A/N: I was reading another fan fic and something sparked this idea. No idea how good it will be, but I'm gonna try. This is going to be a one-shot, unless I get some crazy high number of reviews (like, 50). But I doubt that will happen, so please enjoy this rather longish one-shot (Besides, I don't know where it would go really… you'll see)
P.S. This takes place after 7x01 "Truth or Consequences", but before 7x02 "Reunion".
She was fighting back tears. He could see it as he sat as his desk watching Abby embrace her friend. The toughest of them all, who'd endured weeks of pain and torture, was fighting back tears. He almost couldn't believe it, but then again he'd be blinking back the urge to cry, too. Everything would be too much, too overwhelming, if he were in her position. After so many thoughts of hopelessness, loneliness, betrayal, and despair, the fact of being alive and safe would be uncomprehend-able. Yet, because she was Ziva, she held it together. Tony envied that, yet at the same time, felt a tad sorry for her. Her own father, Eli, had ingrained into her brain that emotions were a weakness.
That was another uncomprehend-able fact.
That night, after McGee and Ducky and Palmer and Abby had all bid their good-byes and left, it was only Ziva, Tony, and Gibbs sitting at their desks. They were the only ones still in the building besides the director. All had massive reports to write, pertaining to the rescue mission. Gibbs glanced at the clock; it was 2100 hours.
"I'm going to get coffee," he announced and departed from the squad room.
This left Tony and Ziva.
"You sure you're okay?" Tony asked quietly.
"For the fifty-first time, I am fine," Ziva whispered, not meeting her partner's gaze. "And yes, I have been counting,"
"No you're not." Tony observed, shrugging off the 'I've been counting' remark. "Even with all your mucho Mossad training and locking up your feelings, there is no way in hell you can be okay. I can see it in your eyes Ziva; you are not fine, by any means."
"You do not know me, Tony," she replied coolly, yet hurt and betrayal seeped through the words.
"I only want to help you Ziva."
"Do not act like I am helpless," she shot back, still at whisper-level.
"Fine. Deal with it all on your own; alone, like always," he fired back before standing up and grabbing his bag. Storming out of the bullpen and into the elevator, he realized that he shouldn't have snapped at her. She'd been through enough and even though she wanted to pretend she was fine, she wasn't. He sighed and figured that he'd go sit in his car for a few minutes in order to allow time for the tormented Mossad to calm down.
He was right but he was also wrong. Yes, she was upset. Yes, she was not okay. But he should have seen through the lie. A tiny voice in the back of her head said that he did see through her lie but she kept pretending she was fine. And then he left.
A single tear fell from her left eye.
All her fault, all her fault. She couldn't do anything right. Tony was mad at her finally. She'd been awful to him and he'd still played nice. But this time she'd gone a little too far.
That's how it must be with her father also. She still didn't know why he wasn't the one who rescued her. Saleem had told her that Eli didn't care.
She knew her father was head of Mossad, but shouldn't he care about her a little more?
He'd cared about Ari. And Tali.
When Ari was killed, Eli said it was Ziva's fault, even though he'd heard the cover story of Gibbs shooting him. He said that she should've protected him.
When Tali died, Eli had cried. He'd broken all of his rules about emotion and cried.
But when Ziva, his last living child, was being tortured in Somalia… he didn't care. Not good enough. You're just not good enough. Ziva told herself as the tears flowed.
As she sat, alone in the almost darkness, her thoughts drifted to Michael. She winced as she remembered bursting into her apartment, to find her lover dead, and Tony with a gun in his hand.
The tears came faster now.
She wasn't good enough for him either. She loved him, more than she would ever admit. But he'd loved Jeanne. And before that, she was pretty sure that he'd loved Kate, too. Would he even care if she died? Would Tony be as torn up and depressed over Ziva's death as he was about Kate's? Jenny's? No, snarled a pessimistic voice in the back of her head.
Jerking open the drawer of her desk she pulled out her boot knife that she hadn't carried (or used) in many months, since it was not necessary in the United States at NCIS.
The pain. The pain. It was going to kill her. It was going to take her heart and soul and mind and body and twist them all violently until she was nothing more than a mangled corpse.
But no one would care.
She made a tiny slit at first. The pain was barely noticeable. It was nothing compared to what Saleem inflicted.
Ziva drove the knife deeper but did not cry out. Mossad, Saleem, and her damned father made sure of that. They wouldn't care that she was doing this. They wouldn't care if died.
She plunged the knife in further, dragging it up towards her elbow.
Michael was dead; she could join him. Ari was dead; she could join him. Tali was dead; she could join her. Jenny was dead; she could join her. What was stopping her? She would die one day, eventually. She should end it all now. She'd be joined with her friends and family sooner. No one here in the living world would miss her that much.
Her left arm was now practically gushing blood; a steady stream flowed from her veins. Salty tears still streaming down her face, she moved the knife from her right hand to her left. Every muscle and fiber and cell in her left arm screamed in protest as she began slicing her right forearm as well.
Gibbs would be mad. He wouldn't be sad.
Ducky would be disappointed.
The Director would be furious.
Tony would be agitated.
McGee would be stunned. Palmer would be stunned.
Abby would be sad. She'd be the only one. What was one person on Earth worth, when she could be in the afterlife with her brother and sister, lover, and guiding friend?
Finally, the pain began to seep into her mind. Icy hot, it streaked from her arms to her head where the agony remained. Every cell, every micro-millimeter burned with a white-hot intensity. If she was somewhat sane, she'd note that this was more than she'd cried in her entire life.
The elevator pinged open
Fifteen minutes had passed from the time that Tony had stormed out. The elevator pinged open and he stepped out, already preparing an apology in his head even though Gibbs would probably head-slap him for it later. He didn't care. He expected to find Ziva still sitting stoically at her desk, working on her report. Gibbs had insisted that she go home and rest. Hell, the whole building had. She didn't listen and they'd all given up hours ago.
What he didn't expect was Ziva sobbing.
With a knife in her hand.
And blood flowing freely down her wrists.
Immediately, Tony seized the knife from her blood-slick fingers then dropped his backpack on the floor next to hers. He took her hands into his own and gazed into her eyes, trying to comprehend what she'd just done. Ziva's blood was now trickling onto his own arms and shirt but he didn't care.
"Ziva," he breathed.
"I am sorry," she hiccoughed
"Why did you…" his voice trailed off.
"Because," she tried to begin explaining but Tony cut her off.
"Don't explain." He decided and started rummaging through his bag for antiseptic. He came up empty and jogged to his desk, where he grabbed the antiseptic from the middle left drawer.
"Hands," he commanded gently. Ziva tried to stifle her sobs as much as she could and held out her bleeding wrists. Without hesitation, Tony dumped the disinfectant into both gashes. Ziva gasped as the sterilizer rushed through her scorching veins.
The elevator chimed and Gibbs walked out, a fresh cup of coffee in his hand. However, upon seeing his newly rescued agent, along with his senior field agent, with blood everywhere, the coffee hit the ground.
"What the- What happened?" he demanded, taking in the drying salty tears on Ziva's cheeks. His eyes widened.
"Boss, I don't know. After you left we sort of fought and I left then came back not two minutes before you showed up. She was crying and had been… cutting herself," he rushed, worry and guilt boiling up inside of him. He gulped, bracing himself for the head slap he would surely receive.
"Ziva. What. The. Hell. Were. You. Thinking." Gibbs spoke through clenched teeth.
"I wasn't" she replied.
"Well, yeah, I can see that. Come on, you're going to a hospital to have those…" Gibbs was momentarily at a loss for words. They weren't cuts, but they weren't huge gaping gashes either. Ziva and Tony understood what he meant however, "To have those sterilized properly and stitched up," Gibbs could already gauge that the lacerations were too wide for a simply bandage to "fix".
Ziva opened her mouth to argue.
"I swear, David, if you say that you're fine I will make those cuts seems like scratches." Gibbs threatened. Nodding, Ziva allowed herself to be lifted from her chair and walked to the elevator. Behind her back, Tony and Gibbs both had a hand hovering protectively.
After two hours in the ER, Ziva was finally given the okay to leave. The three sat silently as Gibbs drove towards his house. When they arrived, Gibbs immediately went to the kitchen and brought back coffee for the three of them. Tony and Ziva were already sitting on the couch, and Gibbs sat down on the other side of Ziva.
"Now," Gibbs began in a don't even think about downplaying this one bit tone. "Why?"
Her answer was simple, and they'd understand what she meant without the need for a long-drawn out explanation.:
"I had an emotional imbalance for a moment. I wanted to see Michael and Tali and Jenny." She hesitated before saying the last name, "And Ari. I thought that they were the only ones who really cared about me,"
Guilt surged through Tony's body. His fault, his fault, all his fault. Two of those four deaths could've been prevented if not for him. Shaking off the negative thoughts, he turned his attention back to Ziva.
"Ziva, I have already lost one partner. I've lost my director under my watch. Do not make me go through all of that again. You die, I die," Tony whispered fiercely.
"You didn't see Tony when he thought you were dead. It was worse than Kate, worse than Jenny, even." Gibbs added, "And I don't recall giving you permission to have a death-wish."
"I am sorry,"
"Three things," Gibbs continued, "One, every single person on our team, your team, would be completely destroyed if you were gone forever. Two, I don't care how badly you want to see your friends on the other side. You stay here, until I give you permission to cross over from this life to the next."
It appeared he was finished, and he stood up. Tony and Ziva wrinkled their brows.
"Boss, that's only two. You said there were three," Tony commented perplexedly.
Gibbs smirked. "Oh yeah. Number three."
The two winced slightly at the head slaps. Gibbs smirked. Disaster averted.
A/N: I know this seems like it might be continuing, but there is only a very slim chance that it will. I hope you all liked it to some degree. Please review, as they are greatly appreciated (plus they put me in a good mood, which will motivate me to update my other stories faster)
Cool Beans Dude,