Set after Dead Reflection.
Tony makes a realization concerning his relationship with EJ.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2011. Word count: 500.
I understand this one, Ziva. I understand her.
She's pretty great, though.
EJ and I have a lot in common.
She's easy to be with, you know?
It's nice to have somebody to talk to . . .
Tony pinched the bridge of his nose as he recalled the things he'd said to Ziva and Gibbs about EJ. They were all true. He did understand EJ; he understood her in a way he'd never understood a woman before. He and she were alike; they were very alike; they knew what the other wanted, needed; they were good together. It was easy; far easier than it'd ever been before.
He didn't love her; not in the way he'd loved Jeanne; not in the way he loved Ziva. He wasn't in love with her and he wasn't sure he ever would be. But maybe that didn't matter. In fact maybe that's what was different; maybe that's what the 'missing' factor had been in all his other relationships.
Jeanne he'd loved; he'd loved her more than he'd loved life, more than he'd loved anyone; more than he'd thought he could love anyone. He'd loved her, he'd fallen deeply, honestly, truly in love with her and he'd let her walk away from him.
Ziva he loved; he loved her as much, if not more than he'd loved Jeanne. But he didn't understand her; he couldn’t get close to her, not in the way he wanted and needed to. He loved her, but again he let her walk away. He let her find someone else and no matter what she tried to tell him and herself, she did still care for Ray.
Two women he'd loved, had been in love with, and he'd let them both walk away. EJ, he wasn't in love with and yet he knew he wasn't about to let her walk away. He wasn't about to walk away from her, no matter what the cost.
He understood her; she was easy to be with; she was like him. He hadn't understood Jeanne; he didn't understand Ziva. Neither of them, no matter how much he loved them, had been that easy to be with. And certainly neither of them was like him.
So did love matter? And what was love anyway? Was what he and EJ had more important than an indefinable factor? No one could define love; maybe what he'd thought was love had just been something else. Maybe he was guilty of thinking love was like the movies.
Maybe with EJ he'd finally found the x-factor, the thing that made a relationship work. Or maybe he'd found his x-factor: understanding.
Whatever it was, it was time he stopped lying to himself. Time he stopped thinking he and Ziva had a future together. Time he really let another woman he loved, would always love, walk away from him for good.
He grabbed the phone. It'd been two nights since he'd spent time with EJ and he didn't want to spend a third night alone.
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