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SEQUEL: To Quitting the Drink.

Rough Week
By Jaina


It's been a very rough few weeks, Abby thinks, as she sinks down onto her couch. She takes another swig of the beer in her hand and then sets it down on her coffee table, leaning her head back against the back of the couch and shutting her eyes.

As she does, images begin to flash through her mind. First she remembers the whole team coming back from the Director's thwarted mission to take out La Grenouille. She sees the look on Gibbs' face when he confronts Jenny about the undercover mission that Tony has been on, confronts her about the way his senior field agent has been captured right under their noses. She recalls the relief when she could finally hug Tony again. She can't believe how close she came to losing another member of this team.

Her breath catches and she has to choke back a sob. She wishes she hadn't left Bert at work. She could really use him in her arms right now. Abby wipes the tears from her face and leans forward to get another drink from her beer.

A knock on her door startles her. She considers going to answer it, but instead leans back into the comfort of the couch. The knock sounds again, louder and more urgently this time.

"Go away," she calls towards the door and shuts her eyes again. All she wants to do is sleep and wake up again next week, when hopefully things will be better.

Abby hears the distinctive creak of her front door being opened and jerks up. Fear shoots through her. She wishes momentarily she still had her borrowed taser.

"Who's there?" She knows it's foolish to call out to whomever is entering her apartment, especially if they mean to hurt her, but she can't help herself. She's too tired to deal with all of this now.

"It's me."

"Ziva." Abby breathes the word, half in relief and half as a curse. She falls back down on the couch and glares weakly. "You scared me."

Ziva doesn't seem bothered. "You wouldn't answer your door."

"I'm tired," Abby responds accusingly.

Ziva turns away to examine the art on the walls. "I was worried about you."


"Why not?" Ziva shoots back. "It has been a hard week. I know you worried about Tony."

"I . . ." She pauses and reconsiders what she is going to say. Ziva always makes her want to argue. "I don't want to argue with you. I'm too tired."

Ziva considers her request, and then slowly moves around the couch and sits down beside Abby. "Okay."

"Want a beer?" Abby doesn't move.

Ziva reaches over and picks Abby's up off of the table. She drinks without glancing at Abby and then puts it back down, her arm brushing against Abby's thigh as she leans across her.

They sit in silence until Abby reaches over and takes Ziva's hand, squeezing it lightly, and then looks away. Ziva stares down at their joined hands, tracing circles over the back of Abby's hand with her thumb. Slowly, she raises their joined hands to her lips and gently kisses each of Abby's fingers.

Abby feels the adrenaline flood through her body at each touch. She has to forcibly remind herself that she's not happy with Ziva right now.

"No fair," she pouts. "You broke up with me, remember?"

Ziva lets go of her hand as if it burns. She suddenly looks so uncertain and so unlike her usual self that Abby feels bad about her sharp reminder.

"I'm . . ."

Abby acts impulsively, ignoring the ache in her heart, and puts a finger over Ziva's lips. "Not tonight, okay?" She waits for Ziva's response and when she doesn't interrupt, she continues. "I don't think I can have this conversation now."

Abby gets up off of the couch and carries her beer to the kitchen, draining the last of it and throwing the can in the trash. She pauses and leans against the sink, allowing her forehead to come to a rest against the cool plaster of the wall above the faucet, then turns the faucet on shakily to cover the sound of the tears sliding down her cheeks.

She really is too tired right now.

Abby almost jumps as she feels a warm hand touch the small of her back. It slips under her shirt to lay against her pale skin and begins to make soothing circles.

Ziva's other hand touches Abby's shoulder and gently pulls her around, and Abby lets herself lean into Ziva's arms.

When Abby's face is buried in her hair, Ziva holds her more tightly, simply savoring the feel of Abby back in her arms.

"I'm sorry," she whispers into the silence, disrupted only by the sound of running water. "I'm so sorry I hurt you. I was scared."

"Of what?"

Abby straightens slowly, leaning back against the counter, but not moving out of the circle of Ziva's arms. Her hands drift up to rest on Ziva's forearms as she looks into her eyes.

"I was scared my father would find out about us and do..." She flounders to describe what her father might do, how to explain it to Abby. "My father . . . he would not approve of us," she explains. "And he could do many things to make his disapproval felt. He could call me back home, or take it out on you in some way." Abby's face still looked blank. "The people that my father seriously disapproves of are often found dead." She pauses. "I have killed some of them myself. I did not want that to happen to you."

"So why come here now? Why tell me this?" Abby asks.

"Because I've missed you," Ziva says plainly. "And tonight I was worried about you. I wanted to be able to hold you and know that everything will be all right."

Abby looks at her. "Okay."

And to Ziva's surprise, it really is just that simple. At least for one night.

The End

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