A/N- Sorry I haven't been updating my stories in awhile, I've gotten so busy with work and assignments and stuff. But anyways here's a new chapter, hope you enjoy :) There is a few bad words in this chapter. And also thank you for the reviews on my last chapter!
*"Well where do I begin?"*
"From the beginning Tony."
"Well when I got the call I..."
"DiNozzo, the very beginning."
Tony sighed, lifted up his beer again and drank it, taking his time before talking again.
"Yeah, I know. Well when this curly haired, Israeli assassin in combat boots and cargo pants walked in to the bullpen that day I knew there was something special about her. But it took me awhile to warm up to her, especially when she got the liaison position. We had just lost Kate and there was Ziva, sitting at her desk, Kate's desk. It felt like she was replacing Kate. Well, eh, I know she was but you know what I mean Boss."
"It took everybody awhile to warm up to her. Abby disliked her, a lot. Ducky, well, Ducky was Ducky. McGee was kind to her but still didn't fully trust her. And you..."
Tony put down the bottle and stared at Gibbs.
"You welcomed her with open arms, you trusted her with your life from the second she became a liaison officer. You never do that. It took you months to warm up to the whole team. Okay well obviously you trusted Abby and Ducky but Tim and I. It took you ages to fully trust us. But Ziva, was different."
"She was different."
Gibbs emphasised the "was".
"Awwh come on Boss. Surely there was some reason you welcomed her, an Israeli assassin possibly sent to kill us all, into the team. Especially after what Ari had done."
"She earned my trust."
"Fine. Well then after a few weeks it felt like she was there for years. When we went undercover together it was perfect and she was amazing in..."
Gibbs cleared his throat loudly.
"Oh eh sorry Boss. Then we were locked in a metal box. Several of them actually throughout the years. Plenty of bonding time. The post-elevator us, plenty of knees included."
Tony finished the beer and set it down.
"Things were fine until Rivkin showed up."
Tony shivered at the name, it brought up bad memories for everybody.
"That was the first time in three years of friendship that we had ever had a serious argument, the first time she really hated me.
"Then there was Israel. That was the toughest goodbye, if you'd even call it that. A few months later she was dead and then she wasn't, but she may as well have been."
Tony now looked close to tears. "What that bastard did to her, nobody should ever ever have to go through that."
The thoughts of them few months ran through Gibbs' head on a daily basis. It made him sick to think of what she went through and what was worse was he felt he could have prevented it all.
Tony coughed and continued. "When I seen her in that chair, the fact that she was still alive, that was when I realised that there was something other than friendship between us but of course it took weeks to even repair that. Life was fine after that, she was happy, I was happy, things were normal for a change but then the P2P killer came along. When she was taken I felt like the next time I was gonna see her was wrapped in plastic with her throat slit but she survived that too. Her heart got broken by that asshole CI-Ray. Then the Navy Yard was blown up, them few hours in the elevator were something else, but I knew that connection was there again. I could tell that she realised it too. And here we are today, I just wished I told her how I felt."
"She knew Tony, she knew."
Tony nodded and they sat in silence. It was only when it was said aloud that Gibbs realised the full extent of what Ziva went through. There was more than enough hurt and torture in her short life for 10 lifetimes.
DiNozzo eventually stood up and went to leave.
"Tony, you've had a lot to drink, you're not driving home."
"Oh right yeah okay."
"Take my spare room."
"You sure Boss?"
"Yah DiNozzo, go on up"
"Right, thanks Boss."
DiNozzo went upstairs and found the spare room, he dropped straight onto the bed and fell asleep instantly.
Gibbs watched him go and sadly turned back to whittling the pieces of wood for the coffin. He had known for a long time that they were in love with each other, it was obvious. The sad thing was that neither one of them would admit it when they both were alive. He sighed, knowing that Tony would never get over this, both her death and the fact he didn't tell her how he felt.
Gibbs put the wood back down on the bench, he couldn't do it anymore. He went upstairs and threw himself onto the couch and lay there, staring at the ceiling. Then he remembered something.
He pulled himself up from the couch and walked over to the cabinet, he pouched around in a box for a minute before pulling out a picture. It was a rare one of him and Ziva. They had their arms around each other and both had big grins on their faces. The whole team had been out drinking and a slightly drunk Abby had been going around taking pictures of everybody. She was over the moon when she managed to get one of Gibbs.
He closed the cabinet door and lay back on the couch, staring at the picture. He would give anything to go back to that time. He sighed and a single tear rolled down his cheek. He eventually drifted off to sleep.
Gibbs awoke the next morning to find Tony making coffee.
"Oh sorry Boss, didn't mean to wake you, there's a fresh pot of coffee there."
"Eh thanks for last night Boss."
Gibbs nodded and gave Tony a slight smile. Tony returned the smile and grabbed his coat.
"I'll see you later."
"Yeah see ya Tony."
Tony then went home to have a shower and get breakfast while Gibbs made his way into work.
When Tony arrived in to the office, everybody was there, including Ducky, Jimmy and Abby.
They sat in silence, finishing off paperwork. Every so often they'd glance over at Ziva's desk, as if they were expecting her to be sitting there.
The silence was soon broken by the Director.
"I thought I gave you the week off?"
Gibbs grunted and muttered "paperwork".
"That can wait until you come back can it not? Go home and take a break."
Tony snorted but immediately started coughing to hide his distaste with the Director's idea. Gibbs glanced at the team, who all had the same looks of disapproval on their faces, before replying.
"Not happening Leon".
The director stared at them for a few seconds and realised that he was never going to win this battle so he turned on his heel and walked back to his office.
Being at work wasn't exactly the best place for them to be, but then neither was being home alone. At least when surrounded by family they could not be overwhelmed by their thoughts.
The only noise that came from the bullpen throughout the day was when somebody offered to go and get coffee or sniffling from Abby who was sorting through Ziva's desk. She didn't want to have to do it but the team had decided that there could be something of sentimental value to them that they could have as a keepsake. It felt wrong, but they knew Ziva wouldn't mind.
Eventually Ducky spoke up and asked the question everybody was thinking but hadn't wanted to ask.
"What about a funeral?"