Started working on this new one, and I am really starting to get into it. I have a feeling this will be a rather long one so be prepared for that :P However my updates probably won't be as fast as they used to be because I'm working a lot of courses and late nights lately so I don't get as much time as I would like to for writing, but I'll do my best.
I hope you like this one.
Dedicated to my very own partner in crime, Bianca.
To begin with she didn't think the idea of spending two days with Sarah and her friends at a day spa would really be able to keep her entertained, but maybe she'd forgotten just how relaxing it was, and how fun it was with a group of humorous women. She didn't normally take time off work, hardly ever, and Gibbs was surprised when she asked for the time off but he'd happily let her take it, because they haven't been busy lately and they had no case.
It was good to get away for a little, even if it was only a few days. Any longer than that and in all honesty she would actually miss it, because she loves her job, no matter long the hours and how hard it could be some days.
It wasn't until the moment Gibbs walked into the day spa, with that look on his face and she thought that maybe she was going regret taking the time off. She stood from her seat and placed down her wine, approaching the older man with the stricken look upon his face. She didn't like that look on his face, that worry so dark in his eyes. What had happened while she'd been gone? It couldn't be that bad, right? She hadn't even been gone for very long, only a day so far. However the look on his face told her otherwise.
"Gibbs?" was all she said, and it held all her questions in the one word. Why was he here? What was wrong?
"I'm sorry to have to do this" he whispered. One, Gibbs doesn't apologize, two, he hardly ever lowers his voice quite like this. It had her terrified. "You might have to end your day off" he said. She notices the way his hands toy with each other, that was not normal in any instance with Gibbs. And that's when she first notices the blood around the cuffs on his sleeves. Her heartbeat quickened almost right away.
"What happened?" she asked, taking a step closer to him. He was too quiet, too quiet for Gibbs. "What happened?" she repeated louder, more demanding. He was struggling with telling her for some reason, why? He lifted his eyes and looked right into hers. She knew why, because of who it was. He knows she won't take news like this about her best friend too well, her partner. Gibbs knows how close they are.
"He's in the hospital" Gibbs stated, starting to fill her in. It was hard, because she wasn't going to like this. She was going to get very upset and he doesn't want to be the trigger to set her off, but he's going to have to. She's ticking away and just waiting for him to pull the pin that'll set her off.
"How bad?" she asks. She's trying to make this easier for him to say, easier for her to take in, because just the look he is giving her right now tells her it's bad. Very bad. And all the while Sarah and her friends watch on. No one except for Sarah understands who the old guy is, or what's going on. And Sarah has enough wits about her to keep quiet, because this doesn't sound good, and she knows how Ziva handles bad news. Normally not the best, but no one could really blame her. It could go one of two ways, and Sarah doesn't like seeing her friend experience either of the two.
"He's been shot" Gibbs explained. Ziva took in a sharp breath and her head immediately spun. Why wasn't she there? She should have been there, no matter what. She's meant to have his back. Always.
"Where?" this was the most important detail, this explained everything she needed to know. Because this will tell her exactly how serious it was. Gibbs goes to say the word but it took him effort to force the word from his mouth, and as soon as he said it, she froze.
She heard two voices calling her name, one was Gibbs, and the other was Sarah. She looked around and suddenly she saw the both of them standing in front of her, trying to get her to respond.
"The head?" she suddenly burst out with, realising what he'd said before she'd frozen still. She was terrified, worried, upset, angry, and it was all crushed into her at once. She felt like breaking down, but she knew that she had to be strong right now. Gibbs nodded slowly while Sarah was looking at her very concerned, and not only for Ziva, she knows Tony and even if she doesn't know him that well, it was still upsetting for her to hear. And she knows just how much this is crushing Ziva right now.
Ziva takes in a deep breath and closes her eyes, trying to calm herself down. She needed to be calm and collected right now.
"I'm sorry Sarah-" she began to apologize for leaving but Sarah quickly cut her off.
"No, do not worry about it, it is fine. You go see him, make sure he's okay, alright?" Sarah asked, she hoped he would be okay, she didn't know too much about gunshot wounds to the head, but she's sure they are very serious. Ziva nodded at her and gave her a small smile, a very sad smile at that. "And call me okay?" Sarah asked. She wanted to know if he was okay, and she wants to know how she will be holding up after seeing him and finding out exactly how bad it is.
"Yes, I promise" Ziva assured her as she took her into a tight hug, something she really needed right now and Sarah knows she's not a big hugger, and that the hug had been longer than normal. But she needs it.
She's quiet the whole way to the hospital and Gibbs doesn't know if that is a bad or good thing. He half expected her to be asking a thousand questions, who the person was that shot him? Did they get him? Was Tony responsive? But no she didn't say anything in the ride there, and it felt like such a longer trip than it should have. He couldn't help but shift his eyes to look across at her constantly, wondering if he should say something? Because he could see the way her hands were shaking ever so slightly and the way her breathing was off and her eyes glistened in a way he wish they wouldn't. This was going to really break her, if it hadn't already. Because he's seen Tony, he knows how bad it is.
To be honest, he doesn't know if Tony will pull through.
The first time she speaks up is when they pull into the hospital car park.
"Did you get him?" she asked as she stepped out of the car, looking over at Abby's car which she can see a few spaces down.
"Yes" was Gibbs' returned answer, and that's all she needed to know about that, all she needs to know is how he is, but she would rather judge that by seeing herself, because Gibbs' face had told her as much as he can.
She follows Gibbs as he takes them to where she needs to be, and she's almost hugging to his side as they walk the corridors in the hospital, because she needs to be closer to people right now, not that she would admit that though. But Gibbs understands. They hit a corridor and suddenly the horror of what happened hits her a little more. McGee is pacing the shiny white floor, he has far too much blood covering his clothes for Ziva's liking and she realised that he must have been the first one to get to Tony, and how hard he had tried to do everything he could to save him.
Abby was sat in a plastic chair to the side and watches with tears in her eyes as McGee walks in front of her, if what happened hadn't hurt her enough, watching Tim be as distraught as he is kills her. And that didn't make Ziva feel too great. Ducky walks around the corner with a doctor then and they are in full conversation, Ducky seems to be on the edge of arguing with the doctor and that's something she doesn't really see from the gentle soul he is. Maybe the doctor wasn't giving Ducky the information he needed.
Tim suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked up at her and Gibbs when he felt their presence, and he didn't try hide the fact from her that there were tears in his eyes, however he did fold his hands over his chest in an attempt to hide his blood stained shirt, however she'd seen enough already to know how bad it was. Tim goes to say something but then he suddenly closes his mouth, Ziva turns to Gibbs and realized he'd given the younger agent a look that said he shouldn't attempt to apologize to Ziva. Why would he be apologizing to her anyway? Tony wasn't hers.
Abby must have caught the look too because she stays more quiet than expected. She didn't like anything of what she was witnessing, she didn't recognize half of the people she is seeing right now, they were all acting so different to how they should, and that really bothered her. Even if she wanted to break down right now, she would not let herself do it, she would not cry.
Ducky and the doctor's argument made its way to them and the doctor sighed as he looked at the upset group of federal agents in front of him.
"He's just got out of surgery" the doctor began, exactly how much has she missed? "He's stable, but in a coma" he said and Ziva was starting to get her answers. And it wasn't good, just like she had suspected. It looked bad, very bad.
"When will he wake up?" Ziva asked, speaking up the first time since walking into this building. She was more worried about the look Ducky gave her after she asked, because the doctor was probably used to putting on a mask when it came to these situations, Ducky not so much when it's someone he cares about.
"I am unsure at this moment" the doctor said, and that's when she broke, that's the sentence that set her off.
"What do you mean you're unsure at this moment?" she almost yelled, making Abby jump a little in her seat from the sudden outburst. She was taking the angry path right now, it was either that or the emotional breakdown. However she knows that will follow later at some point regardless.
"With an injury such as his, it is very hard to tell when, or if he will wake from his coma" the doctor tried to explain calmly, however Ziva was no longer in a calm mood, she'd held herself together all the way here, but now she could not help but let some emotion out.
"If!?" she sounded incredulous, there was no thinking 'if' to her, he cannot die, not on her watch.
"There is a very slim chance for people with this injury to come out of the coma, even if he did he has over ninety percent chance of some sort of brain damage" the doctor was trying to explain to calm her, but it was in turn just digging him an even deeper hole. Gibbs saw her go to take a step forward and he put a hand on her shoulder. She turned to look at him and there was such a deep look in her eyes, her eyes were so dark with emotion. And so suddenly, just a look from Gibbs and she was going from almost wanting to strangle a doctor to hopeless and broken. He watched her eyes tear up and her lip quiver.
"Can I see him?" she asked turning back to the doctor, her voice just above a whisper this time. The doctor hesitated for a second but then he saw something in the younger woman, maybe he saw just how close she is to his patient by the heartbroken look in her eyes. He could just tell there was something.
"He's been moved to ICU, but I can take you to see him" he agreed. Ziva just nodded quietly and followed the doctor to the room that Tony was now situated in. She doesn't know if she wants to see him, she doesn't want to see the destruction first hand because it would make it even more real. But she knows she has to see him. She wants to see him more than anything at the same time.
No one follows her from their team, maybe they are just giving her some time because they realize this means more to her, if that was even possible because they all loved him so much. It was just different for her. She hesitates at the door of his room because she sees him lying there, not responsive and there's a big machine he's hooked up to and tubes down his throat. He's pale and the contrast from the blood on the dressing on his head doesn't help her twisting heart.
She takes small steps into the room and slowly makes her way to the side of his bed. The doctor leaves her in peace to herself, because he doesn't believe he needs to intrude. She reaches out and gathers his hand in hers and the stark coldness of his hand doesn't feel right. He's meant to be warm, her Tony is so warm and he's never this quiet.
"You're going to get through this Tony, we are going to get through this, okay?" she states quietly as she runs her thumb gently across his cheek. She understands that he probably cannot hear her right now, but this was more for her than anything. Because she needs him to pull through, her life wouldn't be the same without him in it.
No one else could be the partner like he is to her.