Story Summary: After being rescued in Somalia, Ziva tries to get back to her life but she needs the help of the only real father she's ever known: Leroy Jethro Gibbs. But when Eli David finds out it won't be a happy ending and Ziva will have to figure out what 'family' really means.


NCIS: Daughters


Every day since leaving Tel Aviv Gibbs hated his decision.

He hated that he left Ziva David in her father's hands.

Fathers were supposed to protect their children. To place their child's needs above all others.

Eli David wanted his children to love and trust only him. He wanted to control them.

Sitting in the squad room a month after getting back from Israel Gibbs hated himself for leaving Ziva behind. There were times he felt like he had to be the father Eli hadn't been.

But losing Ziva felt even worse than when Kelly had been killed. Because Gibbs knew what he was leaving Ziva with. And all he could do was pray that Ziva would come back safe and sound.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Somalia

Ziva had been tortured before.

But before it was simply an act of will that she used to keep her mind intact.

This time, it was thoughts of her father that she clung to.

But not Eli David…

To Ziva, he was her father only in the sense that they shared blood.

Her father was Leroy Jethro Gibbs. A man of honor, integrity… love. A man who would never let the people he cared about do his dirty work. A man whose loyalty to his people, his country, was unquestioned.

A man Ziva prayed every day would save her.

Hearing the door opened, Ziva looked up, watching her captor come closer. In her mind, she heard Gibbs' voice. 'Are you going to let them do this? To you? Fight!'

As soon as the man leaned down, Ziva surged up, even though she was still tied to the old, wooden chair. She felt the top of her head collide with the man's face and when she heard him groan, she swung around, knocking him away with the chair before throwing herself backwards and letting her body weight and the impact break the chair.

Once freed, Ziva hurriedly limped for the door but she stopped when she saw a welcome sight: 10 US Marines coming in, holding weapons.

"Ziva David?" Asked a Marine named Tucker McElroy. "Whoa!" He managed to catch Ziva as she passed out and as he lay her on the ground, he shouted, "Get a medic in here!" Looking at Ziva, he said, "Hold on, Miss David. We're getting you out of here. You're safe." Looking up again, he said, "Someone tell NCIS we've got her!"

Ziva stirred ever so slightly and when she looked up she could barely see through her swollen eyes. But seeing Tucker, her mind started fading. "Gibbs…"

"Don't worry, Miss David," Tucker said, calmly.

"It's Gibbs…" Ziva whispered. "My… name… is… Ziva… Gibbs…"

Tucker didn't know what to say to that but when he looked up again he saw two medics coming into the room. "Let's get her out of this hellhole."

----------------------------------------------------------------

Bethesda Naval Hospital

Washington, DC

There was one thing and one thing only that kept Gibbs from taking a sniper rifle to Israel and putting a bullet through Eli David's head and that was what Gunnery Sergeant Tucker McElroy said were Ziva's last words before she passed out again.

"She came to in the medivac helo," Tucker reported. "The medics were talking to her… saying her name… She said the same thing. Her name's not 'David'. It's Gibbs." Giving Jethro Gibbs a pointed look, he added, "She thinks you're her father."

Gibbs didn't reply to that but as he looked into the ICU room where Ziva was lying, hooked to a respirator, her face and head almost completely bandaged, her left leg in a cast, and her right arm in a traction rig while IVs ran blood and painkillers into her body through her left arm. Glancing briefly at Tucker, Gibbs said, softly, "Thanks, Gunny."

"You're welcome, Gibbs," Tucker replied. "My, uh… my aunt's a Rabbi." When Gibbs gave him a look, Tucker shrugged with a light smile. "Yeah, we… my family… we were a little thrown as well since we're Presbyterians. Anyway… Aunt Caitlin said she'd contact all the synagogues in the tri-state area. Anything you need… you've got it. She'll be in everyone's prayers."

Gibbs nodded and as he walked into the room and sat down next to the bed, taking Ziva's left hand. "It's okay, Ziva," Gibbs said, quietly. "You're home now."

----------------------------