I've enjoyed playing with this style lately. Hopefully it's working for you.

jae


"Tell me again how we ended up in this mess."

She's pacing around their makeshift campsite in a way that reminds him of a dog marking its territory, and though the fading sun doesn't quite reach them with its warmth here they are collected in the middle of the woods, miles off course, he strips his jacket off anyway and crouches down to cover McGee with it.

The Probie grimaces painfully as Tony tries to straighten him where he sits hunched and sliding further down the trunk of the tree they've propped him against.

He's thankful the jacket covers the wound in his arm; it lets him pretend that their situation isn't as hopeless as it is.

In reality, it's a lot worse.


"Tony, help me."

Her soft, sure voice commands his attention, and he eases himself to his feet; patting McGee's shoulder gently and pretending not to notice how his breathing is heavier than it was an hour ago.

Ziva swings a tree branch toward him, and he has to jump backwards to avoid a head-on collision.

"Woah, there." He stumbles, and she gives him a bemused look before breaking it cleanly in half over her knee, as if it takes absolutely no effort to do so.

"We need to make camp." She murmurs. Her eyes drift behind his back, and he sees them shift; her control slipping for the barest of moments.

Panic looks foreign on her.


They chew the divided granola bar in silence.

"Do you think Gibbs will have a pizza when he finds us?"


"How is Gibbs going to find us if our cells are dead?"

It's the first thing McGee has said since he went down, shouting an expletive.

Ziva barely looks up at Tony as she peels off the makeshift bandage soaked with blood around his arm.

McGee hisses when she pours water over the area.

"Because," her lips curve with a hint of a smile.

"He's Gibbs."


"DiNozzo, Take off your shirt."

"You only had to ask, Ziva."


She tears his dress shirt into long, even strips. He's got to wonder if she was born with survival training already ingrained, and if she's prepared for any type of crisis.


Night conceals the sheen of sweat that covers McGee's face, but it can't hide his ragged breaths.

In the glow of the fire, he can see Ziva soothing him with gentle strokes of her hand on his good arm, and the faint murmurs of her voice barely reaches his ear over the sounds of the woods coming to life.

He finds himself wishing irrationally that he were the one wounded; if only because he'd be on the receiving end of the attention he so desperately craves, every minute of every day.


"He is asleep."

Tony startles at the whisper of her voice and rolls over, seeing her hunched sillouete in the dying flames of the fire.

He grunts, curling his backpack further under his head.

"Want me to stay up? Watch him?"

She shuffles down beside him, feels her curl herself against his back.

"We all need to rest." She sighs against his neck. He stops a shiver from racking his body. "He will be okay."

Her tone wavers on the last word, but he hears clearly what she doesn't say.

For now.


McGee's cry wakes her.

The click of her gun's safety near his ear wakes him.


"Check our bags again for asprin. I know I had mine at the crime scene yesterday."

Tony stifles a sigh in the dark, feeling through her bag for the asprin he knows isn't there.

His hands search the bottom; only finding crumbled receipts, his chapstick that mysteriously disappeared from his desk a month back, and counts at least three different knives.

His eyeroll goes unseen.


"Here, drink some water."

McGee sips greedily at the bottle, and Ziva helps him finish it.

He realizes then that he hasn't seen her take a single sip once since they'd been out here.


"It feels like we are on the run."

Ziva continues sharpening the stick in her hand with a familiar blade.

"We did leave three dead men in the woods."

Tony smirks at her casual tone.

"This reminds me of-" McGee groans, breaking his silence since daybreak.

"If you start quoting The Fugitive..."

He grins over at McGee, clearing his throat and preparing to deliver the tired monologue.

A sharpened stick whizzes past his head before he gets the first word out, and he lets out an unmanly noise.

McGee laughs.

Ziva returns his affronted gaze with an innocent smile.


She grazes his forehead with the barest of touches, and presses her fingers to the back of his neck.

"He has a fever."

Tony crouches down beside her as she shifts to her knees and leans over to take off McGee's jacket, and looks between them with a bewildered expression.

"How can you tell by that? Is this a thing they teach you in spy school?"

Ziva rolls her eyes so hard he thinks she may fall over.

"He's warm."

Tony frowns at himself, and ignores another wave of hunger that passes through his stomach.

"I'm hungry."

It's a weak defense for the moment of stupidity, and she knows he knows it.

She lets him have it anyway.


"If I don't make it, don't let him have my car, Ziva."

Ziva breathes a laugh, shushing McGee and tying another fresh strip of Tony's shirt around his arm.

He, on the other hand, is outraged.

"Why not, McPorsche?"

They both look up and give him matching grins, and their replies are just as synchronized.

"You're a car killer."

Tony turns his back, muttering under his breath.


Their Mossad hunting dog perks up, and they watch her warily.

"I hear something."

The men share a look, deciding that she's likely not wrong, and Tony fumbles for his gun.

She's got two knives in her hands that appear from no where, and he frowns, distracted briefly of where they were hidden on her as his eyes travel her frame.

"Where did you -"

"East." She cuts him off, and he follows her gaze.


"Boss, how did you find us?"

Gibbs pockets his sidearm, steely eyes surveying their makeshift campsite and worn appearance with a twinkle in his eyes, and what he thinks might be relief.

Blue, amused eyes settle on Ziva.

"Just followed the trail of dead bodies, DiNozzo."

She smirks, looking over to Tony, and McGee finds the strength to laugh softly beside her.


"You all want to tell me what happened to the car?"

There's a collective groan as they watch McGee being lifted into the safety of the ambulance.

"It died on us. That's where the trouble began."

Gibbs tips his head from DiNozzo, then to Ziva.

"Was he driving?" He jerks his head to her partner, and Ziva gives him a wide smile at Tony's outraged tone.

"Why do you always assume it's my fault?"

Gibbs gives him a silent shrug, and they hear McGee call faintly from inside the vehicle.

"Told you, DiNozzo. You're a car killer."

His weak laughter is drowned out by Ziva, and even Gibbs flashes a grin.

Tony turns a dark look on all of them.

"I didn't want your porsche anyway." He shoots at an invisible McGee, and eyes Ziva accusingly before making for the Charger.

"And you owe me a new shirt."

He hears her laugh as he turns his back, and he wonders if on the way out of this wasteland, they can stop for a pizza.