Author: Cirroco DeSade
Summary: What happens if somebody important to the team is badly injured?
Rating: I'll be safe and say M
Spoilers: There are definite spoilers for several eps between 3x01 and through most of season six. They are random.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N This was kind of an experiment for me. It shifts back and forth between the present and memories plus the memories are not linear throughout the story.
A/N#2 Special thanks go to jaina47 for being a sounding board and also betaing. Mistakes are still mine.
It was a beautiful spring day in downtown DC and the four of them had taken advantage of the lack of pressing cases to have lunch together. Now as they walked back the three blocks it would take to get to the parking spot Tony was able to find, Abby listened in amusement to her three musketeers debating. Mostly it was Tony loudly trying to override Tim with his vast knowledge of film trivia, but she noticed that Ziva enjoyed jumping in and confusing matters whenever Tim looked overwhelmed.
“I think Timothy is correct, DiNozzo,” Ziva said with a smirk. “I do not remember this character either.”
“Ha!” He exclaimed triumphantly and turned around to point at Ziva. “Shows what you know. But you can be forgiven, Zeee-vah, since you grew up overseas. McGeek here has no excuse for being ignorant.”
The taller man put his arm over McGee’s shoulder in companionable humor and started ranting again. Ziva turned and smiled at Abby, sharing a secret look with her. She was actually happy with the jostling of the normal lunchtime foot traffic, as it gave her convenient excuses to touch Abby. A hand at her back when they had to get closer together to let somebody barrel by them or a brush of the back of her hand across the taller woman’s were little things, but they felt daring indeed. Since they usually behaved themselves so discreetly and had not let the guys in on their little secret, it was bold, but the arrival of spring seemed to be hitting them all.
“Do you think he even notices you’re not listening to him?” Abby asked with a grin.
“He usually does not,” Ziva replied, smiling.
They were nearly at the end of the block when Ziva felt as if she was being watched. Years of service in Mossad and then NCIS had convinced her to always listen to her gut, so she straightened and looked around discreetly. It took her a moment, but she found the source of her discomfort. Ahead, at the red light, there was a car in the far left lane waiting for the light. It was one of DC’s many one-way streets, the team heading opposite the flow of traffic, so it meant that other than the row of parked cars nearest the sidewalk this lane was closest to the team.
She looked closer at the occupants of the car, trying to decide who they were and why the men in the car were looking so intently at Ziva and Tony. Another few moments had passed before she realized where she had seen the man in the driver’s seat before now.
“McGee,” she said clearly, commandingly. Her two male teammates turned back to look at her because of her sudden shift in attitude. “Get Abby inside this building now. Away from the windows.”
“What?” he asked even as he walked back towards Abby, instinctively following her tone if nothing else.
“Ziva?” Abby asked at the same time in alarm.
“Please, Ahuvati, go,” she soothed imploringly. “Hurry,” she barked at McGee, gratified when he grabbed Abby by the arm and started dragging her away.
“Ziva? Want to explain?” Tony said seriously.
“Keep walking, but more slowly,” she murmured. “Do you see the red car at the red light?”
“Yeah, and?” Tony said. He noticed her unobtrusively unsnapping her holster so he did the same.
“I recognize the driver as one of Ari’s Hamas contacts,” she said softly. “He should not be here.”
The light changed and the red car’s tires screeched as it lurched into motion heading towards them.
“Everybody get down!” Ziva shouted at the people around her even as she pulled her gun and started jogging closer to the edge of the sidewalk. The only cover available was a newspaper stand chained to a lamppost and the car she had already run past. People ran away from them screaming, or dove away in the other direction.
“Federal Agents!” Tony barked holding up his badge at the oncoming car. When he saw a person in the back lean out with a semi-automatic assault weapon he dove down behind the car and blind fired over its hood at where he had last seen the car. Hearing Ziva’s gun he glanced over and saw her kneeling down, taking her calm precise shots. He then turned back to concentrate on his own shooting. He heard glass exploding and thinking Ziva might have gotten the driver, peeked up just in time to see a shotgun being pointed out a large fresh hole in the windshield. The loud retort of the shotgun rang out and he heard at least one man nearby scream. He emptied his clip in the direction of the noise.
Ziva took a moment and really focused on the man in the rear, even as they came even with her. The driver was not accelerating towards them, so she knew it would be a typical drive by shooting. If she could keep their focus on her and Tony, they might get by without civilian casualties. She pulled off four quick shots in the direction of the shooter’s head and one hit its mark. She almost smiled before she heard his gun going off in a non-stop rip of bullets as his dying moments kept his finger on its trigger. A barrage of bullets danced over the sidewalk beside her and before she could jump away, she felt something tear into her leg and her side.
Time seemed to slow as she watched the driver pull out a handgun and smile at her. He shouted at her in Arabic, “Murdering Jew!” She felt a fiery explosion in her chest and she fell back. As she fell, something else connected with her head and the world started to spin.
Tony was busy giving chase to the car, hoping to see its plates. He had pulled out his cell phone at the end of the block and called the police asking for a BOLO on the red car. He gave what he had seen on the plates and told them to send ambulances and squad cars to the area. He wondered why his jackrabbit of a partner had not outrun him by now and decided she was probably trying to get to their car so she could engage in a high-speed chase. The thought made him laugh, especially since he had the keys.
When he turned back, he saw McGee and Abby on the ground near where the terrorists had tried to pin them down. He jogged back hoping that Tim would not make a probie mistake and disturb the crime scene too much. A few steps into his jog, he saw there was a body on the ground between them and that Abby was crying and screaming. A man stood nearby yelling into his cell phone.
“Tell them we have an Officer down,” Tim was shouting at him even as he pushed his hands down on Ziva’s chest. The woman was breathing, but it was punctuated with wet coughs.
Abby was holding onto a shirt somebody had given her and pushing it into Ziva’s stomach wounds. “Ziva,” she cried, “No, no, no, Ziva, you can’t do this to me, baby. You will wake up! You hear me. You will be okay! Oh God, Zee!” She saw Tony running up. “Tony! Do something!”
He heard the sirens approaching even as he fell down beside them. He winced at the blood running down from her temple, but really worried at the amount coming out of the chest wound Tim was trying to block. It was far enough over on the right that Tony would bet it missed the heart, but it was still way too bloody.
He stripped off his own shirt, wadded it up and put it on Tim’s hands. “Put this on it and push harder. Sit on her if you have to.” He looked around and saw a teenage gawker nearby. “You, kid! I need your shirt.” Before he realized it, not only the kid but also another two men nearby had loaned their clothes to the effort. He took the first one and wrapped it as hard as he could around her head over the wound.
“You’re not allowed to die,” he growled down at his partner. “Do you hear me David!? You are not allowed to die. It’s like rule fifty or something, and we wouldn’t want to make Gibbs mad, now would we?” He looked at the distraught Goth who was still babbling. “And you’re upsetting Abby. So you have to be okay so you can apologize.”
Amazingly, Ziva coughed again, more blood coming out of her mouth. The words, “Sorry,” and “Ahuvati,” were barely audible before her head just lolled back entirely into Tony’s hands.
At that moment, the paramedics pushed their way into the mess and started asking questions. They did not force them off Ziva until they knew what they were up against and another bus had parked nearby. They asked the next crew for help in quickly transferring the downed officer into the first unit and she was inside in minutes.
Abby had hopped in behind them and the driver was trying to pull her back out so he could close his bus and go. However, Tony grabbed his arm and showed his badge.
“She’s our officer,” he said with a snap of command. “Let Abby go with her. And by the way, Ziva’s O positive.”
The driver nodded and slammed the doors shut. “We’ll go to George Washington with her.”
As she looked out into the crowd of happy faces facing the stage, she was disappointed. It was not as if she truly expected her father to show up, but she had allowed herself to hope. It was as Ari had told her. Their father did not care to acknowledge his children unless they were the best at everything. She was not graduating first in her class, not even second, but instead third.
Of course, the two ahead of her had never had to study krav maga and abir. By the time Ziva was sixteen, she already knew more krav maga than a typical IDF conscript at the end of boot camp knew and had graduated to studying abir. The other two also did not have a father pressuring them to learn their fourth and fifth languages. Indeed, Itshak was a Haredi Jew, already exempted from conscription because he was to enter a yeshiva gedola. Ashira was just sheltered. Her mother never allowed her to go anywhere or do anything but study.
Ziva thought that third was very good considering the circumstances. She sighed as she accepted her certificate and walked off the stage. As she came around to the rear of the stage where the students were to exit, she saw her half-brother Ari standing along the wall near the crowd. She barely recognized him but he made sure she knew it was him when she passed. Using a hand signal, he indicated he would wait for her.
When the ceremony finished, she went out and casually looked around for him. He walked over to her and kissed each of her cheeks.
“I am proud of you, little sister,” he said smiling.
“Thank you,” she said, feeling a little better that somebody had seen it. “If only I could make father proud.”
“That may never happen, Ziva,” he said sadly. “But that is not because of you. He simply expects too much. We are all to be his perfect little soldiers. The best. Anything else is not enough.”
She sighed. It was not that she had not already realized that. Her mother and father had fought about it many times when Ziva was a child. Then her mother had died, leaving her with him as her sole parent. That did not make it hurt any less on occasions like this.
“I will be leaving Israel soon,” Ari told her.
“Why?” she said, genuinely upset. They did not get to see each other often, but she looked forward to each of their secret rendezvous. He was the only person who truly understood how she had grown up and what she did daily to try to be the ideal their father wanted.
“He is sending me to medical school,” Ari said on a laugh. “Would you believe it?”
“I only believe it because you tell me it is so,” Ziva said. She smiled. “You, I trust. I’ll never understand him.”
“I will send you postcards to our drop box,” he said. “I will miss you little one.”
“Not so little anymore,” she objected with a smile.
“Yes, I know,” he laughed. “IDF, beware! Ziva David is on her way!”
Suddenly a white light flashed, a brilliant explosion sounded and Ziva was standing elsewhere, a gun in her hand, looking down at a much older Ari. This was not the same man who had come to her in secret, always encouraging her. This was not the older brother who had promised he would always love her. He had lied to her. He had killed just to hurt people. He wanted to hurt a good man just because he reminded Ari of Eli David. That his reign of terror would damage US-Israeli relations was a bonus to him.
The American walked up to her, speaking gently. “His father is a Deputy Director in Mossad?” he asked
“Yes,” Ziva answered, her voice cracking.
“Not David?” Gibbs said, obviously hoping not to hear the ugly reality.
“Yes,” she said, a tear escaping. “He’s my half-brother.”
She sat down on a stool near Ari’s body and began singing a traditional song of passing. Gibbs squeezed her shoulder and walked out, leaving her to deal with her emotions alone.
Another bright white light flared in front of her eyes.
“We’ve got a rhythm!” she heard nearby. Trying to turn to the voice, she found she was immobilized. It was blindingly bright. She could not take it. Ari was dead. She had killed him. She was so tired. She closed her eyes.
Continued in part 2