Rating: M, FRM (for language)
Category: General/ Angst
Word Count: 300
Summary: They're not dead until they're warm and dead.
Spoilers: Truth and consequences
Disclaimer: NCIS characters belong to Bellisario, CBS and Paramount. No copyright infringement intended.
Beta(s): csigeekfan and Will.
AN: Written in response to challenge #161 'New Beginnings' on ncis_drabble
Amidst the sound of the slow methodical clapping, Tony ducked his head and snuck away from the small gathering. The proffered smiling glance designed to appease Ducky fooled neither the M.E. nor McGee, whose lingering stare he felt tracking his own discreet move away. Sliding slowly into place behind the comforting safety of his desk, Tony risked looking up and over in the direction of Ziva – who was momentarily sinking awkwardly into Abby’s unusually soft embrace.
What now, Mr Wild Card?
He’d thought she was dead. Now she wasn’t. And yet maybe, on some level, she was. Someone somewhere had stolen a part of her. Recent or buried past; timing wasn’t important. That seemingly cold, flat, dead look in her eyes on the flight home chilled through to his very core. He’d lost team mates before; shot; stabbed, natural causes even. But he’d never had them returned to him. And never like this. There’d always been the reality of seeing a cold body with lifeless eyes staring back at him from the autopsy table. This was new. Ziva might be alive, but death hid–barely–behind her eyes. Warm yet dead. The worst kind of dead. Dead dead.
So what next?
He’d do what he’d want other people to do if it were him in her position. He’d leave it to them to figure out; give them... her... space, and time.
You freakin’ pussy, DiNozzo. Wimp. Chicken.
No! Fuck you conscience.
He’d done what he needed to do. Had to. He’d have done the same for McGee, Abby, any of them. Now it was up to Ziva. She’d come to them... him... when she was ready, if she wanted to. She had a lot to think about. Decide. And there were words that needed to be said.
Your move, Ziva.