Tagged to episode 8x17 "One Last Score": Ziva's reaction to Leona's comment about having her freedom taken away. I've read one or two fics about this same scene, in which Ziva calls out Leona and says something about her captivity in Somalia. But that didn't seem very, ah, in-character to me, so I decided to write my own take on it.
Let it go. Let it roll right off your shoulders.
Don't you know, the hardest part is over.
She and Gibbs are escorting Leona Phelps back to her house, and her mind is occupied with the case, busy trying to figure out who could've killed Brock if it happened while Leona was still in prison. She's not prepared for the snide little comment that Leona makes to her.
"You've obviously never had your freedom taken away."
Ziva pauses, mid-stride. A hundred possible responses run through her mind, but none of them make it to her lips.
She has avoided talking about it for this long. She didn't even say anything to Tony, that one time he had tried to get her to open up about it. "What is there to talk about?" As much as it hurt her to say that to his face, to those eyes aching with concern for her, she knew it would have only hurt her - and Tony - even more if she actually had talked to him about it.
And besides, even if she had talked about it with those closest to her, what she could possibly say to Leona Phelps? As she and Gibbs walk through her mansion, Ziva sees how much the wealth and luxury this woman is used to. No, there's nothing Ziva could ever say to make someone like her understand.
So she's silent. She doesn't tell Leona that she knows nothing about having her freedom taken away or being held against her will. She doesn't mention - she doesn't even let herself thinkabout - all the endless days and nights she spent tied to a chair or chained to the wall.
Let it in. Let your clarity define you. In the end,
we will only just remember how it feels.
She walks slowly back to the car as she and Gibbs leave Leona's mansion to return to the Navy Yard. Leona's comment was enough to make a tiny crack in all the barriers Ziva built around those three months, and the memories are suddenly threatening to invade her mind, like a stormcloud on the horizon. She hasn't thought about it for months, and now she remembers how dark it always was in her cell...
Ziva shakes her head quickly, and lifts her face to sunlight. It helps to look at Gibbs's solid back, his even stride as he walks a few steps ahead of her. That's when occurs it to her that maybe this is how it feels for Gibbs, whenever he's asked that question.
"Do you have children, Agent Gibbs?"
Ziva has heard people ask him that question herself, a dozen or so times over the years, usually victims' parents. She's seen his reaction. It never throws him off or breaks his stride. Even though he might want to say things to them - to tell them that he's both held a newborn baby girl and stood over her grave less than nine years later - he doesn't. He never falters or feels sorry for himself, not in the least.
Gibbs turns his head and looks back at her just then. "Come on, Ziver," he calls quietly. He can tell that she's distracted. Ziva quickens her stride until she falls into step beside him. He's silent, as always, but when they reach the car, he pauses for a moment and looks at her again. Even though it's just a brief glance, Ziva is sure she can see the pride in his eyes.
So, that's it. Short but (I hope) intense. Love it? Hate it? Please review!