Summary: Summary: He really should move on, but it isn't as easy as everyone told him it should be.
Rated: FR15
Categories: General, General > Angst
Genre: Angst, Character Study, Episode Tag, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Song Fic
Warnings: None
Challenges: Autumn Challenge
Challenges: Autumn Challenge
Series: None
Story Notes
Notes: Written for the NFA Autumn Challenge. Episode Tag to "Parental Guidance Suggested," specifically the scene between Abby and Tony in the lab (if I got the ep wrong, please, please correct me!!) It is also a song fic, inspired by "What We Ain't Got," which is performed by Jake Owen.

Disclaimer: The bus route Tony takes is pretend. The street names, thanks to Google Maps, are real streets in DC, but I have no idea if a bus route goes along this path, or what the road into Rock Creek Park looks like.

Listen to the song here:
We all want what we ain't got,
Our favorite doors are always locked.
On a higher hill with a taller top...

Tony zipped up his leather jacket as he stepped out of the noisy bar and onto the sidewalk. The cold November wind whipped around his body, making him shiver. The bar door closed behind him, cutting off the loud music and laughter coming from inside. Tony shoved his hands into his pockets and started walking down the street toward his apartment building.

There was minimal traffic at 1 a.m. Tony walked slowly down 4th street, his eyes looking to the sidewalk. It was scattered with fallen leaves. Every now and then the breeze would pick up again, and the leaves would rustle down the sidewalk, and settle in a new spot.

He crossed over 3rd street and continued down G street toward his goal. He brough his eyes up from the sidewalk, and looked to the stars. It was hard to spot them with the orange glow of city lights, but he did see a few. He wondered if Ziva could see the same stars at that moment.

He'd never know the answer to that question.

All I want is what I had,
I'd trade it all just to get her back...

Twenty minutes passed before Tony finally made it to 4th street. He was looking for a bus stop, and although he'd passed several on his journey, he had his heart set on catching the bus at 4th street. He went inside and sat down on the metal bench. He wasn't sure what route would come by here, and he didn't care.

He took out his cell phone and flipped through his contacts. He stopped on her name. He still had a picture attached to her contact information. He stared at it as Abby's words came back into his brain.

"I love Ziva, but she left us."

Tony sighed and closed his eyes for a moment.

Ziva left them. She left them. He had nothing to feel bad about. He tried to convince her to return. Hell, he would have thrown her over his shoulder and carried her on the plane with him, if she weren't able to kill him with a paperclip.

Ok, so maybe he couldn't let her go. How was he just supposed to not think about her, ever again?

Abby was trying to knock sense into him, and for that he would always be grateful, but he couldn't let her go. He just couldn't.

We all wish it didn't hurt,
When you try your best but it doesn't work.
And goodbye's such a painful word...

The bus stopped in front of him, and he got up and boarded and deposited some cash for the ride. The bus was empty, except for an old woman sitting in the accessible row, her bag of knitting next to her on the seat. She didn't look up at him as he passed her by and took an empty seat. The bus started moving as it started to rain outside.

The bus zipped down 4th street and made a left on N street. He looked up a the route number posted on the front of the bus, and took out his phone to look it up online. He smiled when he saw where the route would end. He tucked away his phone and stared out the window as the bus stopped at a red light at N and 7th streets. The rain was coming down in sheets, pounding the dead leaves strewn all over the street. The trees that dotted the curb were sparse, some with no leaves left at all.

Tony watched the rain pound down on a couple crossing the street in front of the bus. They ran across together, under the same umbrella.

We all want what we ain't got...

The bus weaved in and out of traffic as it went on its nightly route. Tony stared out the window during the entire ride. People got on and off, and he barely noticed. He was too busy staring out at the rain to notice much of anything.

The bus jolted to a stop at 15th and Girard streets, and the old woman with the knitting looked up, and put her needles into her knitting bag. She reached out for the pole and pulled herself up. She picked up her cane and bag, and turned to leave. Tony watched her take two steps, and then stop and turn around.

"Let her go, Dear. It will be best."

With that, the old woman turned and got off the bus.

Tony sat still, and blinked a couple of times. How had that woman known what he was thinking about? Had he made it obvious somehow? It was still on his mind as the bus pulled away from the curb and continued down 15th street.

She's moving on, but I guess I'm not...

The bus turned down Harvard st NW, and Tony could see the park entrance in the distance. He pulled the cord above his head, and the driver stopped at the next stop. Tony got up and got off the bus.

The rain had let up considerably, and was down to a trickle of a shower. He glanced at his watch as the bus pulled away from the curb. It was nearing 3 a.m. Tony popped his collar for warmth, and started walking toward Rock Creek Park.

The chill in the air was turning frigid. Tony shivered as the gates to the Park appeared in his line of vision. Harvard St was practically deserted at this time of night. Tony didn't mind; he enjoyed the quiet, and being able to enjoy the changing leaves on the trees lining the road, even in the dark.

Tony walked down Harvard street until it took him deep into the park. There was a place he'd found during an investigation that seemed like a good place to sit and think, and he'd come back to it a few times now, alone.

He veered off the road onto a trail, and followed it through the woods until he came to a small clearing. A fallen tree lay across the far end of the clearing. The trunk was large, and a good place to sit, Tony found. He walked over and climbed up onto the monstrous trunk. He stretched out and rested his head on his arms, and looked upward.

The stars were magnificent, when one looked from Rock Creek Park. There was little to no interference in the sky from the city lights. One could do some serious stargazing, if they were so inclined. This time, Tony just looked. He never really looked at the stars anymore. He watched a random comet streak across the sky. He wondered if Ziva could see it too... if she was looking at the stars right now.

"Let her go, Dear. It will be best."

The old woman's words replayed in his head. Should it really be that simple? Ziva had been gone almost a year. He should move on. Could he move on? Did he want to move on?

He thought of Leia. She was a pistol, and completely his type. He thought of having McGoogle look up her number so he could call her, but then again, Leia might shoot him. A smile ghosted across his face at the thought.

There was Zoe, a face he hadn't seen in twenty years. She was easy to talk to... more than any other woman he'd met. Maybe... no. He couldn't. He and Zoe... that was in the past. In the past... where he and Ziva should be.

Why in the hell was it so damned difficult to put Ziva in the past with everyone else?

You see I wanted the world until my whole world stopped,
You know, A love like that ain't easily forgot...


Tony sat up and turned to the voice that startled him. His face fell.

"How did you find me?"

"A Metro bus isn't too hard to follow."

"Why are you here?"

"You need to let her go, DiNozzo."

"Here we go," Tony said, rolling his eyes as he swung his feet over the side of the tree trunk to face Gibbs.

Gibbs moved toward Tony, who was still sitting on the tree trunk, looking at his hands.

"You don't hide it very well, you know that?"

Tony didn't reply.

"Move on, Tony. Don't be like me. Move on, find someone, settle down. Forget about her."

"I can't!" Tony suddenly shouted, jumping down off the tree trunk. "How am I supposed to write her off? She isn't just some woman who came in and out of my life. I was in love with her!"

Tony stopped talking, his chest heaving. Gibbs stood silently while he regained control of his breathing.

"I loved her, Boss."

"She left us. That was her decision. You have to move on."

"I can't," Tony almost whispered. The wind picked up slightly around them, and Tony closed his eyes briefly to take in the acoustics of the dead leaves blowing in the breeze. He opened his eyes and looked at Gibbs.

"I can't move on."

"You can. Don't make me set you up on a blind date, DiNozzo," Gibbs said with a smirk.

Tony smiled.

"A blind date? How many women would let you set them up?"

Gibbs clipped him lightly on the back of the head as they turned to walk down the path. He was glad that he could distract Tony, even for a little bit. Maybe another woman could permanently distract him.

"What about Zoe? You two seemed sweet on each other."

"Nah. She's in the past. We're just friends."

"What about Leia?"

Tony stopped walking. He'd just been thinking about her. Could he? Should he?

You're getting too old to be picky, DiNozzo.


It was a start.

We all want what we ain't got...


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