Authors Notes: I was very inspired by the ending of "Aliyah" and the entire episode "Truth or Consequences." This started as a one-shot episode tag and just grew into more and more tags. Each chapter is a brief stand-alone story and does not necessarily flow right into the next one. But I've chosen to post them as a series because they all deal with the same time period and give us an idea of what might have happened in those in-between times that we don't see on the episodes. I hope you enjoy them. :)
Episode Tag to "Aliyah"- set while Ziva is being held captive
Dirt under her fingernails.
Blood, actually, but she could pretend. Pretend the aches and pains were from being on her hands and knees, digging and weeding and planting.
She had not known she loved gardening until she moved to Washington. Her landlord had given her free reign over an abandoned flower box behind the building.
After working a job...no, after living a life filled with pain and crime and death, there was something satisfying in bringing life to the world. Even if it was just plants. To her surprise, she found tranquility in the garden. She liked the feel of the warm soil moving through her fingers. Loved the sight of multi-colored blooms that greeted her each morning. Felt a sense of accomplishment as they grew, from small to big to even bigger. Even on the darkest days, they were there to greet her in the morning, and to console her in the evening.
When he struck her, she could close her eyes and think of the marigolds, standing bright and defiant in the sun.
When the silence hurt her ears, she thought of the impatients, small and delicate, growing together en masse. She couldn't bear for the plants to stand in neat rows. They had to be strong, like an army, shoulder to shoulder and covering the entire space.
And when the darkness settled and it was all too much to bear, she thought of the lilies, her favorites. The most beautiful of flowers. Tall and elegant and regal.
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin. Yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."*
She had placed them on Tali's grave. On Ari's grave.
She wondered if someone would place them on her own.