Just Like Ima - (Ziva and Tali.)
(Fits in the Separation Anxiety universe.)
It was the middle of the day, but Ziva had already cleared it
with Tali’s preschool that the interruption would be okay. They’d decided it was fine, especially considering how long she’d been gone.
She loved her new job and it kept her home at much more reasonable hours
than her job at NCIS had, but it had the unfortunate drawback of annual
conferences lasting a week, none of which, she’d been informed when she
started working there, were optional.
Or local, apparently.
missed her little girl, however, and although this time certainly
wasn’t worse than the last time she’d been separated from her, it still
made her anxious and ready to see Tali again and give her a big hug. She
might just pull her out of school early for some ice cream and a
Ms. Hanson was standing toward the
front of the room as the children played, all of them wandering around
and interacting with each other over blocks and letters of the alphabet,
and she caught Ziva’s eye from inside the room, nodding slightly to
signal that she could come in. Ziva took her cue, scanning the room for
that mess of light-brown curls and bright brown eyes she’d committed to
memory from the moment she’d held her daughter in her arms.
There she is, Ziva realized, her heart flipping at the sight of her, wearing a black long-sleeved t-shirt and a black hat not unlike the one she was currently wearing herself, the one that Tali often took off her head to wear herself, the oversized object falling down over her eyes and making her squeal with laughter. Tali had wanted a hat of her own, and it seemed Tony had gotten her one while she was away.
then, Tali turned her head, noting for the first time who was standing
behind her. “Ima!” she shrieked, scrambling to her feet and running
toward her mother and into a hug. Ziva gathered her up in her arms,
patting her back and kissing her cheek, trying - and failing - not to
“Ima, look! Tali’s hat!” She said proudly,
pointing to it happily. “Abba buy it,” she added, as if Ziva wouldn’t
have been able to determine that piece of information herself. Someday,
Tali would understand that her mother had been an investigator and that
she would instinctively know these things, but for now, Ziva only
“It’s lovely, my sweet,” she cooed, tipping the hat gently. “Now you’re just like ima.”
like ima!” Tali agreed with a squeal, and Ziva felt her heart swell
with pride at how much her daughter had grown. She might want to be just
like her mother for now, but she’d already become her own person in so
many ways. And if this small way was the way in which she chose to
emulate her mother, rather than so many other ways, then she’d have a
much better childhood than Ziva ever had.
It was a dangerous thing to think about, and she immediately pushed the cloudy thought out of her mind. “Come on, Tali,” she said, standing back up and taking her by the hand. “Let’s go home and see abba.”