Focussing on the one part of the NCIS finale I DID understand... I present to you: Ziva.


America.

It was still surreal to her, especially after the events of the last few days. In all the confusion and secrecy, her naturalization had not been on the back of her mind, but it hadn't exactly been the foremost issue on her mind, either.

And now she was here, and she was… an American. She was a citizen of this country.

No longer an Israeli woman with all its stigmas and troubles. Now she was an American woman, which brought with itself a whole other kind of stigmatization and troubles, but right now, it did not matter.

She was safe.

An American citizen meant so much more. It meant more safety, more reliability from the -her- government, it meant somebody would care if she went away.

And it meant coming back home.

She had never felt like an American, not even in the past few months, after Michael, Israel and Somalia. She was in an awkward in-between state, neither American nor Israeli nor Jewish. She was Ziva David, and that was all she knew she was.

Looking at Abby's smiling face, although worry still lingered, made her realize that although she may not have been an American all this time, she certainly had had a home.

She would have preferred Gibbs and Tony to be there, too. After all, they embodied America for her; it would not only be appreciated, but symbolic as well.

They had their reasons. For all his teasing, Ziva knew Tony wouldn't have missed her ceremony if he could have helped it, and Gibbs… she liked to think Gibbs would've come, too, if he had had the chance.

"Ziva."

It registered in her mind that Director Vance has hardly, if ever, called her by her first name before, and she turned around and faced him. He flashed her a smile.

"Congratulations, miss David." He purposefully mispronounced her name, the American way, and she appreciates the gesture.

"Thank you, Director," she said airily. He held out his hand, with an envelope in it.

"Gibbs wanted me to give you this," he told her, touching her hand briefly as she took the envelope from his hand.

When she opened it, she paused for a moment. Would it be fitting? But then, deciding she did not care, she opened it under the watching eyes of her friends.

Congratulations, Ziva, it says. Welcome home.

And she's never felt more welcome before.