So… a second part. I couldn't get it out of my head, so I wrote it, even though the story and the episode don't exactly match up. The two main inconsistencies:

1. We now know that Ziva had never been to Tony's apartment prior to Shiva, but that's where she was in part one of this story.

2. Also in part one of this story, we learn that she knew of her father's visit in advance. In the show, Eli surprised her.

All the events of part one happened, and so did all the events of Shiva. Mostly, this story doesn't directly contradict canon. There were just a few liberties that were taken.


Tony reclines on his couch and takes his cell phone out of his pocket for the second time in five minutes. Again, he checks for messages and voicemails. None and none. This is an irrational ritual; he has the ringer turned all the way up. If she had called or sent a text, he would have been alerted already.

He's just the slightest bit unnerved because she called every day that she was in Israel, and while no such promise was made, he'd kind of expected to hear from her after she landed in D.C. tonight.

Sliding the phone onto the coffee table, he returns his attention to the old Western on his flat screen. Or tries to, anyway. His mind is still on Ziva. He's anxious to see her- she's been gone for eight days- but, at the same time, is nervous at the prospect. Their relationship is in limbo and has been since they made out a month ago. It hasn't happened again. They never really discussed it. After that night, they danced around each other at the office for a couple days, but things returned to normal relatively quickly. The whole situation frustrated him- he had put his heart on the line, made confessions concerning how he felt about her. He couldn't just shrug it off. But he did try to be understanding; dealing with the implications of kissing her partner was probably more stress than she needed, what with her estranged father coming to town.

So he decided not to bring it up. He was going to, but not until Eli returned to Israel.

And then… everything happened.

Her father was killed, and she became the Mossad version of herself. Closed off from everybody. Hell-bent on revenge. A year ago, he wouldn't have been surprised by this, but in the past few months, the two of them had grown closer. So, yeah, he really didn't expect her to repeatedly shun him the way she did. If he's being completely honest with himself, it hurt.

Something changed, though, when he went to the airfield in a last-ditch effort to get through to her. The memory is fresh in his mind, as if it's brand-new: Ziva's eyes welling up. Being pulled into a tight hug. Tentatively wrapping his arms around her waist, unsure whether he was allowed to. Her cheek, soft against his, as he whispered, "At lo levad." The sparkle behind her tears when she responded, "I know."

Soon after they made out, she had said those two words, and she had followed them with, "You are always here." If she does know both of these things, he shouldn't be worrying.


He checks his phone again.


This waiting game is getting old.

Tony sighs. Briefly, he considers calling her, but ends up dialing the number for the takeout place down the street instead, figuring the walk there and back will distract him for at least a little while, and that maybe food will calm his nerves. After placing his order, he gets off the couch. Grabs his keys. Opens the door.

And finds Ziva David on the other side.

They stare at each other for several seconds. She's tan; more importantly, the bags under her eyes are gone. Despite the fact that she's been traveling all day, she looks refreshed.

He eventually notices that she has a large duffel bag thrown over her shoulder. "Here, I'll take that," he says, and half-expects her to argue, but she hands it over. It's heavy; he lets out a grunt that he hopes sounds manly. "Wanna come in?"

"Sure." Chewing on her bottom lip, she does. Tony shuts and locks the door behind her, then places her bag down just inside of it. Ziva stays where she is, looking vaguely uncomfortable. "Haven't been home yet?" Stupid question- she wouldn't be dragging her luggage around if she had.

"No. I got in a couple of hours ago."

Silence falls until he breaks it. "So. How… how was it?"

She doesn't balk, as he had feared. "It was… satisfying," she says carefully. "My father has been buried on the land he loved. All his legal affairs have been handled. I was able to reconnect with family members I had not seen in years." Ziva sighs, shoulders rising and then drooping as if they are bearing the weight of the world. "I spent some time alone. Thinking. Praying. Closure… it seems within my reach now."

"Good." The point of her calls had been to let him know she was alright- she seemed to sense that he was worried. But she didn't offer any information about her activities in Israel, and he didn't probe. He's glad to hear that it was time well spent. "Shmiel stay there?"

"Yes. He sends his greetings and best wishes. You know… he is quite fond of you."

A touch of heat creeps into his cheeks and he ducks his head, embarrassed. He knew this already; Shmiel thanked him personally for 'taking care of my Ziva'. The older man is important to her, and he's one of the few people who has never screwed her over. Having his approval means much more to Tony than he's comfortable admitting out loud. "Yeah?"

She nods, but doesn't elaborate. Instead, she crosses over to stand just a couple feet in front of him. "I missed you," she says quietly.

His heart skips a beat as all his faith in them comes flooding back. "I missed you, too," he breathes. "A lot."

"And I'm sorry."

Tony cocks an eyebrow. "For what, Ziva?"

"For the way I treated you."

"You were grieving," he says quietly. "And that was how you wanted to do it, and that's fine. You were the only one who mattered. Not me. Not anyone else. Don't apologize." Now he lifts one corner of his mouth to give her a half-smile. "But I am really relieved you're talking to me again."

Suddenly, she pitches forward and throws her arms around him. He takes a surprised step back but still manages to catch her, and when he does, he holds her close. Even though she is the one actively seeking comfort, he draws plenty of it from holding her. Tony presses his lips against the top of her head on a whim. She doesn't seem to mind; if anything, she tightens her grip on him.

When Ziva begins to sway back and forth, he moves along with her. It's just their bodies, at first; then they start to step. Left. Right. Back to the left. She brings her hands up, loops them around his neck, and he squeezes her hips. The realization that he is practically dancing with Ziva in his living room hits hard and fast and unexpectedly.

There is no music, no beat to follow, but for maybe minutes and maybe hours, they dance. They dance, and it feels like the beginning of something new.

And when their feet become still and their eyes lock on each other, he sees in her eyes that this isn't just new. This is permanent.

She's always gonna be here, too.