A/N: Heard the song 'Lost' by Michael Buble as a backing for a video someone made and instantly LOVED it, just wanted to do a quick little drabble about Tony's feelings for Ziva. Set during Truth or Consequences. Reviews would be nice. One-shot.
In a way, Tony was seeing Ziva just as he saw her last, and the time before that—with tears in her eyes. But then he looked away from her eyes and saw the rest of her, covered in wounds, cuts and bruises, with dark purple rings under her eyes. Her hair was knotty and wild and her clothes were ripped, stained and dirty. But somehow, in an impossible, unworldly way, she was still beautiful. Maybe it was because he thought by now she would be a rotting corpse among many at the bottom of the ocean, and it made his eyes sting with tears when he remembered how it felt to live without her.
Nevertheless, his fists clenched and anger bubbled inside of him at just the thought of someone hurting Ziva like this. His wrists ached from being bound and there was pain in his arm from where he had been given truth serum. If he was feeling this, he could only imagine what pain Ziva must have endured over the past few months. Judging from the wounds, there had been lots of it. The sound of her imaginary cries made his head pound. God, why had he left her to suffer this long?
It had been Ziva's choice to leave. It was clear that she hadn't wanted to even see Tony again, but she needed to know that no matter what she did, or what she said, he would always come for her. No matter how far, how hard, how small the chance of making it out of there alive, he would always be there. And today was just the same. But how could he tell her that? In those words, he sounded like Wesley from The Princess Bride. No, he had said it himself, he was a man of action, and his words were in his actions.
On that rainy day in Abby's lab, when Gibbs told the team that "there were no survivors", that was the end of Tony's life as he knew it. After that moment, everything was slower, longer; more painful each time he remembered what happened to his partner. There was no end or beginning, just a whole lot of middle. Life was blurry and much of what was said to Tony did not get through. He was living in another world.
After Michael Rivkin's death, it became apparent to him that everyone seemed to think Tony was letting his feelings for Ziva get in the way of his work. But he stood by what he did, and even though it almost cost him his partner, he still thought he made the right call. What would have happened if Michael went too far? Started abusing her, made he go back to Israel, got her pregnant? Tony would not have been able to cope. Losing her to another man was almost as bad as losing her completely, especially if that man was someone as undeserving as Rivkin.
Tony knew he wasn't perfect, and he didn't necessarily deserve Ziva either, but he wanted to protect her, and make sure that whoever she chose to be with did. As thankful as he was to have her in his life, he felt that fate had almost been unkind to them. Regardless of what he did, they might never get past Michael's shooting, and even if Ziva did forgive him, she would never considering being more than a co-worker to him.
But now that she was here in front of him, breathing, he almost didn't care. He loved her, more than he thought was even possible, and unfortunately it had taken almost losing her to realise that. And at this moment, she was all he could think about. He almost forgot he was tied up, captive in a dirty room on the Horn of Africa, thousands of miles away from his home, dependent on a complicated plan to keep him alive. But he just couldn't help it. He was used to having fantasies about her, although they had stopped over the summer, but this was overpowering his mind. His want, no, need to embrace her now, kiss her, hold her tightly, but not too tightly, just enough so that she wouldn't slip away. He'd touch her gently, so as not to hurt her delicate being, and he'd look right into her eyes, and let them speak on his behalf. In just a few seconds, they could say with a look what Tony could only attempt to explain. There was no word in the English language, or any language for that matter, that could describe how he felt about Ziva.
"Out of everyone in the world who could have found me, it had to be you," she said softly, her words bringing him back to this world and causing him to go back to plain old Tony.
He knew she was still upset, but he swore he saw the tiniest smile tug at the corners of her lips as she said it.
They spoke mindlessly, Tony's brain not quite functioning, partially because of the truth serum. But he could still hear her words rolling off her tongue like honey.
"Why are you here?"
He tried to lie; he didn't want to say something emotional, not now, not here, not like this.
"McGee...McGee didn't think you were dead."
Ziva saw right through him, as she always had, and she would have none of it. He was here, and after weeks of contact with only people who would later torture her, Ziva wanted answers. "Why are you here?"
"Couldn't live without ya, I guess."
The look upon her face was peaceful, almost happy. She knew.
A/N: Glad I got that out of my system. :D Reviews would be nice for my little one-shot and I promise I'll update my other stories soon!