A/N: Some minor spoilers from 'Pyramid', but you'll have to squint. That is of course, unless I'm right, which would be pretty awesome.
He had followed her all the way to the door. Down eight flights of stairs, through hallways, and the crowded lobby.
Because he was damned if he was going to lose her now.
But by the time he reached the road outside, she had gone. Damn ninja.
"Ziva!" he called as loud as he could, his voice going unheard, flying into the wind.
Tony cursed to the harsh wind that blew around him, bending trees almost in half, ripping leaves and flower petals from their delicately held positions. Rain thundered on roofs and parked cars, and tiny hail drops scattered on the wet road beneath his feet. Icy drops of water ran down his cheeks. And Ziva was gone.
He told himself she would pull through, they could go back to normal like they always did. They always picked up the pieces, pretended like nothing ever happened, ignored the signs, even when it was just the two of them. But after what had been one hell of a fight, he wasn't so sure anymore.
What he had done was not like Michael Rivkin. What he had done had been an order, and orders are orders, she of all people should have understood that. He should have seen it all along, and he blamed himself for a lot of what had happened. So a certain blonde agent had been working her way up, using her good ol' Uncle SECNAV to patch things up for her, and started working with a certain CIA liaison—who was working with another rebellious CIA operative in Tel Aviv, directly against his orders from more powerful people to terminate him—and had started selling agency secrets. It was right under their noses the whole time. Vance was worried about his actions towards Jonas Cobb, the newly renamed 'Port-to-Port Killer', Tony was sleeping with EJ and Ray was sleeping with Ziva. Everybody else was too focused on catching P2P before it was too late. So, after discovering what had been going on, Tony had been given orders. The kind of orders that end with used bullets, and casualties.
He didn't move when a voice called at him through the darkness.
"Dearie, come inside, won't you?" said the voice of Janice Kirby, the sixty year old Texan widow, one of the few of Tony's neighbours who did not constantly complain about the noises that came from his apartment of a Friday and Saturday night—not that that happened much anymore. "Weatherman says there's gonna be a real big storm tonight. Wouldn't want you to catch a cold, now would we?"
"I'll be in in a minute," he answered, probably not to the standard of politeness that would be commonly adequate for a senior citizen but Mrs Kirby seemed to understand, and ducked back inside.
Feeling a vibration in the pocket of his coat, he plucked from it his cell phone and answered the call. "Yeah, Boss?"
"DiNozzo," Gibbs' reply rang clearly through the phone's tiny speaker despite the loud level of noise in the background. "What the hell are ya doing with Ziva's phone?"
"What?" Tony yelled, the heavy rain surrounding him making it hard to hear his boss. He pulled the device away from his ear and looked at the screen. Though both agents had the same model of work phone, there were discreet differences. For example, Tony's had a large scratch on the front from dropping it down a few too many stairs, though it had survived. This one did not.
"She must've left at my apartment…" he said absentmindedly into the phone, only later to realise how suspicious that must've sounded to Gibbs. "We…we went for drinks after work, with McGee and Abby and I parked in a one hour spot and after a drink or two I forgot the time and my car got towed. I gotta pick it up in the morning. So Ziva offered me a lift home and…some stuff went down."
"What kind of stuff, DiNozzo?"
"The kind of stuff we didn't really need. As far as she was concerned, that week's leave I took a month ago was personal. As far as she was concerned, Ray was killed in his line of duty, on a mission in Tel Aviv. She found out. Well, actually I told her. Then she left. Guess I must've grabbed her phone by mistake."
"She got yours?" Gibbs asked, thankful that he could hold off on the Rule #12 lecture a while longer.
Tony patted around his jean pockets, finding nothing. "Yup."
"Well, you know what to do."
"What's that, Boss?" Tony asked, not quite as sure as Gibbs thought he might be.
He stood there for a while, those last two words ringing in his head. How? he thought. How can I fix this?
Still not at an answer, and with his vision half blocked by the heavy rainfall, two golden lights appeared on his horizon, and a red car—a Mini Cooper—pulled up to the curb beside him.
"Couldn't stay away?" he shouted, his voice—like his clothes—dripping with sarcasm. But the garments that now clung to his body were soaked with a difference substance, though if the other was not metaphorical they would probably be a similar temperature: cold.
"Get over yourself," the Israeli beauty snapped loudly, stepping out of the warm, dry comfort of her car and into the rain, pulling out a small device from her pocket. "Your cell phone."
He took it and handed her hers, though both subconsciously made an effort to avoid direct contact with each other.
"What now, huh?" he asked her forwardly. "What do we do now? Are we still us?"
"There is no 'us', Tony! What do you want me to say? Last time we were in this situation I ended up nearly dead halfway around the world!" she replied furiously.
"I was given a direct order, Ziva! I wasn't even supposed to tell you, but you're my partner, and I told you because I care about you."
"If you cared about me maybe you would have never lied to me in the first place!" she screamed. "And maybe you would not have ruined another relationship for me!"
"He was a threat to national security. I was given orders by the Secretary of the Navy. I didn't have a choice!"
"What happened to Gibbs' Rule #1, huh? Never screw over your partner. Sure, maybe it's one of those rules you can only learn after you break it but haven't we passed that?" The fury that had previously tamed her face was now replaced by desperation, something his Zee-vah very rarely expressed.
"Ziva, you know I couldn't just walk away from this!"
"But if you had the chance, would you have him out of my life?"
"You weren't you when he was around!" he defended.
"You're right. I was happy. And maybe if you cared enough to notice then maybe you would have realised it!"
"Maybe if you cared about me you wouldn't have given me the freaking brother line!"
She was speechless. Silence surrounded them. Or at least it would have if rain and thunder weren't crashing all around them.
"If I were McGee, I'd understand, but me? Is that all I am to you?" he shouted to her.
"What was I supposed to say, Tony? He was my boyfriend!"
"Did you mean it?"
"What does it matter?" She lifted her arms and let them fall to her sides. Her hair, freed from its usual style, was now soaked, and so were her clothes. Raindrops ran down her cheeks, they looked like tears. Maybe they were. He'd never know. "I am supposed to be the one upset at you."
"And are you?"
"Being with Ray…it helped me heal," she confessed. "It made me remember what it was like to be in a relationship. But I realised long ago that it would not last forever. He was not the right man for me."
"Then why'd you stay with him?"
"Is it so much to ask, after all I've been through, to have a little romance?"
"I guess not."
Ziva's gaze floated to the pavement, where streetlights made the wet road glow in the night. It slowly travelled up Tony's body, and she took in every inch of him—this man that made her blood bubble in anger but also made her smile when no one could.
"I know now I was wrong but…I suppose I just wanted to be loved," she finally said, their eyes locking.
"You've always been loved, Zi."
Tony took her in his arms and kissed her with such fiery passion that the rain may have caught fire if it were any stronger. He latched his lips onto hers and held her body close, never wanting to let go, for as long as he lived. But she did, and she panted, her eyes widened in surprise. But he didn't let go of her, he didn't back away. What was done was done, and it could not be taken back.
He waited nervously for the words that lay on her lips, but none came. She just smiled, and even in darkness she was the most beautiful woman he had ever set eyes on.
And he kissed her again as the rain continued to fall, and wash away all the pain.
A/N: Don't we all feel better now? I think I like my Universe better.