Keeping her There - He had went to Somalia to avenge her death and it turned into something else completely. He ended up saving her and bringing her back. Now all he had to do was keep her there.
Ziva had been distant. But he knew that that was to be expected. She could hardly come home from Somalia where she was drugged and beaten and hurt and raped and be back to the normal Ziva. Tony swallowed as he thought about it for about the millionth time that night alone. He ran his hand over his face, his eyes sore from being awake but not exhausted enough to let him fall asleep with his mind working away as it did. He pushed his hand into the middle of the bed where it came into contact with smooth, hot skin and he was instantly calmed. He turned his head as well just to make sure that he wasn't imagining her presence and he was reminded that she was ok, that she had been brought home. She took a deep breath in her sleep and her face contorted into a frown and he sighed. She was having another nightmare. He turned back to the ceiling, unable to look at her anymore in pain as thoughts flooded his mind as he remembered what she was having nightmares about.
It was constantly in his head, running around and reminding him of the past month. It would pop up when he didn't expect it and it would take his breath away. It still scared him as he thought what could've happened and what would've happened. He would relive those few weeks where he thought she was gone forever and his stomach would twist. He would flashback to the few days he had spent in Somalia and the hours he had with Ziva. His heart would quicken and he would have to fight to breathe. It caught him in such unawares at times he had to escape to the bathroom to sit with his head between his knees so he didn't throw up.
It was worse when she hadn't contacted him after they had brought her home. His worry would plague him as her silence continued and he would pace around his apartment when he was at home and threw himself into his work when he was at the Navy Yard. He had been with her the whole time since they had broken free of her desert prison. He had kept his eye fully trained on her as they waited to be extracted, sat next to her on the plane home and watched as she was welcomed back by the rest of the NCIS department. Then she had went to the hospital with Abby and was checked over, and he hadn't see her since. He kept reminding himself that she was alright, that she wasn't dead anymore but in Abby's apartment across town.
Then she had dropped into NCIS and his heart started hammering in his chest when he saw her. The image of her broken and ready to give up was constantly etched in his mind and he fought to remember the better times with her. She had apologised and invaded his personal space in the men's bathroom to do so. She had kissed him and pretended that she was fine, that there was no lasting damage done from her summer away. He had left work thinking that it was going to get better.
And it sort of did. It took a while for them to get back to their routine of banter and flirting. Pushing the limits on their relationship to get back into the swing of things. She had only been back at work for a few weeks when she first came home with him. It wasn't that late when they finally finished a case so he had told her to come back to his house for a quick drink. She had sat in his living room, one drink in her hand the whole night. She had turned awkward and quiet as they chatted and Tony didn't know what to do with her. She mentioned that it was getting late but she was still hesitant about leaving and Tony didn't know what to say when she left his apartment with a face full of worry and dread. He had watched as she walked slowly to her car and sped away.
The next day at work she acted as if she hadn't been acting odd the previous night. She looked exhausted, her eyes red and bloodshot. She drank copious amounts of coffee to keep her awake and ignored the worried glances that Tony kept throwing her way. She jumped when a filing cabinet was slammed closed, or if a car honked at her when she drove them to a crime scene. She would avert her eyes if people talked to her. Stare at the floor when she wasn't the one talking. She never went to interrogation anymore, preferring instead to do fill in reports and follow paper trails. She would nervously fidget with her clothes or the stapler on her desk when no one was watching. Slowly, cracks in her mask began to show but no one really noticed, except Tony.
A few days later she arrived at his apartment again. Tony had been in bed for a few hours when the knock on the door woke him. He had gripped his gun as he made his way to the door and pulled it open a fraction. Ziva's face, red and splotchy greeted him and he took a step backwards, pulling the door open wider and nonchalantly dropping his gun quietly onto the table behind the door, his gut telling him that it would scare her.
"Are you ok?" Tony asked quietly as he shut the door behind her and slid the bolt closed. She avoided his eyes and shook her head, her forehead creasing as she frowned. She murmured something about her apartment being too empty and not wanting to be alone. She allowed Tony to pull her into a hug and lead her down the hall towards the bedroom.
And that had been that. Silently she slipped into his bed and curled into a ball under the sheets, staring wide eyed at him as he crawled in beside her. She had stared into his eyes for a long time, and Tony had stared back, trying to convey that she was safe. Then she had closed her eyes and finally fell asleep.
Now, weeks later she was in the same place, curled into a tight ball in the middle of the bed, her body close to Tony's. Tony stared at the ceiling as the mattress shook with her shudders and jolts. Her nightmares were a common occurrence and he could nothing but wait for her to wake up. There was a gasping breath from beside him in the bed and Tony turned his head to look at her. Her eyes were wide open, glassy from unshed tears. She took another heaving breath as she looked around and realised where she was before her face crumpled. Her bloodshot eyes focused on his and silently she crept toward him. He shifted in the sheets and pulled her closer, placing a kiss on her hair as she draped her arm over his chest and buried her face in his neck. She gave out a brief sob, tightening her hold on him. They stayed silent, like they did most nights until she fell asleep again against him, his arms wrapped securely around her. Tony sighed and stared at the ceiling as the thoughts resurfaced in his head, keeping him awake most of the night.