It had all happened so fast. He was staring at her. In those last moments, his eyes never left hers though his gun was aimed at Tony. She couldn't let him do this. Not to her partner. Not to Tony.

Ziva David remembered the scene clearly.

"One move and he's dead," the man looked around at the group—Gibbs, Ziva, and Tim, looking for a reaction. Tony was aiming at the man from only a few feet away. The man knew that this was his last stand. He didn't care if he died. This was just something he needed to do.

"Put the gun down and no one's gonna get hurt," Tony warned.

The man laughed, then moved his eyes to Ziva. Tony shifted protectively. "I saw that," The man smiled evilly.

"Come on, your family needs you alive. So just put the gun down and we can call it a day," Tony's heart began to beat faster as the man's eyes were stayed on Ziva's.

"My life is over and we both know it,"

"We're gonna get out of this. My name is Tony DiNozzo. What's yours?"


"Got a last name, Jack?"


"You don't need to do this, Jack,"

"Ever lose someone you love, DiNozzo?" Jack took a step towards Ziva and Tony winced.

"Yes, I have. It sucks. Don't put your family through it,"

"Too late," Jack changed his aim in the blink of an eye and shot at Ziva as Tony took a shot at Jack.

"No," Tony whispered as Ziva fell to the ground. He didn't care about Jack—Gibbs and Tim would handle him. But Ziva was bleeding out fast. She opened her mouth as if she was going to say something, but instead her eyes closed and she went unconscious.

She had been lying in the bed for what felt like weeks. She could smell the antiseptic air and hear the soft beeping of machines. She was in a hospital. Ziva was certain she was in a coma—she couldn't open her eyes, couldn't move. She felt as if she was in a dream world. She felt weak. Ziva wasn't sure if she could knock down the wall that was keeping her shut in. She could feel the pain in her shoulder, but it had been almost dulled completely by what must have been morphine.

Ziva had spent most of her time sleeping. The time she was awake was spent listening to Ducky talk about his past, or Gibbs silently sipping his coffee. Sometimes she was she could hear Abby and McGee chattering about who knows what.

And then there were the times when all was silent. Not a sound was made, not a word was spoken. It had to be late at night; otherwise someone would be there with her. Ziva thought she could feel someone beside her. Whoever it was made no noise. During the day, Ziva could her door open and close. Sometimes it was a nurse. Other times it had to be the team. But who in the world would be coming to visit at such a late time? Why wouldn't they say anything?

She felt helpless. All strength had left her body. She wanted to wake up… maybe. She had to find the strength, the reason…

And suddenly it became clear. Tony.

"Um, hey Ziva," Ziva heard the familiar voice. He sounded far away, but somehow so close. "So you got shot in the shoulder. Jack didn't have much of an aim, did he? You're in a coma… but you probably know that. Heh. Um. When you got shot, you fell backwards onto the concrete. You hit your head pretty bad. You've been out for three days now. The doctor said it might help if I… if we talked to you," He corrected himself. "I couldn't protect you," He said softly. Ziva could tell he had moved several feet, but he was still facing her. "I wasn't fast enough. I should have moved in faster. I should have protected you," He said regretfully. Moments later, Ziva heard his familiar footsteps, followed by the closing of the door.