This is a tag to Rule 51. I actually wrote the first half of this like a year ago and then forgot about it. So, sorry if the second half is a little off, or if the story doesn't flow quite perfectly. I tried to get it right, but my mind set isn't exactly the same as it was a year ago. Hope you like it, at least a little bit.
Tony didn't really know what he was going to say. He had planned out a million different situations in his head, but none of them seemed like enough. He had been standing outside of her door for about fifteen minutes now, trying to pull together enough courage to knock.
"If you hadn't realized it yet, I'm not at home." Tony jumped at Ziva's voice from behind him. Somehow she had snuck up behind him carrying four grocery bags.
"Hey, uhh... I'm back," he said, wishing he could have thought of something a little more interesting to say to her.
"Really?" she teased, "I hadn't noticed."
"Heh, cute. You, uh, need any help with those?" he asked pointing to the bags she was holding.
"Sure," she responded, realizing he was stalling from saying what he had actually come over to say. "How long were you waiting for me to come back?" She unlocked her door and walked into her apartment, Tony following close behind.
"I wasn't exactly waiting..." he said turning away from her to close the door, not wanting her to see how insecure he was feeling at the moment.
Ziva laughed, "You were standing outside my apartment. How is that not waiting?"
"I didn't know you weren't there."
She laughed again, "So you were just standing there?"
"Yeah..." he said, now looking everywhere but at here.
"I'm a little bit confused."
"Ziva I'm really sorry."
"Now I'm very confused."
"I came over to say that, but I didn't know how, so I just-" he stopped, trying to think of a way to finish his sentence without sounding like a total girl.
"-stood outside my apartment hoping by some miracle I would know what you were thinking without having to actually knock on the door?" It sounded worse hearing her say it.
"Yeah, something like that."
"And what exactly is it that you're sorry about?"
"That I missed your ceremony. I know it was really important to you and I wanted to be there."
"Tony, you had to work. You were in Mexico. If that's not excusable, then I don't know what is," she said, wishing Tony would stop beating himself up over something that was clearly out of his control.
"No. Ziva, nothing is a good enough reason to miss seeing you officially become an American citizen."
Ziva turned slightly away from him,"Tony, you've been teasing me for months about how you don't actually want me to be a citizen. Why is it all of a sudden so important to you?"
"Ziva are you kidding me? Cause that's what I was doing, kidding. I didn't know you were actually taking me seriously." Tony just stared at her astonished for a moment before continuing. "I'm beyond happy you're an American citizen. It seems like a much better country to live in with you in it." Tony paused for a second just to look at her, "Damn it, Ziva, I thought by coming over here and apologizing to you I would feel a little better, but nope. Now I'm feeling ten times worse." He sighed in frustration. "Please tell me how I can make it up to you."
"Tony, there is nothing you can do, because there's nothing to make up. You did nothing wrong."
"I promised I'd be there, and I wasn't," Tony said more harshly than he intended, trying to get her to understand.
"Tony," Ziva said, now also huffing in frustration, "You're making this a much bigger deal than it is."
Tony just stared at her for a few moment frowning, "You really don't get it do you," he said softly. "Ziva, you mean the world to me. I need you. And I need you to understand that I did something wrong here, if only making a promise I couldn't keep. I'm done hurting you."
Ziva stood in shock for a minute before smiling and letting out a small giggle, "Tony you really are a basket case sometimes, you know that?"
Ziva's laugh caused Tony to completely relax and smile at her a little, "That was a terrible movie."
Ziva laughed again, "What?"
"You are so strange."
"It's a talent."
They stood in Ziva's living room staring into each other's eyes.
"You want to know how you can make it up to me Tony?" Ziva asked quietly, not breaking eye contact, "You already have. Just by being you. Just by caring so much. Thank you."
"That doesn't count. I would care even if I hadn't screwed up."
"Yes, it does. It counts so much more than anything else ever could."
Tony watched Ziva tentatively for a few moments before acting on impulse and pulling Ziva into a bone crushing hug, "I'm so sorry."
Ziva didn't flinch away from the sudden contact, she didn't shy away, she didn't even think about hurting him. She had completely let her guard down to the point that when he had suddenly pulled her into a position she couldn't easily get out of, she melted into it. "Tony, you really do need to stop saying that. Trust me. I accepted a long time ago that you're going to screw up, and say things you don't mean, and that I'm just going to need to put up with it if I want to keep you around."
"So you forgive me, then?"
"I always will."
Tony loosed his grip ever so slightly so he could look down into her eyes, "Well then, little miss America, I guess I'm going to be around for a long time."
I have no idea how to end this... and that seemed like just a good an ending as any. :( This is what I get for loosing one shots and finding them again a year later. Oh well. Tell me what you like and what you didn't. Thanksss. :)