A/N: This is a tag to tonight's episode 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' (Season 7). I have to say, this new Gibbs/Ziva arc is really intense, really well done. The emotion/angst is great...so little me couldn't stay away.
Ziva David felt small, insignificant, and alone under the probing, heavy glare of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. She did not know what she could say to ease all the hurt—and there was so much hurt. Hers, and his; old and new. She could not seem to break the cycle, even at NCIS.
In all of her life, she had never had anyone who she completely trusted so much, someone who her loyalty to was unwavering and pure, someone so good and noble. She did not want to lose that. Her father had jeopardized all of that.
"I am sorry," she whispered softly, meaning it with all of her being, "Gibbs."
Her eyes were stinging, sharply. It was all she could do not to cry, though the thought reminded her that of the select few who had, Gibbs had seen her cry.
His hand slipped over hers, the two fingers he'd touched gently to her thumb and wrist to support her during her recount of the Damocles fiasco leaving a cold spot on her hand as they left it. She stared at his now vacated seat as he stood slowly and came around the cold, impersonal metal interrogation table to stand next to her.
He leaned down slowly. She had to stop from flinching away; she expected rejection or yelling. She expected a cold goodbye. It was enough to stop her heart, just for a moment, to make tears well in her eyes while he looked at her studiously.
In the softest whisper, he eased her suffering.
"You are a daughter to me, Ziva," he said hoarsely.
Her lips trembled and she bit the bottom one hard, tasting salty blood. She felt warm, comforted, unafraid. Jethro pressed a light, fatherly kiss to her temple and she bowed her head a little, her vision swimming.
She knew how much it took for him to say that. She knew what he meant.