note: Really, I have no idea where this came from. I literally wrote it, like, two hours ago. And whilst I need to update Serenity, and I do want to write something based on the promo ET gave us (oh my gosh that promo- if you haven't seen it yet go and search it now, it's incredible. All of us on Tumblr completely freaked out, it was hilarious.), my muse decided to spout out this angsty-ness instead. Hooray. Enjoy, and please leave a review if you like it.

disclaimer: You know you're obsessed with NCIS when you buy the song from the promo five seconds after watching it.

listening to: Made of Stone, my Matt Corby. (It's the one from the promo, haha.)

The wind whips round him as he walks up the hill, leaves catching in the surge of a breeze and swirling round. His hands are stuffed deep into his pockets, a scarf wrapped tight round his neck. It's not winter but it's damn close.

A familiar sight rises up in the distance and he absentmindedly wonders if he should have brought some more flowers. The ones from a week back are wilting already, petals flying off and catching in a sudden gust of the harsh wind.


He sits on the ground, right in the spot he's become so used to over the years.

"Don't hate him, he couldn't make it down. Besides, I guess he had to grow up sometime." he says, referring to his son. Their son, who is no longer the child that brings paintings from Kindergarten to place by his mother's grave.
"Apparently Sophie's great. They might be moving in together next year. And yeah I know it's pretty soon, and he's still young, but he and that… Brian guy need a roommate, and I didn't want to say no."

He looks at the stone in amusement, imagining the way his wife would've rolled her eyes.
The harsh reality is the gravestone is the same as ever; it does not smile or chuckle, just displays the inscription he's long-since memorized. His heart strains, more than it usually does when he sits there. He guesses it's all just catching up with him suddenly.

"God, I miss you Ziva. Everyone... told me to move on- they said I would do, over time. Well, except Gibbs. But you're still so stubborn, how am I supposed to move on from you? Oh, I don't know..." He trails off to catch his breath and swallow down the ever-familiar lump in his throat.
"The thing is, though, I don't want to move on. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, y'know? You still are- we were a family; I mean, we have a son. He's a great, great kid, Zi. You'd be so proud of him, you know that? He's left home, he's all grown up, he's fallen in love... He got the best of both of us, he really did.

"God I wish you could see him now. I wish I could've... seen you with him as he grew up. I'd like to think I've done a better job with him than my Dad did, but together we would've been great. Oh, Dad says hi, again. The nurses are treating him well, apparently."

He pauses once more, this time just watching the leaves float past as they rise and fall.
"I still have the dreams. They stopped for a while, last week, but... they're back."
His breath catches again.

"I just wish I could've stopped it. I was right next to you, and I didn't see it coming. In... in the, erm, dreams, it just replays everything. The blood, the... shot. Y-your... you, just lying there. Oh god, Ziva, there was so much blood."
He's crying by now, gasping for air as tears roll slowly down his cheeks. His voice breaks and cracks every few words, but he can't stop. Will not stop.

"And... I couldn't do anything, remember? I just had to hold you. I-I couldn't stop the bleeding, or help at all. You just lay there, barely breathing. You didn't... respond, to me, when I kept telling you why you had to live. I said that we had a son, and he couldn't grow up without a mother. I said that Icouldn't live. But goddammit you didn't do anything! You just wait, and… said you loved me.

"Gibbs... h-he pulled me away, before I could say anything back, remember that? And they took you away. You didn't even die in my arms, Ziva. You died... in an ambulance, on the way to a hospital. Couldn't you have given me something other than that?!"

He's had this argument with her many a time before, yet the words by no means come easily, even after all these years.

"And then I wake up, every night. Screaming, like I did then. I... I don't know what to do, Ziva. Tell me what to do."

The gravestone is as unforgiving as ever.

"Ha. Look at me. Past fifty, unemployed, alone, and talking to a lump of rock. Y'know, Ziva-"
He stops short as a leaf hits him on the cheek, and he chuckles sadly.

"Even from beyond the grave you want to shut me up."
Another leaf files to his face, rather painfully this time.

"Hey! That's not fair!"

Something inside him hopes another piece of foliage will drift in his direction, but he knows that's just wishful thinking.
Breathing deeply, he picks up the two leaves, plus a few more, and tightens his hand round them.
"I love you, Ziva."

And he lets go.

Go watch the promo, yeah? :D