Title: The Leaves of Memory
Chapter 2: Stepping Lightly Down a Dark Path
Character: Ziva David
Time Frame: Between 7.01 ToC & 7.02 Reunion
Summary: Ziva continues her journal therapy
Notes: Ziva has made some progress, but she still has a ways to go. As she progresses, the journal entries will get more detailed and longer as she learns to deal with the memories and the emotions associated with them.
Chapter 1 here
Footfalls echo in the memory down the passage which we did not take towards the door we never opened ~T.S. Eliot
Chapter 2: Stepping Lightly Down a Dark Path
Despite what Gibbs believed, it wasn’t nightmares that kept her awake – it was insomnia. No matter how much she wanted it, sleep would not claim her. Sometimes she thought she would welcome a nightmare – at least she would be able to sleep until it woke her.
She tried reading, but it didn’t hold her interest so she clicked on the small black and white television that Gibbs had placed in her room. She smiled to herself as she thought ‘Tony would be horrified if he knew about this TV’. As quickly as thoughts of Tony came, she just as quickly pushed them away; nothing good could come of thinking about him. She flicked through the channels – all three of them – and found nothing to watch. She was not interested in corn futures or the rising cost of pork.
Sighing in frustration, she got out bed and ventured into the kitchen for a glass of milk. She had read somewhere that milk was a natural sedative. She poured a glass and drank it while leaning against the counter. Looking around the dimly lit kitchen, she saw the yellow legal pad and pencil lying on the table where she had left them earlier that day.
She contemplated the pad and pencil while she finished her milk. ‘It had not been so bad earlier.’
She pulled out the chair, sat down in the semi-darkness and started to write….
I made Gibbs choose. It was the only way I could get him to leave without me.
As I watched their plane climb into the sky, I knew I would never be the same again; they were taking part of me with them. The best part I thought. The only part I had left was the assassin. My life as I had to come to know it was over.
The mission was doomed from the start. I knew it. My father knew it. I felt I owed it to Michael to finish what he was unable to complete. He was not who I thought he was, but I cared about him. This was to be my aliyah – my return.
I walked into it with my eyes open. I was not tricked into going nor was I deceived – at least that is what I believed at the time. Now I know otherwise.
I should have turned back with the others after we scuttled the ship, but pride or maybe arrogance would not allow that. I had nothing but death in my heart. I wanted it that way. I chose it. To allow my heart anything but death would be the end of me.
It took two weeks to reach the camp; it was exactly where my father told me it would be.
I killed 7 men and wounded several others before I was captured.
I did not plan on being taken alive. No one would be coming for me.
The four men who captured me beat me unmercifully. I fought them hard and cursed them cruelly hoping it would make them angry enough to kill me.
Instead, they threw me into a small room with no windows, no furniture and sand for a floor. They left me there bruised and bleeding for hours. Perhaps it was days. I really do not remember.
Sometime later, Saleem entered the cell– even with my eyes swollen half shut I recognized him from his dossier photo. I remember idly thinking that he had lost weight since the photo was taken. Being an international terrorist on the run from multiple governments will do that to you. I may have smiled at the thought.
He knelt over me and gently caressed my face – I recoiled from his touch. That must have made him angry because he grabbed my hair pulling me roughly and painfully from the floor. He leaned into my face – I could smell his breath and his sweat, he whispered “Tell me everything you know about NCIS”.
I thanked the God of my childhood for my swollen eyes and face so he could not see the shock and surprise that I am sure I showed.
I had been expecting him to ask about Mossad, about my mission, but I was not expecting that.
It was my first indication that something was terribly wrong with this mission.
By the time Ziva finished writing, her hands were shaking and she was covered with a fine sheen of sweat. She laid her head on the table to get her breathing under control. She felt physically exhausted.
She got up and walked unsteadily over to the sink while reading what she had just written.
This time it did not read like a Mossad field report – it was more personal.