Authors Note: Hey everyone!
I don't know how or why I got this idea, but it popped in my head and I ran with it. I'm hoping I can update a lot, but work is crazy and I am working on other projects.
But anyway, here it is, and I hope you enjoy!
Review when you get to the end? :)
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, they're not mine. :(
It had been a week.
A week since Tony received that awful whatever-it-was-about call.
He hadn't laughed, made a movie reference, or a joke. He came to work, actually did some work, and then went home.
Ziva sat across from him, staring, wondering what was going on with him. When he received the call at a crime scene, he answered the phone, rather angrily, and told the person he'd call them back. He must've done that on his lunch break, for when he got back was when he was completely different. That night, she tried to find out what was bothering him, but he wouldn't say a word. He insisted that he was fine, and she was wasting her time and effort worrying about him.
Ziva wasn't the only one worried about him. McGee and Gibbs asked him what was wrong more than once over the week and he denied that anything was each time. Abby tried as well and struck out, and Ducky tried to get into his head, but that attempt failed as well.
She turned her head and continued to watch him. His hand was holding up his head as he leaned on the desk. He was writing something, probably a report from the case they just finished. Maybe she should talk to him alone and see if she could get anything out of him. They were, after all, friends.
Or, at least, she saw them as friends.
He snapped her out of her thoughts when he stood from his desk, put his report in a folder and stuck it in the filing cabinet. He then shot her a look as he walked over to the stairs and took two at a time towards the director's office.
Ziva's gut churned. Tony hated to go into that office. So for whatever reason he was going up there, it had to be something serious. Her mind went into turbo-drive, as well as her heart. He wasn't quitting, was he? Did he find another job? Did Vance offer him another job? Was he okay? Was he sick? Or his Dad! Was his Dad okay?
She let out a sigh and tried to calm herself down. She looked over at Gibbs, who was also looking on the floor above to where Tony went. Whatever was going on with Tony, Gibbs didn't know about. That thought scared her even more.
Tony DiNozzo was one who didn't keep secrets.
About 15 minutes later, he returned to the squad room, a manila folder in his hand. "Boss, can I talk to you for a second?"
Gibbs looked up at him, "Yeah."
From her desk, Ziva was paying attention to the conversation that was happening at the boss's desk next to hers. She hated to eavesdrop on her partner, but she had to, she decided, if she was going to find out what was going on with him.
Tony used his eyes to look at Ziva and then at McGee, "Alone?"
Gibbs stared at his senior field agent for a second and then stood up and followed Tony down from the squad room, right before turning the corner at the stairs.
Ziva watched as Tony talked with Gibbs before handing him the folder. Gibbs opened it, examined the blue paper, and then took it all the way out, using the folder to bare down on as he signed his name.
Her gut churned. She knew the colored papers, green, blue, and yellow, were leave requests. Yellow was a day, that one she knew, but she couldn't for the life of her remember which of the others was a week and which was a month.
Asking McGee was not a good idea, she decided. He'd only panic like her and start to wonder what Tony was up to. She took another deep breath and tried to focus on the mound of paperwork that was on her desk.
If she wanted information, she was going to have to ask the source. She watched the two men intently as they returned to their desks. Tony gave her another look before looking at his computer screen and she noticed that he had dark circles under his green eyes.
Her stomach turned again. Maybe he was sick.
It was well after 1 AM, and Ziva was sitting outside Tony's apartment, waiting for him to get home. It was pathetic, she knew, but she was sincerely worried about him and she wasn't leaving until he told her what was going on.
That was final.
Her cell phone was in her right hand, and she was playing some absurd game where the dots moved until they got to another dot, and then the dot line got longer. She heard the elevator ding around the corner and she shut her phone, standing up quickly.
She expected to see her partner stumbling and walking sideways, but he wasn't drunk at all. When he looked up from finding the key to his door, he was shocked to see the Israeli.
"Ziva." He walked closer to her, "What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for you." She said softly. He stuck the key in his door and opened it, but turned back to Ziva.
"Here for booty call again, David?"
She was shocked that he actually cracked a joke, "Yes well, I prefer the best."
He smiled, but only for a second, and then leaned on the door frame, crossing his arms, "The real reason you're here?"
Ziva sighed and looked around the hall, "Do we have to do this out here?"
"Do what out here?"
"Tony, please." She said softly.
He stared at her and then nodded, "Okay, come in."
She walked into his dark apartment and went straight to the couch, sitting down and pulling her legs up beside her.
Tony turned on a lamp and then sat down beside her, handing her one of the two beers that were in his hands. He opened hers, and then his and took a sip.
"I am sure you have already had a few of these, yes?" Ziva asked before taking a sip.
Tony shook his head, "I only had one. And it took me four hours to drink it."
Ziva stared at him as he stared down at his beer. "Can we talk?" She asked softly.
He looked at her, "Okay. "
It was silent for about a minute, "I don't think this really counts as talking, Zi." He said softly.
"No, it does not." She sighed, sat her beer down on the table and turned to him again, "What is going on with you, Tony?"
He shook his head, "Nothing."
"I have been your partner for five years, Tony. We have been through a lot, right?" Tony nodded for confirmation, "I consider us friends." When he didn't respond, she asked him the question, "Do you consider us friends?"
Tony nodded again, "Yeah, I do Zi."
"Then you can talk to me." He took another sip of his beer and still didn't respond to her. "Tony, are you sick?"
He looked at her again, "Am I sick?"
"You have dark circles under your eyes, you got a call last week, and now you are requesting a month off."
He shook his head, "No, Ziva. I'm not sick."
"Your Dad. Is it your Dad?"
Again, the federal agent shook his head, "Dad's fine."
Ziva let out a sigh. She was tired of asking questions, but she felt she was getting somewhere with him. "Did you get another job?"
He shook his head, "What? No." He stood from the couch, "Look, Ziva, I appreciate your concern, but I'm fine, everything is fine. I'm not leaving for a month, the blue paper is leave for a week. I'll be back next Monday, okay? No offense, but I'm really tired and need to get some sleep." He walked to his bedroom.
That was it. She was done. She stood from the couch and followed him, "Tony you are not fine! I have watched you for a week! Everybody can tell that you are not fine!" She took a deep breath and calmed herself down, hoping that her yelling didn't wake the neighbors in the late hour. "Tony, if you are sick…"
"I'm not sick Ziva." He said calmly. He let out a deep sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. "The call I got last week on the Morris case was an ex-girlfriend." He explained. Ziva sat down on his bed and looked up at him, waiting for him to continue. He shook his head and looked down at the floor. "When I called her back, she told me a bunch of stuff…" He sighed again, "…I didn't believe her, but then she told me she had end stage lung cancer, and that she had no reason to lie to me."
Ziva furrowed her eyebrows together, "Lie to you about what?"
He let out a sarcastic chuckle and sighed again, "I have a son."