A/N: I think this chapter might be a short one, but the next will be a little bit chunky.. I don't know really, I can't predict the future :D

Also, to the guest who flamed me for writing a Zibbs pairing. A) if you're gonna flame me, do it in intelligible English - all cap locks and no punctuation don't really make sense. B) if you're gonna flame the pairing, well, get lost and read another one, no-one asked you to read Zibbs and C) if you're gonna flame me in the first place, have the guts to sign in and do it, don't hide behind anonymity. Thanks, Sweetness :) :X

To the rest of you, enjoy :)

Mistakes are mine.

Chapter Fourteen - Healing

Ziva looked down at Gibbs, her hand intertwined with his as her gaze soaked up his sleeping form. They weren't out of the woods yet, no, they still had to deal with the fact that anything could go wrong in his recovery, they still had to deal with Jen and they still had do deal with Eli.

But for now, they had peace, granted it was a medically induced peace, but it was a peace nonetheless.

'' It could be worse.'' said Ziva to the empty room. People would think she was crazy, but in reality, she was talking to the person before her. '' At least you are only sleeping.''

Gibbs' machines beeped in reply. In his sleep, he seemed to sense her presense and so, he tightened his hold on her hand. He knew she was there. And that was all she needed.

Her heart stopped momentarily before beating twice as fast. '' Gibbs?'' Her spare hand resting on his wrist, subconsciously prompting him to speak. It was no surprise to her when Gibbs remained silent. She suddenly found herself caught between a rock and a hard place.

Fuck it.

It was time to show off the nerves of steel she was well known for. '' Gibbs, I need tell you something.'' said Ziva, trying to work herself up, or more accurately, work her barriers down, afer all, it was only her and Gibbs in the room. But still it felt difficult. She took a deep breath before beginning.

'' Do you remember Tony going undercover for Jen? I do, I remember Tony going undercover as Jeanne's boyfriend and when it came out that he had fallen for her, I was... angry. Not because I felt for him or was jealous, but because I could not believe how stupid he could be.''

Ziva let go of Gibbs and began to pace. '' I mean, how can you allow yourself to fall for somebody when you know that it will not end the way you want it to? Why would you invest that time, energy and emotion into something that you know will go to waste?'' Ziva scoffed. '' How could you be that unprofessional? How could you be that stupid?''

She stopped and looked at her partner. '' I never could understand it even as he tried to justify it, not without insulting my emotional capabilities first. But as I stand today, I feel like I owe him the biggest apology I can give. Because I understand everything. I understand his stupidity and his lack of professionalism. I understand how he can invest his emotions into something that would inevitably end up the wrong way.''

Ziva sat back down and held Gibbs' hand. '' He is probably more of a person than I ever could be. He listened to his heart over his head, knowing how much it'd cost him. Whereas I? I was more interested in giving people what they wanted. I was more interested in living life without mistakes. And after this? After everything, I realise the only mistake I am making is letting you slip my grasp.''

Ziva scooted the chair closer to Gibbs' bed and rest her head on his shoulder. '' Jethro, I love you and I am so so sorry that it took this past year, that it came down to all of this to make me realise it.'' she said, tears forming in her eyes.

She used her free hand to wipe away the beginnings of her tears and she jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

'' It is only me, Ziva.'' said Eli, resting both of his hands on her shoulders.

'' Why are you still here?'' she aked bluntly. Most would wince and call Ziva rude, but Eli knew better. She was emotionally tired and in no mood for bull.

'' I came to see how you both were doing.'' he said softly, his accent making his words sound like a soft melody. '' Gibbs, I can see clearly, but you? You are a lot tougher than you think.''

'' I am fine.'' said Ziva. '' Considering.'' she added as an afterthought.

'' You want justice.''

'' I want her gone.'' said Ziva, looking at her father over her shoulder. '' She should not be in a place of power with emotion like that.''

Eli chuckled. '' She will not remain in charge of NCIS, that I can assure you.''

Ziva hummed and a silence took over, as it often did when the two Davids had to talk about a matter of the heart.

'' Ziva.''

Ziva tilted her head to show that she was listening.

'' I wanted to apologise to you.''

'' For shooting Gibbs? You should be apologising to him-''

'' I did not shoot him, but I will apologise for that also. No, I wish to apologise for everything. If I had not come with the intention of taking you back to Israel, none of this would have happened. If I had not threatened you-''

'' I am glad you did have those intentions. Otherwise I would not have Jethro.'' said Ziva.

'' You misunderstand me, child.'' said Eli, trying to find the words he wanted to say. '' I only wanted your happiness - believe it or not - that is a parent's goal for their children. At the beginning of this, your happiness was only begun. You were in a place where you could sleep without the fear of an attack, you were in a place where you were loved and felt that everyday, you were in a place where you were wanted for you and not your capabilities. I know this, yet I tried to stop it for my own selfish reasons. You are all I have left, Ziva, so when I saw the look in your eyes whenever Gibbs' name was mentioned. I knew you were gone.''

Ziva spun in her seat. '' Aba-''

'' Gibbs is your ultimate happiness. I understand that. And while I am happy for you, even if it is with him, I am sad that-'' Eli was cut off as Ziva reached up to pull him into a one armed hug. He froze but melted into it as he returned the gesture.

'' Thank you, Aba. It is because of you that Jethro and I happened. I now see that I do love him.'' said Ziva. '' I should have told him sooner.'' she added sadly.

'' You love him?''

'' With everything I have.'' answered Ziva.

Eli hesitated. '' I must apologise again. I taught you that emotion is weakness. It isn't, Ziva. Especially not love. It is what you do with it that can make it a weakness, or a strength.''

Ziva nodded and spun to look at Gibbs as she felt some pressure on her hand.

'' Took you long enough.'' said Gibbs, looking at Eli.

Ziva beamed as Gibbs let go of her hand to caress her face. '' How long were you awake?''

'' Only now.'' said Gibbs.

Eli nodded. '' I will leave you to it.'' he said, turning to exit the room. '' Ziva-''

'' I will call you.'' said Ziva, smiling at her father.

Eli nodded and left the room, leaving the two of them alone.

'' How do you feel?'' asked Ziva, her eyes searching his, daring him to lie.

'' Fine, considering I got shot.'' said Gibbs, trying to move himself.

'' What are you doing?''

Once Gibbs had scooted over, he patted the bed beside him. '' It's okay.''

'' Are you sure? The nurses will-''

'' As if you care, c'mon Ziva.''

Ziva snuggled into Gibbs' side, mindful of his injuries. '' I have to admit, you scared me for a moment.''

Gibbs presses a kiss to her temple. '' Sorry.'' He frowned as he realised that Ziva wasn't wearing the top she was wearing earlier. '' Ziv?''

'' Oh, there was blood all over my other shirt. Ducky cleaned me up and got me a top.''

'' Blue goes well with those bandages.'' commented Gibbs, making her chuckle.

'' Ducky pulled the glass from the window out of my arm. I wouldn't let the nurses touch me until I knew you were okay.''

'' Ziva...'' reprimanded Gibbs.

'' It was fine. Besides, Jen needed more medical attention than what I did.''

Gibbs frowned. '' Why? What did she do?''

'' She told Eli where we were.'' said Ziva bitterly. '' I told you she was the one to watch out for. Stupid, jealous-''

'' Hey.'' said Gibbs, hushing Ziva up. '' We'll deal with that when we get to it, okay? Right now, I'm more concerned about you and getting over this injury. We got Eli on side now, so we're fine. Okay?''

Ziva nodded and sat up to look over him. '' You nearly died, Gibbs.'' she said, her eyes glassy.

Gibbs tucked a finger under her chin and pulled her down to him. '' Nearly.'' he emphasised. '' But didn't.''

He pressed a soft kiss to her lips and Ziva happily returned it. The kiss that they would have shared at SECNAV's ball had it not been interrupted now out of mind as this was happening because they wanted it to. There was no alcohol or pressure, it was just them.

They broke apart and Gibbs pulled Ziva back down to curl into him. It was then that the pair of them realised that they didn't want this to end.

Ziva pressed a kiss to Gibbs' jaw. '' Rest. The sooner you get better, the sooner we're out of here.''

'' Think I'd prefer to stay here after what happened in my friend's cabin.''

Ziva's eyes shot open and she stared at him. '' Oh. That.''

'' Uh huh.''

'' I will help you fix it. Do not panic.'' said Ziva. '' And if he tries to start on you, he may think again because I will kick his ass.''

Gibbs chuckled and held her a little tighter. '' Just go to sleep, Ziv.''

'' Let us hope that the few months we have left are quiet.'' said Ziva quietly, snuggling into Gibbs' uninjured side.

'' Chance'd be a fine thing.'' replied Gibbs sleepily as he buried his hand in Ziva's curls. '' Now, sleep.''