NCIS and The Blacklist don't belong to me

You'll find it in the strangest places

"I'm fine, Dad."

Anthony DiNozzo Sr. stared at his son; Junior was obviously not fine. For one thing he was still in the same place Abby and McGee had left him in – an hour ago - and secondly, and more importantly, tears were running down his face.

"I'm so sorry, Junior," Senior said.

"I'm fine, Dad," Tony repeated. He was far from fine; he doubted he'd ever be fine again. How could Ziva be dead? It was inconceivablish like Sigourney Weaver had said in Heartbreakers. Beyond inconceivablish, really. They'd not made any definite plans but Tony had been so sure that he would see her again, that they would meet up and even get that happily ever after which was so elusive these days; that they'd at least get a chance to hang out, but no, she had died in a fire so far away from him.

Life was so unfair!

He shook his head and saw his father looking at him. Senior was so sad. Suddenly Tony couldn't take it anymore; he had to get out of there.

"I just need some air," he told his dad, who was looking at him like he was about to break. "I'm not going to do anything stupid, I promise."

Senior watched him go reluctantly and as soon as Tony shut the door behind him, he grabbed his coat and followed him.

000

Donald Ressler stared at his desk willing the tears not to fall. He never cried, why was he crying now? He had held it together at the funeral and watched Aram breakdown and even shaken his head in wonder when he'd taken some days off.

His desk became blurry before his eyes and Ressler shut his eyes.

How could Liz be dead? How could Red have let that happen? He wiped his eyes and stood up. He needed some air.

He ignored Samar's questioning look and hurried out of the Post Office. He didn't care where he went but he just needed to be someplace else.

000

"How can she be dead?"

Ressler didn't know that he'd spoken aloud until the man seated next to him at the bar spoke.

"That's the question I'm asking myself too."

Ressler looked at him; he was older than him, dark-haired, handsome, well-dressed, with red shot eyes like he'd been crying recently.

Normally Ressler like to keep to himself which is why he'd chosen that hole-in-the-wall bar; no one would think to look for him there but seeing the grief in the other man's whole demeanour he decided to speak.

"You lost someone too?" he asked the man.

Tony looked at the younger man; he was good-looking, with red hair, well-dressed with red shot eyes. He was clearly in mourning too.

"Yes," Tony agreed, "I did."

"How did she die?"

"Someone blew up her house," Tony said.

"She was shot," Ressler offered.

They both stared at the mirror behind the bar. They'd been sitting there for about twenty minutes but they'd both not ordered a thing.

"She was a colleague," Ressler said, "I mean; we were friends but nothing more." Tony wanted to point out that his behaviour indicated that it was more than that but kept silent. After a while Ressler continued, "she was married to Tom, she had a child with him and she loved him."

"But you loved her, didn't you?" Tony asked him.

"I…" Ressler floundered, "I…yes, no, maybe, I don't know but I guess it doesn't matter now that she's dead."

"I love Ziva," Tony said, simply. And he did; he regretted having not told her; having left her alone in Israel but she had needed time and he hadn't wanted to push, he'd sincerely believed that their time would come, that they would get to a place where they were both ready and start their lives together but now that would never happen.

"Who blew up her house, do you know?"

"Yes," Tony replied. The whole team was looking for Trent Kort and he was sure that he was a matter of time before they found him. He couldn't wait for that to happen. "What about your Liz? Do you know who killed her? Why they killed her?"

"Yes," Ressler replied. Alexander Kirk would be in their sights soon enough; he was nothing without his financing and Reddington was confident that he was going to crawl out of the rock under which he was hiding. Ressler was conflicted; he didn't know if he wanted Kirk dead or not.

"Do you think finding the killer will ease the pain?"

"No," Tony replied, nothing could ever ease the pain of losing Ziva, "but at least we'll have justice for our girls."

"That's something I guess." It suddenly occurred to Ressler that Red would not let Kirk live; that he'd just shoot him where he stood. He turned to his new friend and forced a smile, "I have to go."

"Something to take care of?"

"Yes," Ressler replied, "it was nice to meet you; I'm Donald Ressler, by the way."

"Anthony DiNozzo," Tony told him.

Ressler hurried out of the bar. He had to stop Red.

Tony watched him hurry out and decided to go back to the Navy Yard. It suddenly occurred to him that no one had called him to update him on their progress.

He would correct that oversight.

000