'Ghost Runner' by CatherineYetiveThis is a featured page

Ziva sprinted in the early hours on her off days, weaving through the complicated streets of DC. This particular Saturday morning was chilly and windy, but the sun touched everything with a golden warmth. Some of Ziva's strides met with leaves, crunching loudly against the asphalt. She loved running in the fall, the leaves raining from the trees, falling against her. Ziva felt a freedom with running, an invincibility, even if it was only for a few miles.

Every quarter of a mile or so, she'd pull down reassuringly on her orange beanie, making sure it wouldn't fall off. It fit its previous owner much better, but Ziva always wore it when she ran. Roy sort of ran with her when she had on his beanie. Sometimes she imagined what his strides may have sounded like, in sync with hers. This thought made her smile today, though sometimes, especially in winter, it made her sad.

Ziva ended her run at a bench at the edge of a park. She sank down, panting, her legs tingling. She relaxed her shoulders and put her head down, hugging her knees.

After catching her breath and letting her heart rate go back down, Ziva leaned back on the bench. Though she'd never admit it, people watching was one of her favorite activities after a good run. It was still early, but many people were out and about-- couples walking their dog, an older woman feeding birds. Ziva froze at the sight of a child on a leash, his mother talking absentmindedly on a cell phone.

Ziva's negative thoughts were interrupted by a woman who sat on the bench across from her, wearing a red dress.

She is dressed unusually for Saturday morning. Too formal for work, but too early for a date...

Either way, Ziva found this out of the ordinary. She noticed the nervous look on the woman's face.

Anticipation. But why? What should she be worried about, dressed so beautifully?

Ziva watched the woman stealthily, perfectly avoiding her eyes when she looked up. She watched the woman squirm, run her fingers through her hair over and over. Ziva was convinced she could feel the woman's mood.

Suddenly, the woman stood, frozen. Ziva followed her gaze to a man in uniform, a backpack in one hand and roses in the other.

The frozen woman broke from her stance and a smile spread across her face. She almost skipped in her high heels to meet the man Ziva assumed was the woman's boyfriend (since neither were wearing wedding rings).

The man in uniform, still covered by the dirt of war, dropped his bag and enveloped the woman in a hug. He gently pulled her away just long enough to give her the roses. The woman admired the roses for a moment before dropping them on a park bench, disappearing into the man's embrace again.

Ziva looked away. Even though they were in public, she couldn't watch the couple anymore. It was a personal moment that Ziva did not want to ruin by people watching.

Ziva leaned up out of the shade and toward the morning sun, letting it warm her face and arms. She felt a daydream sneaking up on her, but didn't fight it.

Ziva continued to sit on the bench, but now she wore a dress. It was green, so she'd stand out against the autumn leaves. That was never a problem though, standing out-- Roy spotted her easily in the morning crowd at the park.

“Roy.” He read Ziva's lips, quickening his stride.

Ziva saw the confident smile plastered across his face as she met him halfway. He didn't have roses, but just seeing him full of life, his cheeks pink from the cool breeze, was more than Ziva could ever ask for.

Roy swept Ziva up in his arms, her feet coming up off of the ground. She laughed, her joy bubbling over. The wind picked up and leaves began to circle and rain down on the pair, falling against them like they were running. Ziva felt the same freedom and invincibility just standing still with Roy, and his smile left her as breathless as a four mile run.

McGee walked slowly in the park, two cups in his hands and a messenger bag over his shoulder. He looked for Ziva, spotting her on a bench, alone. He noticed her running clothes, and as he got closer, the beads of sweat that rested on her skin. He wondered about the distant expression on her face, and his heart sank a little as he saw the orange beanie she was wearing.

“Ziva?” Tim sat down on the bench as she broke from her daydream.

“Ma-gee, what are you doing here?” Ziva turned to face him.

Tim saw a tear clinging to Ziva's eyelashes, and she wiped it away, hoping he hadn't noticed.

“We're meeting to study for your citizenship test...remember?”

“I had forgotten!” Ziva looked down at the two cups in Tim's hands.

“Oh, here.” Tim handed Ziva a warm cup. “I, uh...know you don't like coffee, so I got you some tea. I see Gatorade probably would have been more appropriate.” He smiled and it spread to Ziva.

“No, tea is perfect, thank you.”

Ziva looked down at the tea in her hands, and then up at Tim, her brown eyes softening. He fumbled with his messenger bag, setting his coffee down between them, and finally pulled out two large packets of paper. He held them up for Ziva to see.

“Okay...'Founding Fathers' or 'Important Dates'?”

Ziva paused, sipping her tea. It really was perfect. “Important Dates.”

Tim's eyes lit up. “I was hoping you'd say that. Let's start with 1776...”

Ziva sighed, glad to have Tim's company. She listened to him talk excitedly about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but she still thought about Roy. She smiled at the thought of the day they'd finally get to run together.

Latest page update: made by CatherineYetive , Nov 12 2009, 4:30 PM EST (about this update About This Update CatherineYetive Edited by CatherineYetive

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