Ziva's eyes flew open, her heart pounding wildly after she awoke from her nightmare. Nothing stirred as glanced around the dark, silent room. She swore she had heard something.
"Tony!" She hissed as she shook the sleeping lump next to her. He groaned and placed a pillow over his head. "Tony!" She said a little more urgently.
"What?!" He croaked as he rolled over to face her, his eyes half way open, his face still left unshaved from the day before.
Ziva paused a moment before answering. "I think I heard something." She mumbled.
He sighed deeply slipping a lazy arm around her waist beckoning her to lay back down into his arms. "Another nightmare?" Tony asked knowingly.
"No Tony, I swear..." She hesitated once more as there was a slight thud from a room down the hall. "There it is again!" She exclaimed quietly as she sat up quickly.
"Ziva, it's probably just the neighbors again." Tony objected. Before she could respond there was a soft cry and the sound of breaking glass.
"Tali!" She cried suddenly, throwing back the bed sheets and sprinting down the hallway of her new home. She shook the door handle. Locked, she thought panicking. Before she could react Tony came from behind, kicking in the door easily.
The window to their six year old daughter's window was slid halfway open, her pink butterfly lamp lay shattered on the ground. Ziva rushed to the window to see a black SUV, she ran to the front door and out onto the lawn as it sped away.
Her heart pounded wildly in her chest as fear took over, she rushed back inside. "Tony!" She screamed, but he already had the phone up to his ear, talking as calmly as possible to the dispatcher.
Ziva didn't have a clue of what to do, so she picked up the phone and called the only person who would know.
Gibbs sped down the dark highway his eyes bloodshot from being waken up at two in the morning. He ran a hand down his face, trying his best to wake himself up the room temperature coffee was a bad idea.
He'd only been in his basement for ten minuets before he got the call from a panic- stricken, voice cracking Ziva who pleaded desperately for him to drop everything and rush over to her side.
Gibbs knew she didn't have to ask, his granddaughters life was at steak, he wasn't going to waste a second. He had called up McGee, ordering him to meet them at the new addresses of there former teammates and summoned Abby to her lab. They were going to need everyone full force for this one.
As he pulled onto the quiet neighborhood street he was greeted by the flashing lights of local police vehicles and K9 units. He flashed his badge and made his way up the walk, not even bothering to acknowledge the police man standing guard at the door.
"Whoa sir I cant let you in" The tall gruff man blocked his path after he opened the door halfway.
"It's okay Bernie he's with me." Tony DiNozzo assured him as he paused between giving orders to the officers gathered around his kitchen table. Bernie stepped aside as Gibbs shot him a quick glance. Glancing around the room he noticed a missing presence.
"DiNozzo," He interrupted. "Where's Ziva?" He asked sternly.
Tony looked up with a mixture of exhaustion and fear in his eyes. "She left with the first search team an hour ago," He swallowed hard. "I should've listened to her…"
Gibbs nodded to the group of officers who dispersed quickly on his command. "Hey," Gibbs patted the side of his shoulder. "This isn't your fault, she knows that." He steadied his gaze with his. "Don't give up on your daughter yet." He whispered.
Tony nodded blinking hard. "Where the hell is McGee?" He spat ignoring Gibbs. "He was supposed to be here twenty minuets ago!" He shoved a kitchen chair in roughly before stopping before the large window that looked out over the back yard. It was hard for him to imagine he had played on the brand new swing set with his daughter less than twenty four hours before. Her amber curls flying in front of her face as she swung on the new swing set she had been begging her father to build. Of course he had to call his boss over because he had never been too handy with power tools, but he put together the steering wheel, so he felt very accomplished.
"He lives in the metro Tony, give him a break." Gibbs cautioned.
"A break?!" Tony exclaimed angrily. "You're telling me to give him a break, my daughters missing, she was abducted, and I should've been there." His voice raised, the people outside could probably hear him. "We should've been there, we're federal agents aren't we?! How could this happen to us?!"
Before his rant to continue Gibbs planted a good hard slap to the back of his head, "You keep your cool on this one," Gibbs said calmly. "You have a wife whose scared even more than you are, you need to be her rock for this one Tony."
McGee walked in through the door carrying a backpack and laptop with him. The two men turned as he slammed his bag on top of the table. "Alright, what do ya got?" He asked as he hurriedly se up his laptop. "I got the small details from Ziva, but she was busy." He continued as he typed in his password.
"Ziva?" Tony asked surprised. "Ziva called you? She didn't even call me!" He exclaimed.
McGee stuttered a little taken aback as his former partner came to hover over him. He had to admit he was a little intimidated, he looked like Gibbs, but even more scary. Well maybe not, but he looked like he was about to kill someone. "Well uh…"
"I am here." Ziva entered, out of breath and exhausted. She made her way over to Gibbs who wrapped her in a comforting hug. "There was nothing… the dogs didn't find anything… I didn't find anything."
"Well that's expected because we don't have a single lead on the case." Tony grumbled.
Ziva whipped around to face him. "We have the description of the car and the license plate," Her eyes went cold. "Last time I checked that was a lead."
The two stared coldly at one another as an uneasy silence hung in the air. Gibbs was the first to speak. "Forensics has been sent to Abby, the kidnapper left a partial print and fibers behind."
Tony broke his gaze. "I'll be outside," He mumbled gruffly. "McGee with me." He slapped him outside of the head to try to make himself feel better. It didn't work. An overwhelming wave of emotions washed over him. All he wanted for this nightmare to be over. He wanted to hold his little girl in his arms. He wanted to kiss Ziva again like nothing had ever happened. He wanted all these annoying local leos to get off of his property instead of standing around drinking their damn coffee.
"Where are we going Tony?" McGee asked almost at a jog to keep up with him.
"The police station." Tony replied shortly swinging open his car door, he was glad when McGee didn't ask why.
Back inside the house Ziva made a cup of coffee for herself and Gibbs. She watched as the black liquid poured from the filter as a small blast of steam signaled that it was ready. The familiar smell filled her nose, shooting an awakening sense to her brain; she handed a red mug to her former boss and slid into a chair across from him.
Gibbs sipped his coffee silently as Ziva grasped her mug, taking in the warming feeling to her cold hands. She had been out with the dogs searching along side of the roads. They had supposedly been following a trail. Ziva still didn't understand how dogs could small a person that was traveling in a moving vehicle, but she didn't care, all she wanted to do was to find Tali.
"There is another shift heading out in thirty minuets," She sighed. "I'm expected to lead the search." She ran her finger around the outside rim.
Gibbs set down his mug shaking his head. "You're not going anywhere," He said in his soft, patient manner. "You need to rest; I'll lead the search until the morning." Ziva shook her head, but before she could object Gibbs cut her off. "You need to be at your full best if you're going to get this over with quickly." He explained, standing up to empty his mug, then opened the front door to leave.
"Gibbs," Ziva called after him. He turned to look at her. "Thank you." She whispered as her eyes began to water.
Gibbs walked back over to her giving her a quick kiss on the head. "I'll see you in the morning. Ziva nodded blinking hard before any tears could appear, then she headed down the hall.
As she passed the second to last door she stopped. The door had been shut, a line of yellow tape surrounding the center of it. She sucked in a deep breath as she slowly turned the door handle and stepped inside the purple painted room, when a sudden flashback occurred.
"Daddy mommy said I had to go to bed." A little voice objected as her father crawled into the bed along side of her.
"It's only seven o clock!" Tony objected placing an arm around his daughter as she wiggled under the covers.
"But mommy said if I wanted to see Gibbs…"
"I know what mommy said," Tony sighed as Tali crossed her arms stubbornly across her chest. "How about a story first?" He offered as a smile quickly replaced her objectifying stare.
"Okay!" She exclaimed excitedly as she snuggled into her father's side closing her big brown eyes waiting for him to speak.
He stopped for a moment to play with one of her soft brown curls before continuing. "Well," He cleared his throat. "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful duchess; she and her royal sires were trying to protect her from the big evil wizard who had tried to take her back to her desert homeland. She and her very handsomely attractive night and shining armor were seeking help from the ingenuous McWizard." Tali giggled at the familiar names. "The duchess had just gotten rescued by the fearless king Gibbs…"
"Tali," Ziva interrupted balancing a basket of laundry in one arm and carrying a stuffed animal in the other. "I thought I told you lights out." She stopped as she noticed her husband who was trying to hide behind a pink flower pillow. Her daughter threw the blankets over her head and attempted to shove her father out of her bed.
Tony kissed her head then hurried out of the room closing the door quietly behind him.
"Ah ah ah!" Ziva called as she set down the laundry basket and leaned against the wall in front of him, narrowing her eyes. She still looked as beautiful as she ever did, even in sweats.
"I love you." He whispered as he drew her in close.
"No that is not going to work this time!" Ziva objected as she tried to escape by pushing against his chest.
Tony successfully planted a kiss on her lips as a smile appeared on Ziva's face…...
"Ziva?" A voice asked softly from the doorway. She was sitting on Tail's bed grasping tightly to one of her stuffed animals, she noticed that most of the police cars and officers had disappeared off of her lawn. How long had she been sitting there? Tony made his way over to her side, sitting silently down beside her.
"Did you give them what they needed?" Ziva asked referring to the bag of clothes and a recent snapshot of there daughter.
He nodded silently. Ziva's eyes began to water again, god she hated crying, especially in front of Tony. She'd only done it once before, and that was a long time ago, but now she couldn't help it. Tears started spilling uncontrollably down the sides of her face.
Tony sat taken aback for a moment before instinctively wrapping his arms around her. "I'm sorry," He whispered repeatedly into her ear as he waited for her to regain control of herself. "I'm so sorry Ziva." He held her for a few more minuets before she withdrew herself.
"No," She shook her head wiping her eyes with her shirt sleeve. "It is not your fault; it is neither of our faults." She leaned against him once more entwining her hand with his. They sat there for a moment before Tony spoke up again.
"Gibb's will find her Ziva," He assured her. "We'll find her."
She nodded her head as he kissed her forehead, and hoped to god they would.