A/N: Home alone, bored, and NEEDED to write something. I would have included this in 'Symbol For Infinity', for anyone who reads it, but this one is a bit too emotional for the show. I promise I will do that some time either today or tomorrow, but I need to watch it again first. Anyway, this is a one-shot and spoilers for Enemies Foreign and Dead Air. TIVA. OOC Ziva because she's a lot weaker than on the show, and a little worried about her father and Leot and Malachi and all that. Enjoy :)
Disclaimer: Don't own NCIS or its amazing characters, but if I did then Tony and Ziva would be together by now :)
Ziva stared blankly at the interrogation currently taking place, safe behind the glass of the Observation Room, leaning against the wall and watched, only really hearing half of what was being said.
She didn't move when she heard the door click. She had been expecting someone to come eventually. Tony walked casually but quietly into the room and stood next to her.
To the untrained eye, Ziva was looking calm, and was concentrating on what was happening on the other side of the glass, but Tony did not have an untrained eye.
"Don't let Leot get to you, Ziva," he said huskily, not looking at her.
"What makes you think I am letting her get to me?" she replied, clenching her teeth.
He brought two fingers to her jaw and gently turned her head so she faced him, and looked at her with raised eyebrows.
"She's better than me," Ziva said, not being able to stop the words. "A better fighter, better with weapons..."
"But she's not a better investigator, is she? Ziva, she's an emotionless assassin, hard as stone, trained to kill. All she really cares about are titles and kills."
"Why are you saying bad things about her all of a sudden? You were flirting with her only..." she consulted her watch, "...an hour ago."
"Ziva, in case you haven't noticed, I flirt with pretty much every attractive woman I talk to. Hell, sometimes they're not even attractive."
"You don't with me," she said. Normally, she wouldn't have dared to say anything like that. She probably wouldn't even want to. But this time was different. She was feeling inferior and weak; she needed guidance and reassurance. "And I know it's not because of Rule Number Twelve."
Tony sighed. "You're right," he said with a shrug. "It's not because of that. It's because you're different. You're not like other women."
"Are you saying I'm not womanly?"
"Ziva, you're the perfect amount of womanly. Everybody has masculine and feminine inside of them, and you just choose to act less on the feminine to what other women do. It's nice, actually."
"If it's nice, then why don't you—"
"I told you," Tony cut her off, knowing what she was going to say. "You're different. You're special."
She smiled. It was different than normal. She looked tired, somewhat, but most of all she looked like a girl who'd taken a lot of crap over the years and bottled it up and was finally letting some of it out.
"When I said I missed the old Ziva," he continued. "I didn't mean it. I mean, I liked you then and we definitely made an interesting combination but it was fuelled by impulse and lust. What we have now is something really special and I wouldn't trade it for anything. We've been through so much, and that's changed us both separately, as well as changed us together.
"And anyway," he continued. "NCIS is better for you than Mossad ever was, right?"
She gulped. "Mossad is a part of me, Tony," she said slowly. "It made me what I was, as a fighter and interrogator, and as much as it was a hard life, I..." she couldn't finish that sentence.
"You don't wanna go back?" Tony asked, knowing he couldn't deal if Ziva left again, especially since her last few trips to Israel didn't bode so well for her or the team.
"Don't be silly. I love NCIS. I did from the start. And I'm thankful for all I've learnt here, thankful I learnt how to get answers out of someone without physical torture, to be able to control myself far, far better than I used to, and to be a trusted member of this agency. I am thankful to have such a great leader like Gibbs and to have friends like McGee and Abby and...to have such a great partner like you. You...and the others, you mean the world to me. But as much as I am no longer a citizen of Israel, it is still my homeland, and part of who I am."
She looked up at the man in front of her. Her partner. The man who she went undercover with, the man she was trapped in a shipping container with, the man who she missed desperately when they were apart, took pictures of her in a bikini, killed her boyfriend, saved her from Somalia, slept with her in Paris and now had said she was special. She took his hand, which had been hanging loosely at his side, at squeezed it.
"Thank you," she said softly.
In the semi-darkness, his eyes flickered in the light, and glanced at her lips for a split second.
"Anytime," he replied, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb.
Tony knew he had to let go of her hand and leave, but he didn't want to let go. He did, though, when he felt her gentle lips against his. She didn't push or fight for dominance, she just let it happen.
Tony knew she was in a bad state of mind, especially for her to be crazy enough to do what she was doing. But she needed comfort, and reassurance, so that was what Tony gave her. He was careful with her, one hand on her waist and the other in hers, fingers intertwined.
When she pulled away, she looked at him, eyes watering. "Oh God, Tony, I'm so sorry." She began sobbing and Tony took her into his strong arms, wanting to protect her.
"It's OK, Ziva, it's OK," he chanted softly, rocking her back and forth and she whimpered like a little child.
She wiped her eyes. "This is ridiculous; I'm acting like a child."
"You never got to be a child, Ziva." Tony wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "Forget about the kiss. I know you're a little messed up at the moment."
And with that, he reluctantly left her to her thoughts. Ziva was worried now. Not because she thought Tony would tell anyone, but because she wasn't sure if she could forget.
A/N: A review would make my day!