DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There was no beta. If you spot any mistakes, I'm sorry. Be gentle with me. Any feedback is adored.
SPOILERS: Just the beginning of season three, though it's not set then.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To cirroco[at]gmail.com

By Cirroco DeSade


"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked. His face had taken on that gentle, understanding demeanor that he got when it came to taking care of his team.

"No," she answered honestly. "But it is the correct thing to do."

"You're not afraid," he trailed off, leaving the rest implied.

"She would never betray me, or you," Ziva said firmly. "She may never forgive me. She may never speak to me again. But she would not turn me in, because to do so would hurt you too."

Jethro Gibbs sighed. He was not really trying to change Ziva's mind, but he wanted to be sure she had thought things through before she did what she was proposing. Of course, since she had come to him first in order to be sure he would be available that night if needed; he already knew she had been thinking of all the angles. She was a good agent which meant she could plan out an operation with many contingencies. He hoped this one would be unnecessary.

"I'll be around if either of you need me," he said.

"Thank you," she said, relieved. She turned to leave the conference room.

"Ziva," he stopped her. "I hope she takes it well."

She turned back and nodded at him, appreciating the sentiment, and the meaning hidden underneath it.

Nervousness was not a feeling Ziva was accustomed to, nor one she liked either. She had asked Abby to stop by after she got done at work. They had finished up their case and the entire team was slated to have the weekend off. As long as nothing came up, they actually had two days off to look forward to. Abby probably thought that her new girlfriend had something romantic planned. If she were a little more selfish, a little more like her old self, she would have liked to ignore the task she had set out for herself and enjoy just that. However, she couldn't continue to make believe this was yet another casual fling to her and knowing how seriously she felt, she owed Abby this.

She paced the length of her small apartment, having already tidied up and otherwise tried to occupy her mind with mundane tasks. She had tried to mediate, but it was impossible. She had even attempted some katas and found her moves clumsy and uneven. Finally she gave up and simply moved slowly back and forth, both hoping to and dreading hearing Abby's boots clomping up to her doorway.

When the knock finally did come, she inhaled deeply to gather her resolve and walked across the room to open the door. Abby bounced in, all smiles and practically pounced on the smaller woman. Ziva let herself get lost in the kiss that Abby gave her, until she felt a pang of guilt. Was she being deceptive, knowing that Abby might not ever want to touch her again once she had told her what was on her mind? Forcing down that uncomfortable thought, she pushed the Goth away gently.

"Abigail," Ziva spoke very softly, almost caressing her name. It was such a lovely name she enjoyed saying so much. This strange but brilliant tall woman, in her short plaid skirt and skull covered clothing never failed to make her smile. Even now as her raven black pigtails swayed back and forth in response to Abby's bouncy energy, Ziva was enamored.

"Zee," Abby said and broke into one of her quirky grins.

Ziva took her by the hand and led her further in, indicating she should sit on the couch. "I invited you here because I needed to talk to you," Ziva said with some trouble.

"That sounds serious," Abby said, immediately concerned by Ziva's tone of voice. She had also noticed that the Israeli's accent was thicker whenever she was upset and it was definitely substantial at that moment.

"It is," Ziva confirmed.

"Are you breaking up with me?" the forensic scientist asked in a small scared voice.

"No," Ziva immediately answered. "Nothing like that."

"Okay," Abby answered, but her tone was questioning.

Ziva knew the time had come. She had figured out how she wanted to tell her. She wanted to start with the reason she felt the need to tell her first though.

"Abby," she started slowly. "I know I've told you there is much in my life I will never be able to tell you about. You have been very good at understanding this, despite the fact that I know you like to know things." She smiled at the older woman, who smiled back. "I have not had many, well, any serious relationships."

Standing up, she began pacing again. Abby watched her with concern, but knew better than to interrupt Ziva when she was opening up.

"My father molded me in his image when I was very young," Ziva said with some discomfort. "I knew that love would be almost impossible with the kind of life he wanted me to lead. I resigned myself to that and boxed my heart away so it would not hurt. I have had affairs and even brief relationships but never have I had the desire to let somebody near that hidden part of me." She crossed back to Abby and kneeled in front of where the older woman sat.

"You change that," Ziva said gravely. When she saw Abby about to speak, she put a fingertip over the Goth's dark lips. "I want to be more with you. I want a real chance with you. However, I know that for this to happen, there must be a solid foundation for us. You will need to know you can trust me in all the times I cannot tell you things. I do not ever want to tell you lies."

Abby tilted her head wondering where this was going. She kissed the finger on her lips gently. She nodded, waiting for the dark haired beauty in front of her to continue. Frankly she was surprised by this outpouring, but pleasantly so. Ziva was always charming, and always kind, but not necessarily emotive like herself.

"I have lied to you about something very important," Ziva said and forced herself to keep eye contact. "About two things really." She inhaled deeply, gathering her resolve. "I was there the night Ari Haswari died, in Gibbs basement."

Abby's jaw dropped in shock.

"Gibbs did not kill him," Ziva continued. "I lied and Gibbs lied. I killed Ari. Gibbs covered for me so I would not get killed by my own father."

"What? Why?" Abby asked numbly. Thinking of that time always cut through her like a burning sword, the pain was so acute.

"He would have killed Gibbs if I had not killed him," Ziva said. Horrified, she felt a tear escaping her control and rolling down her cheek quickly. She stood and moved away from Abby. "And my father would kill me if he knew I was the shooter, even though it was the only thing to do." She picked up a small album she had gotten out before Abby had arrived. She handed it to Abby.

"This is the lie of omission, but I fear you will see it as worse," Ziva said. She watched Abby open it to the picture of her and her father, then one of her and her sister. "This is my family. I never carried many pictures of them, as it would compromise me." She felt a wave of sorrow when Abby looked her mother's picture. They looked so much alike. "But this posting allows me to have a few." She knew she was getting off target. "I know you know I had a sister. I also have a half sister and had a half brother, both from my father's first wife."

Abby finally got to the one picture that Ziva had of Ari and herself, together and happy, taken when Ziva was in the Israeli Army. The Goth gasped lightly in shock and looked up at the woman before her. She was shocked to realize that Ziva was trembling slightly and obviously scared.

"My brother killed your friend Kate," Ziva said numbly. "And then, I killed my brother."

Abby blinked repeatedly, too shocked to even process everything she was feeling: anger, guilt, empathy, even some joy simply because Ziva considered them so valuable that she would leave herself open to Abby like this. She stood, walked over to Ziva, and handed her the album. She leaned down momentarily and kissed both Ziva's tear stained eyes.

"Call me tomorrow. We'll go do something." Abby looked down then looked back up. "I need a little time to process it Zee. I want to go light a candle for Kate," she said softly. She touched Ziva's face. "And a candle for you."

Turning, she walked back to the front door picking up her purse from where she dropped it on the floor on her way in. She turned back to Ziva.

"I still love you, you silly spy," she said then left.

The End

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