Something I wrote on a whim. I started with Bones in mind, but then it somehow turned into NCIS, and I think it fits better this way.


I saw her today.

She was crying again. Oh, she tried to hide it. Sunglasses on, trying to appear busy, telling everyone she had a cold and that was why she had a runny nose.

But she didn't have a cold. And she wasn't busy.

I knew it. It was another one of those days. At first, they had hardly been there. Or she'd excused herself to the bathroom, returning moments later with a fresh smile.

But now she didn't leave anymore. She still tried to hide her tears, but she wasn't hiding herself anymore.

I tried to tell myself that was a good thing. I tried to pretend like that meant she was trusting us more. I forbade myself to even think it was a sign of a sincere mental breakdown.

She was Ziva. She didn't break down. She was strong. Even after everything, she had persisted. Survived. In Mossad, in the army, in Somalia, in countless other missions I did not know of. She was kick-ass.

Except now, she wasn't.

Now she showed her tears, her anger, her confusion. Her pain. It was out there. We could all see it.

And we tried to understand, to comfort her. But Ziva did not let herself be comforted. She shook of a hand on her shoulder. She told everyone she was fine, whoever asked, whenever they asked.

Neither of us knew how to get through to her. She refuses any personal contact, any private moment. None of us had any success.

So we watched her break down day by day, every day a bit more. She stopped putting make-up on. She stopped making jokes. She stopped talking when it wasn't necessary. She volunteered more and more to stay at her desk instead of going out in the field.

And she stopped caring. The fire in her eyes was gone. No case got her passionate, no violation of justice drew her attention. She did what she had to do mechanically, automatically, with no passion.

And we knew it couldn't go on like this. She was not only destroying herself, but the entire team. Our flow was gone. The thick bonds were getting thinner every day.

Set for destruction.

Bit of a weird ending, but it's an open one. You can dream up your own next chapter! I don't know if I will.

I'd very much appreciate any reviews... when I read them, it'll be after my first day of school after a two-week holiday, so I could use a little pick-me-up =)