Title: Smoke
I own nothing
Warnings/ Spoilers:
8x08 and 7x01
Smoke is one of her triggers. Eli sees what Somalia did to Ziva.


Amit Hadar looked out at the streets of Washington DC, he disliked them just be sight. They were boring, he craved the tree lined streets of Jerusalem the streets he had grown up amongst. To keep boredom at bay while Eli and Vance made diplomatic conversations about weather and the leaders of their respective countries. Ziva drove a few kilometres above the speed limit to the quiet hum of the radio. Amit pulled out the tin of cigarettes from his pocket.

He smiled lovingly at the tin; it was a simple tin with Yiddish writing. Amit had only ever learnt Hebrew; the gift had been from an old and much loved girlfriend Lyla, who like Rivka David disappeared when the blood on Amit's callused hands was too much for her to wash clean. He still dreamed of Lyla. Of her funny ways of doing things, she had been a Jew from the Balkan States not Israeli like Amit. Every night Amit thought of Lyla, her black coiled curls and piercing eyes. She had moved on headed to New York, she never made it. She crashed into the twin towers.

He pulled a rolled smoke from the tin, with his nightmares, insomnia and difficulty adjusting to a new time zone had led to him rolling the entire packet of tobacco into cigarettes while Malachi and Liat used to the safe house bedroom for some mutual pleasure. He pulled out a second cigarette for Eli; he held it up as a silent offering. Ziva's eyes flashed, looking at the cigarette then looking at Eli through the mirror.

It had been one of the many things Ziva had brought with her when she returned to Israel in the summer of 2008. A list of things Eli had to do, top of that list was quit smoking. The old bastard both determined and desperate to retain a relationship with his last living child had complied. Ziva had rid Eli's penthouse of hard liquor, fatty foods and cigarettes. All of those vices except for cigarettes had found themselves back into Eli's penthouse by September, as Ziva had realised she could not change Eli.

Eli shook his head. Ziva gripped the steering wheel tighter. She sat up straight and hunched forward. Amit patted down his pockets searching for a lighter. He located it in his breast pocket. He held it for a second, flicking the lighter on and off. Ziva took frequent breaths. She stared onto the road. Her eyes wide refusing to blink in case Salims face became any clearer in her mind.

"Can the smoke break wait?" she finally asked. Since Amit had brought the cheap tin out her mind had drifted to where she never wanted to go yet always seemed to end up. Somalia. She turned the air conditioning on the car, to blow away the phantom desert heat that she suddenly felt even though it was the East Coast in November. She closed her eyes and all she saw were Salims eyes, and a cigarette hanging from his mouth. The cigarette burns on her thighs and her lower back begun to ache for the first time in months. She felt her lip quiver.
"Why" Amit asked holding the cigarette between his fingers. "We all have vices Ziva" Amit replied. He looked at the quivering woman next to him. Amit had known Ziva since she was twenty, he had been there when Eli told her Tali was dead, yet he had never seen her in such a state. "Yours is sleeping with your partners". New memories flooded Amit's mind, of a drunken Ziva, a moonlit apartment and him and Ziva calling other peoples names out.
"Just wait ten minutes for the smoke" Ziva replied ignoring his comment. "Please" she begged in little more than a whisper, she bit her lips to stop her tears. "Please" she repeated in an even softer voice.

Eli looked up when he heard the last word fall from Ziva's lips. He had heard the disagreement between Amit and Ziva and believed it to be simply a petty disagreement. Then images of Salim Ulmans file flashed in his mind. Salim Ulman was a pack a day smoker.

Eli saw Ziva's eyes through the mirror, they were hollow and broken and seemed away in a far off place. Eli was no stranger to trauma and the disorders that came with it, he knew some of what was going on in her fragile mind. Eli prayed for her sake the flashbacks were not to graphic.
"The smoke break can wait" Eli said, he watched as Ziva looked back at him through the mirror and semi-smiled in thanks.
"Yes, Jackie will kill me if she catches me smelling like smoke" Vance uttered giving a reason so Ziva did not have to explain. Even though Eli already knew.

Eli watched as her breathing returned to normal and as she slowly relaxed in the chair. He hands loosened on the steering wheel. Again Eli prayed the nightmares would not be too violent that coming night. Eli also wished he could go and kill Salim Ulman himself, for what he had done to Ziva.

A/N: So opinions? Thoughts?