Title: What Ghosts May Fade
Author: Jaina47 aka Jaina Solo2, also known as me. ;)
Pairings: Ziva/Gibbs, Gibbs/Jenny, Ziva/Jenny
Category: Romance, Angst
Summary: Ziva goes to see after the team has gone to see Vance.
R. As close to smut as I'm ever likely to get.
Word Count:
Challenge: Written for the Judgement Day challenge on ncisflashfic
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
Judgement Day I & II

Slowly Ziva descends the stairs of Gibbs basement. The tips of her fingers drag along the wall and she notes its roughness idly. She's still wearing the dress that she put on for Jenny's funeral. There was no pressing reason to take it off, now that she's been dismissed and will be sent home. She's actually a little bit surprised that she isn't immediately being whisked onto a waiting airplane. It appears they were a little bit too successful at pissing of Leone Vance. Not that she particularly cares at the moment.

Jenny is dead. She's been turning the words over in her mind for hours now. Despite what everyone may think, she doesn't blame Tony for her death. Ziva may blame herself, but that's only to be expected. She could have tried harder, pushed more, demanded to talk to Jenny herself. She wonders if any of it would have made a difference.

She's reached the bottom of the stairs. Gibbs is sitting in front of his boat staring into space and nursing a bottle of beer. Beside him on the bench, just beyond his reach is a picture of a much younger Jenny.

Ziva smiles when she sees it, even as her heart is breaking. Without a word, she sinks down to sit. The picture rests between them.

Gibbs turns to her and she can see the glimmer of tears in his eyes. Ziva's not surprised. She knows the strength of this man, and she's well aware of how much he loved Jenny, despite their differences.

He looks back into the distance and then breaks the silence that they've fallen into.

"You're gonna be okay."

He says the words with absolute confidence and she doesn't doubt them because she is a survivor and she will be okay. Jenny showed her that it was possible to be more than okay, to do more than simply survive. Gibbs taught her how to live.

She gives him a slight tilt of her head in acknowledgment.

"I wish," she says slowly, "that I did not have to be 'okay'," she says the final word with a mock twist of her mouth. I wish that she were still here. Wishing is another thing that she has learned from them.


Gibbs looks at her steadily and it's a promise. A guarantee. She doesn't know how or who or when or where, but Gibbs will come through for her, be there for her and she will be okay until he can.

They have an understanding. It binds them together with pain and loss between them.

It began here in Gibbs' basement with her brother's blood on her hand, so i's only fitting that it should end here with Jenny's blood on her conscience.

She leans in slowly and kisses him. Ziva half-stands until she's straddling him on the bench. She feels the slick texture of the picture under her hand as she catches her balance awkwardly. Her finger brushes along Jenny's cheek. Her eyes flutter shut and she loses herself in Gibbs' kiss.

His fingers are rough and callused as they slide up her thighs, and hold her to him. He consumes her with his intensity and she responds in kind. The shadow of Jenny lingers over them, stands between them. Their love for her is written in every touch and caress that they share.

As he thrusts into her she thinks of Jenny and how much she loved this man. She doesn't feel jealous. This isn't about that. It's about understand and sharing - pain and love - for the woman who left them both in the end.

A moment later, Ziva is coming down from the rush of sensation. She lets her head rest on Gibbs shoulder and doesn't mind the tears that are sliding down her cheeks. They mingle with the sweat that's making a sheen across her face. He wraps his arms around her shoulders and holds her tightly to him. Neither makes an attempt to move for now. When they break this moment it will truly be over.

Sometime later, Gibbs offers her his shower and his bed. Ziva declines both. Her time under the protection and grace of Leroy Jethro Gibbs is over. Leone Vance has made that clear and she has to begin facing what that will mean for her. Now is as good of a time to start as any.

It doesn't mean that he can take away anything she has learned from Gibbs, however. Nothing can do that. It's just one more way she'll hold Jenny close to her for the rest of her life.