I can only apologise for the lack of updates. Honestly, I had no idea what to write. Nothing seemed to work; therefore, I will be wrapping this story up. I have enjoyed this story, but I do not want to ruin it with rubbish updates. This chapter hopefully brings closure to the tension of previous chapters, and a little insight into those journals and Ziva's inner demons. The ending in Italics are all extracts of Ziva's journal, or what I believe may have been written. Thank you all for the support you have given me and hopefully I will have some motivation for a new story or one shots.
Ziva sat twiddling her thumbs nervously, her coat pulled snuggly around her to keep warm in the cool air. The waitress had offered an inside table, but it felt a little crowded for Ziva's liking. Instead she opted for a table with space, an outside heater overhead providing a light warmth. Only minutes passed before she noticed the always intriguing sight of Abby, her signature black look accompanied by a black lace umbrella caught many a person's attention. Ziva smiled in awe at the independence and carefree attitude Abby carried about herself.
Abby spoke softly, her feet frozen to the spot as she looked down at Ziva, taking her in for a moment. Ziva felt a wave of nerves wash over her before strong arms enveloped her in a tight hug.
"Abs, I can't…breathe"
The goth smiled broadly, stepping back and taking a seat herself.
"I wasn't sure you would come" Ziva sighed sadly.
The invitation to lunch had been an attempt at offering an olive branch. A saying that Ziva still struggled to comprehended despite Tony's explanation. Although things seemed to have eased a little since the shooting, Abby was still a tough cookie to crack.
"We almost lost you entirely Ziva…that wasn't something I could live with."
"I hope we can rebuild some of what we once had"
Abby smiled, her gloved hands reaching out to hold Zivas. Calming the nervous twitch that had settled in Ziva's thumbs.
"I wanted to hate you when you joined NCIS, trust me I tried."
Ziva couldn't help but chuckle, memories of those days as a newbie, trying to settle in a world so foreign to her, trying to understand Abby.
"I tried because I loved Kate so dearly, but I couldn't. You were just…so different yet we became such great friends. When you left without saying goodbye…"
"It hurt Ziva…I really thought I meant more to you. I just felt like I deserved a goodbye"
Tears threatened Ziva's eyes much like they did often now days, but she fought them off. The nip of the cool air sent shivers up her spine, her hands instinctively hugging herself.
"You did…you all did"
Explaining to someone the tornado that had swept her mind during that time was almost impossible. The feelings that had built for so long inside and clouded all rationality just seemed to silly now that she saw the light.
"I can try and explain my head back then, but I don't know how. All I know is I was drowning in my own mind, unable to see any light, any positivity in my life. I had all you guys around me, I had Tony who I loved and yet I still couldn't stay. I couldn't face the demons, so I ran, and I honestly believed It was best for everyone at the time. I am beyond sorry for the way I left, and for hurting every one of you."
"Oh Ziva, I don't want to fight…I don't want to lose you again. I am sorry to for how I have acted, I just…"
"Fiercely protect Tony and his soft gooey insides?" Ziva completed.
"Exactly, he was just…he needed you."
"I know, It took me too long to realise I needed him to"
"Promise me something?"
"Don't ever leave again, promise me you'll stay, that you'll make Tony happy and love him forever"
Ziva grinned, a warm hearty smile that made her heart flutter.
"That I can promise"
Ziva opened the door to her office, the familiar scent of her man hitting her senses. The room was kind of dim, the late afternoon sky slowly growing dusky. The old lamps in the room turned on but barley bright. Tony was sprawled across the couch, buried beneath journals. He had headed over early that morning, and by the look of it he hadn't stopped reading.
"Hey baby" Ziva whispered.
She edged her way inside, shutting the door softly and bringing Tony's attention to her presence. His eyes were red and bleary, his face innocent and heartbroken. He was emotional, more so than she had ever seen before. It stabbed at her heart to see his breaking, but she knew this moment would lead to conversation they both desperately needed to have.
"Come here" Tony whispered through emotions.
He opened his arms, pulling her in tight, holding her close so her head rested on his shoulder, her nose buried in his neck.
"This isn't easy" He mumbled; his lips pressed against her brow.
"We need to discuss these things, for both are sake"
"I just don't know how you did it. How you lived for so many years keeping so much buried"
"I knew no different"
"I don't want to disturb these memories, I don't want to cause pain" Tony said softly, his voice raspy.
"So long as you're here with me, I can do my best to talk"
"So much has happened, so many moments so big"
Tony smiled sadly, overwhelmed by the pages that told so many secrets. That delved so deeply into the mind he had spent years trying to crack. Trying to protect.
In the moment, I hated him. I had felt had towards people before, but for some reason this was different. I hated to hate, and yet I could see no other way. My own pride and embarrassment stopping me from admitting my wrongs. Instead I almost killed him. My best friend. I walked away, followed my father's guide straight into the eyes of death.
My heart saw him as if for the first time, and I knew I could not live without him. My best friend, my partner. The man I hated in front of me, risking everything, his life for me. The pain and hurt across his face broke me. I knew I did not deserve him, yet I wanted him more than anyone. He was my person; I just didn't know if he felt the same.
Returning home was not easy, I was lost and confused, pained and fearful of closing my eyes. I wished deep down that I could go to him, that he would open his arms and envelope me in his safety.
Paris was like a romance novel, those books you read on the plane to pass the time before discarding never to be touched again.
He made my heart beat faster, this feeling that consumed me and left me grinning from ear to ear. I couldn't leave him on the couch, he would complain forever. I kicked up a fuss, but secretly I enjoyed it. Waking up, cocooned in his strong arms, his scent clinging to my clothes. The panic in his eyes as he woke, layering the enjoyment I was sure I could read in his eyes. My cheeks swelled with a rosy blush. He couldn't know how well I slept. I have not slept like that since before Somalia. In fact, I don't think I have slept that well ever.
Sat in that restaurant alone, I have never felt so vulnerable and unloved. I just want something permanent, a family and a home that his not just mine, but ours. I want to be loved, and protected, I want…
He asked me to marry him. I never imagined I would find myself in this position. The possibility of being a bride, of having that ring on my finger, I never realised how much I want that until now. Yet something is telling me this is wrong, that Ray is not the one.
Ray is charming, but he not Tony.
Maybe I am not meant to be a mother or a bride. Maybe it is for the best.
Something is different, since the elevator. A shift in dynamics, a change in feelings. We are closer, we open up more. I have never opened up to someone like I do him.
Abba was not perfect, I know that, but he was still my Abba. The only one I have ever had. I know he loved me, deep down. I am alone, everyone around me just leaves me. I do not want to be alone anymore.
Those that get close get killed. I am a curse to those that deserves better.
He was there, in the moment. A moment of weakness I regret so terribly. He is a friend, a dear one but I do not love him as he loves me. I did not think of him in the moment…only Tony.
The pain in his eyes stabbed at my heart with such greatness I felt sick. The disappointment in those beautiful eyes, killing me internally. I love him but all I do is hurt him. I will not ruin his life because I am broken.
I do not deserve him. The love that he gives me, I do not deserve. He deserves better. He is a good man, a man full of love, greatness and strength. I love him more than words can explain. I write this as tears flow freely, as I shake with guilt and the past.
Goodbyes are never easy, especially with those you love. Avoidance is the only way to avoid heartbreak. I miss my friends, my family but I am weak. Too weak to say goodbye, too afraid to feel those emotions with any more reality than I already do. Saying goodbye to him as torn me apart, but I know he deserves better. I will love him from afar, forever and always. I will love him until the tears no longer fall, and my heart no longer beats. I will cherish everything we ever shared; I will never love another the way I love Tony.
Tony's arms held Ziva impossibly close, his lips kissing her lips softly and romantically, yet filled with lust and desperation. Every word he had read opened just a little more insight into her mind, her thoughts and feelings that had controlled her for so long.
"You don't ever have to keep anything inside, I am always here Ziva"
"I know you are Tony; I have always known"
"You will never not be loved by me, I promise"
"And you will always be loved by me, forever and always"
"You and I will weather every storm together, hand in hand"
At the end of every storm, is a rainbow.