AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTER: Ziva David
SUMMARY: Ziva finally feels she belongs.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For curly_the_sue
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Ziva had never really felt she had belonged. She did not know how to belong.
She had a family; a mother, a father, a sister, aunts, but she had never felt she belonged.
The person to whom she had always felt the closest had been Ari, and he had betrayed her. He had betrayed them all.
She had become part of Mossad; it was expected. It was what she had to do. And she had served them well, putting her own life in danger many times; taking lives; becoming a different person; saving lives. But even there in the midst of everything that joined them all together, she had never felt she belonged.
She had never felt she would truly belong anywhere.
Then she was sent to America. She was sent to join NCIS as a Liaison Officer. She was sent to join Gibbs's team. And still she did not feel she belonged.
Gibbs had not wanted her on his team; she knew that. He was wary of her, even though she had saved his life. And Gibbs being wary of her made the others, Dr. Mallard, Abby, DiNozzo, McGee, even Palmer, wary of her.
She did not belong. How could she? If she did not belong with her own family, her own culture, how could she belong in this world of strangers whose habits, culture, upbringings, expectations were so very different from hers?
She did not want to belong. She was there to do a job. A job like any other. She did not need to belong, to fit in to do the job. She just needed to fulfill her duties.
And then everything changed and suddenly they all stopped treating her like someone to be wary of; someone who did not fit in; someone who was not wanted. And they started to treat her as they treated one another.
And that is when she knew. She belonged. For the first time in her life she truly felt as if she belonged somewhere.
She was part of Team Gibbs and she wanted to be. And Team Gibbs wanted her to be part of them.
She had a new family: a father, an uncle, three brothers and a sister. They were not her family by birth, but they were her family of choice.
One day she knew the time would come when she would have to say goodbye to them. When she would have to return to Israel, to her biological family, to Mossad. And that she knew would be the hardest day of her life.
She would get through it, just as she got through everything else. Ziva David knew how to survive; she knew how to carry out her duty; she knew how to do what was asked of her and not ask why.
But now she knew something else. Something that may be more important than all of the other things she had known. She knew what it was like to belong. She knew how to belong.