Disclaimer: Yes, we know. I own nothing. I did invent a few characters, but they're just bit players, so I doubt I'll get much profit from them. And since I'm posting this on a free website that doesn't get any profit to me anyway, it's a moot point, but for some reason, we're still supposed to say it. So, to reiterate, I do not own NCIS or any of the normal NCIS cast.
Summary: It's a Tiva fic, but also a casefic. When a Jewish lieutenant and her non-Jewish boyfriend are attacked, the team is ready to write it off as a random attack, but Ziva isn't convinced that everything is as simple as it seems. When she discovers an questionable pattern of deaths, she convinces Gibbs that it's time to go undercover, with Tony as her non-Jewish boyfriend. Through the course of the mission, they discover things that surprise everyone--about the case, and about themselves.
A/N: Just to warn you, I'm leaving the country in a couple of weeks (no, seriously--I'm doing a tropical medicine rotation in Papua New Guinea), and I'll have patchy internet access, which probably won't include time to post on FFN. So, when I leave you hanging for a few weeks, don't think I abandoned you. I'll be back. The story will be completed. I promise.
Anyway, here's the story.
Of Jews and Gentiles
Lt. Hannah Sault glared at the green block numbers on the microwave with a new intensity before turning that glare to the front door, willing it to open. "Damn it, Chris, where are you?" she muttered through clenched teeth. She specifically told him to be home at—
Her line of thought was interrupted by that very door opening. Instead of being relieved, her eyes opened in disbelief. Disappointed disbelief. "Chris!" she exclaimed. "Where the hell have you been? And you're still in your dive clothes! We have to leave in less than half—"
The rest of her words were muffled by the presence of his lips on hers. When he stepped back, there was a smirk on his face. "Damn it, Chris, if you got my dress dirty, I swear—"
"Your dress looks amazing, babe," he interrupted, grinning at the look on her face after calling her 'babe', which he knew she hated. "Although there's not nearly enough leg showing." His expression became serious. "Sorry I'm late. We had to take Hall to Bethesda."
"What?" she asked, her previous anger forgotten—or at least, put on the backburner for a moment. "Is this something that's going to be coming to my attention on Monday?" Sault was a personnel and logistics officer for the Office of the Director of Ocean Engineering; Lt. Christopher Shaw was a diving operations officer for the Navy Experiment Diving Unit.
Shaw shrugged a shoulder and shook his head slightly, stepping around Sault to reach for the refrigerator. "It wasn't a big deal," he said lightly. "The idiot went on a rec dive yesterday with Nitrox and 'forgot' to tell us about it. A couple of hours in the decompression chamber should help his memory for next time." He turned to her, a beer in hand.
Her previous frustration came back when she saw that brown bottle. "No beer!" she scolded, taking the bottle from him. "You need to get upstairs and get in the shower now. If we're not on the road in twenty minutes, we won't make it before sunset, and—"
"And the world as we know it ends," he finished for her with a grin. He raised his hands defensively as she narrowed her hazel eyes to a glare. "Okay!" he exclaimed. "I'm going, I'm going! I didn't realize this was such a big deal for you."
"It's a big deal for my dad," she said with a sigh. "Which makes it a big deal for me."
"And that makes it a big deal for me," he finished. "I'm sorry, Hannah, I really am. I'll hurry."
After giving herself a moment to take a deep breath, Sault followed her boyfriend of three years down the very short hallway to the bedroom, where she could hear the shower running through the open bathroom door. She took a seat on the bed and sighed. "I'm sorry," she finally called out, her voice tired.
"You don't need to apologize, Hannah," he replied, his voice distorted by the water and bathroom fan. "And I really am sorry I'm late. But I thought this thing was tomorrow?"
"It's Ben's first service as a bar mitzvah, not a 'thing'," she snapped before sighing again. She pinched the bridge of her nose. Today, of all days? "And it's both—services tonight and tomorrow morning. But even if it were just tomorrow, we'd have to leave at the same time tonight."
The water stopped in the bathroom. That was one nice thing about dating a sailor—he could always be counted on to take very short showers. "Because there's no driving on the Sabbath," he recited as he stepped out of the bathroom, the towel wrapped around his waist. "Poor kid, having to get up there reading that passage twice."
"Well, technically, he's reciting, not reading," she said absently, too distracted by her worry of getting out in time to appreciate the show she was getting as he dried off. "And it's the same section of the Torah. It's not like he had to memorize twice as much."
"I guess that's a good point," Shaw replied. "Did you have to go through that for your bat mitzvah?"
"Chris, we're Orthodox. Bat mitzvah celebrations are a Reform invention." Seeing the grin on his face, she sighed. "But you knew that."
He nodded. "Yup. Why am I wearing this?"
"Because that shirt goes well with those pants, which match your black shoes," she said, pointing at the various items of clothing.
"Why can't I wear my brown shoes?"
"Because they're leather," she said with a sigh. "Seriously, Chris, how many times do I need to go over this?"
He shot her a quick, apologetic grin. "How many times do I need to apologize in one afternoon?" Seeing that she wasn't amused, his smile dropped as he buttoned his shirt. "I can drive, Hannah. Then you won't get in trouble if we're caught in traffic or something."
"You shouldn't be driving after sunset, either, remember?" she pointed out. "But, thanks," she conceded.
He leaned over and kissed the end of her nose. "When are we heading back?"
"Shabbat ends when the first three stars are visible on Saturday evening," she said. "If we're not completely sick of my family by then, we can stick around for dinner. Or we can leave as soon as that third star comes out."
"What if it's cloudy?"
"Oh, come on, you knew that was coming." He grinned again as he headed for the kitchen and grabbed the keys. "You got the gift?" Sault held up the wrapped book. "Isn't this whole thing about becoming a man? Seriously, Hannah, there are better gifts to get a man than a book of Hebrew proverbs."
"Okay, Chris, he's thirteen. And we're getting him the writings of the first president of Israel in Hebrew. It's a good gift from the responsible older cousin and daughter of the rabbi to be giving." She rolled her eyes as she stepped into the car. "And I think Ben's eighteen-year-old brother can handle buying the porn."
He smiled in response as they began the almost four hour drive south to Rabbi Sault's synagogue, and Lt. Sault finally began to feel herself relax. They passed the first part of the trip with light small-talk before Sault sighed. "I'm sorry I was so short with you," she said. "I just heard this afternoon. One of my Annapolis company-mates died in Afghanistan yesterday."
He reached over and squeezed her hand. "I'm sorry."
She squeezed back before releasing his hand so he could drive. "Sometimes, life sucks when all your friends are in the military."
He nodded absently in agreement. "Of all the weekends, huh? I was thinking about tomorrow night. Maybe we should skip out as soon as the stars come out, have a nice quiet dinner to ourselves." He gave a sarcastic smile. "After all, we need to get up to Philadelphia by 0830 Sunday morning so we can watch the proud godparents help baptize my niece."
She groaned, having completely forgotten about the baptism. "It's gonna be a fun weekend," she said dryly. She saw the look on Shaw's face and sighed. It was her turn to reach for his hand in reassurance. "I'm sorry," she said softly. "I know that you were thinking—"
"Brian and Laska are a good choice for godparents," he interrupted. "They're responsible, with stable jobs that don't involve people shooting at them, they're married, they're—"
"Catholic," she finished with a sigh.
"Hey," he said quickly. "This has nothing to do with you. You know my family loves you. If they could replace me with you, they would in a heartbeat. Mike and Molly talked to me about it. They weren't so sure having a godfather who takes 'How To Be Jewish 101' is the best thing for Colleen."
"Which you're taking because of me," she pointed out with a sigh. "Besides, you're easily up to 201 by now."
"Thanks," he said with a grin. He glanced over at her before his eyes returned to the road. "Don't worry, Hannah. We'll have our revenge. We won't ask them to be our kids' godparents, either."
"Jews don't have godparents, Chris," she said automatically before she frowned. "And kids?"
"What, you think I suggested that we take those couple's classes through your synagogue to get you in bed?" He glanced over at her again. "You know I'm in this for the long-haul."
"As I recall, you got me in bed long before the classes." They grinned at each other. "I love you, Chris."
"Love you too, Hannah," he replied, bringing her hand up to his mouth to kiss the base of her ring finger, a move that gave her the familiar fluttering in the pit of her stomach. They had talked vaguely about marriage, but hadn't said anything official, not until they could figure out what to do about the family situation—and while his large Roman Catholic family was one thing, the biggest issue was her Orthodox Jewish one.
"Hey, Chris, I have an idea—." She never got the chance to finish that statement, interrupted by the sharp report of the gunshot that sent the car careening off the road.