Hey guys! Sorry about the longggg wait, we had so much that we had to do and just didn't have the time to finish this chapter! Plus, we went on vacation ;) This is just a relatively short chapter..compared to our other ones..but we're gonna come out with the next one soon! So review and it'll come out faster! Enjoy guys :)
The back yard of Mr. and Mrs. Cruz was dead silent.
Mostly, the guests looked back and fourth at each other, a look of complete shock on their faces.
Ray looked at everyone, down at the ground, and then over to his almost bride, "What?" He asked softly. Ziva looked over at Abby, and then kept her eyes on the ground.
Ziva swallowed hard, glanced up at him an spoke quickly, "I can't." She turned and walked away from him. She looked up at Tony as she passed him in the aisle.
He gave her a slight nod, understanding her non-verbal communication. He looked around at the rest of the guests, who were now mumbling to each other. He looked up towards the alter and saw Ray standing there, his hands in his pockets, staring at him.
He quickly looked away and then noticed Abby waving at him. She was motioning and mouthing the word 'go'. He nodded at her and then slowly walked away, heading inside after Ziva.
Gibbs and McGee walked over and joined Abby. Gibbs glanced over at Ray, who was still staring in the direction that Ziva and Tony went. "Abby, what just happened?" He asked softly.
Abby shrugged a shoulder and whispered back to the boss, "I have to say that I'm not shocked."
McGee looked confused, "I thought she loved him."
"No, Timmy." She whispered back to him, "She wasn't happy like someone should be when they're getting married." McGee nodded slowly, pretending to understand the minds of women.
Ray was now over talking to his cousin, shaking his head as they whispered. The guests were talking now instead of mumbling.
"I hope Elizabeth can get her money back for this." Ray's Aunt Melissa said. "I'm not surprised, I expected it to happen with that Ziva. She probably planned it all along."
Abby took three steps towards the woman with the stupid hat, and fully intended to show her what to expect, but Gibbs caught her arm and shook his head. He didn't want to get the police involved with an already bad day, and he didn't like them anyway.
About that time, Rays mother and one of his friends were with him, his mom holding his arm, and his friend, Derek, standing in front of him.
"Are you okay, sweetheart?" She asked him.
Ray took a long breath, "No, not really."
"I'm so sorry!" Elizabeth said, "I thought she really loved you."
Ray shook his head, "She can't. Not while he's around."
"Who?" Derek asked.
"Tony DiNozzo. I've never like him. Always thought he was a snake in the ground. He proved me right today."
"Dude, didn't you tell me that he was her partner?" Ray only nodded and Derek continued, "So she left you for someone that she has had an opportunity with all these years?" He shrugged a shoulder and was chuckling a little, "Maybe she played you this whole time."
"He put the ideas in her head that we shouldn't be together." Ray said.
Elizabeth patted his shoulder, "You will find somebody else, Ray."
Ray sighed and shook his head, and Derek spoke again, "So that means you're not gonna go after her?"
He shrugged a shoulder, "I don't think it would do any good."
Abby couldn't take anymore. She walked over to Ray and his little group of gossipers and stood beside them with her hands on her hips.
"You stop it!" She said, pointing to Ray.
"Seriously, Abby. Not the time, okay?" He replied.
"No! You stop talking about Ziva that way. Just because she didn't want to marry you doesn't mean that she's sleeping with Tony!" Gibbs was now behind her, pulling on her arm just slightly.
"He better not be." He commented.
Abby ignored Gibbs and continued, "She wasn't happy, Ray. And I don't think you helped at all!"
"How in the hell did is this my fault?" He yelled back at her, "I gave her everything she wanted!"
Abby rolled her eyes, and motioned to everything around her, "This isn't what Ziva wanted! It's what you wanted! Don't give me that crap!"
"Abby shut up!" Ray yelled back.
Gibbs stepped in front of her, "Hey!" He yelled, "This is not her fault either!"
"Look, old man, you don't want to try this with me right now!" Ray yelled.
Gibbs smirked as Ray took a step towards him, but Michael stepped in between them, "Whoa guys, calm down. He pushed Ray backwards a little to get some distance between Gibbs.
"Ray, why don't you go inside, okay?" Michael said.
Ray only continued to stare at Gibbs before he sighed and walked around them towards the house. Michael walked over to the rest of the guests that were left. "Excuse me, can I have your attention please?" He said. The people quieted down and looked at him, "Thanks. Uh, I guess you can see that there won't be a wedding today."
Abby had to hold in her laugh. She looked over at McGee and whispered, "Duh!" He couldn't help but smile and waited as Michael continued.
"So uh, I guess Ray is sorry, and drive carefully on the way home and buckle up for safety."
The crowd mumbled amongst themselves as they made their way to the front, walking through the house.
Gibbs looked over at McGee, a smirk on his face, "Well, since we're done so early, might as well head into the office and do some paperwork."
McGee laughed as if Gibbs was joking, but Gibbs only smirked at him and walked towards his car. "Oh man." He sighed as he followed him, heading to his own vehicle.
Tony stood against his car, waiting on Ziva to emerge from the house. His mind was a roller coaster. He couldn't believe that not only that it happened, but that he wasn't the one that caused it.
He watched as Mcgee and Gibbs walked to their cars and got in, driving off quickly.
Tony couldn't believe that McGee would be Ray's best man. How dare he?
It didn't matter that McGee and Ray's brother, Doug, were almost the same size and Doug got sick right before the wedding, McGee should have said no!
He ran a hand through his hair and sighed as he watched the rest of the guests get into their cars. Some stood around talking, probably about Ziva, no less. And he hated that.
"Tony, lets go." Ziva said, opening the passenger door and getting into the car. Tony stood up quickly as his heart went into overdrive. He opened the door and sat down.
"Ziva where in the hell did you come from? My eyes didn't leave the door! You didn't come out of there."
She sighed and let her head fall back onto the seat, her hair making a crunching sound from all of the hairspray. "Lets just go, please, Tony?"
Tony looked over at her and saw the sadness in her eyes. He reached over and put his hand on top of hers, giving it a light squeeze, "Hey." She looked over at him, "It's gonna be okay."
She swallowed hard and nodded. He stared into her eyes for several seconds and then smiled slightly, "Now, lets go get you out of that ridiculous ensemble."
Ziva chuckled, "Shut up, Tony."
Ray ran out of the house and across the grass, looking frantically for any sign Ziva. He squinted his eyes as Tony's car sped right by him, taking off down the street. He ran out in the middle of it, the coat of his white tuxedo flying behind him. "Ziva!" He yelled.
He stood and watched as Tony's car disappeared from view.
And now, Ray had to do something he absolutely and completely hated.
Tony had never seen anybody pack clothes as fast as she did.
Of course, they were mainly already in the boxes that they came in, since she had just finally moved everything into Ray's apartment yesterday.
And now they were sitting in the NCIS parking garage unsure of what to do. Ziva spoke little to Tony the whole time, staring at her hands in her lap.
"Ziva.." Tony started and she looked up at him, the same sadness in her eyes as there was before when she had jumped into his car at the last second.
"Yes?" She asked.
"Let's go upstairs." He suggested and she didn't even nod her head or grunt in reply, she just opened up the door and got out of the car.
He followed her into the elevator up to the bullpen.
Not a word passed between the two as they continued up to the squadroom.
Ziva had changed into normal clothes right before they left but didn't have time to change her hair.
"I would like to take a shower." Ziva commented as the elevator doors opened. Tony nodded and pressed the button for the showers in the elevator. The doors closed and then continued downward.
Tony didn't like the awkward silence between them. He didn't like it one bit. But he knew that she didn't want to talk at the moment and therefore said nothing.
They headed down the hallway to where the showers were and Tony watched as she walked into one of the stalls. He turned to leave and give her privacy when he felt her hand grasp onto his. His heart jumped and skipped a beat for a moment and then settled back to its normal pace when she said, "You can stay."
He ran a hand through his hair and then nodded, "Want me to join you?" He couldn't resist, flashing her a famous DiNozzo grin.
She rolled her eyes as she closed the curtain, "You never change, do you?"
"Don't have any reason to," he commented, leaning up against the wall, "Nobody can resist the DiNozzo charm."
He could almost hear her roll her eyes as he watched her pull off her pants from the shadow behind the curtain. He had to admit that even though it was casual it was very seductive to him. Of course, everything that Ziva did had that effect on him.
"I-" She paused.
"Hah!" Tony almost shouted, "You almost said yourself, but you know that you can't cause you just-"
"I know." She stopped him, turning the shower on. He sighed and scratched his head, fixing his hair.
He stared at the shower that she was in, the sound of water hitting the floor soothing to his ears. He still couldn't believe what just happened back at Ray's parents' house. What was he supposed to say? He was still in shock! He almost didn't know how to act around her...her! The partner that he had had for the past six years.
But where was she supposed to stay? Not NCIS, that was for sure. Oh, and McGee was out of the question too. He was still mad at him over the whole best man thing, don't think he didn't forget that little incident. He was still gonna end up killing him.
Abby would be a good option, but only if she wanted to sleep in a coffin...
Of course he wanted her to stay with him, but after everything that happened, he didn't quite know how to convince her that he was the one that she should stay with. His mind kept replaying the kiss that they had shared...well..kisses. He briefly wondered if he would ever get to taste her lips again. He sure hoped so, I mean, why else would she have just all of a sudden called off the wedding the way that she did?
He changed positions on the wall, looking up at the ceiling now. He could always tell her that he saved her from marrying a douche bag and that because of that she should come and live with him, but he didn't think that that would really go over that well. Of course, she could already have some type of sleeping arrangement set up in her head of what she wanted to happen...and it could involve living with him at his apartment.
"Where do you plan on living?" He suddenly found himself asking.
There was silence from the shower, just the sound of water hitting the ground. Ziva stood there, her hands in her hair from where she had been washing it, now frozen. Her mind raced. She would like to stay with the man who asked her the question. But who knew if that's what he wanted. Living with McGee would only make him mad, Abby or Gibbs seemed like her best option.
However, to respond to his question, she picked the safe answer, "I do not know yet."
Tony groaned inwardly as he stared at the shower curtain, "Nothing crosses your mind?"
Ziva stared back at the shower curtain, looking down at the ground before answering, "Abby or Gibbs."
"Not McGee?" He joked, trying to shake the blow off. She didn't say that she didn't want to live with him, however, so that gave him a little hope.
"He has too many...wires for me." She commented as she turned the shower off. There was now dead silence between them, and Tony broke it by chuckling slightly.
"Ah, yeah, McGeek is gonna wish he didn't have so many wires laying around when I'm done with him."
Ziva rolled her eyes, "You are still that upset over him being the best man?"
"Did you really think that he was going to pick you?" She questioned.
"Well no, but I wouldn't have done it anyways! It would have just been common courtesy, since he has been my partner for almost ten years." He straightened his jacket as he watched Ziva get dressed again.
She emerged from the shower and shook her wet hair, which Tony found almost irresistible, but he kept his distance.
"McGee did not do it on purpose." She looked at him, standing within arms distance of him.
"Sure he didn't." He grumbled.
"You know, I am surprised." She said, putting her hands on her hips and looking straight at him.
He turned towards her, "You are?" He asked and she nodded her head, "Why?"
"You have not tried to pull your DiNozzo charm and asked if I would live with you." Silence fell between them and he swallowed, his stomach flipping and his heart beating faster.
"Well.." he started, "I just thought that it...well...you know...after all that you've been through today..I didn't think that I would...put you...through that and.." She chuckled, enjoying watching him struggling with the words. She just shook her head and then brushed her shoulder up against his as she passed him and out of the showers. He paused for a moment and then followed after her, "But you know!" he called as he jogged to catch up with her, "That wouldn't be such a bad idea."
She smiled as he caught up with her, slowing to her fast walking pace, "And why is that?"
"Because I'm your partner, and I can give you a ride to work every morning, and I make really good breakfast." He boasted. She laughed.
"That is a good reason to live with somebody." She rolled her eyes, "Gibbs would murder us."
He jumped in front of her and leaned up against the wall, cutting her off, "Which makes it perfect."
She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion, "I do not want to end up dead, Tony."
"No, I mean, we can keep it a secret."
"A secret as to where I live?" She asked, "I do not think that I could be able to do that. Gibbs knows everything Tony, we would leave at the same time and get to work at the same time, it is not shuttle science."
"Rocket," he corrected, "And that's why we have two different cars."
"Tony.." She sighed, "I do not know. I have so much on my mind at the moment."
"I know." He said, "But it's just a thought." He looked down at the ground and then back at her. He stared into her chocolate eyes, realizing now that they were close enough to kiss. His mind did a flashback to earlier in the day and he found himself getting closer to her and he thought that she was getting closer to him as well. But he couldn't kiss her, not after what had just happened a couple of hours ago. And at the last second, he pressed his lips against her cheek, letting it linger for a second or two before pulling back, staring at her, and then walking away, leaving her to stand there and smile internally.
They all met back up in the squadroom like they normally did on any other day, except this time, everyone was dressed nicely and they were all staring at Ziva, who took a seat at her desk.
Gibbs stared at her, "Are you alright?" he questioned and she nodded.
"I refused to marry him, Gibbs, not the other way around." She quietly said and he continued to stare at her as well as everyone else.
"Why?" He asked and she looked at him.
"Why didn't you marry him?"
She paused for a moment and glanced at Tony, who was sitting at his desk too, "Classified." She finished and Gibbs, who didn't leave the glance to Tony unnoticed, nodded, smirking slightly.
"Ah." he said, sitting down at his desk, "Paperwork today, everyone." He said, and Abby, who was standing near McGee, looked down at him and then slowly exited the squadroom.
Gibbs stood up and started towards the head, leaving the three agents to sit there and wallow in the silence.
"Hey Tony, you got any cold cases you want me to work on?" McGee questioned and Tony just kept his head down, scribbling onto a notepad. McGee furrowed his eyebrows together, confused. He glanced at Ziva before speaking again, "Hey, Tony." He called, louder this time, "DiNozzo!" He shouted, "Hey, Tonyyy.." He elongated his name, but still no response. Ziva tried to contain her laughter. McGee was confused yet she knew exactly what was going on, "Tony." he groaned, "I know you can hear me!"
Tony looked up at Ziva, "Can I borrow a pen? Mine ran out of ink." She grabbed one out of her jar and chucked it at him. He caught it and returned to his work.
"Tony!" McGee said firmly. He rolled his eyes.
"Do you hear something?" Tony questioned Ziva, "Because all I hear is this weird mumbling. And smell..." He took in a big whiff, "the scent of traitor." He grinned in McGee's direction, whose jaw dropped almost to the floor.
"Is that what this is about? You think I 'betrayed' you?" He gave a sarcastic laugh.
Tony ignored him some more, "You're mad cause Ray picked me to be his best man and not you!" He let his mouth drop open again, "You're mad over that!"
Gibbs entered the bullpen, "And I'm mad you're not working, McGee."
"Not my fault, boss! Tony won't give me a case file."
Gibbs groaned, "DiNozzo, give him a case file."
Tony looked up at him, "Your wish is my command." He grinned, grabbing a case file from under the one he was working on and then throwing it like a frisbee towards McGee. The papers inside went all over the floor and Tony grinned at McGee and then at Gibbs who promptly walked over and slapped Tony on the back of the head, "I deserved that."
"Mmhhhmm." Gibbs agreed as he started back out of the bullpen, "Ziva, with me." He motioned with his finger for her to follow and she got up quickly and jogged out of the bullpen, leaving Tony to lean back at grin at watching McGee picking up the pieces of paper.
"You made a bad decision, McGoo, messed with the wrong guy!" He crossed his arms and put his feet up on the desk, "You should probably learn how to sleep with one eye open."
Gibbs shut the elevator down and stared at Ziva, who waited for the lecture. But it never came.
"Where do you plan on living?" He asked her and she opened and closed her mouth. She didn't know, she knew where she wanted to live, but she didn't know if she was going to accept his offer. Maybe he only made the offer because she made the comment that he hadn't asked her to live with him. But they had made out earlier...
If she said Abby, that would be the safe way out, but he would probably ask her, and she would say no, because Abby would never lie to Gibbs.
The same went with McGee, and McGee couldn't keep a secret to save his life.
Both Ducky and Jimmy were both out of the picture as well as Vance, so the first thing that popped into her head was the name of the neighbor of the apartment she lived in first, "Vanessa."
"My neighbor of my old apartment, she has two bedrooms and I know the area already." Sounded like a convincing lie.
"Ziva.." Gibbs sighed, "I think that you should come and live with me." She looked at him, slightly taken by surprise by his offer, "I have more than enough room and I would feel better if you stayed with someone that...would protect you." He said with the greatest sincerity in his voice.
"Ray is not going to hurt me." She said softly, unsure of how to respond to this Gibbs. He wasn't the same person that she had been used to seeing everyday of her life. He was a lot softer.
"Has he tried to call you?" He questioned and she pulled her phone out of her pocket and looked at it.
No new notifications.
"No." She shook her head, returning the phone to her pocket again.
"If he does, I want you to let me know. You're my people. I care about my people. I want my people to be safe. I want what's best for them. I want what's best for you...Ziva." He finished, "You can stay with me until you get back on your feet and get your own apartment again."
"Thank you for the offer, Gibbs, but I am perfectly fine with Vanessa." She smiled slightly, her mouth closed, "Besides, I have most of my boxes moved into her place already."
He nodded and then paused slightly before taking her into a hug, "Take care of yourself." He whispered as he let her go and released the emergency switch.
The elevator doors opened back to the squadroom again and the two walked out, Gibbs heading for the director's office. Ziva looked at Tony, who was staring at her as she walked in, and took a seat at her desk.
She stole another glance at him before turning to her computer. Tony shook his head and looked back down at his paperwork. He wanted her to move in with him, he made that obvious. I mean, he had all of her boxes of stuff in his car! Did their kiss mean nothing to her? She seemed to enjoy it before, she came back for more. His mind was racing. Maybe he was a little too- his thoughts were interrupted by a chirp from his computer and he realized he had a new email.
Opening up his inbox, he realized it was from Ziva. He glanced at her, who looked perfectly normal, and then back at his computer.
He opened up the email and couldn't help letting a smile cross his face as he read one sentence.
I get the bed tonight.
He replied back, See you tonight, roomie.