A/N: Hey kids. It's been quite some time since I've updated this story, huh? I'm sorry about that. I don't really have a good excuse except for the fact that somehow I am writing 3 fics at the same time. I don't know in what universe that sounded like a good idea, but whatever. I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to update and thank you to everyone who is sticking with me! ~Em
The next time Tony awakened, it was with a blow to the stomach. He felt a sudden surge of pain, and the wind left his lungs with an odd combination of a wheeze and a grunt. He awoke with a start, trying to clear his mind quickly in case he had to fight for his life. It wouldn't be the first time, He thought. He looked around quickly, almost violently in his haste to find the cause of what was sure to be a hefty bruise on his abdomen. As Tony gained his bearings, he remembered that he was not alone tonight.
His eyes fell to Ziva, who was tangled in his bed sheets. She was making soft whimpering noises as though she was in pain, and thrashing every few seconds like she was trying to ward off an attacker. He could see tears running down her cheeks even from feet away. He dared to get closer to see if she had done herself any harm. Thankfully he could see no signs she had hurt herself, but he noticed she was in a cold sweat, so much so that little rivulets of sweat were making their way down her forehead and neck. He just stared at her, wondering what the hell could be so wrong that...she's having a flashback. The realization hit him so hard he wondered why he hadn't thought of it before. But what the hell was he supposed to do about it? He couldn't just leave her like that, letting her continue in the obvious pain she was in.
"Ziva." He said. No response. "Ziva" he tried again, but still no response. He took a deep breath and braced himself before gently touching her shoulder as he said her name again. Mistake.
She let out an ungodly scream before grabbing him and throwing them both off of the bed. She straddled his torso, clenching her legs tightly around him to prevent his escape. Her eyes flew open in terror as she struck Tony across the face. Tony grabbed both of her arms to keep her from hitting him again, but she only screamed louder. He looked into her eyes as she struggled with him, and as he suspected, they were blank and distant as they were when he found her earlier that night. He began to panic, not knowing what he could do to stop this, to fix it, he resorted to yelling.
"ZIVA! ZIVA! IT'S TONY! IT'S TONY. YOU'RE SAFE." He tried. He saw her falter slightly, her screaming ceased so she could hear him.
"Okay. That's good. Ziva, you are not in Somalia. Saleem is dead. It's me, Tony. You're safe in my apartment. Do you remember?"
She was breathing heavily, and gasped out "Tony?"
"Yeah, Zi. Come back to me." He let go of her wrists as he saw some of the life come back into her eyes. She looked down at him teary-eyed. She swallowed noticeably, choking back her tears as he said,"Hi."
She opened her mouth to say something in return before quickly throwing her hand to her mouth and running to the bathroom. He heard her retching not far away and got up to follow with a small groan of pain. As soon as he reached her he took her hair in his hands as she emptied her stomach, partially from the stress of the nightmare and partially because of the tequila. As she finished retching he helped Ziva rinse her mouth out with water and a bit of mouthwash and sat them down on the cool tile of his bathroom floor. He leaned back resting up against his bathtub and Ziva against his chest. She was breathing heavily as she curled up into a ball against him before her tears began once again. Tony wrapped his arms around her for the second time that evening and allowed her to bury her face into his chest until he heard her breathing even out as thankfully she succumbed to sleep.
Tony gently picked Ziva up, careful not to disturb her and brought her back to bed. He settled her back in to get a few more hours rest before once again climbing under the covers himself, hoping that when he woke up it will have all been a dream.