A/N: had this thought during P.E. today….sometimes Tiva are at their best when they are in a fight. Any You Are Not Alone readers, I am exhausted right now but I promise to have the new chapter up over the weekend. It's all planned out exactly in my head. This is dedicated to my readers for all their support :)
Disclaimer: don't own NCIS, but I can't WAIT for Baltimore!
"DiNozzo, Ziva, go check out Admiral Ryerson's house," Gibbs ordered his two agents, his gaze flickering to the elevator.
"You really think the Admiral did it, Boss?" Tony questioned. "I mean, he's practically loaded, three kids, a boat…" he trailed off when he felt Gibbs' icy glare. "Got it," he nodded.
Tony swung his pack over his shoulder and followed Ziva through the metal doors. He liked doing field work with her, just the two of them. Not only did their stark contrast make for excellent teamwork (though sometimes dysfunctional), but it did not pain the movie and television lover to admit that they were two very good-looking people. It made him feel like the star of his own show.
But today it was a little different. In the aftermath of the most recent case of the Port-to-Port killer, everyone seemed too busy trying to prevent more murders to realise that this case had already hit an agent at heart. Ziva had lost Ray over this case, and people just didn't notice. But Tony, he noticed. He noticed everything.
Once encased in the metal prison, Tony's left hand twitched at his side a few times before he was brave enough to hit the emergency button.
"We need to talk," he stated.
"About?" she asked in reply, lifting an eyebrow.
"Ray," he answered simply, earning a roll of the eyes from the Israeli.
"What about him?" she specified, exasperatedly.
"Have you spoken to him?"
"No," she confirmed, folding her arms over her chest. Tony almost looked disappointed. "Why is it of your concern?"
"Come on, Ziva, the guy was in love with you, show a little emotion!" he shouted in frustration.
"It is none of your business what I do, Tony, and I do not know why you are so convinced that it is."
"Well, I'm your partner, aren't I? Aren't partners supposed to look out for each other?"
"Under heavy fire? Yes. In the middle of a shootout? Of course. But I do not know how many times I have told you to stay out of my love life."
"I was just trying to—" Tony stammered.
"I don't care what you were trying to do! Why do you always seem to believe it comes down to you to look after me? I can take care of myself."
"I know you can, but—"
"But what?" she snapped, hands on hips, fire in her eyes. But they both knew the anger was a shield for her fear.
"But you aren't as strong as you think you are!" Tony finally cried.
Ziva was silent. Her chest rose as fell as she breathed, her heart racing. Her eyes were shiny, but they begged for him to continue. He was right.
"You gave Ray everything you had, because you thought you could trust him. You've never done that. Roy Sanders, you couldn't even begin to think about how strongly you felt for him because you knew he would be gone within a few days, and Rivkin, you were conflicted because you knew deep down he wasn't really in it for you."
"That's enough!" she screamed, slamming her fist against the elevator wall. "What about you? You're forty and you still act like you're twenty-one, going out to bars every weekend with your buddies, drinking until you can't see straight and expecting young hot women to just fall all over you. I would have thought after having your heart broken you would have realised how special love is and maybe finally gotten serious with someone. I mean, I expected a rebound or two, but four years on and you're still having one-night stands, leaving babbled messages on girls' answering machines with the same old excuse every time."
"And it works every time," he retorted.
"Why can't you see that there is so much you are missing? It isn't just about the sex, the quick and painless flings."
"This isn't about me, Ziva, so stop playing master of deflection and listen to me! There are so many people who care about you and you can't reciprocate that because you're too damn scared of getting your heart broken, because so many men have before."
She panted heavily, blinking away the tears in her eyes. "What is in this for you?" she asked quietly.
"I get to see you happy again."
"Ziva, when you were with Ray, you were just happy all the time. Your smile, it makes my day, it really does. I've learned not to take one for granted around you. It's what I always miss the most about you, and when you had Ray, it was like it was there permanently. I hadn't seen you that happy for that long since…before Director Shepard was killed."
"Tony…I don't know what to say. If a smile was what you wanted, you could have just asked."
"It's just, I thought he was the only one who could make you smile like that."
"You make me happy too, Tony, I just don't say it because if I do you might become even more full of yourself than you already are."
He sighed and she reached for his hand, slowing bringing it up into her hair.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"Tousling my hair, it makes me smile remember?"
Her eyes lit up when she smiled. He could not help but match her expression.
Until his cell phone rang.
She contained herself, trying not to show her irritation and slight disappointment.
"EJ," he greeted, flicking the emergency button, which only made Ziva feel worse.
"Dinner, tonight?" he continued, probably echoing what she was saying to him. "Sorry, I can't, I already have plans. I'll call you tomorrow."
"Dinner plans?" she questioned, not really interested.
"Yeah," he replied.
Perfectly timed, the elevator dinged and he stepped out, a small, folded sheet of paper dropping from his pocket.
"Tony, you dropped your…" but he was already in the van, around the corner, so she opened it.
Dinner tonight? I'll cook.
Screw that, it's Friday. How does pizza and a movie sound?
A/N: Did you like? Please review!