Author's Notes: This story is being updated, as it's been a while since I worked on it and my grammar/storytelling has improved since I first wrote this fic. I will continue to try my best to keep everyone in character, especially Ziva, and I apologise that the chapters are rather short. I am working on this, though it likely won't be significantly longer until I submit newer chapters.
This story contains a few spoilers for "Dagger", but only the utmost last scene, really. This is a very TIVA story, but at this point only minor McAbby and Jibbs. I have banners for the fic on my profile, which may also be updated soon. I have an older version of a trailer on youtube (also found in profile) and the new version may be coming soon in the future.
Note: Everything underlined is said in Hebrew. Italics are flashbacks/memories/dreams etc.
Ziva watched Gibbs talking to Amanda and giving her Lee's badge, but she wasn't really seeing them. Her mind had crossed over to a darker place the moment she realised the connections Amanda and her had; some small, unnoticeable similarities.
Ziva put all of her effort and willpower into keeping her mind from going where it was going that she did not notice the tears welling in her eyes. She felt something slide down her face and realised it was a tear. She sniffed inaudibly and turned away from Amanda and Gibbs, looking towards Tony. He stared back at her. Now she felt stupid; Ziva was crying for a reason they did not know or understand, and she just looked at Tony. Wonderful, this wasn't going to end well. He saw her tears, for the short few seconds she looked at him, and Ziva saw his concern. She quickly turned away and knew she had to get out of the bullpen before she did something that probably wasn't a good idea.
Ziva rushed from the room, leaving the confused and worried Tony there, as she entered the nearest women's bathroom and took refuge there. She leaned her hands on a sink in the middle and stared at her reflection.
'Mama!' he screamed, tears falling down his face-
'No.' Ziva said firmly, trying to push away the small flashbacks that tried to invade her mind. 'No, not now. I will not…'
'I like the teddy, Mama.' The three-year-old looked up at her with a smile, as he ran his fingers over the bear's ears.
Ziva blinked, but her reflection stayed the same. More tears fell freely down her cheeks until she was aware of a sound outside the bathroom and hastily brushed them away. Seconds later, Tony walked in.
'You okay?' Tony asked, sounding as casual as he could in hope she would not get defensive. They both knew he'd seen her tears.
Ziva turned to glare at him and sniffed inaudibly again, before she walked past him without a word and left the bathroom. She knew Tony was following her, but she did not care. Ziva had other things to worry about.
Gibbs had just watched Amanda leave with her aunt when Tony and Ziva came back. He raised an eyebrow as Ziva looked very mad, hurt even. It was a strange expression on her face that he'd only seen twice: when she'd shot Ari, and when she'd reminded him she'd shot Ari. Surely this wasn't an Ari connection?
'Do not follow me!' Ziva hissed loudly to Tony.
She grabbed her belongings from behind her desk and stormed out of the room, catching the elevator just in time while another worker was leaving.
Gibbs looked over at Tony questionably, but his agent simply shrugged. Tony's concern mirrored his own.
'She was crying, boss.' Tony told him. Gibbs was not only surprised, but his gut was telling him something else. Not to follow her, but to question her next time she came in. Ziva was a trained Mossad Officer, so there was no way emotion such as crying would slip through her grasp unless it was big.
He hoped she was alright.
But she wasn't alright. As Ziva drove her car home to her apartment, she kept getting short flashbacks of the horrible moment five years ago…
'Mama!' Nathan screamed and cried as he tried to reach her-
Ziva was jerked from her mind when a yell and car horns were heard. She'd missed three cars in a traffic midsection by mere inches. Tony always described her driving as a hazard, but this time it truly was dangerous because she could not focus and more tears were breaking free. Ziva did not like to lose her composure and control like this, but losing her son was too much for her to keep inside as the memories flowed back and hit her all at once. She screeched to a halt on the side of the highway road, ignoring the lights, sounds, and evidence of the world around her. She banged her hands against the wheel and cried loudly, which became raw, tortured sobs.
'Here, my love.'Ziva handed her three-year-old son, Nathan, a light caramel-coloured teddy bear she'd bought while away on a mission. 'Did you miss me?' She asked, knowing he had.
'Yes, Mama.' Nathan nodded, tracing his hands over the ears of the teddy bear. 'I like the teddy, Mama.' He smiled up at her. 'Can I name him?'
'Yes, he needs a name.' She ruffled his brown hair with her hand and smiled. 'Has Ari been teaching you English again?' She asked and was amused by the slightly guilty expression forming on his young face.
Nathan smiled at her innocently and cuddled the bear, as they walked away from the private plane she'd recently left. Ari had watched Nathan run to her, but then he had to leave, as his mission was already delayed by babysitting.
'Excuse me.' A man said, as he approached her with two other men behind him. Ziva thought he instantly looked suspicious, and noticed his accent was heavily American. 'Could you tell me-' He started to say, but didn't finish as his two men grabbed her, and he snatched Nathan.
'Mama!' Nathan screamed and tried to fight the man, but he was only a little boy and the man was very strong. 'No!' He cried with anguish as the teddy bear slipped from his grasp and fell to the ground.
Ziva fought the two men in dangerous retaliation, but the man with her son caused her to pause as he held a gun to Nathan's head. Ziva knew what he was trying to say and her fighting weakened, which allowed their escape with her son. It happened in a blur, yet his face crumbling to fear and distraught played in front of her like an hour-long movie.
'Mama!' Nathan screamed, his tears falling as he tried to reach his mother, his symbol of love and safety. His eyes and tone begged her to save him.
Ziva heard a gunshot and felt blood on her hands. She crouched to the ground, sobbing heavily, but with dry tears. She knelt down and picked up Nathan's teddy with her few clean fingers and closed her eyes. She could hardly smell his scent or even hear anything as her mind went foggy and she struggled to move. Ziva had to save him. She had to chase the men who had her baby boy, but she was drugged somehow, with her senses and muscles shutting down.
'Mama!' Nathan pleaded, but his cry was weak as he was dragged around a corner and shoved into the back of a car.
'Shut up, boy!' One of the kidnappers growled at him. 'Your mama's gone.'
Nathan gasped loudly and jerked upright in his bed. He took deep breaths and calmed himself, wiping a fallen tear from his cheek. His nightmare was still fresh in his mind, though he knew it wasn't just a nightmare. Five years ago he had been taken from his mother, unable to hug or talk to her again. He felt terribly sad, but also guilty that he'd known her for three years, and yet that fateful day was all he could remember.
Nathan crawled onto his knees and looked outside the small window, which was in the middle of the wall his bed was vertically pressed up against. Not that it was much of a bed – it was an old, weak mattress on a rusting spring frame. Nathan looked looked through the unclean glass at the night sky, and placed his hands against the cool surface. He stifled his tears, wishing he could go straight through it and be free of this small, wooden, and musty room. His prison.
'Here, my love.'His mother said, and handed him the cuddly brown bear. 'Did you miss me?' she asked, but of course he had missed her.
Now Nathan missed her more than he probably ever did when she'd gone on her few week missions. The seven-year-old curled up on his bed and cried silently, remembering the scene over and over. His silent release of pain and longing was something he'd learn to do over the tears. When he'd first been taken, they would hit him or yell at him whenever he cried, even when he couldn't help it. So he had learnt to hide his pain, and not utter a sound when he was hurting as badly as he was now.
'I miss you, Mama.' Nathan said to no one, keeping his voice low in case those outside his door overheard. 'Please, save me.' The child pleaded softly and hugged his pillow tightly as tears leaked through its soft surface.
Author's Notes: Just so you know, Nathan is currently seven, but will be eight in about a month or two. Well, that's the first chapter, so...what do you think?