A/N—I'm back (however small this story may be)! It's interesting how "Double Blind", of all the episodes this season, would be the one to get me to write another piece, but I had some strong thoughts that needed "voicing". It's become apparent over the past few seasons that it's not Gibbs or Rule 12 or any other people that stand in the way of Tony and Ziva getting together (besides maybe the writers), but it's actually just themselves. THEY stand in the way of allowing this to finally happen. And I think what it comes down to is Fear. Whether it's fear of what could be or should be or what will be, I think these two characters are simply too afraid due to past experiences to allow themselves to fully move toward that possibility (though right now, it's mainly Ziva that seems to have these fears). This is a look at their possible thoughts following the warehouse scene.

(Skip this next paragraph if you don't want the personal ramblings of a Tiva fan) I think I was more distraught over this episode than I had been in quite awhile; this was quite a downer of a Tiva episode. I'm not sure what had me so particularly upset about this one, but when I think about it, I think it was the looks on both of their faces in the warehouse scene that really got me. They were both so...pained. If it's not already very apparent, a major reason I enjoy this series is the dynamic between Tony and Ziva. Seeing such a gap open between them so quickly after such progress...I admit I was a bit heartbroken. And I also admit that those feelings most likely had an effect on the way this short story was written.

As she rode along the nearly empty D.C. streets, Ziva was driving far more passively than usual. She stared at the road in front of her, not really seeing, the windshield wipers occasionally flicking small droplets of water from her field of view. Her mind was drifting, her thoughts preoccupied.

She kept seeing the hurt in his eyes, the feeling of betrayal. And she despised herself for that. After all he had done for her, being there for her when she needed him most. Why had she done it? The more she thought about it, the more affirmation she had for her original reason: Weakness. Yes, she was weak. I am weak, she thought sadly.

But, strangely, it wasn't this realization of this personal trait that bothered her so much. It was the ramifications of it, the effects it had on other people, on him, that caused her pain. She really had hurt him. And that look on his face swam before her once more.

Feeling her eyes sting, she slowly pulled to the side of the road. Putting the vehicle into park, she brought her hands to her face and just closed her eyes, thinking of people, places, all the things that had led to their current circumstances. And that self-loathing came back to rear its ugly head. Why must she always do this? Push away, that's what she'd always done. Whatever Tony was to her, he of all people didn't deserve to deal with her inability to keep close the people she cared about most.

Opening her eyes, she stared sadly at the fallen rain on her windshield, his words coming back to her in her native tongue: At lo levad. "You are not alone." Gripping the steering wheel, she closed her eyes again and brought her forehead to rest against its cold leather, thinking despairingly to herself, But maybe that is what I am destined and deserve to be.


It was later at night as he drove down a quiet D.C. street, the rain pattering against the windows. There was no one on the road, and as Tony drifted further into thought, he let his frustrations get the better of him, driving faster and not as cautiously as usual.

As he drove, the day's events replayed over and over in his head. If he was being honest with himself, truly honest, yes, he was hurt. How could she do that? he thought as the street lights flashed quicker by the windows. This past year, he had opened up to her, bared his true self more than he'd ever done before. He thought they were going in a different direction with...whatever it was they had.

How could she just shrug off what I'd said? It's like it meant nothing... He was angry with her, with Adam, with Parsons, with himself...

He clenched his jaw and wrinkled his brow, a heavy sigh escaping him as he briefly closed his eyes. It was more than "nothing"...but maybe she didn't see it that way.

As this thought took residence in his head, he heard a car horn blaring and his eyes burst open in time to see headlights coming straight for the side of his rental. He slammed his foot on the gas, accelerating just in time to avoid the oncoming vehicle. Reaching the other side of the intersection, he immediately braked, his heart pounding.

Pulling to the side of the road, he turned the car off and unbuckled his seatbelt, twisting around: He'd ran a stop sign. Turning back around, he brought a shaking hand to his forehead, his heavy breathing reverberating in the empty car.

He looked over at the passenger seat, unoccupied but for the shadows of rain drops that clung to the window. He slowly reached over, his forearm resting on the console between the two seats, his hand dangling into empty space.

Looking at the vacant seat, he heard that phrase echo in his mind: At lo levad. And he felt mocked by his own words. His hand hanging limp over the seat, he thought morosely, I am alone. As the realization of this set in, he felt its weight push on him, his head falling heavily against the headrest. I am alone.


And on two separate D.C. streets, miles away from each other, two lonely people sat in their cars on the side of the road as the uncaring rain continuing its rhythmic drumming.

A/N—Thank you for reading. Feel free to comment, review, and criticize. Hope you all enjoy the season finale next week :)