Note: For the Game Challenge on NFA (see link in profile). A bit random, but oh well! :) And many thanks to the people who wrote Robin Hood, Men in Tights for the concept that I borrowed. And thanks to sunsetleaf for the title idea.
"Just like in Cairo," Ziva coached Jen as she was about to step up to the line. "Hold it up by your ear and straight at the cow's-eye. Follow through."
Jen smiled, "It's a bull's-eye Ziva, but thank you."
"Bull's-eye, cow's-eye, what difference does it make?" Ziva stated, once again frustrated with silly American phrases.
"Throwers, take aim!" a voice called over a megaphone.
Jen stepped up to the line, keeping the bull's-eye directly in her line of sight. "Not letting Fornell's team beat me at this one!"
"Fire!" the voice called.
Jen threw the knife, hearing the satisfying thunk of it hitting near the center of the target. "Not the best, but a sight better than the FBI I imagine."
"Good shot Jen," Ziva said, though knowing she could do better.
"Don't be so kind," Jen replied with a wry smile. "You'll do far better."
"Seconds, up!" the announcer called.
Ziva stepped up towards the line, fingering her knife fondly. She had made it to the second round, much to the surprise of some ignorant agents. Did they not know anything about Mossad? She would show them.
"Throwers, take aim!" the announcer called.
Most of the throwers stepped forward to the white chalk line on the ground, but Ziva stayed. She preferred a little room to step into her throws. She lined herself up with the target, awaiting the call to fire.
"Fire!" the announcer shouted.
Ziva silently whispered something to her knife, and let it fly. It landed right on the bull's-eye, though a little off-centre. "Yes!" she exclaimed, fists punching the air.
"Go Ziva!" Jen shouted.
The announcer declared, "The two throwers who hit the bull's-eye can stay."
The rest of the line backed off, watching to see who would win this contest, Officer David of NCIS, or Agent Hugh McElroy of the CIA. Runners (probie agents) returned the thrown knives to the two remaining contestants.
"Officer David, you may go first!" the announcer proclaimed. "Fire at will!"
"I hate it when they say that!" one agent slouching over by the wall declared, annoyed. "Always think they're gonna hit me."
Ziva smiled, and stepped up to the line, throwing her knife. It hit dead centre on the target. "Yes!" she cheered. She turned to Agent McElroy, and with a competitive smirk said, "Like to see you do better."
The man didn't reply, but calmly stepped up to the line and threw. It split Ziva's knife down the middle with a terrible screech of metal on metal. The shards of her knife fell to the ground below the target. He turned to her and said with a maddeningly straight face, "You might want to see if you can return that. Rather shoddy workmanship there."
"I lost?" said Ziva, astounded. "But I'm not supposed to loose!" She motioned to Jen, who was holding some kind of document in her hands. "Let me see the script!"
Jen tossed her the script, and Ziva began to rifle through it. Towards the end she found what she was looking for, and let out a shout of triumph.
"See!" she exclaimed, pointing at the page. "I get another shot!"
"What?" the crowd of agents exclaimed, confused. People searched around for their scripts, before the agent, evidently named Will, who had complained before, found the page and verified Ziva's statement.
"She's right!" he said, surprised. "She gets another shot."
All the CIA agents groaned, and mumbled things about NCIS always ignoring the rules.
Ziva started to search around in the pockets of her cargo pants. "I don't have another knife!" she said. "He split mine!"
By this time McGee, who had been keeping an eye on Tony and Gibbs competing in the Inter-Agency Obstacle Course, had come up to where Jen was standing. He saw Ziva searching, and pulled a knife out of his pocket. "Try this one Ziva," he said, handing it to her, handle first of course. It was a shiny new knife, more ceremonial than useful, with a gleaming American flag pattern and bald eagle painted on it.
"Thank you McGee," she said.
"Ready Officer David?" the announcer asked, as if impatient.
She glared at him, saying nothing, but waited for the runners to clear the target area so she wouldn't iaccidentally/i hit them. As soon as they were gone, she let the knife fly. It hit the target so hard that it knocked the other knife to the ground while separating the blade from the handle. She turned to Agent McElroy and said, "Looks like yours wasn't any better."
He began to protest, arguing, "But mine was more in the centre!"
The announcer was quiet for a moment, before deciding, "The judges will confer for a moment."
Ziva stood around awkwardly with Jen and McGee, fuming because clearly she had won. There was no need to deliberate. After a few minutes, the click of the megaphone sounded again and the announcer declared, "We have decided, and Officer David of NCIS is the winner! Her knife is the one that remained in the bull's-eye, so she is the rightful winner of this event."
"Yes!" she shouted, vindicated. She stepped up to the makeshift podium that had been assembled to one side and stood on the 1st place platform, Agent McElroy to one side and another CIA agent to her other. She bent down to accept the gold medal being placed on her neck. Or perhaps a better term would be the gold-plated medal. No way any of the medals were made out of anything more expensive than necessary.
"Congratulations Ziva!" Jen said when Ziva had returned to the group. She gave her a brief hug and then turned to McGee. "So how did Jethro and Tony do on that obstacle course?"
"Yes," Ziva said. She glanced over at the schedule of events and said, "We've got to do that one next. Forewarned is forearmed as they say." She was met with surprised looks. "Well I don't get every American idiom wrong!" she exclaimed, somewhat brusquely.
"Right," McGee said. "Tony was still going when I left, but I wanted to catch a bit of what you guys were doing."
"Good thing too," Jen said. At that moment a runner, recently assigned to another team at NCIS, came up with the knife that McGee had lent Ziva.
"Here's the knife," he said, handing it to Ziva. He nodded respectfully at Jen and added, "Director," before dashing off again.
"Well," McGee continued, "In the first stage you have to pack up kit of everything you might need during a regular day on the job. They give you a pile of stuff, some of which is random and some of which would actually be useful. They said they'd add points to your combined final time if you missed something."
"Doesn't sound too difficult," Jen said. "Even if it has been a while since I was in the field like that."
Ziva nodded in assent. Back in Israel one did not often have much time to grab any necessary items before escaping. Her only problem would be what should be deemed "necessary."
"Gibbs did that pretty well," McGee said. "In the next stage you have to analyze a picture of a potential scene where you are charged with keeping some important dignitary safe, and you have to analyze it to find all five of the major trouble spots before you can move on. You know, where a sniper might stand or something."
"I bet Jethro was good at that," Jen said.
"He was quick," McGee agreed. "In the third part you have to disarm a 'bomb' made with food coloring that will explode if you don't figure out the right wire based on clues they give you." He smirked and said, "Langer messed that one up. You get points added there too if you mess up."
"I wouldn't," Ziva stated simply.
"That is one of your areas of expertise," Jen agreed. "I'll be counting on you to help us out there. Not that I won't do well of course."
"I'm sure you'll do fine Director," McGee said respectfully, but truthfully. "Gibbs has told us how good an agent you were."
Jen arched an eyebrow. "Oh has he now?" she asked. "Well, I'll have a talk with him later." Her smile contained a hint of wickedness, making Ziva and McGee wonder who was going to come out on top in that competition.
"Anything else McGee?" Ziva asked, wanting to have a strategy set and not just rush headlong into that event.
"Nope," McGee replied. "You just have to sprint to the end where whoever of you who goes second will be waiting. Then that person will do the same thing, but going back the other way. That's where I left Tony and Gibbs. Just as Gibbs was crossing the finish line for his part of the course."
"Thank you Agent McGee," Jen said sincerely. "Tim."
Ziva took a long drink from the cup of water that she had been holding, threw the cup in the trash, and said, "Let's get on with it then, shall we?"