Vance was looking pointedly at her. This was it, this was her decision. She was choosing now, between two paths. Loyalty to Mossad, or to NCIS. The latter held the life she wanted, and she wanted to get there. Mossad held nothing but empty promises.
Still, Ziva hesitated. Loyalty to Mossad had been beat into her, etched into her brain until it was a part of her. Like brushing her teeth or tying a shoelace; she had never known any different. Now, she was abandoning everything she had ever believed in knowledge that it had all been a lie. Especially her father. Ever since Ari's death, since he had said all those things about Deputy Director David, Ziva tried to ignore the growing evidence that her father had arranged for Tali's death, so the same pain, anger and desire for vengeance burned in her eyes as Ari's. He had sculpted them to his perfection, and they had let him.
But not anymore. Ziva wasn't the same woman that had gotten on that ship, the beginning of the end. She had changed in Somalia, yes, perhaps not for the better. Perhaps she wasn't as strong and as fearless as she had been, as cocky or as sympathetic, but she knew now, never to take anything for granted. Including this.
She thought of Tony's light-hearted teasing, provoking her, trying to bring the old Ziva back, McGee offering to drive her to and from work so she wouldn't have to catch the bus, Abby's pleas for a girls night, trying to set up an environment in which she would try and have a nice deep and meaningful conversation with her, the smallest, slightest brush of pity reflected in Gibbs' eyes.
She had tried to lie. She had tried to protect herself from this, but she knew it was inevitable. Even if Vance did, even if Cryer's body hadn't been found, she knew Gibbs wouldn't let it go. Her pain couldn't continue forever, surely she didn't deserve it.
Ziva was tired of never getting what she wanted. She had always done what her father expected of her, what her country expected of her, what Gibbs expected of her. And she was tired, so, so tired. She was tired of never trusting herself to know what she wanted, so she took it from others. But now, she knew. And although she knew it would be hard, she trusted Gibbs, and she finally trusted herself. There was a light, shining faintly at the end of the tunnel, and she knew she wanted to get there.
And she knew how.