Title: The Leaves of Memory
Characters: Ziva David
Word Count: 631
Summary: Ziva begins the healing process from her time in Somalia
Note: This is the start of multi-chapter fic on how Ziva came to terms with her captivity and torture (assuming that she has). There is a big hole in the canon version of events – this is my attempt to somewhat fill that hole. Chapter 1 sets us up – the subsequent chapters will mainly be Ziva’s journal entries interspersed with team interaction and episode ties. Because of its complex nature, I am going to need a beta for this fic – any volunteers?
The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ziva sat at Gibb’s kitchen table with a yellow legal pad and a drafting pencil. She had found the items in the kitchen drawer along with spare batteries, a book of matches and a sundry of screws, latches and nuts. She was alone as Gibbs would not be returning home until after 1900 hours – if they didn’t have an active case.
She had been back from Somalia for a week. During that time she had seen only Director Vance, Gibbs and her NCIS appointed therapist. The others had stopped by, both individually and collectively, but she had plead fatigue to Gibbs as her excuse for not seeing them. She knew he saw through her ruse, but he choose not to push her on the issue. She was extremely grateful to him for acting as her buffer, she was not ready to see the pain and pity in their eyes – she saw enough of that when she looked in the mirror and saw an unfamiliar face staring back at her.
Sometimes she thought she had in fact died in that cell and she was nothing but a ghost haunting her former friends and team mates. Other times, she knew she was very much alive when the physical and emotional pain caused her to cry out in her sleep. It was during these times that Gibbs would gather her to his chest while stroking her hair like a child. No words were uttered, they weren’t needed – all she wanted was his gentle presence, which he seemed content to give her.
Afterward, they would not discuss the comforting sessions – they would go back to co-existing in his home – where she felt welcome but never comfortable. It hurt her heart that Gibbs would see her like this, yet he was the only one she trusted enough in her current state. She didn’t know why she trusted him above all others, maybe it was because they had both dealt in death; a bond forged in blood and pain.
Her therapist was a tiny Jewish woman named Dr. Silverman. She reminded Ziva quite a lot of her beloved Aunt Nettie. If the circumstances had been different – she could imagine liking the grandmotherly doctor. At first they conversed in Hebrew, but that proved too intimate so Ziva switched to English, discussing even the mundane in her native tongue brought her to the brink of tears.
She felt obliged to talk Dr. Silverman about her return to NCIS, yet she refused to talk about what happened to her in the desert – her reluctance disguised as classified Mossad intelligence.
As a compromise, Dr. Silverman suggested journal therapy. She could journal her thoughts, memories and feelings related to her captivity – then she could do with the pages as she pleased – she could keep them or burn them; the important thing was to be honest with herself and actually write it down and read what she had written. She was challenged to journal for at least an hour a day in addition to her daily sessions with Dr. Silverman.
She was loath to commit her memories to paper; if she wrote them down she would have to face them and eventually deal with them. She knew this was the impetus for her recovery and more importantly a return to NCIS and she would do whatever was necessary to make that happen – so, she began to write.
She wrote for over an hour and found that she was oddly calm; maybe this type of therapy would not be so hard after all.
Secretly pleased with herself; she started to read what she had written; it read like a Mossad debriefing report – factual, yet lacking in emotion and personalization, it left her numb and complacent.
As she struck a match to burn the pages – she thought ‘I am ok with that – it is a beginning.’