DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILERS: 5x13 Dog Tags, though it's set at some general time after that, not specifically during or right after that episode.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Everything You Love About Me
By Jaina


"What do you love about me?"

Abby is smiling. Her eyes are bright and sparkling and the things that she is doing to Ziva with just that smile and sparkle should be illegal. Ziva can't help but smile back. She is already grinning, but her smile widens at this question. She leans forward and drops a kiss on Abby's lips, so lightly that it could barely be called a kiss.

"Everything," Ziva says.

Abby laughs, ducking her head against Ziva's shoulder and sending her pigtails flying.

"No, Zee, I'm serious."

"And you think I am not? You do not look serious," Ziva points out calmly. She can't help it. She loves getting under Abby's skin. Sometimes she loves winding her up just for the pleasure of bringing her back down again.

Abby pouts. Her lip sticks out a little and she's not quite looking at Ziva anymore. Ziva is immediately apologetic. That and just a little amused, but she knows better than to let it show. Abby would not be amused. Not at all.

"Ahuvati," she says, sitting forward and taking Abby's hands in hers. "Would you like me to list them all? The things I love about you. It could take some time."

Abby's watching her now. When she starts to speak Ziva raises a finger and places it over Abby's lips, stopping her before she can start.

"I love the way you care too much. Do you know when I fell in love with you? It was the moment you snuck a dog - a known killer - out of NCIS custody simply because you believed him to be innocent. You could have gone to jail, but you did it anyway, because you thought it was the right thing to do. Very few people would risk so much, especially for a dog. But you see the value in everything."

The hard look in Abby's bright green eyes melts away. She tilted her head as if she had never seen Ziva quite that way before.

Abby bites her lip and tilts her head. "Really? That's when you fell in love with me?"

Ziva chuckles softly. "Can you think of a better time?"

Wrinkling her nose at the idea, Abby shakes her head. The corners of her mouth are tugging upward.

"The moment you met me?" Abby throws the idea out playfully.

"Ah, but you did not like me very much then," Ziva reminds her gently. "You thought I was cold and unfeeling, an unsuitable new addition to your team." She says the last few words in a mocking, stilted tone.

Abby winces, and slumps against the couch. Her shoulder is pressed up against Ziva's and she rests her head against it.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know you then." It's awkward, from the way she's sitting, but she reaches around and cups Ziva's cheek, pulling her closer. Ziva bends with her, and Abby feels her lips graze the skin of her wrist. She shudders at the warmth of the contact.

"Forgiven," Ziva whispers. "Forgotten."

"I may not have liked you," Abby admits. "But I still thought you were one of the most gorgeous people I'd ever seen. And you weren't even trying."

"Sweet talker," Ziva purrs the words into Abby's ear.

She shivers involuntarily. Abby struggles around until she's sitting a little bit straighter and can look Ziva in the eye.

"You were though," Abby continues. "It just took me a little bit longer to see the rest of it - of you. I'm surprised you didn't hate me," she adds softly.

Ziva snorts. "Hate you? No. I did not know what to do with you. You were unlike anyone I had ever met." She grins. "Yet another thing I love about you. And you never do what I expect. Do you know how rare it is for someone to surprise me? I was trained to evaluate people, to profile them. To watch them, and learn everything about them just from observing them. Not merely trained, but taught from the time that I was a very small girl. And you surprised me. You still do everyday."

"That's a good thing, right?" Abby asks, with a small smile. "You know, because some people don't really like surprises."

"You're right, and I am usually one of them," Ziva admits. "However, as usual, you are the exception to the rule, Abigail."

Abby smiles contentedly. "I like being the exception."

Ziva leans in and kisses Abby's cheek. "That is a good thing, I think."


"I do not think I can ever imagine you fitting in, as they say. You simply stand out."

Abby wrinkles her nose. "That's not always good."

"No," Ziva agrees slowly. "It's not. But we cannot change what we are, and I would not want to change you."

Abby sees the subtle shift in her eyes. The hint of sadness that enters them. All she wants to do is erase that look.

"I love you." She blurts the words out hastily, and her voice sounds too loud in the quiet moment between them. Abby doesn't care.

"I know there are things that you can't tell me about your life. I know that there are things that you've done that would terrify me if you told me about them. You're no angel, Ziva David. I know that. You would do anything for your father and your country. You may even break my heart someday."

She puts her finger to Ziva's lip, and silences the noise of protest that she lets out.

"But I also know that you love me, and I'm not ever going to forget that."

A tear slips down Ziva's cheek. Abby tenderly brushes it away with the pad of her thumb, and kisses her cheek reverently, as if that will make it better.

Ziva wraps her arms around her, holding her tightly. She pulls her closer and buries her face against Abby's shoulder. She whispers words into the curve of her neck, so softly that even Abby can't quite make out what she's saying. She doesn't need to though.

Abby holds her until her breathing slows, and the soft torrent of words calms from their rapid intensity.

Ziva sits back slowly, not moving away just untangling herself enough that she can meet Abby's eyes.

"You are more than I ever imagined." Ziva says softly. "I never thought, when I came here, that I would find someone like you. I was not even looking."

Abby smiles softly. "I wasn't either. We both just got lucky."

Ziva frowns and wrinkles her nose. "I do not believe in luck. But perhaps fate, or destiny."

And Abby laughs, because there's still a part of her that can't quite believe she's having this conversation with Ziva. The other part of her never wants to let this go. But maybe she won't have to. Maybe Ziva's right. This just could be their destiny, if she's very, very lucky.

The End

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