Man I think back on S10 and I can mainly remember the sweet, shippy moments where Tony was an actual good man - the opera for Tali, sharing stories about his mother, being there for her when her father died, appreciating her for who she is in Berlin, and genuinely showing her that he cared about her in a way that went far beyond superficiality.
But then I get to thinking about how much of a jerk he could be sometimes, and that’s something she put up with from him so much of the time. Like sure, he was probably acting that way to hide the feelings he didn’t know how to deal with, but it’s no wonder when she stayed behind in Israel she didn’t believe him when he put his heart out on the table for her. No wonder she was skeptical that he really even wanted her like he said he was - because if she came back with him, it was likely they’d return to the status quo of “tease but don’t get too close” that their entire fucking relationship had been, and no wonder she wanted to distance herself from that. She was probably tired of being hurt by him, of getting her hopes up only for him to turn around and do something dickish that really hurt her.
Compounded by the events of Family First where they apparently did it (possibly only one time) and then he left. Of course she let herself feel in that moment, let herself be with him, because she believed it might be the last time and she may as well let herself have this one indulgence, right? But she knew he wouldn’t stay - he was saying these things, but he’d never been good at showing her, in the end, and after a lifetime of pushing her, pushing her, pushing her, he finally gets her message when she least wants him to and he leaves her to her thing, going against what had been his nature for the past almost decade of his life, which was to push at her and force her to open up to him despite the fact that she really did not owe him that in any capacity.
And that’s the tragedy of it. He finally learns the lesson - sometimes you just can’t push people to open up or you’ll end up pushing them away. So he gives her that space for the first time ever, really, when the irony of the situation is that this is the one time she probably actually wanted him to push back and say, no, this is important to me, WE are important to me, and I’m going to stay here until we figure this out and make this work somehow. In that moment, they were - again - completely and irrevocably out of sync.
And then she must have found out she was pregnant, one or two months down the line, and what do you bet she cried? Cried because all this time now she’d been trying to be okay with herself, be okay with herself without him, and now she’s got something of him to carry on with her for the rest of her life. Considering the hurt she must have felt at the way he’d walked out and the guilt she probably felt at making him sad over her (because that’s a thing women do, you know - we hurt, we feel our own pain, but we also feel guilt at the pain we’ve caused others even if they’re the ones that have been hurting us), is it any wonder she dreaded contacting him? Is it any wonder she didn’t want to call him, to tell him the truth? Tony said in Family First he’d have been there in a heartbeat, but did Ziva know that about him? All Ziva knew about Tony and his relation to kids was that he didn’t have one, and he feared them and wasn’t ready to be a father and honestly, when had he shown her otherwise? When had he ever given her any indication that he was ready to be a family man?
I know that many are angry about the pregnancy story line because they think Ziva would have told him. And I think she would have, eventually, but I also can understand her hesitation, after everything that had happened between them. Judging by the way their entire relationship worked, she probably would have felt that this is one more thing to burden him with and her guilt at being the one to have caused him so much suffering might have precluded her from doing the right thing and reaching out.
And I can’t even begin to tell you why this is bothering me as much as it is today, but here, have a bucket of feels.
Hello there! Me and @dazzlingstarlight decided to try
this writing challenge from @promptlywritingideas. We sent each other 25 words
so the other could write 25 sentences. Well, in my case these aren’t sentences.
I just couldn’t stop myself and developed it further, so most of it is pieces
of unrelated conversations.
Enjoy my TIVA take on the wonderful writing challenge
and don’t forget to read magnificent Harm/Mac version of dazzlingstarlight!
Ziva sighed in content, letting the sunrays to caress her skin as she
watched her little daughter and her little son playing in their playground from
her place at the porch. It was truly a brilliant idea to buy a house for their
growing DiNozzo family.
“What movie are we going to watch?” Tony asked Ziva nervously, fidgeting
in his armchair. As a huge movie fan and self-proclaimed movie expert, he
didn’t feel excessively comfortable with someone else choosing a movie.
“Stop being so mistrustful.” Ziva shoved him the bowl of popcorn into
his lap, feeling slightly annoyed as she had heard the exact same question for
umpteenth time this day.
She sat down next to him and pushed the play button. Tony just opened
his mouth wide as the opening credits for The
Little Prince movie began to play. Then his lips formed into a grateful
smile as Ziva squeezed his hand.
“With this ring I thee wed and I give you my heart under your
guardianship. I cannot imagine any other person suitable for this job than you,
my love. You may have not always treated it well, but it has belonged to you
since the first moment we have met. And there is so little I can do it about
it, that is why I am giving it to you to take care of it as I know that I can
trust you with my life. I love you with all my heart, body and soul and I will
spend the rest of my life by proving you that.”
There have been silent tears at Ziva’s eyes at first, then sob escaped
from her lips. She has never heard such a beautiful wedding vow. And being the
bride, it had been twice emotional. Her soon-to-be husband slightly caressed
her face, wiping away the tear in a way only Tony DiNozzo could.
“Bitten by a love bug, DiNozzo?” Gibbs looked at his agent inquiringly.
He was unfocused, seemingly having his head in the clouds, daydreaming all the
time instead of properly working. All proofed that he was head over heels in
love. And judging by the ‘secret’ look between him and Ziva, he had no doubt
who the lucky woman was.
“Do you keep any record on how many nicknames you have already invented for
McGee?” Ziva asked Tony out of sudden curiosity.
“I have no idea.” Was the answer as Tony tried to count on his fingers.
“Do you realize that we are undercover and also under the covers?” Tony
said while throwing the sheets across his body and Ziva rolled her eyes. He
would seriously never stop with assessing their situation of being on an
undercover mission and sleeping in the same hotel room AND in the same bed as
they had posed as a married couple.
“Shut up and watch the movie, DiNozzo.” She growled, trying to force the
fantasy of them using this cover and these covers for entirely different kind
“Stop laughing! I couldn’t sleep because of this nightmare!” Tony
exclaimed, regretting that he had ever decided to tell his co-worker about the
dream he had had last night.
“Ok, so let me summarize it.” Ziva said between her occasional laughs as
she tried to subdue her amusement. “Me and Jimmy had an affair and we decided
to kill you by performing autopsy while you were still alive?”
“Yes, and whenever he cut me, you kissed him.” Tony flatly added while
Ziva was overpowered by another wave of laughter.
“It’s a 1984 comedy horror classic, Jimmy. I even found a plushie for
you.” Tony waved the plush toy in front of the face of pale Jimmy Palmer,
setting in it on the DVD cover of Gremlins
“Thanks, Tony.” Jimmy said hesitantly, hoping that Tony would never come
up with ‘personalized’ gifts as he called it. Ziva, who had gotten a box of
paperclips, silently agreed with him.
“Can I talk for a second with Ziva in private?” Tony asked Abby, the
bridesmaid, anxiously. He needed to see Ziva before she would walk down the
aisle and marry CIRay right in front of his eyes. She nodded in agreement and
slipped out of the room, letting him to go inside.
The moment he saw the Israeli bride, all words left him. Her wedding
dress was the definition of beauty. The rich fluffy skirt, the lacy bodice
hugging her curves perfectly, the perfect cleavage showing just enough of her
natural treasures, the sequins, pearls and other decent decorations, the long veil
waiting for her to place it into her hair – she looked like a Disney princess.
And in that moment he forgot all of his prepared speech about his true feelings
for her. He realized that all he wanted for her was to be happy. Even if he
wasn’t the man with whom she would spend the rest of her life with.
Sound of breaking glass as she smashed everything made out of
transparent material against the wall. Hebrew curses. More sounds of things
being thrown in many directions. Thuds. Anger of losing a loved one, the person
she loved the most on this world, prevailing over any other rational thought.
All that was left was remorse. Wrath. Sadness. The second stage of grief over the loss of her husband Tony has
Abby persistently pushed the elevator button down in her floor,
wondering why the hell the elevator just wouldn’t move. She had important
results to show to Gibbs and considering his injuries from the previous case,
she didn’t want him to trudge to her lab. When the elevator finally arrived to
her floor and the door opened, she found herself face to face with Tony and
Ziva whose reddened cheeks were telling enough. Abby slowly smiled, no longer
annoyed. Her suspicions were confirmed. Those two were making out in the
“How many languages do you even speak?” Tony wiped his eyebrow that got
wet under the drops of sweat on his forehead. He was getting too old for such
quick running. He was no Usain Bolt. Yet, he was forced to start dashing when
Ziva had uttered apparently pretty vulgar remark towards the man they had been
speaking to. It was better to run than to involve in a fight with a bunch of
the man’s friends who appeared out of nowhere.
“It doesn’t matter, as long as I speak with the language of love.” Ziva
replied, pressing her lips on his, stealing his breath away.
“Are you saying that I’m supposed to be boss now, boss?” Tony asked
incredulously, watching the older man in front of him. Gibbs’ retirement was
something he expected to happen one day, but still dreaded it in the same time.
“You’re competent enough for that job, DiNozzo.” Gibbs squeezed his
shoulder, expressing confidence in his successor.
“Tell me, what are you wearing?” Tony whispered sensually into the
receiver, his legs propped up against his desk. He was alone in the darkened
office, ruining his back over the pile of paperwork.
“I’m not having phone sex with you, Tony.” Ziva refused and ended the
call, throwing her phone on the couch in her apartment. She stared at it for a
moment, biting her thumb in contemplation.
Half a minute later, the phone in the NCIS bullpen on the desk of
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo rang.
Tony stared at the file in front of him. He refused to believe that the
investigation was over. Well, over… It was seized. Suspended. Listed as
unsolved. When you have no witnesses, no cameras, no traces of tires, simply
nothing to hold on to, you can hardly investigate a crime. And yet, Tony felt
that he hadn’t done enough. His father was killed. Ran over by a car in the
middle of an unlit street. Nobody head heard or seen anything. No clues. No
hints. No traces. No suspects. Only a victim.
A warm hand squeezed his shoulder and he was immediately grateful to
have her here with him. “How could you deal with it?” He asked her as she knew
the feeling of losing a father like no one else.
“The official investigation might over, Tony. But the one in your heart
and your mind will never stop until you know who did it and bring him to
justice.” She said in a knowing tone. “And I promise you we will find the
bastard who killed him. I will personally take care of it.”
Her eyes lowered and her cheeks flushed with dark crimson. The magic of Anthony DiNozzo’s smile was sometimes embarrassingly efficient and she found herself in a state when she couldn’t deny him a single thing. Maybe it had also something to do with the face she was a little bit in love with him.
The steady beeping sound of the life monitor seemed like a music to her
as opposed to the terrifying sounds of the explosion she’d heard and witnessed
a couple of hours ago. Tony lay in the hospital bed in barbiturate-induced coma
with scratches all over his body as the shrapnel had cut into his flesh while
the building he had been in had blown into pieces. She’d never felt to scared
in her life. And it had awakened something in her, as well. It was different
than with the members of her family who had been taken away from her too soon.
They were hers, they were part of her. Tony had never belonged to her as she
had been to coward to tell him how she felt about him. But she vowed, at this
very moment, that if he would pull through this, she would change it as soon as
she had the chance. Tony DiNozzo was about to find out the extension of her
love for him.
“I’m Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, nice to meet you.” Tony introduced
himself to a witness they were supposed to question in their latest case. “And
this is my wife, Special Agent Ziva DiNozzo.”
Ziva stood in front the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and watched its
glow as the darkness settled in. She was getting nervous, feverishly wondering
whether Orli hadn’t been joking and Tony had really found her secret message in
Israel where she’d informed him about couple of things that needed to be said,
including where he might find her. She had suggested a place and time for their
‘date’. She couldn’t imagine any better location for their reunion. Paris was
the symbol of their friendship, their love. She could never forget what had
happened here a couple of years ago. Suddenly, she had a feeling that someone
was watching her. When she turned around, her eyes welled up with tears as she
saw her daughter she’d missed so much over the last few weeks in the arms of
the man she loved more than herself.
She walked down the aisle on her wedding day and observed the faces of
the people she loved dearly and who came here to celebrate her and Tony’s
happiness with them. For a moment, she had doubts about being able to go
through this but in the end, it seemed as a piece of cake. When you marry a man
who had crossed the world twice for you to find you, defying all orders and
rules, you just know that he is the right one. And there’s nothing easier than
seal the mutual love in front of those who had witness their hardships and
supported them in their hard times.
“There’s something I want to talk to you about, Gibbs.” Ziva started,
feeling more nervous than ever in her life. “You are probably the closest thing
I’ve had to a father. Especially after my coming to the United States. You
somehow filled the void in my heart that was left there after my parents
divorced. And considering my own father is now dead and the wedding is just
around the corner, I wanted to ask you… Will you give me away?”
Gibbs approached her and kissed her on her cheek. “It’ll be my honour,
“With this ring I thee wed and I fully accept you as part of me. You
once told me that family is more than blood. That it’s something I build around
myself. My friends. People I trust. And people I unconditionally love. I
couldn’t ever imagine how right you were. You are the one I unconditionally
love. You are the one I trust with my life, my heart and my soul. You are my
dearest friend. You are my family. And I will do everything to preserve it
until the end of time and beyond that.”
Ziva’s quivering voice as she recited her vow had almost caused a heart
attack to Tony. This was really a wedding of their dreams. And he was marrying
the woman he loved the most. He was the luckiest guy on this planet.
“Well, that’s the problem, Ziva.” Tony countered to her words, “I can’t
be friends with you anymore. My heart just can’t accept it. Not when it knows
it has a chance.”
Ziva stood in front of him, running out of words. That was not how she’d
imagined their conversation, how she would tell him that he needed to be
patient as she was in a hard place and she had to be careful while making her
decisions. She couldn’t mindlessly enter a relationship with him, but he
couldn’t and didn’t want to understand it.
He turned away from her and started to walk away. That was end of their
friendship and practically everything between them. He couldn’t continue in
being friendly to her when all he was thinking about constantly was to show her
how much he loved her.
He was more than surprised, then, when her hand reached for his arm,
turned him back to her and her lips crashed on his in a passionate way that
made him lose his mind. That certainly wasn’t a kiss between friends.
“How are you going to name her?” Abby asked as she held the newborn
daughter of her friends in her hands, while McGee stood behind her back,
gushing over the baby’s cuteness just as her.
Tony looked at exhausted, yet smiling and incredibly happy Ziva. “Tali.”
They both answered in unison.
“Hell, it’s about time.” Gibbs uttered, seeing his two agents breaking
the Rule 12 right in front of his eyes. (This is sort of a honour of a
character named Tychus from Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty video game. I just
can’t get the sentence out of my head, always imagining Gibbs saying it.)
“Ima, Ima, look!” Noah’s excited words filled the back seat of McGee’s mid-size sedan, and filtered up to the front, meeting Ziva’s ears. Brown eyes met smaller emerald green ones as they danced at the sight outside the window. Ziva’s attention followed that of her son’s, and her jaw dropped and then tightened at sight of the shenanigans occurring on the roof of her home.
“Ima, did Santa come early this year?” Noah’s innocent assumption made McGee chuckle and his mother sigh.
Ziva shook her head, as the McGee brought the car to a slow stop in the DiNozzo driveway. Unbuckling her seat belt, she opened her door and climbed out and reached for son’s. After undoing the carseat, she gathered the small boy in her arms, settling him on her hip. In four years, he had gotten so big, but she selfishly couldn’t bring herself to give up the small moments like this one. Give him a couple more years, and he’d be refusing to be held at all.
She offered up a laugh, nuzzling his cheek with her nose. “Noah, you know better. Santa does not come until Christmas Eve. No early visits for good little boys, unless maybe he’s delivering your coal.”
An sharp little intake of breath is paired with a squeal, Noah shaking his head furiously into his mother’s neck. “No coal, Momma. I’ve been an extra good boy.”
Ziva smiled warmly and tightened her hug, “Well you may have been a good boy all year, but in this moment, your father is not.”
“ANTHONY DINOZZO, JR, WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE DOING?!”
The shouting accusation caught Tony off guard, causing him to momentarily lose his balance and slip and slide on the shingles. Reaching out, he grabbed the edge of the brick chimney to steady himself, but not before he got himself tangled in the array of multicolored lights.
“Last I checked, Tony, it was fifty degrees and hadn’t snowed. I’d think you’d have a little more grace than this,” McGee mocked just loud enough for his partner to hear, unloading the bags from the trunk and carrying them up the front steps.
Green eyes sent daggers in McGee’s direction, as Tony turned his attention to his sure to be livid wife. “Zee-vah,” he drawled out in good humour. “How was the shopping trip? Get me anything good?”
“I don’t believe you deserve anything,” Ziva hissed setting Noah on his feet by her side. “I thought I had made it clear before we left that you –”
The front door swung open and a burst of energy, all long lanky legs and long unruly dark hair, ran out towards Ziva, interrupting her lecture. “Mom, I told him not to. I tried to tell him that you’d be mad. And he tried to swear me to secrecy,” she confessed, whispering the last part with her head down.
Tony shook his head, from his seat on the roof, muttering under his breath at being sold out by his only daughter. “So much for being daddy’s little girl.”
Ziva hugged Lena, and smiled warmly at her, “Don’t worry, my love, I believe you. Why don’t you take your brother inside and continue to work on your lists for Santa?” Lena nodded, grabbing Noah’s small hand in hers and led him up the front steps.
Turning her attention back to the task at hand, Ziva looked up at her husband, who had gone back to his task of untangling the long string of lights he had been previously attempting to line the house with. “Tony, I thought we had an agreement. You were supposed to wait until McGee got back to help you. I don’t want a repeat of last year. Especially after the fiasco that happened last weekend with the Christmas tree lights.”
“I just wanted to surprise you and Noah,” Tony sighed, his head bent in regret before slowly lifting to face her with a full-on DiNozzo smile, plastered across his face. “But I didn’t do it alone; well, at least not exactly.”
Ziva looked around in question, “What do you mean? The only ones here are you and I, the children, and McGee.”
“Hit the lights, Boss.” Tony ordered nonchalantly, appearing to speak to no-one in particular, but as soon as the words left his mouth, the house became a well-designed spectacle.
Various colors danced like Noah’s eyes along the combination of brick and cement that encapsulated the structure of their home. The strings of icicle lights lined the roof evenly without one single bulb out of place. Candy canes and snow men lined the walk, in reds and whites. Snowflakes hung in each window, causing a glow to light up each room.
“Tony….,” Ziva breathed, taken back at the sophistication and coordination that was bestowed in front of her, such a drastic change from the haphazard light show of the year before.
Smiling as bright as their children on Christmas morning, Tony only winked.
Ziva shook her head in wonder, “Who?”
A deep, gruff chuckle came the fence, separating the driveway from the small backyard. Appearing in his jeans, USMC sweatshirt, and an uncharacteristic Santa hat, Gibbs took a swig of his beer and sent a pointed smile at Ziva.