Summary: It was like being hit by a canon ball one after the other, she can't take it anymore, she wants to run but she's too weak to even care. So when Tony drops by, will she find a reason to run again? Tag to Judgement Day Part II. Tiva.
Spoilers: Judgement Day Part II
Disclaimer: I will die one day, and I can guarantee you I will still be writing disclaimers.
I've been feeling pretty down lately, so all the anger and frustration has created this piece… hope you enjoy it!
Was this punishment? Punishment for all the sin she had committed?
Because she knows she deserves it, heck she probably deserves to die, but saying so, her life probably wasn't even worth enough to pay for all that she had done.
And that was why she tolerated everything that came her way, took them at face value and hauled them to the side. They were all just another bend in the road, a long tiring one at that.
She had everything figured out, everything was all going her way, and she was naïve to have even considered the thought of everything turning out perfectly. It wasn't like it was her first time to have everything go down anyways, every single path that started bright all ended up curdled and shrunk into death anyways.
But this time it felt all too difficult, she couldn't even be bothered to gather the little strength she had left to even dodge and run from this. It wasn't much a stretch to say that she'd given up. Fuck it all! She'd take whatever may come; it was pointless to fight her destiny anyways, she was destined to suffer. The suffer she could take, it was what came for everyone else around her that she had always found a reason to run for.
And now what came for her seemed to have caught on, she needn't run, it would run for her; all the way back to Israel.
Her head snapped up at the sound of a knock at the door, she contemplated whether to open it. She decided not to, if she deserved to talk to the person on the other side of the door then they'd find a way, if not she couldn't care less.
Her eyes snapped around her now empty, boxed-filled apartment. It didn't surprise her that there were only a few boxes lying around, she had adjusted herself to the constant shift in her life. Travel light, it was embedded in her mind, and it was that, that had always saved herself from losing all she had. Not that she had much anyways, the only thing permanent was her, she was the only thing tangible thing in her life.
She felt empty in the pit of her stomach when the knocking stopped, she was living on the interdependence of the others, and obviously, they'd all given up on her as well.
Who was she kidding? She had always just been the replacement, they didn't care whether she stayed or she left, there would always be another person in line for her position. She was not irreplaceable.
She sunk her head back into her soft couch, and as she relaxed the rows of walls she wore retreated and suddenly a great wave of frustration, anger and sadness engulfed her. She bit her lip, forcing the defenses back up, but she was too far gone, the tears had flooded her and had begun to seep out.
And god she felt like tearing her whole apartment apart, she hated it, she hated everything. Her eyes snapped open and her body stiffened as she heard her door crash brutally on her wooden floorboards.
She closed her eyes, her heart beat calmed and a wave of relief soothed through her. She knew it was him, she could smell him, feel his presence, and it was like instinct, almost as if she could see him despite her eyes being closed.
She furrowed her eyebrows at that; she had never allowed anyone close enough to become anything in her closest circle on her radar. It was supposed to be just her, the revelation that had flashed upon her made her feel worse, that of all things, her senses were supposed to be at top notch and he'd found a way to slip in between her cracks. And she hated him for it, how would she say goodbye now? How would she leave it all behind, when there was more than just her now?
She knew he was lingering behind her, his scent overpowering but somewhat comforting. The silence never felt so empty in her life, and she knew it was his way of opening her up, it had always seemed to be his job to unwind her anyways.
"I see I have not taught you well enough to pick-lock doors."
"I don't need to."
"Yes, you just kick them down, right?"
"Why are you making this so hard?"
"Make what so hard?"
"Don't play stupid with me Ziva."
"No, I really do not know what you are talking –"
"Bullshit!" Eyes still closed she could hear him shuffle his feet over to his side, "why didn't you come to the party? Were you just going to leave?"
"Yes." Silence. He made a move and she had him pinned for walking out, like everyone in her life. But to her surprise he sunk down into the couch next to her. Too close.
"How…" he stuttered for words, "..how do you do it?" She knew all too well what he meant, and the quicker she could get him away the easier it would be for her to leave.
"Excuse me? What?"
"You sound stupid when all that is coming from your mouth is 'What'."
"Don't change the topic."
"Okay." She could feel his inclining frustration at her.
"Why are you closing your eyes?"
"…" Too personal.
"Why won't you answer me?"
"Because Tony, this is too hard!"
"There you go again with the –"
"What is too hard?"
"…" His voice was softer than she expected and if he was opting for kindness to lure her, then stuff him, cause it was working.
"Ziva…" the emotion that ran through her name was too much and she cracked.
"YOU!" her eyes snapped open and her hands rose to cover them almost immediately, "Okay? You… you are too hard."
He was silent, and she must've looked like a fool with her hands covering her eyes. She thought she had finally won, that he was so disgusted at her that he would leave. But like the annoying child he was he crouched before her and gently he grabbed her hands, careful with his movements. And the fury that ran through her was way past what she could take. She couldn't believe how weak she was when someone got too close that she practically gave up all her defenses with a click of a finger, and as much as she hated to admit, Tony was her kryptonite.
"This is hard for me too." His glimmering green eyes stared into hers and she fought to close her eyes again, but they just wouldn't comply. She knew that looking at him would kill her, would destroy anything that she had built up and would leave her completely vulnerable.
"You do not understand Tony, I have to go."
"No! No you don't!"
"This is the real world Tony! This is not high school or whatever you want to call it where you can solve everything by running away!"
"Then how do you plan on keeping me here? Have you thought of that?"
"And if you do by some miracle figure that out, how about you? You are not going to get out of being shipped off."
"I… " she nearly slapped him in the face, instead she released her anger into the couch, punching it with all her might. She envied how easily he could show his emotions, how he didn't care how others would perceive him if he cried.
"Please… just leave." He let go of her and rose to his feet, and yes, this was her way with coping, just like how he hid behind a mask, she just pushed everyone away; it was easier that way. The footsteps of his expensive Italian shoes reverberated throughout her apartment, and each sinking step made it harder for her to keep it all together. The thud of his shoes on the collapsed door was like a pat on her shoulder for pulling through.
She groaned when she heard the rush of footsteps entering back into the room.
"Just so you know… you're throwing it away."
"Throwing what?" she really hadn't a clue what the hell he was talking about.
"Us. The team. You're the one giving up." Something in her lit up at his choice of words, it had to be coincidence that he'd linked up her evenings worth of accusations. But she didn't believe in coincidences.
"I hate the rain."
"You going to send me back out there?" His voice was edged with a little hope, and it was enough for her to cave.
"You can do whatever you like," her eyes met his and he cracked his silly smile before resuming his spot next to her, "but I will go."
He clung onto her hand as she got up, "I'm coming wherever you go."
"Why?" To say she was frustrated was an understatement. Why the hell wouldn't he just let go and leave her be?
"Because I've got your back, you're my partner and I…" she could see it in his eyes, he didn't need to say it. She felt like shouting at him, didn't he know he was making this harder than it had to be? Couldn't he have just said goodbye like the rest of them did?
She tried to pry herself from his grasp but he held on, furious, she punched him squarely in his chest with her other hand. He gasped as the wind was knocked out of him, but he still clung on stubbornly like she was his lifeline. She sighed and opted for the same tactic he had earlier. If he wanted to play friendly she could too, it'd just be harder to let go later. But at least she'd be able to let go.
"Are you going to kill me?" She smiled at his comment.
"But you won't."
"Fine, I will."
"Okay." He looked at her almost as if daring her.
"What do I have to do to get rid of you?"
"Kiss me?" She shot him a death glare, "I was just kidding, I just want to talk."
"Kissing you would've been easier." She muttered.
"Are you sure about that?" Without a second thought she pushed her lips onto his, she was playing with fire and she should've backed away immediately, but as she lingered on for a second longer she regretted proving it to him. His hands snaked around her and it only felt right to mess her hands into his hair. His lips moved expertly with hers and as embarrassing as she would hate to admit, she nearly fell into his trap.
Reluctantly she pulled away and that in itself was a great task, heck she couldn't even pull herself away from his embrace, instead, ashamingly she moved into his arms.
"Will you go now?" She gave herself a mental slap for her ludicrous question.
"Is that what you want?"
"…" She couldn't answer him, she wanted him to stay, wanted him to be the doting lover and tell her it'll all be okay in the end. But who was she trying to kid? They'd just shared one kiss, they were just partners and this was real life not fantasy.
Taking the silence as his answer he placed his lips back on hers, softly at first, testing. His hand slipped under her shirt and as he slipped it off she knew this would all be a mistake, another bend in the road.
But fuck it all, fuck the odds and expectations. She wanted him to stay.
Anyways, that was why she missed her flight, right? And instead waited for him the whole evening.
He was her infliction.