This is my new project and I have been working with it for a while, I wasn't going to post it yet but I was convinced by a good friend of mine to do so, so here I am. I know I have been quiet on FanFiction lately, but I have been super busy with end of year school work and recruitment testing and work.
I hope you enjoy this new story, it will be quite a long one, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I will be updating as frequently as possible.
Dedicated to my Sunshine.
For a long time now Ziva had been distant from him. She would never join him for drinks after work, never join any of them for drinks after work. She wouldn't go out to get dinner with him, she wouldn't come over and watch movies with him like she used to. For a while he thought maybe it was something he had done but he had thought long and hard about it and he couldn't think of one thing he had done out of the ordinary.
It had started about six months ago. If he text or called her asking if she wanted to hang out she would make up an excuse that she couldn't but then at work the next day she would be nothing like the cold shoulder she was to him out of work. He wanted to know what was going on so he decided just to go over to hers without calling first. He knocked on the door a few times and he was just about to call out to her -he knew she was home as her car was in its spot- when someone opened the door.
But it wasn't Ziva. He actually had no idea who it was. He thought he might have the wrong door by accident but then the girl -who looked about fifteen- called out into the apartment.
"Ziva, this isn't the pizza guy" she yelled "And he has a gun and a badge like yours" she added. Tony didn't think his gun was showing but the girl had seen it. He heard movement inside the apartment and then he saw Ziva come into view. She had a look of worry in her eyes.
"Tony, what are you doing here?" she asked, like he was forbidden to see his partner at her home or something. The younger girl disappeared back into the apartment after one instructing look from Ziva.
"I came to see you. You keep avoiding me and I don't like it" he stated truthfully. He really wanted to know what was going on, he misses their friendship.
"Tony you should have called, you shouldn't have shown up unannounced like this" she said. He could tell she was worried about something, was this to do with the girl that answered the door?
"Ziva I would have called but you would have blown me off like always" he replied. He didn't know why she was being such a cold shoulder. However she seemed to be hurt at his words. He really needed to know what was going on right now.
"It wasn't really my choice" she stated and she looked away when she said it. He was right, she was hiding something from him.
"Don't lie to me Ziva" he said. She looked back up at him then and she was just about to say something when someone interrupted.
"Zeev?" he heard a child ask and then he saw a little boy about three years old slowly walk up to Ziva. She automatically turned to him and bent down to his level. Who was this child?
"Caleb you are meant to be in bed, it is late" she said very softly to the boy. It wasn't often Tony got to see Ziva interact with younger children but he liked when he did, she was so different around them. So unguarded. And then he got thinking, this was the second person -or should he say child- he had seen in Ziva's apartment that he didn't recognize.
"I know Zeev but I can't go to sleep" the little boy said. Tony watched as Ziva gently ran her hand through the little boy's hair. It all seemed so natural for her right now.
"I will be down in a second, ok?" she said. The little boy nodded and Tony watched him walk back down Ziva's hallway. Ziva stood and turned back to Tony.
"You babysitting or something?" he asked. Something in her face wasn't right when he said it. She looked sad almost.
"Something like that" she replied, not looking at him again. He got worried, something was definitely wrong. She was hiding something, and he hated when it was like this between them. How had he let that distance get there over the past few months? He should have come around earlier.
"Ziva what's wrong?" he asked in a gentle voice. He needed to know what was going on, he needed to be let in.
"Nothing I am just tired" she replied and he knew that wasn't just it. Then the pizza boy showed up behind Tony. You could tell the young kid felt awkward in that moment, interrupting.
"Um you order the pizza?" he asked Ziva. Ziva was about to answer when Tony had his wallet out and was paying the boy. After the pizza boy disappeared Tony turned to Ziva and held the pizza out to her.
"I haven't brought you pizza in a long time" he said as he gave her a small sad smile. He really missed all the time he used to spend with Ziva. And she could see it. She looked at him for a moment. Could she really do this, could she tell him about this? She was worried to how he was going to react to it all. She had kept this a secret from him, and she knows he's not going to like that.
"Come in" she said. She felt as though she had to let him know, he deserved to be let in. He was worried, and she didn't like it when he was worried about her.
He didn't expect her to invite him in when he first got here and saw the children in her apartment, but he walked in none the less, he wasn't saying no to this invite. It means she was going to talk to him about whatever it was that is going on. He closed the door behind himself and -knowing his way around her apartment well- he walked to her kitchen where he found Ziva and the girl. The girl went quiet and was watching him carefully when he sat the pizza down on the bench.
"Maxi, can you go read Caleb a story while I talk to my friend?" Ziva asked the girl and she nodded and walked down towards the hallway. When she was gone Ziva turned to Tony. Tony wasn't looking at her though, he was looking at her apartment. Things looked different. She had kid's drawings on her fridge, she had some children's toys in the lounge, and she had high school homework on her table.
"Tony" she said quietly and he turned to face her.
"How long are you babysitting for?" he then asked. Again her eyes dropped from his.
"Tony" she said in a soft warning. There was something about those children that wasn't right, she wasn't saying something.
"Ziva, tell me what's going on here?" he asked. She looked back up at him. He couldn't quite read her eyes. She was trying to block him out, so he wouldn't catch onto the emotions in her eyes like he normally did.
"I'm looking after the two of them" she replied. He wondered if she had a friend who was on vacation or work trip or something and needed someone to look after her kids. But was a federal agent the best choice of babysitter? When their job had terrible work hours?
"For how long?" he asked.
"As long as they need me to" she said. He gave her a confused look. Her eyes were trying to avoid his.
"Ziva, what's that supposed to mean?" he asked.
"Until they go to college, leave home" she replied softly. She would not look at him and it was killing him. He didn't know what to say. All he could think was one thing right now. And it made his heart stop dead.
"Are they…are they yours?" he muttered out. He never saw her pregnant, well he didn't know her fifteen years ago so the older girl could be possible and then the younger one, well she was in Israel for a long time three years ago. It was possible that they were hers. They did have the same skin tone as her and the girl had similar hair, and god, her eyes were the same color.
She couldn't have had kids without him knowing…right?
"No, they are not my children" she replied and he sort of felt relief at those words "But I am their legal guardian now" she added, finally meeting his eyes, and he wasn't sure what to make of that.
"So you…they are under your care?" he asked. She looked down and nodded.
"Yes, I am pretty much their mother now" she stated. He never pictured Ziva as a mother -well actually he had a few times but not like this. This was all so unreal right now. This couldn't all be happening, right?
"Why?" he found himself asking, he saw her sadden at his question and he knew there was something deep behind the reason why she now had two children living with her.
"My best friend, she was killed and there was no one else, and I am there legal godmother if anything should have happened to their mother" Ziva told him. He could tell she was trying hard not to become emotional talking about her friend like this, they must have been very close. Tony doesn't remember her ever mentioning any of this to him before. He didn't know she was anyone's godmother.
"I'm sorry Ziva" Tony replied, he hated seeing her upset and he knows what it's like to lose a very close friend. In fact he knew what it was like to lose people, it had happened to him a lot. He knew she'd lost a lot of people too, but he felt the need to express his sympathies. When Ziva was sad, it made his heart feel a little darker. Ziva had always had an affect on him, whether she actually meant to or not. Ziva just nodded at him silently and began fiddling with her fingers.
"What was her name?" Tony then asked in a soft voice. And when she turned to him and looked him in the eyes she couldn't help it, she told him everything about Adina. Sometimes she couldn't help it when his eyes looked at her like that. So open, so caring.
Adina had been Ziva's best friend for most of her life. Adina didn't have any family left in Israel and Ziva had happily agreed when Adina asked her to be the godmother of her children, Adina was family to Ziva, and had been since they joined the Israeli Army together when they were seventeen. They had even joined Mossad together two years after that. Adina hadn't stayed in as long as Ziva though, after five years in Mossad Adina had gotten pregnant and left Mossad and joined the Israeli embassy. Ziva had visited Adina and her children many times over in Israel and when Adina found out Ziva was now living and working in America she would bring the children over and visit Ziva when she could.
Adina had two wonderful children that always got excited when Ziva saw them, the eldest was fifteen, her name was Maxi. She looked just like her mother, she had long dark hair like her but it wasn't as curly as hers, and her face was almost a spitting image of her mother besides Maxi had chocolate brown eyes like her father, whereas her mothers were a unique green. Adina had always attracted many men with those alluring eyes she had. The second child was a lot younger than Maxi, he was only three and his name was Caleb. He had a short scruff of hair and had his mothers green eyes but he looked a lot more like his father.
Their father, Levi, had been killed at work when Caleb was one. And no surprises that Levi had worked for Mossad, Ziva had known him for years, he was a very good man and a great father when he hadn't been away working. Both Adina and Maxi had been devastated at the loss of him, Caleb, well he never really knew his father very well, he had been too young to understand or remember, but he did a small bit because Adina hadn't let him forget his father. And then six months ago Adina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, she was out working for the embassy on something when she was shot by a gang member. It was all an accident but Adina didn't make it.
Then Ziva was called by Adina's lawyer and told about it, and then the kids and some of their things were sent on a plane to Ziva. It had been quick and all at once, her emotions had been a little crazy. She had been caring for them for sixth months now by herself. She enrolled Maxi in high school and Caleb in daycare. After school Maxi would walk a few blocks to Caleb's daycare where she and Caleb were picked up by a lady named Julia who had a business where she looked after children after school until their parents finished work.
Ziva didn't know what she would have done if she hadn't of found Julia. And Julia didn't mind that Ziva would sometimes finish work quite late or spend 48 hours at work on a rare occasion. She was a saint.
"Does anyone know that you have kids to look after now?" Tony asked her after she had explained everything to him. He felt sad for her, what she had been through. And he knew she shouldn't have been through that alone. He couldn't believe she hadn't told him, he was her partner and he should know about something like this. That was hurting him a little.
"No, I have not told anyone" she replied. So she had done this all alone, she could have come to him, no mater what. And she should know that, but she hadn't come to him.
"Why Ziva? You could have told me, I would have helped you out if you needed me to" he replied. He couldn't hold it in, he needed her to understand this.
"Tony, it was not something I wanted to share with anyone, It was something that was personal to me that I did not feel the need to share, it is from my old life, everyone here is not privy to the knowledge of my old life" she stated. Tony wasn't sure why she would try hide some this important from them all. Past life in Mossad or not.
"Ziva you have been here for six years now and you don't think you can trust us with this, is that it?" Tony questioned. Ziva looked up at him with disappointment in her eyes.
"Of course I trust all of you" she replied. A little hurt by his words.
"Then why didn't you tell us if you do trust us?" he asked again. She stared at him for a moment and he could tell she was really thinking about it. She always knew this conversation would happen, and it was never going to end well.
"It was easier this way, not as complicated. If I told all of you Vance and Gibbs would question me about handling two children while working my job, and everyone else would pester me about it, I do not like opening up so much, Adina was, and still is, an extremely personal part of my old life. I do not wish to share too much of that with everyone" she explained. But yet he knew that she had just shared it with him right now.
"You told me just now, it didn't seem too hard" he said. The way she looked at him then, he couldn't quite place. It was almost a look that was a falter in her walls. The walls she put up when things got too serious in a conversation.
"Tony, you are different" she said quietly. He watched her look away from him.
"Why am I different Ziva?" he asked softly. He had been close to her six months ago and right now in this conversation, this was what he was trying to get her to with him six months ago. He was trying to get her to open up to him. It was easier said then done though.
"Tony…" she said as she locked eyes with him "You know why" she added. He stood there reading what her eyes were trying to tell him. Did he really know why? Or was he still blind when it comes to the things that really matter?
"Why? Because I'm your partner?" he asked. Her eyes broke from his gaze then and she walked away. She walked into the lounge and began picking up what he guessed were Caleb's toys. He followed her.
"Tell me Ziva?" he asked in a firm voice. She didn't answer him, she just continued picking up the toys and putting them away.
"Ziva!" he called out. She turned to him then, when he raised his voice at her.
"Tony I shouldn't have to tell you why!" she replied back. Pointing an accusing finger in his direction. He stared at her for a moment and he thought about it.
"Because I'm your friend, because I thought I was your best friend and you cared about me until you shut me off six months ago about something really important. Is that the reason?" he shot back at her. She stood there looking at him. She didn't have anything to reply with. He had got her.
"If you knew I was so important to you why didn't you share it earlier?" he then asked. She looked at him with regret in her eyes. She had regretted not telling him now, he was so upset by the fact she hadn't told him and it hurt her to see what she had done. She had hurt him.
"Tony, I'm sorry I didn't tell you I just-" she began before he cut her off.
"No Ziva, I don't want to hear it. You know how much I care about you, you are my partner and best friend but you couldn't trust me with this" he stated. He stared at her. She could see the pain in his eyes that she had put there. Then he turned and left, slamming the door behind him.
That conversation was never going to ever have a good ending to it. She knew she had really upset the friendship between her and Tony right now, she only hoped that she could fix it. It wasn't going to be easy.