AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Ziva David, Anthony DiNozzo/Wendy Miller
GENRE: Het (Pre and Established)
SUMMARY: Set after Secrets. Tony is thinking about his life and the women in it.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for ncis_drabble's 'Triangle' challenge.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
An open bottle of beer stands on the table; he's not drinking it.
A pizza sends out tantalizing scents; he's not eating it.
A movie, one of his all time favorites, is being shown on TV; he's not watching it.
Instead he's thinking; he's thinking about Wendy and what she'd said to him in the flower shop.
You should tell her how you feel, whoever she is.
Yeah, right, as he'd said to her 'that's not going to happen'. How could he tell her? There was too much history between them. She'd been hurt too many times by men she had loved; men she had trusted - plus, he'd actually killed one of them!
He loves her; he is in love with her; but he can't tell her, not today, not tomorrow, not any day. At least not now. Maybe there'd been a time when he could have told her; when he could have told her he'd meant his 'couldn't live without you, I guess'. But that time has long past.
"I love you, Ziva," he whispers to the room. It's maybe the only time he will say it aloud.
Wendy's other words come back to him. Confusing words; convoluted ones. It had taken him some time to figure them out, but now he hears them again with startling clarity.
I left because I wasn't ready to meet the one, okay? And you were the one.
He still isn't sure he can completely figure it out, not what she'd said, but how she'd felt nine-and-a-half years ago. If he had been 'the one' why had she walked away? Why hadn’t she told him how she'd felt? He'd have waited for her. Why had she let him spend nine-and-a-half years wondering what he'd done? Why had she let him lose faith in himself?
Nine-and-a-half years spent, as Ducky had said, chasing the wrong women. Nine-and-a-half years of not being able to put it behind him. Nine-and-a-half years of still loving, still being in love with Wendy. Where has it got him? Nowhere; just nine-and-a-half years older.
And where does it leave him now?
I wasn't ready to meet the one when we met, Tony. But I sent you that invitation because . . . I am now.
An admission: Wendy still loves him; is still in love with him; wants to start over again; wants to be with her 'one'.
Is Wendy his 'one'?
Is he the kind of guy to have a 'one'?
Two women. He loves both of them.
One he knows loves him. One he's sure loves him.
He laughs out loud; the mocking sound echoes around the room. There had been a time in his life when the idea of two women all but fighting over him would have appealed, would have made his day, his week, his month, his year.
Now it just depresses him. Because whatever he does, he'll be wrong; just as he's always been wrong. Maybe it's time he simply resigns himself to being alone.