Post – ep for 7x01 Truth and Consequences, one of the best NCIS episodes I've watched in a while. Did anyone else feel sorry for Tony when he just walked back to his desk and watched Abby and Ziva hugging at the end?

This is what happens after. In my head, at least. =]

Truth and Consquences - Abby's Truth.

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"She hasn't called."

If Abby hadn't been paying close attention to Tony, his hoarse voice would have been drowned out, disappearing beneath the noise of the bar they were at. His hands were clutched tightly around a glass of clear liquid, but Abby wasn't as naive to think that it was plain water that was being swirled around in the glass. She gingerly placed an arm on her friend's, not sure if anything she said would be able to soothe him.

"I mean, I get that she's hurt and injured and confused. I really do. But," He paused to make way for another mouthful of vodka. "I'd give up all the stupid attention from the office to hear her say anything ... anything."

"She needs time, Tony." Abby told him gently.

When Tony had made the call several hours ago asking Abby to come and join him, she knew it had to be pretty bad. He'd pleaded with her to get there as soon as she could under the pretence that he wanted to celebrate the end of a successful rescue mission. Upon turning up however, she noticed the absence of the rest of the team and she knew that this was not a celebration. She recognised his desperation as one not unlike the time Kate died, or when Jenny got killed and he was on the verge of being shipped off to sea.

"She made Gibb's choose between us. Me and her. She was going to come back if I wasn't there. She stayed in Israel 'cause of me." His voice cut into her thoughts and she focused back on her desolate friend.

His words were slightly slurred, but the bitterness was clearly evident. He downed the last of his drink before impatiently tapping the bar top for another drink. Abby stilled his hands and jerked her head in a negative as the bartender shot them a questioning look.

"No more drinks, Tony. I need you to be able to stand when I get you out of here." She admonished.

His eyes as he stared at her were haunted, and it scared her to see how similar it was to the last two times she had been here with him. Both times he had come to the bar dragging Abby along as a safety net to make sure he didn't get himself killed. The only difference this time was that he wasn't mourning for a fallen comrade.

"Tony..."

He shut his eyes and dropped his head into his hands which were folded on the table. "She was supposed to be dead." He whispered into his arms. "I was avenging a fallen partner because the last time, I couldn't."

Abby drew in a sharp breath as she finally understood. Of course she'd realise his initial intention was to avenge her death, and at the time, between all the pain and regret of realising another dear friend had been killed, Abby had supported him with zero doubts in her mind. It had begun as a simple search for her which ended in weeks of utter despair, and she knew Tony had taken it very badly.

"She was supposed to be dead but she wasn't, Abs. She was sitting there, as alive as you and me and suddenly it became a rescue mission. And she said ... she didn't want me there Abby. Do you understand? I went there to avenge her, and she didn't even want me there."

Abby exhaled, unsure of the right thing to say. Her heavy bracelets clanged noisily against the bar top as she tried to pry Tony's head away from his arms. Her fingers were gentle as she lifted his head, caressing his features and noticing that there still were ugly scars that had not properly faded.

"I really don't think it's like that."

"It's exactly like that Abby. 'It had to be you' she said. Like ... like she would have preferred someone else-"

"You have to stop this. You saved her. You, and McGee and Gibbs, but mostly you because you didn't give up. Even the toughest ninja warrior princess can't ignore that. You were partners and friends long before you killed Rivkin, and nothing can possibly change that. Understand? I need you to promise me you'll give Ziva some time. Promise me, Tony."

Tony blinked at her as her words echoed in his head. Her eyes were bright, green and so fierce he wanted to cower beneath his arms again. Her voice was so full of conviction that he couldn't help but let a little hope blossom within his heart. His head was filled with sudden clarity, one he hadn't really experienced since that fateful flight back from Israel. Maybe Abby was right. After all, Ziva was never really good at adapting to emotions.

"Maybe I'll just ask McGee if he's heard from Ziva." He mumbled, attempting to fish his cellphone from his pocket. Abby intercepted him however, and pulled him to his feet.

"Ask him at work tomorrow." She told him as she took his wallet from his coat pocket. She pulled out a few bills and slapped it onto the bar. Tony started to protest, not quite done with his night yet but the alcohol had compromised his motor skills and before he knew it, he was being steered out into the parking lot.

"Tony, promise me."

Tony was confused for a short moment before recalling their earlier conversation. He chuckled ruefully and nodded before tugging at the door handle of her hearse.

"I promise, Abby."

She pulled at her pigtails as she contemplated his sincerity and finally decided that Tony was indeed being honest. Drunk people didn't have the ability to lie properly anyway.

As she twisted her key in the ignition she noticed Tony's head was already lolling from side to side in slumber. The poor man was exhausted, the worry lines etched so deeply in his brow. Abby decided on the spot that it was about high time she and Ziva had a good long chat about Ziva's trust issues. She'd overheard Dr. Bracko telling Gibbs Ziva was due for her first psych evaluation and made a mental note to catch her the moment she came in the next day.

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End.

And cue the amazing Abby scene in 7x02. Hope you enjoyed!