He didn't exactly know why he was there, or what possessed him to get out of his comfortable bed, pull on a t-shirt, slip on his Reeboks, grab his car keys and walk out his door at 0300h.
He didn't understand anything.
All he knew was that he was standing on the doorstep to Ziva David's apartment with a t-shirt on in the middle of January. He was shivering; goose bumps were evident on his skin, but he didn't feel cold. He didn't feel anything. All he felt was the painful, aching beating of his heart.
That was another thing he didn't understand.
He hadn't been rejected, he hadn't failed miserably at picking up a girl at the bar, or drink himself to a point where he just wanted to curl into a ball and cry over his pathetic lack to fill both the 'work' and 'family' cups.
But he knew one thing was for sure; he couldn't get his partner off of his mind. The chocolate brown orbs he loved were filled with sadness and regret and he shuttered at the thought of anyone hurting the person closest to his heart.
He knew she was up. That much was certain. He stared at her front door, his hand turning over and over on her house key.
He knew he currently had three options, which were to go inside her apartment, knock on the door, or just turn around and go back home and sit down and think to himself about why the hell he was going to go see his partner at 0300h.
Carefully, he chose option number one. He placed the key into the door and turned the tumblers of the lock, hearing them click as he slowly opened the door, as not to scare her. He didn't know what kind of emotional pain she was in at the moment.
"Ziva?" He quietly asked into the darkness, closing the door silently behind him.
The faint ticking of the clock above her fireplace was the only sound he heard as he reached over and flipped the light switch, illuminating the room.
He expected there to be blankets and pillows everywhere, opened bottles of wine and beer, and books and magazines all over the floor, but it was the entire opposite; the room was absolutely spotless.
The many books she kept underneath the coffee table were gone, the picture frames she had were face down on the side table and on her mantle. The DVD's she kept in the space underneath the TV were gone. It looked as if nobody had even lived there. The photos in the home improvement magazines looked messier than this.
"Ziva?" he called again, entering her kitchen and finding the same replication from the previous room. His heart beat started getting faster. Where was she?
He only had two more rooms left to check, her bedroom and the bathroom, so he made his way down the small hallway to the bedroom, opening up the door and revealing his partner.
He breathed a silent sigh of relief as he stared at her. Her hair was down and very messy, obviously not tamed in any way. She wore a t-shirt and sweats, similar to the one that he was wearing, and she was simply laying on her back on her bed, staring up at the ceiling, her fingers laced and resting on her stomach as if she was preparing for her own funeral.
"I know he did a number on ya, Zi, but you're not dead yet, you can stop posing for your coffin." He tried to joke. She didn't look at him, didn't even crack a small smile, she just continued to stare at the ceiling. The only reason he knew she wasn't dead was because she blinked.
"Maybe it would be better off that way." She muttered and he sighed, walking towards her and staring down at her face. It was only then that she turned and looked at him. She glanced down at his torso for a second or two before looking back up at the ceiling.
"Don't talk like that." He pleaded.
"Did you bring a sweatshirt?" She asked, changing the subject.
"What?" He questioned.
"Did you bring a sweatshirt?" She repeated, "It is cold and you have duck bumps."
He smiled slightly, "Goose bumps, and no." He sat down on the edge of the bed, "What happened out there?" he asked, pointing his thumb towards the living room, "It looks like Mr. Clean came in here and Magic Erased the whole place up. The IKEA catalog looks messier than your apartment."
"I had to have something to occupy my time with." She defended herself.
"And that was all you could think of?" he asked. Why didn't she call him?
"Why are you here?" She sighed, ignoring his question. Like she often did.
"Why are you awake?" he fought back.
"I am not tired." She responded, shortly. It was obvious she was not in the mood to talk, but he was going to find a way to make her.
There was a long silence between the two, "Get up." He asked softly, "Sit up?"
She just stared at him and he stared back, searching her obviously broken eyes. He had seen them tear up one too many times in the past couple of days and he didn't possibly think he could take it anymore.
She did what he said and leaned back against the pillows, staring at her partner, "I should have known." She managed to say.
"There is no way for you to have known." He responded, trying to reason with her, "No way at all."
"I should have." She shook her head, as if scolding herself, "I should have known that he was hiding this from me, and lying to me. Again. Just like Michael. I should have known. Just like I should have been there when you shot Michael. I should have known!" she almost shouted.
"Ziva." Tony said softly, trying to comfort her, "We all make mistakes." He placed a tentative hand on top of hers, "Trust me." She looked down at their hands, "I've made some. Lots. But you learn from them. You pick the pieces back up, you move on. Ray was a bastard." He agreed, "But you can't live with 'should haves'. You have to live with the reality of what happened. It hurts, but you have to move on."
"What if I cannot?" She asked, "I thought I could…" he saw her eyes tear up slightly, just like he had many times that day and last week, "…a family." She glanced at his eyes and then back down at her hands.
"You can't live with 'what ifs'." He reminded her, "You have to move on."
"It is not that simple." She snapped, pulling a hand away from his and wiping a tear that was threatening to fall quickly away from her eye.
"I know." He said, slightly defeated. He stared at watched his partner deal with the pain. He saw her physically hurting and she didn't deserve it. At all. After a few moments of silence, he knew she was struggling not to cry, "It's okay to cry, " he reassured her.
"It is a sign of weakness." She glanced at him, blinking her tears away faster, "And I refuse to show that I am weak."
"It's not a sign of weakness." He said, "It just shows you've been strong for too long." He watched one tear run down her cheek and hit his hand, which was still covering her hand. It was wet, but warm as it slid off of his and onto her sweats.
"He did not care that he had ruined someone's life." She said, "He did not care that he had ruined two people's lives. And just because I was a Mossad agent does not mean that I should understand his motives." Tony found nothing to say for once, and he just stared at his partner, "But he thought that I would."
Tony sighed. He searched his brain. What was he supposed to say? Anything to make her feel better. He just wanted to reach out and take her in his arms and hold her until she stopped feeling pain. He wanted to tell her that he cared.
But, being Tony DiNozzo, he avoided his feelings, in an attempt to keep himself from hurting too. So he said the first thing that came to mind; the easy way out: "You will find someone to make you happy." He guaranteed, giving her a small, closed smile.
"Maybe I already have." She said back, her tone softer and gentle this time, looking him in the eyes. His heart skipped a beat and he felt jealousy rear just a little bit. Who was she talking about? He tried to rack his brain for an answer. He wanted to ask who. But instead, he avoided the statement, again, and another confrontation about feelings, another chance to tell her.
"I don't recall you sounding happy talking about Ray for the past 8 weeks, but if that's what floats your boat…"
"That is not who I meant." She cut him off and he felt his heart skip a beat again. He swallowed. Was she talking about him? That could only be wishful thinking.
"You don't deserve to be hurt again." He placed a hand on the side of her face, pulling her eyes gently up so her face was parallel with his. He looked at her deep in the eyes, avoiding it. Again, "And I will make sure that nobody does, ever." He said, firmly.
She didn't question him; she didn't even want to think. She didn't know how he was going to do it, she just nodded and leaned forward, resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes, "Thank you." She whispered, and he touched her head softly, tangling his fingers into her hair as he rested his head against hers.
"What are partner's for?" He watched her fall asleep, and even though his back was starting to ache, he didn't dare move. He knew that she wasn't going to fall asleep easy and she needed the rest. He watched her chest move up and down and her face looked closely to that of a child when he slept. His mind flash-backed to Paris and he sighed.
He knew why his heart was hurting for her. He hated Ray; he hated what he did to her and how he played with her heart and her emotions as if they were some kind of toy and not priceless contents. One day, he knew he was going to have to admit that he had feelings for her. That he did…love….her. He knew he did, no matter how hard he tried to not fall for her, he did. How could he possibly resist her sex appeal, her foreign charm, how she actually appreciated him…for him?
And every time he tried to not love her, it didn't work; trying not to love her only made him love her more. It was just something her couldn't avoid.
He knew nobody was going to hurt her anymore, because he wanted to be the man that made her smile. She may claim that she was content, but she wasn't happy. Her smile was entirely too gorgeous to keep hidden from the rest of the world.
Couldn't she tell that her smile lit up his day?
He stared at her some more, gently running her hair through his fingers. He sighed once more and stared up at the ceiling, the clock ticking in the background.
Why couldn't he just tell her?
He just didn't understand.
Cheesy, I know, but I had to do it. It was actually kind of difficult for me to write, because whenever Ziva's upset or vulnerable I feel like that is way out of character. So I tried my best! The past two episodes have been incredible! So much Tony/Ziva interaction! I have a feeling that this is their season! Please critique, I'd love to hear your responses!