A/N Okay, I hope everyone enjoys this as much as they did with "This Is Inevitable". I'm making this another one-shot and then I am going to either of these two things:
1. Do a series of one-shots that come in at different places in season six when things would have happened differently because of the events of these two stories
2. Do a multi-chapter fic that is all of season six re-done with the two of them together. Please review to tell me which you'd prefer.
Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own any of the rights to the simply marvelous show NCIS. If I did Tiva would have happened by now.
Summary: Sequel to "This Is Inevitable". After the events in Autopsy Ziva and Tony now have to say goodbye to each other before they leave and maybe never see each other again. And this time Tony decides he doesn't care about Gibbs' rules and says a proper goodbye. ONE-SHOT
The four of them trudged down the stairs, entering the empty bullpen in an eerie silence that sent anyone left in the office scurrying in the opposite direction. They all saw Abby and Ducky waiting for them there but no one dared speak to explain, all worried about the emotions that would explode once the talking started.
Gibbs walked to his desk, which they were standing beside, and without making eye contact handed the files Vance had given him to Ducky who quickly opened them and registered what they meant, along with Abby who was reading over his shoulder.
They all heard Ducky's characteristic "Oh dear" and Abby's horrified gasp but then silence reigned again. There was nothing anyone could say or do to make it better, even Abby understood that this time but she had to know.
"Where?" She asked in a cracked whisper, her hands scrunched together in nervous anticipation; after all, maybe it wasn't that bad.
It was Gibbs who answered, knowing his agents were still in shock and incapable. If there was ever a time to go easy on them it was now.
"Sub-basement, Agent Afloat, Israel." He spoke quickly and without emotion, looking around his desk and moving the papers he found, trying to look busy and doing everything he could to prepare for the outbursts he knew were coming.
DiNozzo sat down at his desk and buried his head in his hands, elbows resting on the desk top. He knew Ziva was watching him with pleading and broken eyes but he couldn't bring himself to meet her gaze, to see the pain he knew would be an exact mirror of what he was feeling. They had more to lose than any of the others knew.
Even thinking that he let out a bitter chuckle under his breath that no one else could hear. He hated himself. He should be over there; looking at her, hugging her, kissing her, especially now they were on their last chance.
His heart and lungs constricted painfully at the thought of never seeing her again; of his perfect ninja being put back into the role of the cold assassin that she no longer was… a position that would no doubt end up with her body on a slab.
At that he had to suppress a sob and was surprised as he succeeded through the force of it. She wouldn't die, she couldn't die.
Gibbs' words made him angry, the icy stoicism with which he said them. He wanted to yell and scream at him to not just sit there and accept this, that he should be fighting to keep their family together. A part of him couldn't help but think that maybe Gibbs wanted this to happen, because deep down he really did blame them for Jenny.
Ziva watched him and could feel the emotions coming off him in waves. She wanted nothing more than to go over and hold him in her arms, to kiss him and try to make everything better while she still could but obeying Gibbs was so deeply ingrained into her that she still feared breaking his rules, even if they were not technically co-workers anymore.
She had never hated rules so much in her life and the very thought of this last opportunity to be near him being taken away from her made bile rise in her throat. She felt the tears rising in her eyes but swallowed deeply; struggling against them with everything she had, now was not the time for weakness.
McGee heard Gibbs' words and they somehow woke him up, they told him that this was real, that the conversation in Vance's office had really happened and yet some tiny part of him still fought relentlessly against that fact.
"Is this really happening?" He murmured just loud enough for everyone to hear him. Abby walked over to stand behind him, solemnly bending down and wrapping her arms loosely around his shoulders from behind, squeezing him lovingly.
That was it. At the pointless question something within Tony snapped and the others looked around at him as he stood forcefully, violently, sending his chair rolling back to smash loudly into the cabinet.
He walked over to McGee's desk, glowering down at the Probie in misdirected anger. When he spoke his voice was harsh and full of fury.
"Of course it's happening McGee, did you just miss that nice little speech the toothpick gave to us?" McGee flinched back from his anger, which was now even worse than when they had gotten back from LA. He understood a little; while he got to stay there Tony was being shipped off to somewhere everyone would hate him and he would have no one to back him up or to talk to. And so he took the anger silently.
Gibbs stood from behind his desk, looking over at DiNozzo firmly. "Tony, that's enough."
Tony whipped around to look at him, stalking towards him with a look on his face Gibbs had never seen directed at him from Tony before; disappointment and something that even bordered on hate.
"No! It's not enough!" Tony shouted, voice rising. "How can you just sit there and accept this Boss? Why aren't you doing anything? Is it because of Jenny? I'm sorry I screwed up Gibbs but you taught us to follow orders… although you never do. So why are you now huh?" He ended up leaning over Gibbs' desk towards the older man, seething with anger and resentment but Gibbs could see the fear and uncertainty in his eyes and responded in a calm voice.
"I don't blame you Tony." But it seemed nothing could calm his senior field agent… or at least that what he thought.
Tony screwed up his face in disbelief and practically growled at the man. "Bullsh-"
"Tony," his name was spoken sharply with a hint of reprimand but no anger, only understanding. He hadn't even realized she had approached him in his blind rage until she spoke, simultaneously laying a gentle but firm hand on his arm.
The others watched in fascination as Tony's face immediately softened and adopted moroseness and an impossibly heartbreaking sadness. He could see as well as everyone else the tears glimmering softly in her eyes and in a million years the one thing he would try never to do, above all else, was to make her cry.
"Sorry Zi," he said quietly, attempting a smile but failing. Just the simple touch of her hand on his arm sent shivers through his body and looking into her beautiful brown eyes now he didn't think he'd be able to keep it together. He watched closely as she swallowed heavily and knew she was feeling the same.
Just as he felt the urge to lower his head to hers he pulled away quickly, hoping unrealistically that no one noticed the prolonged moment between the two of them. Even if they did no one said anything as he walked back to his desk and sat once again, leaving Ziva standing in the middle of the bullpen, taking deep breaths to calm herself as much as she could.
"I should be going… my flight is early." The words were barely out of her mouth when Abby slammed into her and grabbed her into a bear hug. Ziva reciprocated, wrapped her arms around the Goths waist and affectionately squeezing her, hearing the girl sniffling into her shoulder and mumbling. "You have to keep in touch, I'll send an e-mail everyday and broom-Ziva will remind of you."
She pulled away just enough to look into her eyes and mustered up a smile. "You are the best friend I have ever had Abby." She drew her back into the hug momentarily, feeling her sobs more than hearing them for once and then let her go, moving to Ducky.
"Thank-you Ducky," was all she said, unable to express herself any better to the British man who had become like her grandfather.
"Be well Ziva and do try to be safe," he captured her also in a quick hug, much lighter than Abby's but filled with just as much emotion.
McGee stood and walked around his desk, looking unsure about how to act and settled for wrapping a caring arm around her shoulders and squeezing. "I'm really gonna miss you Ziva" he said, voice cracking slightly with emotion, knowing that this was it and when she walked out of the building there was a chance he'd never see her again… unless he hacked into Vance's files and found out when her flight was, because he knew she wouldn't tell them, not wanting to make a fuss out of it.
"I will miss you to McGee," her mouth quirked up in a smile, knowing that was all she could give him. She slipped out of his grasp and walked to Gibbs, who was now standing in front of his desk, arms folded.
"Gibbs." He nodded curtly at her, his eyes infinitesimally sadder than usual. "Do not be too hard on the new team; I do not think Vance would appreciate having three agents quit on the first day." She saw his lips quirk up for a second before he blinked, eyes watery and suddenly dropping his posture and pulling her into yet another hug, this one the strongest yet.
"I'll get you back Ziver, you belong here." He whispered in her ear, looking at DiNozzo over her shoulder with a silent promise in his eyes as well a wondering what would happen when he let go. He could feel Ziva clinging to him for an extra few seconds and knew that she was trying to prolong the inevitable and what would be the hardest goodbye.
He gently pushed her away and tried to encourage her with his eyes. She turned slowly, showing no hesitation for she wanted to be looking at him, committing everything to her memory, only an unwillingness to say what had to be said.
Everyone stood, absolutely silent and while they knew that watching the next goodbye might very well break their hearts it seemed impossible to look away from the duo as Ziva gradually approached Tony who was now leaning casually against the filing cabinet, having moved his chair out of the way.
They stared intensely into each others eyes, never wanting the contact to end and wanting to say so much more than what was possible to say in front of such an audience.
She stopped when she was a foot in front of him, opening her mouth to speak but her voice catching over his name as it whispered past her parted lips.
"Tony." He pushed himself upright and gently reached out a hand, laying his index finger over her lips and smiling gently down at her, even in this situation unable to look at her without feeling somewhat happy.
He still said nothing as he stooped low and grabbed her around the waist, pulling her to him in a fierce and intimate hug. His face once again laid against her shoulder, facing her neck, in a way reminiscent of their position as they had sat in Autopsy. He breathed her scent in deeply, knowing this might be his last chance to do so. He felt one of her arms constricting around his neck and shoulder while the other desperately clung to his hair, running through it as if to assure her that at least from this moment he was there with her.
"Tony," she mumbled again in his ear, making him squeeze her even more tightly, though if it pained her she didn't say anything.
"Ziva, I love you… so much,' his voice sounded clogged with tears as he struggled to even get that much out, wanting to tell her as many times as he could before they both had to leave. Yet he made sure to keep his voice low so that the others could not hear his confession.
"We'll both get back Ziva; Gibbs will get us back… And when he does I'm never letting you go again." He felt her sob once into his shoulder and chest at his words, nails digging into his skin, hardly bothering him at all.
"I love you to Tony, Ahuvi sheli."
The other stood still, captivated and unwilling to look away, waiting to see how it would end, not that it could be a happy ending. They could see them whispering to each other but couldn't hear anything, other than a soft, single sob the escaped Ziva after Tony spoke, running a hand soothingly through her hair and down to her waist.
Abby was wrapped in McGee's arms, tears streaming down her face while everyone else looked on with similar but restrained expressions. They were all shocked, beyond anything else, to see that DiNozzo's face also had tears steadily running down it and it made them all wonder; how did they really feel? What was really happening between them?
They both felt it. They both knew that if they stayed in each others arms for one more minute that they would never leave the safety and comfort of the embrace.
Ziva pulled back suddenly, looking up at him with sad eyes, hand on his cheek, stroking lightly before reaching up on her tippy-toes to brush her lips softly across his cheek in a goodbye kiss. Neither of them could say the word, it seemed too final; they knew their hearts would break if it were uttered.
Tony closed his eyes in despair as her hand slid off his cheek as she stepped back and grabbed her pack from beside her desk.
Everyone watched, unsure of what to do as she turned without another word, one hand firmly over her mouth to stop any further sound being emitted.
Their eyes shifted at the quiet mutter they heard from DiNozzo, only to see his eyes open and watching her retreating back as she walked to the elevator. They saw the moment his gaze went from hopeless to determined and as he followed her lead quickly to the elevator they hurried behind him, not leaving the bullpen, only going to the other side so as to see what would happen between the partners they all knew and loved.
He couldn't do it. It was too unresolved. He thought over the consequences of what he wanted to do in under a second and couldn't stop the single word from escaping him, knowing she wouldn't hear him, though everyone else did. He almost ran after her, only a step away when the elevator doors opened.
She stepped forward one step before feeling a hand close around her arm and pulling, swinging her around suddenly, causing her backpack to fall with a light thud to the ground. She barely had time to register the team watching her from a few meters away and the flash of Tony's face she saw before she felt his lips descend on hers passionately.
She heard the collective gasp coming from behind him, she knew they could all see and didn't care, knowing she would regret it forever if she didn't let herself have this one last time. With that thought she got over her surprise and let her arms find their way to wrap around his shoulders, one hand resting on his neck to pull him closer.
In response she felt his arms, one around her waist, one resting on her hip, pulling her so close her feet almost left the ground.
His tongue slid across her lips and she immediately relented, wanting nothing more than to feel his heat all around her.
She could feel both of their faces screwed up just slightly because of the intensity of the kiss and she felt almost every emotion she could think of pass between them: anger, hate, pain, fear, happiness, lust, desire, love and within it they could both feel a promise, though neither knew exactly of what.
When they pulled away their bodies stayed entwined, arms around each other and foreheads rested against each other as they both panted slightly, catching their breaths. Then Tony said something so unexpected it left her speechless, her heart thumping wildly in her rib cage, eyes wide and unable to leave his to determine the meaning behind his words.
In a voice purposefully loud enough so that everyone in the vicinity could hear him, but still low enough to be so incredibly intimate he burst out with the one thing that had been running around inside his head since he knew they were being separated.
Gibbs' eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Abby squeaked and clapped a hand over her mouth, an ecstatic smile forming under her hand. McGee shook his head as if to make sure it was real. Ducky simply smiled.
Tony saw her shocked face and knew what she was thinking.
"I don't mean now." He explained quickly, not letting her pull away, even though she had yet to try to. He brought up a hand to stroke her cheek, fingers brushing over her lips and savoring the feel of her warm breath hitting them as they passed. "Even when we get back we can wait years if you want to but…" he wanted to word everything perfectly. "I need to know, while we are apart, that you're mine, that you'll be waiting for me. I want to know that even though we are a world apart when we see each other again, it'll be forever. Because I don't want to have forever with anyone else," his voice started to get choked with his tears as he saw her eyes to were welling up. "I meant what I said earlier Ziva David, this can't end because I'd end with it. I need you… forever. I can't live without you."
He finished, having more to say but being unable to get any more words out. He closed his mouth and simply looked into her eyes, his own roaming her face, knowing he made the right decision because he knew he couldn't live without seeing her face every day of his life and if he knew that when they were together again it would be for good he might just be able to get through the next few months.
Breaths were held in unexpected anticipation and if Tony were to turn around in that moment he'd see a tiny, proud smile making it's way over Gibbs' face. But he couldn't and wouldn't tear himself away from Ziva.
He looked down at her waiting, watching her struggle to get the right words. Finally she looked up at him and smiled, reciprocating his affection and caressing his cheek.
"Anime gemelle esistono," she imitated his own words from earlier back at him in his native tongue. "E to sei mia." Abby let out a squeal as she understood and Gibbs smiled. The others figured it out as Tony face transformed into a happier expression than they had seen from him in a few days and Ziva leaned up, catching him in another kiss.
This one was much calmer, softer. He knew, he felt it. They both knew they couldn't spend the night together because they knew they wouldn't be able to bare it in the morning and they didn't want to share that part of themselves out of desperation. They were scheduled to leave at the same time in the morning… this was their goodbye.
They grasped each others necks, the kiss staying physically shallow but emotionally, much deeper than any other one previously. They both understood once they broke away, that was it.
And the end came too soon as they had to pull away for air. Not moving from each other Ziva backed up, Tony following her until her back hit the wall and she reached behind her to hit the elevator button. Their foreheads together as they heard the ding of the opening doors.
They took a simultaneous deep breath, mutually pulling each other into a two second long connection of their lips and then Ziva pulled away, opening her eyes as she backed into the metal box, tears starting up again.
Their hands stretched out until their fingertips slid away from each other and her finger hovered over the button that would close the doors.
Their eyes pierced each other and barely able to speak she said,
"See you soon," in a completely false attempt at casualness.
He swallowed once more, knowing after this moment it'd be a long time until he could breathe properly again.
"I'll be waiting," he said, trying to inject some of his usual charm into the statement to get her to smile and succeeding just barely.
And with another ding the doors slid shut and they were out of each others site.
The team stood for a minute, totally and completely unsure of what to do. How do you comfort someone who has just had their everything taken away from them? Especially when it was only going to get worse.
Gibbs approached his second in command with sad but understanding eyes. He thought back to when Shannon and Kelly were still alive. Every time he left he knew, almost without a doubt, that he would see them again, that they'd be waiting for him. He wondered how he would have felt if they had been taken away and it was not only possible, but likely, that he'd never see them again – because it was clear that DiNozzo cared for and loved Ziva just as much as he had loved, and still loved, Shannon and Kelly.
The thought was too much to bear because he knew what it was like to never see the one/s you love again. He gently laid a hand on the silent and unmoving man's shoulder, causing him to look up at his boss with hurt and anguished eyes.
"Boss you have to-" his words were stilted and gasped out so he stopped him, squeezing his shoulder.
"I know DiNozzo," with that, for the first time with any of his team, he pulled the vulnerable and broken man into a strong hug, feeling as though he was hugging a kindred spirit, a son.
As soon as his arms were around him Tony started sobbing, his legs loosing all strength and collapsing to the floor, Gibbs following him down and gently stroking his back, telling him that it'd be okay in his ear, even though they both knew it wouldn't be, not until things had been set right.
The others watched eyes moist, helpless as they realized the fact that two of the strongest people they knew would be broken and there was nothing they could do.
A/N Kay, a bit OOC and dramatic but I couldn't help it. I don't usually like fics that have them getting married so in the series I'll write after this they won't get married; it's more like a prolonged engagement. I just like the idea of them being so final and "this is it-ish" (lol) but I don't think them being married suits them at least for a few years. So, I figured this was the perfect solution. Hope you liked it.
TRANSLATION: "Ahuvi sheli" - Hebrew for my love. "Anime gemelle esistono, E to sei mia." - Italian for soulmates do exist, and you are mine.
Just incase you didn't read my top A/N here are the two options for what to do next with this storyline:
1. Do a series of one-shots that come in at different places in season six when things would have happened differently because of the events of these two stories
2. Do a multi-chapter fic that is all of season six re-done with the two of them together.
Please review to tell me which you'd prefer and of course what you thought of this story.