Longish Ziva story that eventually becomes Tiva. Enjoy!
Rocks in Glass Houses
"He that has no charity deserves no mercy"
-- English Proverb
You want the earliest memory of my father?
The earliest moment of knowing my father. Of what he was.
….It will be a lie.
That's okay. I don't mind.
…We were playing hide and seek.
Me and my little sister. Tali. We were bored, I think raining outside. We went into my father's private rooms. She hid in his study.
No. He told us we would be punished if he ever went in there. It was his work.
I heard her giggling. She was in one of his cabinets, in the cupboards. The one with his butterflies. I saw her eyes glinting through the keyhole.
Someone was coming. I hid under the desk. It's back was covered, so when they came in they couldn't see me. I could see through the gaps in the wood.
There was a group of men. They pushed another one against the wall. There was a sack over his head.
Did you know?
What it meant..
No. I saw things, didn't understand their implication. His ankles were chaffed. I could smell he'd soiled himself. He was shaking.
My father was there. They were talking, but I didn't understand what…I was worried about Tali. I could see the doors moving.
You're slowing down.
You know what is going to happen. There is no point.
Are you sure?
Humour me. Please.
My father took the gun and he pressed the muzzle to the mans' head, He did it gently. Like he kissed us goodnight.
I shut my eyes.
...then your father shot him.
What do you think?
Did he ever know.
I think he may have guessed. Tali wouldn't eat for days after.
How old were you?
I was seven. Tali was three, I think. I can't remember.
Is that what they wanted to hear?
I think so. Yes.
Now will you let me die?
"I don't suppose we're going to bother to knock?" McGee said conversationally.
"I don't suppose you're going to shut up for a minute, McSpeech." Tony jiggled the tensions wrench irritably. The tumblers gave a half-hearted click.
"Tony, would you please just let me do it?" Ziva kept glancing up, staring down the road. They were too exposed.
She didn't like it, not at all.
"I got it…ha!" There was a click, and the lock swivelled. Tony smirked, twisted the handle gently and pushed open the door.
"Very impressive." Ziva said sarcastically.
He pulled a face. McGee sighed, stepped into the house.
Ziva's hand shot out, grabbed his arm. He jerked back. "What?"
Her eyes flicked down.
Footprints in the dust.
Recent. Someone had been there. Might still be there.
Tony saw it too.
The house was quiet, when they stepped inside. It made all their spines prickle.
Tony vanished into the living room, they kept to the left and headed towards the rear door. As they passed the kitchenette McGee saw Ziva's head cock slightly.
There, what her keener ears had detected a moment earlier.
Rustling of papers.
Someone else was in the house.
Ziva jerked her head towards a door towards their left, and he followed as she inched closer.
The door was ajar, and through the gap he could see someone moving, their back to him. A woman, silently going through the desk.
Ziva's voice was clear, cold. "Hands behind your head."
The woman stiffened. Then, straightened slowly. Her hands rose up to eye level, but that was all.
They opened the door wider, moved closer.
The woman did.
It was only a lifetime of learning to keep her face still when it mattered that stopped Ziva flinching.
She saw the woman's eyes widen, lips part.
The reaction of both women was so miniscule, so subtle, that McGee seemed to miss it completely.
Ziva saw the muzzle of her sig trembling, felt the way all the air had sunk out of the room.
There was a moment of silence, then McGee managed to speak. "Hands behind your head."
The woman didn't move; She was looking at Ziva, and her lips were pressed so tight a white line had risen around them.
"Hands behind your head." Ziva had found her voice, though it was harsher than it had been. The woman looked at her, and the corner of her mouth twitched. She said nothing, but didn't move either.
In the silence, Ziva felt McGee suddenly twitch his head to the door.
Tony hadn't come back yet.
He moved to the door, suddenly edgy. "Tony."
The whisper carried, and they waited. Nothing. Alarmed, McGee moved out to the corridor.
Ziva felt her neck prickle, looked sharply at the woman. Her eyebrow cocked at her look, and Ziva knew. She didn't even have time to turn around as something hard touched the back of her head.
"Drop it." The voice was a low snarl.
She saw McGee jerk around at the noise, and stared as she dropped her gun with a painful clatter.
The man behind her was a giant; he couldn't believe they hadn't heard him come up behind them.
McGee brought his gun up. Then man blinked, dark liquid eyes regarding him.
Try it, they said.
McGee put his weapon on the floor, heart beginning to slam against his ribcage as though it knew what was coming. The silence made him feel ill as he thought of Tony.
Tony, who wasn't answering.
Quiet, as the man considered them. Ziva turned her head slowly, and as she did the woman moved.
Ziva saw the fist coming, but only had time to twist her head to the side. The blow that would have broken her nose hit her cheekbone instead.
Ziva's head snapped back and she staggered, lights flashing. She swayed but stayed standing—barely. The woman shoved her against the wall, and Ziva caught a flash of teeth bared in a snarl of hate.
McGee made a noise, but was silenced in a choked gasp as the man grabbed him by the throat, slammed him against the wall next to her. They were both pushed to the floor. Ziva blinked through the sparks, hands held up and shoulders hunched. She heard McGee's choked off gasp.
No blows came, but she could feel how close they were.
"Where's the other one?"
Ziva blinked; it took her a second to realise it was Russian.
"No longer a problem."
The woman snorted in disgust.
She blinked away the stars, then stopped as the woman's voice came close.
She moved her hand, winced involuntarily. The woman stared at her without expression.
"Hamas is a long way from home, it seems."
Her eyes were very cold.
The stars faded from Ziva's vision, to reveal the muzzle of a gun drifting towards her throat.