A/N#1: We're nearly at the end now. Only the epilogue left after this. The title of this chapter is one of my favourite quotes ever. Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going. I'm not too happy with this chapter to be honest. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, just not how to say it. Tony and Ziva went OOC too, so sorry for that. But I thought it was time I updated, so here it is!

I've only just got my laptop back after a two week ban because I was suspended from school. I may have accidently punched this girl in the face. To be fair, she had it coming because she gave a massive rant in PSHE about why being Emo or Goth is totally 'wrong'. I'm Emo, and I found it really offensive so I stood up, walked over to her desk and hit her. Most of my class found it quite funny and cheered, but the teacher wasn't amused. I was suspended, put on report and got punished severely.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this, and please look out for the epilogue which should (hopefully!) be coming soon!XD

Santa: Right elves, Jess wants a doll, Dan wants a train set and Chloe wants NCIS.
Elf: What's NCIS?
*Gibbs headslaps the elf*
Tony: Come on! Naval Criminal Investigative Service! Why has nobody ever heard of us?
McGee: Every single time!
Ziva: It drives me up the hall.
WALL! It drives you up the wall, not hall.
Ziva: How do you drive up a wall?
*Tony facepalms*
*McGee facepalms*
*Gibbs facepalms*
*Santa and his elves facepalm*
Santa: Well, I don't think Chloe's getting NCIS for Christmas. Ho ho ho.

Chapter 12: Scars Remind Us Where We've Been

She stares at the mirror in her hand, wishing that the disfigured face staring back at her belongs to somebody else. But it's her. Her new appearance is permanent, and something she'll have to get used to over time. The fire was three months ago, but the scars will last forever. The damage was partially to her lungs, but mainly to her skin. She gently applies the burn cream, skimming her fingers across her cheek. Bringing the mirror up to her face once again, she lets the tears fall, tears of disgust at her reflection. The psychiatrist she sees tells her that dwelling on her appearance is bad for her fragile mental state, but she can't help it.

She's fully aware of the door opening, but she doesn't acknowledge it. She only looks up when she feels the couch dip as he sits next to her. He gently pulls her into his arms, a gesture that's become almost daily over the last few months. He knows that her appearance is a delicate subject to broach, but that now, if ever, is probably the time to do it. Tony gently eases the mirror out of her shaking hands, and sets it down next to her. He tilts her chin up slightly, forcing her to meet his eyes.

"My face is… scarred," she says shakily. "It will be this way forever. I feel ugly. I am ugly."

"No, Ziva. You don't get it. You're beautiful," he says, bringing his hand up to gently caress the puckered skin of her cheek.

Tears slowly course down her face. She's cried more in the last few months than ever before, and she feels weak. The sudden spurt of emotions she feels are overwhelming. She looks up, meeting his concerned gaze and finds herself staring into his eyes, which are full of something she can't quite place. Once again, she stares into the mirror, but she doesn't see beauty; she sees disfigurement.

"Take a good look in that mirror, Ziva," Tony says quietly. "Tell me what you see."

"Scars," she whispers, barely audible to the human ear.

"Is that a bad thing?" She nods her head. "It's not. Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Your scars show how strong you are. You could have died, but you held on. Even when your heart stopped, you didn't let go."

Taking Ziva completely by surprise, Tony suddenly stands, and lifts his shirt up, exposing his abdomen, which is just like Ziva's face, neck, shoulder and chest. This is the first time she's seen how the fire affected Tony, and hit shocks her. Whilst his scars are less visible than hers, they are still there, and they cover most of his stomach. She gently reaches out to touch the skin, flinching as her hand makes contact with the rough surface.

"I have scars too, Ziva. They may not be as visible, but they're there all the same. You're not alone," he says. He sits back down next to her and brings his hand back up to her face. "You're beautiful," he repeats. He gently presses his lips to her temple, down to her cheek and finally onto her lips. The touch sends shivers of electric pulsing through their veins, and he slowly moves back.

This time, it's Ziva who leans in. Sparks fly, as the sexual tension that's slowly pent up between them over the years reaches its climax and explodes. The kiss soon becomes passionate; his hands thread into her hair and hers come to rest on his back. His tongue roams across her lip, clumsily begging for entrance. She accepts without hesitation, and their tongues dance together, in perfect rhythm with each other. The need for oxygen soon becomes too much, and they reluctantly pull apart. Their heads are spinning with happiness.

"Wow," is the only word Tony can muster.

Ziva just giggles, something so unlike her nature.

"Ziva, I love you."

"I love you too, Tony."

A/N#2: Awh, so fluffy! I'm not good with romance, so please tell me how I did. It's so cliché, and so unlike me to write! The end is near, with the epilogue already half written. I'll try to get it up by the weekend, and I'll try not to deck anyone else!XD