A/N: Hello, everyone! Yes, I'm being an idiot and starting another story with 5 in progress and another still in its early stages. But I saw a tiny snippet of Aliyah today and had this idea. It is a tragic story, so it's a bit different to what I usually do, but it's still a romance-style story, although the romance is a bit one-sided. Regardless, if it was a movie, it would be a chick flick. I'm also going to say that it is a little melodramatic. Anyway, please let me know what you think.
Summary: What if that in Ziva's apartment didn't go as planned for DiNozzo? Will the man who truly holds her trust, faith, and most importantly, the key to her heart be revealed? WARNING: MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH. Rated T to be safe.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except this laptop and the brain where I think up all my ideas
Ziva David knew something bad was going to happen. She was forced to prepare herself for the worst when she saw her light on as she approached her apartment building, and saw silhouettes moving stealthily across the room. She swore she saw one of them draw a gun, but she did not see as she was already racing to her apartment and drawing her own as she burst through the door.
But no matter how she had prepared, nothing would have been enough for her to expect this.
"Michael," she said breathlessly, staring at her boyfriend, bringing her gun down at the sight of him.
Michael was sitting in the middle of her living room, the centre of the mess that now surrounded him. There were ornaments and magazines strewn all over the carpet and shards of glass everywhere. He had blood on his shirt and a gun in his hand. Not his own gun.
Then Ziva's eyes fell upon the other body in the room. The weaker side of the fight, the one who didn't come out stronger. He lay there, lifeless, his arm bent at a weird angle—probably broken—and three distinct bullet holes in his chest. It was Ziva's partner, Tony DiNozzo.
She gasped when he saw him, saw the blood that gushed from the wounds in his chest and back onto the cream coloured carpet. She rushed over and checked his pulse desperately, finding nothing but depressing emptiness. His skin was still warm.
"Call 911," she ordered Michael.
"Ziva, he's dead. I think we need to talk about—"
"Just do it!" she barked.
Michael did what he was told, and when he was done, he crouched next to Ziva, his shadow covering the body of the man he had just killed.
"How...how did this happen?" Ziva whispered, with her hand over Tony's no longer beating heart.
"He came here, to question you about your current case. When I answered the door, he told me why he was here and decided he would arrest me instead, and when I calmly explained to him that I was not guilty of anything and that his actions were indeed irrational, he attacked me. I was left with no choice."
Ziva had to take a few deep breaths before she could say any more. It was a lot of difficult information to process. Michael was lying through his teeth but Ziva seemed to believe it. The truth was, he had initiated the entire fight, and after successfully breaking his arm, he had watched Tony collapse on the floor, crawled over to the gun he had dropped, and shot him three times in the chest, each one a kill shot.
"You do not agree with my actions?" Michael asked coldly.
"No," she replied, suddenly angrier. "I think you're lying, Michael. Tony may not have trusted you, but he would not attack you. He is a civil person."
"Was. He's dead, Ziva." Each word felt like a blow to the face to Ziva. "He came here because he didn't trust you. He was going to question you. That is not a trusting action."
"He was doing his job. He is...was an excellent investigator and no matter what happens, I will never doubt that."
"He let his social and professional lives mix. He was jealous and it clouded his judgement to the point where it cost him his life. Does that sound like a great investigator to you?"
Ziva said nothing.
"Your relationship with this man was never going to get you anywhere, Ziva, and I think you know that. He was not deserving of your trust and friendship."
"He was my partner," she said softly. "When you work with someone for four years and you put your life in their hands every day, you learn to trust them. And Tony has changed me completely as a person, for the better. He made me happier, much more understanding of American customs. He made me laugh; he was always there for me, even though I never chose to seek help from him. I am the one who could see past the wall he puts up to the rest of the world, and I have discovered that behind that wall was a gentle and wonderful man and you killed him. We may not have been like we used to be but that doesn't mean I have forgotten those times."
"No! You killed him, Michael!" she shouted, hot tears welling in her eyes. She promptly wiped them away in an attempt to keep her dignity. "I think you should leave."
"Ziva, you're making a mistake," he told her firmly.
"No, my mistake was thinking that my father had no influence on you, that you, unlike him, could be trusted. Now I am not so sure I made the correct decision."
Knowing he could not talk her out of this, he silently left Ziva sobbing into Tony's shirt. She was so guilty for not being there to stop it, for leaving their relationship where it was. She would have to live with that forever.
When the paramedics arrived, Ziva rode in the back of the ambulance on the way to Bethesda, even though there was no hope of him surviving. Another staff member sat in the back with her; a woman.
"He was very handsome," the woman whispered.
Ziva sniffed. She knew the woman had the wrong idea about them, but she smiled a little all the same.
When they entered the hospital, Ziva sat in the empty waiting room, holding her cell phone in her hand, simply staring at the screen. Who should she call first? What would she say?
It was if the heavens knew of her problems, because Gibbs called her that very second. She answered it calmly, trying to sound as if she had not been crying.
"Ziva, I know it's late, but have you seen DiNozzo? He left two hours ago and said he'd be back and he's not answering any of his phones."
"Did you talk to McGee?" she replied, avoiding the subject.
"I figured it would be best to talk to you first. You do know something, don't you?"
She sobbed. "I'm sorry, Gibbs, it's my fault, I'm sorry."
Ziva didn't want to talk any more. She simply hung up the phone. She knew Gibbs and McGee would find her, and sure enough, they were at Bethesda in twenty minutes, Abby in tow.
"Where is he, Ziva? Is he OK?" she asked frantically.
The wise expression plastered on Gibbs' face said he knew that he wasn't.
Ziva looked up at her friends. Her eyes were red and shiny and she held a tissue in her hand. She hated to watch the Goth's face form the most devastating expression she had ever seen.
"Oh, Ziva," she said, embracing her friend tightly.
McGee tried to be brave, wiped his face with his palm. Gibbs rested a hand on his shoulder.
A nurse stepped out of a room and approached the group. "Is Miss David here?" she asked kindly.
Ziva rose from her chair and went to speak to the nurse in private.
"I'm sorry, we weren't able to save Mr DiNozzo."
Ziva inhaled a shaky breath. "I know. I knew he didn't have a chance."
"I really am sorry." And with that, the woman walked away.
Ziva bravely returned to her group. "He's gone," she said, not looking any of them in the eye. There was silence for a few minutes. Not surprisingly, Abby was the first to speak.
"Ziva, you know he cared a lot about you. He was always on your side. He would have done anything for you. He would have laid down his own life any day."
"Thank you Abby. I'm sure he felt the same way about you."
The team waited in silence for Ducky and Vance to arrive, and were told that Tony's body and personal items would be sent to NCIS the next morning, so none of them left.
At four in the morning, McGee and Ziva were both awake, and he couldn't wait any more to ask what had happened.
"I only know what Michael told me," Ziva said. "And I am not sure I believe it."
"Rivkin did this?" McGee's face screwed up and his fists clenched, but he calmed himself. "You know, what Abby said was true. He really did care about you, more than any of us, even himself."
"And I took him for granted."
"Rule Number 8," said Gibbs, who they thought had been asleep.
Their heads all turned sharply when they heard footsteps made by none other than Michael Rivkin.
"What are you doing here?" McGee sneered.
Michael ignored him. "Ziva, I could not leave things in such a bad place. May I speak to you alone?"
Ziva went immediately, not wanting to let her teammates know how scared she was. She felt as if she did not know Michael anymore.
"Come back to Israel with me, Ziva," he said.
That had not been what she was expecting. "What?"
"It is your homeland, Ziva. It is where you belong. Your family are there."
"I am sorry, Michael. This team has already lost one member. They do not need to lose two."
"You are putting their needs before yours, mine and your father's?"
"Eli doesn't need me, and he knows that I know that."
"These people do not need you either."
"But I need them. Doing work like I do with them forms a bond thicker than blood and stronger than anything. They are my family."
"Ziva, this is your last chance. Who are you going to choose? Your family, your home country, Mossad, who made you what you are, or these Americans who have made you weak."
Ziva's rage overwhelmed her at that moment and she gave Michael a swift, hard slap across the face. "Leave. Now. I do not need Mossad, or you. My father does not need me and I have learnt not to need him. Israel will always be my homeland but America is my home now."
"Very well, Ziva," Michael said grimly, and turned and left in an almost robotic fashion.
Finally feeling somewhat at peace for the first time in months, she seated herself with her team members and leant against Abby for support as she attempted to get some sleep.
The next morning the still weary and depressed woke to the sound of the early morning news that was playing on the waiting room's television.
'And in other news, the body of Mossad Officer Michael Rivkin was found in Anacostia Park this morning at the bottom of a creek. Police have found a bullet hold to the man's chest but have not ruled out drowning as a cause of death.'
They froze. Abby gripped McGee's and Ziva's hand as they all realised one member of their team was missing.
A/N: How's that for a cliff hanger? I think I did an alright job on this story. If you guys like it, future chapters can include guest appearances, and possibly from the deceased, Kill Ari style. Please, pretty please review! I would love to wake up with a full inbox tomorrow morning! It would be a nice way to start my second depressing day back at school!