Instinct

Rating: FR13
Genre:
Drama/Friendship/AU
Pairings:
Tim/Jenny friendship, Jen/Zivafriendship.
Warnings/Spoilers: None, since it's extremely AU.
Summary:
She is found in a field, not knowing who she is or how she got there.
Notes:
Written for the NFA Very AU Challenge. In which everything had to AU, i.e the world the characters are in, it couldn't be just an alternate ending to something. If there's anything that needs explaining please ask, I'm afraid at times I was too vague.

- - -

A cool air passes over her body, she is in the grass. The contrast of her brilliant scarlet coloured hair and the lush green grass could be (in some instances) considered beautiful, however, it isn't in this case. From first impressions it seems as if she has fallen, or been thrown onto the ground, she doesn't remember. She sits up, and tries to focus on the unfamiliar surroundings. She is in a large field, and she can see a forest in the distance. As her eyes adjust to the light, she notices that the sun is quickly setting; she tries to stand. She finds it more difficult than she should, she looks down at herself, she is bruised, she wishes she knew why. She is a little unstable when she manages to stand; she tries to focus once more on her surroundings, trying to figure out where to go. She sees nothing but field and forest, she decides her safest option is to go into the forest, where she will at least be sheltered. She starts to walk, capable only of a slow pace, her feet bare and sore. She is frustrated, she hates not knowing what has happened to her. She reaches the border between field and forest, and crosses it.

She looks for somewhere to go, she sees a rock formation ahead and thinks it may house some form of caves, so she walks towards it. Though she is unsure where she is, she has no choice. She walks into the caves, she doesn't see or hear anyone else. She isn't sure if that is a good thing or not, but for now she will go with it being a good thing.

She wonders why she doesn't remember anything, especially how she ended up here. More importantly though, why is she alone? She does not have the answers, this frustrates her. She decides to concentrate her energy on survival, and worry about the lingering questions later.

Food. Water. These things, she needs. She searches her pockets, and finds some. She remembers the people who came (she is happy she is able to remember something) they gave this to her. She had never seen anything like it before, the people were not from the same place as she was. She doesn't remember their names.

She decides to eat this food, it's better than nothing. Her attention now turns to her need for water, she remembers she saw a stream on her way here, though she questions if it will be too dangerous to leave the shelter of the cave now. However, she decides it's worth it, she needs water.

She struggles to stand, her leg muscles ache - a consequence of her fall. She manages to reach the stream and gather some water. (She has a container with her for it - it had been emptied earlier.) She then returns to the shelter of the cave, drinks more water and then decides to rest until morning.

- - -

"Is it much further, we've been walking for hours!" He asks, he is frustrated.

"Do you have to keep asking that? We will arrive when we arrive."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I think it means, 'shut up' Tony."

"Right, shoulda known that. But you know, it's not my fault Ziva's a tad testy today."

"Tony, I wouldn't push it." Abby replies.

"I heard that." Ziva replies, sharply.

"Told you so." Abby says.

"So you did." Answers Tony. This is the end of their conversation, they continue to walk in silence, until they reach the village. They are greeted by a scarlet haired woman.

"I believe you have some things for us?" The woman asks.

"Only if you have things for us in return, Jenny." Ziva says.

"Of course."

They trade often, mostly food, sometimes new technologies, or advancements to current ones. Today it is for technologies. Jenny leads the three to one of the buildings in the village, as they enter she says, "I think you'll find this of interest." She reaches for a small rectangular object and hands it to the one called Ziva.

"What is it?"

"Life-signs detector."

"We already have one of these, Jenny."

"Not like this you don't. Yours is only capable of detecting life signs not distinguishing one race from another. Using this device you'll be able to tell who is who, whether they are friend or foe."

"Impressive, but surely you have more than this?"

"Of course. I suppose you'll be needing more of these?" Jenny holds up a weapon, and shows it to Ziva.

"Yes, something like that."

- - -

Dreams enter her mind; images of events she can't make sense of.

"That is not what you told me!" Ziva says, sternly.

Trying to defend her actions, Jenny replies, "How was I supposed to know?"

"It is your job!" Ziva replies. She doesn't need to say anymore, so she walks away.

-

Dirt.

Grass.

She has fallen in it. She is covered in it. 'Where are the others?' She thinks, attempting to make sense of it all. She manages to stand, this is a mistake.

She falls.

-

She is startled by the images in her dreams. Abruptly, she wakes up. Once her heart rate and breathing are back under control, she tries to resume sleeping, hoping this won't happen again.

- - -

Morning comes, sleeping on the cave's uneven floor hasn't done much for her injuries, but she is as well rested as she can be. She decides to start making her way to look for a village or at least signs of other people. She gathers what little she has and makes her way out of the cave.

She looks around, she does not recognise anything, she decides to walk back the way she came, in hopes that she will find something beyond the field. She has a feeling inside her that this is the way she should go, and right now she can only trust her instincts.

She reaches the field in relatively good time, she prefers to walk on this grass than the harsh ground of the forest, it is much easier on her bare feet. She traverses the field, when she reaches the other side, she sees what she thinks could be the sign of a town in the distance. It looks to be a fairly long walk, but she decides to head towards it.

- - -

The town seems to be well established, stone buildings line many streets and there are a few people around, she hopes they can help her. She does not see the people who she remembered, she hopes that these people in the town will know of them. She walks up to a man and asks for some help.

"You should speak to Gibbs, he is our leader, he should be able to help you. I can take you to see him." He replies.

She nods and follows.

She is lead into one of the buildings and sees a grey-haired man sitting at a table with several others, none look familiar to her.

The man walks over to him and says, "Gibbs, this woman would like to speak to you. She says she needs help."

The man stands and addresses her, "You don't look familiar, you're not from around here?"

"That's why I'm here. I don't remember anything before yesterday afternoon, I woke up in a field and that's all I know. And I am injured." She explains.

"You can stay here. Our doctor can help you with your injuries."

"Thank you."

He leads her to the town's hospital, introduces her to the doctor, who's name is Doctor Mallard, and tells him of her injuries.

The doctor, an older man, takes her over to a bed and starts examining her injuries. "Do you know how you got these?"

"No, I don't remember."

"Some of them look severe, it seems you were in a battle of some kind."

"Like I said, I don't remember."

"That's alright. I'll fix you up. Just be still, I'll give you some medicine for the pain."

"Thank you, Doctor."

"Quite alright."

Jenny spends the night in their hospital, and is allowed to leave the next afternoon.

- - -

The man who greeted her initially, called Tim, indicates that she should follow him. He shows her to where she will sleep, he then proceeds to show her the rest of their town. She feels that he seems genuinely interested in her situation, and seems to care.

"Are you feeling better?"

"Yes, thank you. Doctor Mallard was able to heal my wounds."

"He's the best there is."

"What is your job here, Tim?" She asks, as they walk.

"I am a scientist."

"What is a scientist? What do they do?" She asks.

"You really don't remember anything, do you? That must be frustrating." He replies.

"Yeah, sometimes. I would really like to get my memories back. Sometimes I get flashes of past events, but they're not much." She answers, "But tell me about your job." She requests.

"I study things here, such as developing technology, the environment and help to solve some problems we have in the town. Things like that." Timothy replies. He likes her curiosity, but wonders if it is just because she has no memory and does not remember what she likes and what she does not.

"It sounds interesting, what you do." She concludes.

"Yes, I think so too." He answers.

They finish their walk around the town, and she goes to enter her room, but Tim stops her. He asks, "Do you want to join us for dinner, -" He goes to add a name, but realises he doesn't know it, so he asks, "Do you remember your name?"

"No, I don't. Names appear in my head but how can I be sure which is mine?"

"Well, I guess you can't, not yet anyway. But, I think we should give you a name, it seems more appropriate don't you think?"

"Sure, but which name?" She asks.

"You should choose, it's your name after all."

She thinks for a moment then replies, "I remember a name, Jenny, it could be mine, but like I said, many appear in my mind. I'm not sure, but I like it."

"Ok, Jenny it is. Good choice." Tim replies, "Do you want to join us for dinner, Jenny?"

"Yes, thank you, Tim." She answers, and follows him to the town's main dining area. There is a large feast covering the table. "This is impressive." She notes.

"Everyone, this is our guest, her name is Jenny." Tim introduces her to the rest of the village. She notices that the people she saw earlier with Gibbs are here. "Jenny, this is Jethro Gibbs and Doctor Donald Mallard, who you have already met, and this is his assistant, Jimmy Palmer."

"Welcome." They all answer. Everyone appears intrigued by her, she can see it in the way they look at her.

They take their seats at the table, and Tim invites her to take some food. She is hungry, so she takes a big portion.

"You like to eat I see." Tim notices.

"I don't remember the last time I ate a good meal, well actually, any meal." She replies.

"Good point." He replies.

She sits and eats with them for most of the night, everyone is relaxed here, she likes this feeling. She feels she could come to like these people a lot. They talk, they tell her of their lives and the town. She is very fascinated in them, as they are in her.

- - -

Morning breaks. She remembers the offer Tim made after they'd all finished dinner to help her with recalling (hopefully) some of her memories, she is grateful for this. She is still frustrated that she can't remember, but she's hopeful Tim's methods will help her.

She exits her room and walks to the dining area (the same they ate in the previous night) and sees Gibbs and Tim sitting at the table. The others are not there.

"Morning, Jenny." Tim says to her.

"Good morning." She replies, as she sits beside him, "Am I interrupting anything?"

"No." Gibbs replies, "You can join us."

"Thanks." She replies, "Can I ask what you were talking about? It seemed interesting."

"Some traders are coming here today."

"From where?"

"They come from a place far from here, no one's sure exactly, since they move around a lot. But they're fair traders and have never done us wrong. So we welcome them when they do come here."

- - -

It isn't until later in the morning, that the traders come to the town. Jenny is not present at the initial meeting, since she is a guest to their town, Gibbs decides she doesn't need to be informed.

"Gibbs." A young woman says.

"Ziva, what have you got?"

"It is not what we have got that brings us here this time, Gibbs."

"Why are you here then?" He asks.

"Information."

"What kind of information?"

"We are looking for someone, we believe you can help us find her."

"I'm not a missing persons office, Ziva. What makes you think I know this person?"

"Call it a hunch."

"Why do I not believe you?"

"You are a smart man, Gibbs, and so you should co-operate."

"Fine." Gibbs says reluctantly.

"I knew you would see reason. Now, where is she?"

"You never told me who you're looking for, and why."

"You do not need to know why, and as for the who. . ." She hands Gibbs a small device, on it, was a description of the person they were looking for, the person resembled their new guest: Jenny. Gibbs senses that why they want her is not for a good reason, so he pretends to read over the description as if it was the first time he's seen them, he looks up at Ziva, "Nope. Don't know her."

"Now I do not believe you, Gibbs. You are making a mistake lying to me, I will find out where she is." Ziva replies.

"Leave, now, Ziva." Gibbs quietly demands.

Ziva doesn't feel like testing his patience today, she knows if Jenny is here she, Abby and Tony will find her, it's just a matter of time.

- - -

Later that day, Gibbs goes to Tim. He intends to tell him about his and Ziva's conversation. They need to decide if they're going to tell Jenny or not.

Gibbs walks over to Tim's office, where he does most of his research, and knocks on the door.

Tim hears the knock and opens the door. When he sees Gibbs standing there he gestures for him to come in and says, "Gibbs, what brings you here?"

"Jenny." Gibbs answers, simply.

"Oh, how come?" Tim asks.

"Ziva was here earlier, looking for her. Any idea why she'd want to find her?"

"None, I mean, we don't know much about her, very little actually. We don't know if she's involved with Ziva and her people, and we don't know what her intentions are. All we know is that she's lost her memory."

"That's what I thought."

"You going to ask her about it?"

"Not sure, should I?"

"It may answer some questions, then again, it may not. Jenny may not even remember Ziva and her people. I guess it can't do much harm to try. . ." Tim replies.

"Thanks, Tim."

"No problem."

Gibbs leaves Tim's office, and goes to find Jenny. He decides he should tell her.

- - -

"Jenny."

Jenny turns around and sees Gibbs standing there, "Gibbs, what can I do for you?"

Gibbs walks over to the table and sits down, and gestures for Jenny to do the same.

"Someone was asking about you yesterday."

"Someone in the town?" Jenny asks.

"No."

"Who?"

"Her name is Ziva. She's one of the traders I told you were coming."

"Why would she ask about me?"

"That's what I'd like to know. Ziva's a mystery to a lot of people, especially those who don't know better. If she's looking for someone, it's for a good reason." Gibbs tells her.

"I don't know why she would, but then, I don't remember anything." Jenny says. She is twisting the truth slightly though, she has not mentioned her flashes of memories to anyone here yet, she can't make much sense of them yet. She decides she needs to take Tim up on his offer to help her remember something.

She tells this to Gibbs.

He agrees. It may be the only way they will be able to find out what Ziva wants with her.

They both walk over to Tim's office, and Jenny says, "Tim. Can you help me with recalling my memories? Gibbs needs some information from me, and I think this is the only way I can provide it."

"Sure, come in and we'll set everything up."

"How are we going to do this?"

"We have some technology that will help you recall your memories. You will see them in your mind, all you have to do is tell us what you see. If necessary we can modify the device to show a holographic representation of what you're seeing, but let's see if the first way works before we do that, it requires more concentration and if it becomes too stressful, it can cause some damage, and I'd prefer to avoid that." Tim explains. "Come and sit down over here, and we can start."

Tim hooks her up to the device and instructs her to tell him what she is seeing.

Images enter her mind, Tim instructs her to focus on one of them, and start explaining it to him. She sees herself, and Ziva. It is a peaceful conversation, at this point, it seems they are friends. They are in a city, different to this one, a lot more industrial.

"Jenny, nice to see you."

"Hello, Ziva. Same to you. It's been a while."

"It has." Ziva smiles, she has missed her friend.

They start walking.

"I have missed having you around Jen." Ziva admits.

"The job description doesn't really allow for a lot of contact with friends, Ziva, you know that."

"I know, Jen. We should be a team, then we could spend more time together, yes?"

"That's an idea. . ." Jenny replies.

Another enters her mind, this one is different though. There is more tension in their voices. Tony and Abby are also there.

"Get back, we cannot stay out here much longer. They will see us." Ziva orders. Tony and Abby immediately follow what she says. Jenny is still in the field.

"Jenny! Damn it!" Ziva yells.

There are explosions everywhere, the energy from their weapons is starting grass fires.

Smoke is engulfing the area. They need to move.

"Just a minute! I'm almost done."

"Jenny, there is no time." Ziva says. Noticing Jenny still not moving, she says, "Is it really worth your life?"

"Done!" Jenny yells, but she doesn't make it back to Ziva and the others. She becomes disoriented. She can't see through the smoke. She can't see Ziva, Abby or Tony.

"Crap." She says. She decides to run, no matter if it's not in the right direction, she has no choice.

Jenny is struggling, she can feel the moment she is recalling, it's becoming too much, "Tim! Take it off!"

Tim immediately responds and disconnects Jenny from the device.

Silence.

Tension.

"Well, that answers a few things." Gibbs says.

"Yes, it does." Jenny replies, hesitantly. She is not sure what to do with this information. "But on the bright side, at least I know my name now."

- - -

Later, Jenny goes to see Tim. She wants to talk about the memories she recalled with someone, and she senses Tim is the type who will listen. She considered Gibbs, though she thinks he doesn't really trust her enough yet.

"Tim," She says, "Can I talk to you?"

"Yeah, come in. Uh, what did you want to talk about?"

"Before, when I was recalling the memories."

"Oh. . . Yeah, I figured you'd want to talk about that at some point."

"It looks like I messed up. I think I need to meet Ziva. Is there anyway I could?"

"I'm not sure, she's pretty hard to find. But since she's looking for you specifically, then I would think it would be easier. Talk to Gibbs about it, I'm sure he'll track her down."

"Thanks, Tim."

- - -

Jenny talks to Gibbs the next day, and asks him to contact Ziva. He says he will try, but he agrees with Tim, Ziva wants to find Jenny, so it should be easier.

- - -

Jenny is escorted to the outer edge of the town, for privacy and all that. She sees the woman who they referred to as Ziva. She remembers her face now, like it has been etched into her mind. Many emotions begin to surface for Jenny. She seriously hopes this was the right thing to do.

"So you are here. . . I knew Gibbs was not being truthful." Ziva declares.

"So I am. I presume you are Ziva?"

"I am."

Silence.

"What are you doing with these people, Jen?"

"Look, I may have known you before, but I can't remember anything!"

"I do not believe you. You were always a terrible liar Jen. Your right eye, it twitches when you lie. Always has." Ziva replies, approaching Jenny, decreasing the space between the two women.

Jenny is becoming increasingly nervous and unsure if this was the right thing to do. But she convinces herself she has to remain composed. "Ziva, what do you want from me?"

"Nothing." Ziva replies, being intentionally vague.

"Nothing? You can do better than that, Ziva."

"Oh you know that for sure do you?"

"Call it a hunch."

"Bold, Jen, very bold. Now, onto what I do want. I do not want anything from you, I want you."

"Excuse me? Me? Why?"

"Because, Jen. You were, are my friend. You are also a decent fighter, but you messed up!"

It begins to make sense in Jenny's mind now, "So that's what was going on in the visions? I messed up something. . ."

"Yes! You almost cost not only our lives but yours too!"

"'our'?"

"Abby and Tony. The others."

"I don't remember."

"You can though, Jen. I want to help you. Despite what you may be thinking I am not your enemy."

"Quit acting like one then."

"I see you have not lost your touch."

"That's for you to judge, not me."

She cups Jenny's face with her hands, "Come on Jenny. Remember!"

Remaining calm, Jenny replies, "I'd love to, Ziva. Really, but I don't see how I will be able to if you keep acting like your threatening me."

"Fine, Jen, fine."

"So that's it?"

"No. You need to remember, Jen. We have a job to do."

"We?"

"Yes. You, me, Abby and Tony."

"I don't know you Ziva, or the others."

"You will, eventually. Trust me, Jen." Ziva's tone changed, becoming calmer. She could see her previous choice of frustration wasn't getting anywhere.

"How can I trust you, you haven't given me any reason to."

"Not yet, Jen. But eventually. Now, I must get back to Abby and Tony. Contact me again tomorrow, we need to fix this."

Jenny nods, realising one way or another she will have to remember her old ways. Whatever they were.

- - -

"How did it go, Jenny?" Tim asks.

"It was. . .well, I'm not sure. It was interesting. Not quite what I had in mind."

"Ziva's like that."

"So it seems."

"Did you learn anything?"

"Not really, Ziva seems to think I will be able to remember what my life was before. And apparently I am a part of her group, I don't know how I feel about that yet."

"It must be hard."

"More frustrating, actually."

"Understandable."

"I probably should go now, Tim. I'm sure I've not seen the last of Ziva."

"Good point." Tim replies.

- - -

Ziva comes back to the town the following day to meet with Jenny again. Jenny is apprehensive about it, but apparently Ziva can help her.

"You didn't bring your entourage with you?" Jenny asks.

"No need, Jen. We can do this without them."

"What is 'this' exactly?"

"Help you recall who you are." Ziva replies.

"How?"

"Follow me."

Jenny looks around, seeing the other town's people watching herself and Ziva, she focuses on Gibbs and Tim, she indicates that she will be okay and that she can handle herself, through a look given to them. They realise they have to trust her - it's all about instinct. They and she know that.

Jenny follows Ziva, they head for an area outside of the town so they can do this alone. Ziva knows what is inside Jenny's mind and she is certain that Jenny would not want everyone knowing all that she knows. It wouldn't be fair on Jenny.

Ziva instructs Jenny to sit down, and she connects her friend to a memory recall device. "Tell me what you see Jen. Then you will remember. You must tell me everything."

"Are you sure?"

"You do not trust me?"

"I don't know you."

"After this you will remember, Jen. Then you will know me again." Ziva replies, turning the device on.

Jenny gets flashes of her life. Different stages, different people are in her view. She explains it to Ziva, all of the details. It is clear she is close to Ziva in this life she is beginning to remember.

"We are laughing, enjoying each other's company. Walking together, arms around each other's waists. . .Now we are working together, in a lab, on some kind of defensive technology. I see the plans, the device. . ."

She understands now why Ziva was so determined to find her. She remembers what happened, on the field and before.

She explains it to Ziva, "I am standing there in the field working on the weapon we hope will destroy the enemy's ship. It stopped working, I needed to fix it. I watched the enemy's ship approach, firing its weapons at us. Explosions are happening everywhere. People are injured, I am injured yet I continue to work. This is important, I need to fix this. It is too late, they hit our weapon, the blast forces me onto the ground. Unconscious I lay there. My design, it was faulty from the start, it's my fault. . ."

Ziva takes the device off Jenny and wraps her in her arms. Jenny embraces Ziva also. The emotions Jenny lost had come back. Ziva helped her to remember. "Thank you, Ziva."

"My pleasure Jenny. I missed you, I wanted you back, and now I do."


So, thoughts? Opinions? I'd love to know what you think.
Thanks :)