By L. M. Boulevardes

But she was beautiful and she surrendered herself with the dignity of a sacrificial virgin. My chest was full of pain, my eyes smarted, and I was afraid – O monstrous trick against reason – I was afraid I was about to sob. I wanted to smash things, bring down the night with my howl of rage. But I kept still. She was beautiful, as innocent as dawn on winter hills. She tore me apart as once the Shaper's song had done.

~ John Gardner's Grendel


Time passes.

Doesn't it?

I need it to pass. I want it to pass (although I am yes mother now old enough to understand that you can't want something into existence and I stop and think sometimes – about


What is it? A measurement? If so, is it what we measure or what measures us? I think time passes. Even for me – time must pass. Inevitably. Eventually. It goes screaming and dragged, but it goes. I know a certain brunette who said nothing is inevitable but no – this must be an exception, right? Time must pass/ My bed remains empty. My heart remains empty. There is no blood clotting, and my wounds are bleeding all over the place.

Time passes, Tony tells me. But Tony can also quote almost every movie ever made, and his bed is not empty the way mine is so very often. (Is time passing now? Has it all slipped away quite yet?)

I sketch; it's my one defence against time. People stay still long enough for me to sketch them and in that one blink-moment I get to slow time, get to draw it out into languid, beautiful strokes. Every breath-taking detail is there for me, every little bit is mine for the taking. That's the best seduction, the most wonderful part. It's how Abby and I ended up in bed that time.

Or should I not have mentioned that?

But it doesn't matter. Abby and I are better friends – we cannot complete each other in the aching sweet way I long for, we are not compliments. Too much alike sometimes and too much distance between us in others. And besides that I can taste McGee on her and it's disgusting and I don't want to be anywhere near her sometimes because McGee tastes so strong.

She thinks sometimes we might have some thing, some precious thing hiding the air there, but I know we don't. I keep her at some length now. It's fine, because now she goes closer to McGee and I don't have to worry so much.

But I need someone to get me through these lonesome nights, this horrible cold that gets down into my bones and won't leave. I need someone to help and then –

And then I meet her.

And she says,

I could be your lover. I could be your diary.

Oh Miss Ziva David! For you, let's stop time from passing. I want an infinity with you. I want to kiss you and hold and you have you forever. You laugh so pretty and smile at me when we play a joke on Tony.

Can I have infinity? I remember when you came you gave yourself up with such dignity and took such responsibility for that boy and you were a shining beacon of light after all the dark and I thought Wealtheow, my god! Can last night when you were wearing that nothing-dress last forever? Here me now: I remember . . .

In the club, undercover, lesbians. Tony, so stoked and us laughing and you said if Tony wants a show so badly we might as well give him something to talk about, yes? And I can't resist that voice, that tantalizing accent of yours so I smirked and yeah.

(Stupid, stupid Kate! Don't you have any better words something to encompass that part of you that thinks and feels and moans if you asked me to post on youtube a video of me wearing black leather and blowing Tony I'd say here use my phone it connects to the internet and here's how you turn on the camera -)

And then you kissed me.

It was amazing. Sparks all over my body, white hot flashes. Like being kissed for the very first time. I must have been a virgin, I must have been so gone to not know, to not understand this beautiful, aching thing that set me on fire and would leave me with a scream clawing at my belly to get out and beg you to do more, anything.

That feeling in my hips – god, I could have cradled it that all night and not asked for release because if I did you might have to go and that wouldn't do at all. . . . I wanted you to stay longer and longer and never go away and god, Ziva do you know sometimes I think I see you look at Tony with those eyes and I ache more but I don't know this is good enough anyway please don't stop now or ever my god my Ziva . . .

You danced with me our hips banging so close our breasts rubbing together I know I was supposed to look for a serial killer but god but god! Forgive me, my God, but I could not help myself! Serial killers would wait just five more minutes, wouldn't they? Wouldn't they?

Dead marine wives (ex-wives?) would wait just five more minutes please I only needed five more is it okay if Gibbs sees this do I care Tony thank you look what she's doing to me ! I want that time now the time that I wanted to pass? I want it here, I want it back. I don't need my happy ending it's as here as it will ever get - !

And slip behind me at work the next day while I'm at my computer and whisper in my ear –

I could be your lover. I could be your diary.