It's hard for me to believe that I've come to the end of my first story, but here we are. I hope everyone reading it has enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I've taken great pleasure in reading the reviews, learned from the constructive criticism, and appreciate the reviews that showed it is possible to be critical and still be civil and polite. To new friends – thanks for the support! I hope over the next few days to personally respond to the reviews, but for those that I cannot, I wish to express my gratitude here.
It was challenging and exciting to find a way to take an episode that bugged the heck out of me and "make it right." Scousemuz1k was a great help and source of encouragement, and after I praise her, I going to wag a finger in her face and make her round up all the plot bunnies that have taken up residence here. It's all her fault!
Enjoy the epilogue, and I'll be back soon with another story.
Whew – what an exciting ride!
Disclaimer: Don't own NCIS, just borrowing the characters for a little fun.
Many weeks later, at a closed hearing at the federal courthouse, Ziva David, through her attorneys, entered a plea of no-contest to a single charge of espionage. She was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in a federal prison, after which she would be expelled from the country and never allowed to return.
The head of the Kidon section resigned, was arrested, and never heard from again. Restitution was paid to the victims of the hospital fiasco. Apologies were offered.
Gibbs visited Ziva once in pretrial confinement while her case proceeded through the legal system. She asked him to not visit again, and to let the rest of the team know she didn't want them to visit either, stating she wanted time to think about what had happened.
Tony never spoke to her again - never spoke of her again.
Ducky shook his head sadly and observed that he hoped she could find answers and self-enlightenment as she worked through what had happened. He mailed her a note in which he expressed his hopes for her and promised to visit her if she wanted to talk about what had happened.
Jimmy decided he'd rather spend his time supporting his friends than trying to puzzle Ziva out.
McGee shredded the unfinished manuscript of the next L.J. Tibbs book and cancelled the contract for any new books in the series. It took a while, but he turned his writing to a new genre and eventually wrote several more best sellers.
Abby spent her time trying to think of a way to kill Ziva while she was in prison without leaving a trace of forensic evidence. After several attempts to talk to Tony about her, she learned to avoid any reference of his former partner around him.
Vance went through several more boxes of toothpicks before everything was settled and put to bed. He hoped fervently that the whole mess remained buried until he was long retired.
Fornell wisely discussed Ziva only when it was absolutely necessary.
Gibbs was silent about Ziva, but the others caught him at times with a wistful expression when looking at her desk. He kept a close eye on Tony for a long while afterwards and invited him over often for cowboy steaks and movies. And if a little gentle counseling and head-slaps worked their way into the conversation after a few beers, neither spoke of it with others.
It took over two years to find a new team member to round out the team that fit in well.