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Here is the flip side to Parting Ways~ Zva's thoughts while being held captive.


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Penance


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I have been here so long, so long that I am not even sure what month it is anymore. August, maybe September? The only thing I know for sure is that I have been here a very long time. So long that I have lost track of time, the days blending together until they stopped being weeks-and starting being thoughts instead. Thoughts of the horrible way I treated them.

The horrible way I treated him.

I can not bring myself to say his name, I have no right to speak it, not even to myself-not even in my thoughts. I feel so ashamed. After all we have been through-how could I have ever doubted him?

It all seems so much clearer now, away from it all, separated from the emotion and the moment. Michael tried to kill him, I know he did, and I know that the only thing that saved his life was that Michael had been drinking. He knew what Michael was, what he was capable of-he would have had to be a fool to go there to arrest him alone. He is many things-but a fool is not one of them.

'For you'

He went there for me, he did all of it for me-and I repaid him with accusations and cruelty. I attacked him, knocked him to the ground and held a gun to his heart. I called him worthless, I as much as said I would have preferred that he had died.

How... How could I have ever said such horrible, horrible things.

I am so ashamed. To the very core of my soul-I am ashamed.

I heard the wife of a marine who's murder we investigated once say that she had never realized how amazing her husband was until she had lost him. I did not fully understand what she meant at the time, but I do now. Oh, I understand it only too well now. He was not my husband, or my lover, but he was my best friend-even if he never knew it. Even if I never knew it.

Why did I not know? Why did I never tell him what he meant to me? That he always made me smile, even though I often hid it. That he always made me laugh, even though I kept it inside. That he charmed me, he warmed me, and made me feel appreciated and special. He was the sort of man who knows many women, but I always knew that among the many, I was special-like Jeanne, like Abby, like...like Kate.

Like Kate.

Like Kate, soon I will be dead too, but unlike his memories of her, his memories of me will not be happy. He will remember that the last time we saw each other I looked at him with hatred, that I said cruel words-words intended to hurt, and that when I stayed behind-I did not even say goodbye.

But I remember the good, in these days and weeks, I've remembered it all. I've remembered his silly jokes and constant movie references. His smile and laugh and how he teased me. I've remembered how he was always there for me, even when I did not want him to be, when he had to force his way past my walls to get inside. I remember how much nicer my life was once he did break through-and how I never wanted him to leave again.

I also remember that it was me who forced him out.

But not just him-I forced them all out. Ducky, McGee, Abby and Gi... no-I have no right to say his name either. He was a father to me when I had none. The man who created me turned me into a killer, he sent me to kill my own brother to gain another mans trust. What kind of man does that? Not an admirable man, not a man who is a man. An admirable man would do what he did, he would leave a foolish woman behind so that she would learn the truth about love and loyalty. So she would learn where those who truly love her are, where those who are loyal are...and that none of them are in Israel.

If only it were not too late to tell them so.

There s nothing left for me now but to wait for the moment when Saleem realizes that he has nothing to gain by keeping me alive. The director of Mossad will not be sending anyone to rescue me. I have been left for dead. I saw it in Malachi's eyes as I turned away from him-I was already dead to him. His only concern was that I would complete my mission before I breathed my last. I knew it then-I know it now, and still I can not say that I would do anything differently.

That is not true, there are plenty of things I wish I could go back and change, but they have nothing to do with the mission that brought me here.

There is so much noise today-the sounds of heavy trucks moving, like they are getting ready to move the camp. I think...I think this might be the end. I doubt they will want to take much extra baggage, it would be easier for them to kill me before moving on. I heard voices in the hall just moments ago, speaking about other prisoners-they said the prisoners were Americans.

Americans.

Could it...no it can t be. Why would they ever come for me?

I do not deserve it, I know it and they certainly know it.

I belong here, this is my penance for what I did to them

For what I did to him.

I am ready to die.