Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Pairing: Tiva if you want it to be.
Summary: Picks up immediately after the end scene in "Truth or Consequences". My take on what happened after the applause died down and the real rescue of Ziva began. Spoilers for season 7. Hints of Tiva.
A/N: I just wanted to say that I have NOT abandoned my other story "Save Me For A Day". I simply wanted something to do on the side while I figure out what to do with that one.
As she stood there, caught in the tight embrace of the NCIS forensic scientist, Ziva David found herself debating the reality of the situation. What had just happened? If she remembered correctly and she was fairly positive she did, despite the semi-conscious state she was currently experiencing, she had in fact been rescued.
They had come for her, even though she was believed to be dead. They had risked their lives to honor her name, to take revenge. That could simply not be right. She had betrayed them, pushed them away when offering a solution, refused their help. Why would they care about her after that? She had allowed herself to get distracted, to be manipulated. She had allowed herself to get torn between two loyalties, turning her back on one only to receive the very same treatment from the other. She didn't deserve to be avenged, but still here she was.
During the time Ziva had spent with NCIS she had come to think of her team as family, something she had never dared to do before. Her years with Mossad had taught her how dangerous it could be to get too attached to your co-workers, it only made the loss that much harder but inevitable nonetheless. Here in DC however, a place free from suicide bombers and daily death threats, things were different. And Ziva had grown to cherish that difference with genuine gratitude. They had been friends, always watching out for each other, never leaving anyone behind. Now however, with everyone's curious eyes on her, Ziva felt more like an outcast than ever before in her life. She stood there as an imposter, tainting the atmosphere with her presence. And even though she was in a room full of people, she had never felt more alone.
Abby's touch felt off somehow, dreamlike almost. Although the hug itself was soothing, offering the great solace only human contact could, it felt numb. Or maybe it was she? Guess months of torture and humiliation would do that to you, even if you're a trained assassin.
It was a funny feeling, being on the other side of torture, being the one receiving instead of giving, acting as the victim instead of the one responsible. The one stopping at nothing to succeed in recovering the information demanded to complete the mission and please whoever behind it all. Because God knows she had. A sudden feeling of guilt started spreading through her chest. So this was what she had been trained to do? It was probably only fair she got a taste of her own pie. Or was it medicine? She couldn't find it in her to remember at the moment.
Still deep in thought, Ziva felt the slightly bone crushing yet comforting grip loosen and finally let go of her body. She didn't know how long they had been standing there, and frankly she didn't care. As she tried to focus her vision on the woman before her she saw a hand resting on each of Abby's shoulders forcing her backwards. The Goth was clearly not appreciating the interruption and was quite desperately trying to fight it.
"Abby," The familiar voice was gentle but firm – McGee. "You gotta let Ducky check on her."
"Oh, right…" Abby answered, understanding his logic.
As on cue, Ziva felt a careful hand take a hold of her right arm, pulling her ever so slowly towards the elevator.
"How about we get you out of those clothes dear?" Ducky asked, though it wasn't as much a question as it was an order.
Some of the few word's she had exchanged with who she had once called boss, or anyone else for that matter, on the flight back from Africa was in a small argument regarding her health. Gibbs had ordered that they were to take her to a hospital but she had insisted that it wasn't necessary. A few moments later they had come to the agreement that Ziva would go see Ducky the second they arrived at the Navy Yard. Lacking the energy to protest any further she had accepted this solution as a fair one.
Aware of the fact that she had no say in the matter the Israeli allowed herself to be lead towards the silver doors. She couldn't help the embarrassment that followed after her legs gave out and she stumbled forwards, nearly hitting the ground.
Thankfully, the Scotsman's old age hadn't affected his reaction ability all too much. Like the gentleman he was, Ducky caught the Israeli around the waist in a fluid motion, effectively stabilizing her. And even though trying, the ME failed to hide the horrified look that crossed his features when for the first time realizing how legibly he could feel Ziva's ribs beneath her shirt. He figured that the baggy clothes had disguised how much weight she had truly lost during her captivity.
Ziva felt the little pride she had left disappear completely as she, although somewhat reluctantly, accepted Ducky's help. She cursed herself for showing such weakness openly, but after picturing the scenario of passing out in the middle of the headquarter she came to the conclusion that it was for the best, at least for the time being. Simply keeping her eyes open was starting to become a challenge, still she silently prayed for Ducky to move faster. She didn't know how much longer she could take the pitying looks that encircled her. It was driving her mad, slowly but surely robbing her of her sanity.
A sudden 'ding' declared her escape route's presence and she felt relief wash over her the very second she stepped inside. Making her way out of Ducky's grasp Ziva slowly crossed the floor and leaned her aching body against the cold wall, earning her a taste of her much needed independency. Immediately feeling less exposed she dared look up for the first time since having been released from Abby's caring arms.
Far across the squad room she was met with a set of green, uncharacteristically soft eyes. The former partners held the gaze, desperately trying to regain the ability to communicate without words that they once shared, until it was finally broken by the elevator doors sliding shut.
Still standing, after having reflexively gotten up from behind his desk when seeing Ziva trip, Tony sunk back into his chair. He buried his face in his hands and let out a breath he hadn't even realized he was holding.
I'm not sure whether to continue this or simply leave it as it is, I think I'll leave it for you to decide. :)