A/N: This story has been floating around my head all summer, and it's finally almost all out on paper. Therefore, i'll be publishing it over the next two days before the season premiere to tide me over until the premiere! 2 days left! Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do own the rights to NCIS or any of it's characters.



Rain is pounding on the pavement outside and lightening is crackling over head when Ziva finds herself outside the worn wooden door to his apartment. She's not quite sure what she's doing here at half past midnight; after all, she has been through explosions before; theoretically, she should be handling this the best out of all of them. However, forty-eight hours of no sleep, hospital waiting rooms, and too many lifeless bodies have led her here on autopilot, frozen in front his door, hating herself for the display of weakness.

"So, are you planning on standing out here all night, or…?"

Tony's voice causes her to jump, her eyes snapping up from their intense scrutiny of the hallway carpet to meet his pale green stare. Dark circles outline his eyes, his face drawn, body leaning heavily against the doorframe, a mirror of her own exhaustion. She tilts her head slightly, fixing him with a concerned gaze; it's clear she's not the only one not sleeping.

Wordlessly he steps aside, jerking his head gently toward the living room. Following quietly, she lowers herself onto the living room sofa, twisting her hands nervously. Contrary to office gossip, it's been years since she randomly showed up at his apartment, and she has no real excuses or reasons for her rekindling of the action now; only that his presence allows the panicked tightness in her chest to decompress slightly, and that for the first time in her life, she is terrified of being alone in the wake of tragedy.

With a small groan, he settles beside her, resting an elbow against the back the couch and fixing her with a tired smile.

"Well," he attempts lightly, "do you want beer or tequila for this party?"

She smiles feebly, "Can there not be both?"

He laughs, her smile widens. She picks a random movie from his collection while he grabs the glasses.

In the end, they don't say much, shots are poured in relative silence, and beers are sipped in time to the quiet dialogue of a movie she's not paying any attention to as they both stare at the screen in an attempt to forget the horror currently playing out around them. Eventually, the liquor lulls them to sleep as she curls into the corner of his couch, his steady breathing and soft snores a comforting lullaby.


A/N: End of chapter 1! Next section will be up soon, maybe even before you finish reading this. If you enjoyed, please click the lovely review button below, reviews make my day, and this is my first multi chaptered fic. :D Thanks for reading!