DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: General Season 3 & 4.
In Her Dreams
Ziva David is a complicated woman. She is a woman of faith who is taught to trust nothing and no one but herself. She adheres strictly to her training even as she uses it to give herself the strength to choose who she wants to be. She holds on to the past even as she lives in the moment. And once, when she was seventeen, she was caught in a shopping mall when a bomb exploded. The End
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:: :: ::
"Ziva," a hand touches her gently on the shoulder.
Ziva jerks awake instantly.
"Gibbs," she splutters.
The warm hand that had touched her shoulder, now gives it a reassuring squeeze.
"Left hours ago, Ziva." Jenny sits down on the corner of her desk and smiles. "The case is over. You should go home."
Ziva nods, still slightly groggy from her unplanned nap. She won't let Jenny know that this is the best sleep that she's had in weeks. She glances at the watch on her wrist - 3 AM. She'll still have time to catch a few hours of sleep before she has to come back in if she leaves now. It will be enough to get her through, Ziva thinks as she turns to grab her bag and jacket from the back of her chair.
Jenny must have seen something on her face as she turns back because she stops her from going.
"Is everything okay, Ziva? This case was..." she trails off into silence.
Images flash through Ziva's mind, gruesome images of a little girl that they couldn't save. She closes her eyes and puts her hand out on the desk to steady herself.
Jenny notes her white knuckles.
"Five to ten years - time off for good behavior," Ziva's voice is raw. "Sometimes your justice system is far too lenient."
"Are you regretting coming here?" Jenny asks softly.
"No," Ziva says slowly, weighing the word as if to see if it remains true. "But I'm not used to working with such tied hands."
Jenny stands up slowly and straightens her skirt. With a quick glance around the office, she turns back and kisses Ziva's cheek lightly.
"You do the best you can," she says in a low voice, "And try to live with the rest."
"The American dream, yes," Ziva asks wryly.
"Something like that," Jenny answers her. "Good night, Ziva," she adds as she heads toward the elevators.
She stops when Ziva doesn't follow her onto the elevator, and raises a questioning eyebrow at her.
"I'll be there in a moment; I've got one more thing to do before I go."
Jenny nods before she hits the button and the doors close. Ziva waits another moment before hitting the call button again. She takes the elevator down to Abby's lab. She hears the thudding music when she steps off of the elevator, but the sound is more relegated to the background than usual.
"Abby," she calls out.
The lab tech's head pops out from around the corner. Even at this hour, she still has a big smile. "You're still here," Abby says in surprise. "Something else hasn't come up with the case has it?" She wrinkles her nose. "Gibbs didn't call everyone back in did he? He gets grumpy when I never go home."
Ziva resists the temptation to roll her eyes. Gibbs' mood is never particularly sunny.
"The Director is sending me home," Ziva explains. "I came to see if you could give me a ride."
Abby pins her with a stare. They both know that Ziva's taken the bus home at this hour before. She's been in worse places at worse hours, but Abby smiles.
"Yeah, sure," she agrees. "Let me close my baby down," she says as she goes over to her computer.
Ziva leans against the wall and watches patiently as Abby shuts down her lab for the night. Abby seems to sense her quiet moods as the walk towards the elevator and bumps her lightly on the shoulder. When Ziva looks over she flashes her a small smile. Ziva can't help but return it.
Abby talks lightly as they walk, but it's nothing that requires Ziva to answer. When they're in Abby's hearse, Ziva leans her head back against the seat and closes her eyes for a moment. She opens them again instantly as she feels the car stop moving. She jerks upwards when she realizes that the car is stopped in front of Abby's place.
Abby is already getting out and coming around to her side of the car. Ziva opens the door and steps out.
Abby smiles at her flirtatiously and holds her hand out. She backs up a few steps slowly. "Stay with me tonight," she asks.
Ziva reaches out to take her hand and then startles Abby by pulling her closer abruptly.
"Luring me to sleep in your hearse, driving me to your home, are you trying to catch me with my defenses lowered?"
Abby shakes her head, trying to hold in her laughter. "Officer David, I would never dream of taking advantage of you, " she smirks, "without your permission, of course."
Ziva laughs and steps closer to Abby until she was leaning against Abby's side, their joined hands pressed against her back. She savors the moment, allowing their laughter and the frisson of something when she felt Abby's hand against her back to take her mind away from the things the had seen that day. She drifts comfortably in the silence of the moment, their banter all but forgotten as they walk towards the door.
Abby fumbles through the pockets of her coat for her keys. She finally finds them and holds them up triumphantly. As the unlocks the door, Abby holds her hand out to Ziva once more; this time in silence.
Ziva takes it without hesitating and lets Abby draw her inside.
Abby drops her keys on a small table next to the door; Ziva spares a moment to make sure the door is locked behind them, but she never lets go of Abby. Now it's her turn to pull Abby through the apartment, knowing her way around well enough to find the bedroom.
Abby's clothes fall onto the floor in the same pile as Ziva's. One of them will pick it up in the morning, but for tonight they simply let it go. Abby falls into the bed and Ziva curls in behind her. Ziva can barely keep her eyes open, but she feels Abby's lips on hers. Even half asleep she responds, wrapping an arm around Abby's waist and pushing back against the soft pressure on her lips. As she sinks into sleep, Ziva smiles and dreams of warmth and Abby.
:: :: ::
Ziva gasps and jerks forward only to curse at the shooting pain in her leg. She remembers warmth and sweet kisses from a gorgeous dark haired woman with bright eyes and an even brighter smile - not pain and the rubble that is trapping her right now.
In that instant, Ziva remembers everything. The sound of the explosion that seemed to come from everywhere and then nothing. Or at least her dreams.
Ziva shakes her head to dispel the distraction she can't afford to have. From what she can feel in the darkness, her leg is wedged at an awkward angle and the way that any movement causes her pain, Ziva suspects that it's broken. She's pinned down and there's no way to tell how long it will take for rescuers to find her or even if they 're looking.
Fear and the absolute darkness around her begin to choke her and it feels as if she can't breathe. She has to focus on simply breathing in and out until she calms a bit. As she calms, thoughts of the woman in her dream resurfaces.
The dream is already beginning to fade in the way that dreams do and now it all seems so absurd when it felt so right moments before. Still Ziva can recall every detail of the woman's face and the sheer oddity of her own dream makes her laugh.
It holds her together for half an hour - an hour or two or three - she has no way of knowing how long its been until she starts hearing different noises, voices. Ziva's voice cracks as she tries to call out as loudly as she can. She calls out again and again until she hears them respond, knows they've found her, feels the flashlight beam burn into her eyes.
That's when she grows quiet and allows tears to silently fall down her cheeks. She wipes them away before they can see her and then lets them pull her out of the small hole that the wreckage has created around her. She's almost buried in it.
"Are you okay, Ms?"
"Where are you injured?"
The stronger of the two men lifts her onto a stretcher and they carry her out. Ziva doesn't allow herself to close her eyes to it all. To many emotions are warring within her, but anger is steadily beginning to grow as she sees the blood, the pain, hears the screams of the injured and sees the women already weeping.
They wrap a blanket around Ziva and she isn't really surprised when they leave her to go back for other survivors. She isn't injured badly enough to deserve immediate attention.
Her head jerks up as she hears her father call out her name. He makes his way across the makeshift triage area, pushing people aside in his effort to get to her.
"Ziva," he repeats as he drops to his knees next to her. "I didn't know -" His hands follow his eyes as he examines her for injuries. "You should not have been here." He hugs her tightly and Ziva soaks up every scrap of the moment. It's rare that her father is so demonstrative with his children. She clings to him in a way that she rarely does, seeking the feeling of safety that only he can offer.
"Officer David," a woman's voice cuts in and her father pulls away sharply. The worry and relief on his face are replaced with detachment. He has withdrawn from the situation and from her.
"Over here," he replies.
Ziva glances up at the woman and gets another surprise. The hair is different. Not red and not short, but it's the same features. The same woman from her dream, a woman who she couldn't have met before.
She holds out her hand.
"I'm Ziva David."
The woman seems surprised, but takes her hand firmly.
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