A/N: Ok, so this is my first attempt at Fanfic, please be gentle! The usual disclaimers apply!
It had been the kind of day that leaves a person completely exhausted. Not the good, burning physical kind of exhaustion, but the utterly mind-crushing numbness associated with deep emotional and mental turmoil. Tony wouldn't have felt this way had he caused his own pain. That he could deal with in his own juvenile manner. He'd done it before. He always found a way to muddle through when his parents left him to fend for himself, when he blew out his knee and dashed his hopes of a professional career, when he shot his first criminal, when a guilty man first walked free because of his mistake, when Gibbs had been particularly belligerent with him, when Kate died. That was a turning point in his life. That was a turning point in the way he handled things from that point on. It only went downhill from there. There were more friends murdered in the line of duty, more innocent victims to photograph and sketch, more criminals to interrogate and arrest.
The only bright spot in the dimmest of days was her. And that was one of the reasons Kate's death had been a turning point in his life. It wasn't just the loss. It was the gain of her. His Nonna had always said that when a person is taken away in a family, God replaces them. He had never believed the idea until the day Ziva David walked into his life. In the midst of his distrust, his grief, and his anger, she made him smile. In the freezing rain on one of the most depressing nights of his life, she made herself emotionally vulnerable to him and they shared a bond. It was a bond of sorrow, of death, to be sure, but perhaps that was the reason it was so strong to begin with. In the five years since she first walked into his life, they had been through it all. People who are in this line of work detach easily from their emotions. They have to, or they don't make it. In spite of this fact, Tony and Ziva were close. They kept a strange dichotomy of detachment and attachment. Their whole team was close, but not in the same way as Tony and Ziva. It went beyond trust, beyond partnership, beyond friendship. They were of one mind. And in spite of the breach of trust that occurred after the Rivkin fiasco and the permanent change in both of them after Somalia, their relationship had withstood these ultimate tests only to become stronger. The days of forced detachment were over. No longer would they afford the luxury of Rule 12. No longer would the naivete of tomorrow ever come between them.
It had taken months of repair and careful, slow admissions. And then there was Paris. For once, Tony did not want to live out a cinematic fantasy. It couldn't be Casablanca. He wouldn't let it. And thankfully, neither would she. Drama and romance wasn't their style. No one in the office knew, although everyone had suspected for years. They went from simply being partners to being partners in every sense of the word. The day that she said her ring size out loud, he knew. And no one seemed to think it was out of place when she began to wear a diamond on her finger, not even a month later. And it just was. And it was good. Until tonight.
Tony replayed the scene again in his mind. It was permanently etched onto his brain like the films that he idolized. In fact, the whole scene played out in horrifically slow motion as he watched it.
He had gone to Gibbs' after the fight. She had left the apartment, first, and in his utter shock he went where he always went for commiseration. On autopilot, he opened the door and went to the basement, where he expected to have a bourbon, have a headslap, and go back to Ziva to work it out. Instead, what he saw froze him from his position halfway down the steps. There, amidst the sawdust, the boat skeleton, and the dim basement light were his fiancée and his boss. Kissing. They were sitting on the floor, facing each other. Her hand was on his cheek. He couldn't tell if her tongue had penetrated his mouth, but it certainly wasn't the chaste father-daughter interaction he knew existed between them. Tony never made a sound. Simply turned on his heel and walked back the way he came.
He knew that his heart had stopped beating when he heard Gibbs tell the team that the Damocles had no survivors. He knew that tonight it had shattered into millions of irreparable pieces.
So, that's my first attempt! I thought I'd jump right in after months of critiquing your work and put my feet on the other side of the fence! I actually got this idea from a dream I had after reading, like, 24 hours straight of fanfic! Let me know if you'd like me to continue, and what I can improve upon! Wow, I'm so nervous! :P