"Marine Sergeant Scotty Ryan, 29. He lives with his fiancée, Navy Lieutenant Angela Riley."
Tony swallows hard as he feels those eyes sneaking up on him. She snatches the clicker out of his hand. They are alone in the bullpen, which isn't unusual, but lately it has become a dangerous thing. There was only one reason, Paris. It was Gibbs' fault really. He had sent them to the city of love, and by chance, bad luck some might say, they had been forced into the same room. Both offered to take the couch, but neither really wanted to. They silently agreed that one night sleeping in the same bed would not kill them.
It's not like it was the first time. They had slept in the same bed when they were undercover, and before that they had rolled around in bed naked pretending to be married. They were both adults, and they had been partners for 5 years. Sharing a bed in the city of love couldn't hurt, or so they thought.
The night had started out so innocent. Two partners, two friends really, just enjoying Paris and all it had to offer. Dinner came and went, and they found themselves back in the hotel room. It's when it dawned on Tony, why Gibbs had sent them. They had yet to be alone long enough to have a serious conversation. The talk in the men's room had just been a prelude to an ever larger conversation that had yet to be had. It was an inevitable conversation. She had been captured and tortured because of a series of events that they had created, a serious of events that could have damn well have been prevented. Of course that was the past, but just because it was all in the past didn't mean that it would something that could be forgotten about.
They entered the hotel room fairly early in the evening after a wonderful dinner, too early to go bed. Tony was the one who spoke first, his face only inches away from Ziva's, his expression all too serious.
"You know wine loosens the lips." He says.
His words had two meanings, but she knew what he was talking about. This wasn't some secret sexual innuendo, not yet at least.
Rivkin, Somalia, there was so much they had left unsaid.
"Sometimes, it's better not knowing."
Tony looked intently at her. "You can talk to me about anything. I won't get mad or judge."
She smiled softly. "I know."
Those two words told so much about what she was feeling. He could tell from those two simple little words that she was ready to talk, open up, and let him in.
"How about we take showers and then go out on the balcony to talk."
She nodded. He walked towards the bathroom and turned on the shower before coming out again.
"Take a shower with me." He had a smile on his face that told her he was serious.
"Are you insane. Tony, I'm not taking a shower with you."
"Come on Zi, were in Paris and I want to see you naked. It's not like it would be the first time." Ziva shook her head, but she wasn't exactly putting up much of a fight.
"We're partners, we can't do this. I can't do this." She whispers, "Not again."
Tony smiles. "We'll still be partners if we take a shower again. I'm not asking for anything more than a shower. You're my best friend. I trust you with my life. I'd do anything for you. All I'm asking is for you to take a shower with me."
Ziva doesn't argue and soon enough their clothes lay scattered on the floor. They take a shower and nothing more. She punches him in his stomach for staring at her too long, but he gets over it. She lets him wash her back and see the scars on her back and around her waist. It tells him that she really is ready to open up. They both take a shower together. It's very intimate in a way, but nothing sexual happens.
"If Gibbs ever finds out about this, we're dead." She says.
"Gibbs won't find out, and again we are doing nothing wrong."
Tony holds his hands around Ziva's waist. They naked laying on a reclining chair on their Paris hotel room balcony. Her hands are around his. Her back is to his chest. They lay there under the clear night sky, with the brightly lit Eiffel tower in their view. The only thing covering them is their hotel room bed sheets.
"Let's talk." He says.
"I thought that's what we were doing, Tony."
He smiles. "You know I mean."
She sighs. "I do."
He wants to talk about Somalia, and what happened to her. He is ready to listen to whatever she has to say.
"Your laying naked with me on our balcony in Paris. That says that you trust me a whole hell of a lot, and you don't mind me seeing you naked." He winks. He can't help but to use that famous DiNozzo charm on her, even if this a serious talk.
"You want to know about the scars?"
"I want to know about everything."
"Trust me Tony, you do not. What is that say… ignorance is bliss."
He makes circles with his thumb around her waist as he gently whispers in her ear. "It will eat away at you if you keep it in Zi."
She sighs because she knows he is right. All the painful memories she had held inside keeps her up at night. It is already starting to eat away at her soul, and she wants it to stop. She wants to tell him. She wants to let it all out.
She starts telling him about how she got to the camp and how Saleem beat her and tried to get her to give him information. She talks about how she thought she was going to die, but she's holding back. He can tell this, and he knows why. He doesn't want to ask because he doesn't want conformation that he's right, but he does it anyway.
"Did he rape you?" He asks her the question that he never thought he would be able to. He silently prays that he's wrong. He wants nothing more to be wrong because the very thought makes him sick.
She sighs, and answers him. "Yes."
He gently kisses her forehead. He fights back tears and an overwhelming feeling of anger. He is disguised not with her, but with himself. He feels as if it is his fault. He feels like if he hadn't killed Rivkin, none of this would have ever happened. He doesn't say what he is thinking because this talk is not about him, it is about her.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He didn't know if she was ready or not, but she surprises both of them and tells him all the details. At the end he feels sick to his stomach. He knows that it will be a long time until he will able to close his eyes and not feel her pain. He is silently angry with himself for not being there. She was his partner, his best friend, and he just let her stay in Israel. He didn't fight her decision, and he didn't go looking for her until way after he should have.
"I'm so sorry. It was my fault. If I hadn't killed Rivkin, you would never have gone back to Israel and gone on that mission."
She turns to look him in the eyes. "Don't say that. I chose to stay in Israel. I chose to go on that mission and carry it out alone. Getting captured was my fault, and what happened once I got captured was nobody's fault but Saleem's."
The caring look in her eyes comfort's him. "Ziva David, you are one strong woman."
She smiles at his comment. They lay there for some time, just holding each other. The silence is not awkward, it is peaceful. It is a feeling that neither one of them had experienced in a long time.
After some time she finally breaks the silence. "Maybe we should go to bed. It's getting late."
Tony nods and they make their way to the bed where they sleep peacefully through the night in each other's embrace.
Tony and Ziva both realized in Paris that they were in love with each other. They said their 'I love yous' in Paris, but neither was really ready for a relationship. That wasn't their style.
The reason it was so dangerous while they were alone in the bullpen was because Gibbs was lurking around every corner. The last thing either one of them wanted was Gibbs finding out about their night in the city of love.
Every time he lays eyes on her he can't help but to think back to their conversation. It still gives him chills thinking about what she went through. He has nightmares just as much as she does now. He still blames himself, although he would never tell her that.
They only talked once about Somalia. They said everything that needed to be said that night in Paris. If anything was left out, it won't be said. They already had their chance to talk about Somalia. It's come and gone. Now, Somalia only haunts their dreams.
Ziva has learned to deal with the nightmares, while Tony has not. He needs to talk, but he knows he can't talk to Ziva. Sometimes the nightmares of both their experiences haunt Tony during day, mostly when he is alone. He can seem Saleem forcing him to watch Ziva being rapped. He wants to scream, he wants to help her but there is nothing he can do except watch. That's one of the worst so far, but each night they get worse.
Before Tony has a chance to say a word to Ziva Gibbs walks in.
"Got another dead one."
Gibbs glances up at the screen then back to his two agents.
He obviously noticed their changed relationship, both the new level of understanding and trust and the healing of old wounds.
The two agents grabbed their gear and follow suit behind Gibbs, their eyes screaming at each other. Gibbs hands Tony the keys.
"DiNozzo, David… I want you two processing this scene. I have a meeting in MTAC with Vance."
Tony eyes widen as he catches the look Gibbs' threw at him. It was only a fraction of a second, but Tony knew what it meant. It was Gibbs' silent way of saying he knew about everything.
Tony is frozen in time, standing still, daydreaming in his own little world. He is ripped back into reality as he feels a pair of hands tugging at him collar. He smirks as Ziva pulls him into the elevator by his shirt.