DISCLAIMER: NCIS and it's characters all belong to CBS. (Unfortunately) I don't own them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: 'indicates thought' (in any language). Indicates Hebrew. There are some translations at the bottom. I make references to books / authors / songs that I like in my stories, don't take me too hard, it's just my form of showing appreciation for other peoples art.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I don't know what she said...
The glass felt cool against her palm. Only now, facing the street she now knew too well, did she notice she was home. Sighing deeply, she turned from the sight. For the first time since she started working as an agent, she was missing something, and only a few minutes, or maybe it was hours, ago did she understand what it was.
She was always the outsider, not exactly blending in with her local crowd. At least, not until the summer of her 18th year when she enlisted to the army after a long series of tests and exams. Serving in the intelligence community in the roles she did, hone certain characteristics and left others dormant. Up until that moment in the not so distant past she thought she could control that felling too. That feeling that could only be described as need.
She wanted; she needed to feel the ambiance that was her home for the better part of her life. To hear the language that was more natural to her than breathing and that gave her some problems when translating to English. She removed herself from the window and swore as she flopped on her couch letting her head rest against the back and closing her eyes.
She enjoyed her job. She liked working with the people, and the cases. But there was something that she could not find when in DC. For the fist time, it tormented her. When the phone rang her head popped up and she reached idly for the earpiece. "Hello"
"Ziva! Finally it's you! You have no idea what I went through to get this number of yours. Why didn't you tell me you changed your number?" the dark haired woman let a tired smile come to her lips.
"Hi Ayelet, you need to check your e-mail more. I wrote to you about it last week."
"Aha.. And you need to check yours more often too my mailbox crashed so I had to get a new one, you probably sent it to the old one. No matter. Did you go to that place I told you about?" This might just be the pick me up she needed. The two friends talked for a while, Ziva's mood improving dramatically. "You've always had a definite time for your missions, now, you moved to the States. Like I know you, you barely made friends. Inside or outside of work..."
"Hey, that's not true, I've got..." the doorbell cut her sentence short "someone at the door. Give me a moment." She looked through the peephole her smile growing as she recognized the person on the other side. "Hi!" was the half surprised comment as she opened the door. "Come in, I'll be with you in a minute."
"Ziva, Is this the one you told me about?" the voice followed her into the kitchen.
"Oh please... I think the world finally united to show you that you can be wrong .It's Abby, we..." she exhaled deeply gesturing with the coffee pot at her seated guest. Abby nodded enthusiastically, a broad smile on her face. Ziva turned to the task of making coffee for her guest. "I can't say work together without this turning on me, can I? We did come closer, we're friends." She glanced at the Goth sitting on her couch, looking around with interest "We should end this... You said you might be coming, is that still on?" the smile on the other side of the line could practically be heard
"It's still not 100% sure, but I'll update you as soon as I know. I promise."
"Talk to you soon, yhea?"
"Of course, dear. You wouldn't survive without me." Ziva snorted "Bye."
"Bye." She poured two cups of the steaming liquid and brought it to the living room. Abby wasn't on the couch anymore but standing at the window. She let herself flop on the couch and she looked at the other woman. True, in the beginning she thought the brilliant forensics expert was weird. But in a world where looking average is the key to survival, and the first 15 seconds make the lasting impression she couldn't blame herself. She was very glad she could rise above that first impression and see the talent, and the woman, that lies beneath the black and the tattoos. At the moment, the woman that she couldn't take her eyes off every time they were in the same room was in her apartment. She had given her the address today, and saying that she didn't expect the woman to drop by so soon was an understatement, but she was pleased nonetheless.
When Abby turned from the window, Ziva couldn't help but smile as she took in the woman in front of her. She was wearing a crimson dress, her hair in the ever-present pigtails worn low, and to top it all combat boots and a collar.
"That was Hebrew, right?" Ziva nodded, picking up her cup, absorbing its warmth. "Do you keep in touch with your family? You never talk about them..."
"No, that was an old friend." She took a sip "We met in the army and we have been together ever since." Abby's eyebrows shot up as she sat on the couch
"Together? As in "together" together?" Ziva was confused
"Yhea... together as friends."
"Wait, are you together, or are you friends?"
"I don't understand what you mean." An eyebrow arched
"Are you dating this person, or are you friends?" Ziva nodded once and mouthed 'oh'
"We've been friends for years. She's like my sister."
"You have a sister?"
"No." Abby laughed and reached for her coffee, taking a long sip
"This is good stuff!" She exclaimed happily "How did you meet her?"
"At boot camp. On the first day she sat down next to me and by the end of the evening we were sleeping next to each other in the tent." Abby couldn't help but smirk
"Are you sure there isn't something going on between the two of you?" Ziva lifted her eyebrow
"Positive. Why are you being so insistent about it?" The question was one of pure interest. Abby took another long sip from her drink before she answered
"It's just the tone of your voice when you spoke with her and the phrases you use. It sounded like there is something more to it..." Ziva turned her gaze to the window 'I need to stop staring at her... There is a difference between her having my full attention in her lab, than in here. But, why is she here? I've lost the right to ask that without making it sound like I want her to leave a few minutes ago...'
"I don't get along with other women very well, but when I do it stays."
"You miss her, don't you?" Ziva turned her head back and looked Abby in the eye.
"Terribly." It was Abby's turn to look away, the look in her eyes undecipherable to the experienced spy.
"When will you see her again?"
"She might come here on business next month." Ziva couldn't help to smile at the thought "If she does, I'll be working less." Abby smiled back
"If she comes, bring her by. I'd like to meet her." Ziva nodded her consent. "Meanwhile, would you like to go out with me?" The doorbell rang again. Ziva swallowed hard as she walked to the door and opened it.
"Shalom, Ziva" 'Oy, shit'
"Hi, come in." Abby nearly jumped off the couch when she saw the woman that entered the apartment at 7 o'clock, Friday night. The two visitors exchanged silent looks before Abby could speak again. The woman looked questioningly at Ziva.
"Hello Ma'am." The Goth said with a forced smile.
"Hi, Abby." She turned to Ziva "I didn't know you had company."
"It wasn't planed," Ziva smiled at Abby, letting her know that even though what she said was true, she wasn't sorry it happened either. "Abby just dropped by to invite me out." Jen's head snapped from the object of their conversation to Ziva, an eyebrow rising in question. "I was about to tell her that I've already been asked." Her look towards the Goth became apologetic. Abby nodded, putting on a poker face.
"See you Monday, Ziva." She said heading for the door. The Israeli gestured the redhead to the living room and walked the few steps with the dark haired woman.
"I'm sorry Abby..."
"It's ok. I just didn't know you two were friends." Ziva's response was a crooked smile. "Enjoy the weekend."
"You too. Maybe I can have a rain-check on the invitation?" Her response was a beaming smile and a nod before the Goth left.
Taking a deep breath she returned to her new guest, picked up Abby's half full glass and carried it to the kitchen from which she returned a moment later with a fresh cup. "You two are getting closer." Came the casual remark. Ziva simply nodded. "Motek, what's wrong?"
"I'm just confused: it's been a few months since I came here, and tonight was the first time that I had a visitor that wasn't you." She lifted her legs on the couch and sat on them, supporting a cross-legged position, her still warm cup turning to and fro in her hands.
"I'm surprised it took that long..." Jen reached out and squeezed Ziva's knee. "They have all been hurt when Kate died, but they're healing, as are you. You need to let them in." Ziva raised her head and looked at the woman next to her with a twinkle in her eye.
"Like I did with you?" The older woman smiled as her hand raised itself to move a stray lock of hair from the dark eyes looking at her
"God, I hope not..." the redhead breathed as she leaned in and brushed the lips in front of her. Ziva's smile deepened as she closed the small distance created by the redhead's retreat and captured the lips in a fierce kiss. Her hands threaded themselves in the back of Jen's hair pulling them even closer, making it impossible for the woman to pull back.
A few hours later, they were in her bed, Jen asleep next to her. Ziva looked up at the ceiling, feeling a sharp pang in her chest for the first time. She tried to block the feeling of guilt as she closed her eyes, trying to will sleep to come.
"...So I met up with some friends and we went bowling." Getting out of the elevator Ziva moved on silent feet acquired from years as a fighter. She didn't do it on purpose, at least not all the time.
"And you think that there's more to it than meets the eye?" Abby nodded.
"More to what?" McGee visibly jumped at the sound of her voice. "Relax McGee, it's just me." She put a Caff-Pow on the table by the woman who was now staring intently into a computer screen. "Gibbs is having trouble with his computer, I think you better head up there before the computer crew need to replace that one too..." He expelled a breath.
"Thanks. Abby, don't worry." The response, as the two agents headed for the elevator doors, was a short, dry, laugh. Ziva spoke once the doors closed.
"Is she alright?" McGee turned to her.
"I think so." He sighed, "She just needs to find some answers to something that's bothering her." The rest of the ride was silent.
"Ziva, Get Abby in here!" Gibbs barked as soon as she took a step out of the elevator. She got back in and pushed the button to Abby's lab for the second time in less than 5 minutes. When the doors opened she saw the woman holding the drink, looking at her.
"Twice in two minutes! To what do I owe the pleasure?" Ziva wasn't sure if the woman's tone was mocking or genuinely happy.
"Ask Gibbs, he said to call you out." Abby shot her a confused look.
"Call me out?"
"Get you to come to him." Abby got up from her chair and the two walked to the elevator. "Are you ok?"
"Yap." the scientist didn't even look at her.
"Please don't lie to me, I thought we were past that..." Abby's head snapped.
"I thought we were telling each other things. The fact that madam director is giving you house calls in the middle of Friday night is kind of a big thing!" the doors opened and Abby walked out to the squad room with no sign of the anger that had just colored her voice. Ziva was just a step behind her.
"We received information about a possible murder site. I want you, Ziva, to take Abby to go there. Find out what you can." Ziva nodded shortly and reached for the keys.
"Gibbs, why do I have to go?" the two agents froze awaiting their boss's response.
"The scene is supposed to be filled with evidence. I want you to be able to make sense of it, before we have a truck load of things for you to sort out." She frowned "I have to insist on this."
"I'll get my sun screen."
"Meet you in the car park." the two women headed out.
Ziva leaned against the truck, her right foot on the bumper and her arms crossed. Her hair was already done in a bun on the back of her head and the visor of her cap pulled low on her eyes, but that protection wasn't from the sun, in fact, she was almost staring at it. She would have been if her eyes were open. When she heard the familiar footsteps approaching she lowered her head. 'El'la, ta'azri li...' The Goth was wearing a somewhat different attire, gone was the skirt that revealed her long legs. Replacing it was a pair of black pants, the combat boots, different from the ones she had on when visiting Ziva, hidden for the time. The agent got into the drivers seat without a word.
"I've been practicing," she said with a shy smile as she pulled out "driving in the States is different than in most places I've driven in." indeed, you could see that, while Ziva's confidence behind the wheel stayed as it was when the team first gave her the keys to a truck, her driving abilities now suited a driver not dodging bombs. Her response was a deafening silence. "Maybe except for New Zealand, except for the wheel being on the wrong side of the car..."
"You were in New Zealand?"
"Yes," Ziva smiled "briefly, after I was discharged from the service. It's a custom when Israelis finish the army we usually go abroad for a few months."
"You went alone?"
"No, with Ayelet, the friend you heard me talking on the phone with. By the end of the trip we were this close" she indicated a small margin with her fingertips "to killing each other." The woman smiled "God that was long ago..."
"I thought you went to the Mossad right away."
"They wanted me to, but I managed to get some time to be alone with my friend before I joined the life. It taught me a lot." Abby gave her a questioning look "How to experiment in the kitchen for example." Was the half joking response "Abby, I didn't mean to hurt you," The Goth pressed her lips and turned her head to the window opposite of her companion "I'm not exactly sure why my relationship with Jen" Abby's eyes widened as her head slowly turned to Ziva again "hurts you, but it shouldn't..."
"You're dating her?"
"Then what are you, just fucking?" Ziva stopped at a red light, turned to look at the woman seated next to her and sighed.
"We have history together. She was a friend when I could have none. And just as you could come, she came." A flash of that night, looking up at the redhead's out of focus eyes, came to her and she pushed the gas pedal, moving along with the car in front of her as the light turned green again. She pushed it away. "And to answer your question - no." 'She asked me not to tell anyone, I owe her at least that.' "What is it with you and my friends?" she jokingly asked "Is it that inconvincible that I have friends that I don't sleep with?" Abby had to laugh.
"I think you mean inconceivable." Ziva raised an eyebrow at her.
"What's the difference?" Abby thought for a moment.
"Inconvincible means that you can't make people understand that there is a different side to it, inconceivable is that you can't understand it." Ziva let the words register.
"Ok. Since it's my turn to ask the questions why does the though of me and Jen bother you?" Abby swallowed hard.
"It doesn't. I was just surprised." It was a lie and they both knew it, but the spy let it drop, her friendship with the other woman too important to be tainted by another fight, especially when driving.
Abby was practically skipping into the squad room when she saw Ziva hunched over McGee's desk deeply engrossed in conversation with him over something on his computer. She was wearing a dark green shirt that Abby has picked out for her after dragging her to the mall a few days ago, saying that it brings out her eyes, over a pair of brown pants and the ever present 'work boots' as Ziva effectively labeled them. "Hi guys!" she put her hand on the small of Ziva's back "nice shirt" she added with a smirk.
"Thanks." Abby's reward was a smile "To what do we owe the pleasure?"
"I don't know, Gibbs asked me to come up." The three looked up to see Gibbs and the director heading down the stairs deep in conversation. When the redhead caught Ziva's eye, the woman turned her eyes to McGee, and sat down on his desk crossing her arms, and then looking down.
"We have some good news, and some bad news:" the director began "the good news we're having an extremely slow day, so I'm letting you go home early. The bad news all of you have enough paperwork on your desks to remake a forest thin it out, before you go home today. And Ziva, I want to talk to you." The two stepped over to the window "We didn't get a chance to finish that talk." Ziva nodded "What I want to know is why."
"Because I think I'm falling in love with someone. If I do that, I can't be... with you." Jen couldn't hide the surprise on her face.
"Falling... with whom?" Ziva shook her head.
"It doesn't matter, not right now anyway." Jen's eyes showed her concern.
"Ziva, I've known you for a while now, you have never talked about love." Dark eyes looked out "That was one of the things that made what we had possible we both didn't want the strings, just the feel. Ziva," the emotion in the dark orbs when the gaze met hers almost left her speechless. She took a hand in her own "I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't like it if we continued, but I want you to know that there are no hard feelings. If you'd like, I'd be happy to keep being your friend." Ziva smiled.
"That would be nice. Thank you, Jen." The older woman nodded and headed to the elevator. When she returned to her desk four sets of eyes were on her. "What?"
"Getting friendly with the director?" Gibbs shook his head and moved to his desk hitting Tony on the back of his head as he went by. "Like I said it's none of my business." He remarked, as he too turned headed for his desk. She started typing on her computer, finding the paperwork she needed to finish.
"How's about we go out tonight?" Ziva lifted her head to the woman casually sitting on her desk. "I don't have any paperwork so I can go and set things even now."
"That would be nice. What did you have in mind?" Abby's smile grew.
"There's a new club on 39th and Lenox, they say it's a nice one and I've wanted to go check it out." Ziva was puzzled.
"I have never heard of it."
"Because it's new. So, what do you say?" 'I can't refuse her...'
"Ok." Abby's smile grew even wider.
"Great! Give me a call when you get home, we'll see when we meet." With that she headed out the door.
"You two came a lot closer during the past couple of weeks." Remarked McGee after the elevator doors closed. Ziva turned to look at him, he was smiling. She smiled back, and they both got back to the task at hand.
Once at home, Ziva threw her bag to its place and hung her coat. She had talked to Abby during the drive and was happy to be home when it was still light out. She headed to her bedroom unraveling the band that held her hair in place. Once there she faced her closet. They didn't go out much during the past, when they did it was usually after a hard case, and that involved everybody. This time, they were going to a club, together. She wanted, needed to be sure if the vibes she had been feeling from the woman were her own wishful thinking, or real. She took out a green V-necked blouse and a pair of black pants that fit her like a glove. Attached to the waistband of the pants was a chain falling in two layers. When she bought them, a few years ago in Israel, it was fashionable. Now, she felt it was fitting.
She pulled out her underwear drawer and rummaged through it for a moment, weighing in her head the pros and cons of the things her fingers touched. When her fingers brushed a patch of lace near the bottom of the drawer she pulled it out. The garment was black silk and lace. A gift given to her when she left the country to join the NCIS team. She hasn't worn it yet, thinking that feeling sexy in the workplace is a load of crap. Now, she can put the gift to good use, even if no one will know of it but her.
There was still time before she would wear them though, there were more important things to take care of first, namely dinner. She knew that there wasn't a lot of time, so it would have to be something simple. Hopefully she had something in her kitchen and she won't be forced to go out and buy something... More time would have been a good thing, but now, she needed to get started. A quick look inside her freezer produced a whole chicken, and from her vegetable drawer she took a few potatoes and a couple of zucchinis.
Within a few minutes most of the vegetables where chopped and on a tray that fitted into her oven, the chicken just finished thawing thanks to the miracle of the microwave. When she took it out and added it, then seasoning to the tray she couldn't help but remember other times she had this dish. A sad smile grazed her lips as she finished and put the tray in the oven. The clock on the wall told her that she could get ready and still have some time to spare. The chicken will only be better with that extra time.
She put an old Rita CD in her system before getting onto the shower and let the hot water, and the strong voice soothe her tense body. When Rita finished the performance of "singing in the streets" she stepped out of the bathroom. Already clothed, her hair still wet. She was smiling as she sang along with the star. After adjusting the white towel draped over her shoulders she brought her hair to the front, taking a quick look at her watch as she entered her room. Biting her lower lip the Israeli sat on the bed and began the task of toweling her hair. 'I need to calm down. For god's sake, I've killed men behind enemy lines and had more confidence then I do now...' The little voice in the back of her head rationalized it with the fact that then, she knew what the outcome will be.
A ringing sound from her computer sent her to the living room. She had never noticed she logged in to her computer. After hitting the 'accept' button the familiar voice came through the speakers "Hi dear! I didn't expect you to be online at this hour..."
"Hi yourself, our director gave us about half a day off, so I managed to go home early."
"You look pretty. You're going out?"
"Yes, with Abby. She's coming over for dinner and then we'll go somewhere."
"Good for you! I take it you're cooking?"
"That chicken I did last time you and Dror spent Friday night with me."
"You didn't have a lot of time, did you?" Ziva laughed.
"I think I'm lucky no one is on to you. You are the perfect person to kill me."
"I don't know you that well... I don't know what's up with you and Abby, and I don't know what she looks like..." the agent rolled her eyes "Come on! Indulge me! You have been talking about her for months!"
"We're about the same height, straight black hair, about shoulder length, dark eyes..." there was a huff on the other side of the line.
"Thank you, madam profiler. You suck at this."
"Describing her doesn't do her justice. It's her presence that makes her so unique."
"I bet. You have never liked ordinary people.' The doorbell rang 'I'm guessing that would be her?"
"Don't hang up. In the small chance that it isn't, I want to keep talking to you."
"Alright' with that she got up and went for the door. "Hi," she smiled at her guest. The woman at her door took Ziva's breath away. Her hair was in the ever-present pigtails and her dark makeup accented her features, making her more beautiful then the spy ever remembered seeing the woman. Her dress, under the black, red-fur-rimmed coat, was dark red. The hue wasn't the crimson that Ziva remembered from when the scientist's visit was cut shot by Jen, it was even darker. The collar she wore had a few chains attached to it, giving it an almost necklacey look. The knee high boots that finished the Goth's outfit had buckles running from top to bottom. The thought that it was probably torture to get into them crossed Ziva's mind "come in. Let me just hang up here." she pointed to the computer.
"Hey!" Came the cry from the speakers, "At least be nice about it! Nice to finally meet you, Abby." The woman on the screen smiled and waved at the Goth "Enjoy your night, yekirati." With that she hung up.
"Ayelet?" The Israeli nodded "You two talk a lot..." it was merely a remark, nothing more.
"She's my connection to there, not to mention that she's very persistent. I thought we'd loose touch more then two dozen times since I started with the Mossad"
"What did you make? It smells great!" Ziva led her into the kitchen and opened the oven, letting out a cloud of steam and even more fragrance fill the room. With a couple of towels she pulled the tray out of the oven and placed it in the spot prepared for it. "Wow! That looks delicious!"
"Thank you." The response the Goth received was a half shy smile "Do you have a favorite?" She asked, pointing at the parts of the chicken. Abby picked her piece, and so, dinner was served. They didn't talk about work that night. It was theirs to enjoy. They talked about Abby's childhood, their hobbies and also some meaningless things. When they finished the meal Abby helped in putting the dishes away, before Ziva shooed her back to the living room. When Ziva rejoined her guest she was holding a bowl which she placed on the table by her guest.
"Cherries!" Abby's eyes lit as she exclaimed and took one, popping it in her mouth "I love cherries!"
"Me too..." a slow, sexy smile appeared on her lips. Abby had to blink a few times in order to regain her composure "How did you hear about that club?"
"It's no my way to work, I saw them putting up the signs last week and I heard the music last night when I was headed home."
"Oh? And when was that?"
"About midnight, give or take a half hour."
"I think it's 'give' more then 'take'... you work so much... maybe even more then we do." The woman in front of her smiled as she put another cherry in her mouth.
"Tonight," she got up "I'm going to have fun. Come on." Ziva got up and followed her to the door, grabbing her grey and red coat after handing Abby hers. "I'll drive. I want to see what you're like when you're drunk."
"I don't get drunk." Ziva protested, the scientist just grinned.
"We'll see..." she mumbled in a voice barely audible to the spy.
When Ziva saw the line in front of the club she began to have second thoughts. Spending half the night standing in the street wasn't her idea of a fun night out. Abby didn't seem to notice the line as she took the other woman's hand in hers and led her up to the bouncer. "Abby!" the bear of a man delivered a bone crushing hug "I didn't see you in ages!"
"The "Joint" has been slipping lately, but I guess you noticed that too, Chad." She received a slow nod.
"New conquest?" he inquired in a low voice indicating Ziva. She gave him a death glare and he flinched. Abby's answer was just a smile. And so, with a wave, they were in. The smoky pub was divided in two, a dance floor and a DJ stand on one side and tables, chairs and some booths at the other. The bar stretched along one of the clubs walls. Even through the dim lighting the former Mossad agent was easily able to detect all the rich wooden browns, the greens and the blacks that made-up the color scheme for the seating area. The colors on the dance floor were barely recognizable due to the lights, but her trained eyes told her that the colors were similar, but lighter. That first look also told her something else: there were no men at the club. "Ladies night?" she asked the woman next to her.
"Every night, honey." The reply came from a very tall drag queen in heels that walked by with her friend. Ziva couldn't control the double take which sent Abby into a fit of laughter. Her hand still in the Goths, she felt the woman begin to pull her in the direction of the bar. They took a spot by a woman sitting on a bar stool and Abby gestured the bartender.
"Hi Bonnie! I'll have my usual starter. Ziva?"
"Vodka lemon-lime" was the short reply. Abby seemed moderately surprised. "What?"
"Didn't picture you as a straight-up vodka person." Ziva shrugged.
"Usually, I'm not. What's your usual?"
"Coffee nudge." At her companion's questioning look she explained "It's Dark coco cream, coffee liqueur, brandy, hot coffee, and the best part: it's topped with whipped cream." Abby's eyes actually got a little dreamy.
"Sugar and coffee," Ziva almost laughed "I should have guessed." She averted her eyes for a moment and returned them when their drinks came. "Do you play Billiard?"
"Pool? A little, I'm not very good." She admitted. Ziva took her hand and led them to a table where two women were about to finish their game.
"I'll help you." She replied when they stopped by the table as she sized the current players. After a moment, one of the women came up them.
"Wanna play doubles?" Abby eyed the table and then returned her eyes to Ziva. "Don't worry," the other woman reassured her "I never played more then five games, so we're more or less matched."
Ziva got to break and sank two balls on that shot one striped and a solid. "Strips" She concluded as she eyed the table. She managed to sink two more balls before an impossible shot presented itself and she had to surrender her turn. The taller of the two women sank two and then managed to sink the cue ball. Ziva smirked. "That gives you two turns." She explained as she retrieved the ball and placed it in a spot where she thought it would make for a good shot. Abby nodded and grabbed the cue trying to position herself with the stick. "Don't choke it." She froze as she felt Ziva's hands come from both sides and change her hold on the cue. "Let it breath..."
"What if I miss?"
"Then you have another turn. This is geometry and feel, Abby, you know them both." The scientist swallowed hard knowing that even though Ziva might not be disappointed with her, she'd be disappointed with herself. Ziva knew it too, it was etched on the woman's face. "Relax..." she murmured, rising and moving back to their stool. Abby took the shoot and sank a ball, but the cue ball maneuvered into a most difficult situation. Ziva rose again. "Take it to where you want it, you have an extra shot." With that piece of advice Abby managed to sink another ball by the time her turn ended.
The winning shot was made by Ziva, and the two decided to drop out while they were still ahead, and headed to the dance floor after going through the bar to refill Abby's empty glass. When the two reached the dance floor, Ziva could feel the beat pounding in her chest. She let the music dictate her moves and relied on her fighter senses to keep some distance between her and the others on the floor. Dancing with Abby was different though. They were constantly millimeters from each other. Close enough to feel the radiating warmth, close enough to tease, but they didn't touch. A form of heavenly torture, Ziva concluded.
It was a quite few songs, and a couple of drinks later that Ziva excused herself and went to the bathroom. She took a long look at herself in the mirror after splashing some water on her face, and then she turned, heading out. A small voice in the back of her head told her to leave, now. She wondered about that as she headed for the floor.
Two steps onto the dance floor she discovered that she couldn't leave even if she wanted to. In fact, she couldn't move at all. Her eyes and her expression grew dark as her vision narrowed so that she could only see two people on the floor. She felt herself begin to choke, her hurt swelling, her fists clenched on their own accord and her jaw tightened as she watched her raven haired companion and another woman kiss. When the kiss broke off, Abby turned and looked around. For a brief moment the two locked eye before the Israeli's legs found her and she turned towards the door.
People parted before her and closed again, providing a fairly good imitation of the Red Sea in biblical times. Usually she found the fact that she could command this reaction from people amusing, but now, when all she could see was red and slightly blurry, she didn't even notice. All she wanted was to get away. Stepping out to the cold night air helped a little though it reminded her that if she wants to go home she'll need a cab. When at the sidewalk she raised a hand and the whistled for one that was not too far away.
"Ziva, wait!" the familiar voice called after her. A moment later a hand caught hers and she jerked it away, turning to the woman how asked her out tonight with fire in her eyes.
"Don't you touch me." She hissed stressing each word in a level, steely voice.
"Ziva..." She raised her hand in front of the Goth's face, affectively cutting her off.
"Don't" she ordered, her hand shaking. She turned and opened the door to the cab. "La'azazel eitah Abby," her voice was shaking "ani hitahavti bah..." With that she got into the taxi and closed the door, the driver sped off a moment later.
Abby stood on the sidewalk, her mouth agape, her hands at her sides. She felt defeated. She knew she'd find an old girlfriend in the club, she had so many of them after all. But she didn't think that Tasha would come on to her like that as soon as Ziva left, and even go so far as kiss her to try and get her point across. Her leaving night have gotten her point across, but Abby wasn't hopeful. They were together for less then two weeks about a year ago, and the woman still chased her.
She headed for her car, her head half way to exploding. She knew she needed to set things straight, but how? There were two things she could do now, one was to find Ziva, and the other was to find out what she meant with what she said. When she had her purpose she started the car and hit the gas pedal. Her driving was nearly reckless as she raced in the half empty streets towards the familiar apartment building.
She parked her car and got out, looking up the building at the windows of Ziva's apartment. They were black. But were could she go? She started up the stairs, locks haven't been a problem for her in years anyway. When she stood in front of Ziva's apartment she knocked, then banged, Tried calling her at home, on her cell, she could her them both ringing from inside the apartment. She sank to her knees and then sat down, deciding to wait for her. She had to come in or out at one point.
"Excuse me?" A small voice to her left caused her to raise her head "Are you looking for Ziva?" Abby blinked a few times. A woman who appeared to be in her 70's wearing a robe was standing close by.
"I am." She replied, standing up
"She left a few moments before you came, dear. Are you her friend? I think my husband saw you here a few days ago..." she added in an afterthought. Abby nodded
"We are, friends, but she saw something and she thinks it something that it isn't and I need to clear the air with her..." she was speaking a mile a minute and the elderly woman smiled.
"You kids speak so fast..." she murmured, Abby fell silent and smiled shyly, dropping her gaze to the floor.
"She drove away, I saw her car leave the lot, so I don't think you'd have much luck here."
"Do you have any idea where she might have gone?" She was holding on to every sliver of hope she could and she knew it, but she had to. She just had to.
"No, dear. Ziva is a very nice girl, but she is also very private. I know more about the nice couple who moved in above us three weeks ago then I do about her, and she has lived here for months now." Abby nodded sadly
"I've noticed that about her." Her smile disappeared as she exhaled "When you see her, would you ask her to talk to me, please? My name is Abby." The woman smiled
"I'm Nadia. I will tell her, dear, don't worry. Go home now, you look tired, and falling asleep here is sure to be uncomfortable." She started walking the younger woman towards the elevator
"Don't mention it, dear. Good night." And with that she pushed the elevator button and was on her way. At first she thought about going into her lab and researching whatever it was that Ziva said to her, but something Nadia said, and her own tired, worn-out feeling led her into her place before she could even notice where she was headed.
She woke up early for a Saturday morning, her muscles screaming at her after the uncomfeterable sleep on her couch, where she just crashed last night. She was on her way to her lab even before her second cup of coffee was finished.
When she sat at her computer, she took a moment to think. All she knew was that what she heard was in Hebrew. That means she needs a translation. Two hours later she thought she would scream. She has found out that la'azazel means hell, or damn, but nothing else. She placed her head on the table trying to let the growing headache subside before she tries again. "Abby?" the voice behind her was surprised. "I didn't realize there was an urgent case at the moment..."
She her head lifted in shock and turned around. "There isn't... not really, I mean, there're always things to do and I'm the one who does then so I came in." Abby's rambling was tolerated for only a few more minutes before she was cut off.
"Abby," she froze "what is it?"
"I just need to find out... something." 'I can't let her know it's about Ziva... Not after... that time...'
"Are you mad at me?" she wasn't sure, but she thought her already pale skin had become even more pale. 'How did she know?'
"No." the answer was definite.
"Abby..." Jen's tone was gentle, questioning
"I just need to find out... Here seemed like the best possible place to do it..."
"What is it? Maybe I can help?" With a quick stride she was in her office, reaching out to grab Bert. She held him tightly to her chest startling the woman in the lab. A smirk appeared on the redheads lips "So that's Bert." She stated. Abby smiled faintly, the smile disappearing quickly from her features. The two women stared at each other in silence for a few moments. A quite battle of wills.
"It's... it's just something Ziva said..." for a brief moment Jen could see the depth of the pain and confusion the woman in front of her felt, written across her face.
"She spoke to you in Hebrew and she didn't translate?" Abby nodded at her directors' evident surprise.
"She was really upset at the time... and..." her voice faded away and she squeezed Bert again.
"Then I can help. What did she say?" Abby swallowed hard, not sure of what to do. She had said a lot more then she intended. After a moment of hesitation, she decided, and said the words that were etched into her.
"La'azazel eitah Abby," her voice, just like Ziva's, less then 12 hours ago, was shaking "ani hitahavti bah." Jen's face paled in an instant and she drew in a ragged breath before she gathered herself, showing no evidence of what she felt mere seconds ago.
"She... she said "Damn you Abby, I fell in love with you". What did you do to her Abby?" even though her eyes showed concern, her body tensed. Abby fell into a nearby chair.
"She's not at home, she won't answer or return my calls, where can I find her?" The director gave her a hard look. "Ma'am, I need to find her. I need to..." it was a while before she was answered, the director's eyes cast at one of the pictures all that time.
"Try her dojo, on 216 Green Lane." It wasn't long before Abby was out and in her car. She was never in that part of town, and when she realized that she slowed so she could see the street signs. 216 Green Lane wasn't marked, but simple deduction made it easy enough to find. She parked her car and entered.
"Ohaiyo gozaimasu." She turned to find a man, dressed in an old kimono. He gave her a quick once over. "Good morning." He translated in a thick Japanese accent "You did not come to train, yes?" Abby smiled at him
"No, I came to find a friend. I was told she might be here." The man smiled
"You are friend of Ziva?" She nodded "She is a great fighter:" He turned, motioning for her to follow "trained, skilled, driven and disciplined. Please remove your shoes before you enter." With that he moved a screen door and entered a room, sliding the door shut behind him. She bent down to remove her combat boots. From inside she heard a couple low thuds as if something was repeatedly hitting wood and then a snap to signify the wood broke, then, another snap, louder this time. She moved the screen door slowly. Not sure what she'll find behind the opaque mesh.
There were a dozen people in the room, all of them, except Ziva, of Asian origin. 10 stood in a circle while the man who greeted her, and, Ziva stood in the center. All Abby could see was the woman's back in the outfit she wore. She couldn't help but compare her old drawings of samurais, but without the armor. Her breath was labored, and she lunged at the man who held a stick in each hand.
In the few minutes in which Ziva made good of her attack, dislodging one, and then the other stick from her opponent's hands and moving to hand-to-hand combat, one which sent them both into a whole new level of kicks, parries, punches, blocks and movements made in midair. Abby couldn't help but stare and when two more rushed in to attack she almost cried out a warning. Ziva's foot colliding with one man's chest, and his immediate fall to the ground stopped her. She felt a whole lot better when the man stopped and bowed to both his opponents, marking the end of the battle. The 2 men and the woman straitened themselves and bowed in return.
"Ziva-san, someone has come to see you." Ziva turned slowly, running a hand through the locks of hair that escaped her tight braid. Her face was frozen in a fierce mask of determination. Once she laid eyes on Abby, the Goth could feel the chill and hurt radiating from her friend. She swallowed hard and approached the human ring in the center of the room.
"Leave." The statement went through Abby like a knife.
"No." She shook her head, refusing to back down from this. "I want you to hear what I have to say this time." Ziva muttered something and turned away, starting to unwrap the bandages from her hands. The man spoke a few words in Japanese to Ziva and she turned back to Abby, clearly reluctant.
"What?" Ziva's tone and eyes were like steel rods as she looked Abby in the eye, her arms crossed in front of her. The Goth had to look down before she could talk.
"Her name is Tasha. We went out a few of times last year, and it was over. But it seems that no matter how much I try to get her to understand that, she doesn't get it. She has been trying to get into my pants again since we broke up. I don't know why but she doesn't take the hint, or even understand when I tell her bluntly. Last time she tried this I was with McGee in a coffee shop. He was so embarrassed, we left, I don't really pity him though, she is a real pain..."
"Sorry. It just hurts me that you think that I'd do this to you. Ziva, ani hitahavti bah gam." At the sound of the words, in the language she was so used to Ziva's arms fell to her sides a look of shock and disbelief settling on her features.
"How did you ?" she mumbled, then paused "Jen?" Abby just nodded. For a brief second Ziva appeared to be confused. She looked away, and raised her hands to continue removing the bandages from them. "Abby, I "
"Ziva, please, come with me. Let's talk." She took a breath and rolled the bandage into a tight ball. Then she moved to her other hand. Abby took a step forward "Ziva" her hands moved fast, getting the last of the bandage off. She raised her head and smiled
"Let's go." Abby beamed as Ziva took her hand
Motek = sweetie
El'la, ta'azri li = goddess, help me
Yekirati = dear
Gam = too / also
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