Between the last two scenes of "Good Cop, Bad Cop."


They left her alone in the interrogation room for twenty minutes or so. Long enough, at least, for Ziva to get the tears under control; not long enough for her to feel like moving.

The door opened, and McGee and Tony came in. Without a word, they each pulled up a chair to either end of the table. Tony started playing that stupid game he always played on his cell phone, and McGee flipped through a file he had brought with him, occasionally making notes. She glanced at the name on the file and didn't recognize it – nothing to do with her, with this horrible day.

They were just…here, she realized. Here, for her. She took a deep breath and a little of the tension left her shoulders, and she settled into the comfortable silence. The half-forgotten feeling of not being alone, of being part of a unit, or a team.

A family, almost. Maybe.

Eventually, Tony flipped his phone closed. "Five card draw?" he asked McGee, pulling a deck of cards out of his pocket.

McGee shrugged and pushed the file he'd been looking at aside. "Sure."

Tony began to deal, but stopped and glanced over his shoulder when the door flew open. "Poker? You guys better not be starting without me," Abby said, dumping a bag of potato chips in the middle of the table.

"Oh no," McGee said, looking alarmed. "No. Abby…remember the Str- the Poker Incident of 2004? I said never again."

Ziva watched Abby's smile go secret and satisfied. "Oh, I remember, McGee. And don't worry, we can play for potato chips this time." She pulled up a chair and sat across from Ziva while Tony resumed dealing.

He held up a card towards Ziva. "Deal you in?"

She looked around the circle of smiling faces. Abby reached across and squeezed her hand. "You didn't think we were going to let them take you away, did you?"

Ziva started to nod, then shook her head, and finally just smiled back – a little shaky, but it felt good. "Yes, please," she said, and they were all nice enough to ignore the leftover tears in her voice.

"Deal me in."

FIN