This is the third story of a series. You will need to read the first two to understand what is really happening in this one-- trust me.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters, locations or plots from either NCIS or Criminal Minds. I have the utmost respect for the writers, directors and producers of both and do not intend to infringe any copyright laws. I am not making a profit from this story and am writing it for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.
"All the management of our live depends on the senses, and since that of sight is the most comprehensive and noblest of these, there is no doubt that the inventions which serve to augment its power are among the most useful there can be."
On an island with sandy white shores and crystal clear beaches Ziva David couldn't feel more relaxed, even managing to ignore the tinge she'd recently developed. It was one of those not-so good feelings that she hadn't had for more than a year, but the beautiful scenery of the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia that surrounded her was definitely helping her unwind. Grasping the expensive midday cup of coffee in front of her, she laughed as she watched her new husband make a fool of himself from a distance.
Ziva was about to retrieve the book she was reading from her handbag when her phone buzzed on the table. Abandoning the pleasure of reading, she picked up the phone and answered it.
"Now, I know I said that I wasn't gonna call you again on your honeymoon, but this is important," came the voice on the phone. It was her best friend, Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss, from the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit. They'd been close friends, sisters in almost every sense of the word, for nearly four years and she was, at present, still very seriously dating Ziva's twenty-nine year old brother Kalev. Together they raised his four-year old daughter, Kiara, in the condo across from that of Ziva, Tony and their three-year old son, Anthony.
"Well, you're not interrupting anything at the moment," Ziva commented back. "I finally managed to drag Tony out of the hotel room for some sun and you would not believe what he is doing now."
"What is he doing?" Emily asked anxiously and immediately.
"He has gotten into a makeshift pot over a wooden fire with some locals carrying spears."
"Of course. That's what all the normal American frat boys do on their honeymoon."
Ziva snorted into her coffee, earning her a few strange looks from other customers at the small beachside cafe. "Well, it is very hot here. What is everything like on your side of the world?"
"The weather isn't bad, definitely much warmer than in Washington," Emily answered. "I'm just doing a little bit of grocery shopping. Can you believe that the embassy ran out of milk?"
"Wait, you're not at the embassy right now?!" Ziva ejected, alarmed and concerned at the same time.
Emily quickly picked up on the change of tone and tried to say something to calm her down. "Relax, Ziva. I caught a cab to the grocery store. It was five minutes away."
"Why did you not ask someone from the embassy to do it or at least drive you?"
"They were busy. I am perfectly capable of doing a little bit of shopping."
"Is Kalev there with you?"
"No, he's improving the working relationship with his contact here over breakfast," Emily responded. "But enough about me. How's the honeymoon going?"
"For the past week, Tony has used the excuse that it's too hot to wear clothing and has generally gone without," Ziva answered, a smile gripping her face at the thought.
"I'm sure he did. Are you going to tell me about it?" A pause came over the phone and Emily sensed that she wasn't, so she changed the subject. "Well, I spoke to Marcel earlier and Kiara and Anthony are fine. They enjoyed pre-school today... uh, yesterday? Well, today on their time and yesterday on ours."
"Right..." Ziva said unsurely, but Emily cut her off excitedly.
"Oh, we need to look at getting them into private schools. I mean, Kiara's already four and Anthony's not far behind. I'm meeting with the headmaster of a Washington private school after you back. Would you like to come with?"
"Private school, Em? And already?"
"You may not be planning ahead, Ziva, but I most certainly am. You know, when it comes to planning anything, I'm always the one doing the planning."
"Okay, okay, Aunty Emily," Ziva conceded, but had an inkling that something felt out of place. "I guess that you need to think about what is best for Kiara."
"Not just Kiara," Emily muttered back.
But Ziva misconstrued the meaning. "Sorry?" She paused for a moment, but when she didn't get an answer, or clarification, she continued. "Well, what brought this on? You were not this concerned before I left. Why now?"
She heard Emily suck in a breath before continuing. "I'm pregnant."
Ziva's eyes widened in shock but she quickly recovered. "That is wonderful news, Emily. You must be so happy." And Ziva knew that she would be. Ever since Anthony was born, even before that really, she knew that the maternal side of her best friend was in full gear. And she knew that Emily wanted a child. She had Kiara, that was true, but it was not the same. Emily had often spoken to her about going through the waves of pregnancy, the emotions of giving birth to her own child. The news of her pregnancy meant more for Emily than Ziva could ever fathom.
"I am. Really I am," Emily answered and sounding it. "But don't tell Kalev yet. I want to tell him when we get back to Washington. We fly out tomorrow."
"When did you find out?"
"Early this morning. I met with the doctor here at the embassy the other day and he got the results from my blood work back this morning. I was so excited. I still am. Actually, I think I'm more excited."
"You have every right to be," Ziva replied with a smile.
"Well, it was hard when my closest friends were having children and I wasn't. You, JJ and Jenny... And now me!" she yelped happily.
"And now you," Ziva repeated, her face still showing the happy smile. There was a short pause where neither woman knew what to say to each other, so Ziva changed the subject. "Oh, by the way," Ziva continued, having just remembered why her friend was in another country to begin with. "Did you find out the necessary information for your mother?"
"Ha, the lashkar leader certainly wasn't happy about having to deal with me or my mother," Emily smirked. "But none of us could pick up any red flags on any of them and they are working very hard to keep the Taliban out of their region. Counterterrorism operations are a little different here, but I suppose you knew that already."
"Yes, I do. Did Kalev go with you to the meet?"
"No, I didn't think that it was safe for him. You know that if they discovered that he's Israeli or even Jewish..." Her voice trailed off, but they both knew the implications of it. "He was worried about me. Kept thinking I was meeting with a group of Jihadi's, but I was fine. After all, I was stuck with all the other agents from the FBI, DSS, CIA, ISI and the rest of the alphabet. We were more likely to kill each other by the end of the op then to be shot dead by the Taliban."
"Well, I, for one, am very glad that it worked out flawlessly," Ziva commented.
"So am I," Emily agreed. "Well, anyway, I'm gonna head back to the embassy now and let you continue with your fabulous holiday. I'll talk you when you get home on Friday."
"Yes, I will see you at the airport," Ziva answered. "You take care of my niece or nephew there."
Emily laughed and hung up first. Ziva closed her phone, still smiling as she tried to locate Tony. And she did find him. In the centre of a large group of males, mainly Australian tourists, contesting each other for who could chug the most beer in a minute. Ziva rolled her eyes and ignored them, going back to her book. She was reading for less than a minute when she smelt the strong scent of beer approach from behind her. Smiling she leant back into Tony's grip as he threw his around the chair and around her waist, kissing her neck softly at the same time. The Australians back at the bar cheered and hooted when he scooped her up out of the chair. She decided to let him, though the gesture would be more romantic if he hadn't winked at the other men he'd just befriended, saluting them and crying, "Farewell, my Aussie friends!"
Seven thousand miles away in Islamabad, Pakistan, Emily was walking back out to the street to hail a cab back to the embassy where her mother had been recently posted as the Ambassador for the United States. The paper bag of groceries was bundled in her arms as she took a step towards the street. A cab stopped for her almost immediately and she hopped into the back.
"The US embassy, please," Emily told the driver in English.
He turned around smiled at her and then, quite unexpectedly, another man climbed into the back of the car on the other side. Shock overcame her and before she could react, the second man leaned forward with a cloth and held it over her mouth. Her body was paralysed and fear enveloped her as the darkness finally engulfed her mind. She collapsed forward against the front seat as the driver quickly sped away from the scene.
"I've got this feeling that there's something that I missed."
Author's Notes: So there's a line from a song at the end of each chapter. I'll leave it to you to discover what the song is, but it's definitely one of my absolute favourites and depicts the mood of this story very well. For those of you interested, I have every intention to complete Cryptocracy, but I am taking a break. I do not think that I will be finishing To The Ends Of The Earth and for that, I apologise. I do hope, however, that you all enjoy this story. This series of three fics (so far) is really my pet project for my fanfics and it seems that all other stories have been taking a back seat-- sorry! But I have multiple chapters already written and I know exactly where this is going so it will definitely be finished, and within a few months too. Please enjoy and drop me a line throughout the story. Many of you who are writers know just how much effort goes into making a story, so please, tell me what you enjoy reading and what you don't. I look to your judgment when I decide what kind of writer I am, so please review.