AN: Bad, bad me hasn't written anything in a dog's age and sincerely apologizes. To all of you who are still interested in this story, I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoy this little chapter.

The Second Scare

A cold, sinking feeling in his gut had woken Tony at 3:30. He'd known then that something terrible was going to happen that day. He'd lain awake watching Ziva sleep and had attempted to come with a reason to get her to skip her morning run.

When Ziva finally woke two hours later, he'd been unable to convince her. He'd also been unable to convince her to let him skip work and stay home with her. In fact, she'd gotten quite irritated with him.

So Tony DiNozzo had reluctantly gone to work, where, for an hour, he'd gotten absolutely nothing done while the feeling in his gut had clawed at him.

But then Raynesford had gotten a lead on the Anne Johnston murder. And for the next couple of hours, while he and his team were pounding the pavement, he forgot about his gut.

The feeling came back with a vengeance as he continued to search leads in the system. The minute the information appeared on his screen, he knew he'd found something. He picked up his cell and made his way out to his car.

"Boss, I've got something." He said.

Gibbs had been very clear. He was to go straight home and stay with Ziva. Gibbs would call them when there was news.

As soon as he turned onto his street, the feeling that had previously clawed at his insides suddenly took over his entire being. Something was terribly, horribly wrong.

The garage door was open, as was the trunk of Ziva's car. The trunk was full of grocery bags. This wasn't unusual, as Ziva always shopped on Thursday afternoon on her way back from the ESL class she taught at the library. What was unusual was the fact that the door between the garage and the house was open, and Ziva was no where to be seen. They always unloaded the groceries from the car to the mudroom and from there to the kitchen. That way their frozen goods could immediately be put into the mudroom's deep freeze, and it meant fewer groceries had to be carried into the kitchen. Why do extra work if you didn't have to?

Tony had his weapon drawn before he entered the house. It played out much as his dream had done the month before. Only now as he searched the house, he knew with a certain dread that she wasn't there.

Once he had cleared the house he returned to the driveway to call Gibbs. The reality of the situation hit him as he spoke with Gibbs and he had to make his way to the porch to sit down.

"She's gone. I can't…I can't…find her. Gibbs, she's gone." Tony's voice cracked with emotion on his final word.

"DiNozzo, Ziva can take care of herself. I'll call when…" Gibbs was cut off by an emotional whisper from Tony.

"There's blood on the floor."

"Stay there. I'm on my way."

When Gibbs and McGee arrived at the house a criminally short amount of time later, they found Tony sitting on the porch with his head in his hands. As soon as he heard the car pull up, he was on his feet.

McGee was quickly dispatched to check the house, while Tony started in on his plan of attack.

"We need to get BOLOs out. And we need a trace on Vance's phone and credit…" This time it was Gibbs who interrupted Tony.

"Abby's got a BOLO out on Ziva."

"We need one on Vance, too."

"We don't know that he has her."

"Is that what your gut's telling you?" Tony asked Gibbs angrily.

"My gut tells me that Ziva's a good agent."

"Yeah, well my gut's telling me that that son of a bitch has my wife. She's not just another agent in trouble, Gibbs. She's my wife. And if you think I'm going to sit around while my wife is missing, then something went really wrong in the last eight years."

"It didn't."

Eighteen excruciating hours later they were no closer to finding Ziva, although they now had former Director Vance in custody.

Within the first six hours of Ziva's disappearance, both Tony and Deputy Director Ross were read in on the complete details of the case against Vance. Eddie Ross, one of several NCIS deputy directors, had once been one of Agent Fornell's minions at the FBI. Tony immediately knew that Ross wasn't about to dismiss them out of hand. This, combined with the fact that he was Agent Sacks' polar opposite, instantly made Tony like the man.

The twelve hours after that had been spent monitoring Vance's home, while Ross briefed Sec. Nav. Their surveillance had come to nothing, but Ross had come up trumps. He made up for the lack of new information by providing a warrant for Vance's immediate arrest as well as a warrant to search his home.

This had eventually led them to a warehouse, where they had found Vance and a rather large, burly black man. The large black man was unconscious and had been tied to one of the building's supporting columns. Vance had been cuffed to a chair with what looked suspiciously like Ziva's back-up knife in his foot.

There was, however, no Ziva. What made matters worse was that next to Vance's chair was an IV system with a half-empty bag of what Abby later determined to be a highly potent mixture of sedatives. Ziva's fingerprints had been found on a piece of tape that had been used to secure the cannula to the hand of the recipient of the sedatives.

Now Tony was standing in the observation room with Ducky, while Gibbs and Ross went toe to toe with Vance in interrogation. Tony couldn't care less about this man's 30 years of treason. As far as he was concerned, that paled in comparison to the fact that he had taken Ziva. He could rot in a solitary cell as soon as Tony got his wife back.

Tony wasn't a praying man. In fact, he hadn't uttered a prayer since the sixth grade when he'd told God he'd eat all his vegetables if God would help him to pass his geography test. He'd failed the test, and his father had expressed his anger with a wooden spoon. Needless to say he hadn't felt the need to talk to God after that. He was praying now though. He wasn't making deals this time. He was simply praying that Ziva was safe.

That was how McGee found him – with his forehead pressed against the glass, his eyes closed, and Ducky's hand on his back as he prayed.

"We got a hit on the BOLO. A Jane Doe matching Ziva's description crashed her vehicle outside Bethesda's main gate."

Tony was out of the room like a shot.

The woman had crashed her vehicle right outside the main gates of Bethesda Naval Hospital. The woman was in serious condition and had no ID on her. She was barely conscious and clearly altered. An enquiry as to her name had yielded only the words "Find Tony."

She was covered in blood, and careful inspection revealed a deep laceration to her temple. It was inconsistent with a motor vehicle accident and seemed to be several hours old. Her right wrist was broken, her left shoulder dislocated, and her left ankle broken. She had several bruised ribs, as well as numerous other smaller bruises and lacerations.

Her left hand was severely bruised and had recently had an IV placement. Given her altered state, they contemplated drug use, but her body showed no other sighs of being a continual IV drug user. Her tox. screen later revealed massive amounts of several powerful sedatives. It was at that time that they remembered the BOLO from NCIS.

Shortly after the group from NCIS arrived at the hospital, it was confirmed that Jane Doe in Room 815 was, in fact, Ziva DiNozzo, the wife of Detective DiNozzo. Detective DiNozzo listened intently to the medical staff. Between Detective DiNozzo and an elderly doctor, who was also with the group, an accurate picture of Mrs. DiNozzo's ordeal was constructed. As soon as they were finished, Detective DiNozzo went to his wife's bedside, a place he didn't leave until she woke up.

He'd been holding two fingers on her bruised left hand while waiting for her to wake up. Tony had just dozed off when he felt her fingers squeeze his hand.

"Ziva?" he whispered. Her eyes flickered open briefly and then shut tight.

"Br…" she mumbled. Tony quickly lowered the lights. She licked her lips slowly, and Tony brought a straw to her lips.

"Here's some water. Just a little bit. That's it." Ziva closed her lips over the straw, took a small sip and then slowly opened her eyes.

"You're at Bethesda. You crashed your getaway vehicle outside the main gates. I told you your driving would land you in the hospital." He joked half-heartedly, trying to ignore the real reason she was there. Ziva wouldn't let him.

"Vance?" she enquired, speaking slowly.

"Taken care of." His response was abrupt and firmly closed the topic. She had heard all that she needed. There would be time to talk later.

A doctor and nurse were brought in to check Ziva over. After an examination, it was deemed that she seemed to be out of the woods for now but needed more rest and wouldn't be released from the hospital for at least a week.

After they left, Tony could see her fading again, but she managed to speak before the waves of sleep overtook her.

"I love you."

"I love you, too. Now sleep. I'll be here when you wake up."


"Always." Tony said as he tucked the blankets around her and dropped a kiss to her forehead.

Outside the room, McGee and Gibbs waited.

"He really loves her, huh, Boss?" McGee said.

"More than he ever thought possible." Gibbs replied.

Certain events have the power to change lives. There would be no changes in their lives though. The second scare had only managed to solidify the inevitable.

This chapter took me forever, and I had to get past some major writer's block. For the life of me, I could not come up with any follow through for Vance's criminal activities. I hope no one is too disappointed. It's not everything that I hoped it would be, but it does include some of the bits that this story was originally based around. And, as always, please review! It makes my little heart all warm and fuzzy.