A/N: Based heavily on "Bury Your Dead" (Season 5, episode 1). It sees inside the heads of NCIS's best girls. R&R!


There was clicking and beeping and talking all blurring together inside Jenny Shepard's head. She barked out commands as she adjusted her headset. Images were flashing on the screen. She needed to make the right decision before Tony could be harmed. She now knew that him seeing Jeanne so NCIS could get more information on La Grenouille had been a mistake and she needed to fix it. But time was up, and Jenny only realised that when she saw the explosion. Tony's car had been blown up and there was no way he could have survived.

"Tony," the single word escaped Ziva David's lips. Jenny looked at her. She had never seen Ziva so devastated, and Ziva had never felt so devastated. It took all of her strength to restrain her emotions. How could it be that Tony DiNozzo, her partner and friend, one of the few people in this world that Ziva genuinely cared about, was gone? She knew everyone could see the worry and deep sadness in her brown eyes, but she didn't care. All she wanted was to hear Tony's husky but somehow smooth voice, see his warm inviting eyes looking into hers as he flashed his trademark irresistible smile, feel his strong touch and smell his distinct odour of deodorant and aftershave. She had not always loved all of these things, but she longed for them now more than anything. Please, just bring him back.

Abby would not believe it, could not believe it. Tony was NOT dead, she could feel it. She trusted Gibbs and the team, but when something like this came up, science was her only friend. No matter how many people lost hope, she would remain faithful to Tony. She loved Tony like she loved everyone: in her own special way, different for each person. He was as alive as that love until Ducky said otherwise, and that was that.

I think that look is even worse than the one earlier, thought Jenny, once again looking at poor Ziva's face. She should not be here. Losing a partner is one of the worst things that can happen in this business. But Jenny knew all too well that Gibbs would not allow her to leave and even if he did, she wouldn't go. She admired Ziva for her determination and strong will.
Glancing at the burnt, ash-covered car, she winced at the body form sitting in the driver's seat. The team were trying to be optimistic, except for Ziva. She had already accepted the fact that he was dead and was trying to move on. She was trying to suppress it, like her Mossad training had taught her, but this time it was different. The pain in her eyes had turned to longing. She wanted nothing more than for Tony to be back here, holding her and telling her everything would be alright. She knew, she had been there.

He's gone, Ziva, accept it, he's gone and he's not coming back. Ziva repeated this in her head, but it only wanted to make her cry. She knew she had to accept his death and move on. Hoping and praying he's alive and then finding out otherwise could be more crushing than the first time. Ziva knew this from experience. She couldn't confide in anyone, she knew she had to cope with this alone, her own twisted way. But somewhere deep inside of her, so deep that she didn't even realise it was there, there was a little voice that was telling her to just keep hoping and maybe you'll be lucky.

Later that day...

"Hey, my car blew up this morning. Was that you?"

It couldn't be, could it? When Ziva heard Tony's voice she assumed it was her mind playing tricks on her, but it wasn't. She saw his face, his smile, heard his voice, and judging by the look on everyone else's faces, they could all see him too. Suddenly, she felt the overwhelming desire to hug him, but Abby beat her to it. She just stood there and smiled, as per usual. Nothing had changed but maybe, just maybe, Ziva wanted it to.