A/N: Ok, so we've had basically a year long lapse since updating anything regularly, but granted we had some stuff going. So now, Sara and Liz have relocated, to DC, of all places, which has inspired some serious NCIS-ness. So we're going to update. A lot. Promise.
Also, please review. We're insecure. Even if you hate it, tell us. Also, we know it's ZNN on the show, but since we don't own NCIS, only this tale, we go with CNN.
Ziva cringed; Tony, Michael and Jeanne were all talking at once. She couldn't make out exactly what anyone was saying, but she was fairly certain that Michael was addressing her, while Tony stammered explanations and apologies to Jeanne who was unleashing what Ziva had to admit was an impressive fury. The surreal feeling overtook her, and she couldn't shake the sensation that she was watching this scene unfold from outside of herself. What was that expression about the car wreck, or train wreck? Either way, she couldn't look away.
The symphony of three people talking loudly in unison coupled with the motley crew in front of her brought the reality of the situation crashing down on her, followed by a wave of consuming panic and rare self doubt. It's not that it was surprising given either of their personalities that she and Tony had moved warped speed from the drunken confession to being together, just like that, as McGee had put it. In fact she wasn't even sure exactly what was causing her to feel suddenly insecure, but she pushed it aside; there were more pressing problems.
She could deal with self doubt and her underlying fear that Tony would get bored now that they said everything you're supposed to say and made it a sure thing if they were a thing at all by the time they left Israel. She could feel Michael's eyes on her as he spoke, but she wasn't listening to a word. Ziva's thoughts drifted to the last time she saw him.
That evening, the work day was ending in its usual setting, Eli's office. Ziva had been distracted that day, ever since Gibbs called. Even today, she recalled how she felt; this night was vivid in her mind's eye. Eli cleared his throat, and delivered the news. Director Vance called, requesting she be reassigned to NCIS. She remembered how she held her breath until her father informed her she was going back to Washington, and she remember the look on Michael's face when he caught her leaving with her bags and realized she never intended to say goodbye.
"And you!" Ziva snapped back to the moment she was in as Jeanne turned toward her. "I knew you looked familiar. NCIS. That's the place I saw you. You had to know! Your work with him, you were in the room when I was there after my father died, and you couldn't so much as issue a warning?" Ziva opened her mouth, but found she had nothing to say. "I know it's a little soon, but since we got Daddy issues and boy troubles out of the way, you think you could have given me a hint."
Behind her Michael chuckled. He met Tony' gaze over Ziva and Jeanne's heads. "I think I am going to enjoy this." he murmured.
"I am sorry, Jeanne." Ziva said, finally.
Michael made a clucking sound and shook his head. "You really might have said something Ziva. Since you knew his presence would be difficult for Jeanne. He was right across the hall." He grinned as he continued. "With your father."
"Oh my God." Jeanne murmured. "He's you're..." she trailed off for a moment, and Tony had the horrifying feeling she might start to cry. Instead, she let out a short, bitter laugh. "Well good luck with that." Instinctively, Tony's eyes found Ziva. Her expression was familiar, but not what he'd expected.
"What is it?"
"Something is wrong." She opened her mouth the say more, only to be drowned out by an alarm. Ziva locked eyes with Michael as the gunfire erupted and a large blast shook the door. They both swore in Hebrew as she locked the door and hit the alarm button inside the room. She motioned at Michael's hip and wordlessly, he handed her the walkie talkie he was carrying.
"David." she said into it. "Where is my father?"
"Ziva, it is Ravi," said the voice crackling from the speaker, "He is in his office."
"Lock it down." she said. "Lock everything down and give me a moment to think." There was a period of hesitation on the other line.
"Ziva..." Ravi said slowly.
"I am the ranking officer. Lock it down!" She put the walkie talkie on the table and looked at Michael again, who was smirking back at her. Tony was watching her face, and he recognized the way her eyes narrowed. "What?" she asked Michael.
"Good news travels fast apparently." Michael offered vaguely. Tony felt a tug of annoyance at Michael's cocky, cool under pressure, arrogant tone. Tony had practically invented that tone, and this guy's delivery was completely off.
"What's that supposed to mean, Mikey?" Tony asked. He knew he was being obnoxious, but he didn't have the capacity for mature emotional responses when he was stuck in the middle of this awkward love square.
"One of your fans must have heard that Ziva David was back in Tel Aviv." he said to Ziva, ignoring Tony entirely. "You know as well as I do that the list of organizations and individuals who would be interested in that information is... endless."
"I am less concerned with why than how." Ziva said tightly, opening a cabinet and pulling out the contents. She produced a second walkie talkie, and two bulletproof vests, one of which she wordlessly handed to Tony, the other she slid over soldiers.
Tony watched in admiration as Ziva slid her vest over her tan, bare arms. There were few things he loved more than a woman in a tank top and a bullet proof vest. Particularly that woman. Despite all the reasons they might be pretty freakin' screwed, Tony felt a rush of excitement, and his stomach flipped the way it always did when Ziva went into Lara Croft mode. "What's the plan, David?"
"We wait for them to reach the middle of the building, where it is open and we can see from the upper levels. Depending on the number of intruders, we may be able to eradicate the problem from there." Tony nodded, and cast an eye to Jeanne. She looked away, refusing to meet his gaze.
"Jeanne, you will stay here with Michael. He is armed and able to protect you if necessary." Jeanne didn't have a reply, but she just looked at Ziva like she had three heads before shaking her head and beginning to protest. "Not a debate." Ziva snapped. "Your safety is the responsibility of Mossad."
"I agree, but she will stay here with Agent DiNozzo." Michael said. "I know the layout of the building; I am going with you."
"You are staying right here."
"I am not." Michael said defiantly, turning to face Ziva.
"Tony is my partner, he is coming with me." Tony watched in slightly nervous fascination as they faced off; Michael's eyes narrowed at Ziva, but her expression never changed. He finally dropped her gaze and leaned against the table. Ignoring him, Ziva turned to Tony. "Follw my lead." she muttered.
"Your turf, Zi."
"If this goes bad, or anything happens..." she paused and swallowed. The look on her face was Tony's first indication that he wasn't going to care for Israel. "No matter what, you shoot to kill." Yup, Tony thought, he really didn't care for Israel.
McGee looked up from his desk, where he was busy doing some casual hacking, looking for any information that might help Tony and Ziva, and get them back to Washington as soon as possible. McGee could tell that Gibbs was slightly uncomfortable with their sudden departure to Israel and McGee felt the same. It seemed like every time Mossad entered their world something went wrong. Granted he really only had two examples to support his case, but Ari killing Kate and Ziva almost getting arrested for murder were compelling evidence.
He looked up because Abby had been pacing in front of his desk for the last five minutes, but hadn't said a word. There was an exaggerated look of concentration on her face. "What's up, Abs?" McGee asked.
She stopped pacing and turned to him, her hands firmly on her hips. "Thank you for asking, Timmy." She announced. He eyed her quizzically, trying to determine whether she was thanking him, or whether she was admonishing him for not asking sooner.
"Trent Kort is on my mind." She said. McGee arched an eyebrow and grabbed a chair for her. She sat down across from him. "He was running the show after the Frog, right?" Abby asked, without waiting for, or wanting an answer. "Well, I was bored, so I did some digging, and it looks like he's moved on to something else."
McGee held up a finger and smiled triumphantly as the CIA closing report on Operation Lodestone popped onto his screen. "Reassigned." He confirmed. "I broke down their firewall, and it looks like the CIA sent him to recover blood diamonds in Sierra Leone."
"Rugged," Abby remarked, "And a far cry from being a big time arms dealer." She looked thoughtful for a moment. "Karma." She decided.
"Definitely." McGee agreed. He turned his attention back to his computer, and frowned. "You know, Abs, I think you're on to something. After Kort is pulled from the head, the record of La Grenouille's operation just stops."
"Which means the CIA did something so super secret that not even you can hack the files."
"Or the CIA lost control of the top guy, and the person at the top is actually a cold blooded killing machine of an arms dealer." McGee said grimly. Abby reached over the table and punched him in the arm.
"McGee!" she exclaimed.
"What was that for?" McGee asked, rubbing his arm.
"For being negative!" Abby stressed. "The more positive thoughts we send to Tony and Ziva, the faster they will come home, still a couple. I've been thinking positive all day." McGee wasn't sure exactly how to respond to that, particularly in light of the feeling that something was really off about this. In the silence that elapsed, the TV caught his ear.
"For more coverage on this breaking news story, we now turn to our affiliates in Tel Aviv."
"Thanks Wolf. It is a familiar scene in Israel, but certainly not for this building. The headquarters of Israeli agency Mossad are under lockdown after an explosion rocked the building about two hours ago. Police say they have been in contact with Mossad, and the building is being searched for intruders, or evidence that may link the perpetrators with this attack." McGee looked at Abby as the camera tightened on the building.
"See? Negativity, McGee. It gets things blown up." He opened his mouth to protest, but was again distracted by CNN.
"Look, Abby, its Tony and Ziva coming out of the building. Your positive outweighed my negative. They're fine."
She stood and smiled. "That's what I like about you, Timmy. You always see it my way." McGee shook his head as she headed toward the elevator, presumably back to her lab. He heard her say hello to Gibbs, as he pulled the report on Kort and the freeze frame of Tony and Ziva exiting Mossad onto the plasma.
"What's this, McGee?" Gibbs asked, leaning against his desk with his coffee.
"I have a bad feeling about this, boss." McGee said, only hesitating slightly. Gibbs looked at the screen and sighed.
"So do I, Tim."