. He traced the scars with his lips and fingers, kissing it better the way his mother did in his faintest memories. As he reached her shoulder blade, Ziva began to tremble, and after a second Tony realized she was crying.

Standing, he turned her to face him, then sat and pulled her down onto his lap, cradling her.

"What is it?" he asked, then wanted to kick himself for saying it out loud.

She shook her head. "I can't explain it," she whimpered. Ziva buried her face in his collar and Tony felt like he might blow apart as he held her, rocking her gently. He'd thought he'd seen her broken, but he didn't know what this meant. He let her cling to him; it was the only thing he knew he could offer.

"I'm sorry," Ziva said as her breathing steadied.

Tony pressed his lips to her temple. "Don't be."

She pulled back to see him. "You know when your leg falls asleep and it's all pens and needles?"

"Pins," he couldn't help correcting gently.

"Yes," she said. "It hurts when your leg wakes back up."

Tony nodded, understanding her metaphor, and leaned in slowly to kiss her, giving Ziva time to pull away. She didn't. As they kissed, she slowly unbuttoned his shirt, pushing the sleeves off of him.

When she finished, Ziva pulled back for a breath. "Perhaps we should continue this under the covers?" she suggested breathlessly.

Tony grinned. "Why not?" He shucked his clothes quickly and followed her between the satin sheets. Once there he grew more serious, wondering what other damage her attackers might have left.

Ziva looked into his eyes. "Don't worry," she whispered. "Kiss me."

He grabbed her chin in his thumb and forefinger. "Promise me you'll stop me if it's too much," he said firmly.

She nodded.

"Promise," Tony insisted.

"I promise," Ziva said gently. She leaned forward, kissing him hard, biting his lip.

Her inhibitions seemed to have vanished and Tony let Ziva set the pace but had no complaints. She welcomed his touch and she was as soft and responsive as he'd remembered, as he'd dreamed about a thousand times since he touched her last. But just as he slid his hands up her thighs, aligning their bodies, Ziva rested a hand against his chest.

"Tony," she whispered.

"Yeah?" He leaned forward to kiss her but stopped at the look on her face.

Ziva licked her lips nervously. "Slowly at first, alright?"

Tony had to fight to stay aroused as he processed her meaning.

"Hey!" she slapped his face lightly with her hand.

Tony met her eyes grimly.

She pulled his head down for a kiss. "I didn't mean stop." She wrapped her legs around him and Tony responded with only slightly lessened hunger, taking her slowly at first and then with rising passion.

Ziva kissed him over and over, and it wasn't until he finally dropped his mouth to her throat, nipping at her pale skin, that Tony realized what was missing. He glanced up at her face, saw her jaw tightly locked as she kept herself from crying out.

"Ziva," he whispered, and she opened eyes clouded with what was clearly pleasure. He drove inside her again, watching her face contort as she came, then lost himself in turn.


Standing in the shower now while she sleeps, Tony realizes he is crying as he remembers Ziva the way she was that first night more than a year ago, the mewls and moans and screams of pleasure that told him how she was feeling. He can hardly imagine how many times she forced herself to lay silent, not to give her captors any satisfaction by crying out in pain. He doesn't want to imagine, but it's stuck in his head now, and he's filled with rage for what has been taken from her, and from him, too.