DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Mottled Rainbow
By Jaina


Just looking at her twin black eyes makes Abby wince. She doesn't even want to look at the marks on Ziva's arms. Already they're purpled and mottled with an awful rainbow of unpleasant colors. But mostly she notices the way the livid marks stand out against Ziva's tanned skin.

She can't take her eyes off of them as they all silently file into the elevator. Once the paperwork is finished, Gibbs has made a concerted effort to shuffle them all out the door. It's not as if it's officially his team anymore and Tony is still glaring at him intermittently, but it's the only way that he can ensure that Ziva will do the same. She won't accept preferential treatment and she won't accept coddling from Tony. Despite what it says, they're really all still Gibbs team anyway.

"You're staring," Tony breathes into her ear. And despite his comment, Abby can't help the shiver that goes down her spine. Tony has a way of making anything he says seductive.

"Am not," she replies far too slowly.

"Are too," he retorts.

"Are you going to pull her pigtails next, DiNozzo?" Gibbs counters.

Apparently they aren't squabbling quietly enough.

"No, Boss," He answers firmly, but the look in his eyes tells Abby that he's seriously considering it.

Gibbs takes another sip of his coffee. "I didn't think so."

Abby sticks her tongue out at Tony. He makes a grab for her hair and she sidles around Timothy. She considers stopping, but Tony won't hesitate to involve Tim in their little dispute. She looks around and steps passed Ziva. She smiles at the bruised woman angelically and otherwise doesn't acknowledge her sudden movement.

She can still feel Tony's glare without even moving her head. He wouldn't want to antagonize Ziva under usual circumstances but now, under Gibbs watchful eyes, with her injuries, he wouldn't dare. Abby risks a glance at him and almost laughs when he mouths.

"I'll get you later."

She's almost grateful for Tony taking her mind off of Ziva and her injuries, but now, standing so close to her, they seem to look even worse than before if that's possible.

She's not quite sure what to say to Ziva though. They haven't really talked much this summer about anything really. Not since Gibbs left. She's still not quite sure that Ziva's forgiven her for what she said - for slapping her - despite what Tony made them do. Ziva asked her for Gibbs number earlier -trusted her enough to do that - but she's not sure how much that means. And Abby really, really hates the way that she's waffling about this in her own mind.

The elevator dings and they all get out, dispersing quickly, a few quick taunts from Tony to Tim ringing out as they all go their separate ways. Abby immediately notices the way that Ziva falls into step beside her.

She looks over and smiles a little bit hesitantly.

Ziva looks a little bit chagrined herself. "I was hoping that you could give me a ride home - if you do not mind. My car needs a few repairs at the moment, yes?"

Abby laughs. She can't help herself. "With your driving I'm surprised it's only a few."

A hint of color stains Ziva's cheeks below her blackened eyes. "My driving - or number of accidents has improved - my father refused to give me any more cars after I wrecked the fourth one he gave me."

Abby flashes her a grin. "Did he give you this one?"

"No," Ziva's response is quick and far sharper than her lighter tone of moments before. She seems to realize it and adds more softly, "No, he didn't. I bought this one myself. Getting into work on time is more challenging when you take the bus."

"You didn't do bad," Abby counters. "You're still working here."

"Gibbs can be very motivational."

"I'm sure. Yes."


"I'll give you a ride," Abby clarifies, as she opens the door to her hearse. "Get in."

They ride in silence for a while, with Ziva occasionally calling out directions. They're getting pretty close to Ziva's apartment, Abby thinks, when Ziva suddenly breaks their silence.

"Thank you."

Abby takes her eyes off of the road to glance at her. Her casual response dies on her lips. "What for?"

"For giving me Gibbs' number." She hesitates, looks down. "You didn't have to trust me - to believe that I didn't murder him."

Now Abby is truly surprised. "I never thought-" She denies it and it's the truth. She never considered the possibility that Ziva really had killed that man.

Ziva smiles at her. "I know, but it's rare that people trust me that much."

"I trust you," Abby says simply. She holds Ziva's gaze for a moment longer until she feels herself start to flush and then looks away. Maybe there's a reason that she's been using the excuse of their argument to avoid Ziva lately.

"Hey," she suddenly suggests, "You want to get something to eat? You don't look up to cooking tonight."

Ziva raises an eyebrow and winces at the thoughtless movement. "You really wish to take me into a public place, Abby? People will think you're an abusive girlfriend."

Abby almost chokes on the teasing comment. "I wouldn't mind." Her fair skin flushes with heat as Ziva chuckles knowingly. "I wouldn't mind if people stared," Abby clarifies quickly. "It's not like people usually don't stare at me," she says depreciatingly.

"As well they should," Ziva says smoothly, clearly enjoying her discomfort. But Abby knows she means something else entirely.

Ziva's lingering gaze says everything.

"Are you usually like this after you get beaten up?"

"Mmm," Ziva shakes her. "No, I'm usually much worse."

Abby laughs again and it dispels the tension between them although Abby has a feeling that Ziva's not really teasing.

"Is that a yes then?"

The confused look on Ziva's face says she's lost the thread of the conversation again.

"To eating with me," Abby clarifies.

"Oh. Yes."


The End

Return to NCIS Fiction

Return to Main Page