Okay people. And so ends this fic. I had two more chapters planned, but I merged them into one, slightly longer chapter. But don't worry, I will start the sequel very soon and it should be up quite quickly. This chapter includes all of the missing scenes that I could come up with before, during and after the season three finale, Hiatus. Thanks so much to everyone who read and reviewed this fic. It meant a lot to me. Hope you stay on and read the sequel, 'Secrets Revealed,' which will take place immediately after this story. Thanks again.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from either NCIS or Criminal Minds and I am not making a profit from this story.
Chapter Thirteen: Hiatus
Ziva lay sleeping in her bed the following Sunday morning. It was 0900, but she was too tired to wake up and exercise. Her dreams dwelled upon the previous night, a night that she had shared with Tony and her emotions were now made very clear to her.
She woke to the sound of her phone ringing. She rolled over to her bedside table and picked up her phone, noticing the caller ID read 'Tony,' her speed dial one.
"Tony?" she said as she answered the phone, "Why are you calling me?"
"We got a case," he replied stiffly and unemotionally, "Gibbs expects you in here in half an hour."
She hand up the phone, her face crestfallen at Tony's dismissive behaviour. She regained her composure quickly and changed with haste, leaving eight minutes later and arriving at the Navy yard not long after.
Ziva walked into the bullpen to see her Tony on the phone at his desk and Gibbs and McGee nowhere to be seen. She heard the elevator ping and McGee walked out, his tie still undone and his hair a mess.
"Why are we here on a Sunday when we should be off?" McGee asked as he walked into the bullpen.
Ziva shrugged and Tony waved at him to be quiet as he continued to yell at someone on the phone.
"What do you mean, you can't tell me what time the ship is coming into port?" he yelled into the phone, "Well, aren't you in contact with them? You will? Thank-you." And he hung up the phone.
"Success," he then announced, throwing his arms back behind his head as he relaxed in his chair, a triumphant look on his face.
"What is going on?" Ziva questioned, confused by the situation.
Tony was about to answer, but seeing Gibbs walk downstairs with the Director, he jumped out of his seat and ran around to the front of his desk. "Boss," he shouted out, "Rang the port. They said they do not know the exact time that the ship will be docking in, but it will be tonight and they will ring me when they find out more information."
"Good," Jenny said, glancing at Gibbs as she moved in front of him, "Hopefully, this operation will go off without a hitch. I'm having dinner at the White House tonight. I would appreciate no interruptions." She sent a meaningful glance in Gibbs' direction.
"I'm just saying, Madam Director," Gibbs started to say slowly before he was cut off.
"What, Jethro?" she answered rather angrily, Gibbs' team edging away from the two of them slowly, "Politics is not something that you would easily comprehend." She turned away from him and towards his team. "Get ready to go to the port soon. I want you all up in MTAC at 1000 for a briefing."
She walked away from them and back up to her office. The team turned back to face Gibbs when they heard the door close.
"You heard her," Gibbs said, looking at them expectantly, "DiNozzo, call the Port Authority and U.S. Customs, let them know that we're coming. David, find out what you can about this ship, where it's from, what it's carrying and who's commanding it. McGee, I want surveillance set up. See what you do with the port's security system."
And he walked out of the bullpen and into the elevator. The team halted for a moment when the elevator doors closed, looking at them suspiciously, but they opened suddenly once again. Gibbs merely looked at them, before they grasped the hint and rushed around, collecting information. He smiled as he closed the doors once more and headed downstairs to get a coffee.
It was dark and late that night as Ziva, Tony and McGee waited in the dark sedan for Gibbs' signal. It was silent and awkward, with Tony and Ziva in the front seat, desperately wanting to talk about the night before, but could not with McGee in the car.
"So," McGee started to say with mischievous smile, "About last night? What happened? Palmer was a little shell-shocked when he came out of the bathroom."
Ziva remained silent, but Tony elected to answer him. "Wouldn't you like to know Probie-Wan Kenobi? Your Mossad officer, Ziva, here was most upset when Palmer walked in on her. She took to yanking his arm behind his back, shoving him down on the floor and threatening to remove a number of parts of his anatomy with a hack saw." He made excessive hand gestures to go along with this explanation.
"Really?" McGee asked, the suspicious look of disbelief plastered on his face.
"You wanna gossip, McGee?" Tony then said quickly and rather forcefully as he looked over the dock with his binoculars, "Wait until we get Gibbs off the boat. This is so Usual Suspects."
"Tony, your dying words will be 'I've seen this film,'" Ziva announced as she took the binoculars away from him and looked through them herself.
"Gibbs even looks a little bit like Gabriel Byrne," Tony then told her.
"Okay, who is Gabriel Byrne?" she asked, still watching the docks for any sign of suspicious activity.
"An actor who boards a mysterious ship like this one searching for Keyser Soze."
"Another actor?" Ziva asked pointedly.
"No," Tony answered shortly, "Keyser Soze is a character in the film that may or may not exist."
"I'm confused," Ziva proclaimed after a pause and clearly looking it.
"So am I and I saw the DVD twice," McGee piped up from the back seat, leaning forward to tell her this.
"Sound of Music confuses you, Probie," Tony told him pointedly.
"I love that movie," Ziva pointed out excitedly. She opened her mouth to sing as Tony clasped his hand over the top of it.
"One note," he whispered forcefully, "And I will lock you in a room and make you listen to 'It's A Small World' for twenty-four hours straight. Do we understand each other?"
Ziva nodded slightly and muffled out an 'Uhuh.'
Tony found himself giving her a long explanation about the idiosyncrasies of The Usual Suspects, which was soon after interrupted by a sudden and terrifying bomb blast coming from the ship. They sat there shell-shocked for a moment, before moving to act.
Ziva braced herself against the wall of the bathroom. Normally, she could compartmentalise her feelings, hide away her emotions, never to be shown to the outside world. But not today. Between the overflow of emotions she had been suppressing after her experience with Tony on Saturday night and now facing up to the realisation that Gibbs was nearly killed in an explosion, she found it difficult to cope with everything that had happened and what else there was to do.
She walked out of the bathroom and outside for some fresh air. Trying to build up her tough exterior once more, Ziva found it hard focus on shying away her emotions. Her external shell meant so much to her and it was something that, recently, she had been judged harshly on by her friends.
Swallowing her pride, Ziva dug her hand into her pocket, pulling out her cell phone and dialling Emily's number.
"Prentiss," Emily said as she sleepily answered the phone.
"Hi, Em," Ziva said, taking in a deep breath to hold back tears.
"Ziva, what's wrong?" Emily piped up, alarmed by Ziva's show of emotion, "Has something happened?"
"We're on a case," Ziva said slowly, trying grasp her emotions, "Gibbs was in an explosion on the ship we were staking out."
"Is he okay?!" Emily shouted, jumping out of her bed, alerting JJ immediately, who was sleeping in the other bed.
"He was taken to Portsmouth," Ziva replied wearily, "He hasn't regained consciousness yet."
"Oh my," Emily whispered and relayed the information back to JJ, "Are you guys okay? Is there anything we can do for you? What's the case?"
"The extreme possibility of a terrorist attack somewhere on the globe orchestrated by Abu Sayyaf," Ziva responded despairingly, "And I do not believe there is anything you can do. Where are you now?"
"Texas," Emily answered, "But if you need anything, I'm sure Hotch could do something for you."
"The offer is very generous," Ziva said tiredly.
"Okay," Emily began, tapping into her astute profile of Ziva's mind, "What is it? I know something else is up."
Ziva drew in a breath and remained silent for a moment. "It is nothing," Ziva said finally, "I'll see you when you get home." And she hung up the phone without another word. Leaning up against a pylon, she closed her eyes and tried to forget the events of the past twenty four hours, instead choosing to focus on the crucial next few hours. She opened her eyes, her perspective anew, and walked back inside with her head held high.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Emily closed her phone and took a deep breath.
"She okay?" JJ asked looking across the room at her friend.
"I don't think so," Emily answered wearily, "We haven't had the chance to talk since the other night. With the NCIS case and then ours, I haven't seen her since we said goodnight after the party. I know something's up."
JJ looked down. "Let's get some sleep," she said finally, "Unless you're gonna call her back. But we all have work to do."
"Yeah," Emily agreed, slightly disjointed, as she rolled over on her bed and turned the bedside light off.
"What do you think is going on in Jenny's office?" Ziva asked as she wearily sat down at her desk.
"I have no idea," Tony replied, equally as tired.
"Well he's been in there for a bit," McGee added, "And he was seriously pissed when the Cape Fear exploded."
"You think, Probie?" Tony questioned aggressively, "He was right."
"The right answer was not the answer they were hoping for," Ziva responded dismally, worn out by the events of the previous few days and the overwhelming emotions that were attached to them.
They sat in silence as they saw Gibbs descend down the stairs. Tony watched him walk to his desk and open his drawer, looking for his gun and badge.
"Oh, uh," Tony said as he stood up with Gibbs' possessions in his hands, "I got them, boss. I, uh, got them from the medics when they took you." And he handed them over.
"Appreciate it," Gibbs replied, a worn-out overtone in his voice, "You'll do." And he handed the gun and badge over. "It's your team now."
He walked over to McGee to address him directly. "Tim, you're a good agent. Don't let him tell you otherwise."
"I won't, boss," McGee replied as he nodded.
"Gibbs?" Abby asked, her voice broken by tears. He put a finger on her lips and kissed her cheek soothingly, and then moved on to speak to Ziva.
"I owe you, Ziva," he said, capturing her wandering gaze.
"I'll collect, Jethro," she answered, forcing a smile.
"Give me a ride home, Duck," he then said, clasping a hand on his old friend's back.
"Of course," Ducky answered and the two walked to the elevator.
Gibbs turned back to his team, knowing that they were watching him leave. "Semper fi." And he turned back and walked into the elevator.
"What just happened?" Tony asked loudly and pointlessly as soon as the doors closed. Abby and McGee seem too stunned to answer, so he looked to Ziva. She gazed back at him intently, and then silently grabbed her gear and followed her former boss to the elevator and out the door.
Ziva felt nervous, lost and confused as she walked down the hallway of Tony's building. She had made the split second decision that it was he that she needed to speak to. And there she was.
She halted in front of his door, pressing her forehead to it before deciding to knock, knowing then and there that there was no going back. Tony answered the door after about a minute, casually dressed in a tracksuit pants and a t-shirt.
"Ziva?" he asked confusedly as he leant up against his door frame, "What are you doing here? It's like 2300."
"I could not sleep," she replied simply, looking away from him at the same time, "I actually don't know why I am here. I should go." And she turned away from him, but as she moved, he placed a firm grip on her arm and pulled her back towards him.
In one movement, he collected her hair in fist and pulled her lips to his own, consummating the kiss that both had been waiting for since long before their recent undercover operation. In a sweep of passion, he pulled her into his apartment and shut the door behind them, still capturing her lips in exotic bliss.
A/N: I'd love you all to leave me one last review. Let me know what you wanna read in the sequel and I'll see what I can do about it. Cheers everyone.