Darkness falls leaving nothing but the blackened waves glinting in the moonlight as they rose and fell with the swell. Looking back, she knew she shouldn't have gone back. She shouldn't have trusted him so readily again because every time she did she was left alone and stranded in a world where no one was there to save her.

Damn the family ties that kept her going back time and time again. Damn the loyal blood which ran through her veins. She was never going to be good enough and no matter what he said, she couldn't quite get the feeling that she was missed because of what she was and not who she was. She was nothing but a faithful puppy to use when needed and then discard like yesterdays news. The only problem was that despite her upbringing and the lack of the parental love that she had cried out for and needed as a child, she still loved him. He was her father and she could never turn her back on him like Tali had…She just couldn't.

The water lapped at her, making her shiver. It was the middle of summer but out here, surrounded by cold water, chilled her to the bone. Last time she was tortured, she was held in a dirty cell by which the torture was constant and with no sense of time, it went on hour after hour; day after day; week after week. It was a tortured cycle that didn't seem to end. This time she had been sent out on a recon mission after being asked a favour. She had taken some of her accrued vacation days from NCIS and decided to do something she hadn't done in years; she went to visit her father.

"Sh...should have lis...listened to m..my gut." she shivered and found herself dunking under the water as exhaustion took over. She choked on the salty water and kicked her legs more to keep her afloat. It wasn't easy though and with every passing minute her limbs became heavier with exhaustion and her focus waned dangerously. This wasn't how she wanted it to end. Not after finding happiness and a hope for the future. Now she found that very hope was slowly ebbing away with the dark, inky waves of the ocean that she had accepted to be the last thing she'd ever see. Why did everything have to end this way? Why? Wasn't it enough that she'd had to fight for everything she loved and cherished? Wasn't it enough? Surely there was some redemption in that fact; something that would atone what she felt she had done wrong. Maybe not, she thought, but I will still fight; I will still carry on because my heart isn't my own anymore, it belongs to someone else.

She treaded water and let her thoughts run wild through her mind. The last few months had been wonderful...no, they had been perfect. She had citizenship; she was with a man she loved dearly and secure in a job that she was respected in and good at. Why now did something have to happen to take that away? Why...She was torn out of her own mental ramblings by a splash nearby and felt her heart thrum faster in her chest. She was in the middle of the ocean and fear rose up from deep within her as her mind conjured images of all kinds of beasts out for the kill. Sharks? Whales? What exactly was out there?

She started when something grabbed her from behind and with one final burst of energy, she fought. She wasn't going to die like this; treading water in the middle of the ocean with some beast of the deep claiming her as its own. No! This was not happening without a fight! She kicked out and heard a grunt before stilling at the familiar tone.

"Zee, stop! I'm trying to help."

"No! It can't be. It ca...I am dreaming." She muttered and let her body still so she sunk down into the dark waters.

"No you don't." Strong arms heaved her back up. "You gotta help me out here. I'm going to take you back to the boat but I need you to help me here."

The voice truly registered through the fog of her delusions and she couldn't help the small sob that escaped her lips. "I kn..knew you'd come for m..me."

"You didn't think I would?" She hadn't noticed the fact that they'd made it to the boat and started slightly when she was hoisted in and a warm blanket was wrapped round her shoulders. She shivered and looked up to the tall, slender form that was helped onto the boat after her. He walked over and knelt down in front of her. "Your father contacted us and told us what happened. He thought you'd be safe with the Mossad agents, but they were traitors and had to get rid of you to finish what they were doing. They were caught about an hour west of here and your father has them in custody. Thanks to his interrogation techniques, one of them broke and told us what happened. We flew in last night and came straight out to find you."

"You found me." She whispered and felt salty tears mixing with the water on her skin. "You found me."

Warm hands cupped her face. "We found you Zee and nothing's going to keep us apart again. I won't let anyone hurt you again."

When Ziva looked up, she saw the moonlight reflecting in the eyes that she adored and cherished. They were always so open, honest and hopeful that she always found herself drowning in them. Her gaze tore away briefly to see Gibbs and Tony standing to the side and with a smile, she turned her attention back to the man she loved. "Do you promise?"

"I will try." Tim said gently and leaned in to kiss her chastely.

"Well in that c...case..." She replied. "There will always be hope in the darkness."