After watching HOUSEKEEPING, I had too.
"Agent David, do you consider me to be," He paused. But it was too late now to stop himself from asking, what he knew was, a stupid question. "in your life?" He concluded and kept up his appearance…
Of course he was in her life, after seven years and one or two hundred deep and meaningful conversations, he couldn't get any more in her life. But when he spoke the words, he found a new meaning for them. Not just in her life, as in around her, but actually in and apart of her life. He wanted to be the one she woke up too in the morning, the one she went home with every night. He wanted to be the guy who stole her heart and refused to give it back, not just that guy who breaks up relationships.
Ziva stumbled for her answer. But as she looked into Tony's eyes, she found her answer. Not for his question, but for a question she knew Ray would be asking upon his return. No. Was her answer. No. To his proposal. No. To continuing a relationship with him. It was over. It had to be. Because as she looked into Tony's eyes, as she studied his face, she knew her future lay right here. Right in front of her was "something permanent", right in front of her was the answers to everything she'd ever asked every man in her life.
"Do you," now she paused… knowing she couldn't go back. "want to be in my life?" She had to look away briefly, she stupidly felt that if she were to look at him now that she might get the case of the giggles, and she didn't want to insult him. She wanted to know his answer.
Tony leaned back further on Ziva's desk and looked up into her deep brown eyes. Without even consciously knowing he was doing it; Tony reached out and curled his hand over hers. And without even knowing either, Ziva was holding his hand back.
"I do." He said. Finally he said. It wasn't a confession of how he felt about her, it wasn't a dedication of love. But it was all those things combined. I do. Almost like he was promising himself to her for the rest of their lives. "I do want to be apart of your life, Ziva."
Ziva's head shot up to in his direction faster than she ever thought she could. What had he just said? He'd said exactly what she hoped he would. She'd dreamed of him saying similar words to her, for years! But nothing she every dreamt up prepared her for this. Hearing the words, knowing what they meant. It was bigger than anything. It was everything. She knew, in this exact moment what had to happen. She had to break up with Ray the first chance she got. She had to end everything, because she wasn't in love with him. She wasn't ready to spend her life with him.. but with Tony? That she was sure of. She'd been sure of it for years!
"Why?" she heard herself say. She wanted to scold herself for asking such a stupid question, was she ruining the moment? But she wanted to know. Like a school girl wanting to know why the coolest guy in school was smiling at her?
Tony opened his mouth to answer, and at the instant they both had a swarm of butterflies flutter into their stomachs. Tony felt as though he could start bursting into laughter and do fifty laps of a football oval, at any moment. Ziva felt as though she could fling herself into Tony's arms and make him hers now until forever.
"Because…" Tony trailed off, suddenly feeling those butterflies attacking his speech. What was he doing? This wasn't right. Ziva was engaged, sort of. To an ass-hole. Tony reminded himself. He took a breath and heard himself mentally say Stuff It."Because I'min love with you." He said the words so quickly he wasn't sure if Ziva heard english words of a blab of gibberish.
There. He said it. Better than an "I do." Better than a "You deserve better." Better than anything he'd ever said to her in the entire time they'd known each other. He'd said it. He was in love with her and he'd said it!
Ziva was lost for words. She was absolutely speechless. What was happening? Was she flying? Why didn't the ground feel solid? Why did it feel like she was suddenly made of air? Why did it feel like the whole world was spinning?
It was at this exact moment that she realized he was holding her hand, that she was holding his hand. She then pulled away from his grip and took a step back.
"Tony… you can not just say something like to a woman. Especially to one who is engaged and I-" Ziva commenced to defend herself. This was wrong. No. She couldn't feel like this about Tony. She couldn't disrespect Ray like that. She was with Ray, end of story. And until she wasn't with Ray… she couldn't dance with potential perfect-matches. No matter how much she loved him back.
"Oh, so you're engaged now?" Tony asked sarcastically. "Oh, well, congratulations than." Tony boomed one of his famous smiles; knowing it was making Ziva laugh on the inside, even if she looked frustrated and confused on the outside.
"Tony. Please!" Ziva put her hands to her hand and threaded her fingers through her hair. Her mind was spinning. She'd never been in this situation. She'd never been with one guy and wanted so desperately to be with the other.
"Okay. I'm sorry." Tony laughed as he stood up from Ziva's desk. "Just thought you should know how I feel about you. Before you go marring anyone". As he left her desk area and headed towards the elevator, he stopped and leaned on the divider. "Do you feel the same way? About me?"
Ziva looked down to her keyboard and started tapping random keys. "I would be lying if I said I didn't have feelings for you, too."
Tony smiled so proudly. "Goodnight."
Just as Tony was stepping into the elevator, Ziva came jumping into the carriage with him. "But what about Gibbs?" she boomed. "If you love me, than obviously you have thought about a relationship with me, which than obviously you have about Gibbs' rules and what he would think if…"
Tony cupped Ziva's face with his hands and introduced his lips to hers for the first time in 7 years. It felt so amazing to kiss her again; to feel the softness of her skin. To feel the warmth of her lips. It felt right. For once, a moment in Tony's life felt completely and truly right.
Ziva lost her breath after that. All she could do was stare up to the man she knew she was in love with too.
"I've thought about it." Tony started. "But I've always said I would only break a rule if the risk is worth it, and you're worth it, Ziva. You're worth everything." Tony wiped a wave of hair off Ziva's face and tucked it behind her ear. "I love you. And I know you love me too." Tony let his hands fall down both of Ziva's arms, he cuped her hands and held them together between their bodies. "Please, don't marry Ray."
A/N: I believe this could be the start of it. I think TIVA may be just around the corner!
And to everyone following my other story "Together We Cry" - Chapter 2 is frustrating me but I love the response chapter 1 got, that's what I was hoping for!