Author's Note: This is my first venture into the Jiva world. I've been a Jiva shipper for as long as I've been a Jibbs shipper, but never wrote anything that was as likely to be Jiva pre-slash as this is. Still, this can surely be read as Jiva friendship too. And it has a Jibbs undertone, I guess, because I just couldn't help myself.

On this story, I decided to give a try to a new writing style. I don't exactly know why writing from Ziva's point of view always makes me want to try new things. So I hope you will approach this with a critical eye and tell me your honest impressions on both storyline and style.
Also, I am not entirely sure I got the characterization right, I have close to no experience at all in writing Ziva, but I hope you can forgive me if I went OOC on her.

Last time I checked, English still wasn't my first language, and this was not beta'd, therefore all grammar mistakes in it belong to me (and Word).

Oh, and this is related to my drabble 'Scarred'. Can be seen as a companion piece, if you'd rather.

She has been in there far too long.

When she left you to be the undercover bait and close the deal, before she followed the three men inside the run-down apartment building in the outskirts of Cairo - you took time to fix her hijab.

That is all you can think about for a few moments as you look at your watch and count the minutes passing slowly, feeling like an eternity. You took time to cover her red hair under the veil, framing her beautiful face with the light blue garment while you briefed her once again before the mission. Making sure she knew the details she had clearance to know, making sure nothing would blow her cover.

Now it has been forty-five minutes and she's still in the apartment.

Ending this assignment was supposed to be an easy task. After how hard it had been to establish her cover, now she only needed to go in there and hand over the key to access the container where the arms were stored.

They would trade money for the key, she would get out clean.

A Mossad team would later intervene to for the clean-up, but by then both of you would be safe in Tel Aviv, taking a few days off before starting over with a new assignment, if need be.

Fifty-five minutes, and your heart is now pounding in your chest. You have no eyes or ears inside the apartment, now. She managed to get rid of her concealed earpiece and microphone right before the men started to thoroughly search for any kind of devices, and as you feel that something is terribly off with the situation, you think that you want to be inside with her instead of outside, waiting.


That she is fine, that everything is going as smoothly as you two planned. However, as the first hour passes, reality catches up with you and you know that she is not - by any means - going to be fine.

Your eyes find the closed window on the second floor of the small building. The blackened glass makes it hard to look inside, and the sun is shining far too bright for you to see anything. It's hot, hotter than usual, even. It's just a little past noon, and she must be suffocating under the thick veil she still can't stand to wear.

You are mildly surprised to find that again all you can think about is the hijab covering her head. But then again, you are much too aware that holding on to a detail as trivial as that is just a way to take your mind off what else might be happening to her right now.

You check your watch again. Too long.

Too damn long.

Your breathing quickens, it becomes shallow, and a drop of sweat trickles down your temple. Perspiration is beading on your neck, droplets rolling down your tanned skin, dampening your shirt, but you hardly notice. All your senses are alert, focused on any noise that could give you knowledge of what is going on inside the building.

Suddenly a scream reverberates through the grey brick walls, echoing in the desert street.

Sharp, pained.

You received orders not to intervene, orders coming from Tel Aviv. Your own father forbade you to act.

But you were always the rebel child.

Your gun is out of its holster in a matter of seconds and you dart forward to the building. Careful but determined, your footsteps are soundless as you approach the closed door. A whimper makes your blood freeze in your veins, and you hear a man hiss threats in Arabic - sickening words to your ears.

A familiar, feminine voice shoots provocative words back at the man in barely accented Arabic, and the nauseating, cracking sound of a bone breaking reaches you, followed by another muffled cry that causes you to tighten your grip on your weapon.

You count to five, steel yourself. And before you know it, you're breaking in.

The men yell, run for their guns. You shoot two of them, turning to aim at the third one.

He curses and you recognize his voice. He is the one who hit her, and suddenly you want to kill him. End his life for the hurt he caused to her. But he moves fast, avoiding a death shot and only ending up with a bullet in his shoulder.

Another round to his side buys you some time. You look around and your stomach clenches at the sight of the light blue hijab on the floor. Clothes are scattered next to it, torn, shred to pieces, even; trailing a path on the dusty floor. You follow the trail, your feet moving faster than your brain, and when you look up, she's there.

Hurt, tied-up, bruised and injured all over, but thankfully alive.

Your ever-present knife comes in handy to cut the ropes around her wrists and ankles, but when you pull her to her feet and she leans heavily on you, the sight of the deep cuts on her back makes you want to throw the knife away, disgusted.

"I've got you, Shepard." You whisper in Hebrew, covering her naked body with a ripped piece of cloth - remnant of the blue cotton blouse she had been wearing - as you hold her tight and lead her through the apartment; the gun still in your hand, ready to shoot whoever or whatever will be in your way.

She mumbles a string of incoherent words, a delirious mixture of English and Hebrew. It is almost unintelligible, but you catch your name among the waterfall of words escaping her mouth.

When you finally get her into the car, you don't have time to assess her injuries, you just try to keep her conscious as you speed through the small streets of Cairo, heading to the safe house.

Later she will tell you what happened, you will call somebody you trust - a doctor - to take care of a few cracked ribs and a broken wrist. You will apply clean gauzes to the cuts on her back - you know they will scar, ruining her delicate skin forever, a constant reminder of what she's been through - and you will give her something to make her sleep.

You will stay awake, though, sitting by her side.

When she will wake up from yet another nightmare, you will take her in your arms and cradle her body to yours, soothing her. She will call your name and cling to you like a child to her mother.

Another name will escape her lips, and in the drug-induced delirium, she will beg you to bring him to her. Your heart will be pained by the knowledge that you cannot grant her wish, no matter how you would do anything to make her happy.

So you will whisper, 'I've got you, Jenny' in each and every language you know: hoping to find the one she desperately wants to hear.