Author's Note/Disclaimer: Obviously I don't own anything. I wrote this in the aftermath of Double Blind. Tony seemed so sad about Ziva sleeping with Adam, but not in the same way he's been jealous of boyfriends before. I wondered if there might be a reason for that.
Not Important Enough to Hide
The last thing Tony expected when he finally made his way home that night was to find Ziva waiting outside his door. Before Gibbs had been escorted out of the building by Parsons' Posse (as Tony was mentally referring to the group of agents) he'd turned to his team and told them all to go home. Tony, Ziva, and McGee had stood frozen in the bullpen, staring at the elevator their boss had entered in handcuffs. It was several minutes before any of them even noticed that Vance had disappeared into his office. And it wasn't until Abby had raced into the room that Tony had the wherewithal to move.
After Abby had cried on McGee's shoulder and Ducky had offered to give Parsons a demonstration of the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, the now leaderless team had silently agreed to go home and reconvene in the morning. There was nothing they could do for Gibbs now. No doubt Vance was already calling in favors. They might as well all get some sleep.
Tony had tried to catch Ziva's eye as they all packed their stuff for the night. But the former assassin was studiously avoiding his gaze. Tony felt a weariness sink into his stomach, a feeling he hadn't had since watching Gibbs leave Ziva on a tarmac. It seemed like so long ago. It seemed like yesterday.
He hadn't gone straight home. He'd ridden the metro for what seemed like hours, not even caring what stop he was at. Before, when he needed to clear his head, Tony would drive aimlessly around DC. It was good for thinking, but did require a certain level of mental awareness. The one benefit of having to rely on public transportation was that you could just ride. Let the sounds of the wind rushing past the windows lull you into a daze, without having to worry that you'd wreck yet another car.
He'd found himself riding the VRE past his stop in Alexandria all the way to Union Station. He'd walked around Columbus Circle for a while, not really seeing any of the tourists or political operatives that flitted about. Eventually he'd gotten back on the train and returned to his apartment. He wasn't looking forward to going in. The place that used to be his sanctuary was going to be anything but. He'd done what he swore he'd never do, he'd let someone in. And now there was no place left to escape.
Trudging up the stairs Tony tried to decide whether to order pizza or Chinese food for dinner. Before he could make the decision, however, he turned a corner and found Ziva sitting with her back to his front door. He stopped, nearly tripping over his own feet.
They regarded each other for a silent moment. Neither sure what to say, neither wanting to be the first to speak.
"Could've used your key," Tony said, finally breaking the silence.
Ziva slowly stood up and wiped imaginary dust from her pants. "I did not want to presume."
Tony chuckled humorlessly, "I bought a new bed for you Ziva. I don't think using the key I gave you is a huge presumption. Even after today."
With that, he reached past her and opened the door. They made their way into the apartment, placing backpacks side by side in the entryway. Tony went to the kitchen and picked up a takeout menu. "Pizza?"
Ziva nodded from her place in the small dining room. Tony placed the order and set his phone down on the island. It was too much. There was only so much a person could be expected to take. In the past weeks his entire world had been turned upside down and now with Gibbs…it was just too much.
He made his way to the living room where Ziva was standing at the piano, running her hand over the white keys. In that moment, watching her, seeing the tension in her shoulders, realizing the way she fit seamlessly into his space, he had an epiphany. It really was too much. It was time to end this pattern. It was time to grow up.
Ziva must have sensed his presence because her hand stopped trailing over the piano and she turned to face him. Her eyes held no tears, but Tony could read the sadness, the fear in them anyway.
"Tony," she began, "Adam was…I didn't…"
Tony held his hand up to stop her. "I'm tired of this game Ziva. I'm tired of this back and forth and wondering and doubting and half-truths and secrets. I don't want to have a conversation where I ask you if it meant anything and you assure me it didn't. I believe you. I may not like it, but I understand. It's late. Gibbs might go to prison. And the last thing we need is to play another episode of Tony is jealous of Ziva with another guy. I've done that. It's not nearly as much fun as the last couple weeks have been. I'd rather be the guy making other guys jealous." He grinned at her and she gave a soft smile in return.
Tony took a breath and continued, "I just need to know one thing."
Ziva nodded and closed her eyes, bracing for anger, waiting for condemnation.
Tony walked closer and reached out to take her hand. She laced their fingers together, like that night in his car. Tony squeezed gently, the motion causing Ziva to look at him. "Did you mean what you said to me, the night you killed Bodner? Do you still mean it?"
This was obviously not the question Ziva was expecting. Her eyes searched his, looking for any trace of insincerity, any hint of the resentment she knew he must feel. But Tony just stared back at her, his mind and face clear of anything but hope. Tears finally welled in Ziva's eyes. "Of course I did."
Tony closed the distance between them and pulled her into his arms. "Then right now, and from here on out, that is all I ever need to know." He kissed her temple and pressed his face into her hair, relishing the feeling of her arms wrapped around his middle. "I love you Ziva," he whispered. "And nothing in our pasts is worth losing this. No more secrets, they aren't important enough to hide."
Ziva nodded against his chest, letting out a shaky breath. They stayed like that, drawing strength from the embrace, until the doorbell signaled the arrival of the pizza. Tony kissed her head one more time and then went to pay for the food.
They ate in comfortable silence, still both keenly aware of the struggles their team would go through in the coming days. Yet both willing to allow happiness to seep into their lives if only for a few fleeting moments of calm before the storm. When the pizza was gone, they cleaned the kitchen, changed into pajamas, brushed their teeth, and fell into bed.
"You know," Tony said as he pulled her against his chest, "I don't think I'm ever letting you go back to your apartment."
"Oh?" said Ziva. "And how exactly to you plan on accomplishing that?"
Tony grinned at the return of their playful banter. "Well," he said, kissing the back of her neck. "I have ways of being very persuasive."
Ziva tensed for a moment and Tony was afraid he'd said something wrong. "Are you not afraid you would soon get tired of me being here all the time?"
Tony pulled her a little further into his arms. "Never," he said, and he was a little surprised to realize he meant it. It was true this wasn't his sanctuary anymore. It was theirs. It was the place that had kept her safe when Bodner wanted her dead. The place she'd come after Bodner died, bruised and cut and telling Tony she loved him. The place where her toothbrush looked so normal next to his. The place where she played the piano and showed him pictures of red convertibles.
It had been his hiding place, but it could be their home.
"Besides," he said. "This new bed is way too big without you."