Tag to Aliyah. I was wondering how Gibbs has to feel about the events of that episode, so I typed this up. I haven't written in this format much before so I appreciate your opinion.

I do not own NCIS. I was not in any way party to the creation of NCIS. No copyright infringement is intended.


His eyes were fixed on the reports laid out before him, but he couldn't have been reading them if he wanted to. The handwritten words blurred on the pages; his glasses were sitting innocently on the side of the desk, wire and glass, inanimate and unaware of the happenings of the day.

Gibbs was alone in the squad room other than two other sleepy Agents working late in the far corner. If anyone should look his way they would think he was working as well. He wasn't. Something about Vance being just upstairs made him want to leave, but he wouldn't, because he didn't have anything waiting for him at home. Not even his boat.

He couldn't concentrate—couldn't or didn't want to. Instead his thoughts were occupied by the woman who'd stayed behind in Tel Aviv.

Two birds, one bullet.

He was silently, darkly furious. Furious at Vance and Director David in nearly equal measures.

He didn't like what he had seen of David. At first, perhaps a certain respect—grudging respect that remained for a man who was good at what he did. But it was at his orders, directly or indirectly, that all that pain had been brought upon him and his team those few years ago and again now.

He couldn't help but entertain the idea that David might have still had more control over Ari then Gibbs had been originally led to believe. He had told it to DiNozzo.

They do as I say.



It wouldn't be such a stretch to think that 'They' had included Ari.

Two birds, one bullet.

As he saw it, Ziva had deceived him. Played him. Played all of them—they'd all come to trust her, but mostly him.

He wasn't sure exactly where she stood in all this, this web of deception. But she had woven it or allowed it to be woven around them. How many years had they worked together? How long had he placed his absolute trust in her? Had he ever suspected? Maybe once or twice, briefly, he had felt that something was off. But his trust in her had conquered his gut.

Fool. He was an old fool and had let himself be duped. DiNozzo had been the first to pick up that something was really wrong. There was an irony in that.

But he knew that Tony cared about her. There had been anxiety undermining his cheerful demeanor on the plane when he'd asked about her—Boss? One short? Anxiety that had grown at Gibbs' non-answer and sunk into a resigned sense of loss.

Two birds, one bullet.

Tony didn't know what he did. Probably didn't need to know, either.

Even if she decided she wanted to come back he couldn't ever trust her again, at least not like he had. He didn't believe what Vance told him, but why else would he know what happened in his basement all those years ago? Could Ziva have let it slip to Rivkin?

He knew now what her phone call to Officer Adar was about; he had seen and heard it all. Her demanding if he was a traitor. Nearly crushing his neck before shoving him away. Gibbs doubted that she had somehow known that he would be there and that it had all been a show. It was possible—easily possible, but he didn't think so.

She had turned to him and told him she had been betrayed by everyone around her. Then she had asked him who was next—and suggested him.

His eyes narrowed. Who had betrayed who?

He wasn't sure what made him angrier. That he had ever trusted her, or that he still wanted to. That he was still trying to think up ways that she could be innocent.

Two birds, one bullet.

Perhaps illogically, he was madder at Vance then at Ziva. Or not so illogically. He was more and more wary of Vance regardless of what SecNav said. It seemed that the more he learned the less he knew. First he had guided the CIA's inquisition into NCIS, then he had pulled the feet out from under Gibbs by replacing his team with a crew of potential traitors without telling him what he was doing. Now he laid this on him. He didn't like being one-upped, by the Director or anyone else.

He certainly didn't like having things kept from him. He didn't like finding his own most well-guarded secrets were next to worthless. Had Jenny known? He wondered if he was the only one who didn't. He wasn't used to not knowing. He had claimed that he had been the one to kill Ari, for her sake.

He had thought that there would be consequences brought down on her shoulders for killing her brother. Suicide missions, dismissals and demotions had passed through his mind, and he had not wanted any of that to befall someone he had already begun to care about, someone who had saved his life.

And then in the Director's office, Vance had cut him off and taken the words out of his mouth before putting a little twist on events. He was inclined to think he shouldn't have been surprised. But he had been.

Maybe Vance had stretched the truth. Maybe not. He still refused to believe that she had been wholly in on the deception, which was evidence that she had really gotten to him.

More then he would admit.

Eli played you.

He sent one, brief glance down at the phone on the corner of his desk. He wouldn't try to call, and neither would she.