Ziva woke in a bed. She had almost forgotten what one felt like. She tried opening her eyes but only one would co-operate. Her left eye was swollen, her hands discovering the damage and the pain that she could not see. She hesitated again as her hands continued to search whatever damage may have occurred to her that she would want to forget at a later time. What she hadn't counted on was the other arm that lay beside hers. They were out of her sight due to the damage surrounding her eye so it had surprised her to find that she wasn't alone. She could also hear muffled snoring suggesting that her guest was asleep. She winced as she smiled, more from the pain she felt rather than the fact she had recognized to whom the soft noise was coming form. She didn't want to see him. He definitely was not what she wanted to see on her first day of freedom. The vulnerability she felt being held in a hospital bed was not how she wanted him to remember her. She was a strong woman, a confident woman, a woman that would not break – did not break!
A memory flashed through her mind. That bald-headed, and garlic smelling weasel of a man hit her again and again and again. The pain was unbearable and she could feel the blood running down the side of her face. She knew he was now satisfied; he would now leave her alone for a while but for how long? She could not go much longer with days without food and water. Her lips were cracked and sore enough as it was. When he left her alone she was only left to her thoughts; thoughts of Michael, of leaving Gibbs on the tarmac, of her father, of Tony. Her hatred for Tony overwhelmed and surprised her. She had once considered the man as a possible suitor. She had laughed at the idea. Her laugh had reverberated of the hollow walls which made her laugh harder. She was losing the plot. She was finding it funny that Tony, the man that had destroyed her life was the only thing, the only person she could think of. Michael fell into her thoughts but Tony just wouldn't leave her alone. Damn him! She closed her eyes tight to try and stop the tears. She had realized that Tony did care, he had cared about her but how much was the question. Was it too much so that's why he killed Michael? Tony was definitely a jealous person; he didn't hide that fact well. He had, however, approached Michael knowing what she didn't, that Michael was using her, her feelings, her being, her soul and it hadn't worried the man whatsoever. It had bothered Tony though and for that she wasn't sure whether she should love him or hate him. She still didn't know which feeling was right.
Her mind wandered to her rescue. She remembered the fire, the fire she had started unintentionally. He – bald man – had tried to set her alight. That was the moment she fought back. She would not die like this, as a victim of someone else's psychosis. She was a survivor. She first kicked at the cigarette the man had pointed in her direction, inadvertently knocking it into the dry grass that had flown through the cell bars from the outside world. Then she forced all the remaining strength she held to take her attacker by surprise, forcing him into the wall and knocking him out in one fell swoop. That was when the chaos started. It hadn't taken long for the fire to take hold given that the man was still holding the gasoline he had doused her in. With her hands still tied she ran for her life through the door that had been left open, the flames licking at the fuel that covered her body. The droplets caught alight as she ran causing more sections of the building to become engulfed in flames. She had to be lucky. She needed an escape, a door away from the confusion. She ran past a door that had more of the cell members in, speaking in Arabic and being caught by surprise by the trail of fire that followed her. Their last thoughts were engulfed in flames and explosion as the gunpowder they were surrounded by blew up, throwing her outside the building, burns ravaging her skin. She remembered laughing and then crying and then she remembered, no that couldn't be it. That was obviously false hope. Tony would not be there, in Africa.
Another flash of memory coursed through her veins. She was looking at herself from outside of her body. She saw, she did see Tony, it was Tony. He was near her, he was breathing for her, willing her, pleading with her to survive. She remembered the explosion. She remembered her rescue but most of all she remembered who it was that fought for her. Tony was there by her side, above her protecting her from the explosion. He placed himself over her body. He had shielded her from harm.
The tears had started again and she tried to make them stop. They wouldn't stop and the next thing she knew was that a hand, a gentle hand, was rubbing them away. Her eyes opened to see pools of worry in an intense green. The bandage that was wrapped around his arm felt soft against her harsh, dry skin. She could hear his voice trying to calm her but he had only made her cry more. She couldn't for the life of her make them stop.
Before she had the chance to tell him to leave, she felt the balance of the bed she was laying on shift as he placed his weight parallel to hers and he hugged her. He held her in a comforting embrace, shushing her sobs and just being there for her. He didn't care that she was crying. He didn't care that she was now useless. He didn't care that she was no longer viable. He cared that she was alive and he was going to make sure that she knew that.
No matter what happened, Tony would help her through this. She now understood that he would always have her six, and that he always had.
A/N Thankyou all for reading and for reviewing, big thanks to xxsamanthaxx for her support :) and also her kind words :D
Love to you all that read and alerted and stuck with my shortest chapter story yet lol!