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.
Abby awoke abruptly, the feeling of a hand on her shoulder pulling her out of her dreams. She looked up to see a young woman with curly black hair standing next to her. She was probably a nurse, Abby deduced from her scrubs and the stethoscope hanging around her neck. The forensic scientist sat up, the move wringing a painful sensation from her left arm, neck and back. She guessed that’s what she got for falling asleep in that position in a lousy hospital chair.
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” the nurse spoke gently. “But you looked horribly uncomfortable.” She pointed to a recliner on the other side of the bed that held a pillow and blanket. “I had my tech bring that in for you. It’s much more comfortable for sleeping if you’re planning on staying the night.”
“Thanks,” Abby said sleepily, looking at the nurse’s badge, she read the name, “Missie.”
The young woman smiled. “No problem,” she answered. She went to look at some of the equipment, monitoring Ziva’s vitals and noting them in her chart.
“Excuse me,” the Goth said. “Do you know where Ziva’s father went?”
“Oh, yes,” the nurse responded, looking embarrassed, “I was supposed to tell you that he would be back in the morning. He said something about long flights and needing a real bed. He told me you were the one who belonged here. It must be nice to have such positive support from your girlfriend’s family. He seems like a nice man.”
“Uh, yeah,” Abby responded, blinking rapidly. She moved around to the recliner and scooted it closer to the bed so that she could touch Ziva.
“I’ll try not to wake you tonight,” the nurse told the scientist. “I’ll be back in a few hours to check her again. I think she has a resident that is supposed to check in on her also, but they rarely keep regular schedules.”
“It’s okay,” Abby responded, “I appreciate the more comfortable chair.”
“You go ahead and go back to sleep,” the nurse said. She turned out all the lights except for the one that always stayed on above the bed.
Abby curled her hand around Ziva’s arm and put her head down on the pillow. Closing her eyes, she fell right back to sleep.
Ziva pressed the button that would call the elevator, knowing that was where Abby was currently hiding. When the doors opened, she noticed that Abby was wide eyed and had a whistle in her mouth. As soon as the Goth recognized that the next passenger was Ziva, she took the whistle out of her mouth. Ziva felt a stab of compassion for the older woman. She could not imagine what it would be like to feel defenseless against a foe like Abby must feel.
It had taken time, but the Goth had wormed her way into Ziva’s heart and she now considered her a friend. She still did not entirely understand the woman, but she liked her and respected her. Abby treated her better the last few months, and they had even gone out to dinner once or twice for a “girls night out.”
“I have a gift for you,” Ziva said. She sat down on the elevator’s floor next to the scientist.
Ziva held out a taser she had went and purchased for Abby. She did not like the idea of Abby being defenseless, but knew she could not be around her all the time as they tried to catch Abby’s stalker. She also knew Abby would never use a gun. She was much to kind hearted to actively shoot somebody. Besides that, even though she shot weapons on a regular basis in her lab, Ziva doubted she knew how to truly shoot. Therefore, a taser was a perfect weapon for Abby and it had cost Ziva very little considering how much peace of mind it would give her.
“What?” Abby said with a beaming smile. Ziva knew the Goth loved gifts with a child-like joy.
“It is a taser,” Ziva answered. She handed that strange looking weapon over to Abby. She had even splurged and gotten a holster for it.
Abby opened the holster and pulled the taser out, looking at it with interest.
“There is a laser sight here,” Ziva said while pointing, “Although it is hardly necessary. And a flashlight feature also. You pull the trigger guard back with your thumb, here,” the Israeli pointed. “The rest I am sure you know.”
Abby grinned and hugged Ziva hard. “I’ll give it back to you when this is done,” she assured the smaller woman.
“No,” Ziva said. “It is something I want you to keep. Even when we put this creep away, you can still use the protection. DC can be a dangerous city, so I would feel better knowing you had some defense.”
“Aw, Ziva,” Abby cried, “That is so sweet!”
Ziva blushed and shrugged. Abby abruptly hugged her again. Ziva did not know what to do with her. Part of her enjoyed having the older woman in her arms and part of her was scared out of her mind by Abby. In the end, she patted her awkwardly on the back until Abby pulled away.
“I better get back before Gibbs notices I am gone,” Ziva said. “I do not need a head slap.”
She stood and pressed the button for the floor that held the bullpen and the doors opened. She was just stepping out when she heard Abby say to her, “Thanks again, Ziva!”
She turned back and gave Abby one of her charmed smiles. There was certainly nobody in the world like Abigail Sciuto.
In the bullpen, Tony was asleep with his head propped in his hand, Timothy was asleep face down on his desk and even Michael was reclining in Ziva’s chair catching a nap. Unfortunately, for all of them, Gibbs returned from his trip to meet Trent and found them this way. He took a book from the edge of Tony’s desk and slammed it back down on the desk, making a noise as quick and almost as loud as a gunshot.
“Look alive people,” he barked. “I’ve got new intel.” He tossed a sheet of paper on both McGee and DiNozzo’s desks. “McGee, get me everything you can from public records on this address. Then pull any phone listings and calls. Tony, I want surveillance setup from across the street. I want a layout of the building, all entries and exits. Once you have that, work with Michael on these guys’ methods. Make sure our team will be safe going in and there won’t be any collateral damage.”
“Yes, Boss,” Tim answered.
“Boss,” Tony grunted at the same time.
Michael just looked at the other two men in amusement. Ziva was right; Gibbs could terrorize the group with a minimum of words. He was extremely interesting.
“You’re not off the hook,” Gibbs glared at Michael. He tossed a twenty on Ziva’s desk. “Since you can’t do anything useful right now, go get everybody coffee.”
Michael looked at the other two men for a clue on where to go, but they were too engrossed in what they were doing. No longer amused, he stood and left the bullpen.
Ziva was almost nervous. She had decided to get Abby a gift, ostensibly for allowing her to sleep at her place while her apartment was fumigated, but the real reason was she just wanted to get Abby a gift and make her smile. She could not believe her stroke of luck when Abby had volunteered to let her stay over at her place. She had enjoyed herself far more than she should have as a friend. Of course, Abby seemed to have no idea that Ziva wanted more than friendship.
She had stopped by a bakery that sold the most delicious items and since she knew Abby loved chocolate, ordered the item with the most chocolate available. She had asked them to wrap it in a nice box and she even got a pretty red ribbon for it.
Watching Abby was a guilty pleasure, enjoying her child-like love of gifts, even as she delicately undid the ribbons and opened the box. The taller woman gasped.
“Looks scrumptious,” Abby said excitedly, a smile lighting up her face
“They call it “Chocoholic’s choice.” Claim it is the ultimate cupcake,” Ziva told the Goth.
“Awhhhh,” Abby hummed happily.
Tim and Tony walked up, flanking Abby to see what she had. McGee actually bent down to sniff the item.
“Oh, that smells great,” he intoned.
Tony tried to reach out and snag a little frosting only to get his hand slapped hard by the scientist.
“Don’t,” she yelled at him, “you dare.” Grabbing her box with the cupcake, she came around to Ziva’s side of her desk.
“Isn’t this the week you’re going gluten free?” Tony asked Abby, watching her like a hawk.
Ziva started to stand, as Abby got closer.
“Thank you, Ziva,” Abby said, a grin lighting up her face. “You shouldn’t have.” She reached down and gave Ziva a very friendly hug, not letting go entirely after it was done.
“I owe you for letting me sleep at your place,” Ziva answered.
Abby and Ziva both smiled, knowing the men were staring at them in wonder. Abby laid her head upon Ziva’s, standing there with her, cheek to cheek. She kept her arm around Ziva’s shoulder, and Ziva put her arms around Abby’s waist.
“Slumber party,” Tony said lasciviously, “You two spent the night together?”
The women remained silent, knowing it would drive Tony nuts. Abby smiled at Ziva one last time and left for her lab.
“What’s going on here McGee?” Tony said hoarsely.
“Don’t know, don’t care, DiNosey,” Tim said and walked away.
“You are such a control geek,” Ziva told Tony.
“Freak,” he corrected her.
“Yes, that too,” she answered.
Later, while they were investigating the death of a Navy Lieutenant, Tony decided to grill Ziva a little more on the subject.
“Stay at Abby’s last night, huh?” he asked, trying to be nonchalant.
She smirked at him. At that moment, she decided that when she ever did get the courage to ask Abby out, she would ask that they keep it quiet for a very long time. She wanted to enjoy at least a bit of romance before getting daily harassment from DiNozzo.
“You guys, uh, sleep in the same room?” he asked.
“It is a one bedroom apartment,” Ziva said, non-committal, shrugging. She was amused when his eyes glazed over for a moment. Yes, they would definitely need to be discreet. However, now, this was amusing.
“One bedroom, one bed, one coffin,” Tony said with a leer.
“You want the truth?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he tried a Jack Nicholson impression, “I think I can handle the truth.”
“My building was being fumigated,” she said, “And Abby was kind enough to let me stay over. On the couch.” She paused. “In my pajamas.”
“Come on,” he said, “work with me.” Gibbs started shouting orders at Tony, but he kept talking to Ziva, “Couldn’t you lie just a little bit?”