I do not own NCIS or any other characters mentioned.

"Take care of yourself."

I watched as the knowing spread from her mind to her face. I knew the moment she asked me to choose, the moment she stopped me, that she wasn't getting on that plane, no matter what I said. Getting transferred to another team? She never meant it. Both she knew that and I knew that.

My eyes wandered to her father, Director David, standing in the background, and back to the look on Ziva's face. I wondered what he had said to her to make her stay. Trained Mossad operative or not, the girl's eyes give her away.

I knew these weren't her words, but I also knew that she needed to work this mess out by herself. She couldn't come back to NCIS like this, with all this doubt. Doubting me, doubting Tony, doubting herself.

I looked her in the eye one more time and turned to let her go. Walking into the transport, I avoided Tony's knowing eyes.

"Boss, One short?" DiNozzo spoke with a tension in his voice. A tension that I recognized all too well, as I pushed flashing scenes of Paris out of my head. Not again, not now. I waved the plane on, giving Tony his answer. I braced myself for the long flight and the questioning stares, tried to get comfortable and closed my eyes.

We miss you already, Ziver. Come back when you're ready. I just hope you'll get the chanceā€¦

Ok, I understand this is very short, but I need to lay the groundwork for each character and how they react before I get into the meat of the story.

If you all bear with me I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Also, This story begins at the end of Aliyah. Canon with what we know so far. Prequel to my story, I Never Believed It Would Happen.

Enjoy! Reviews are my life-blood!