Chapter 10, as a separate entry, for Summer of '46. Once again, I apologize.
Summer of '46
When Gibbs came back with a fresh cup of coffee he noticed Ziva was missing immediately. He thought she might have had to use the head but then he saw her backpack was missing. What the hell? He'd told her to stay put. He knew she was the most likely of his agents to disobey a direct order but still... He felt a pang of worry in his gut. She hadn't been herself since the fall back at the house. He picked up the phone and dialed Abby.
"Forensic scientist, ghost hunter and femme fatale extraordinaire, Abby Sciuto. How may I assist you?"
"Ziva down there with you, Abs?"
"Oh, hey, Gibbs. No, haven't seen her for a while. I did find something in that purse from the house though. It's kind of odd…?
"Not now, Abby."
He hung up on her. Where the hell was Ziva? Had he made a probie mistake by leaving her for 5 minutes to get a damned cup of coffee? He slapped the back of his own head then picked up the phone and dialed DiNozzo.
McGee was giving Abby the information they had on Rayburn Randolph so she could get a head start on requesting his old records and doing a computer search. DiNozzo tuned Tim out as his own phone rang.
"Yeah, DiNozzo," he said.
"Ziva's gone," Gibbs said abruptly.
"She left when I got coffee. How long before you're back?"
"A few minutes, Boss. Did you have Abby run a trace on her phone?"
"Doing it now."
Tony looked over at McGee.
"She hung up on me," he said.
"Cause Gibbs needed her to trace Ziva's phone!"
Tony stepped on the gas throwing Tim back against his headrest. McGee closed his eyes as Tony narrowly missed a mini-van when he swerved around it and pushed their speed up to 90.
Tony's phone rang again.
"She's back at the house. Meet me there."
Gibbs hung up.
Tony turned at the next left, going across 2 lanes of traffic leaving honking, cursing motorists behind him.
"What going on, Tony?"
"Gibbs lost Ziva. She's back at the house."
Tim held onto the oh-my-God handle and closed his eyes.
Gibbs slammed his fist into the dashboard of his car. He was stuck in a traffic jam, blocked on all four sides and he hadn't moved in ten minutes. He hoped DiNozzo and McGee had found Ziva. He couldn't get the vision of her lying so still and lifeless on the floor last night out of his head. He pulled out his phone and started to dial DiNozzo then noticed he had no service. He threw the phone across the seat and leaned on the horn.
Tony pulled up behind Ziva's car. He and McGee got out and started up the sidewalk. One moment Tim was by his side and the next he wasn't. Tony heard a loud grunt. He looked down and saw his Probie spread out on the concrete his face a mask of pain.
"McGee, what the hell?"
"Tripped, Tony. I think I may have broken my ankle. God, it hurts."
DiNozzo knelt down by him and pressed on the injured limb.
McGee's voice went falsetto.
"What are you doing, Tony? Damn!"
"You'll live, Probie. Stay here and let me go find Ziva. Then I'll get you to an ER. And call Gibbs and see where the hell he is."
McGee nodded and reached for his phone as Tony went up the front porch step and pushed the broken door open.
Cold and dark ljust like last night only not quite as dark though; late afternoon light filtered in through the broken windows. He saw the barely used candles and Ouija board Abby had left last night. He looked around, comparing this room with the one he'd admired at Mrs. Matz' home. Hard to believe someone had actually lived here once, called it home. Sad, really.
He turned quickly as he heard a sound to his left, pulling his gun. He quietly walked in that direction, watching for any movement. He felt her presence before he actually saw her.
Ziva sat in the far corner of the room near a boarded-over window. He put his weapon away and walked slowly toward her.
"Ziva," he spoke softly. "Why are you here again? Gibbs is pissed."
He knelt in front of her. She sat with her arms hugging her legs. Her head was resting on her knees.
"Ziva," he said again and reached over and touched her hair.
"You're Tony?" she said.
"Yeah, yeah, it's me. It's Tony. Ziva, what's going on?"
"She knew you would come for her. She was very sure."
Her voice was different. The Israeli accent was gone replaced by a slight southern drawl.
She lifted her head. It was Ziva all right but not quite the Ziva he knew. She seemed rounder somehow, softer than his taut and trim Ziva. She looked at his hand where it still touched the hair on her shoulder. He moved it away.
"She knew you'd come," she repeated.
"I don't understand."
"I don't either, Tony. But I remember this house. I think… I think I might have died here."
Tony sat back on his heels.
For one of the few times in his life, Tony DiNozzo was speechless.