Author's Note:

Thank you for all the PM's and reviews despite the fact that I have not been able to update this story in such a long, long time. Life is busier than ever and as much as I miss writing... I just can't seem to find the time nor sometimes, the energy to write...

I can't promise that the updates will be more regular but here is the next chapter...

Enjoy and if you can forgive the long delay... please review too ... thanks.

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Jackson approached the nurse's station and looked around.

Is she dead? I hope not... that would bring the game to an end too soon.

"Can I help you, Sir?" A matronly nurse named Alice asked as she approached the station.

"Yes." Jackson frowned hoping that he looked concerned and upset. "Agent Ziva David was brought in with a serious gunshot wound. I just want to know if she is okay."

"Are you related to her?" the nurse asked.

"No, but we work together."

"Then I'm afraid I cannot share any details about her condition with you. Your other colleagues are gathered in the waiting room on the 3rd floor. I'm sure they will welcome your company as they wait for news about your colleague."

"Please, she," Jackson choked on his own spit. "She's my... my lover. No one at work knows." He finished squeezing his eyes. He knew he looked totally distraught.

"I can't, Sir. It's against the rules." Alice's voiced softened as she stood up and patted his arm. Just than a young nurse stepped up behind the counter and whispered, "It's so sad."

Alice turned to her, an eyebrow raised.

"Oh, I mean to lose your unborn child to a bullet. And poor Agent David may never be able for conceive a child. It's just so..."

"Sasha!" Alice snapped, as Jackson gagged and coughed.

"I'm sorry, Sir." Sasha said stepping away.

"Interns!" Alice complained as she turned back to Jackson.

Jackson stared at her in shock. He felt nauseous and light headed. How can this be? She gave no outward sign that she was pregnant. Shit!

Alice's voice broke through his haze, "Take deep breaths, Sir. I'm so sorry you had to hear that."

Jackson backed away from the desk and mumbled, "I'm fine..." This changes everything!

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Back in Ziva's room, Gibbs waited for Ducky's response.

"Duck?" he demanded his voice raising.

"Jethro," Ducky started only to stop again as the door to the room swung open.

"Ziva..." Abby sobbed and ran into Gibbs' open arms. Tony followed her, his eyes glued to Ziva's pale face.

"Shh, Abby." Gibbs said hugging Abby tightly before pushing her away. Abby moved around Gibbs and pulled Tony with her towards the bed. "She's so pale... so still."

"Ah Abigail. Ziva is alive and stable." Ducky said. "And she is getting the best care possible."

"I know." Abby hiccupped and turned to look at Gibbs. "But... I heard ..."

"Abby." Tony warned.

"The nurse said ..." Abby started again.

"Not now. Abs." Tony wrapped an arm around her shoulders to steer her towards the door.

"Oh Gibbs. they said she was ... she lost ...?"

"DiNozzo, take Abby home." Gibbs whispered. He stepped forward, kissed Abby's forehead and stepped out of the room. Ducky rushed out after him.

"Oh God." Abby cried now. "She was pregnant and she lost her baby."

"Abby." Tony shook Abby roughly. "She would not have wanted that baby." He growled.

"How do you know that?" Abby whispered starring at Ziva. "She was four months pregnant and she didn't tell us... And..."

"Don't say it." Tony growled.

"If she didn't want that baby, why didn't she abort it?" Abby slapped his chest. "Why?" She demanded, slapping him and sobbing.

"I don't know. Damnit! I don't know." Tony hugged Abby tightly and walked her out of Ziva's room.

Why Ziva? Why didn't you get rid of it, he wondered. His blood felt hot and rushed through his body in pulsing rage.

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Ducky followed Gibbs to the rooftop and stood behind him, giving him a moment to pull his emotions under control.

"Did they remove her uterus, Duck? Did I kill her chances of conceiving a child?" Gibbs turned to face him and Ducky was shocked at the raw, ragged emotion he saw in Gibbs' eyes.

"No, Jethro."

"No?"

"They did not do the hysterectomy." Ducky saw a flicker of relief on Gibbs' face, and continued, regret and sorrow in his voice. "But it is unlikely that Ziva will ever conceive a child or carry a pregnancy successfully to full term."

Ducky could see the confusion, dread and anger wash across Gibbs' body in three rapid waves.

"Too much damage." Gibbs said and Ducky nodded.

"There will be too much scar tissue and she could have many complications in the future. And if she starts bleeding again, they may still have to do the hysterectomy. I'm so sorry Jethro. She is so young and so strong. She does not deserve this. No one does."

Gibbs nodded, turned away and headed for the stairway.

"There was nothing you could have done to prevent this." Ducky shouted at his back.

"There was." Gibbs whispered. "I should never have left her in Israel. I should have brought her back with me. I should have kept her safe. She is one of mine. I abandoned her. I left her to be captured, tortured, raped... I left her!"

Gibbs grieved for his lose, her lose, the past and the present. And then, he straightened his shoulders and made his way to the parking lot.

"Why did Roberts shoot her?" Gibbs growled once behind the wheel of his car. "Why did she lose touch with reality today?" His training took over. "How did the shrink clear her for duty, if she was unstable?" His gut screamed that there was a lot more this then met the eye. "What the hell triggered this mess?"

He needed answers and so help him God, he was bloody well going to get them.

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Jackson said in his car and waited, phone in hand. When it vibrated, he jumped, sweat trickling down his back.

"Hello."

"Salaam, Javed."

"Salaam, Baba." Jackson replied.

"She was shot, yes?"

"Ji ha, Baba. The bullet did more damage than expected."

"Kiya? What do you mean, Javed? Is she dead?"

"No Baba. She is in the ICU, listed as critical. Baba, she was apparently... pregnant?"

"Kiya!" Jackson had to move the handset away from his ear.

"Saleem's baby! Is the baby alright?"

"Baba, no. She lost the child! I'm so sorry Baba. No one knew. Other wise I would have taken her and brought her to you. You could have held her captive until she birthed your grandchild. But, Baba, no one knew and I did not think the bullet would cause this much damage." Jackson shook with fear.

"First that Israeli whore bewitched my son, spreading her legs and taking his seed. Then she got him killed and ran back to her American Boss, that bastard Jethro Gibbs. All I asked you was to teach her a lesson. Give her pain. Make her suffer. Make that bastard Gibbs suffer!"

"Yes, Baba." Jackson whispered.

"But you! You took my future heir!"

"No Baba. I didn't know." Jackson said in remorse, regret.

"You will pay for this, Javed."

"Please Baba. I did what you asked. You wanted her to suffer. How was I to know that she was pregnant? And how can we be sure it was Saleem's child" Jackson thought quickly. "It could be Gibbs'." Jackson prayed Baba would listen.

There was a pause on the line. "How can we be sure?"

Jackson gulped a breathe of air, feeling like a man who'd just been pulled from the jaws of a dragon. "I'll find a way. I promise Baba."

"If it was Saleem's child, you will die. If not, the game will continue. And I will know the truth Javed. Do not dare to deceive me." That said the call was cut.

"If it is Saleem's bastard, you will never find out Baba." Jackson smirked. No, you will never find out. And no one will stop me from taking my place as your heir apparent.

Jackson laughed relief and excitement bubbling through his veins. He headed back into the hospital. He knew exactly how he was going to get the information he and Baba required.

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Author's Note:

That's it for this chapter...

What will Jackson do?

What will Gibbs find out?

Will Ziva awake in the next chapter?

Stay tuned to find out... and please let me know your thoughts... and thank you for reading...

I really appreciate it.