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Raspberry Rivers

Ziva stands in the elevator. She flattens her white top over her stomach. She pulls her white sleeves across her twiggy olive arms. She mentally reminds herself to wear more layers tomorrow. The elevator doors begin to close. She sees a hand dart between the grey doors. She takes a deep breath. Anxious to see who would enter. She had been looking forward to a moment of peace. The case had been hectic. She recognizes the hand that parted the solid silver sea. Tim McGee walks into the elevator. She looks up shooting him a smile. McGee smiles back. His hand wrapped around a Styrofoam cup.

"Where you headed?" McGee asks. Ziva is silent for a moment. McGee stutters half repeating the question "Um um where"

"Abby's lab then Ducky's" Ziva replies holding up two manila folders. McGee presses the buttons.

"I'm headed to Abby's lab too" McGee says. Ziva looks at him. She notices the cup his pale hands carry. She stares at it. She knows what is in it. She remembers Salims raspberry refreshment.

"Can you take this to her" Ziva asks softly. She holds up the manila folder. "Save me a trip" McGee walks forward to collect the folder.

He was unaware of his undone shoelace. He walks one foot in front of the other. The elevator jerked. The grey box shook. He watches as Ziva's hand grips tighter around her gun. He feels himself falling. He reaches out hoping to steady himself.

The Styrofoam cup falls from his shaking hands.

Ziva white top is splashed with a mauve fluid. He looks up. Ziva is shaking. Her breaths are frequent and give her little relief. Her hand is wrapped tightly around her gun. Blistering her cracked hands.

"Ziva" he whispers. He stutters. His voice is shaking as much as her body. McGee watches as she raises her gun. His eyes stare deep into the barrel.

She closes her eyes. She tries to imagine a scene of great beauty. As the shrink told her to do. She imagines a flowing river among green hills.

The rivers are raspberry pink.

She opens her eyes. The elevator has morphed into the sand colored cell she spent her summer in. McGee has morphed into Salim. She handles the gun in her hands. She raises it slowly. Her whole body shaking.

The elevator dings. McGee is holding the railing. His sweaty hands are making the waist height bar slippery. Gibbs raises his eyebrow at the sight of his junior field agent shaking and breathing. He turns to see his probationary agent and former liaison officer holding a gun. He spies her now purple top. He notices the empty Styrofoam cup. His senior field agent runs out of Abby's lab spurting a movie quote at the top of his plague scarred lungs.

"Woah McScaredycat where's the fire" he shouts. Tony turns to face Ziva. He face is almost the same color as her shirt. He steps forward.

"Zee-vah" he whispers. Gibbs gestures for McGee to slowly exit. Until he witnesses Ziva grip her gun even tighter. He watches the tiny stream of blood run from her cracked hand. He holds his hand up telling McGee to stop.

"Ziver" Gibbs whispers. "Ziver you're in DC. You're safe" Her hand loosens.

The sand is slowly replaced by silver. Salim has become Gibbs.

She lowers her gun.

"Ga" she stammers "Sa" she stammers again taking long and frequent breaths.

Tony's hand touches hers. She finds herself clinging to it.

"Deep breaths ninja" Tony whispers. Gibbs is not stupid enough to attempt to take the gun from her. He swivels around to find Abby hugging McGee. Black tears rushing down her pale face.

Gibbs finds himself taking a loud and deep breath. He listens as the silence is broken by Abby babbling. Abby asks McGee if he is ok. Ziva wraps her arms around her body and slips away.

She reappears an hour later. Her hands resembling prunes. Her face make up free. Her eyes are red. Her white shirt has been replaced by a black colored one. No one speaks. Nor will they ever speak of it again. She sits down at her desk.

She closes her eyes. She tries to imagine a scene of great beauty. As the shrink told her to do. She imagines a flowing river among green hills.

The water is blue.

A/N: I know most people are over hurt/ damaged Ziva but this has been on my mind for ages.