This is a tag piece for "False Witness" so there'll be some spoilers. All mistakes are mine and I apologize for them.

There's a little fluff too (and OOC at the end! So be warned!), other than that please enjoy =)!

Disclaimer: I wrote it down on paper once, but it still isn't mine.


Night had finally dawned over and the moon had greedily pushed the sun aside to reign supreme. Tony found himself splayed across his couch with a beer in hand as he switched through piles and piles of shitty dramas that were overly dramatic, and truth be told plain old fake. It had been a very long tiring day; he'd arrived at work at 0645 not because he really wanted to but because he couldn't sleep. He was continuously being bugged by his conscience for the whole of the week; it kept ringing the doorbell trying to gain attention and after being shut out numerous times, it knocked down the stubborn door and grabbed hold of him by the neck.

He felt like he was being controlled, like he was on autopilot and his actions were all programmed. But his mind couldn't stop reeling on Brenda Bittner. He didn't feel entirely responsible about her depression but he had to agree with Ziva when she had said, maybe he should've picked it up. People with problems usually left trails of breadcrumbs, and an investigator like himself should've surely seen it or even smelled it. But it was his playboy ways, he never took any relationship seriously and that was when he stumbled on the real problem. It was not the fact that Brenda had tried to kill herself and fallen into depression, or the fact that he was responsible for everyone's feelings.


It was him, he was the problem. There were so many factors into how things worked and how they ended up, but he was the independent variable, everything he did cross reacted with the outcome. If just a small part of him had cared more, cared for others' feelings, then he would've picked it up. Or even better Brenda would've never met him, and she'd be saved from the pain his cruel ways had put her through.

And that's when the second problem dawned on him, light a light bulb had been lit, it was the bulb that should've been lit when he hit his thirties. Now he's hit the big four zero and he's still in an apartment filled with nothing but junk, downing beers and watching movies; alone. He couldn't help but wonder what had happened along the way, which wrong turn did he take, did he grab the strangers hand and followed them into the darkness. Though it probably wasn't completely his fault, he lacked the guidance when he grew up, being raised by strangers with a price tag.

At first he didn't believe it would've turned out this bad, he was sure Ziva and McGee would definitely speculate. But when Gibbs stopped and took the time and asked him if he was okay, he knew it had gone way too far. Further then he would've liked it to, and that just meant he was real messed up if being fixed changed him into a whole different unrecognizable person.

The words that left Ziva's mouth that afternoon still echoed in his head. It was true, he needed to find balance. Balance in his life, which at the moment was heavily lop sided towards misery and loneliness, and one thing he knew was that he didn't want that. He sighed and took another long swig from the bottle then switched the TV off.

"What is wrong with me?" rage boiled in his blood and he swung his arm and knocked the vase that sat on the table next to him into millions of tiny miniscule shards.


His eyes darted to the back of the room where Ziva now stood. He hadn't even heard her pick the lock or even made her way down the creaky hall to where she was now.

"I had a feeling you weren't actually okay," her voice was quiet but incredibly loud as it echoed in the silent room.

"And what made you think that?" His question came out more of a reaffirmation, as if he was trying to convince himself that he was actually okay.

"That prank, that was not you," she took a short pause then continued when she noticed he wasn't going to talk and she chose her words carefully to direct the most meaning, "my Tony would've made it more humiliating, no matter how bad that sounds." She gave a hint of a smile and words threatened to flicker off his tongue, but he couldn't find the voice for them and so he kept quiet.

In complete utter silence she had somehow appeared above him, and he raised his eyes to look into her deep caramel chocolate orbs. She couldn't help but notice how aged he had actually become, the wrinkles in his forehead were no longer etched in but rather engraved.

It hit her when she couldn't remember the last time they had seen each other out of work, casually dressed with no work related reasons for their meet. He narrowed his eyes as she took his hand in hers and raised him to his feet.

"You asked me earlier who you were," her words came out slow and hesitant as she contemplated on what to say.

"And you said I was Tony DiNozzo, class clown."

"Yes, I did, but I believe the question you should have asked was who do you want to be?" and suddenly she turned serious like something he had never seen before, he saw her eyes change, he couldn't identify what had changed but it just looked different.

"I don't know," and to be honest that was probably why he was the mess he was. He didn't have a game plan, he had always played it touch and go and improvising as everything proceeded.

"You do know," she was feeding the words into his mouth now and to his surprise her hand dislodged itself from his and came up to his face. The touch of her small soft hand was gentle as it hovered and explored his face as if she was trying to memorize every feature, inch by inch.

And before he knew it words began to magically form from his mouth, "I want to be a man," he paused as he realized the distance between then had become nearly nonexistent, "I don't want to be a juvenile, immature clown."

Her hand lowered to cradle his jaw and her thumb played with his lips. Despite the intimate touch he focused his eyes on her face; her eyes reflected that of adoration and he couldn't comprehend what she actually saw in him, what was there to adore. At that moment, where they stood, bodies a mere inch from the other, it painted the picture of where he would've liked to be. With someone who he cared for and in return cared for him, enough to go out of their way to pick three locks, observed for god knows how long and waited for him.

Their moment was lost when her hand fell from his face, lingered about his shoulder for longer then necessary and then finally to its final destination, by her side. His hand rose to replace where hers had once been, his jaw felt like there was a gaping wound and it stung when her touch left his cheek. A smile of accomplishment graced her face as she took a step back. Before she could fully turn around to leave him in this forsaken place he called home, he grabbed her hand and spun her around to face him again.

This time the smile was replaced with an expression of uncertainty, they both feared ever crossing that line, one that they'd danced around for years and all it had caused was more pain than anything else. It was the final call as their faces were inches apart, and he was sure one of them would back out. Because that was what they were best at: running. He had been running for the most part of his life and it felt like he was on a freeway with no exits, no way to go but forwards because backwards wasn't an option either.

When they're lips met it wasn't what he'd expected, he'd never felt this way, like he had always been walking around half full and she completed him. The freeway he'd been on all his life suddenly had an exit, a small right turn, the escape. Now all he had to do was turn, the only thing that held him back was the commitment cactus that surrounded the curve, one wrong move and he'd end up dead on his ass.

He didn't further the kiss, it was just a tender kiss that felt like an angel had touched upon them and gave them both what they had been missing their whole lives. They broke apart, though both were scared he made the first move and framed her face with his hands forcing her to look directly into his eyes.

And he knew he'd made the turn safely. He was out.



A/N: Thanks for taking your time to read! Review on your way out and I'll give you some of my mango sorbet :D!