Chapter Three

A/N: I am so glad you all like this and find it funny, but it will gain a more serious note, as NCIS tends to do. They mix humor with something serious as comedic relief. Also, your reviews are really sweet but if there is any advice/tips/ideas/criticism, that's more than welcome too.

"I got the Amber out," McGee greeted them as they entered the bullpen, "And I did some background on our missing kid. She's the daughter of Rita and General Thomas Mary, as we suspected. She is six years old, her name is Isabella, and no one has reported her missing."

"Not even her school?" Ziva asked.

"No. She's been gone for two weeks and no one has missed her," McGee answered, his eyes darting to the floor. Ziva felt her jaw tighten and Tony, who stood next to her, stiffen.

"We got to find her, boss," Tony said.

"We will. DiNozzo, Agent David," (Gibbs loved being able to say that), "Go check around at her school."

"Harper Elementary," McGee informed them.

"And McGee, you go down and fill Abby in. She wouldn't want to be left out of this."

"Boss," Tony interrupted, "If she knows details the whole office will be a shrine to Little-Girl-Lost, teddy bears on everyone's desks and pink rose petals everywhere. She'll be holding prayer vigils and…"

"Tell her," Gibbs nodded to McGee, ignoring Tony.

Ziva grabbed her things and she and Tony headed back onto the elevator. They rode down to the garage in silence, both thinking about that little girl. All thoughts of pranks, revenge, or snide comments were gone. This case was more important.

"How does someone disappear for two weeks and no one cares."

"Maybe dear old daddy checked her out of her school. 'Family vacation' or some kind of bullshit like that."

"But honestly, two weeks? If I went missing…" Ziva stopped right there. Truth was, she did go missing and her father didn't look for her or even care. While NCIS (Tony specifically) risked everything to get her out, what was her father doing? Drinking brandy with his friends? The thought sent a chill up ZIva's spine.

"People would look for you, Zi. We did."

"Yes," she nodded solemnly, "Thank you."

"No problem. What's a life without you anyways?" He said, before realizing the meaning behind his words. Both went very quiet and busied themselves with staring straight ahead. The elevator doors finally opened and both stepped out into the garage.

"Your car, or mine?"

"We'll take mine," Ziva grinned as she marched over to the sleek, black Dodge Charger.

"New car?"


"Can I do the honors?"

"In your dreams, Tony," Ziva dug the keys out of her bag and slid them into the ignition. She loved her new car. It had been a treat to herself after everything she had been through. She wasn't big on rewarding her own weakness but for some reason, she felt that this little prize was deserved.

"She's nice."

"Yes, she is. Fast too."

"Uh-oh, Ziva…"

"What? Scared, Tony?"

Tony rolled his eyes and slid into the Charger. It was nice: all black, black exterior, black leather interior, surround sound, seat warmers…

Ziva yanked the car out of the parking spot and hurled it out of the garage. The engine screamed and the wheels squealed as she brought it up to the highway. Her foot began to press the petal a little bit more, and more, and more, and…

"You are going to get us both killed!"

"She can go faster."


"If I wanted her to…"


"What? Can't take the heat?" She asked and for a split second, Tony would have sworn she was flirting with him. That all went away when his upchuck reflexes kicked in.

"I think I'll be sick."

"Not in this car you won't."

"Zi…you got to slow her down."

"Make me."

"Ziva…we're going to be going into a school zone."

"Then I'll slow down when I get there. But now, I am on the highway and I am going to get her as fast as I want."

"And speeding tickets mean nothing to you?" Tony asked.

"I am a girl. All we have to do is cry."

"That is low, especially for you."

"Hey, I didn't say I enjoyed it. It is just a way to get out of a ticket. No police officer can give a girl a ticket when she has a breakdown."

"Wow…can't picture you having a breakdown."

"I don't, not really anyways. It's just acting. We're getting closer."

Ziva exited the highway and slowed her car down to a refreshing 80."

"How fast were we going?"


"100?" Tony shouted.

"She can get up to 180…"

"Ziva, you're insane."


They didn't speak during the duration of the drive. Finally, the Charger pulled slowly (Ziva did respect the school zone laws) into the parking lot of Harper Elementary. She parked in the Visitor Parking zone and hopped out of the car. Tony wasn't as quick. He slowly stood up and wobbled a bit.

"Mental, you're mental!"

Ziva smiled sweetly as she pushed past him and headed through the doors of the school. He followed, walking a bit…off.

"Hello," Ziva said to the plump woman with dyed red hair who was sitting at the desk, "I am Special Agent Ziva David, and this is my partner Special Agent Tony DiNozzo. We are with NCIS."

"Yes. What has happened? Is this about one of our students?"

"We are looking for Isabella Mary. Her mother has been killed and her father is missing. We can't find Isabella anywhere."

"Oh, little Isa. She's such a beautiful child, kind heart. Sad story though. Her family life was more than miserable."

"How so?" Tony asked.

"That father of her. He was in the NAVY as you know, a lieutenant or something of the kind. Always gone, deployed wherever sent. Isa hardly ever saw him and when she did, let's just say war changes people."

"Was he abusive?" Ziva asked.

"We had reason to expect so. Not as bad as I've seen, but she's one of those children who come in with visible lack of sleep. I don't know if he ever hit her, but she always looked so exhausted when she would come to school and it would only be when he was back in town."

"Do you know where we might find her?"

"Her father has a lake house in Malachi about three hours from here…"

"Okay, great. Thank you so much," Ziva smiled warmly at the woman who was eyeballing Tony.

"You're a lucky one, Miss."

"Excuse me?" She asked.

"To hook a boyfriend like him!"

"He isn't…"

"Don't patronize me, darling. I see the way you two look at each other…"

Tony and Ziva left the school without a single word to each other. Both were a little concerned with what the school secretary had to say. Never in a million years, Ziva swore to himself.

"So…how awkward was that?" Tony asked, noticing the speed of the car was accelerating. He glanced at the dash, it was up to 115, "Ziva…watch your speed."

She didn't answer, only pushed the pedal harder and glared straight ahead.

"Come on…Ziva…you got to slow down."

Again, an acceleration.

"Ziva…I am sure she didn't mean anything…"

"Not in a million years, Tony DiNozzo, not in a million years."

Another acceleration.