Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Date: 12 February - 28 March 2008
Word Count: 3554
Written for: femme_fic multifandom ficathon 2008
Summary: Ziva's past catches up with her present.
Spoilers: 1x16 Bete Noir; 1x23 Reveille; 2x23 Twilight; 3x1 Kill Ari, Part 1; 3x2 Kill Ari, Part 2; 3x23 Hiatus, Part 1; 3x24 Hiatus, Part 2 -- also character knowledge for any and all characters interacting with Ziva [ie. seasons 3 to 5]
Website: ShatterStorm Productions – Frisked & Conquered
Link to: http://f-n-c.shatterstorm.net/
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions only...all others ask for permission & we'll see...
Author's Disclaimer: "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Services," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Belisarius Productions, Paramount Network Television Productions, Paramount Television, and CBS Television. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with " NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Services," CBS, or any representatives of Pauley Perrette or Cote de Pablo.
Characters: Ziva David/Abby Sciuto
Prompt: I love the way you stand in my way/ You won't move 'til you get a kiss
Things You Don't Want: non-con, character death, excretions
Author's Notes: I rather girlie-squealed when I got jaina47 for my recipient. The only pairing I could actually work with was Abby/Ziva, but that was ALL good with me. I've been having some problems with that particular pair of muses, so it worked fabulously for me. At the same time, I was involved in lastficstanding and in the fourth week, the challenge was to include an important letter, something that changes a character's life. That was where the initial idea for this story came from...and then I expanded on it. A lot. This story was actually quite difficult in a lot of ways, primarily because of the subject matter I'd chosen to work with. But I'm really glad I ended up writing it, because it gave me faith that these characters are not as "lost" as I might have otherwise feared.
I want to give a big old shout out to dz_crasher and Ravital for the assistance on the Hebrew. I needed to let Ziva speak these few phrases in Hebrew, to truly do the character's background justice. I'm pleased as punch that I now have a few more phrases to add to my collection. I didn't end up using the "my soul" option, but that can be used down the line somewhere... And if you're really curious, go to the bottom of the story to get the translations…
Dedication: To my muses, for never really going away....
Beta: shatterpath, as usual
by A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Did you truly think that living and working in America would keep your activities from my knowledge? Have you learned nothing under my tutelage? There is nothing you do that I do not know about, both as Director of Mossad and as your father.
I know about your little dalliance with Miss Sciuto. It will stop immediately.
I know the report about Ari Haswari's death was falsified. That he developed such an unhealthy obsession with Agent Gibbs and Caitlin Todd and went rogue certainly predicated his end, but you handled it entirely incorrectly. Handler issues aside, how could you?
Ziva, you killed your brother.
Detached, I watch the sheet of paper fall from my numb fingers. My father's words echo in my head, his exacting tone grating against terror-dulled nerves.
McGee's voice is a distant whisper in the brief moment I've forgotten where I am. They can't see this; I have to get out of here. I'm on my feet and grabbing my jacket in a fluidity of movement borne of years of body memory. The letter is stuffed into my pocket haphazardly; no evidence left behind, Ziva.
"I have to go." I feel faint; I do not want to give Tony any ammunition. Rushing into the elevator -- I'm not surprised Gibbs has followed me -- I stab blindly at the buttons and force my breathing as close to normal as possible.
The fact that he waits what feels like nearly a full minute before stopping the car does not escape me, but I cannot meet his gaze. The first touch of his hand on my shoulder sends me into a violently useless action as I still find myself backed against the wall.
"You done?" His voice is low, but that thread of steel is very present in his tone. I nod slowly, still unable to meet his gaze. "Or should I just kick your ass first and ask questions later?"
"I'm sorry, Gibbs." I close my eyes, attempting to regain some semblance of control over myself. "Just let me leave?" I finally ask, oddly unnerved by the silence. "Please?"
"You're a damned good agent, Ziva. Why the hell would I let you go without a good reason?"
"This have anything to do with your attitude?" He waves the crumpled paper in front of my face. All I can do is stare dumbly at it. "If my guess is correct, it's from your father and parallels the one I received."
"What?" Now I meet his gaze, studying his face for some answer that I really don't want. "Who else did he send it to?"
"My guess? If your letter reads like mine, I'll bet the director's got a copy and--"
I'm perversely glad to be held against the wall as I feel the blood drain from my face. "Abby," I whisper brokenly, eyes closing against the sting of tears. "I do not care if Director Shepherd knows about Abby or Ari. Abby cannot find out about Ari."
"I don't think--"
"Gibbs, she hated me initially because I replaced Caitlin Todd. If Abby knew that her murderer was my brother?"
"Considering he killed Kate and would've killed me if you hadn't intervened, I don't think Abs will hate you, Ziva. Give Abby, and yourself, a little more credit than that."
"I -- Gibbs, I can't lose her," I finally whisper painfully. "She means more to me than..." I can't say the words that condemn me in my father's eyes.
"If she means so much, why're you lying to her, Ziva?"
"I am Mossad, I--"
"Bullshit!" he retorts, waving that damned piece of paper in front of me. "Not according to this, you're not."
"No!" I'm losing the battle with my tears. "That's not what he meant. He won't lose the connection to NCIS that I've given him. But he certainly won't admit to any knowledge of me if shove comes to push."
"Push comes to shove," he replies with just a hint of amusement. "So why send the letters then?"
"To remind me of my place." The words come out far too quickly; words I've used in past interrogations. A sudden barrage of memories floods behind my eyes. Never forget your training, Ziva. No, he wouldn't, would he?
"Abby," I breathe, reaching for the button to start the elevator again. I need to get to her, need to keep her safe. He wouldn't be above using a loved one as leverage against any suspected threat. And that's what I've become to him now, more of a liability than an asset. Is there someone out there coming to eliminate the supposed threat I now pose?
His hands rest heavily against my shoulders again, pinning me back to the wall. "We'll keep her safe," he murmurs. "I swear to you, Ziva, Abby won't be harmed." I meet his gaze for a long moment, lost in the safety and certainty in his eyes. Too overcome to speak, I swallow thickly and nod. I have to believe him, or I'll go mad. "Have I ever let you down yet?"
It takes several deep even breaths before I'm steady enough to answer him. "Thank you, Gibbs."
"Go home, Ziva. I'll find a way to send Abby soon." Just as the doors slide open, showing the boys hovering curiously nearby, Gibbs shoves me roughly. "You don't choose your schedule, David! I don't give a damn if you're Mossad or not," he growls in that voice. "Get out of here until you can act like a member of this team."
I glare at him mutely, stalk past him to shove files and reports into my desk drawers. Cringing internally at the mess, I keep up the pretence of grabbing my things, trying to ignore our audience as I head back to the elevator. If Tony keeps staring like that, I'll start laughing hysterically and blow my cover. Gibbs turns and winks at me as the elevator doors close once again.
"And don't you dare go anywhere but out the damned door, David. You step off that elevator on any other floor, and your deportment papers will be the next thing you touch."
For the briefest of moments, I consider going down to the lab, just to see Abby, make sure she's safe. I know Gibbs would understand, but I can't break character now. So I do the next best thing. Grabbing my phone, I'm startled when it starts ringing. "Gibbs?" I ask, not exactly surprised.
"Don't do it. Just go home." And then familiar loud music drowns him out for a few seconds as he yells at Abby to turn it down. "Here, say hello."
"Abby?" I do my best to keep my voice casual.
"Hi, Ziva! Why're you calling me on Gibbs' phone? Just come down here."
"I'm going home for the afternoon," I say, starting to formulate some sort of lie to tell her. Thankfully, I stop myself before I get that far. "Tony and McGee will tell you that Gibbs sent me home. It is true, just not for the reasons they believe."
"I don't understand. Why would Gibbs do that?"
I can hear him telling her that he'll explain later, and sigh softly. "I'll have dinner waiting when you get home, Ahuvati. Call me when you leave?"
"Sure. Love ya, babe," she says and I hear Gibbs telling her to hang up.
"I love you, too," I whisper, too late for her to hear me.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
This was a bad idea. Gibbs never should have made me leave NCIS. All I can do is sit here and worry about what will happen. At least at NCIS I could be doing something more constructive than worrying about what could happen. I know my father; the man taught me everything I know and he's not one for idle threats. But Abby sounded normal on the phone, and she hasn't called since. Surely that's got to be a good sign.
It's only been two hours since he made me leave, and I've already cleaned up the apartment and started a batch of Abby's favorite gumbo cooking. Perhaps having something comforting from her childhood will make our inevitable conversation easier for her. I wonder if I have time to get some flowers for her. Black roses would certainly be best, but blood red will have to suffice with this little advance notice, and they'll be quite expensive. But she's more than worth it. I'm just about to dial the number I've got memorized when the phone comes to life in my hand.
"Again?" I mutter, staring at the screen. "What are the odds?" I know that number, and I can't ignore this call. With a deep breath, I press the button. "Hello, Madame Director."
"So formal, Ziva?" Her tone is lighter than I expect, the Jenny I've known for so many years, but there is still that definite steel of the Director.
"I wasn't sure what sort of mood you might be in, Jenny." I pause for a long moment before continuing. "I take it you've talked to Gibbs already?"
"I have. I'd rather you were here as well, but we do what we have to, right? So... That was some pretty interesting news we got on the case this morning, wasn't it?"
I know her tactic well, and can't help the smile tugging at the corners of my lips. She's remembered that there could be ears anywhere. "I certainly wasn't expecting it, if that's what you mean. Had I any clue it was coming, I would have--"
"Told me a helluva lot sooner, I'd hope," she cuts in smoothly. I can picture the look on her face as she says it, right down to the lips pursed in indignation at being left out of the loop. "I'm assuming that this new evidence hasn't made its way to the lab for analysis yet?"
"Not yet, no. But it will soon, very soon. Jenny, I--"
"We'll discuss this in more depth tomorrow. I just wanted to touch bases with you since you had to leave before I could speak with you. Forensics will need to see this evidence, Ziva. Its lack could blow this whole case right out of the water and ruin all of the intel you've gathered so far."
I swallow thickly, free hand nervously clutching at the golden Magen David resting against my chest. "I understand that all too well, Jenny. I've no desire to destroy all of these long months of work."
"I'm glad to hear that, Ziva. First thing in the morning, you come see me, understand?"
"Yes, ma'am," I reply dutifully, holding back my emotions just a bit longer.
"Good luck," she says softly before ending the call.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The telltale sound of Abby's boots on the carpet in the corridor alerts me to her presence. I smile at just how perfectly she's followed her route home and gotten back to me safely. It lessens some of the bands constricting around my heart. Just because she's home, it doesn't mean this discussion will go smoothly. But I have to trust in Abby, in what we feel for each other. And if Gibbs was wrong, I'll never trust him with anything important again.
"Babe, I'm home!" Abby calls out as she comes into the apartment and drops her bag unceremoniously by the door, just like always. She turns to see me sitting on the couch, grinning broadly as she plops down next to me. "You've been busy! The place looks great, the roses are really pretty, and" -- she inhales deeply -- "you made Grandmama's gumbo." Suddenly her eyes narrow. "What's going on?"
I offer her a brave smile, still not entirely comfortable with what I've got to do. "There's something I need to talk to you about. But it can wait until after you've eaten. I'm sure you haven't eaten nearly enough again today, have you, Abby?" Her sheepish grin is answer enough and I press a light kiss to the tip of her nose before standing. "Wait here."
Heading into the kitchen, I quickly start to ladle up a good-sized bowl for her dinner before pulling out the salad I've made myself. The hushpuppies come next, and I'm just moving everything onto the tray to bring back to the living room when the long lines of Abby's body press against my back. She grabs a hushpuppy from the plate and moans deliciously upon taking a bite.
"Sorry, babe, but I couldn't wait. It smells way too good." She snuggles in closer, arms resting loosely around my waist. "You smell good, too."
I turn slightly to stare into her eyes, narrowing my own. "Are you attempting to seduce me before we even eat, Abigail?"
Shrugging, she rests her forehead against mine. "You just looked like you could use some cheering up, I guess. Tony said Gibbs was really pissed at you and sent you home because you wouldn't work at all today. Timmy even backed him up on that, willingly. And when I asked Gibbs, all he'd say was that you'd had some pretty serious words and he was sending you home to deal with your shit."
"Gibbs said he sent me home to deal with my shit?" I ask, blinking innocently at her. "I have no issues with my bowel movements, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't be discussing that information with Gibbs."
"Ziva!" she whines, rolling her eyes. "I know you know what that means."
Shifting completely around to face her, I wrap my own arms around her waist with a smile. "And am I now not allowed to tease you?" Before she can reply, I lean up to press a light kiss to her lips again. "Your gumbo is getting cold, Ahuvati. Eat your dinner and then we'll talk. There's something I need to tell you."
Abby strokes my cheek gently. "It really is something important, isn't it? No good conversation ever starts with 'we need to talk', Ziva." Her eyes grow wider suddenly. "Wait. Gibbs sent you home, the place is totally clean, the flowers, my favorite comfort food. What's wrong? Are you gonna leave me, Ziva?"
"I certainly hope not!" I reply quickly, feeling the bands of fear tightening around my heart again. "Not unless you want me to." Just that very thought... I can't even contemplate it right now. "Please eat? We'll talk later."
Abby stares at me for several seconds, and I'm unable to turn away from that intense scrutiny. Finally she shakes her head. "I'm not hungry anymore. Just talk to me, Ziva."
"Perhaps the couch would be more comfortable?" I ask, trying to shift away from the counter now digging into my back.
Abby pauses for a long moment before lacing our fingers together to lead me to the couch. I have to take comfort in the fact that she'll allow me to at least begin explaining myself. She pushes me down onto the couch with a quick "Wait right here." And with that, she's gone toward the bedroom. In less time than I'd expect, she's back and dressed in far more comfortable and casual clothes, Bert's twin Bart under one arm. Once she's settled in her favorite corner of the couch, I take a deep breath, absently fingering my Magen David again.
"Abby, Ahuvati, do you remember when I came to NCIS?"
"I didn't like you very much then, but that's all changed now."
"I know it is," I reply softly, reaching over to stroke Bart's back until I touch her hand. "There's something you need to know about why I ended up working with NCIS." It's now or never... "Ari Haswari was a Mossad agent, and I was his control officer. I managed all of his assignments, made the reports back to my director, whatever needed to be done."
"Wait, you were--?" With each word, she grows paler. "Did you know he was going to kill Kate?"
"No! Ahuvati, I had no idea what he was going to do. And once he did it, I didn't believe he had. Gibbs finally resorted to extreme measures to convince me of his guilt." Images of Ari slumped on the floor of Gibbs' basement, his life's blood seeping out onto the concrete, fill my head. The pain of shooting him is just as sharp now as it was over two years ago. "Please believe me, Abby. If I'd known what he was going to do, that he was not what I believed him to be, I'd have done everything I could to stop him and save Caitlin."
The room is blanketed in silence for several moments; the sounds of our breathing are loud in my ears. Abby's stroking Bart's synthetic fur, and won't meet my gaze. I can see the tears slipping down her cheeks, but I have no idea if she'll allow me to wipe them away. The very thought of losing this woman is killing me. I would rather have my father actually find and kill me than upset my Abby. As the silence stretches out without any reaction from Abby, I realize I can't tell her anything more about Ari. If what I've already said has bothered her this much, finding out my blood connection to him will completely destroy our relationship.
"Ziva, there's something you're not telling me, isn't there?"
Nodding, I swallow thickly. As much as I fear telling her the rest, I cannot continue to lie to Abby. "Ari Haswari wasn't just a fellow Mossad agent, he was my half-brother. He was out of control and I killed him. I had to shoot my own brother to stop him."
I can't just sit here and wait for her to reject me completely. Caitlin Todd meant a great deal to Abby, and I didn't know enough to stop Ari before he killed her. Quickly on my feet, I begin to pace, needing something to do, ignoring the tears trailing down my own cheeks. I look up at the sudden sensation of an obstruction in my path to find Abby standing there. For the first time since I've known her, I cannot read Abby's expression, and it terrifies me. We stand there for what feels like an eternity before Abby moves. Expecting to be hit, I'm thoroughly shocked to feel her arms wrapping tightly around me, practically crushing me to her. In that instant, I know she won't abandon me, us. My knees start to buckle under me, and I'm even more grateful Abby's got such a death grip on me as the tears start to fall in earnest relief. As she holds me, the words just start spilling out: the issues with Ari, the secret that Gibbs and I have held for so long, the falsified documents, the letters from my father. Nothing is kept hidden.
"Shh, it's okay, Ziva," she murmurs, stroking my back.
"Is it?" I ask in a small voice.
Abby shuffles the two of us back to the couch and hands Bart to me. Without thought, I clutch the stuffed hippo tightly to me, causing it to let out one of its trademark farts. Abby's instant reaction is to giggle, and I can't help but join her in the nearly hysterical laughter for a few moments. Gasping for breath, I stare up into her eyes, hesitant to see what's there.
"I understand, Ziva, really I do. I may be kinda mad and upset for a while about it, but I understand why you did what you did," she says, stroking my cheek gently. "But I need to ask you something. If it hadn't been for that letter from your dad, would you ever have told me all of this?"
"I -- I don't know, Ahuvati. I suppose I always believed I'd tell you one day, but I never found the right time...until the choice was taken from me."
"He won't hurt us, you know. Gibbs would never allow it." She sounds so damned sure of herself that I have to believe her. "Gibbs knows I love you too much."
"Ani Ohevet otach, Ahuvati," I say in a voice far steadier than I feel at the moment, shifting to press my lips to her palm.
"What does that mean? You've called me that before."
I smile warmly, letting my feelings for her shine in my eyes. "I love you, my beloved."
"Aww, that's so sweet!" she squeals and pulls me close for a soul-searing kiss. "Do you have any idea how hot you sound when you're talking in other languages?"
I chuckle and blink dumbly at her, hormones all out of control between the fear and combined love and arousal. "What was the question again?"
Abby giggles darkly and waggles her eyebrows at me. We share another kiss, only stopping when her stomach growls loudly. "Okay, I gotta eat something to shut up my stomach. Then you and me have a date with the tub and our bed." She tries to repeat the Hebrew phrasing back to me, and mangles it with a self-conscious grin. "Okay, you say it from now on, as often as you want."
"I promise, Ahuvati."
my soul :: Neshama Sheli
my beloved :: Ahuvati
I love you :: Ani Ohevet otach