DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set during or slightly before, somewhere around 5.05 Leap of Faith.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Hard Lessons.
A Chance Meeting
She's sitting in a small coffee shop, picking at the muffin in front of her and sipping coffee. Ziva comes in here every morning when she has a chance. It's around the corner from the small convenience store where Abby stops for Caf-Pow each day. It's a morning ritual that she savors, especially since they broke up. The little glimpse of Abby that gets her through the day.
She's aware that it's slightly stalkerish, especially considering that they broke up, but she doesn't consider it stalking. She's an intelligence operative; she's merely keep the subject under surveillance.
This Friday is a rare day off. She'll work Sunday to make up for this, but even if she's not going in for work, she won't forgo her daily Abby sighting.
Ziva smiles as she sees Abby walk out of the convenience store, Caf-Pow in hand. What she's not expecting is the way that Abby crosses the street and walks into the coffee shop. Ziva freezes immediately, knowing that the quickest way to draw attention to herself is to make a sudden movement. Still, Abby finds her almost immediately as she glances around the small crowded room.
She walks over to Ziva, without apparent surprise at seeing her, and sits down. Abby takes a sip of her Caf-Pow and sets it down between them on the table, as she leans back in the chair and crosses her leg. Her skirt rides up and Ziva lets herself follow the long line of Abby's legs.
The moment Abby starts speaking, she jerks her gaze back up to Abby's face.
"I got a job offer."
The words hit Ziva harder than a blow from the butt of a shotgun to her midsection. She knows she has no right to ask this, no right to think this, but she has to ask.
"Are you going to take the job?" She manages, she thinks, to keep the tone of her voice so very neutral, like her heart isn't caught in the balance.
So far Abby's keeping the sentences short and simple. It's not a good sign. Ziva wishes that she was yelling or furiously babbling. Anything.
"Why?" It's a simple question that Ziva's already afraid that she knows the answer to, but Abby's here and she's talking to her. She has to ask.
"I'm angry because I'm so damn good at what I do, everyone expects me to do the impossible, constantly. I'm angry," she says, her voice rising, "because I work sixteen hours a day, on a good day and all I can think about when I get home is how you're not there." Her voice drops. "I'm angry because I haven't slept well in weeks and I'm so mad that you took that - that -" Words seem to fail her for a moment. "Girl," She finally spits out the word like a curse, "Back to your apartment."
"Abby," Ziva reaches out quickly for her hand, but Abby jerks it back.
"I'm not done being mad."
"I'm mad that every time I try to move on, I can't."
"Taking this job will make you happy, yes?" Ziva forced herself to say the words. The thought was unbearable. "Then you should accept the offer."
Abby gapes. "You think I should - I just said." She stands up, grabs her Caf-Pow. "You missed the entire point, Ziva." She glares as she stalks towards the door of the coffee house.
Ziva doesn't let her run away again. She catches her just outside the door and grabs Abby's arm. Abby tries to jerk her arm away, but Ziva only tightens her grip until Abby stops fighting. Gently but firmly, Ziva leads her further down the street.
"The point," Ziva says softly, "Is that I wish for you to be happy, and if you think this job will make you happy then I think you should take it." She stops walking, and moves so that she's facing Abby. "I don't want you to be angry or unhappy, Abby. You have no reason to be jealous of that girl. She was nothing. A distraction. What I want is you. I want to show you that I do not take you for granted."
Ziva reaches up slowly, and cups Abby's cheek with her hand. She follows the curve of her cheekbone with her thumb, feeling the friction of calluses against silky smooth skin.
"Let me show you," She whispers, putting everything that she feels into the words.
"It hurt, seeing her with you." Abby's voice says plainly that she's still angry.
"I am sorry," Ziva repeats the words, hoping that she can make Abby truly believe them this time. "I never wanted to hurt you."
Abby looks up for the first time since and reached over to touch her face. She meets Ziva's gaze squarely. "Don't do it again."
Ziva manages to give a short nod. She suddenly feels light-headed, as if everything that's been weighing on her was lifted away. Her legs feel unsteady as Abby's gaze continues to burn into her.
"Are you going to kiss me or not?" There's a petulant tone in her voice that both catches her heart and amuses her.
Ziva isn't the kind of girl that needs a second invitation like that though, so she takes it. Her lips press up against Abby's with gentle pressure, seeking forgiveness and maybe just a little bit of peace. Abby's lips move slowly against hers and it's the best feeling in the world.
It feels like hope, forgiveness and just maybe love.
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