A/N- Glad to see that everyone likes this story. Here is another update.
-NCIS- Squad Room- February 23-
Tony walked into the squad room and laid his things down on his desk. He looked back over his shoulder and gave a sigh of relief when he saw the empty desk. His new partner, Melanie Porter, drove him crazy. She was good at her job, but she was extremely annoying. Occasionally Tony would see Gibbs grinning whenever Melanie was around. Tony knew it was not because Gibbs liked Melanie, but because he liked how Melanie had the uncanny ability to push Tony's buttons. "Morning Probie." Tony greeted cheerfully as McGee walked into the squad room with an arm full of mail. Tony then grimaced as he saw Melanie come in behind him.
"Good morning Tony." McGee filed through the mail and then handed Tony three letters and a small box. "Here there is a package for you." Probie started to hand it to Tony but pulled back. "Maybe someone else should open it. Last time you opened mail that was suspicious you ended up with the plague."
Tony rolled his eyes and yanked the package from McGee. "That was then Probie, this is now."
"You had the plague?" Melanie asked in shock.
"Yep." Tony said curtly as he sat down at his desk.
"I bet it takes a strong man to overcome the plague." She said as she sat down at her desk.
"No, I lucked out, because it had a suicide point." Tony tried to be polite, but it was early and he had not had his coffee, which meant he was not ready to deal with her yet.
McGee saw the pain on Tony's face and instead of encouraging Melanie's curiosity he decided to help Tony and change the subject. "Who's the package from Tony?"
"Ziva." Tony said with a small smile.
"How do you know? It doesn't have a return address." McGee said as he stood and approached Tony's desk.
"It's her handwriting." Tony pulled the lid off the unwrapped box and smiled as he pulled out the contents.
"Wow! That is beautiful!" McGee said as he stared at Tony's gift.
Tony smiled as he pulled out the letter and read it.
Here is your long promised Christmas present. I am sorry that it has taken me this long to get it to you. I had it specially made for you. I know that you have been practicing what I taught you, and I hope that this will encourage you to keep up with your practicing. I hope all is well, and that Melanie is not driving you totally nuts. I will talk to you later. Shalom.
McGee picked up the gift and held it in his hand. "Why would she send you this?"
"Because she had been teaching me how to throw a knife. I didn't have any of my own that were weighted, so she sent me one." Tony took his knife back from McGee and admired it. It truly was beautiful; with a carved handle and shiny blade. "It's a belated Christmas present."
"She must be really confused by the time difference if she is just giving you your present now." Melanie giggled.
Tony glared up at her. "How do you know she is not in the same time zone?"
"You told me she was not in the states. I just assumed…"
"Never assume Melanie." Gibbs said as he swiftly walked in. "Tony," he pulled him aside. "I know she drives you nuts, but try to be polite."
"I know she is not Ziva or Kate, but she is your partner."
Gibbs nodded his head. "Now go see the Director, she has to ask you something."
Tony nodded and turned to head upstairs. Jen's secretary nodded him in, and Tony strode in without a care in the world. "You asked to see me Jen?"
Jen nodded and smiled up at him. "As you know the NATO ball is this weekend. I have asked Jethro…agent Gibbs to be my escort, but due to the high security risk I would like to ask you to also accompany us. You would be strictly security, no politics involved."
"You mean that Gibbs is going to handle the politics?" Tony asked with a smirk.
"No, I will be handling the politics, but he will have to stand there and be polite. You on the other hand can be as rude as you desire, as long as you never tell anyone who you are with. Do we have a deal?" she asked as she raised her right eyebrow.
Tony smiled. "We have a deal." He sat down across from her and folded his hands. "I am guessing that I have to wear a tux, don't I?"
Jen nodded. "Yes, and if you will meet us here there will be a limo to take us to the ball. Be here this Saturday at six pm; do not be late."
Tony nodded as he rose from the chair. "I won't let you down director."
"I know you won't." she said kindly as he excused himself from her office.
-NATO Ball- Saturday Evening-
Tony sighed and pulled lightly on his tie. It felt like it was going to choke him if he didn't loosen it up and soon. He scanned the room of swirling colors and relaxed when he saw Jen and Gibbs in the back corner with some ambassador. Tony had enjoyed himself throughout the evening. Most of the night had been spent by the director's side. He had been scanning the room for anyone suspicious and so far so good. He smiled as Jen approached him. "See anything suspicious?"
Tony shook his head. "Nope, just the girl with that man over there." He pointed to a young girl, who could not be any older than twenty-one, standing with her date who had to be in his sixties. "Why women go for men that old I will never understand." He shuttered as the girl kissed the elderly man.
Jen just laughed. "Sometimes they are in it for the money, other times who knows what is good in the relationship."
Tony looked at her suggestive smile and grimaced. He began to scan the room again when he noticed someone. The mysterious character was wearing a black dress and their dark hair was pulled up in a French twist. Tony could have sworn that it was Ziva, but knew his mind was playing tricks on him. He was then distracted by Jen taking his arm. "Come with me. I have more diplomats to meet, and I think that Jethro will kill the next one he has to talk to."
The two stood by a Marine General who introduced them to several couples. Becoming board by the dry politicians, Tony began to scan the room for the mysterious girl in black. But to his dismay she was no where to be seen. Nudged out of his reverie by Jen's elbow in his side he looked up at the last couple they were to meet. There she was; his mystery girl. She looked amazing in her simple outfit. "Director Sheppard this is British Prime Minister Edward Sutton and his lovely date for the evening Miss. Elizabeth Thompson. She is a British reporter."
The director extended her hand to meet both of theirs and then stared at the stoned Tony. Tony suddenly reached out his hand and shook the Prime Minister's and then the young reporter's hand. "It is very nice to meet you." He said softly to her.
"The pleasure is all mine." She said in her light British accent.
Tony looked up at the Prime Minister and smiled. "Sir I hate to steal your date from you, but I would like to talk to her for a short while. Would this be alright?"
Jen was surprised by his politeness and light of foot when it came to courting politicians. "Of course you may." The older man said happily. "I am sure Lizzie would love that."
"I would be delighted." She said politely.
Tony extended his arm and she readily took it. They strolled out of the ballroom and into the foyer. "How long have you been a reporter?"
"For as long as I can remember. All my life I have been telling people what is going on behind the scenes." She laughed lightly as he smiled down at her. "So what is it exactly that you do?"
"I am an NCIS agent, it stands for…"
"I know what it stands for; I wrote a piece about your group once. So you are an investigator?"
Tony nodded. "Yes I am." The two walked in silence for a moment. "Where do you live?" he asked lightly.
"Oh here and there; wherever the job takes me." She looked up at him and smiled. "Tonight is my last night in the states for a while. This saddens me, because I really do love this country. It is so different from all the others I have been to."
The couple stepped outside and walked out into the garden. "Have you ever been to a NATO ball?"
Lizzie shook her head. "No, this is my first time."
"Mine too; I was a little nervous at first." Tony looked around and then pulled her into a secluded part of the garden. "I found this spot earlier in the evening. I found the view breathtaking."
Lizzie sat on the small bench and looked around the secluded place. "It is, very beautiful."
Tony sat down next to her. "You know Lizzie, you remind me of someone."
"I do? Who?"
"My old partner. The two of you could practically be twins."
She looked at him with a soft smile. "Do you miss her?"
"Yes, no matter how much she annoyed the crap out of me." He laughed softly.
"I am sure she misses you too." Lizzie lovingly placed her hand on his and gave it a soft squeeze.
At that moment Tony looked up and saw the director motioning for him to come inside. He nodded that he was coming and watched her go back inside. "Well, it was nice to meet you Elizabeth. I hope we will see each other soon." Tony leaned in and placed his mouth next to her ear. "You could never fool me with the accent, but great cover story. Oh, and don't forget to call me tonight." He pulled back and smiled at her. "Bye Ziva." He mouthed as he walked away.
Ziva smiled at the retreating figure. She had missed Tony more than she had expected to. Everyday they would talk on instant messenger and with every conversation her loneliness grew. She sighed as she saw Habir walking towards her. The two were undercover for a reason and now it was time to make that reason known. "Are you ready?" he asked her softly. She nodded and stood slowly. "He is going to make his speech in about five minutes. That gives us enough time to get to the balcony and set up." He then straitened his tux and smiled at her. "Come my darling, a British Ambassador can never be late."
Ziva nodded and followed him inside. The two crept up the stairs without detection. Once in the balcony Ziva removed a sniper rifle from its hiding place in a small janitor's closet. She quickly set up and prepared the weapon to fire. As the Commander on the Army stood up and walked to the podium Ziva readied herself. He stood still for a moment and then Ziva pulled it. The trigger went back and then was released. As it released the pullet whizzed out and into the speaker's chest. The minute he hit the ground Ziva and Habir sprinted for their escape. They ran down stairs and toward their assigned exit.
As Tony watched the man fall to the ground he instinctively ran to the nearest exit. It was the best place to escape; no cameras, no guards. He had spotted it when he had been checking out the security of the building. He drew his sidearm and looked around. A few seconds later he heard footsteps quickly coming down the hall. On instinct he pointed the weapon at the oncoming man. Tony's face dropped when he saw Ziva and her "escort" right in front of him. The man's gun was drawn and pointed directly at Tony. "Put down the weapon." Tony said forcefully.
"Not until you promise to let us go." The older man said in a thick Middle Eastern accent.
"I can't do that."
Ziva eyes flashed between the two men. "Please Tony, let us go."
"You know I can't do that Ziva." He said as he continued to aim the gun.
"You do not want to do this young man." Habir said angrily. "I promise you I will kill you."
"Go ahead and try to get through." They heard footsteps quickly approaching. "They will be here any minute." Tony threatened.
"Too bad you won't be alive to see them." Habir swiftly raised his weapon and fired.
Two gunshots were heard, but only one man fell to the ground. Habir's eyes were the embodiment of surprise as he clutched his chest and fell to the ground. Tony looked back at Ziva, knowing he had not been the one to fire at Habir. Ziva stood staring down at the body of her partner. Her eyes quickly jerked up to look at Tony's. "Move." She said through clenched teeth. "I will hurt you."
Tony looked at her and saw the pain in her eyes. "Ziva I'm sor…"
Before he could finish his apology a sharp pang surged through his right arm. He looked up as Ziva ran by without even stopping. When she reached the door she turned back to glance at him. "So you can say you tried to stop me." As she heard the footsteps get closer she looked back at him and then ran away.
Tony grabbed his arm and applied pressure to the wound. It was not a damaging wound; in fact it was almost just a graze. He knew that Ziva could have killed him if she had wanted to and that her shot was not meant to hurt him, at least not seriously. Tony was awakened from his thought by a guard coming to him and shaking him lightly. "Did anyone escape?"
Tony shook his head no. "This man was the only one. He fired and it grazed me, then out of nowhere someone shot him. I never fired a shot."
"So you are saying that there was a mysterious gunman who shot this man and then ran away?" the guard asked. His faced showed a look of disbelief.
"I am saying that somewhere out there is a murderer, but that they did not run out this way."
The guard nodded his head and helped Tony to a nearby chair. "I am going to have my men search the premises anyway. Will you be alright until a medic arrives?"
Tony nodded and the guard turned to give his orders. Tony watched as the men left the same way Ziva had and whispered "Run Ziva, run!"
A/N- Hope you enjoyed it. Please review…I love them.