A/N: SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, I finally updated? I'm so sorry, I really am, but I've been so incredibly stuck on ideas and distracted and it's just really annoying. Anyway, I hope you can forgive me because I've written another chapter!
"I guess we should be heading back," Tony sighed, staring down at his once love's gravestone.
Ziva nodded. "Thank you," she whispered, placing a hand on his cheek, rubbing the skin with her thumb.
"For telling me. I am glad you opened up about it." Slowly, she stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips lightly to his other cheek. "If you ever want to talk about it, just call."
"Thanks, Ziva," he replied sincerely, and they both turned around to walk back to the car. 'Just a question, though…"
She looked at him. "Fire."
He assumed she meant 'shoot' but ignored it. "Since when do we do that?"
"Talk," he answered with a smirk. The old Tony and Ziva would keep everything bottled up inside them until it killed them. They barely said a word about their feelings, and if they did it was either completely cryptic or out of anger or frustration.
"We don't, I suppose," she answered honestly. "But this case has showed me that perhaps a person's time on this planet doesn't seem like enough. I am sure that Sarah did not believe it was Leonard's time to leave, and now she is without a husband, and Casey without a fa…" she faltered. "Well, without the man who raised."
"Thanks for your discretion, but don't worry about it. I know I'll never be Casey's real dad. Not to her, at least. I know I did the right thing. It kills me that I wasn't there for her more but everybody has regrets, I guess."
"Maybe I am thinking the same thing: that I do not want to live with regrets. If, uh, if I was to lose you then I would not want to regret us being closer."
He glanced at her, with his eyebrows raised.
"You know what I mean."
He smiled at her. He really was lucky to have her in his life. It was only the hardest of times when he realised it.
The drive back to the Navy Yard was peaceful enough. The two partners even talked a little, without dredging up too much of the past.
But all the peace and quiet almost the second they walked through the elevator. Tony's cell phone rang, and when he looked at the Caller ID, he saw it was Sarah.
"Wonder what's wrong," Ziva thought aloud, peering over his shoulder. "Agents are on protection detail with her and Casey."
"Only one way to find out," Tony said, and flipped the phone open. "Agent DiNozzo."
"Tony!" was the frantic call from the other end of the line. "Tony, Casey's missing!"
It took Tony a split second to leap over his desk, grab his backpack and race out the door. Ziva shot a confused look at McGee, who shrugged, and she looked to Gibbs.
"What're you doing, David?" he asked. He pointed to the door. "Go!"
"Right," Ziva replied, chasing after Tony.
"Stay there, Sarah, I'll be there in ten minutes," Tony said into the phone, clearly trying not to sound panicked.
"If you let me drive I'll make it seven," Ziva called, catching up to him as he approached the car. He nodded at Ziva.
"Make it seven. Don't worry, I'll find her."
Ziva's eyes widened. "What's happened?"
"Just drive, I'll explain it on the way."
"Then I suggest you buckle up," she said, both hands on the wheel, foot to the pedal. As the car sped off, Tony had to hold on to the handle for fear of being thrown from the vehicle. Some things really do never change.
When they arrived at the house, Sarah was in tears. The blonde ran to Tony, and he held her without hesitation.
"Tony, someone's got my baby," she sobbed. "Someone's got my baby girl."
Tony stroked Sarah's blonde hair and stole a glance at Ziva. Surprisingly, she wore a look of sympathy. They both remembered the last time they had dealt with a hysterical mother whose daughter had been kidnapped. Ziva had not exactly been the picture of empathy. But that was five years ago. She was different now.
"Tell us what happened," Ziva said gently to Sarah.
She pulled herself from Tony's grip, wiping the tears from her cheeks. "Um…she wanted to go see her friends next door so I called their mom and she said it was OK and I sent the agent over there with her. I had her dinner ready so I went to pick her up, but Sheryl said Casey never arrived." On the last word, she began to break down again, and again, Tony comforted her, leading her over to the sofa and sitting them both down.
"Ziva," he whispered. "Call McGee, get the GPS coordinates from the Agent's cell phone. Put out a BOLO."
"You know their captor, assuming they were actually kidnapped, probably got rid of it. It could just lead us on a wild goose chase."
"Of course I know that, but do you think I'd be asking if I cared?" he snapped, raising his voice a little.
"OK," Ziva said, and called McGee.
"It's gotta be Darren, right?" Sarah sobbed, her head in her hands. "I mean, who else would take my little girl?"
"It's likely, Sarah, but we can't assume it was his. We haven't even been able to find him to get an alibi, so he's definitely suspicious, but we can't be sure."
Sarah sniffed. "I wish I could do more to help you, Tony."
He rubbed her back. "We'll find her Sarah. I promise we'll find your little girl."
A/N: Twist! Would love a review :)