He opens the door. She looks at him, with a look he can't define. He takes a moment, a breath, and then asks.

"What are you doing here? It's late."

"We need to talk," she answers.

"You sound serious."

"I am," she admits.

"Come in," he offers.

He leads her into the living room.

"Can I get you something to drink?"

"No, I'm fine," she answers.

"What's on your mind?"

"I need to know."

"Know what?"

"The truth," she answers.

"About what?" he questions.

"How this is going to end."

"Who says it has to?"

"How can it work?"

"I don't know," he shrugs.

"I don't think that I can do this anymore."

"You can't, or won't."

"Won't. I can't do this. I can't keep doing this with you."

"I thought that we were just having fun."

"It's fun until someone gets hurt."

"Who is going to get hurt? We're both adults."

"Right," she nods.

"Something on your mind?"

"We've been doing this for five years."

"I thought that you were ok with this."

"For five years anytime we get hurt, or just want..."

"I thought it's what you wanted," he argues.

"To have sex with you every chance that I get?"

"I've never heard you complain."

"I used to be ok with this arrangement."

"You started it. Five years ago, on my birthday, you started it. We agreed to just keep it casual. Is that not what you want?"

"I don't know," she shrugs, "But this isn't working for me anymore," she admits.

"What do you want?"

"I want to know that..."

"That what?"

"Never mind. I should have known that this was a mistake," she replies, she turns and heads for the door.

"Don't go. Let's talk about this," he begs.

"Talk about what? What is there to talk about. You're ok with this. You like it."

"You don't?"

"Not anymore."

"Ziva. Why are you so angry at me?"

"Because I'm tired..." she stops mid-sentence.

"Of what?"

"Of being second best. I'm tired of being your back up plan. Maybe I opened Pandora's box five years ago, but I want to close it. I just want to..."

"You can't put a genie back in the bottle."

"It's partners, or nothing. I can't keep doing this. I thought that I was ok with it, but I'm not. Not anymore. I am not twenty-three anymore."

"I never said that you were."

"I was naive to think that I could ever be more than.."

"More than what?"

"Someone to screw."

"I never said that you weren't."

"Actions speak louder than words, sometimes.

"Where is this coming from? Why are you having a problem with this now?"

"You wouldn't understand."

"How could I, you never let me in."

"Because I know that if I let you in, you will tear me apart."

"You don't know that," he argues.

"I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to be the person who you call when there is no one else around. I don't want to be the one who you want when you're hurt."

"I know that."

"But nothing ever changes. You're never going to change, and I guess I've got to learn how to deal with that."


"Ok, what?"

"Ok, I think that you're angry, and I get that."

"But you're not willing to change?"

"I can't answer that right now. I need some time to think."

She pulls open the door, "I only hope that you don't take too long."

She drives home in the rain. The rain obstructs her window. The tears obstruct her thought process. She reaches her apartment, and wanders into the rain. By the time she gets inside she's soaked. Her hair, and clothes smell like rain, and despair. She unlocks the door to her apartment. She steps in, and slams the door behind her. She makes it to the couch before she collapses. She doesn't even bother taking off her jacket.

In the middle of the night she wakes up, and manages to make her way to her room. She peels off her boot, and her jacket. She covers her head with a pillow, and prays to wake up into a new reality. She turns the clock the other direction, so it won't keep reminding her that she's not asleep yet. She lies wide awake, in the middle of her bed.

She closes her eyes, but peace doesn't come. Answers don't pop into her head. No one knocks on her door. No prince shows up on a stead to save her. This was her mess now. No one else was coming. She was alone.

There was no going back. There was no taking back the moments that they had stolen. There was no erasing the memories they had made. There was no pretending that it never happened. There was nothing she could do to make it go away. Nothing she tried made the pain go away, and she knew, it wasn't going anywhere. This was something she was going to have to face, whether she wanted to, or not.