DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: abby_forever was kind enough to beta this for me. Major thanks.
SPOILERS: For 5.05 Leap of Faith specifically, but pretty much all of season five.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Abby rolled over, grunting with dismay as her fingers clutched at the cold sheets beside her. She forced her eyes open, a frown appearing on her lips as she registered Ziva's absence. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and glanced at the clock. It was nearly three in the morning. Not an unreasonable hour for Ziva to get called out to a crime scene, but she usually woke Abby to lock the deadbolt behind her. Ziva was worthy of Alastor Moody like that - constant vigilance.
Still it didn't explain where she was now. Kicking back the covers, Abby got out of bed. A wry glance took in the abandoned coffin in the corner of the room. It hadn't seen much use since she and Ziva had begun dating. It wasn't comfortable for two to sleep in - still it was pretty fun for other activities.
The satisfied smirk fell from Abby's lips as she padded into the living room and saw Ziva. She was sitting on the couch with a pistol in her hand. Three others sat on the coffee table in front of her, as well as a collection of knives. Ziva's collection of weapons had taken sometime to get used to. It had been quite a surprise the first time she'd undressed the other woman. Slowly she'd come to terms with it - or at least gotten less creeped out by it - it was just another part of who Ziva was.
The snap of metal against metal jerked Abby out of her thoughts. The smell of oil was heavy in the room. Abby watched for a moment longer as Ziva finished cleaning the pistol in her hand and put it down. She reached for the second without looking up. Abby sank to a seat at the far end of the couch. Tucking her feet up underneath her, she pulled the spread off of the back of the couch and brought it up underneath her chin. There seemed to be a chill in the apartment.
Abby laid her head against the back of the couch and studied Ziva. She had noticed Abby but gave no sign of acknowledgment and seemed to be totally focused on what she was doing. It didn't bother Abby; she liked watching Ziva, but the way that something was so clearly bothering Ziva was upsetting.
She had almost drifted back to sleep when Ziva broke the silence that had settled around them.
"You didn't tell me."
"I didn't tell you what," Abby asked groggily. Her sleep fogged brain wasn't up to following this conversation.
"About the job offers. That you received so many of them every year."
"Oh. That." Abby shifted, sprawling her legs out a bit further, until her feet were almost against Ziva's hip. "I didn't think about it. I don't ever consider them. Usually I just toss them in the trash and forget about it."
"You considered this one," Ziva pointed out.
"For about a second," Abby admitted. "I was tired - really tired. Caf-Pow deprived tired. And I was having a tough time with some evidence. It seemed like no one appreciated what I do. So, yeah, I considered it. For a second. I would never have gone through with it."
"Are you certain?" There was a nasty hint of mocking doubt in Ziva's voice.
Abby paused. Thought about it. "Yes."
She sat up straighter on the couch. "I didn't realize you were this worried about it. You didn't act like you cared. It's just work."
"It is just work." Ziva laid the gun on the table and leaned back into the couch. "But you were right. Many days we work sixteen hours or more. Some days we do not even leave the office except to investigate a lead. Sometimes we do not see one another for days at a time." She rolled her head so that she could see Abby.
"I was worried that if you took another job, that we would never see one another."
Abby hadn't thought that far. When she'd briefly - for an instant - considered the job offer, she'd never gotten serious enough to consider the implications for she and Ziva. Thinking about giving up the job she loved - despite her occasional complaints about it - was more than enough to stop her from taking the offered job.
"That's sweet." The words were out of her mouth before she could think. She'd gotten better at reading Ziva, at being able to guess at what she was thinking, but Ziva kept so much of what she was feeling hidden that it was difficult at times.
"Sweet," Ziva demanded in indignation. "I was-" She clamped her lips shut and looked away, anger creasing her forehead.
Abby slid one foot down the length of Ziva's thigh in a calming gesture. "You were what," she asked softly.
"I was afraid." The cost of Ziva's admission was clear. She avoided Abby's eyes.
"Baby," Abby scooted closer on the couch. "I'm sorry," she said, putting as much sincerity as she could into her voice. "I never meant to hurt you. You matter. You're important to me, Ziva David, and I want you in my life." Gently Abby cupped Ziva's face, and drew her around to look her in the eye. "I would never do something like that without talking to you first."
Ziva frowned. "I would never ask you to make a decision about your job because of me."
"I know." Abby paused. "And I would - I mean, wouldn't - do the same for you." The constant threat of Ziva's recall was something that had crossed Abby's mind more than once.
"I over reacted," Ziva admitted.
Abby shook her head slowly. "No, you reacted. I'm glad you told me what you were feeling."
Her statement startled a laugh out of Ziva. "You are odd."
Abby grinned. "You like that about me."
"Mmm," Ziva agreed. "I do." She leaned closer until she could give Abby a slow kiss.
Without breaking the kiss, she reached for Abby, pulling her closer until Abby was in her lap.
The kiss ended gently and Abby let her head fall to Ziva's shoulder, breathing in the scent of her perfume and letting her eyes drift closed. Ziva's arms wrapped around her, holding her close.
"You matter to me also, Abby Sciuto," Ziva whispered into the silence. "Very much."
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