I do not own NCIS; no infringement is intended.

This is different for me. I don't write Tiva. Mainly because until very recently I haven't been much of a fan of the pairing. I think that subconsciously I've decided if I support Tiva maybe the powers that be will give me Mcabby. One can wish. Right?

Anyway, thank you very much for reading! Please review, reviews are so appreciated. Since this is a new venture, let me know what you think. Thank you for reviewing!


There had been blood. There had been adrenaline and fear. Now, there was the fact that Eli David was dead.

It was hard to process. How did that even happen? The details were fuzzy but it was impossible. This wasn't happening. Eli was the constant bad guy, their eternal foe. The one they could always count on to complicate their lives. As weird as it was, Eli was always expected to be there, lurking in the background. It'd almost be like if Gibbs... No, he still couldn't imagine that one. Eli was supposed to throw them rogue agents and generally mess up Ziva's life. Dead wasn't an option.

Ziva. What was the Ninja going to do now? Eli was the last of her family, granted that was mainly because he'd been implicated in most of their deaths, but still, he was her father. Tony was sure she didn't have that many great memories of him, but this was going to kill her. She'd basically disowned him after the whole Somalia thing yet somehow Eli had wormed his way back into her life. Snakes were good at that.

He didn't want it to be necessary to put his partner back together again. Last time, it had taken so long before their Ziva was back, the one that they left in the desert. Even now, she wasn't quite the same. Torture tended to change people and she'd been on the wrong side that time.

Post elevator. That's where they were now. Post elevator and she was going to be sad. That was going to kill him. Because she was Ziva and Eli was her father and even though he'd tried his hardest, his daughter wasn't totally emotionless. Ziva David should never have to be sad. He couldn't fix this.

And it got worse; she was hurt. Not as badly as her father, obviously, but enough. Hurt Ziva, physical and mental both, was painful for all of them, himself leading the pack. She didn't know how to stop. She didn't know how to slow down.

As many times as people, her father, had hurt her, she still didn't know how to handle it, only compartmentalize and save the pain for a later date. A date that never seemed to come. She couldn't hide from this one. Drops in the bucket of the dead.

He could relate. He had lost his mother, his dad was well... his dad. Did Ziva even have a mother? Was she another person lost to the storm that was Eli David? So many things they had never talked about, and they had talked about many things, in this new era. A deluge was coming. How bad was this going to be? Because he knew it was going to be bad. She had lost everyone. Officially. And it broke his heart.

He was waiting with the others in the waiting area. Through the glass doors they had been able to watch, to view unimpeded as Ziva had entered her father's room. She'd been in there for awhile and Tony would literally have given anything to know what was going on. He had slowly made his way away from the rest of their team.

Not team. They weren't a team tonight. Family. If he thought he could get away with it, he would have his nose literally pressed against the glass that seperated him from the only place he wanted to be. He wasn't a child. Grown-ups were able to keep their faces off the glass. He could hold out. Maybe.

An eternity later, Ziva emerged from the room. She managed to make it all of two feet before giving into the wall and sinking to the ground. Her back to them, he couldn't tell if she was crying or in shock or if she simply didn't have the will to stand anymore and had given the power over to gravity.

Before he could fully process what he was doing, Tony found himself being drawn to her as if by an invisible magnetic force. All he wanted to do was hurry yet every step he managed to take seemed to spur three more that needed to be conquered.

The course of the distance complete, he made his stop alongside her. Once she had realized she was no longer alone, her eyes rose to meet him. He half expected her to have a dead look about her that often came up along with unpleasant happenings and memories.

Instead, he found quite the opposite. It took him a minute to place the look in her eyes, one that didn't come out of Ziva very often. Trust. Complete and total trust. In him. She seemed beyond solidified in the knowledge that he would know what to do, that he would take care of her and save her from this mess, from herself.

At that point, there was no other option but for him to act. He had always been going to do something. However, until that point, he had not known his own plan. Tony was after all the wild card. Limbs, half-acting of their own accord, he knelt and scooped her up into his arms.

Ziva, totally dependent on him for the first time in their relationship. He would not mess this up, couldn't afford to make a wrong move. Pausing for a moment, he carefully balanced her and turned to retreat back the way he had come. But not to the waiting area, there had to be somewhere else, somewhere quiet.

He vaguely checked for the status of the others as he moved forward. This was his territory. He loved them, but they needed to keep back. No ambush. They all seemed to realize and respect the boundary he had unconsciously drawn. He took them in as he processed. Mcgee keeping Abby wrapped in his own arms to contain her well intentioned concern, Ducky attempting to tactfully not watch them.

Tony was sure they were like a really gruesome car crash; you knew you shouldn't look, but you couldn't turn away. This wasn't going to happen. He was not going to make her go through this in front of all of them. It wasn't fair. He had no plan, not really thinking about his actions. All he could focus on was removing her from the floor, letting her stay there was beyond not right.

What now? Where did he take her? Why was it always them? Why was it always her? He was stalemated in the hallway. Before he could come up with a solution himself, Gibbs had appeared. Words being generally unnecessary for the boss to prove his point, Gibbs pushed open a door a few feet ahead of them. Tony didn't question. Who ever questioned Gibbs? Especially now.

He edged past Gibbs into some room. Tony didn't know it's intended purpose but it had a sofa and a door. Those were his current requirements and it met both. He doubted it was an office but if anyone else needed it, they would have to wait. This was more important. Ziva was more important.

Once they had made it into the room, Gibbs shut the door and backed away, closing them off. Tonight, she was not one of the adopted children that the boss had found, not the Mossad assassin or the federal agent, tonight she was Eli David's daughter. After everything, it still meant something. Flesh and blood.

Tony made it over to one of the sofas and sank down, taking Ziva with him. He didn't have the words, no idea what to say to her. Her father was dead and Tony didn't know the appropriate response. Eventually, the others would have to be let in.

Later, that wasn't too much to ask. Now was for them, later was for the others. Lacking necessary actions, he kept holding her, brushing back her hair, allowing the silence. Quiet was okay for now, and there was so little that was okay. Within the depths of himself, he knew that it was going to be a long time before anything was okay again.