Series: Consequences #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1939
Character(s): Ziva David, Jenny Shepard, Ari Haswari
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study
Summary: She had always been different from the other girls she knew-even different from her sisters.
Ziva trailed her fingers lightly over Jen's leg. She was all silk and softness. A warm, pliant body that wanted nothing from Ziva but to touch and be touched. To kiss and be kissed. To be held down and fucked or to fuck Ziva until the tears of release came. Jenny Shepard didn't want Ziva's mind. She didn't even want her heart. Friendship and passion, yes, but Jen didn't want to own Ziva. And Ziva had been owned for too long.
She threaded her fingers through Jen's newly-shorn hair; more silk and softness. There had to be a connection between the haircut and Jen finally appearing at her door. Ziva hadn't thought it would be so many weeks before Jen came to her, need etched on her face like the tiny lines that hadn't been there before Cairo.
She let Jen pull her shirt off. A light hand on her neck and Jen bent to kiss the familiar path between Ziva's breasts, soft lips spreading a warm flush through her body. Jen stopped for a moment, then tasted the small white patch of skin. "What happened to your strawberry?"
Pulling Jen close, Ziva smothered her question with deep, lingering kisses. She didn't want to think. Didn't want to remember. She wanted to lose herself, for awhile, in this soft woman who had no idea what Ziva really was.
They called it a strawberry birthmark. Her mother told her it was there because she was sweet. But the small red mark under her breast didn't change the way she'd always felt. Ziva David didn't feel sweet. She wasn't sweet. She was sharp and bitter, like the horseradish on the seder plate, though her bitterness didn't stem from oppression. It came from feeling like she was missing something. That she lacked some important, feminine thing--perhaps it was sweetness--that other girls had.
She had always been different from the other girls she knew—even different from her sisters. They were delicate creatures, easily bruised. Ziva felt like that strawberry mark was a bruise she carried from birth. A bruise that had healed over and left her with a toughness that other women didn't possess. Her name meant "brightness," but Ziva had never thought of it as the brightness of a happy day in the sunshine. She was bright like a blade, newly sharpened.
Ben-bat, they called her. Or na'arat-na'ar: a girl who liked rough play and action. She didn't like the girls her age; she was too wild for their games. The boys tended to dismiss her because she seemed too small and fragile. When she became a woman, the men she bedded tried to hold her off, hold her down. They said she was too aggressive. Ziva soon learned that women were more satisfying for her, but most of them were--even now--too easily dominated.
So Ziva spent a lot of time alone. Yes, eventually, she learned how to make friends with men and women. She learned how to hide her true passion and ferocity from them. But she craved a companion more like herself. Someone strong. A worthy adversary. A powerful ally. Someone who was also bruised from birth.
For the first twenty-one years of her life, Ziva had never seen anyone else with a mark like hers: not the boys and girls working shirtless in the potato fields of her mother's kibbutz; not her lovers; and not on the torn and burned flesh she saw too much of during her military service.
She had also never met anyone who didn't try to shield themselves from her brightness. Not until that day near the end of her three years in Tsahal.
She'd been granted a 48-hour leave and decided to spend it in the city. Ziva arrived at her father's apartment unannounced, not expecting to find him home in the middle of the day. But someone was there. She could hear the shower running. Ziva closed the door silently and moved with cautious grace down the hallway. She sniffed the air and knew that the man in the shower was not her father.
Unholstering her sidearm, she slowed her breathing like she'd been taught. Take them off guard whenever you can, Zivelah. Her father had started her training early. He'd always been pleased by her aggressiveness, by the contradiction between her pixie face and her deadly skills. No, Ziva was not sweet.
Inches from the open bathroom door now. Two hands on her weapon and a sharp turn---
Ziva's breath left in a hard rush as she was slammed against the wall in the narrow hallway. She heard her gun skitter across the tile, felt a hard arm across her throat. Her training and instincts didn't allow her to panic. She ground her heel into one bare foot, then brought her knee up sharply. There was a satisfying groan as the naked man buckled, staggering backward. She launched herself at him, knocking him off balance and down. Ziva straddled his chest, pinning his arms to his sides and bringing her knife to his throat.
He was shaking beneath her, gasping for breath. She thought she might have seriously injured the man, until she realized that he was laughing. Laughing at her.
"Who are you?" she snarled in Hebrew. "What are you doing here?"
The man continued to laugh and then, with strength that belied his size, wrenched himself upward, throwing Ziva sideways against the wall. Her head hit the plaster with a dull thud. She was dazed, but still far more dangerous than this stranger could know. She backed away, one hand gripping her knife, as he got to his feet.
"You don't know me, little sister."
He spoke English with an accent Ziva couldn't place. Not quite British. Not quite German. Somewhere in between. Something...familiar. Little sister? She stood up warily, ready to fight or flee. "Who are you?"
The man smiled at her, but didn't try to hide the pain she'd inflicted on him. He was close to her own age, well-built, well-nourished during his growing years. His skin was a little paler than she thought his natural colour would be. Too much time spent indoors, away from the sun.
With casual grace, he moved back into the bathroom. She took the opportunity to retrieve her gun and slip the knife back into her belt. The noise of the shower stopped and he came back into the hallway, a towel wrapped carelessly around his hips.
"I am Ari Haswari." He stepped in close and grasped her shoulders. Before she could struggle free, he pressed a swift, soft kiss against each of her cheeks. "I am your brother."
Ziva pushed herself away from the man. It couldn't be true…but then, that name. She had seen that name written somewhere. Printed on an official-looking document on her father's desk. She'd only noted the name for its oddness: Hebrew first name and Palestinian surname.
"I have no brother." She backed away, one hand resting on her sidearm, though her instincts now told her that this man was no threat to her. He stood still, hands held loosely at his sides. Relaxed, but ready to defend himself. That was when she saw it--low down on the right side of his abdomen. He had a strawberry, just like hers.
He brushed a lock of wet hair from his forehead and smiled again. It was her father's smile; Ziva could feel her defenses lowering, feel herself being drawn to him.
"I know you from his photographs, though they don't do you justice." His voice was almost seductive. He'd clearly inherited their father's charm, though more tempered with irony than the Director's was. "He never bothered to keep your family from me."
And there was something else familiar--his words were tinged with a bitterness that sounded like her own.
Ari excused himself politely and returned to the bathroom to dress. Ziva tried to collect her feelings. A brother. Half-brother, she corrected herself mentally. Half-brother with a Palestinian mother? She knew she should be shocked at her father's betrayal, but she wasn't really surprised. Her parents had lived apart for most of her life. What could be more natural than for her father to take other women to bed? All cats are gray in the dark, her grandmother used to say.
But did it matter? She could already feel a connection forming; a kinship. Ari was like her, and not just because of the birthmark. He was bright--sharp--like she was. And he didn't seem to resent her for her sharpness as other men did. A brother. A brother who could fight like she could. A brother who laughed when she bested him. She smiled to herself, then bent to unlace her boots.
Ari found her on the balcony that overlooked the square. The smells from the market drifted up with the heat of the afternoon. She'd taken off her fatigue jacket, relishing the sun on her arms and shoulders. The legs of her pants were rolled to the knees and she rested her bare feet on the railing.
"What now, little sister?" He stood at ease, hands in the pockets of his linen pants, silk shirt billowing slightly in the breeze, clearly waiting for an invitation before sitting down.
She gazed at him over her sunglasses, still a little shocked to find her father's expressions on this strange man's face; to see her own dark eyes looking back at her. "Take a seat." She grinned mischievously as she poured them each a glass of their father's Emerald Riesling. "Big brother."
He sat and took the glass she handed him. "What shall we drink to?"
Ziva swirled the wine in her glass. She looked over the rim at her brother--how strange that sounded!--and raised it slightly. "Assalamu alaikum," she said, with a wry smile.
He tilted his head and eyed her curiously. "Aleichem shalom." Ari took a sip of wine, and held it to savour in his mouth for a moment. He swallowed slowly, then reached to clink his glass with hers. "My peace to you, Ziva David."
"Lie back, neshomeleh." Ziva whispered.
She let her settle for a moment before feathering her hair over Jen's breasts and belly. She watched the play of muscles under the freckled skin as Jen responded to the light touch.
Ziva stretched out to cover Jen with her body, pressing her breasts against Jen's and undulating with her. She gently bit and sucked on the delicate skin of Jen's throat and shoulders, leaving small red marks and a hiss of pleasure in her wake.
Straddling Jen's hips, Ziva sat up slowly. She rocked against her mound, a soft teasing at first and then ardent pushing as Jen arched up under her. Ziva gripped Jen's wrists, every thrust of her hips drawing her in, drawing her further away from herself. She could hear Jen's soft moan, begging for this, wanting to be taken just like this. Sweet heaviness between her legs and then a hot, pulsing rush as Ziva ground into Jen, pushing as deep as she could go.
And then Ziva was falling, forgetting the moment of white hot pain, forgetting the red pool on the concrete. And then there was nothing but her own brightness and a silence that felt like peace.
They lay side by side, Jen's elegant fingers tracing lazy circles over Ziva's belly, up over her breasts, then lingering over the small white scar. "So why did you have it removed?"
Ziva covered Jen's hand with her own and kissed her fingers, swallowing the bitter taste in the back of her throat. "I didn't need it anymore."