Well I finally got to watch Revenge last night, and then this just sort of happened. It has been a long time since I wrote these two so I have to figure out how to get back in character again, but I think I did okay. Enjoy.
Spoilers: Revenge, Shabbat Shalom
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Ziva punched the bag again, and there was a satisfying thud. Pain ran through her arm and shoulder, but she did her best to ignore it. Pain was weakness. So she readied herself and punched the bag again. The pain was growing worse, but she was determined to fight through it. After all, she had overcome far worse before. Frustrated with the pain and her own weakness she struck out again. This time there was no hesitation. She stuck the bag with one fist, and then another without pausing until finally the pain became too much. She doubled over pinning her arm to her chest, biting her lip to keep for making a sound. After a moment, she swallowed hard and stood back up, readying herself to combat the bag again.
"Don't," a voice said, and she jumped slightly because she had thought she was alone. It was past midnight. Who else would still be there at that hour? "Please don't," the voice repeated, and this time she recognized it.
"Tony," she told him lowering her fists, "what are you doing here?"
He ignored the question. "Why are you doing this to yourself?" he asked her moving into the center of the room so his face was illuminated by the glow from the flickering ceiling bulb. "You need to rest you arm so it can heal."
"I cannot," she told him sharply.
"Why?" he asked her gently, "We've got him. It's over."
"It's never over," she replied bitterly, "You let you guard down even for a moment, and your enemies will close on you." Tony just looked at her unsure of what to say.
"This isn't Mossad," he reminded her finally. "You don't always have to be looking over your shoulder."
"It does not matter whether this is Mossad or not," she said, "I let my guard down, and it cost my father his life. He was right about me. NCIS has made me soft. It has made me weak."
"That wasn't you fault, Ziva," Tony said reaching out to put a hand on her good shoulder, but she shifted away from him.
"I should have been in there," she responded furiously.
"What good would that have done anyone?" Tony asked her, his voice rising slightly, "You could not have help, but you would probably have killed too."
"And maybe that would not have been such a bad thing," she told him, her voice was shaking, but whether from pain or passion he could not tell.
"How can you say that?" he asked.
"Because I am the only one left," she told him. "I watched my baby sister die when I was still a teenager. I found my mother dead in her bathroom, having taken her own life, two days after I turned twenty-two. I killed my own brother. Now I stood outside while my father was gunned down and made no attempt to save him. What do I deserve to live when they cannot?"
Her anger and frustration had peaked, and for a moment, as she stood there eyes blazing, she did not feel the pain in her arm. Tony just looked at her and shook his head. "You don't mean that," he said quietly. It broke his heart to hear her talk that way.
She opened her mouth to argue, but deep down beneath the anger and frustration, she knew he was right. "I," she started, but then she stopped not knowing if she could, or should, admit what she was thinking to another soul. She looked at Tony, and while better judgment told her to close her mouth, exhaustion, both physical and emotional, won out. "I don't know what I mean anymore," she admitted quietly, her voice weaker than before, "I used to have a plan. I used to know where I was going, who I was, but now…I always just assumed I would be dead by this point."
Tony looked at her. He did not know what to say to comfort her, to ease her pain, which ran deeper than anyone could have guessed. He suddenly felt guilty about all his petty whining about cars and insurance over the past few days. "You don't have to face this alone," he told her.
It was a strange response, but it was the right one. She stood there for a moment, looking at him, as if wavering between two things. Then she broke. She sank to the floor as sobs wracked her body. Tony dropped to his knees beside her, and as gingerly as he could, taking care to avoid her injured arm, he pulled her into his arms. They stayed like that for a long time, with her tears wetting the shoulder of his shirt. He did not say anything. There was nothing he could say. He knew that these tears were about more than just her father's death. They were about all of the different things in the past that she had buried deep inside herself.
After while Ziva stopped crying, but she did not move. She knew she should pull away, but it felt good to have someone hold her. After a while she looked up, and Tony met her gaze. "I'm sorry," she told him, dropping her gaze immediately.
"Don't be," he told her with a shake of his head, "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"I shouldn't have-," she protested, but Tony cut her off.
"No," he told her firmly, "You have been through hell. I know there is that little voice in your head telling you to hide your pain and deal with this on your own, but don't listen to it. Listen to my voice: you are the strongest person I have ever met. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone, especially not to me. Even strong people have to fall apart sometimes, and you need to know that that's okay, and whenever you need someone. I will be there for you."
Ziva looked at him. It was a surprisingly profound statement for Tony, but something in his voice let her know he meant every word of it. She took a deep breath before she spoke, but even as she opened her mouth she was unsure of what to say. "Always?" she asked him.
Tony looked down at her, knowing that that simple word was a more complicated question. She was scared, and she did not know what she was supposed to be or to do. She was torn between two worlds, two lives. That would take time to sort though, but it did not matter. He nodded, "Always."
Hope you enjoyed it! Please review.