Anotherrrr post-Aliyah, sorry but I'm still getting it out of my system – almost A MONTH TILL IT STARTS AGAIN, AND I'VE LIVED WITHOUT IT FOR 3 SO FAR. I think I'm starting to resemble a heroin addict in appearance – bags under the eyes, shaky, mumbling ('Tiva Tiva Tiva') under my breath...anyway, this is just going to be a one shot, mainly because I'm writing it as an outlet for my stress – I get my AS results in AN HOUR.

Maybe I would.

The words hurt more than he realised. They haunted his sleep, mocking him, spitting at him. May-bee-eye-wood. Maybe; maybe not. But he knew in his gut it was maybe.

He looked at her face and could barely recognise her. Make up, straight hair and no humour on her lips. But the eyes were the same. Always the eyes.

They were wide and black and desperate, full of the panic and disbelief of the abandoned. There was, quite simply, no one in her life to whom she would come first. She knew, in a bitter little way, that there never truly was.

She had had a mother, yes, but she was dead now, another one gone. She wondered how her father got up in the mornings, surveyed the empty rooms of his absent wife, his absent daughter, his absent son. And the one that remained, remained poorly. He could see what America had done to her.

It had made her want something other than vengeance.

And so she clings to a man she despises on the burning concrete of her homeland, and she feels anything but home. Gun to chest, gun to knee. She wanted to press it to his gut and mock him.

You are not Gibbs, and you can make mistakes.

There was no chance in hell, or in Tel Aviv, that she would shoot him. She would sooner wake with him, drowsy and crumpled, in a sweet morning. But there were no sweet mornings. Not any more.

Maybe I would. He wrote the words down once, and studied them for hours, but they seemed strange in his handwriting, childish and petulant. They were not the words of the woman with animal eyes that he had watched for four years.

He liked her hair best when it was curly.

He tried to tousle it once, after she had shot a man and washed his blood off her skin. She had started and for the first time he saw beyond the matter-of-fact. The bags under her eyes, the chalk of her pallor. He thought she was never so beautiful.

He liked her lips best when she was jealous.

They would compress and become a little pink bud in the middle of her face, and sometimes it made him fill with longing and forget all about the woman he was madly in love with. He'd kissed them, and tasted spice and vanilla. They made his heart stutter in its deafening rhythm.

Her liked her eyes when she was confused.

Misunderstandings. Where is the sense in that expression? Don't count your chickens? I don't have chickens Tony. And I would never count them if I did. He'd chuckled, tried to explain and she had made a derogatory sound in the back of her throat and mumbled something in Hebrew. "Don't count your chickens, pff," she had said and it made him curl and smile.

He liked her best when she woke.

There were many times that he watched her wake, and none of them were how he would have wanted it. After long cases, undercover. Stakeouts, working through the night. He was never able to kiss her good morning like he so very wanted to.

When she woke, she was at her most vulnerable. Her eyes would open, almond-shaped against the glare, and she would bring up fists and rub them like a child. Her cheeks were flushed and often crumpled against fabric, her lips pink and swollen. Her hair would be gloriously messy, and her limbs languid and perhaps – for a second, for the blink of a human eye – slightly less agile, less quick and graceful, than usual.

Above all, he knew that she was honest.

So when she said Maybe I would, he knew that it was true.

Maybe she would.

But just maybe, maybe, she wouldn't. And after all, she was gone and all that was left was hope. And so he clings.