*clears throat* It is...five in the morning. This idea came to me right around three, and it, essentially, wrote itself. As background: Tony and Ziva had a relationship. They do not have one anymore. That's all I can say about that. Honestly, I'm rambling. Like, I don't even know what the hell this is. Erm. I guess you could say it's AU. Okay? Okay. No beta, obviously. Feedback is very welcome. Also, considering this will likely be the last story I ever post here because the mods will soon kill my account, I bid everyone farewell. It's been a fun time. Enjoy!- Alivia
Dark splotches of rain stained her cream colored jacket, and she clutched it tighter around her, burrowing into it like it was the only failsafe she could afford. Her heels clacked along the shiny sidewalk at a steady pace- she might have bumped into a few people, she couldn't be sure.
The wind howled obscenely. A pain in her head was biting, and her thoughts were fraying with the seconds passing. But her intention was clear, as clean cut as printed black words, as absolute as the movement of a chess piece.
Turning sharply, she pushed a door, harsh and demanding. The stale air of the establishment wafted around her, and she could not decide whether or not to be grateful for the warm. Maybe the aching in her chest would be more pronounced now- the bitter aftertaste fresher on her tongue.
Betrayal, most would call it.
The bellhop was blunt, and it offered her simplicity; something that was rare, cherished.
"Miss David?" he inquired briskly, never pausing to look up from the computer screen in front of him.
"Yes," she breathed. The man clicked on something, and sighed, almost bored.
"He's been waiting for you," was the answer she finally received.
Plastic was chill, pressed into her hand. It informed her of the irrevocable notion- the undeniable truth: there was no returning from this.
A lifetime passed in the elevator.
Stray curls darted which way, and she pushed them back, blew air between her lips. The chiming music of the lift rung abruptly, grating her eardrums. Sweat rolled down her temple- the humidity made it harder to breathe. Or maybe it was the thoughts.
The ones that ebbed at her frightened her. And Ziva David was never one to cower.
However, considering the world was about to end, pigs were doing aerial ballet, and monkeys were parading out of anuses, Ziva David considers never to be now.
She raises a trembling fist to knock, but the door is thrown open in her face.
Six years, really, are thrown open, because his eyes are just as she remembered- soft, green, brilliant, and easy. His lips are downturned, but in that moment she could outline the contours of his entire body like the constellations in the sky. She knew them so well once.
She could know them again.
And he does that thing he always did- where he just stares, practically drinks her in with that one look, and her knees feel as shaky as her fingers that move to rest in front of her, clasped together. Waiting.
He was still staring, and she was still being eaten away with regret. The seconds throbbed, a bothersome hematoma. And then he moved.
Stumbled, really, into her form.
His fingertips dug into the base of her skull, and his kiss was rough. Bitter, like the taste of the swill Gibbs used to drink. But Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs- and it's all a flurry of limbs, and wet fabric rubbing against skin. She promised herself she wouldn't cry- so she pays no attention to the biting sting in her eyes
He pulled her inside the hotel room, shut the door harshly, and pushed her back against it. She moved fluidly beneath him, almost like a ragdoll. Submissive.
There was an ache in her bones- dog tired. Ziva David felt old.
His tongue flicked inside her mouth, and she forgot.
"Fuck, Ziva," Tony muttered hotly, and shucked her jacket off her shoulders.
She tried to tell him they shouldn't be doing what they were doing multiple times, she really had.
But he had this way- in the twist of a digit, or the grinding of his pelvis, or the dig of a nail, or suck of her breast, or pull of her hair-
Well, the words kept getting lost.
Or, they were too soft amongst the whimpers, moans, and screams.
They go like that for hours.
Eventually, he sucks so hard on her neck it physically hurts, and it's painfully obvious the scratches on his back are bleeding.
It is an unspoken dare; who can mar the other enough to leave a representation of this, whatever this is, for the longest. It is an unspoken agreement; they keep the lasting touches to places that could never be seen by wandering eyes. Judging eyes.
Her mop of damp, ebony curls are fanned out on his chest, her cheek resting on his heart. The silence following is loud, nostalgic. Tony's hand traces the dip on her back.
The sparkle of a ring, apparently abandoned on one of the two nightstands, catches her eye. It's metal, and thick, and weighing.
And although no movement is made, her stomach hollows with the awakening sun.
The rain waned to a drizzle, her morals weeping at the revival of loss.
She realized then, of all times, that if there was one person she'd ever splayed her entire being to, it was Anthony DiNozzo, and it never frightened her more than knowing this would not last.
There is a beauty in saying nothing, but it's not possible there.
"Did you check in with your informant?" he asked her some time later, shifting from the mattress to pick his boxers up off the floor, to check his phone for any messages. She thought it might be wise to follow suit, and entertained the idea of taking his dress shirt for use, but her hand shrunk from it the moment she let her logic win.
She found her wet shirt, and put it back on.
"Yes," she murmured, but didn't think he heard, because he was busy with his phone, texting someone back.
She idly thought of his wife, and contemplated whether or not the lies had always come this easily to him. Yes, Ziva thought grimly, they did.
Chatter was vague, as numbing as the rain had been.
"How old is….uh…could never pronounce it right…"
"Amira? She is nine. Laila called a few months ago. They are well, I think."
The collective thought process drifted away, for a mere moment.
"They miss him."
It was a statement, because Leroy Jethro Gibbs never liked senseless questions, and Tony honored the Boss enough not to make them anymore.
A little while later, they order a bottle of wine. There's a complimentary fruit tray with it, and he watched her lick the strawberry, watched the juice run down her chin- a streak of mirth coloring her brown eyes before she could stop herself.
It felt like old times, suddenly. The proverbial pinnacle was the hungry looks, the ones so wrought with emotion it was mere seconds before he was kissing her again.
He found she tasted like sugary fruit, and he reminisced on hazy nights at her apartment, the ones that were punctuated with whipped cream, and laughter.
The make love on the floor the next time, and it's the proverbial cherry on top.
Ziva propped herself up on her elbow, and threw a withering glance at the closed bathroom door.
He was taking forever, and she really had to pee.
"Tony," she called, "you have exactly thirty seconds before I break down that door, take this key card, and castrate you with it."
There was not a single note of lenience in her voice.
He was out within ten.
"Please, for the love of God, tell me you do not have a hamster car."
He bellied a laugh, reaching out to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. Her cheeks warmed, but she could easily attribute it to the air, to the alcohol, to the sex.
"Ziva, it's called a Kia Soul, and it's the best damn energy saving, money making car on the lot. I mean, have you seen those hamsters?"
Daunting with his show of affection, she risked a little piece of what she has left, and reached out to ruffle his hair good naturedly. Naturally.
He threw her a lopsided grin, and she internally did a victory dance. "If you say so, Tony."
In the next moment, the light banter did a swan dive.
"You seeing anyone?" Nonchalant, he introduced it.
The nerve is raw, though, and remarks are at the tip of her mouth, begging to be spilled, but in the end she concedes. She settled for tensing in his arms, and he noticed, got clued in, backed off.
He accepted her no answer as the only answer.
She could not help herself, not really.
"Where does she think you are?" Ziva panted, moaning, tugging at his hair, holding him between her legs.
She wouldn't let him reply, instead keeping him there, writhing beneath his mouth, an over sensitized mass. Something close to a sob tore from her throat.
"Does your wife know all the dirty little things you can do?"
She wanted to take it back the moment she said it.
A knife in the back, a punch in the gut, a slap across the face.
Yes, Ziva mused darkly, of course she knows what it feels like to be the other woman.
The irony of it all was quite refreshing, in the this is all so beyond screwed up it could be a fiction novel kind of way. Refreshing, it was.
"You don't wear the same perfume you did back then."
No, she doesn't. She threw that bottle out the moment she found the same brand in her apartment.
Her contact texted her, so she ignored him. Wasn't much of a question, anyway.
Less tedious topics of conversation arose.
"You heard from McGee?"
Something close to a smile tugged at the right side of her mouth.
"Abby and he are expecting a little boy in October," she told him.
The ghost of something- maybe envy- was on his face, and then gone. It intrigued her, but she let it be.
"Never pegged her for the type. Ever," he admitted.
Her smile was stretched and tight, this time. "People change."
She wanted to tell him she was sorry, and that it wasn't his fault. That was the point of the covert meeting, of the one pair of clothes, of the simplicity.
She pitied her yesterday self for believing ease could ever be possible, probable.
She had intended to tell him that she forgave him, that they'd have never worked.
But his lips linger. They always have.
And she wonders, idly, bitterly, forcefully, that if he'd never fucked another woman, had her right in their bed, after three years, a ring, and a promise, that maybe, maybe things would be different.
Maybe it would be her with the baby shower, and maybe it would be her with the blithe.
"Can you believe next week it will be two years?"
An elephant sat on her chest, with those words.
She sighed, and she felt old again. Too much to lose, too quickly, too much.
"No," she stated, frank. He shifted a little.
"Maybe we should have a glass of bourbon. Boss would like that, in his favor."
And suddenly, although just moments before all she wanted to do was throw a punch at him, all she could do is get as physically close as possible, nose buried in his neck, squeezing, clinging as hard as she possibly could, because grief is like that. It can take all you have, and give nothing back.
"Gibbs is dead," she said, and he wrapped his arms tight, too.
"I know," he whispered into the crown of her hair, and she'll never admit to it, but she knows the tears on the sheets weren't all her own.
The pillow talk dwindles, and he starts leaving more bruises, and she starts leaving more scratches.
And it's painful, but they have never been more grateful.
Never been more at home.
(A shameful concept they used to muse about between cases and movies and nights on the couch all wrapped up in one another. Home: two kids, a boat in the driveway, a dog, a garden, a shed, a garage, two sinks in the bathroom, everything shared. Dreams, hopes, nonsensical ramblings, and life.)
The falling action was ice nipping at their veins. Like the other woman-slash-the wife. Like Gibbs.
The memories were playing, and replaying in her head. Almost like a timely cinema, withering with the passing time. If a relationship doesn't move forward, it frays.
She remembered when Tony proposed to her, and she had thought, in that moment, that the stars were aligned, that life was perfect, and that nothing could ever, ever go wrong.
At first, she had pitied her past self- made fun of her.
Now, she was jealous.
Because hope, Ziva David realized, is rare.
Rare, and powerful.
The sight made her stomach turn- him, shoving his belt through the loops in his jeans, back turned to her form, still naked, half covered by the coverlet.
The room still smelt of sex, and he never looked at back at her form.
She pretended to be asleep.
She dressed herself, and left in the same fashion.
Bright, purging sunlight bathed her face, and she had to throw up a hand to shield her eyes from it.
The rain had gone.
She climbed the Eiffel Tower alone, fatigued, spent, and took the elevator to the very tip top. The air smelt like leaving, and her nose wrinkled just.
She looked out over Paris, and let go.