DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILERS: Um, this pretty much ignores Silent Night ever happened.  I don't think there are spoilers, but it is loosely set in Season Six.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Christmas Cheer
By Jaina


Ziva can picture it. 

"Hey, Mom!  This is my girlfriend, Ziva.  She's a highly trained Mossad Assassin.  One of their best, except for the time she allowed her half-brother to go rogue.  So she killed him.  And then of course she came to work with us, and now we're dating."

Well, perhaps with less details and more excitement. It was Abby, after all, and despite her seeming omnipotence, she doesn't have the security clearance to know everything.

That, however, is beside the point.  What is the point is that this is a disaster waiting to happen.  Ziva can feel it in her bones.

She will be the one person in a very small house not celebrating Christmas with an enthusiasm that Abby assures her is genetic.  She will be the one person in a very small house that does not speak the language - sign language, in this case - but equally indecipherable, and Ziva hates that feeling of exclusion.  Hates it to the point of irrationality.  But Ziva supposes that is bound to happen when an incomplete command of the language almost cost her life on her third mission.

What Ziva cannot picture is how she will turn down Abby's very sweet invitation to join her in Louisiana for the holidays, when she visits her family in the home that she grew up in.  It's almost worth it, Ziva thinks, to see the place and the people, who made Abby who she is today.

She wants that insight, that knowledge.  That's how she ends up sweating in December and thinking longingly of the cold rain of D.C. 

Ziva feels all of the things that she expected - lost, but when she feels like she's falling, there's Abby's hand on the small of her back, giving her balance.  Out of place, but then Abby's mother hugs her.  Abby's brothers are milling around around, teasing their sister, taking their bags, jostling Abby playfully, and they're just fixing to walk into the house.  Somehow - and Ziva is not certain, because she is a very good spy - but somehow, Abby's mother comes out of nowhere and wraps her in a welcoming hug.  It's brief, lasting barely more than a second, but oh-so familiar, and Ziva knows that this must be genetic too. 

And so they don't speak of the many things that Ziva has done that would probably horrify Abby's family, or mention who her father is.  It simply doesn't come up.  And the Sciuto's gracefully accept her clumsy attempts at sign language and her occaisional retreats to the farthest and least populated corner of the backyard.

All in all, it works out much better than Ziva could ever have expected.  There's only one awkward moment where Abby forgets to lock the bedroom door and her mother walks in on them.  Ziva has never seen Abby blush before and she can only imagine what her own face looked like. 

She sinks back onto Abby's familiar couch with all the exhaustion of an operative home from completing a long but complicated mission.  Abby falls into place beside her and snuggles closer, resting her head on Ziva's shoulder. 

"Thank you."


"For coming with me."  Abby squeezes her arm gently, raising her head slightly to look at Ziva. "It really meant a lot. I know, it wasn't your first choice."

Ziva smiles just like that, finding herself once again impossibly charmed by this woman.  She leans in to capture Abby's lips in a kiss.

"You are my first choice."

The End

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