AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Ziva David. DiNozzo/EJ are also mentioned
SUMMARY: Set at the end of Season 8. Tony makes a conscious choice. But he doesn't know what the implications will be.
WORD COUNT: 600
WARNING: Major character death.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written before all the recent spoilers.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
It had been a trap. A carefully set up, coldly calculated trap, right down to the dead body. And they'd walked right into it. Ziva had walked right into it.
"I'm going in," he said, tugging out his Sig and heading in the direction Ziva had gone.
"Stay, DiNozzo." Gibbs's order was clear.
Tony glanced at him and shook his head. "No, boss," he said. Then added quietly, "It's like Somalia." And without waiting for Gibbs to reply he set off.
Gun in his hands, he worked his way quickly, but carefully, through the corridors until he found her, handcuffed hand and foot to thick metal pipes. He barely glanced at the ticking bomb; he only had eyes for her.
He wasn't a medic, but one look at her told him it was over for her. Whatever happened, even if he managed to perform a miracle and uncuff her or stop the bomb, she was dead.
He dropped to his knees by her side and touched her forehead. "Ziva." He spoke softly, not even certain she was still conscious.
Finally, her lashes fluttered and brown eyes opened, blinking unseeingly up at him. "Tony?" Her voice was ragged. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to rescue you," Tony replied, digging into his pocket for his own cuff keys. They wouldn't work, but he had to try.
"You need to go," she said, through bleeding lips. "Get out, Tony. Save yourself."
"I'm not going without you." He meant it.
"It is too late for me."
"No. Ducky's out there. He'll fix you up." He heard the lie and knew she knew it was a lie. But he had to say it.
She sighed, groaned and then fell silent for a moment. He used to time to look at the bomb. There was little time left and he didn't even know where to begin to try to defuse it.
"EJ." Her voice seemed really distant now.
"EJ. Do you love her?"
There were scant seconds left. He wasn't going to tell her another lie. Gently gathering her up in his arms, ignoring her gasps of pain, he bent his head. "No, Ziva. I love you." And he kissed her for the first and last time. He didn't feel or hear the explosion.
"Tony!" EJ screamed and prepared to run towards the now blazing building. But her arms were gripped from behind, holding her in place. She turned her head, prepared to tear herself away from Gibbs or McGee, even Cade or Levin. But to her surprise it was Dr. Mallard who held her. Something in her prevented her from pulling away from the elderly man with the vice like grip.
Seconds later she felt Cade take her into his arms and saw Dr. Mallard move away to stand with Gibbs, McGee and Palmer. Levin joined her and Cade. They all stood in silence watching the building blaze, eating up Tony and Ziva. Two teams. It was so clear now.
Her bags were packed. She hadn't got much anyway. She was leaving on the next plane. She stood looking up at the hated skylight, before hoisting her bag onto her back.
"Erica." The sound of her given name stopped her. No one called her that. She turned and looked into the eyes of Dr. Mallard. She acknowledged him with a half-nod. "What are you going to do about the baby?"
She gasped. How could he know? She hadn't long found out herself and she certainly hadn't decided what to do about it. And now . . .
And now she knew what she would do.