Disclaimer: I still don't own anything.
So this one was inspired by Tony and Ziva's upcoming trip to Cartagena, as well as by the spoiler that said that Tony was going to realize how he feels about Ziva. Anyway, in my version of things, Monique and Tony didn't really get along during the "mission". I really have no idea about how Monique's going to be but from what I've seen in the promo, she looked like someone who could potentially be a real pain in the tush, as Ziva would say.
No spoilers I think.
Okay here we go. I haven't written anything in months so that might not be as good as I intended it to be.
A gigantic THANK YOU to Sophie for correcting my mistakes and giving me honest criticism. You're the best! Besitos!
"Okay, so I just called a cab, he'll be here in about half an ho-…" Tony stopped mid-sentence when he realized he was talking to an empty room. "Ziva?" he called through the bathroom door.
"She's down at the beach," Monique's voice answered behind him, and the sudden sound made him jump in surprise. Damn. She was even stealthier than Ziva when it came to startling him.
"Oh ok. I just wanted to tell her that we were leaving soon so I'll just–" he started to explain as he moved towards the open window pane. But Monique's deep voice interrupted him once again.
"Do you think Ziva is happy, Agent DiNozzo?"
Tony stopped dead in his tracks and turned around to face the woman, his face a mix of shock and surprise.
"Well, why don't you ask her?"
"Because I am asking you. Do you think she's happy?"
And he thought Ziva was stubborn…. Tony had gotten a good glimpse of Monique's character over the past few days, and he was starting to think that it really was a good thing Ziva didn't see her on a more regular basis. That woman had been a pain in his ass all week. He had kept his mouth shut the whole time, mostly for Ziva's sake, but Monique was really getting on his nerves right now. He exhaled loudly and threw his hands up in the air, finally letting himself fall on the nearest bed in frustration.
"What do you want me to say? I don't have the answer to that! Just in case you haven't noticed, Ziva's not really into communicating her feelings…. So I don't know. She went through a lot and considering where she is now, I guess she's getting there? I really don't know. I'm really not the one you should ask."
He got up and started to make his way to the terrace once again, but Monique closed the window pane and came to stand in front of him, staring at him.
"You know, Ziva's been betrayed and hurt by so many people already; she deserves to be happy."
Oh so that's what it was all about. Tony felt like he was going to explode. He pointed an accusative finger at the woman in front of him.
"I can see where you're going with this, and I won't let you lecture me. I would never hurt Ziva." The defiance in the woman's eyes was obvious and it only infuriated him more. Tony's chest was burning with rage and he was using all of his self-control not to snap. He took a step closer to her; his voice was a low whisper, and his jaw was so tense he was sure she could see it trembling. "You know what happened that summer-I know she told you. You know how far I would go for her, and how far I actually went, so don't even think that I would ever do something that is not in her best interest. Just don't."
Monique was stoic. If she was impressed at all, she didn't let it show. She took a step back and tilted her head to one side, the hint of a smile gracing her lips.
"Does she know?"
Tony frowned and shook his head in confusion. "What?"
"Does she know how much you care about her?"
The question took him aback so much that he suddenly found himself at a loss for words.
"What? Yes she does. I mean, yeah, of course she knows," he blurted out.
"Are you sure? Did you actually tell her or was she supposed to guess?" He could clearly see that Monique was amused by his obvious discomfort and his confusion, and he had a sudden hunch about why.
"Wait. Did she say something to you that I should know about?"
Monique laughed, and he felt like a complete idiot. A pissed-off idiot, that is.
"No," she managed to say between laughs. "She didn't say anything. But I've seen the way you look at her and I've also seen the way she smiles when you're around. That's a something I hadn't seen in a long time, and I'm glad she has someone in her life that can make her smile like that."
Monique's tone was soft and caring; Tony knew she thought of Ziva as her sister, and she was only trying to protect Ziva from going through more pain and disappointment. That they had in common.
As he was listening to her, something clicked inside of him and he realized – half-relieved, half-horrified – that he had, indeed, never told Ziva how much he cared about her. Well, technically he had when he had found her in Somalia and told her he couldn't live without her; but since that was never brought up again, he wasn't even sure she remembered it…. He couldn't really blame her; he had been drugged and she had been in shock, and she had had many other things to think about in that moment. But Monique was right. He had relied on gestures and other attentions to show her, but he had never actually voiced his affection for her.
Something on his face must have shown what he was thinking about, because Monique smiled and turned around without another word, leaving him alone with his thoughts and his sudden epiphany.
Damn. She was good. Dr Kate's Sister would be proud.
He found his partner sitting on the low white stone wall at the edge of the beach. Her feet were buried in the warm sand, and the wind was blowing softly through her loose hair. Tony took his shoes off and sat down right next to her. She didn't move; she just turned her face towards him and smiled.
"The cab will be here any minute, are you ready to go?"
She nodded. "I just wanted to enjoy the beach one last time. I miss it sometimes."
It was Tony's turn to look at her, his eyebrows raised questioningly. "You miss the beach?"
"And the sun, yes. I mean, I know we have had a pretty good weather in DC lately, but it is not the same."
"Oh you mean you miss the real sun, the one that actually warms you up. Yeah I miss that too," he joked, and felt particularly accomplished when she laughed a little. "Are you homesick?"
She stared straight ahead of her, at the blue ocean that spread before them. She raised one of her hands to put a strand of hair that the wind had made fall on her face back behind her ear.
"Maybe. I don't really know. I love living in DC and I love my life here, but seeing Monique again … I think it brought back memories, and I think I just feel a little … blue, yes?"
Tony nodded in understanding, letting her know in the process that she had gotten the idiom right.
They stayed in silence for a few seconds before Tony spoke again.
"Ziva, you know I care, right?" She looked at him with curious eyes. "About you, I mean. You know I care about you." He didn't mean it to be a real question as much as an assertion, but he couldn't help the questioning tone that came with it.
Ziva bowed her head a little and started drawing random patterns in the sand with her feet.
For the second time that afternoon, Tony felt like a complete idiot. That was beginning to get a little bit old. He turned fully towards her so that he could look at her in the eye.
"No Ziva, I do. I really do. Like, a lot. I just want you to know that for sure. You shouldn't even doubt it for a second."
Because he was facing her and looking straight into her now suspiciously shiny eyes, he could see the storm of emotions that was swirling in her head.
"Why are you telling me this now?" She didn't look upset, or scared. She was just curious.
Tony took a deep breath and passed a hand though his hair.
"Well, you know, sometimes, when you get a little blue and … you miss things that remind you of what you left behind, it's nice to know that there are people around you to whom you really matter, and who would do anything to make sure you don't morph completely into a Smurf." He grinned at her but quickly realized that the quizzical look on her face probably meant the joke was lost on her. "Because... you know... Smurfs are blue?..."
She raised an eyebrow in disbelief and rolled her eyes when he shrugged apologetically. She finally smiled again, a shy yet genuine smile, and turned her attention back to the ocean.
"Thank you," was all she said as she delicately put her hand on his on the edge of the wall and let him thread his fingers with hers.
A few minutes passed, and they didn't move until the horn of a taxi was heard.
Tony sighed and jumped from the low wall into the warm sand, dragging Ziva with him, her hand still firmly caught in his.
"Come on Smurfette, let's go home."