A trickle of blood flowed from the gash across her forehead, blurring her vision as it crossed over her right eye and made it's way to her cheek. It was warm and sticky, and by the time it had slowed, it had made it to the base of her jaw. In the days to come, the warmth would cool and the bright red which trailed down her face would turn to a rusty brown and the stickiness would begin to itch. And smell, faintly, of spoiled copper.

Her hands, bound at the wrists first with strong cord and later on with crud shackles, were incapable of wiping away the blood or tending to the wound. Though she struggled in vain to purchase even a minute amount of wiggle room, she was unable to do a thing to ease the minor annoyance of the sticky, itching trickle on the side of her face. Worse yet, her efforts served only injure her wrists and they, too, bled just enough to ooze of their own accord. And her captives merely tightened the restraints, assuming that her new wounds were an indication that she might actually be able to free herself from her bonds.

Sitting in the darkness of the cell into which she had been unceremoniously shoved, she could feel herself losing all track of time. It could have been days, weeks or evens months... or it could have been merely hours which she sat there in the dirt on the floor with her hands bound and the blood darkening as it dried on her face and her wrists. It no longer trickled and it no longer oozed, and that was, in fact the only real indicator she had left that somewhere outside of her rudimentary prison cell, time was passing her by.

She had withdrawn deep within herself, her mind shutting down any memories of the outside world. Especially those which might cause her pain. Gone was the sister she'd lost when was young. Gone, too, was the half brother she had slain to save a man she had deemed worthy of protecting. Gone was the father who pitted his children against one another and also against his enemies and allies alike. Her apartment in Washington D.C., the friends she had made there, the co-workers she had let down... the one in particular whom she had let get under her skin... gone.

Lost to the sweet oblivion of self loathing and surrender.

She had nothing left to live for, nothing left to hold onto and use as motivation for her survival. She had been a weapon once, a trained and vicious tool of her government, capable of so many deadly and dangerous deeds. But no longer. Now, she knew she was expendable and had been, apparently, jettisoned. There would be no black ops, none of her father's finest teams to come to her rescue. That she needed rescue was an insult to her training and to her family. That she could not save herself was a sign that she should not.

That someone else might be looking for her had not crossed her mind at all. That anyone other than the Israeli government would want to see her safely returned to them was a luxury she could not afford. It was hope. Or rather, HOPE with all capital letters, and here in the dark cell, surrounded by nothing but dark thoughts about her impending torture and death, there was no such thing as hope. And certainly, there was no such thing as salvation. No second chances for the one who turned her back on her partner of three years for a fling with the past she had been so desperately missing. No redemption for the one who had turned her back on her true friends.

By the time that those friends - Tony and McGee, Gibbs and his friends from the strike force - had discovered her whereabouts and laid the ground work for their plans, she was too far gone in her own dark, silent little world to care or to notice. She sat on the floor in a corner of her cell, humming to her self a song which her mother had once sung to her the sweet, briefly innocent days of her childhood. The tune would repeat over and over again while she rocked back and forth in the darkness, unaware and indifferent to dried blood and dirt on her face and the now-festering cuts on her wrists.

Later, when she was bundled onto the chopper waiting to fly her to safety, Gibbs wiped away the blood with sanitary cloth and McGee wrapped a thick woolen blanket around her shoulders. Tony hovered nearby looking nervous and overprotective.

By the time they reached D.C., she almost felt like herself again, but for the shadow of her torment which would always remain.