AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Jennifer Shepard/Ziva David
CHARACTERS: Jenny, Ziva
SUMMARY: Ziva and Jenny end their relationship.
CHALLENGE 'Altered States'
WORD COUNT: 982
SPOILERS: Hiatus and Blowback
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
She sits cross-legged on her bed, her hair tumbling over her shoulders, a shirt her only item of clothing, listening to the sound of Jenny taking a shower.
Their relationship was over. Not that either of them had said as much, but Ziva has always been a firm believer in knowing when it is time to let go.
Part of her is surprised it has lasted for so long.
Part of her is surprised it ever even started.
Part of her is surprised that Jenny is letting her go.
Part of her is relieved. It has become harder and harder for her to be Jenny's lover and a member of Gibbs's team.
Part of her is sad. Jenny has been one of the few people Ziva would say she has truly loved.
She even knows the moment it had, in effect, ended.
It was after she and McGee had been following Charles Harrow and he had tried to get away from them, had a heart attack and had died. Jenny had not been happy and she, Ziva, had without actually choosing, without actually thinking about it, sided with the rest of Gibbs's team. Jenny had called her 'Officer David' then, and that was the moment it had ended.
For a moment, as she listens to the water pouring over the body she knows so well, she hates Gibbs. For it is Gibbs who is, in one way or another, responsible for taking away the three most important people in her life; for destroying the three most important relationships.
For Gibbs, a man she hardly knew, she had killed her half-brother Ari.
Because of Gibbs and what he told her, what he made her face, she is now estranged from her father.
Because of Gibbs, of the way he has finally let her into the team, has finally seemed to begin to trust her, she has chosen – as he once told her she would have to do – him over Jenny.
Their lovemaking that night had been the most tender, the most intense, the most loving, the most passionate, the most beautiful, the most caring, the most sharing that Ziva has ever known with Jenny. For those few hours it was as if the world had ceased to exist; as if NCIS and Mossad were merely terms that meant nothing to either of them. It had been as though they were just two ordinary women with normal lives, free and open to love whomsoever they liked – free and open to love one another.
She had given Jenny more than she had ever given to anyone; she had allowed herself to make love at a different level from her usual one. And she knows Jenny had done the same.
It might seem strange then that this is the night they would part as lovers. And quite possibly as friends too. They would always have a past between them; she had, after all, once saved Jenny's life. But that might be all.
If she is being honest with herself, which she usually was, the friendship had begun to become less close after Gibbs had resigned and left for Mexico and then returned. It was as if Jenny had begun to see what Ziva herself now knew: she had made her choice; she had chosen Gibbs and his team even then.
They had had some good times together. They had worked. They had complemented one another. They had given and taken in equal measures.
But now it was time to let go.
She will not cry; at least not until Jenny has left. To do so while Jenny is still with her would be to let them both down; and she will never do that. She knows she will grieve – she has cared that much.
She listens to the shower being turned off and simply sits and waits.
After a few minutes Jenny appears, her body glowing slightly, her hair damp, her face free from make-up.
Neither of them speaks.
Ziva simply remains where she is not deliberately looking at Jenny, but not deliberately avoiding looking at her. Idly she now notices Jenny is wearing the underwear that she, Ziva, had in a 'romantic' moment bought for her. It is pale coffee silk and she has always thought it suited Jenny's skin tone.
She watches, in her non-watching way, as Jenny pulls on her black trousers, her black sweater, loosely ties an emerald green scarf around her neck, pushes her feet into her black high-heeled shoes and picks up her coat and purse from the chair.
For a moment, just for a moment, Ziva thinks Jenny is going to leave without saying anything.
For a moment, just for a moment, Ziva thinks Jenny is going to tell her it is over before she leaves.
Instead Jenny moves to the bed, puts her coat and purse on the bed, bends down and cups Ziva's face with both of her hands. Then she puts her lips on Ziva's and kisses her. The intensity, the purity, the beauty, the sorrow of the kiss touches Ziva so deeply, it is only her strict training that keeps her from gasping aloud or beginning to cry.
"Goodbye, Ziva," Jenny says, finally breaking the kiss and straightening up. For a brief moment she tangles her fingers in Ziva's hair, in a way she always loved to do when they made love.
And then, before Ziva has a chance to reply, Jenny grabs her purse and coat, and swiftly leaves Ziva's bedroom.
Seconds later, Ziva hears the front door opening and closing again.
For the next minute or two she sits where she is. Quite still, statue-like, barely even breathing, silently counting the time it will take Jenny to get from her apartment to her car, get in and drive away.
Then, and only then, does she allow the tears to fall from her eyes.