NCIS isn't in shambles, not even her team, which has been held together by years of familial love, some safety pins, and some duct tape for even longer than the entire time she's known everyone in it.
Her biological family? Not in shambles.
Her body? Her friendships? Career? Nope.
She curses the day Jake was even born for making her feel this way. It's never been harder to parade the Strong Independent Woman facade than it is now - and she's worked for the NSA. She's been a spy before, with espionage being an industry incredibly hard to work in as a woman, particularly if you don't buy into the femme fatale role. She almost wishes she could do that, could fuck someone and then snap their head off after she's gotten what she needs. Leave, instead of being the one left behind.
But she's not that lucky.
She never has been.
She only ever had good luck sporadically. Maybe once every couple years, something really good might happen out of the blue. She's totally due for something really damn good.
In Nice - because she's not self-deprecating enough to go to Paris while mourning her dignity and her asshole former husband - she figures a one night stand isn't the worst idea she's ever had.
It's certainly one of the best fucks she's ever had. She's slender with long coarse black hair, she kisses like she's on a mission and eats pussy like she's a starving woman, and she curses in fucking Hebrew when Ellie's fingers are inside her, even more turned on when she realizes that Ellie actually understands what she's saying...and just how fucking naughty it is.
It takes a couple conversations and nearly a week - because in all honesty, they don't talk about their lives "back home" very often - for her to figure out that "Fucks Like a Dream" Ziva is the same woman as "NCIS Agent I Replaced" Ziva. And as her - ha - vacation comes to a close, it only gets harder to figure out where to go from here.
She heads back to DC with a phone rife with sexy photos, a renewed sense of direction, and a story that she's allowed to tell Abby...and only Abby.
A story so wild, Abby might not even believe her.
Ellie barely believes it herself.
But when Ziva shows up at Headquarters a couple months later, missing her and their mutual and mostly confused friends, no one has a choice but to do so.
And then, what Ellie can't believe is her luck.