We arrived in France later that day, getting off the plane and getting directly to work. There was no time to waste in tracking down terrorists, and we had already lost time in our discussion earlier that day.
It was a relief, in ways, to have that weight off my chest, the build-up of all those emotions released. But I knew this was far from the end. I would still have difficult times ahead, would have things I couldn't tell Jen. I would survive, though. I always had.
It turned out that France, as I had predicted, led us nowhere in our search. We made our way throughout the remainder of Europe, leaving our marks across the continent, reporting failures and successes, advances we had made towards bringing justice to those affected by the attacks in America and struggles overcoming the countless times what we thought were leads taking us nowhere, leaving us at times two steps behind where we had begun.
So we received orders to move on. Those orders took us to Africa, to the heat of Cairo, back to a weather that felt like home for me. We found ourselves entrenched in more danger there than Europe as a whole and Jenny promised she would pay me back somehow for how I saved her life one day, how I put my own life on the line to keep hers from ending. I told her it was my job, but I could not have imagined losing her right then. I needed her in my life at that moment as much as I needed anyone.
Our mission together ended after Cairo and I returned to my home in Israel. The apartment I had left felt empty and cold without the constant companionship I had grown accustomed to, but it was not for long, as I soon received news I was to become a control officer – for my own brother. Ari had requested me. I smiled inwardly at the news that I would not be alone. I had something to distract myself from the loss of Jen, from the loss of Tali, from the loss of any real female figure in my life, and while I knew being Ari's control officer would not make up for losing my sister or being mainly unsuccessful in the attempt to hunt down the Al-Queda terrorists, it was something.
It has been three years now since my sister was killed and I still think of her daily while doing my job. I know the terrorism will never end, but the least I can do is lessen its effects. I still believe that good can conquer evil and I live that motto everyday as I seek to destroy the evil that does exist in this world.
I do not know what the future will bring for me, but I know that I am a stronger person for what I have gone through. I will still have hard times, but with the bad comes the good, no matter how disproportionate the two may seem. I have learned how to take life away and now I am finally learning how to find it for myself.
A/N: I took some creative liberties as far as timelines and such; I'm not sure what was mentioned canonically about Ziva being Ari's control officer, and the story was more about Ziva's journey as a person, finding herself, rather than the details of what she was doing during that time. Her history does interest me a lot, though, and I may write more of her life before she came to NCIS in the future.