By: S.K. Knight

Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or "Stay" by Sugarland. All rights to their rightful owners.

A/N: Yay me! My first sad Tiva fic! Go me! Anyway, hope you enjoy! :D

Voicemail. Again. He never takes my calls anymore. It is like we are drifting apart. We used to be so in love. What changed? Ziva thought as she angrily shut her phone. She sighed heavily and waited on her couch for him to call. She waited for what seemed like an eternity until she fell asleep. She woke in the morning to see her cell phone next to the couch on the end table. She picked it up and opened it cautiously. One voicemail…from Tony. She pressed the button and listened: "Hey, Zi. It's me. Gibbs called me last minute after you left. I'm sorry. I love you. Call me." The message ended. The same old excuses: Gibbs called me late, I got home from the sports bar late, traffic was bad. The excuses were endless. Now she had no clue what to believe. Ziva pulled herself up from the couch, her head held high. She dressed slowly, and grabbed her car keys out in the hall, along with her badge and gun. She wore her usual mask and tried to act like pain wasn't consuming her. He's cheating on me. That is what it is. That is why he never takes my calls. Ziva thought, angrily putting her car in gear. She dreaded having to see his face, having to hear his hurried apologies, his reasons why but it was unavoidable. She knew what would happen and feared it would not end well.

Ziva walked into NCIS, trying not think about him. She smiled at the receptionist's cheery, "Good morning, Officer David." and pressed the elevator button after flashing her ID. Up in the squadroom, Tony smiled at her, walking over to her as she settled into her desk, pretending he wasn't there. She felt his lips brush her neck, and she heard him whisper a casual, "Hey, Zi." in her ear. She did not return his greeting but ignored it, and sat down. She would not let him see her feelings. He looked at her quizzically, and sat at his own desk. "Ziva, are you ok?" he asked her. "Y-" she started, then his phone rang. He held up one finger. "Hold that thought, honey. It's one of my old buddies from Baltimore PD." he said, flipping the phone open, smiling, and walking over under the stairs so she couldn't hear him. Am I not good enough anymore? What does she have that I don't? I thought that I gave him everything that he wanted. Why is it that love and passion are not enough for us to go on anymore? Ziva pondered, drumming her fingers on the desk.

Ziva handed Abby the evidence bag without expression. "Ooh! More evidence! Is it my birthday? Hair, fibers, bodily fluids, fingerprints…have I told you I love you, Ziva?" Abby said. Abby noted Ziva's expressionless face.

"Are you ok, Ziva?"

Ziva fought tears. "Yes, I'm fine."

"You don't look fine. Is it anything you wanna talk about?"


"Is it Tony?"

At that, Ziva caved. "Yes."

"What's wrong?"

"I think he is cheating on me."

"What? No! He loves you."

"He never answers my phone calls. I cannot even finish a sentence anymore because he is always on his cell phone. When we have dinner, he is either late or does not show up at all. I do not understand."

"Oh, Ziva…I'm sorry."

"It is alright, Abby."

"No, Ziva. It's not. You want my advice? Leave him. Any guy, including Tony, is not worth you being used like this." Abby insisted.

"Ok, then. Thank you, Abby."

"Anytime, Ziva." Ziva exited the lab, her heart heavy. Tony was everything to her, she loved him even though she knew his love was divided. She couldn't bring herself to ask him to stay, yet she couldn't bear to leave him.

*Ziva's flashback starts*

"I am so afraid of this, Tony. I have never gone behind Gibbs' back like this." Ziva said, as he pulled her into his arms. "Ziva, we're doing this for us. I love you with everything in me and that will never change. I promise. Forever." Tony assured her. "Are you sure?" Ziva whispered. "You're everything to me, Ziva. Never doubt that." he told her. With that, he gave her a kiss so passionate and deep that she felt a tingle all the way from her mouth to her feet. She melted into him and kissed back just as passionately.

*Ziva's flashback ends*

Forever. That word stuck out in her mind. She had no idea that "forever" meant they would end after only a matter of weeks. It was time to be strong. Abby was right. She could not go on like this, but her heart begged her not to leave him. She saw Tony walking toward her, and she let him pull her under the stairs. "What is wrong with you, sweetheart?" he asked.

"I could ask you the same question. Do you think I don't know what's going on?" Ziva responded bitterly. "What are you talking about?" he asked.

"You are cheating on me." she said softly. "Look, Ziva, you have to understand, I didn't mean to hurt you. It's just…" Tony began. "Just what?" Ziva said angrily. "We can't go on like this, Ziva. You and me. It can't work." he said softly. Ziva could feel hot tears trickling down her cheeks. "Tony…was I enough? Was I ever enough? Please, you are the first man I have ever truly loved, are you just going to throw everything away for her?" Ziva asked softly. "Ziva…I'm sorry. You were enough, but I can't. Jeanne, well, she's…" he trailed off. "You promised me, Tony! I trusted you! You lied to me! Everything we had was a lie! A complete lie!" Ziva yelled angrily. "Ziva…not everything." Tony said softly. "You know what? I do not even care! It is over, Tony!" Ziva yelled, walking away, angrily wiping the tears off her face.

Ziva angrily drove her car home from work that day, forcing herself to stay strong, to try to forget the hurt and pain he had caused her. She punched the radio button on her car, and heard country music. She had never liked country, but she sat and listened anyway and was astounded that the song described exactly what had happened to her:

I've been sitting here staring at the clock on the wall

And I've been laying here praying, praying she won't call

It's just another call from home

And you'll get it and be gone

And I'll be crying

And I'll be begging you, baby

Beg you not to leave

But I'll be left here waiting

With my heart on my sleeve

Oh, for the next time we'll be here

Seems like a million years

And I think I'm dying

What do I have to do to make you see

She can't love you like me?

Why don't you stay

I'm down on my knees

I'm so tired of being lonely

Don't I give you what you need

When she calls you to go

There is one thing you should know

We don't have to live this way

Baby, why don't you stay

You keep telling me, baby

There will come a time

When you will leave her arms

And forever be in mine

But I don't think that's the truth

And I don't like being used

and I'm tired of waiting

It's too much pain to have to bear

To love a man you have to share

Why don't you stay

I'm down on my knees

I'm so tired of being lonely

Don't I give you what you need

When she calls you to go

There is one thing you should know

We don't have to live this way

Baby, why don't you stay

I can't take it any longer

But my will is getting stronger

And I think I know just what I have to do

I can't waste another minute

After all that I've put in it

I've given you my best

Why does she get the best of you

So next time you find you wanna leave her bed for mine

Why don't you stay

I'm up off my knees

I'm so tired of being lonely

You can't give me what I need

When she begs you not to go

There is one thing you should know

I don't have to live this way

Baby, why don't you stay, yeah

When the song ended, she realized it was describing her pain exactly. Hot tears raced each other down her face as she remembered herself begging him stay. Forever, she supposed, was not long after all. Maybe forever was merely a lie one tells when they are blinded by love. As she wiped the tears from her face, she grew stronger. Ziva didn't need him. She had her other friends, and that was enough.