This is the final chapter, I think this series of oneshots or story or whatever you want to call it has came to an end. I'm just sorry it took this long, this week has been insane.
I of course managed to catch the season opener, I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet but woah it was good!
I want to thank each and every person who read this at some point and thank you for sticking with me, but I want to really thank those who took the time to review, it really does mean a lot and I appreciate every single one. Thank you :)
They fell into a sort of normal relationship. That was the most shocking thing to Ziva. They had spent so much time dancing around each other and the prospect of them that she never expected for it to be so normal, to be so right.
She would find herself wondering how of earth it happened. Standing in the middle of the grocery store as she picked through a batch of peaches to try and find the non bruised ones, her mind would wander. She wondered how they made it past all of the silly little things in their life, like rule 12 and if Gibbs would really approve. How they had pushed all the drama from themselves like Somalia and Jenny and Jeanne. She laughed now that things like Tony leaving the toilet seat up annoyed her just as much as the fact that there wasn't enough room in her living room for all of his dvds as he gradually moved nearly every single thing he owned to her place, which was marginally bigger and closer to work. It still didn't feel like home though.
She always felt most secure in his apartment, while he made dinner and she uncorked a bottle of wine. Then maybe they would end up tangled together in his bed, the sheets a crumpled mess around them and his arms holding her securely to his side. His smell everywhere around her, his possessions and the familiarity of it all making her feel safe. Still, sometimes when she was at her apartment on her own she would feel herself go rigid and look around for someone who wasn't there or for a sound she had imagined herself. She would feel cold and exposed. Paranoia making her flick on lights in all the rooms to make sure no one was there before she could go to bed. It was getting better now. She wouldn't think of him everyday, or of what had happened. It didn't rule what she did anymore.
She could go to the lab and laugh with Abby as she drank her Caf Pows and hugged her too tight. She could sit in Autopsy with Ducky as he looked over dead bodies. She went running with McGee and Jethro sometimes but mostly she went on her own, as night fell or early in the morning before the sun had risen. She could walk into crime scenes with Gibbs, no matter what the crime and detach herself from the situation and she could let Tony press her into a mattress and kiss her hard without her thinking of the last person who did this to her.
Sure she sometimes had her bad days, times where she panics at noises or thinks she hears Saleem behind her. Nightmares that wake her in the middle of the night, so vivid she could smell the sweat and the sand and the dirt. Times where she doesn't want to talk about it or think about it or acknowledge it even happened.
But these were few and far between.
Ziva smiled to herself and pulled out a set of peaches that weren't bashed. She looked at them for a moment before placing them back and picking up the nearest bruised peach and putting it in her basket. Because sometimes the ruined ones still taste just as sweet.