A/N: Hey everyone! I'm finally back with a brand new multi-chaptered story, and I'm really excited about it.
This story is about second chances, memories, and falling in love again. It, as many of the great stories, legends, and tales of heroes in this world are, is about sacrifice, whether it is deserved or not. And when it is not, it is called "grace".
It's been five years since Ziva had seen anyone from NCIS. She left one day, and never came back. When she finds herself entangled with the team once more, the past begins to haunt, and she must face the one man she promised she'd never see again.
The next chapters will explain more, and as the story unfolds, I think you'll see that there's no such thing and lost hope.
"There is no refuge from memory and remorse in this world. The spirits of our foolish deeds haunt us, with or without repentance."--Gilbert Parker
Tap tap tap.
Ziva David stood and moved swiftly to the back of the room, intending to apprehend the perpetrator. She reached him and looked him straight in the eye, but stopped instead and sighed. "What is it, Jeremy?" she asked the high school student, sitting in his seat with a raised hand and clicking pencil on his empty desk.
"Remind me again why we have to learn history? It's not like I'm gonna become a historian or something," he said, slouching even more than Ziva thought possible.
"Because," Ziva said as she walked back to the front of the room to face all of the students. "If we can remember the past and what happened then, we can learn from our mistakes and know how to prevent those things from happening again," her eyes wandered out the window, the red and gold trees outside glimmering in the afternoon light.
The bell rang and the students looked to her. "Fine, yes, you are dismissed. Your papers are due Friday, and please spell check this time!" she called as they hurried out the door.
Ziva shook her head and sat down at her desk, resting her head on her hand as she propped her elbow on the desk.
"Ziva?" a voice sounded from the threshold. It was familiar, and suddenly she felt as if she was waking from a dream. She looked up to see Timothy McGee standing in the doorway, a face she had not seen in forever.
"McGee!" she smiled at him and stood, meeting him in a tight embrace.
"What are you doing here?" he asked after they pulled back, looking around the room.
Ziva smiled at him, but McGee noticed the weariness in her eyes. "This is my classroom—I teach here,"
"Here in DC? When did you come back?"
"August," Ziva said simply as she leaned against the front of your desk. "How've you been?"
"I've been good," he said, looking around her room in a near-awe.
"You still with NCIS?" Ziva gestured to the badge at his waist.
"Yeah, Senior agent these days,"
"How is Abby?" Ziva asked kindly.
McGee almost blushed. "She's good. We're, ah, dating now,"
Ziva chuckled. "Finally, then?"
"Yeah," he grinned.
"He's good—Vance is trying to get him to retire, but you know Gibbs,"
"Yes, he always was a stubborn one," she agreed knowingly.
McGee sighed and looked at her. "How've you been, Ziva?"
Ziva opened her mouth and closed it before moving to the window, arms folded as she thought. "I have been fine,"
Ziva looked at him and gave him a half-smile. "Sometimes that is what you have to settle for," she looked out the window once more. "Why are you here, at Allegro Prepatory?"
"Picking up a student, Julianne Evans,"
"Her father is a Sergeant in the Marine Corps," Ziva said.
"Yeah, he died this morning,"
"Oh my word," Ziva said. "Was it an accident?"
McGee shrugged. "We're not sure yet… Listen, Ziva, I have to go get her, but would you like to have dinner with Abby and me Friday night? She'd love to see you,"
"I do not know…"
"You'll think about it, at least?"
Ziva nodded. "Of course. I will call you tomorrow night and yet you know?"
"That'd be great,"
"Okay then," Ziva said.
"It was really good to see you, Ziva," he paused.
"What is it?"
He sighed and shook his head. "It's nothing. I'll see you later," he said, stepping out the door.
"Bye," she called. She sighed and sunk down in her desk chair, fingering a little globe figurine a student had given her last year. She would often find herself turning it and turning it, her mind wandering to all the places she had been.
She glanced at the wall where a large map was displayed. A little flag marked all of the places every student had visited. Many of the students at Allegro Prepatory were the children of government officials, CEOs, and other high-profile men and women, so many of them had been around the world.
She touched a pin—one of hers. It was Paris, and Paris held so many memories. Ziva shut her eyes for a moment when she heard a soft voice from the doorway.
"Miss David?" It was Jane Seager, a sweet, quiet girl, the daughter of a Virginia senator. She was a junior in high school, very bright, but shy.
"Yes, Jane? Is there something I can help you with?" It was lunch time, and most students were busy chatting with their friends around campus, relieved to take a break from their studies.
"I was wondering if you had any books on England?"
Though the Allegro library was very extensive, Ziva had found its collection on travel to be more informative and objective. She believed that students could learn more from factually-correct narratives and memoirs of people who have actually lived and traveled to the amazing places they wrote about. She had gathered quite the assortment of such books and made them available to all her students.
"I do," Ziva smiled and drew a book from the large bookshelf. "This one is one of my favorites," she handed it to Jane.
"Have you ever been to England?" Jane asked.
"Yes, many times,"
"What'd you do there? Did you visit London at all? Did you ride the double decker buses?"
Ziva swallowed. None of her students or any of the staff, excepting Headmaster Steinway, knew of her history with Mossad. "I did go to London, but I was there on business. I didn't have the opportunity to ride the buses, but there were some beautiful sights. It was very green, but very rainy," she replied. "Would you like to go there someday?"
Jane nodded. "It's on my list of things to do before I die,"
"I had a list once too,"
"Did you accomplish everything on it?"
Ziva shook her head. "Not everything," she touched the girl on her arm gently. "But if going to London is something you would like to do, you should. As long as you are not running away,"
"Running away?" her eyebrows rose in slight amusement.
"Yes. It is never the answer, Jane. You can take a suitcase and leave behind the people, but the memories will always follow,"
"Do you have any memories you wish you could leave behind?"
Ziva smiled, her heart aching. Pound pound pound. "Go back to lunch. I'll see at fifth period,"
"Alright, thanks for the book, Miss David,"
"Anytime," Ziva said as Jane left the room.
Ziva ran a hand through her hair, long and curly still, her mind ringing with McGee's words and Jane's questions and memories so scarring raining down upon her sore heart.
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