Okay, so after last weeks episode I decided that it was about time i started my own NCIS fanfiction. :) This picks up after the webcam conversation between Tony, Abby, McGee, and Ziva in the episode In The Zone.

After that point I have selfishly manipulated the plot line to work to my own advantage. Muwahahahahahahaha...


It was hot. Like, intensely hot. I could feel my sweat soaking into my clothes, making them stick to me in the most unpleasant way possible. I was stripped down as decent as I could be with Special Agent Jardine in the same room. I turned over and tried to close my eyes-the damned military was getting us up at 0500 tomorrow. Or was it today already? I couldn't tell how late it was…my watch was still on D.C. time. I thought for a brief minute about calling McGee back on the webcam, just to annoy him, but thought better of it.

I could hear Nikki tossing and turning in the bed next to mine, the springs squeaking in protest.

"Why did you take this job, Tony?" I heard Nikki ask me quietly.

"What, at NCIS?"

"No…this mission. To Baghdad."

"Oh." I sighed and stared up at the ceiling. "I don't really know," I admitted after a while. "I guess I just jumped at the chance. It's not like I have a real reason, you know, like you do."

She was silent for a while. "So you just came?"

"Well…yeah. I mean, come on. The only other choice was McGeek...and he's still a Probie. He wouldn't be able to handle something like this. By himself. You know, without me or Gibbs."

"Ah." I could tell Nikki was smiling, even in the intense darkness of the military hangar.

We lay there in silence for a while, listening to the harsh shouts of the soldiers outside and the dull echoes of the occasional chopper. Ah…who would want the plain old Ocean ambience when you could get War Zone Baghdad to put you to sleep?

"Abby seems to really miss you," Nikki said, after a few moments of not-quite-silence.

"Yeah," I said, coming up with nothing else to say.

"How long have you been working together?" she asked.

I thought about this for a moment. "Um…six years, maybe? I think Abby joined me and Gibbs about six months before Kate did."


Nikki and I talked for a while longer, I suppose to try and relieve the tension we both felt with the shouting outside and the obvious knowledge that we were in a war zone, until we finally succumbed to sleep out of sheer exhaustion.

After what seemed like only fifteen minutes, however, the gruff soldier that was leading us around, Major Vernai, woke us up sharply.

"Come on, let's go," he ordered.

I groaned and sat up, my tired limbs protesting vehemently. I noticed that Nikki was already fully dressed and moving around as I reached down to grab my helmet.

"Come on, Tony," she said, a note of anxiousness in her voice. "Hurry up!"

"What's your hurry?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.

"I just want to solve this case and get it over with," she said, a little too quickly to be entirely honest. I knew that was only answer I was going to get, so I didn't press the issue. I pulled on my protective vest as I followed her outside the hangar and into the dust colored Hummers waiting for us. The sun was already beginning to show on the horizon, giving the sky a purplish tinge off towards the east. I held the door open for Agent Jardine as she climbed in.

"Alright, ladies, listen up," Major Vernai said, turning around in his front seat and addressing us. "While were out of the IZ you do as I say, is that clear?"

We both nodded.

"Okay, here are the rules. No leaving the vehicle until the area is secured. Don't go anywhere by yourself. Keep your gun with you at all times. Don't go anywhere unless I say you can. Got it?"

We nodded again as the convoy of Hummers began rolling forward. They were incredibly uncomfortable. It felt every single bump, rut, and hole in the road jar through my skeletal system with relentless force. It was sort of like being on one of those old wooden rollercoasters, except without the fun of the steep drops and the high speeds. I couldn't see the speedometer…but it felt like we were going about ten miles an hour.

I guess it was to give the driver enough time to hit all the bumps.

Over the rattling of the vehicles and the crackling talk coming from the soldiers' walkie talkies, I didn't hear the high pitched whistling until it was too late to do anything about it.

"Mortar!" someone shouted, and I watched in shock and horror as the Hummer in front of us exploded. I acted quickly and instinctively, pulling agent Jardine's head down as the glass in our windshield burst inwards. I was going to get her "Don't Touch Me" lecture, I could tell, but I rather get that speech a hundred times than have to report back to Gibbs that I had failed to protect her.

The Hummer spun out of control, and we jerked sharply as it smashed into the side of a building.

I was still dazed in the long seconds after the crash. I felt Nikki shrink away from me once she recovered herself.

"Erm…thank you," she mumbled as she reached into her bag for her Wet Wipes.

"Are you crazy?" I asked, maybe a little too harshly. "We just survived a mortar attack and all you can think about are germs?"

"Heads up!" someone shouted, as another projectile whistled through the air, colliding with the building next to us. Dust and debris came raining down, and black smoke billowed around us through the broken windows. There was a loud groan, a sharp crack, and then the roof of the Hummer was smashed in. Nikki screamed, and I narrowly avoided having my head crushed by the caved ceiling.

"The building's collapsing!" Nikki shrieked as another giant rock hit the Hummer so it rocked like a storm-tossed boat. "We have to get out of the truck!"

"What?" I yelled at her. "Are you crazy?"

"If we stay in here, we'll be crushed to death," she said. "If we go out your door we will be able to get out of harm's way. Relatively speaking, of course."

I paused and thought about her idea for a second and a half. "Okay, let's go," I said, jiggling the door handle on my side and trying to force it open. "It's stuck!" I said.

"Push harder," Nikki said in a commanding tone that caught me off guard. But I did, and I slowly gave way with the creaking of protesting metal. Agent Jardine and I tumbled ungracefully from the destroyed Hummer and took off running.

"Wait!" she said, turning back. "I forgot my gun!"

I grabbed her arm and spun her back around before she had taken two steps. "Relax. I have mine. That's good enough for the both of us right now."

We had almost made it to safety in a dark alleyway when a bullet cut across our path, so close to my face that I could feel the whoosh of the displaced air as it zoomed past. I reacted instinctively. Shoving Nikki behind some boxes, I turned and pulled my gun up to my shoulder, my line of sight shooting off down the gun barrel. Another bullet whizzed by, and I fired two responding shots in the direction it had come from before crouching behind the stacked boxes with Agent Jardine.

"What's going on?" she asked, her eyes wide with fear and shock.

"Ambush," I replied shortly. "I think whoever killed Captain Rankin is trying very hard to keep us from discovering them." Another bullet slammed into our protective row of boxes, blowing of a good chunk of one of them. Nikki and I hunkered lower to the ground.

I twisted around and stuck the barrel of my gun through newly made hole, searching through my limited view for any movement. "Have any of the soldiers gotten out of their trucks yet?" I asked. Nikki looked over my shoulder. "I see a few pulling themselves out," she said. "But there isn't as much movement as there should be."

"A lot of people are probably unconscious from the crash," I explained. "But the front car, the one hit by the mortar, that one I'm not so su-"

Rapid firing cut off my sentence, and Nikki shrank back, covering her ears. I looked around frantically, trying to find the source of the shooting, but none of it seemed to be aimed at us.

"Oh my God," Nikki said, staring wide-eyed at the line of destroyed Hummers we had just vacated. I turned, and I saw where the target of the shooting was. The soldiers getting out of the vehicles were mercilessly gunned down…massacred…right there in the street.

I searched with renewed vigor for the shooters; it was definitely more than one now. My eyes scanned the roofs of the nearby buildings and peered intently into dark windows.

"There!" Nikki shouted, pointing to a window, about halfway up the side of what looked like a two-story residence. The long barrel of an AK-47 was poking out and glinting in the early morning sunshine. I quickly brought my gun up and aimed, shooting multiple rounds into the darkness where I estimated his head to be. My efforts were rewarded as I watched a limp body tumble out of the window to crash with a sickening splat onto the street below.

"Got him," I proclaimed unnecessarily.

The shooting gradually stopped as our attackers judged the soldiers to be dead.

"What are we going to do now?" Nikki whispered as an eerie silence fell over the scene and the dust settled.

"I don't know," I said as I watched the smoke from the attacked Hummer drift lazily around the area.

I began to fumble through the pockets on my vest. Locating my cell phone, I tossed it at her. "Call Gibbs," I instructed, and I went back to scan our surroundings, gun in hand, as her fingers pressed the buttons shakily.

The shooting began again, and another chunk of our wooden box wall was blown away.

"This isn't going to last us much longer!" Nikki said, hysteria in her voice. "We'll be hit soon!"

"Don't worry," I said. "I'll think of something. Has he answered his phone yet?"


"Which one did you call?"

"His desk phone."

"Call his cell, then!"

"I don't know it!"

I was about to tell her to call McGee, but then someone obviously picked up Gibbs' phone. Another bullet whizzed by my ear, and I was intensely grateful for the helmet.

"Help!" Nikki said into my phone.

"Who answered?" I asked her, loading more bullets into my gun.

"McGee! We're being shot at! Our convoy was attacked and the Hummer exploded and then we crashed and all the soldiers are dead…" I heard her explain hysterically to McGee.

"Where's Gibbs?" I asked Nikki."Ask him where Gibbs is."

I heard another gunshot and then felt something small and hard slam into my shoulder with inhuman force.

"Oh my God," Nikki said. "Tony!"

I was falling down, I could tell, but my head was all foggy. Pain blossomed in my shoulder, shooting all throughout my body.

The perimeter of my vision blackened as I felt myself hit the ground. I reached for where I'd dropped my gun, but someone kicked it away. I tried sitting up, but a black combat boot pushed me back down roughly. I was pinned to the ground, and I could feel the blood soaking through my shirt as I looked straight up into the barrel of a gun.


I tapped my fingers on my desk impatiently, waiting for Tony to break the weird silence of the bullpen with a sexist joke or an obscure movie quote…or something. But, as I looked up, I had to remind myself for the fiftieth time in ten minutes that he was not here. Tony was in Baghdad, doing who knows what, running from who knows who. And I was not there to make sure he stayed out of trouble. Agent Jardine would not be able to protect him like I could, should they get ambushed.

I gave myself a mental slap across the face. What are you thinking? I asked myself furiously. It is the International Zone, Ziva! People do not get ambushed in the IZ!

But that Captain did. Captain Rankin. He was shot.

And killed.

Oh God…what if Tony gets shot? What if they do not catch the right guy? What if Tony does not-

"Hey Ziva," McGee said, coming into the bullpen after his visit with Abby. "Gibbs back yet?"

"Obviously not," I said, pointing to Gibbs' empty desk. I went back to my frantic worrying.

"Is something the matter?" he asked me a moment later, after my fidgeting continued. "You seem worried."

"Do I, McGee?" I asked in strained voice.

"It's going to be fine. Tony's going to come back in a few days and be even more insufferable than before."

"Yes…" I said, agreeing with him and pretending to be eased. But, inside I was still a nervous wreck. I could not take four more days of this!

I tried typing up my last report to keep my mind distracted, but I could not get past the first sentence. I kept stopping and looking around, and drumming my fingers on my desk.

McGee definitely noticed. "Look Ziva…" he started to say.

"I am fine, McGee," I snapped, a little too harshly. I did not mean to take out my frustration him.

"You know, if you want to talk to Tony, so bad, you can just ask Gibbs when the next MTAC satellite update is and ask if you can go."

"Neither Gibbs nor the Director-"

"-Assistant Director-"

"-yes, Assistant Director, will let me use satellite time for personal reasons."

"Well, at least you'll get to see him, and know that he's just fine."

"I guess that's better than nothing…" I mused quietly. I stared at my computer screen in thought.

"Staring at it isn't going to get it done, David," Gibbs said as he strode through the bullpen on the way to Ducky from wherever he came from. "I want that report on my desk tomorrow."

"Yes sir," I said automatically, and impulsively began typing as he walked away.

"Ziva…" McGee said pointedly at me, jerking his head off towards Gibbs' retreating form.

"Oh," I said, getting up quickly, remembering my request, and hurrying off after the retired Marine.

You are being stupid again, Ziva, I chided myself. Why are you asking this? You know that Gibbs will say no.

But what if he does not?

I caught up with Gibbs and squeezed into the elevator just as the doors closed.

"What is it, Ziva?" Gibbs asked abruptly as I struggled for the right words to phrase my odd request.

"Umm…" I said, floundering.

"Don't stutter," he said, sighing as he reached over to press the button that deactivated the elevator.

"Is that a Gibbs rule I forgot to learn?" I asked.

"No…but it will be if you don't spit it out, David."

"Oh…umm…" I said. "I was wondering if there was going to be another videoconference with Tony and…uh…Agent Jardine any time soon."

Gibbs eyes me suspiciously. "You want to be there, I take it?"

I nodded, not trusting myself to speak again. I did not know what it was about this hardened ex-Marine, but I just fell apart when he stared me down. It was almost like he was looking into my mind and reading my thoughts. It was completely disarming and I had no control over it…especially in the dark elevator.

He pressed the button and the elevator began to move again, but he did not say anything, and I knew better than to press the issue.

The last two seconds of the elevator ride were long and awkward for me. I said nothing as he got out. So I guess that is a no…

"0600 tomorrow morning, David," he said he got out. "Any later and you're not getting in."

I let out a sigh of relief and pressed the button to go back upstairs.


"Aren't you going to head home, Ziva?" McGee asked me around eleven o'clock that night. I yawned and rubbed my eyes as I tore them away from my computer screen. The office was dark and empty around us.

"Yes, I just need to finish one more sentence," I said.

"I'll wait and walk down with you," McGee offered, and sat down on Tony's desk. I resumed typing in silence.

Then, out of nowhere, Gibbs' desk phone rang, breaking the quiet with its harsh and insistent tone. McGee and I both jumped, and turned to stare at it.

"Are you going to get it?" McGee asked me. I shook my head. "I answered Tony's phone once and it turned out to be his current girlfriend," I explained. "It took me forty minutes to convince the girl that I was only Tony's coworker."

McGee nodded understandingly and went to answer the phone. "Hello?" I heard him answer quietly.

We were both shocked to hear the amount of noise coming from the other side of the line. The voice was clearly heard, however.


"Nikki!" McGee said in realization. "What's going on?" he pressed the button to put her on speaker phone so I could hear. "What's happening? Are those gun shots?"

"McGee!" Agent Jardine's shrill and hysterical voice sounded really loud in the quiet office. "We're being shot at! Our convoy was attacked and the Hummer exploded and then we crashed and all the soldiers are dead-"

Then I heard Tony's voice. "Where's Gibbs? Ask him where Gibbs is!"

"I don't know where he is," McGee said frantically. "Do you know, Ziva?"

Without realizing I had done so, I had gotten up and crossed the short space between me and the phone. I shook my head.

Then Nikki screamed again. "Oh my God! Tony!"

"What happened!" I demanded through the phone. "Nikki!"

"Tony's been shot!" she said. "He's been shot…"

McGee and I listened helplessly in shock and horror.

"Oh no…" came Agent Jardine's voice again, this time softer. Despair leeched through those two syllables, and I knew, without knowing how I knew, that Tony and Nikki had been captured. Harsh, guttural Arabic voices were picked up, and then two quick gunshots.

And then the line went dead.

Don't worry...i'll update as soon as I can. :)