As If We Were Already Gone

By: Thought

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: Impermanence is something Ziva has learned well. Abby has not.

Notes: For Jaina Solo2, who told me to write A/Z in relation to the future. Because I was bored.

XXX

"My father doesn't want to meet you because you're not Jewish."

Abby steps back, surprised. "I…"

"I really don't want to talk about this," Ziva tells her shortly, slamming desk drawers shut as she prepares to go home. Tony is sitting at his desk, not even trying to pretend he's not eavesdropping. Abby is still a little stunned, this having been the last thing she'd expected to hear, not even registering a blip on her scale of reasons Ziva's father could possibly have for not wanting to meet her.

Finally, she just nods. "Okay."

The younger woman smiles. "Toda."

XXX

"Are you fucking kidding me? You don't even play the thing! I have never, in the whole time I've known you, heard you hit one singular note."

Ziva glares. "Perhaps there is a reason for that."

Abby rolls her eyes. "What's that supposed to mean?"

Ziva seems on the brink of saying something, but merely blows out a frustrated breath. Abby watches her in silence, then throws up her hands. "Fine. So we move the piano in, too."

Ziva smiles at her. "I knew you'd see reason."

"Did I have a choice?"

Ziva ponders. "Honestly?"

Abby shakes her head. "I'd like to preserve a tiny bit of my illusion of control."

The Israeli grins wickedly. "While we're on the topic of unnecessary belongings, I've counted three computers so far…"

XXX

"We could move to Canada!" Abby squeals, pouncing on Ziva as soon as the younger woman sets foot in the lab.

"Canada?"

"Or Massachusetts, but Canada sounds far more impressive."

Ziva stares at her. "Why are we moving?"

Abby pouts. "C'mon, you can't tell me you haven't thought about it?"

"Moving? No, not particularly."

"No! You know, the m word?" Abby giggles.

Ziva still doesn't understand. "You're… very strange sometimes, Abby." She stands on tiptoe, brushing a quick kiss across the Goth's lips. "Gibbs wants to know if there's anything new."

Abby turns away, hands clenching the fabric of her lab coat. "No. There's absolutely nothing."

XXX

Ziva stands at the bathroom sink, staring sightlessly at her own reflection, the dark circles under her eyes, the sharply defined bones at her throat. The empty box of tissues sits beside her, its contents flung into the trashcan in a bid to cover up the so innocent appearing item within. Bad enough that a man, a convicted criminal for whom she was meant to be only bate, had been able to take so much from her, to…

But to bring an innocent into the mix, this being not even yet aware of its own existence…

Abby appears in the mirror, standing close behind her. "Z… You know we can't… I mean, right now, it's just not plausible…"

Ziva closes her eyes against the truth of the other woman's words. She has known friends, cousins who have not been prepared for a family, who have done the exact thing that Abby, at least, is certain they must do. She has never thought of herself in their positions. She tilts her head back, resting it against Abby's shoulder. The taller woman's arms come around her, and she allows herself, for only a moment, to believe in what can not be.

XXX

Abby is pacing around their apartment, babbling, her hands moving in half-formed signs. "I mean, what if it wasn't as simple? You get preferential treatment 'cause your daddy's in charge and no matter how much he probably hates me, at least he still loves you. But what if it were different? Or what if something happens, were to happen… fuck, I can't even get my tenses right. Oh my god, Z, it's so easy for other people to… Can you even, honestly, stay here indefinitely? Or maybe… if you like, magically quit Mossad? Or I could move back with you…"

Ziva sets aside the neatly typed letter, informing her that her assignment to NCIS is over – easily changed by a call to her father and appropriate, logical reasoning – to catch her distraught lover on her next pass across the living room. "Abby. Calm down. I am not leaving. Nothing is changing."

Abby shakes her head. "For now."

"Nothing in life is forever. Working at NCIS has taught us that, yes?"

Abby's shoulders slump, and she walks over to the sofa, pulling Ziva with her. "Some things are forever, Z. I've been trying to show you that."

XXX

End