AN: I know it's been a while since I updated, sorry!
"Hey, you holding up okay?" McGee ventured cautiously, placing a hand on Abby's shoulder. For the past hour, she'd been staring blankly at the freshly filled grave, a dozen or so flowers laid gently on top.
"He's gone, Timmy. Jethro's gone," she sighed, it finally sinking in.
"He didn't suffer though, right? Ducky said he died peacefully," Tony reminded her, giving her a little hug which for once she didn't return.
Abby rolled her eyes, "Ducky'll say anything! He's too nice!"
"But he'd never lie to you," McGee pointed out, "Never has, never will."
She shifted uncomfortably, knowing they were right. "Yeah...and Ziva wouldn't do that to him. I mean, she was trained to kill, but a puppy?" Tony and McGee exchanged glances, neither of them really sure if they'd classify Jethro as a "puppy". She leaned against McGee, letting him put an arm around her, "She probably did it so fast, he didn't know it. Plus, with the tumor, he probably didn't even know what happened. One minute, he's taking a walk, the next he's chasing little squirrel angels and biting angel mailmen."
"Yeah, I can picture that." Tony smiled.
"Knock knock?" Tony stood in the doorway, peering in to see if Ziva was awake.
She was making progress, and was now able to speak a little, though she spent most of her time sleeping. Thankfully, the damage was healing, though slowly.
"Come in," a foreign voice called, "She is asleep now."
"Okay..." the group entered quietly, grabbing chairs around Ziva's bed. The team had surrounded her bedside so frequently, the nurses always left a few extra chairs in her room. Tony glanced over at the man standing in the corner. He watched Ziva lovingly, but he seemed like the kind of man you wouldn't want to cross. "And you are?" he prompted.
"Eli David," he did not extend his hand in greeting, or even move from his corner, shrouded in shadow.
"Are you her dad?" Abby asked the question everyone was wondering, but didn't dare ask. Leave it to Abby to blurt out what she had on her mind.
"I am her father," he answered. Not her dad, her father.
"Eli!" Officer Bashan called from the hallway. He spoke quietly to his boss in their native tongue, trying to keep some discretion. David nodded, following Bashan out of the room. Closing the door behind him, Bashan told them, "Do not mind Director David. He tends to get a bit...how shall I put this...possessive? He'll leave you alone to visit for a moment. He will not bother you as long as you do not bother him or Ziva."
"Appreciate it, Officer Bashan," Gibbs said.
Abby sat down on the edge of Ziva's bed, picking up her hand. Trying to make her feel more like herself again, the other day she'd painted Ziva's nails for her. The only color Abby had handy was black. It was a look that didn't suit everyone, but for Ziva, it worked. "Hey, you awake?"
"Is he gone?" Ziva murmured, glancing around the room tiredly.
"Who, your dad?" McGee peeked through the narrow glass window, "Yeah, apparently he and Officer Bashan aren't getting along too well."
Ziva chuckled a bit, "No one gets along with my father...not really." she rubbed at her throat, which was sore and dry still. She had to pause to take a breath between her words, which came out soft and mumbled.
Ducky brought her a glass of water, "Here, sip on that; it will help your throat." he helped her sit up and adjusted her bed for her, making it easier for her to drink, "I heard your doctor say that you are going to be moved out of the ICU tomorrow. Another few day's rest and you'll be ready to go home."
"If I have a home...to return to," Ziva noted bleakly, "Director Vance intends to....split up the team...yes?"
"No, no, no," Abby gripped Ziva tightly, causing her to cry out in pain, "Sorry, sorry, sorry! Nothing's going right today. First I couldn't find the right dress I wanted to wear, then at the-"
"Abby, let go. She's still not feeling too good," Gibbs gently pulled Abby off of Ziva, "Vance isn't sending you back. Apparently Mossad only wanted you back for one assignment, but since you physically can't do it, you get to stay."
Ziva breathed a sigh of relief. "Good."
"Abby, why don't you go and get her something to eat?" Ducky suggested, "Seeing as you haven't eaten solid foods in about a week now, I'm guessing you'd like a little snack?" Ziva nodded eagerly, though obviously growing weary, "If I recall, the hospital has a rather nice stock of ice cream."
"I'll bring a little of everything!" Abby announced, "Or at least everything I can carry. I'll be back fast, so don't you dare fall asleep on me Ziva!"
Ziva smiled, trying to stay awake. As much as she wanted to rest, she wouldn't fall asleep on Abby. Ducky shook his head, "She doesn't mean to be so abrupt, that is, more so than usual. Today was Jethro's funeral."
"Oh," she sipped at her water. Though she was grateful to have her friends gathered to see her, the exertion of simple speech combined with her stress and guilt was almost too much, "With Abby...I could not tell." she looked around at the others, all dressed in black. How had she forgotten?
"Yeah, kind of hard to tell, huh?" Gibbs smiled. "She sleeps in a funeral gown, Ziva."
"Yes, I should have remembered...it was today." she muttered, a bit embarrassed.
Tony shrugged, "She won't be upset. I mean, this is Abby we're talking about- she still remembers they day I took the last Hershey bar in the vending machine- but she's too nice to hold grudges. At least against you. Now McGee on the other hand, Mister 'spilled-CaffPow!-on-her-favorite-voodoo-doll'..."
"I suppose," she shifted in her bed a little, trying to make herself comfortable, a feat which she'd almost given up on.
"To err is human, to forgive divine," Ducky reminded her, "Of course, with Jethro- our Jethro, not Abby's late companion- he would say that neither of which is Marine Corps policy."
"Damn straight," Gibbs nodded, "Thankfully Abby's not a Marine. She'd make one God awful Marine...Kind of scary to think about."
"I resent that!" Abby stood in the doorway, glaring at Gibbs, "No ice cream for you!" she announced, handing out a bowl to everyone else, letting Ziva have first pick of course.
Ziva smiled, taking two bowls and handing the other to Gibbs, which Abby took back immediately, "No. Gibbs doesn't get any."
"Come on, Abby!" he chuckled, "You salute with your left hand, have serious issues with authority, refuse to wear what you're told to, and don't play nicely with others. You honestly want to convince me that you'd make a decent Marine?"
"Yes. No. Maybe?" Abby handed him back his ice cream, "Yeah, I'd hate it."