A/N: Hello to any of my readers that still choose to follow my stuff, and hello to any new readers! This is just a little one shot story that I whipped up because I could not get the idea out of my head. It has probably/definitely been done before, but I guess this just how I chose to let out some pent up creative energy. I apologize to anyone who wanted this to be an update on another story, but I hope you enjoy it anyway (because hey, it's Tiva!) Also I am sorry for any typos. I proofread very lazily.
Well Ziva, this must be the end. She thought to herself, licking her dry, cracked lips and lifting her pounding head upwards ever so slightly. Every inch of her skin felt stiff, sore, caked with blood, dirt, and sweat. Through her uninjured eye, she could make out small shaft of light streamed in through the ceiling. It originated from a small hole in the above her, which was about the size of a grapefruit...or a shotgun blast. But there it was nonetheless, shimmering and taunting her like a ray of hope. False hope, she thought to herself. She might have given a short derisive laugh if she knew for sure that it would not bring the wrath of the guards upon her. But she had no such assurance, so she remained as still and silent as she had these past weeks.
Her captors had tortured her intensely; they had burned her arms with cigarettes, savagely beaten her, and rammed splinters under her fingernails, yet through the agonizing pain she still told them nothing. She had pretended not to know the language until she had a fake breakdown and spouted false information. When her lie had been realized, she was made to suffer even worse punishments. The pain had been so great that she had lost consciousness. When she awoke she was again imprisoned. She was intensely shocked that she was still living, though bound and thrown back into her cell, and guarded day and night.
The hope of rescue seemed like a fickle, mythological thing at this point. No one knew where she was - Mossad probably considered her a casualty and NCIS did not have the clearance to know of her capture, let alone her deployment on this mission. In all certainty, she was never going to get out of this hell alive - and even a merciful death seemed like pleasant unlikelihood at this point.
Her mind was going blurry again, from the heat, dehydration, lack of food, and immense blood loss. She let her chin drop to her chest, but tried to stay alert by going through her memories like files in her mind. Everything she had ever known seemed distant, so far away - like she was remembering the story of someone else's life. Ziva could visualize moments from her past...but they were like faded echoes of reality.
She was seven years old again, gliding across a stage during her ballet recital. The audience applauded. She curtsied and grinned, searching the crowd for her father's face...in vain.
Then she was ten, brushing her little sister Tali's long hair...
She was fourteen, begging her brother Ari to help her with her math homework...
The scene changed. It was the night she lost her virginity...not nearly as magical as she had envisioned it. More like awkward and uncomfortable, especially when it was over. She left without waking him.
Now Ziva knew that it was first time she ever shot someone. She was nineteen and her father praised her loyalty to the Mossad. She cried for three hours and then threw up...
It was her first day at NCIS and a man's hazel eyes made her go weak at the knees...but she never let on...she hated feeling weak.
She was trapped inside a metal box with Tony DiNozzo, pressed in next to him as a hail of gunfire spattered the wooden cargo around them. The echoes of the shots were almost deafening...so close...
Ziva lifted her head - were they mere sounds in her mind as she finally lost touch with reality? She strained her ears, listening as hard as she could. It seemed as if the guns were getting closer...
The door banged open and in stumbled a heavily bearded guard, holding an automatic weapon. At the sight of him, Ziva struggled feebly against her bonds on her wrists. Frantic thoughts that these were her last pathetic moments flitted through her mind.
Two loud shots made her catch her breath, and the bearded man dropped to the dirt floor. Her sight began to go dim, darkness edging in on the sides of her vision. Her head dropped again to her chest as the sounds of shouting and fighting became ringing in her ears, and faded into nothing.
Suddenly she was floating...flying...no, being carried. Ziva was lifted by strong arms and cradled against someone's body. Her eyes flickered open, and a face swam into view. Though the mouth and eyes were fraught with worry and urgency, there was something pleasant and familiar about him. Something safe.
With great effort she choked, "Tony...is that you?" through her dry mouth and dust filled lungs. Her voice was almost lost in the roar of motors as they were ushered to the back of a truck.
Tony looked pained - sweat was streaming down his face and his hair was matted with dust, but he cracked a smile "Were you expecting someone else?"
"Careful, her left shoulder is dislocated." DiNozzo warned as someone just out of Ziva's peripheral vision helped to lift her into the truck.
Her eyes closed again and she was laid on a cot and the vehicle began to rumble away over the sand.
"What the hell did they do to her?" asked an angry voice, filled with anxiety and disgust. Without seeing, Ziva knew that the owner of the voice was none other than Leroy Jethro Gibbs. "If we could shoot all those bastards a second time, I would." he continued.
If Ziva'd had the energy to laugh, she would have.
A hand pressed gently to her bruised cheek. "You're gonna be alright Ziva." Tony's voice came gruffly from the darkness, almost as if he needed to assure himself. "You're gonna be okay. We'll be back to base soon - even Ducky came along to take care of you."
He sighed and lowered his voice, but she could still hear him. "You can't let her go back to Mossad, Gibbs. Not after this. You tell Daddy David that she's ours. We don't give our goddamn agents up for dead!" he exclaimed heatedly.
Ziva could feel Tony's hand resting lightly on her abdomen, a small comforting presence. Though she was on the edge of unconsciousness, her own fingers groped blindly for his.
He must have intuitively known her intention, because he took her hand gingerly, trying to avoid hurting her further.
At this point, Ziva could have cared less about the pain - an immense feeling of safety and optimism had swept over her. She squeezed Tony's hand briefly and murmured, "I missed you."