DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was a plot bunny I kept trying to ignore, but every time I heard the song, it just became more and more complete in my head until I knew I had to go ahead and write it, or I'd be insane. It didn't help that the song was on at least two of my shuffle line-ups. I usually hate song-fics, but there you go. Feed appreciated as always. Severe angst warning.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To cirroco[at]gmail.com

The day before the day
By Cirroco DeSade


Abby sat up in bed stifling a sob, waking from the same dream that had plagued her for weeks. She reached over to the other side of the bed, running her hands over the cold sheets. Grabbing the pillow on that side, she brought it to her face and inhaled, realizing that slowly the scent was fading. A tear escaped her ragged self-control at that thought. Sniffling, she stood from her bed and made her way to the bathroom. It was too early to be up, but she knew from experience she wouldn't be falling back asleep anyway.

After she was done with her shower, she moved to her closet and rifled through her clothes. Her hands hesitated as she touched the soft leather jacket hanging near the middle. It would never fit her. It never had. Ziva had left it one day when she decided to take her morning run all the way back to her apartment. Closing her eyes, she could see Ziva taking it off and tossing it over the chair, her roguish grin lighting up her face before she had approached Abby that night.

Moving past the jacket, she ignored the one or two other items belonging to the younger woman next to the jacket, moving on to her own outfit. A black t-shirt and black skirt would do just fine. Gathering the items and her resolve, she closed the closet behind her.

Eyes opening slowly, she found the early morning sun breaking through the eastern facing windows. She was so happy that her apartment's windows didn't face east, because this early morning light was for the birds. Rolling over into the body behind her, she was unsurprised to find Ziva awake and watching her, a smile on her face. The woman was always awake before her.

"Mornin'," Abby rasped her voice still hoarse from its abuse the night before.

Ziva hummed, with a knowing smile lighting up her face. "Good morning," she answered and leaned in to kiss Abby thoroughly.

Several minutes passed with them happily enjoying their kisses, but when Abby broke away she noticed the clock on Ziva's bedside table. She'd never make it back to her apartment to change and get to work on time if she didn't hurry.

"Zee!" she exclaimed. "I asked you to wake me early so I could go home and change."

Abby hopped out of the bed and started tracking down her clothes where they had been thrown haphazardly around the room. She looked back at the Israeli, who was still lying in her bed, her naked body only partially covered by the thin sheet, looking like a goddess fallen to earth. She was just too damned sexy for her own good; or was that for Abby's good? Abby wasn't sure.

What had begun as a semi-drunken fling one night had continued as a casual sexual relationship and morphed into dating. They had taken turns staying at each other's apartments, with increasing frequency and Abby had wondered what it all meant to the emotionally reticent woman behind her.

As she dressed, she caught the sight of Ziva looking at her seriously in the reflection in the mirror in front of her. She never knew what the Israeli was thinking, never knew what would come out of her mouth next. It was obvious she cared, but how much, or even why, Abby couldn't say. It was beginning to become too much for the scientist. She was starting to care too much if it turned out this was still just a way to scratch an itch for the Israeli. Maybe she had better put the brakes on things soon, tell Ziva it was fun, but they needed to back off and be friends. She didn't think she could handle falling for the Mossad Officer and have her not return her feelings.

As she turned around, Ziva sat up in bed, the sheet falling away from her body completely. She was completely unselfconscious. Abby knew it wasn't about seduction. She had seen Ziva's seduction, and this wasn't it. The Israeli held a hand out to the Goth, inviting her back to the bed. Abby hesitated. She did need to go, which meant she couldn't afford to be drawn back into the bed with Ziva.

"Abigail," Ziva said upon seeing Abby's hesitation, "I want to tell you something."

Abby shivered at hearing her full name falling from Ziva's lips. Whenever she said it like that, it just tore right through her. That silken voice, that accent, and the fact that she rarely let people use her full name just combined to make it a sensual treat. She gathered her resolve and shook her head even as she ran over to the edge of the bed and quickly stole a goodbye kiss from the smaller woman.

"I have to run, Ziva," she said apologetically. "I'll," she paused, seeing the hurt and disappointment in Ziva's eyes. It made her want to stay and hear Ziva out, but she knew she couldn't. "I'll come back tonight. We'll have time to talk then."

Ziva sighed then nodded slowly. "Very well," she answered mustering a smile for the taller woman. "Tonight."

Abby bounced out of the room, but not before she heard Ziva speak softly. "Ani ohev otach, Abby," the Israeli said, thinking Abby wasn't paying attention. Abby memorized the phrase, thinking she would look it up later at work.

When she finally did get around to doing just that on one of the PCs at work that afternoon, it was too late. Gibbs had called and let her know what had happened.

Abby finished dressing, all in black, as she had for weeks now. All her guys had tried to talk to her, encourage her or cheer her up. She could tell Gibbs was worried; he came and checked on her daily. Ducky made more excuses to come by the lab and Tony came by a couple of times per day trying to make her laugh. Tim was the hardest with his puppy dog eyes and inability to express himself for fear of hurting her.

She walked over to her dresser and picked up the gold chain that lay there. She hadn't worn any of her normal chokers since she had gotten this. She reached up and gently worked the clasp, settling it around her neck. It still looked so out of place on her neck, the Magen David a sharp contrast to the giant cross tattooed on her back. However she didn't wear this as a sign of her faith; she wore it because of her, because it had been hers, something she didn't ever remember seeing her without.

Looking in the mirror, she remembered taking it off of her.

"It's not right!" Abby wailed, pounding her fists into Gibbs chest even as he held her close to him. "He can't just give up on her! She might recover. She might…"

"Shhh," Gibbs shushed in her ear. "Abs, he doesn't want to do it any more than you want it done. None of us want it. But she's gone. She's been gone since the bullet struck her. It's just the machines keeping her alive now."

"But," Abby sobbed and clung to Gibbs coat. He held her head to his chest and ran his strong hands over her hair.

"She wouldn't have wanted to be kept like this, Abs," he said gently. "And this is difficult on Director David, too. He's losing his last child."

She felt his fingertips under her chin, raising her face to look into his sad eyes. She noticed for the first time they were bloodshot. Had Gibbs been crying too?

"This is your chance to say goodbye," he said softly. "Let her go out the hero she was, Abs. Tell her what you need. He won't stop you."

Abby sniffled and wiped her face with her sleeve. She nodded at Gibbs, not as reassured as she normally was by his squeeze of her shoulder. Turning, she went into the room where Ziva was still hooked up to all the machines. Eli David sat on one side of the bed, holding his daughter's hand, staring blankly at the floor. She wanted to say something to him, but couldn't think of what would be the right thing. Finally, she settled for honesty; she would probably never see him again anyway.

"I loved her," she said softly as she stood on the other side of the bed. He looked up at her and she barreled on while she still had the courage to say it. "I was falling in love with her." He didn't appear shocked; he just took a long slow blink then nodded. "I've lived my life without regret, until today. I left that morning when she wanted to say something to me, but I didn't think I had the time. I heard her say it in Hebrew, but I didn't know what it meant until it was too late. I should have stayed, listened, told her how I felt. Maybe… maybe the day would have been different." Abby shrugged.

"What did she say?" he asked, his voice a bare whisper.

"Ani ohev otach, Abby," Abby told him. She felt the tears starting to track down her face again. She reached up and dabbed at her eyes with her sleeves again. She jumped when she felt his hand on her shoulder, not having noticed him come around the bed.

He leaned in and kissed both of her cheeks and then held her in a strong embrace. It was an altogether odd feeling. After a few minutes, he stepped back. "I will give you a few minutes alone while I talk to the doctors," he said and then left.

She spent the time talking to Ziva as if she could hear her and then broke down and cried while lying next to her. A little while later she heard Gibbs voice, telling her it was time, and that she needed to stand. She leaned forward and laid a kiss on the smaller woman's cheek. She touched the necklace lying on the Israeli's gown, smiling sadly; she was afraid she would never see it again.

"Can I," Abby looked up at Eli hopefully, "Could I, I mean…"

The older man just nodded. Abby reached behind Ziva's neck and took the necklace off of her. It seemed almost wrong. It was definitely a final act and Abby barely had the strength to complete it. When she put it around her own neck, she looked into the older man's eyes.

"Thank you," she whispered, the fled the room.

Later, he found her. Gibbs followed the older man into the room a worried look in his eyes. The Director of Mossad sat down next to her and put his hand over hers.

"I will leave tonight with her body," he said gently. "I wondered if you would like to come with us."

Abby looked up at Gibbs and he gave her an encouraging nod. Abby nodded, grateful for the unexpected invitation.

Abby sighed, picking up her bag and getting ready to start another day. She would stop by the convenience store and pick up a Caf-Pow! and then head to Ziva's favorite park. She had a couple of hours to kill before she was needed at work. She didn't want to go in early again and face the looks she got from others not on her team.

She would sit and watch the runners go by and wish she could go back to the day before the day.


The day before the day by Dido

speeches won't be made today
clocks will carry on
flowers won't be left in parks
work will still be done
people won't be dressed in black
babies will be born
no flags will fly, the sun will rise
but we will know that you are gone

you who loved to love and believed we can never give enough

it wakes me every single night
thinking through the day
did you stop at any time
have doubts at any stage
were you calm or were you numb
or happy just to get it done
I've lived my life without regret
until today

and you who loved to love and believed we can never give enough

I didn't get to say goodbye
the day before the day
was trying to get to work on time
that's why I turned away
and missed the most important thing
you ever tried to say
I've lived my life without regret
until today

and you who loved to love and believed we can never give enough
and you who hoped that underneath
we all felt the same
that was until the day before the day

the day before the day
the day before the day
the day before the day
the day before the day
the day before the day
the day before the day

The End

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