'Phantasm' By CatherineYetiveThis is a featured page

“Kate!” His harsh, breathless whisper filled the bedroom.

Tony's hand reached instantly to the cool side of his bed. For a split second he'd believed that what he'd seen was only a nightmare and not a memory- that the blood that had been splashed across his face was not hers.

The bed, besides Tony, was empty. It always was when he dreamt about the day Kate died. She had never been there in his apartment but he always felt for her. Maybe it was a protection thing- he never really understood why he woke up and reached for her.

Tony pushed himself up in bed, leaning back against the headboard. The night was cold, but he was covered in sweat. He kicked off the comforter into the floor and peeled the top sheet away from his body, flinging it to the other side of the room.

The neon hue of his clock burned Tony's eyes a little as he read the time: 3:56am. He usually got up at 0600 to get ready for work- there was a triumphant feeling he got when he arrived with Gibbs.

Knowing there was no way to get back to sleep without seeing Kate, Tony dragged himself from his untidy bed and tripped over his comforter into the bathroom.

Tony left all of the lights off as he stepped into the shower. “It's been five years,” Tony spoke into the shower head before turning the water on, his voice echoing slightly. “Kate's dead. You can't change that. Gibbs can't change that.”

Tony sighed, resting his palm on the cool tiles in front of him. He hung his head, letting the water fall over his head and down his back. He didn't understand why he was still haunted by this.

Even the normal warm, comforting feeling Tony got from the shower didn't help him this time. He turned off the water, grabbed a towel from the floor and dried off. He pulled his clothes on in record time without examining the labels as he usually did.

Tony looked through his reflection in the bathroom mirror as he tied his tie, still in the dark. Instead of wondering about which shoes to wear, his mind was still stuck elsewhere.

If I had moved a little to the left...would things have been different?

Tony imagined Kate in his place, checking her hair in the mirror, making sure her makeup was perfect (it always had been to him).

Would she have been thinking about me, too?

Tony gave up on his tie, resting it on the sink. He walked back into his bedroom, turning on the lights long enough to grab a matching jacket. He walked through his apartment quickly, locating his badge, gun, keys, and sunglasses.

Tony left his apartment, hoping to leave his current thoughts behind.


Tony listened to jazz in his car on the way to work, still trying to drown his thoughts. The interstate was already getting congested, and it was only 0600. He pulled into his normal parking spot, noticing that Gibbs and McGee had not yet arrived.

The jazz covered Tony's cursing- Ziva was already at work.

Great, I'm going to get the 3rd degree. Just what I need.

Tony slammed his car door and headed toward the elevator. He tried thinking of excuses on the way up to the bullpen.

I don't have to make excuses...especially not for her.

Tony stepped off of the elevator. Just as he expected, Ziva met his gaze as soon as her desk came into view.

“You are early,” Ziva said casually as Tony sat down at his desk.

“Speak for yourself, Zee-vah.” Tony tried to be casual, but he was still not in a good state of mind.

“You usually do not arrive until at least 0700. It is nice to see you...ahead of schedule.” Ziva smiled warmly. Tony did not.

Ziva saw that Tony was in a different mood, but continued.

“You did not answer your phone last night...”

“Oh, sorry. Some of my Ohio State guys were in town.”

“In DC?” Ziva raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, yeah.” Tony continued to lie. “We all went out and had a few drinks. Got pretty crazy. You wouldn't have liked it.”

Ziva hid the sting of what Tony said. She didn't know which hurt more- that she knew he was lying, or that he didn't think she could have fun with him.

Tony squirmed a little. He did not want Ziva to know that instead of going out, he drank a whole bottle of wine and watched “The Maltese Falcon” twice before going to bed.

Sticking to his story, Tony took out the ingredients to make his family hangover remedy.

Ziva watched Tony open one of his desk drawers. He pulled out a lemon, table salt, Tabasco hot sauce, and a bottle of water. He opened another drawer and placed a clear drinking glass next to the ingredients.

“DiNozzo Defibrillator, yes?” Ziva leaned forward, slightly amused.
“Gets me through the day.” Tony poured water in the glass, and then added a fourth of his bottle of hot sauce. He couldn't find a knife, and wasn't going to ask Ziva, so he cut the lemon in half with a pair of scissors.

Ziva stifled her giggle- Tony could have just asked her for the knife concealed at her waist. Or she would have cut the lemon for him.

Tony carefully squeezed the lemon halves over the glass before measuring a few teaspoons of salt into the palm of his hands. He added the salt, and stirred the mix as best he could with the already stickied pair of scissors.

Tony didn't know which was worse: That he'd lied to Ziva to save face or that he had to unnecessarily drink what he'd just made. He brought the concoction to his lips, but Ziva spoke before he could sip.

“You arrived early to work, your hair is combed, and you look...conflicted. You are lying to me.”

Tony opened his mouth to say something, but he knew it wouldn't help. He watched Ziva's expression turn from amusement to disappointment as he gulped his DiNozzo Defibrillator. It was his punishment, he decided, for lying and for being soft.

Kate would have caught me on my lie, too.

He sighed for the second time today, putting his head down on his desk. Tony tried to relate his current situation to a movie, even though he knew it wouldn't make him feel better this time. He wondered how he would get any work done today, now with two women on his mind and indigestion in his near future.

Latest page update: made by CatherineYetive , Nov 29 2009, 4:23 PM EST (about this update About This Update CatherineYetive Edited by CatherineYetive

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