I am so sad for Ziva that Gibbs and Tony missed her ceremony! When she looked beside her it was sad but she did not look happy at all the entire time. My attempt at consoling myself is to think that the characters told the writers some serious Tiva would be inevitable and they were not ready to go there yet. (It could also be the nice contrast with Gibbs reading Rule #27 as Tony is tailing Riviera but we can ignore that for the sake of fluff…)

...

Her right hand felt hot, burning with the sanctity, the weight, the significance of the words she spoke. The promise she made with no reservation of mind or heart. It tingled and buzzed as she held it up, declaring her allegiance to her new home country.

Her left hand was cold as ice. It hung limply by her side, almost as if it were not even part of her body, the rest of which was currently engaged in making the second most important promise of her life. The left hand and with it, a tiny part of her heart were all she allowed to be distracted from the task that her right hand was the outward sign of.

"Perhaps it was for the best.," she thought to herself later that night.

After the dinner, after the drinking. After her 'family' and now countrymen, had gone their separate ways. After she had finished watching the longest movie about the longest book which she had hoped would distract her from what had become a very long day.

Perhaps it was for the best. She knew he could not have foreseen what was coming, what had begun only moments after he made the promise. But it still hurt. She hated to admit, even to herself how much it had bothered her that they were not there. That he was not there. She had only made it that far, she was only alive because of him.

It felt incomplete. It had not felt real without him by her side.

And that is why she thought that perhaps it had been better for him to not be there after all. As much as it broke her heart. Because it broke her heart.

Because if he had been there, her left hand, she knew, would not have been cold. It would not have hung limply by her side but been held tightly , strong and warm as she swore herself to her new country. To his country. Their country.

And that would have been too much. With everything that had passed this year, everything that had gone unsaid, that simple, inevitable, unavoidable action would have broken the dam they had carefully constructed. It was not yet time.

She did not know when but she was sure it was not now. She knew it would be one day. She hoped it would be soon.

But yes, it was for the best.

...

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LouC