Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine. If I owned it, then things would be different (cough, Tiva, cough).

"The only thing worse than being scared is being scared and alone," Jimmy Palmer to Tim McGee, 10x01- Extreme Prejudice.

Scared and Alone

Tony froze.

It wasn't because of the fact an unknown woman had entered the bullpen, asking for Special Agent Gibbs.

Palmer may have been a genius in his field, but he lacked social interaction and the sense of when a situation was awkward or not. This was probably the wisest thing that had come out of the young examiner's mouth since the dawn of time.

Almost dropping Dearing's file, he ducked down under the walls, hoping not to be seen. However, the conversation had shifted from fear to talk of the under-going case. Sighing, he made his way to the lab, hoping to have a heart-to-heart with Abby. He was usually the one that cracked a joke every few minutes to break any tension, but this time he wanted it to be serious…and real.

The elevator ride was silent and before he knew it, Tony was filled with memories. Those hours with Ziva were filled with sexual tension, innuendoes the occasion mean comment from the 'Icy Israeli.' However, she was probably the only one out of the team he would want to be trapped in the 'steel box of doom.' Gibbs would just head-slap him, Abby wouldn't stop talking, old stories would be said by Ducky, McGee would bore him with McGeek stuff and Palmer would just be awkward.

'I don't think I could take much more of this.'

'Tony will always be the same.'

'We slipped.'

"Really, I though the Earth moved."

"Excuse me?"

Tony looked up to see Special Agent Anna Farren, a pretty young intelligence analyst stride into the elevator. Growing slightly red, she stared at the older agent, whom she had harbored awe for since the rescue of Ziva in Somalia.

"I was just talking to myself," Tony told her confidently, "Just like Ferris Bueller, except he was technically talking to the audience. Breaking fourth wall, you know…"

Anna rolled her eyes at him as the doors closed behind her. The two looked straight ahead, in an awkward mute state.

Ever since the blast, the elevator had been working both faultily and incredibly slowly. It would be several more moments before the two could be relieved.

"I'm sorry about your partner," Tony eventually broke the silence, "I liked her."

"Thanks," the brunette replied sadly, "I guess that she wasn't too lucky."

Cassie Yates, the agent once under Pacci who had worked with them several times had been in the copy room at the time of evacuation. It had been accidentally locked whilst she was turning to get out. They found her body several hours later, eyes dreamingly staring at the ceiling.

The distant ding sounded and the two sighed inwardly in relief. Nodding curtly, Anna exited to the left whilst Tony continued down the corridor.

The lab doors slid to an open and he distinctly heard Ziva's exotic voice speaking.

"If anyone can see the good, it is you Abby."

He was surprised to see his partner initiate the hug. He had only seen her do that once, which was after seeing Mike Frank's body lying on the grey slab down in Autopsy. Other than that, she managed to tolerate affectionate touching.

He turned to leave, hoping to leave them in peace.

"Tony."

He whirled around, partly not surprised at the fact that the ninja had detected his presence. She had latched away from her best friend and turned to him, a slight smile on her face.

"Hi," he strode forward, "If you want me to leave, you can continue your fun…" He grinned jokingly as Ziva elbowed him in the ribs.

"Don't be nasty Ziva," Abby chided, "If you can't kill him when trapped together for several hours, then you cannot do it now!"

The phone suddenly started ringing in a high-pitched tone, causing the half-hearted Goth to rush to it quickly, slamming it to her ear without so much as a "hello." She muttered several times, twirling her freshly-painted fingernails in the cord in a weirdly suggestive manner. Spitting a goodbye, she threw it back down.

"Wow, someone's got their coffins in a twist," Tony grinned, before earning a glare from both females in the room.

"Is something the matter, Abby?" Ziva asked softly.

"No- somebody is the matter!" Abby squished Bert to her chest, creating the farting sensation, "You know Alec from legal?"

"The one who thinks that Ted is a cinema classic?" the resident-movie buff asked.

"Yup, the same. Well, he seems to think that the world revolves around him after he got the broken arm after falling down the stairs during the accident! Anyway, he claims that he cannot get the evidence because of his 'inconvenience' and he wants me to hand-deliver it to him! The nerve!"

"Don't go then."

"I can't," Abby sighed, "Vance is feeling guilty because it was his car that blew up the Navy Yard so he said we must 'cater to the needs of those who were injured.' I'm all for helping people but this is ridiculous! Alec still has his right arm."

Huffing and puffing, she picked up some bags.

"See you later," she strode away, mumbling something about not leaving any forensic evidence.

Waiting several seconds until the coast was clear, Tony and Ziva looked at each other and burst out laughing.

"I do hope she tells Gibbs," Tony told the female, "Then Alec will be straight back to the ER."

"Me too," Ziva slowly stopped giggling, smiling slightly before turning back to the computer, which had several random (and unreadable to the non tech-nerds) dotted around.

"I heard Palmer say something to McGoo earlier."

"I hope it wasn't dating advice because that is the second to-last person that he would want to hear it from."

"Who is the last?"

"You?"

Ignoring this obvious jibe about his current sex life, he paused before continuing.

"Palmer was saying that he at least had Breena to talk to when he got home. His exact words were 'the only thing worse than being scared is being scared and alone.' He kind of ruined it a few seconds later by making an awkward comment, but it was kind of…cool."

Ziva raised an eyebrow, "Cool?"

"Cool," Tony confirmed.

"I think he's right."

It was DiNozzo's turn to be skeptical.

"Really?"

"He has a point. Ryan has closed that chapter on her and Gibbs' life and even though Ducky is such a good man, I do not think he is interested in real love now, merely companionship. Abby could get a date easily, but no-one seems to realise what a great person she is. McGee struggles to even talk to a woman, let alone be with one for a long-term relationship. Then there is us…"

She cocked her brows up again.

"Ah yes, Mr. Commitment-Avoider and the Hermit," Tony nodded, "Good analysis, Agent David."

"I try," she leant close to him, her hair tickling his face. Closing his eyes, she pulled away suddenly. He liked it when she was suggestive.

"Anyway," she continued, "Like I said earlier this year, I don't think marriage and kids are part of the plan for me."

"You said that it wasn't for you then. What about now?"

"Do you see me in a wedding dress? Or sat in a hospital bed, pushing out a handsome baby boy or beautiful baby girl. Tucking them in every night as my husband sings a Hebrew lullaby that I taught him?"

"Yes."

Ziva looked at him oddly, "You do?"

"Everyone deserves to be happy and not alone."

"I am not scared."

"You are," Tony told her, "You just push that away. You don't want to be alone, Ze-vah, you just hide away your feelings."

"What do you know of feelings?" Ziva asked him playfully.

Placing a hand on his heart, he pretended to be hurt, "I am offended, oh cruel one! I know a lot about feelings."

"Really? Name some."

"Hunger, thirst, Hitchcock-withdrawal syndrome…"

Ziva laughed lightly.

"Hey, Ze-vah?"

"Yes, Anthony?"

"Would you like to come with the movies with me tonight? See the thing is, I want to see 'Sinister,' but nobody else will watch it with me."

"You want to be scared, do you?" Ziva staggered forward again, inches from Tony.

"But not alone," he replied with a wink.

I should be updating 'The Manor' but the line bugged me so I had to write it. It was my third favourite after 'Are you freaking kidding me?' and 'The suspense is killing me,' both courtesy of Fornell.

OMG- the premiere was AWESOME! Molly and I grabbed snacks, drinks etc before retreating upstairs.

I LOVED the Tiva elevator scenes- a fair bit of tension! I read an interview in which MW said that 'he thinks it is the year of Tiva!' I started fan-girling.

The Ducky scenes were sad but sweet.

When that woman (whose name has slipped from my memory) started talking to Dearing, I thought she was totally innocent. But that scene was so unexpected- that's what made it brilliant!

I also loved Gibbs' reflexes and Ziva's opinions.

But the end scene had to be the best! I absolutely ADORED it. Did you notice that Palmer, McGee and Abby left but T and Z were still together?

Please review.

Semper Fi xxx