A/N So it's been a while since i wrote a Tiva fic and i figured it was about time i did again. Hope everyone enjoys this. Please review :)
Summary: Stuck in an elevator, not knowing if the rest of the team got out alive and with nothing else to occupy their thoughts. It should be the perfect time to make them confront their feelings and finally be honest with each other but as always, something gets in the way. One of them is running out of time, will they be rescued in time or are the MCRT about to lose yet another member and friend?
'I'm not going without you.'
The others ran ahead in the frantic rush to escape the building but even amidst the craze and terror that every individual seemed to be exuding Tony could not help but let his body be taken over with a flood of warmth at Ziva's words. He turned to her just as the elevator doors began to open, meeting her eyes with a tiny grin and opened his mouth.
Just as a tease was about to escape his lips there was a deafening boom that came from somewhere all too close to them and the entire building shuddered violently, sending them careening into the metal box, the doors closing behind them and sealing them in as sharp bits and pieces of the roof came tumbling upon them.
Ziva crashed into Tony's side and automatically clutched at his waist, eyes squeezing shut in fear as she felt his strong arms encase her as they crashed harshly into the metal wall. There was a series of crashes and creaks and Tony spun their bodies as they fell completely to the ground so that his body covered hers. She hit the usually smooth elevator floor and gasped as something dug into her back. Everything was still for a moment, both breathing raggedly and holding tight onto each other, until Tony pulled back slightly so they could seeing each others faces, brows furrowed as he searched her for injury.
She met those familiar eyes with a grimace, then a tiny smile of reassurance, but it quickly slipped from her face when the elevator lurched once more and one of the huge metal panels from the roof dangled precariously for a split second before suddenly falling.
She wanted to warn him but there wasn't even enough time for his name to pass her lips as the heavy slab landed on top of him along with the other pieces and with a hard hit against the back of his head he was sent into unconsciousness.
The added weight sent whatever she was laying on further into her lower back and she gasped once again, pain rushing through her body at an alarming rate.
'Tony,' her voice was reduced to nothing more than a whisper and she used all her strength to push him off her and get him lying on his back so she could lean over him. Her limbs trembled with the strain as she raised a hand to smooth over his cheek, then slap him lightly. 'Tony!' Her vision blurred and doubled and she couldn't hold herself up anymore.
Her head fell to his chest, hand still on his cheek and as she drifted away she muttered out his name in a desperate plea one last time.
Tony stirred, groaning and lifting a hand to hold his head as it throbbed. He cracked his eyes open and was actually glad at the lack of lighting in the contraption he was currently caged inside. With that thought everything suddenly came rushing back and his eyes flew open, mind on only one thing.
'Ziva!' He looked down at the weight on his chest and felt his whole body tense when he saw her eyes closed and her whole body relaxed and disturbingly still.
He ignored the pain all over his body, knowing as he moved he had a concussion and lots of bruising but nothing was broken. He gently laid her beside him and hovered over her. 'Ziva.' he called out to her once again as his hands moved meticulously, carefully all over her body, trying to find what was wrong and why she wasn't waking up.
He had no idea how long they had both been out but he knew it was long enough that whatever was wrong with his partner had already affected her complexion, her skin growing paler by the minute.
One minute he was frantic, everything moving and breaths sharp and loud in the relative silence of the rest of the elevator, the next everything stopped. His hands found what they were looking for as they slid around her back and suddenly the air wouldn't come into his lungs and a bout of instantaneous nausea made his stomach drop and his throat constrict.
He pulled his hands back and looked at them in horror, fingertips coated in sticky, red blood.
Blood... Ziva's blood.
He lurched backwards and was motionless for seconds.
No, no, nononononono. He blinked multiple times, clearing his eyes of dust and moisture and was suddenly disgusted with himself. Get up DiNozzo, she needs you and sitting here in shock isn't helping anyone.
He moved back over to her, movements slower than usual and gently tilted her towards him, cupping her head and rolling her by the shoulder. He craned his upper body to look over her and once again tried not to panic as he saw what moments ago he had been touching.
Metal that had obviously been broken into various pieces in the blast were lodged in Ziva's back, there were three. One small one just below her shoulder blade that didn't look deep enough to have caused any real damage, one slightly bigger at the back of her left hip, not near anything vital but deep enough that blood loss could become a serious problem... and the last one. Tears blurred his eyes as he starred at it, wishing with everything in him this was all just a nightmare.
It was long, embedded deep right along her middle back, from waist to hip. He ran a hand over it, squeezed his eyes shut, praying that he wouldn't hurt her and tugged at it very lightly to ascertain its depth. He felt like crying out when it didn't budge, obviously going deep into her. The positioning meant everything was in danger; her spine, her lungs. The only upside being it was on the opposite side to her heart.
'Okay... okay,' after taking her pulse, weaker than usual but still even, he turned her over and laid her as gently as he could on her front, stroking her hair gently out of her face before standing, shakily moving to the side panel and wrenching open the emergency phone compartment. He picked it up and miraculously it started ringing instantly.
Gibbs had left Abby outside with the paramedics, though she looked upset and obviously needed to be comforted he still had to account for the rest of his team. He sprinted the stairs and made his way to the bullpen, trying to ignore the dust and debris that littered the usually familiar room. His eyes darted, trying to find purchase on what he was there to find. His mind flooded with relief when he saw McGee standing on the other side of the room, seeming stoic and out of it, starring at his beloved computer. All Gibbs could think was how much of a relief it would be a hear one of DiNozzo's smart-ass jokes about the "Elf Lord' right now.
He approached is junior field agent cautiously. 'Hey Boss.' From his voice no one would guess the boy had just been in the middle of a life threatening explosion.
'You okay?' He got straight to the point, he had found one of them but that was still two less than he needed. Considering the amount of life lost in the past hour he needed to find them quickly to set himself at ease.
'Yeah, i think so. You?'
The team leader just sighed then, having no answer to that question. 'Where's Tony and Ziva?' He decided instead of answering the question, continuing to take in the damage that surrounded them.
'Um,' McGee blinked heavily then and began to remove his jacket. 'It's hot in here, i ah-'
Gibbs looked up, hearing something wrong in Tim's voice. 'Hey!' He called for him to stop and marched over to him, pealing back his jacket to reveal a rather large shard of glass gruesomely sticking out of the boys stomach.
'Oh.' McGee swayed slightly on the spot and Gibbs immediately went to support him.
'Come on, Tim, let's get you out of here.'
He lead him all the way out of the building, arm never leaving his subordinates waist. Once outside they were immediately surrounded by three men and a stretcher which McGee half-consciously slumped down onto.
'Oh my god, Timmy!' Abby was rushing to his side, eyes wide with questions as they met Gibbs.
'He'll be fine Abs, just take him to the hospital for an x-ray and some stitches and call me when you're done.'
They began to move out when they heard him call them back. Gibbs jogged to their side and leaned over McGee, shaking him lightly to get the younger man to concentrate on him.
'McGee, come on, i need to know if you know where Tony and Ziva are?'
The injured mans head lolled to the side slightly but he swallowed and then his mouth opened. 'T-Tony made an emergency call from... from the elevator but the line cut out seconds into the call. Ziva is with him. They said... They s-said he sounded panicked a-and his voice was ssslurred.'
Gibbs nodded then and they rushed him away, Abby's eyes begging him to call her if he found out anything about the two still in danger. His heart beat quickened further and his mouth went dry. He had to get to that elevator, he had to be there when they got it open.
He headed back into the falling apart building.
Tony sat back on his haunches, hands fiddling, running through his hair and keeping busy in any way he could think of to keep them off his still unconsciousness partner. He knew moving her could just cause more damage but it had been almost an hour and his panic level was beginning to rise to hysterical the longer she was out.
He only lasted another minute before he couldn't stand it anymore. He needed to have her in his arms. Needed to feel that she was still warm and that her heart was still beating.
He shifted closer and gently turned her again so she was no longer face down, supporting her body so her back never hit the ground, trying to avoid looking at the smudges of blood on the floor that had slowly been growing. He painfully maneuvered himself, feeling his various bruises and scrapes, some quite deep, and bodily picked her up, arms under her knees and around her waist with extreme care. He sat with his legs straight out in front, back leaning against the cool wall and settled her sideways onto his lap. He nudged her head so it lay underneath his chin and brought the hand previously supporting her legs to brush a sweaty strand of dark hair away from her face.
He breathed a sigh of relief at feeling her weight on him, it was more comforting than he had imagined, now all he needed was for her to wake up.
Suddenly, as if brought on by his thought, he felt her head shift against his chest and a tiny groan escaped her lips. He looked down, eyes wide and hopeful.
'Ziva? Ziva, come on baby talk to me.' He barely noticed the endearment pass his lips and didn't bother to dwell on it. This wasn't the time for denial or backtracking, he didn't care if he revealed too much in that moment. Who knew, maybe even the shock of how bizarre that word fell between them would be enough to bring her back to him completely.
She shifted once more and he tilted her head back so he could see her eyes flicker and open to slits, staring straight into his eyes.
'Tony.' Her voice cracked on his name and he could see her swallow in an attempt to gain back some moisture.
'Hey Zi, look at those beautiful eyes. Keep 'em open for me okay?'
She nodded weakly at him, laying her head more heavily on his chest. 'What happened?' Her voice was still scratchy and filled with pain but she was awake.
'Some of the glass got you and you've been out for a while. Rescuers are on the way though, I've heard them outside trying to get in the passed half hour so you gotta hold in there a while longer.'
She nodded again but this time her eyes scrunched shut in obvious pain and then her body and face went lax.
Tony felt his heart pound against his rib cage and his whole body seemed to jump into action. His hand rose and slapped her lightly on the face. 'Hey, nonono, come on my ninja, you gotta stay awake. Stay AWAKE!'
Ziva felt a myoclonic jerk bring her forcefully back to wakefulness. She once again looked up into Tony's face and let a tiny smile pass her lips at the panic and worry embedded on his face. She couldn't feel most of her body and she knew what the effects of mass blood loss were, even in her state she could diagnose her own symptoms easily.
The banging outside the doors of the elevator were getting louder and they both knew it couldn't be much longer. They both also knew Ziva probably only had minutes left.
Ziva raised a her shaking hand and gently caressed his cheek, smile wobbling, breathing becoming harder now.
Tony tried to stop his tears but he knew and understood the look on her face. His arm was still braced around the uninjured part of her back and he could feel the blood running over his arm, slowly but surely draining her. He felt her hand touch him and the last of his strength disappeared.
Tears slowly began tracking down his face and his hand reached up to hold hers to him, knowing her would only have the strength to maintain the contact on her own for a few seconds and not willing to give it up.
'Tony... I don't think-' Though soft, her voice was steady and sure and he sucked in a breath, grasping her hand tighter.
'No. Quiet Ziva. Just concentrate on staying awake and they'll be in here in a couple of minutes.'
She smiled up at him again and he felt his heart pick up to double time. She was still beautiful but her complexion was now void of most of her natural colour, eyelids drooping and hand becoming weaker in his. He could hear her breathing getting more and more laboured and suffering. 'God Zi, I can't let you say goodbye.'
Her tears now descended as well. Even in these circumstances, worse than anything else they could imagine, they both still knew how the others mind would work and what would come next. Just as they both knew that his words wouldn't stop her from doing what needed to be done, they never had.
'Tony, I wish - we h-hadn't wasted so much time.'
'I know Zi, me too sweetcheeks.' They both shared a heartbreaking smile at that, remembering the last time he had called her that and how different it had been.
He let go of her hand and it placed it on her stomach, using his to wipe his face clean and then bent down over her. He once again brushed strands of hair away from her face and then gently laid his lips against her forehead, dwelling there for a few, long seconds. Then he moved so they just barely skimmed down the length of her nose to the tip.
In that moment Ziva was glad she was numb to the pain as she could focus, as much as her hazy brain would allow, on the feeling of his lips on her that she had longed for for years. She sighed in contentment as his lips ran along her jaw and then lifted before, finally, falling square on her lips.
It wasn't what either of them had imagined for their first kiss; not physically deep, filled with desperation and hurt and fear but the fact that it was the two of them, Tony and Ziva, made up for it all. The sensation of lips to lips was better than their dreams and felt deeper than anything they had shared with anyone else in their lives.
Not wanting to steal any more of her breath than necessary, he pulled back after a few short, yet endless, seconds and let their foreheads rest together as they breathed each others air.
'I love you Ziva.'
Her eyes sparkled.
His hands trembled.
'I love you too .'
Gibbs had been standing to the side while a handful of men worked on getting the elevator doors open so hey could retrieve his agents.
After shouting abuse at them upon his arrival and subsequently being threatened with being told to leave he had quietened and decided to passively glare until they finished their job.
'Okay,' he heard one of the men say finally, 'we're in, open 'em up.'
Gibbs pushed himself off the wall and stepped up to the doors, crouched to the floor to account for the elevator being stuck just below the floor and prepared himself for anything.
The doors slowly opened and Gibbs swore he felt his heart stop at the sight in front of him. There was glass, metal and other sorts of debris all over the elevator floor, the emergency power lights casting a sickly blue-gray hue over the cold box, smears and droplets of blood all over that made him blanch in disgust.
In the corner were his agents, looking tiny slouched against the far wall. His eyes quickly took in their position, noting with panic that Ziva's eyes where closed and her body slack. He lifted his eyes to meet DiNozzo's and the look on the younger mans face terrified him.
He looked panicked and desperate and almost like he had given up and it had destroyed him to do so.
Tony's voice was raspy as it called to him and his voice shook so much with emotion his teeth where chattering together every few words, his eyes dropping from Gibbs' to look frantically over every inch of his partner and hand running over her face, down her neck, to her stomach. 'Boss, please, i d-don't know... She was awake and I had her with me but then. Oh god, she's gone, I c-can't get her to wake back up.'
The medics that had been on stand-by where making their way in already, getting the senior field agent to stand and lay her on a fold-able stretcher that had only just fit into the confines of the elevator. They made quick work of getting her onto her stomach and strapping her down, all the while Tony babbling over their assessment, telling them to be careful and not to hurt her, tears leaking freely onto his dirty cheeks.
They hurriedly climbed back out with much difficulty and helped Tony out as well. Gibbs concentrated on them long enough to hear them call that she still had a pulse and rush her out. Tony's eyes were glazed and he automatically tried to run after them until Gibbs grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him forcefully.
'DiNozzo! Do you need to be checked out?' He had to be sure everyone was okay and Tony could just be running on adrenalin, which, if something was seriously wrong, could be the death of him and he wasn't willing to lose one, let alone two, agents today.
Tony's eyes slowly lifted to him and suddenly rage filled them, a look Gibbs had never seen directed at him from the boy he'd known for 10 years.
He voice was surprisingly steady and calm, deep with emotion and soft with menace that seemed like the tiniest thing would trigger. 'Gibbs, let me go NOW! They can not leave without me and if they do I'll hold you solely responsible and I don't care if you're my boss, if you make me leave her there's no saying what I'll do.'
It was in those seconds that for the first time in his entire career, Gibbs was truly afraid of another agent. Tony seeming to tower over him, no caring emotion left in those orbs... At least, not for Gibbs. He felt a flicker of fear and then just felt devastated, letting go of his agent and watching him sprint the way the Ziva had gone and disappear without a seconds hesitation.
What happened next would make or break Tony and from what he had seen, he didn't like the chances. He wearily moved to follow as well, Ziva's soft, pale face and McGee's look of shock running through his mind over and over.
A/N So, what did you think? I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I've missed writing Tiva so with this promising new season ahead of us hopfully there'll be more coming soon. There is one more chapter to this story that should be up in the next few days.