Tony had never been more convinced that he'd fucked up something perfect before in his life.

They'd started trying this dating thing. They'd tried so hard to be together and make it work. He had never been more in love, he was sure. He knew from the way he lit up whenever she came into the room, the way his heart liked to skip a beat when she got too close. He would feel that heat in his stomach whenever his lips would brush against his. He knew from the way her hands felt when they cautiously intwined with his own. He loved how rough her palms were. It was unlike so many women he'd dated. They looked soft, but it was clear that she had worked hard her entire life - a life filled with death and fighting and machinery. It was a reminder to him of just how strong she was every time they held hands.

He had loved how she was willing to curl up against him whenever they watched a movie, her head resting on his shoulder. She would always point out the flaws in the action movies, talking about what would have been a better plan, or why the logistics of a scene couldn't be done in real life. He always teased her for ruining it, but it still made him smile every time. He loved how she would tear up at some of the romantic movies they watched, especially the ones that ended in heartache. She would always try and hide it, always keep her jaw clenched tight and he could see her straining to stop herself - but the tears were there all the same. It reminded him that even though she was strong, she wasn't cold hearted.

It was so many small things. The way she looked when she had her nose in a book. The way she scrunched her face when she was trying to think of the proper English phrases, only to mess them up anyway. It was the way she got fire in her eyes when she was angry or the way that they sparkled when she laughed. He could have written a list and it would have been pages long, filled with every small detail that made up who she was and how she functioned as a person.

He could tell how much he loved her from the way they made love together. He had always been fond of sex, there wasn't a doubt about that. It was more the way it felt when he was with her that had been different. He'd snorted and rolled his eyes at people who claimed that sex could make them feel complete, but now there was no other way to describe it. It was something that fulfilled every piece of him. Something that had made the emptiness he'd always felt somewhere inside him disappear. It was why he sometimes clung to her so tightly after, trying to hold on to that feeling, to that moment, and wondering where it had been his entire life.

But it was those intense moments that scared him the most. Loving someone so deeply meant that you would be hurt so much worse when it finally came to an end. Had he actively gone out to try and end it because of that? Had he gotten so overwhelmed with love that he had tried to find a way to destroy it so that he could deal with the pain sooner rather than later? He hadn't meant to. He hadn't been thinking. Cheating wasn't something that came naturally to him, despite what so many people may have argued. He would never be able to answer why he had thought it was a good idea now.

"Ziva - please," he begged, grabbing onto her arm to pull her back, trying to hold her close to him. She shoved him away angrily, the clear look of pain and anger in her eyes. She was holding back tears, just like she did with the movies, but he couldn't love that this time. He couldn't because they were caused by him and not some fictional being on a screen. "Please, give me another chance. I need you."

She swallowed roughly, going to grab the door handle, taking a deep breath as she listened. "You have some thinking to do, Tony," she said quietly, her words cold as ice. "I think we both do."

He watched helplessly as she walked out the door. He sank to his knees, staring at the ground in front of him, not sure what to do as the world he'd created and had cherished so closely came crumbling down around him.