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 Post subject: My Choices (Ziva)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:17 am 
Director's Secretary

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 2382
Location: Southern Tier
Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
Gender: Female
link: Blog
link: First Novel
AN: This was written for Session 5, Round 2 of the NCIS Last Fiction Writer Standing competition on LJ, and was selected Mod's Choice that round. Prompt was a first-person character study using only internal thoughts with a 1200-word limit. Both the word limit and the 1st-person POV requirement made it a challenging prompt for me, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

My Choices

It should be difficult to leave everything from my past behind, but it is not. I told Malachi once that I had shed my skin and could not slip back into the old one. Here, I do not need to find my old skin. I can keep this new one I have grown.

I have been an American citizen for six months now, and I wish I had taken this step sooner. I do not need to worry that Eli or Director Vance will give me new orders. I can buy furniture and make plans for six months from now. McGee's new book will be out then, and he invited us to the party his publisher is throwing. He started this book while the team was broken up, so he said it is different than the others. He could not write about us because we were not an "us," and he did not want to write about the team Director Vance assembled for his mole hunt, so he had L.J. Tibbs take a new assignment.

I am glad Agents Tommy and McGregor and Officer Lisa are gone. We are not the same people we were when he wrote Deep Six. I went back and re-read the book after he invited us, and it hurt to read. I see myself as McGee saw me four years ago, and I do not like what I see. Officer Lisa is the part of me that died in the Somalian desert. When I was in Israel two years ago, while McGee was writing this new book, I saw a copy of Deep Six on Eli's desk. He does not read for pleasure, so I knew he considered reading it as intelligence gathering. I would not want him to read the new book, one with Agent Lisa.

Agent Lisa has a life outside of the office. She meets friends from her citizenship classes each week for Scrabble and other word games to help the people who still have rusted — no, rusty — English. She will take time on a Sunday morning to sit at the teahouse three blocks from her apartment and read for pleasure as she sips jasmine tea. She talks most days on the phone with her boyfriend, who does not live nearby. And sometimes she dreams of what might be in the future, of the home and family she never had. America is not at war, not the way Israel is. Her children will not grow up knowing what it is like to have friends taken by a bomb or to see colleagues beheaded. They will have a childhood, one that they can enjoy.

Still, it is difficult sometimes. The team, we are not as social as we once were. Gibbs does not have much besides his bourbon and whatever has replaced the boat in his basement. McGee is set in his routine, unless Abby can convince him to come out with the rest of us for drinks. That does not happen much anymore. Abby has given up her clubbing and is always at work or volunteering. I have learned much from her, and her example is why I started teaching self-defense classes at the women's shelter. Once I used these skills for killing. I was, as my father put it, the sharp edge of the spear. Now, I am not. Not the way he meant. My days of missions for the purpose of killing are behind me. Now I use my skills to help keep people alive, people I care about. I teach them to these women so they can do the same, to keep themselves alive.

Even Tony seems to be settling down, though he is often as goofy as ever. He and McGee hang out more than they used to. It started while I was away, and it seems to have become part of McGee's routine. Tony always seems to exasperate him, and yet they continue. They are like my older brothers, except they care about me. They are what I always wished Ari could be. And Abby, though she is older than Tali, has the joy and compassion my sister once had. They are my family. Eli, he is no longer my iabba/i, my father. I know Tony has made peace with his father, of a sort. Abby, she wishes she could do the same with her own. Gibbs and Jack have grown close since we went to Stillwater for that case. McGee and his father did not ever grow apart. I do not care to make peace with Eli. Even if I could forgive, there is too much there to forget. Too much I do not wish to forget.

Overlooking my father's mistakes in the past left me on a runway in Israel watching a C-130 cargo plane take off without me. Gibbs, I do not need to overlook anything with him. He is tough, but he cares. We are as important to him as our missions. He now is the closest thing I have to a father. And I cannot replace his daughter, but still he makes room for me. I am where I am supposed to be.

Still, I cannot help but wonder sometimes where I will be in the future. I see the pictures of his children that Director Vance keeps on his desk, the way my father had a picture of Ari, Tali, and I the last time I was in Israel. But my director does not forget he is a father. He does not train his children to kill, although I believe he is teaching his son how to box. I wonder if I, too, will have a photo of my children on my desk someday.

Will I decide what we do is too much risk? That I would rather give this up than risk what happened to Kate and Jenny, Paula Cassidy and Agent Macy? Or will I decide to stick with what I do and find that balance? With Michael, had things turned out differently, I would not have ever found out. We were Mossad, and we had a mission. My father might have spoken of his future grandchildren, but he would have been disappointed if I had taken myself out of the field long enough to bear them. Gibbs, he will understand. For him, it does not matter what my choice is, as long it my choice. Not Mossad's, not my father's, not anybody else's. I will not allow anybody to make those choices for me again. That ended the moment I left Malachi at the dock in Somalia. I chose my fate. In doing so, I found a family. No, that is not right. I chose my family. And they chose me.

Words in this post: 1193
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