By EmyPink

Disclaimer: NCIS does not belong to me. Thanks to NCIS Hypnoweb's transcripts for the quote at the beginning.

A/N This short, character-reflection (if you call it that) was written at three thirty in the morning, when I was feeling the littlest bit angst-y. Actually, on New Year's Day so it is my first fic of 2008. I debated with my beta and myself for a while as to whether I should post this ... in the end, my beta won out so thanks to Kandon Kuuson for his wonderful betaing skills.

Rating: T for adult themes and a swear word

Warnings: Spoilers for, I guess, obviously Hiatus Parts 1 and 2, possibly for Kill Ari Parts 1 and 2.

Summary:She does care. Ziva-centric. Post-Hiatus.

Ziva: Paramedics took him to emergency.
Ducky: Which hospital? Portsmouth? They have a level one trauma centre at Portsmouth.
Ziva: I didn't ask.
Ducky: You didn't ask?!
Ziva: No, once the paramedics were on site, I had other priorities. The possibility of more bombs, a crew to detain, a crime scene to secure…
Ducky: Well, McGee and Tony will know. (BEAT) Oh Ziva, I'm not implying that you don't care. Listen, I know you care!
Ziva: I don't need reassurances, Doctor!
Ducky: Very well. But I just want you to know that I know--

- Hiatus Part 1 (Season Three)

I do care. I care more than any of them realise. Me and Gibbs, are, in some ways, kindred spirits, yes? Just because I do not display my heart on my … shirt? It does not mean I care any less.

Mossad has taught me not to get close to fellow agents. Relationships with, or affections for, whether platonic or romantic, can get agents killed. Hesitation for a split second can prove fatal. Second-guessing your first instinct can prove fatal. Hesitating because a fellow agent is in danger can prove fatal. Mossad has drummed it into us … shoot, even if a fellow agent's life in on the line. What is one life compared to thousands?

Yes, Mossad has taught me that I should not care, but that does not mean I cannot care. I care … I care by getting the job done … by getting the bastard who hurts them in the first place. My investigation and interrogation is the best way to show that I care. I am not Abby. I do not always know what to say. I cannot always make things better with a hug. I might not cry publicly, and get the consolation I might need, but I can find and incarcerate the one person responsible for Abby's tears. This is the best way to show I care … for when they wake up, they know that they can feel safe once again … and I get my consolation by knowing that they are safe.

Mossad has taught me not to care, but it does not mean I cannot care. I care …

I care for Tony, the playboy teenager who is one of the friendliest and most caring people I know.

I care for McGee, our computer genius … the smartest and sweetest man I have had the pleasure of knowing.

I care for Abby, our cheerful and bubbly sister … and our forensic tech goddess.

I care for Ducky, the M.E with a story for everything … the kindest and wisest person I know.

I care for Palmer. He is loyal and determined, two traits I greatly admire.

I care for Jenny, a fellow woman who understands the job … one of the most feminine and most ball busting I know.

And I care for Gibbs. He is my leader … my teacher. But not only that, he gave me hope. Hope that I could deprogram myself as a Mossad robot that should not care, but does care. He gave me the light at the end of the tunnel, one that seemed so dark. He gave me reassurance that Ari's death, despite what he had done, was not in vain. Ari, the man … my brother who made my boss' life a living hell, actually brought me to him in the end … to NCIS and to Tony, McGee, Abby, Ducky, Palmer, Jenny and Gibbs. To the people that showed me that it is okay to wear your heart on your pants and that I care. And care about the fellow agents around me. That I do not have to not to put them at risk for a result … no one's 'a life' for thousands. After all, would I care if one life was lost to save many? Yes … I would.

I have had my resignation, or more accurately, my transfer request, typed up, double-spaced, printed and sealed since my first case with NCIS. I often stare at it, knowing that it is the coward's way out … one thing Mossad taught me that was despised above all else. I consider taking out that perfectly presented letter and handing it to Jenny, but that would be the coward's way out. I have never been a coward … ever.

I will show I care by getting this terrorist off the streets and making them feel safe once again. But to do that, I need Gibbs to remember and I do it the only way I know how … Ari. After all, Ari is what brought Gibbs and I together in the beginning … so it makes sense that he would bring us back together.

Later on, I stare at that perfectly presented letter before chunking it in the bin. I will not need it anymore; for they know that I care … I care …