|Broken Boughs and Blackened Leaves
Author: jrrm64 PM
Tony is devastated by Ziva and McGee turning his link off during Dead Air. He loses trust in the team and demands a transfer to find a life somewhere else. A happy life which is destroyed by terrorism. There will be TIVA.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Mystery - Tony D. & Ziva D. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 65,535 - Reviews: 215 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 03-27-12 - Published: 03-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7920220
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Vance and Tony watched as the satellite showed them a greenish night image of a village in Afghanistan. They watched as three unmanned drones rained hellfire missiles. It had the quality of watching a video game, which gave your some distance, except both Vance and Tony knew this was real. This was real missiles, real explosions and real death. After the fallout of the missiles they watched as nine Kidon members entered the village and started the cleanup. It was a pretty sight to see, but they stood in silence and watched. When their job was done the Kidon members disappeared into the night.
The satellite image broke up and went to white noise. It was then that Vance finally spoke breaking the silence.
"It needed to be done," he said.
"I know, Director," Tony said.
He looked at his watch. It was 6 o'clock in the evening making it two thirty in the morning in Afghanistan.
"I want to go home," he said.
"We promised to talk to Eli. He'll be hooking up with us after he hears from his Kidon personnel," said Vance.
"I know," he said. "Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Lessie is excited about Santa and I wanted to spend the next two days just enjoying my daughter."
"Has Santa been good to her?" Vance asked.
"Santa is spoiling her rotten," Tony smiled.
"Good," said Vance.
Ziva was giving Lessie her bath losing herself in Lessie pure joy and laughter at being in a bubble bath with Ziva playing with her when something happened she never thought could ever happen, an assassin snuck up on her.
"Do you anything stupid and you and the child die," said the assassin.
Ziva turned and looked at the Sicilian assassin. She was five foot eight, long black hair, dressed all in black and was holding a Beretta in her right hand. The distance between them was too great to take a chance. She had to think about Lessie's life.
"The name is Sophia," she said.
Lessie began to cry out of nervousness.
"Take care of the bambina. I am here only to kill the father not you or her," she said. "If this goes well then I return to Sicily without a problem."
Ziva grabbed a towel and took Lessie out of the bath tub and dried her off. She then put PJs on Lessie and took her into her arms trying to comfort her. It was odd how quickly she had come to love this child, but Ziva knew that she'd give her life up to protect Lessie.
"We are going to wait for DiNozzo to come home then I will finish this job and leave," she said. "Come on you can make me a cup of coffee."
Ziva didn't say a thing, except obey her. Now was not the time for disobedience. She needed to study this assassin and get to know her. Ziva wanted to get a sense of her and her abilities before she finally made her move and killed her. And she was going to kill her.
"I have heard from Malachi. They are in their fallback position and will be leaving Afghanistan in a few days. All routes have been preplanned, so there should be no problems. He said the mission was a success and photos were taken so we can identify the leaders," Eli explained.
"The Jihad Brotherhood is either destroyed or crippled," said Vance.
"Yes, I would accept that analysis for now," said Eli. "Good work, Anthony."
"I didn't do much," he said.
"You underestimate what you have done. I could use some people under me who performed so well but thought they could do more," said Eli.
"You sound like you want to recruit DiNozzo, but you can't have him, Eli. He belongs to NCIS," said Vance. "And in time he will be running CI and CT."
"You could do worse, Leon," smiled Vance then he turned his attention to Tony. "Give my best to your lovely daughter and my lovely daughter."
"I shall, Eli," said Tony.
"Eli," said Vance.
"Leon," replied Eli and the screen went blank.
Vance and Tony exited MTAC. It had been a long evening. Tony checked his watch. It was now going on seven-thirty. If he rushed he'd be able to get a kiss from Lessie before she went to bed.
He walked down the stairs from the mezzanine. He needed to go over to the other side of the building to get his overcoat and briefcase. Sometimes he missed working out of Gibbs' MCRT bullpen.
Ziva had paid close attention to Sophia. She gaged her peripheral vision, her reaction time, her focus, and her determination and she came away impressed by the assassin. But she also now knew her liabilities, which included an almost two second delay while she aimed her weapon. She got this information by dropping a pan in the kitchen in order to gage her reaction. Two seconds was an eternity for Ziva to make a move.
"When will your boyfriend be home?" asked Sophia.
"I do not know. He works late many nights," she answered.
Lessie had been put in her room by Ziva told to be quiet and patient. When she shut the door, she heard the girl, who she felt was her daughter more and more each day, sobbing into her pillow. This woman was going to pay for this.
"When we hear his car pull up, I want you to stand in front of me," said Sophia.
Ziva nodded. The assassin didn't realize it but she was making a mistake letting Ziva get so close to her. She was giving her a chance to make a move against her.
Tony pulled up into the driveway. He assumed Ziva's care was in the parking garage, so he parked his car in front of the parking garage and got out of the car. Walking towards the front door, he dug his keys out of his pants pocket then opened the door to his house.
Opening the door he announced himself: "Lucy, I'm home."
He worked into the living room and saw Ziva standing in front of a woman dressed all in black holding a handgun. After a second he recognized her as the woman who had shot him. This was the assassin.
"Anthony DiNozzo, you have been a hard contract to complete," she said.
"Well, I have my moments," he said with a smile on his face.
He looked at Ziva and gave her a sincere smile. The fact he was about to be shot didn't mean anything to him. All that meant anything to him was Ziva and Lessie. Yeah, maybe it was time to leave the field work to others.
Sophia straightened her weapon to shoot. Ziva knew she had two seconds and she took advantage of them. With the grace of a ballerina she pirouetted kicking the gun out of Sophia's hand. When she stopped in a defensive position, Sophia already had a stiletto out and was ready to strike. Ziva grabbed her wrist, lifted her arm up in the air then went underneath her arm and directed the blade with great force into the abdomen of Sophia.
Sophia moaned in pain, but Ziva wasn't done. She grabbed Sophia's head and twisted it expertly breaking her neck and killing her.
"No one touches my family," growled Ziva then she looked at Tony. "Lessie is in her room. Get her."
Tony ran up the stairs and to Lessie's bedroom door. He threw it open to see his daughter crying in her pillow. Lessie lifted her head and looked at Tony and yelled: "Papa!"
Lessie then saw Ziva standing behind him and she yelled: "Ima!"
Both Ziva and Tony rushed to their daughter. It didn't matter if she was blood to Ziva or not, she was her daughter now. They enveloped her in their arms and soothed.
"How should we handle this?" asked Ziva knowing a dead assassin killed in the manner she killed her was going to be difficult to explain to local police.
"I'll call Gibbs and let me deal with the local LEOs for us. He can turn this into an NCIS investigation," said Tony.
"Good idea," said Ziva, who tightly held onto Lessie.
"Ima don't let Papa get into trouble ever again," she said to Ziva.
"No, Luce, I will keep him out of trouble."
Christmas was a success even though Ziva found herself under investigation by IAD for excessive use of violence. Tony assured her that she'd be fine. By January 3rd she had been cleared and the preparations for their wedding were going along with ease with the help of Abby. She managed to get a Catholic priest and a reformed Rabbi to share the service. Tony was once again left amazed how Abby was able to get people to work together when she wanted them to.
Just as planned they had their wedding in St Ann's Roman Catholic Church with Rabbi and Priest sharing the altar. For Ziva there was a Huppah, which they were married under, and a Ketubah, a traditional wedding contract that they needed to sign after the ceremony, which her father sent from Israel. Tony was impressed at the artistry and calligraphy of the Ketubah. It was designed to be hung on their wall for all to see.
Lessie was the ring bearer and Abby, the maid of honor, two of Ziva's non-work friends her bridesmaids and Gibbs acted as the father of the bride giving her away in Shannon's wedding dress. Jimmy was a best man for Tony and his groomsmen were Ducky and McGee.
On the church steps Ziva tossed her bridal bouquet into a crowd of unmarried woman to have it caught by Abby, which embarrassed both her and McGee. Their wedding night was spent in a Hyatt Regency in Bethesda with Gibbs taking Lessie for a few days before they left for their family honeymoon in Haifa.
Once in Haifa Tony was happy to see Ziva and her family from Nettie to her cousin Hannah and her children reunited. Eli acted as host and he doted on Lessie. It was their fourth day there that Ziva asked Tony to go with Lessie and Eli to her uncle's Arabian horse ranch. She told him that she had an errand to run and she'd meet him there.
He stood at the side of a paddock as Eli's brother Aaron put Lessie on a tame Arabian baby horse and took her around the paddock. He listened to her laugh and noticed that Eli was smiling.
"A child's laughter can be music," he said. "I have missed that sound."
"It is beautiful," said Tony.
"Ziva loved riding horses, yet I forced her to learn more practical things like marksmanship and knife throwing," he said. "Don't make the same mistakes I made, Anthony. I regret them more and more as I get older," he admitted.
It was then that he noticed Hannah's car pull up and Ziva and Hannah get out of the car. Ziva had on a white summer's dress with her hair down and a smile on her face that said she was a very happy woman.
"My daughter is beautiful. I am starting to think she is too good for you," Eli laughed.
"I agree," said Tony.
Ziva walked up to Tony and gave him a long passionate kiss. Hannah stood and watched them then said: "Tell him."
"Hannah, it can wait," Ziva said.
"No, it cannot. Tell him," Hannah said.
"Okay, you know me when I know something is being hidden. I can't stop snooping until I find out the information," said Tony. "What is it?"
"I am pregnant, Ahuvi," she smiled.
"Pregnant," he repeated then he looked at Eli, who was smiling.
Eli moved over to his daughter's side and embraced her then kissed her cheek.
"I am proud of you, Ziva. You have done the one thing you were never trained for but will be perfect as, you have become a mother," he said.
"Thank you, Abba," she said then looked at Tony. "And what do you have to say?"
"Wow," he smiled.
"Yeah, wow," she said and then they fell into each other's arms and shut out the world as they kissed and hugged each other.
"What do you think Gibbs will think?" she whispered into Tony's ear.
"After he head slaps me for making him lose a member of his team from the field, he'll be thrilled. He told me he wanted more grandchildren," Tony beamed.
"I am very happy," said Ziva.
"Yeah, it's a good feeling," said Tony.