Honor Among Thieves

By PaBurke

Summary: Long before Ziva joined NCIS, she had a job to do and she had to recruit the right people to do it. 800 word Ficlet.

Distribution: The Nook. (What is it with me and obscure crosses?)

Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, no copyright infringement intended. Just play and more play.

Spoilers: Pre-NCIS or pre-Season three, but know who Ziva is and her character. Post-'The Italian Job' movie.

Rating: for language, adult situations, death and gratuitous speeding.



Las Angeles, California

Only a handful of people showed for the double funeral in the waning darkness. Ziva looked them all over and could identify each one from her files. It didn't matter, she couldn't approach them here. She'd give them a chance to mourn. The body had been killed in France, revenge for an Infidel soiling a Muslim girl. The girl had been killed as well, by her own brother. An honor killing. To Ziva's surprise, the friends had stolen the girl as well as the Infidel. These five people had stolen the bodies before the Muslims could desecrate them. The skill used had left the extremists empty-handed.

Ziva wanted them to be even emptier.

These people could make it happen. This group was so good that the Mossad studied their 'jobs' for ideas and inspiration.

The spy went on her way. She hadn't gotten ten miles down the road when a red mini cooper passed her by. Ziva couldn't let that lie. She raced to catch up and soon did. Ziva and the cooper played tag on the busy LA streets. It was fun. Ziva knew who she was playing with. She thought it was an apt introduction. The cooper raced onto a back street. Ziva followed. There was little traffic in this area and the high speed chase got faster.

The cooper turned a corner; Ziva on her bumper. Then all Ziva could see were bright lights and she felt the car losing traction. Sand?

A trap!

Ziva backed up her car, escaping the point of no return because of her grit, training and the extremely powerful car engine. She slammed on the brakes. The whole gang was in front of Ziva. The woman and the four men, none were holding weapons. No guns, the file from the Mossad had noted that they rarely used any, they rarely needed to.

Ziva took a chance. She put her car in park. She slowly opened the door with her hands raised.

"Why are you following us?" the leader asked. "What do you want?" That was the leader, the logistics mastermind Charlie Croker.

"I just want to talk."

"You've been following us from Berlin," the short man said. Ziva hadn't known that the group had realized that. The short man was Lyle Something. He was the computer genius.

"I want to make you an offer."

"What kind of offer?" Croker prompted.

"How would you like to get revenge for your friend?"

"Why do you care?" Lyle asked.

Ziva decided to tell the whole truth. "My name is Ziva Davide. I work for Israel's Mossad."

"Spies!" exclaimed the African American, the explosives specialist. "Charlie, we don't want anything to do with spies, do we?"

"No," Charlie agreed. "We don't."

"Look your friend, Rob," Ziva started talking fast. She wished she had a last name for the guy so she didn't sound so informal.

"Handsome Rob," the girl Stella corrected. That was the name they put on his gravestone.

"Handsome Rob was killed by a very rich family. They fund several extremist terrorist groups."


"They get money from their diamond mines."


"There's a huge shipment of their diamonds coming into Berlin in three weeks. It's years' worth of mining. Ninety percent of it is going straight towards the terrorists. We –Mossad- would rather see the money go anywhere else and from what we've put together about your group, you guys could make it disappear." And if they did it, Mossad would not have to get their hands dirty.

Charlie and the rest of the group were listening to Ziva's plea. Good, normally getting their attention was the hard part. Lyle, Left Ear and Wrench -the car and motor fix-it man- looked at Charlie for the decision. Charlie looked to Stella. Stella was staring Ziva down. "What makes you think we'll do it? We're all retired."

"You took the girl."

Stella's eyes dropped and Ziva could see them misting up. While normally emotion was shunned in such high stakes business, this group did their best work under the pressure. "Handsome Rob was a simple guy," Stella said. "He liked his cars fast and his girls faster. Farnaz did the impossible. She made him slow down and fall in love. Every single one of us would have bet against that ever happening. The last time any of us heard from him, he was calling us up to invite us to the wedding. Handsome Rob? Getting married?"

Ziva waited. She knew better than to push.

"Stella?" Charlie asked.

"Let's do it. They thought that no one would care what happened to Handsome. Let's make them pay."

Ziva sighed with relief. For her, the easiest part of the job was done. This team was equipped to do the rest. They'd keep the money from extremists' hands.