This story is rated M for fairly graphic violence and some abusive names.

And yes, I am upset at the insinuation that Ziva has been a mole her entire time at NCIS.

The man asked her what she knew about NCIS.


She looked at his naked face so close to hers. She knew he never meant for her to leave this place alive to bare his face so readily. For a moment she wondered vaguely how he would kill her; bullet, strangulation, starvation, or the ever popular Middle Eastern custom of beheading. She only hoped if it was the last they'd send her head to her father.

Yanking her hair again, he pulled her head even further back, stretching her neck painfully.

"Tell me all you know about NCIS, Jew bitch. Now!"

Moist drops of his spit sprinkled her face.

Pain. She breathed in pain with every breath. It all hurt so much. The beating had been systematic and thorough beginning with the man shoving her face down on the rough concrete floor and raping her while his cohorts held her arms and legs and shouted encouragement. The beginning but not the end of the pain. Now the pain never stopped and she was losing her thoughts. They ran in dizzying circles. She didn't want to think the emotional turmoil she had been in for the days before her capture had anything to do with her lack of mental control, wanted to blame it all on Salim and his friends, but if she were honest with herself, and why not be honest since she didn't plan on living much longer, it had a lot to do with it. Yes. Definitely. A lot to do with it.

He got her attention back by hitting her on the left side of her face again and the pain ratcheted up to infinity. He'd pulled out some of her hair as well since he'd still held a handful when he struck. She felt the burning in her scalp. She concentrated on the burning. The pain in her cheek and left eye was beyond feeling really. If she tried to truly feel it she would go into a zone where he could ask her anything and she would answer. Concentrate on the scalp pain, Ziva, she commanded herself. Concentrate.

Her torturer called to someone.

"Salah, bring the brazier."

Bending closer, putting his lips almost on her cheek he said, "Trust me, whore, you will tell me everything you know about NCIS before this day is through."

NCIS. NCIS. NCIS. The letters paraded through her mind's eye, forming and reforming. NCIS meant Gibbs and Abby and Ducky and McGee. NCIS meant Tony. She felt tears gather in her good eye but concentrated on not letting them fall. NCIS meant Tony who didn't, couldn't trust her now. It meant Tony who killed Michael. It meant Tony telling her he had risked everything he loved – his job, working with his makeshift family, perhaps even his freedom – for her. He had been telling the truth. She knew it now and had known it then as well but her anger had been in control and she had refused to hear what he said.

The acrid smell of charcoal burning filled her with dread. Sometimes the simplest tortures were the best she knew. Humans feared being burnt and Salim would use that instinctual fear against her. Hurt her more. Disfigure her. Force her beyond her limit to endure.

She concentrated on seeing Tony's eyes in her memory, seeing their green color as clear as a new leaf when he told her he'd done it all for her. She knew he had told her the truth.

Then Salim picked up a set of tongs and reached for a red-hot coal. She knew the pain would be unbearable but she would bear it and he would learn nothing from her. As he turned to her she whispered "for you, Tony" and tried to hold onto the image of his honest eyes as she felt the heat begin to singe the skin of her hand.