WARNING: DEATH FIC.
Tony DiNozzo was making an early milk run to the local supermarket one morning.
"Milk. Milk. Milk. Milk." He recited as he scanned the aisles in the large store. "Ah!" He stopped as he made his way down the refrigeration section.
"Here we go!" He opened the door and grabbed a gallon of skim milk.
"Alright." He turned and walked up to the check out.
"Good morning!" An older woman greeted.
"Hey." Tony smiled as he put the gallon up on the conveyer belt.
"Just the milk?" The woman asked and Tony nodded.
"Yup. We ran out of milk last night and my daughter needs it for her cereal." He chuckled slightly.
"Oh? How old is you daughter?" She asked as she scanned the gallon.
"She's seven." He reached into his wallet and pulled out a picture. "Her name is Isabella." He handed her the picture.
"Oh my! She's precious!"
"Yeah." Tony agreed, staring down at the picture.
"Alrighty. That'll be four dollars and seventy-five cents."
Tony nodded and pulled the exact amount of change out of his wallet. "Thanks! Have a good day!" He called over his shoulder and the woman nodded.
"You too!" She smiled and turned around to greet the next early riser.
Tony was walking through the parking lot when he heard a voice call out.
"Hey! Excuse me!" Tony turned around and came face to face with a man.
"Can you help me? I'm looking for a bank."
"There's one three blocks that way," He pointed over his shoulder.
"Yeah?" The guy asked.
"Yeah." Tony smiled.
"Anytime." Tony turned to continue towards his car when the man spoke again.
"Oh. There's one more thing."
Tony turned around and suddenly felt his entire body cramp up and saw the man holding a taser. The gallon of milk slipped from his grasp and bounced on the ground and split open, turning the black pavement white. The last thing he was aware of before blacking out was the man going through his wallet.
"Tony?" Ziva called through the house. "Tony?"
"I guess he's not here." Isabella said sighing.
"No, I guess not. Looks like you will have to find something else to eat."
Isabella nodded sadly and made her way over to the cabinet in search for something to eat. "Where do you think Daddy is?"
"At work. He probably got a call from Grandpa Gibbs and had to rush into work."
Isabella nodded and grabbed a packet of oatmeal.
Minutes later, it was time for the bus.
"I love you sweetie!" Ziva yelled after her daughter.
"I love you to Mommy!" Isabella called over her shoulder as she got on the bus. Isabella sat next to her best friend, Taylor, until they got to school. When she stepped off the bus, she heard her name being called. She turned her head and saw a man standing by a tree.
"Yes?" She asked cautiously.
"I'm a friend of your moms." He said.
"Really?" She asked, slightly skeptical.
He nodded. "Your mom sent me to come get you."
"Why?" Isabella looked around, checking for teachers, but saw none.
"Your dad's been in an accident."
Isabella's eyes went wide and tears started to brim. "What kind of accident? Is he okay?"
"I'm not sure, but if you come with me, we can find out." The man offered his hand and Isabella took it. "Come on sweetie." A van pulled up to the sidewalk and the next thing Isabella knew, a cloth was pressed over her face, and she blacked out.
"Let's get out of here!" The man yelled to his friend. The other man opened the van door and threw Isabella in next to her father.
"Ziva, have you seen Tony?" McGee asked when Ziva came into work later that morning.
"No. I thought he was here." Now, Ziva DiNozzo was worried.
"I haven't seen him." McGee looked behind Tony's desk from his chair. "His stuff's not here."
"I will try his cell." Ziva flipped her phone open and pushed speed dial 1.
"This is Tony, leave a message and I'll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for calling!"
"Voicemail." Ziva said and she closed her phone. She was about to put it back into her pocket, when it rang. "Hello?"
"Mrs. DiNozzo? This is Tammy Schultz calling from Washington Elementary to inform you that your daughter, Isabella DiNozzo, isn't here. Is there a reason for her absence?"
"What? No, Isabella made bus today. What do you mean she is not there?" Panic flowed through Ziva body. What was going on?
"Her teacher says that she is absent. I'll make an announcement and call you back." And with that, the Tammy hung up.
"What's going on?" McGee asked, worry on his face.
"Apparently Bella isn't at school." Ziva started to hyperventilate. "What is going on McGee?"
McGee rushed over to her and put his hands on her shoulders, leading her to her chair. "Calm down. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for all this."
"Perfectly good explanation for what, McGee?" Gibbs asked as he strolled into the bullpen, coffee in hand.
"Tony and Isabella are missing." Ziva said between breaths.
"What?!" Gibbs asked, not believing his ears.
"Isabella's school called and she's not there. And Tony's not here and he's not answering his phone." McGee said filling his boss in.
Gibbs picked up his desk phone and dialed Tony's number. "No answer." He hung up and headed towards the elevator. Ziva stood up and ran after him, followed closely by McGee. Just before the elevator doors closed, Ziva's phone rang again.
"Mrs. DiNozzo? It's Tammy Schultz again. I made an announcement and waited for Isabella to come to the office or go to her homeroom, but she didn't show up. She's not here. I'm sorry. Do you want me to inform the police?"
"I am the police!" Ziva yelled into the phone before snapping it shut.
The elevator doors opened and revealed Abby's lab.
"Abs! I need a trace on Tony's phone." Gibbs yelled and Abby went straight to the computer.
"What's going on?" She asked as she pulled up a trace.
"Bell and Tony are missing." McGee answered quickly and this caused Abby to type even faster.
"I got it!" She yelled. "He's at the Big Mart on State Street." She turned around, but the three agents were already gone.
McGee was the first to spot Tony's cell lying in the middle of a puddle of milk.
Ziva gasped. "He was out getting milk for Bella's cereal."
"Maybe someone saw something." Gibbs suggested. "McGee you stay here and watch the scene." McGee nodded and Gibbs and Ziva ran into the store.
"Excuse me!" Gibbs yelled and everyone within earshot turned and looked at him. "We are looking for a man that was in here earlier. He's about six-foot-two, brown hair, green eyes," Ziva cut him off.
"Wearing black dress pants with a matching jacket and tie?" She was starting to cry now.
"Yes. I saw a man fitting that description this morning." The cashier who Tony had met earlier spoke up. "Is he in some sort of trouble?"
"He's missing." Gibbs said and the woman gasped. "Are you sure you saw him?"
The woman nodded. "He showed me a picture of his daughter. Isabella? She's a pretty little thing."
Ziva let out a quiet sob.
"What's wrong dear?" The woman asked, starting to walk over to Ziva.
"I need to security footage for the parking lot." Gibbs ordered and the woman stopped abruptly in her tracks.
"Then you'll need to speak to Mr. Johnson."
"Where can I find him?" Gibbs asked and the woman pointed to a door with the name 'Arthur Johnson' printed on a nameplate. Ziva and Gibbs ran to the door and pushed it open.
"Whoa! Who are you?" Arthur Johnson asked from behind his desk.
"NCIS Special Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo. We're here looking for a missing agent. I need to see your security footage for the parking lot from this morning." Arthur nodded and turned to one of his computers. "Here."
Ziva and Gibbs came up behind him and watched as the footage sped past.
"Stop!" Gibbs ordered and Johnson played the tape at normal speed. The three then watched as Tony and another man exchanged words and Tony turned to go. The man pulled something out of his pocket and then Tony fell to the ground.
"Oh my god." Ziva whispered.
"Can you enhance this?" Gibbs asked and Arthur nodded, clicked a few buttons and replayed the footage.
"Ziva, go get McGee." Gibbs ordered and pulled out his phone. "Abs, we're going to send some security footage to you."
"I enhanced it the best I could and ran the man's face through facial a facial recognition program. I came up with this." She clicked her mouse and a picture came up of a Middle Eastern man. "His name's Fazil Hassan. Does that name ring a bell?"
Ziva swallowed and nodded. "Yes. Before I joined NCIS, I was sent to kill Nadir Hassan. He was Fazil and Ashur Hassan's father."
Abby glanced at Gibbs. "Revenge?"
Gibbs and Ziva nodded. "Nadir was all that they had. Now they are going to take away all that I have."
Later that afternoon, MTAC received a video feed from Fazil and Ashur.
"Shalom Ziva." One of them said over the feed.
"You bastards." Ziva hissed and neither of the brothers blinked an eye. "What are you doing?"
The feed showed a dark room, probably a basement, that had Isabella and Tony tied up in chairs.
"You took something from us, so it's our turn to take something from you." The brother on the right said simply.
"But there is a twist." The other brother said. "We are going to let you decide who lives, and who dies."
There was a muffled scream from Isabella and Tony looked very scared.
"We will leave you to decide now." They took the cloth out of Isabella and Tony's mouths and left the room.
"Mommy!" Bella cried, tears running down her dirty face.
"Bella sweetie! Are you alright?" Ziva asked, trying to keep her voice level.
"The one man threw me into a van. My arm hurts. Mommy, I'm scared!"
"I know sweetie. Everything will be ok."
"Ziva," Tony began. "You have to choose Bella."
"No!" Ziva choked. "Tony just shut up for once in your life!"
Tony swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded.
Thoughts flew though Ziva's head at a million miles per hour as she constructed a chart on who to pick.
Bella was her child. Her fist child and her only child. Tony was her soul mate, the love of her life, her best friend. If she picked Tony, they could always have more children. She internally punished herself for even thinking that. Her maternal instinct kicked in. She was a mother and a mother's duty was to protect her child no matter what. Tony was telling her to pick their daughter, and for once, she thought he was right. She ran a hand through her hair, tears were running freely down her cheeks and she was aware that someone was sobbing. Was it her? She didn't know. All Ziva knew at the moment was that she loved them both.
The doors to the basement opened, and Fazil and Ashur entered the picture.
"Time is up!" One of them said cheerfully.
"Who will live, Ziva?"
"Ziva! Listen to me! Choose Bella. Save our daughter. Please." Tony was now begging franticly. Ziva had never seen him like this before and quite frankly, it scared her.
"Tony!" Ziva cried. "Stop!"
"Make your decision Ziva!" One brother taunted.
"Ziva, know that I love you more than anything on this earth. I won't be mad. Please, choose Bella." Tears were now falling down Tony's cheeks.
"Mommy!" Bella moaned as one brother put a gun to her head and cocked it.
"Stop!" Ziva screamed. "I have an offer!" The brother's looked up at her. "Take me. Tell me where you are and you can have me instead."
One of the brothers made a clicking sound. "It doesn't work that way Ziva. It's either your daughter, the apple of your eye, or your husband, the love of your life. Either way, you loose."
Ziva gasped for air and Bella spoke.
"Mommy, let Daddy live. I know how much you love him, and you can always have more babies. Just please don't forget me." Bella was crying now too, and this small speech made Ziva start to sob.
"No Bella!" Tony yelled. "I love you too much. I'm your father and I'm supposed to protect you, not the other way around. I made a promise to you when you were born that I'd do whatever it took to keep you safe. That includes death."
"Daddy." Bella sobbed. "I love you too."
"Time is running out Ziva. Who will die? You have five seconds."
"Five." The other brother said.
"Ziva!" Tony yelled. "Choose Bella!"
"Four." The first brother said.
"Mommy!" Bella cried.
"Three." The second brother.
"Ziva!" Tony screamed.
"Two." The first brother said, smiling sickly.
"Mommy!" Bella cried out in fear.
"Tony!" Ziva took a breath. "I am so sorry."
Tony nodded. "Thanks Zee. I love you."
A gunshot went off, Bella screamed, and Tony's head lolled to his chest. MTAC was silent except for Ziva's cries.
When Gibbs, McGee and Ziva got to the crime scene they found the two brother's dead. Ziva waited outside the basement and waited for Gibbs to untie Isabella. When she was free, she ran right into Ziva's arms. Except for some minor cuts and bruises, her father's blood on her face and the trauma of seeing her father getting murdered, she was fine.
Ziva found out a month after the funeral that she was pregnant. Nine months later she delivered a healthy baby boy who she proudly named Anthony Daniel DiNozzo.
Although the wounds Tony's death left eventually healed, the scars will never completely go away.
A/N: Wow. I teared up a little bit. Please, please, PLEASE review and tell me how I did!
Please note that I was in denial over who Ziva would choose. I wanted her to choose Tony, but the logical side of me said that she would choose her child. After consulting with my bestie (vamp926), the logical side won. I apologize if I upset anyone too badly!