Title: Loyalty And Family
Fandom: NCIS
Spoilers: Up to 7x10 'Faith'
Words: 914
Warnings: None.
Characters: All but Ziva centric
Parings: None
Summary: It was not a symbol of her religion it was a symbol of her loyalty to her family. How Ziva got the new necklace.

Loyalty and Family

She finds herself doing it when she is nervous or stressed. She fingers her bare skin where from age thirteen a gold necklace used to sit.

It had never symbolized religion. Ziva was Jewish but only because her mother was Jewish. Ziva did not pretend she believed in a higher power. She had been through too much to believe in such idealism. She did however cling to the notion that upon death her dear sister Tali had gone to a better place. And the terrorist cell that killed her did not.

She received it as a gift for her Bat Mitzvah. An event thirteen year old Ziva did not enjoy. For her lack of enjoyment she blamed her mother. Her mother had placed her in the frilly dress. Which only thanks to her Aunt Nettie was aqua blue instead of pink. Her mother insisting on having a big party had invited all of Ziva's classmates. Nadia David had not realized that Ziva seldom socialized with any of them. In fact she barely spoke to them since the death of her best friend Khaleed the year before. Nadia had also, in a vain attempt to make up numbers allowed Eli to invite his colleges. Those men clad only in black suits stood with Eli at the bar with serious faces and cigarettes hanging from their mouths, as the spoke in whispers and codes. The wives and children, of those lucky enough to have them, sat silent littered around the large windowless hall.

Nadia had also invited the very small extended family. Ziva's parents siblings were antithesis's of them. Her father's brother Lev was a pacifist where as Eli worked for the mossad. Her mother's sister Nettie was a pious woman where as Nadia never lit the Shabbat candles. Ziva looked at her family. Nettie wore all black. She had done since the death of her husband three years beforehand. Nettie's lone child Asa sat in between Ziva and Tali in age and personality. He was not as strong as Ziva nor as compassionate as Tali. Her Uncle Lev looked out of place. He was clean shaven for the first time and only because Ziva's mother Nadia had insisted and given the man a kiss to encourage him to do so. Lev looked far into the distance. He was missing his chestnut colored Arabian horses. In one the rare moments when Ziva's family was explained to her Ziva had learnt that the horses had become the only solace for Lev after his wife and child died in childbirth. Ziva stopped musing on her family and again begun looking around the hall.

"Ziva" Eli called separating himself from the heard of black suited men. Ziva raised her eyebrows and followed her father through the sea of white clothed round tables. They ended up at the table that housed her family. Ziva was sat in a chair. Her Aunt and Uncle looked at her. Tali moved next to her. Ari stood behind Eli. Completely unsure of whether he should even be there. Nadia stood next to Eli but barely acknowledged her husband. Eli opened up his jacket pocket and pulled out a box. He crouched down beside her and opened the box. It revealed a golden Star of David necklace. Ziva sat speechless.
"This Ziva" Eli begun "Is from your family. We are the people who will always be loyal to you and you must always be loyal to us" Ziva nodded as her mother held up her wayward chocolate locks and Eli placed the necklace on her.

Ziva remained loyal to her family even as the body count rose. As bullets, bombs and brain tumors attacked her family. Ari was not loyal and neither was Eli but she remained loyal to them. Until the day Salim ripped that golden chain from her.

Abby insisted they celebrate Hanukah. Ziva was weary. She only really shared Purim with her friends as that was the most fun. Just as Ducky shared St Andrews Day with them. Still Ziva turned up at Ducky's large house for the second time in the space of a month in the same dress she wore to Thanksgiving. She walked to the door her arms laden with food. She looked at Ducky's front window. A wooden menorah sat. The craving was too exquisite to be factory made. Ziva recognized it as a product of Gibbs bourbon filled insomnia. Ducky let her in and begun a tale from his youth.

They sat around the table. Joking. Laughing. Singing. Smiling. Her family sat around the table Gibbs, Ducky, McGee, Abby and Tony were all her family in one way or another.

"Ziver" Gibbs uttered. He pulled a box from his pocket. He opened it to reveal a silver necklace. Ziva was again speechless. Suddenly the counting of coins and whispering of the past month were explained. Her friends, no her family had brought her a necklace. Abby got up and pulled up Ziva's tamed chocolate curls. Gibbs draped the necklace across her. There were no utterances of family or loyalty because they were not needed. They were Ziva's family. She was loyal to them. They were loyal to her. Full stop.