A/N: Oh my wow. Two-Faced was the best episode so far this season! LOVE! There were bits where I grinned, and there were bits where I just wanted to cry.
Tony saw how comfortable she was. She was full of life, smiley and bubbly.
She was happy, and all it took was a phone conversation with him.
He could interrogate her all he wanted, but in all truthfulness he believed there was still a shred of her that did not trust him after what happened with Michael Rivkin. She trusted him with her life, but not her boyfriends. And he had been OK with that, until he really noticed the changes in her. New boots, a happier personality…it was like he was healing her. But something told Tony it couldn't be perfect. Nothing was this easy with Ziva. Not with a heart that had been broken so many times it was almost impossible to fully heal. Not with trust that had been betrayed so often that it took so much more effort to gain nowadays.
Yet, here she was, grinning and proudly announcing her feelings, claiming she didn't care who knew. Here she was, happier than he'd seen her in a long time. As things started to become more serious with Ray, he saw her smiles return more often. He had not seen her so happy in a long, long time. Maybe ever. OK, he had seen her happy before, but this was different. Before Somalia, she was careless and wild and free and that brought her happiness, but happiness like that had its limits. There was a certain emptiness to it. When she was with Rivkin she was constantly on edge, frustrated by Tony's ruthless prodding for information and conflicted, feeling that she might be making the wrong decision.
After Somalia, she was broken. She was not his ninja anymore. She had changed. But she had grown again. Her heart had learned to love once more, but it was a happiness so professional. This was a side of Ziva Tony was not familiar with. She was a complicated individual, which only made him think Ray must be very special to have made his way into her heart so very quickly.
It was awkward enough when two people who barely knew each other had to share the bathroom. It was even worse when it was Ziva's boyfriend and her…well, Tony would say 'partner' but it seemed like there was something missing from that. They had to be more than partners, right? But then he remembered seeing her that morning, how casual she had been, and he thought maybe he didn't know her as much as he pretended to.
"She has told me how close you two are," Ray informed Tony as they both washed their hands.
They were close. It was true. But that didn't stop the jealousy from running through his veins when he saw how happy she was around him. He didn't understand. It didn't have to be about romance, it didn't have to be about sex, he just wanted to make her happy. What did he have to do? His jealousy was obviously, deep down, a way of showing he only cared about her. And he had told her how much he cared. She was priceless to him, and he knew she had to be treated carefully, even if not be him.
"She said you are like a brother to her."
After all they'd been through, she saw him as a brother? He would have thought she said that about McGee, but not him. There was no doubt he was glad he had a special place in Ziva's heart, but he had always thought she felt something more. Like, if in some alternate universe where everything was different, they could experience something more amazing than either of them had ever felt before.
Maybe she still does, he tried to tell himself. He's her boyfriend, what else was she going to say about you?
But he couldn't shake that awful feeling that everything they had been through together, side by side, arm in arm, all she felt for him was love like a brother and sister.
"I'm in love with her," Ray admitted bravely.
He felt something shatter inside of him. Maybe it was a dusty dream he had shoved into a back corner of his brain. He felt like warning the man of the possible consequences of what he was doing, but something made him not do anything.
It had been forever since they drank together.
At least, that's what it felt like. Especially after today. Finding out Ray was a CIA liaison with NCIS was unsettling, and he knew his and Ziva's feelings were mutual when it came to the uncertainty of the fact of whether Ray and EJ slept together. It made sense. It was a long case, hard and frustrating. There's no better way to get rid of frustration, after all.
When she confessed it was over between her and Ray, Tony felt a little torn. He knew somehow it couldn't really be over. He believed the port-to-port killer was still out there. As long as he stayed, Ray and EJ stayed, and that meant they would continue as this strange quadrangle of complicated relationships. He also felt a little sad, because deep down it brightened his day to see Ziva so happy, and they day Tony got involved it was over. He couldn't help feeling a little responsible.
"What about you and EJ?" she asked softly, sipping her drink.
There was no sense in denying it. She knew, that was for sure. He thought about it for a moment. His relationship with EJ was not complex, and that was why he liked it. But he was reminded of the time he said you couldn't just drop someone in the mix. He stood by that, and saw how bad it was going with EJ around, and he wasn't sure whose side he should be fighting for, to be honest. It didn't seem to be going anywhere, and he often questioned if the things he liked about her were worth saving despite the things he didn't like. But every time he thought about ending it, something stopped him.
"I understand her. That's why it works."
It was true, what he told her. And it made him think. Maybe that is why Ziva wasn't like she was with Ray all along. Because he was the first person who truly understood her. The next closest was probably Gibbs, but he wasn't the easiest person to have a conversation with.
He probably knew this would all blow up in his face, him knowingly breaking one of Gibbs' most important rules with the agent who took his job four years ago and possibly slept with the now ex-boyfriend of his partner. Once Gibbs found out about this, all hell would break loose. Not only that, but serial killers tend to have a negative effect on the silver-haired sniper. No one wanted to mess with him when he was in one of his bad moods, and he believed that would be EJ's fatal error.
But he didn't have time to finish that thought before a drink was placed before Ziva on the bar.
When they looked and saw an empty booth where it had apparently come from, he had thought it was Ray's strange way of apologising, but when he looked closer, he saw what was in that drink.
A human eye.
Yep, he was right. Things were definitely going to get ugly.