I am so terribly sorry it took me so long to update! I will try to do better. I know this chapter is short, but I wanted to at least let you all know that I haven't forgotten about it. I am excited about my ideas for this story, I just have to figure out how to get there!
Please REVIEW! It helps motivate me!
Ziva hadn't moved in the hour of waiting for further instructions from Gibbs. When her cell phone chimed, she stood from her chair keeping Tony's hand in hers and answered, "Gibbs."
"Pack your bag, you leave at one in the morning for safety cuz we don't know who Rivkin is working with. Your flight is a secret. " Gibbs cleared his throat and continued, "How is he?"
Ziva clenched her jaw, "He has not changed." After finishing her conversation with Gibbs, Ziva stood looking down at Tony. Her eyes glinted, helplessness had been replaced with determination. Giving his hand one last squeeze, Ziva spoke softly, "This is not good-bye because I will be back and you will recover to take your place as my partner."
She set his hand gently on the bed and walked to the door. Pausing, she rested her hand on the door handle and let her eyes memorize Tony's every feature, except she remembered him as his lively, handsome self instead of the man laying before her.
Then she turned and walked from the room. No longer were her steps weak and broken, no Gibbs was right that would not solve anything. Her steps were strong and with purpose.
Once at her apartment, she ducked beneath the crime scene tape flashing her badge and the agent stationed there. As she gathered her things Hadar called, "Shalom."
Words flew from the Mossad Agent in a steady stream of anger and confusion, "Ziva, what is going on? The operative that went to extract Rivkin could not gain access to your apartment due to federal agents and police crawling all over it! Where did Rivkin go? Are you alright? I was not able to raise you on your phone until now."
"Rivkin fought my partner. My apartment is the crime scene. I will be escorting Rivkin back to Israel for assaulting a federal agent and I assume my father will see to his punishment," Ziva held her breath waiting for Hadar's reaction.
"Was your partner killed?" Hadar asked with true sincerity.
Ziva did not expect this, "No, why do you care?" Never would she trust anyone freely again except her family at NCIS, all others had lied to her.
Hadar snorted, "We are all fighting the same bad guys correct? It would be a shame to lose a capable asset."
"Well, yes. I will see you when I arrive," Ziva finished packing and sped back to the hospital. Gibbs was waiting in the dimly lit parking lot. Rivkin was stowed in the back seat of the charger. Ziva smirked at Gibbs, "How did you get him past the nurses?"
"They were happy to see him go," Gibbs smirked back and asked, "Ready?"
Ziva nodded curtly and they rode in silence until Rivkin snickered from the back, "Has Agent Meatball succumbed to death?"
Gibbs whipped not so subtly into another lane and Ziva whirled in her seat, "Who are you referring to?"
Michael curled his lips up, "I think you know."
"Agent DiNozzo is," Ziva was cut off my Gibbs.
"Dead. You killed him. Does that make you happy?" Gibbs yelled as he pulled onto a dark runway.
Dipping his head, Rivkin smiled, "It does."
Ziva slammed out of the car before she could kill the scumbag right there. Gibbs yanked him from the car, "When did you nickname my agent?"
"Today, when he told me to leave the country," Rivkin looked over at Ziva, "at lunch. When Ziva had been called back to work, Tony warned me to leave Ziva and the country."
"Shoulda listened," Gibbs twisted Rivkin's arms behind him and cuffed him despite the wound in his side.
Ziva made eye contact with Gibbs and he asked, "Ya ready?"
"Very," Ziva pushed Rivkin into the plan and secured him into his seat across from her on the cargo plane. She went to the edge of the plane and whispered to Gibbs, "Update me on Tony."
Gibbs nodded, "Update me on Rivkin."
Settling into her seat, Ziva glared at Rivkin, "Why did Tony warn you to leave the country and then come to my apartment?"
"Isn't it obvious? Oh Ziva, how oblivious you really are! Tony was jealous of our relationship. After he got me out of the picture, Tony was hoping to find you in a vulnerable state and comfort you with tea and himself," Rivkin kept his smug smile in place.
Ziva laughed, "Clearly, you did not know Tony. Unlike you, he would respect my space and never drink tea. He was a coffee sort of guy." Ziva smiled fondly remembering Tony's Gibbs like habit with coffee. She felt like a traitor talking as if Tony was actually dead, but it satisfied Rivkin and gave him misplaced cockiness.
Rivkin frowned, "Was that emotion I saw in your eyes? Did you care for this Italian agent?"
"It does matter," Ziva swallowed unsure how she should respond.
Eyes widening, Rivkin said, "You loved him? Then why were you seeing me?"
"Tony and I had uh… special relationship, but we were just partners," Ziva shook her head, "No more questions. You need to conserve your energy for what is in…" she stopped and emotion again clogged her throat. She could not remember the saying and Tony could not correct her definite confusion, "Israel for you."
Rivkin narrowed his eyes, "We will see."