Hi all, this is my first attempt at writing fan fic! It takes place shortly after the Ziva rescue, and depicts not only how Ziva deals with what happened in Somalia, but also how it affects the rest of the team. Please note that I take some liberties with how it actually went down on the show :) And, of course, for all of these chapters: I do not own any of these characters or NCIS!
Anyway, let me know what you think. I'm open to positive reviews and will continue writing if you all are reading...so please let me know if I should continue!
Chapter 1 - Haunted
No one talked about that day. The kill shot. The 10 hour helicopter ride where the four of them silently sat, stunned. The moment they first stepped off the elevator to a deafening applause that was the first - and last - reminder that Team Gibbs had pulled off an impossibly dangerous mission to bring home one of their own.
Whereas her absence had been a continuous reminder of her captivity and torture, her presence was now a welcome reminder of the way things were. The same old Ziva David who exchanged flirtatious banter with Tony and stood up for McGee. The trained assassin who could take out a suspect with a single fist. The Ziva they all loved and knew was completely outraged to still be on desk duty; it was easy to forget, pretend like things were ok.
Of course, after the applause died down and before life returned to normalcy on the outside, there was the debrief with Vance. Where an understandably dazed Ziva, fresh off the helicopter, let the team do the talking. There were the refused hospital visits - "I am fine, Gibbs" - along with a few nights at his house to ward off any ill effects of three months of torture.
And then there was just...Team Gibbs. Cases piled up as high as the takeout pizza boxes. The team lovingly bickered, ducked head slaps, and closed one murder after another.
Sometimes though, they did let their minds wander. McGee thought about Ziva. She had regained most of the lost 30 pounds, but he thought about cooking her dinner. But their hours were so long and he was seeing a new girl, and Ziva was back to Ziva, right?
Tony, well, he sometimes daydreamed about how it would feel to slowly torture Saleem. He caught himself thinking about which fingers he would cut off first or whether he'd start with a limb.
And Gibbs. He simply shouldn't have left her there.
But none of them dared to bring up these thoughts. The team was back together again, and for the first time in a long time, their dynamic finally felt right.
Tucked into her new, small one bedroom, Ziva rolled over so that the bright green light pierced her eyes. 1:22 it read. Annoyed, she yanked the covers over her head and tried to shift into a more comfortable and sleep-inducing position.
Third night in a row that I've tossed and churned, she thought. 10 sheep jumped over fences in her head before Ziva gave up counting. It was hard to push out the thoughts that had started to fill her mind these past few days.
Michael. Just the thought of his name sent a crippling pain through her body. "Oh Michael," Ziva breathed, placing a hand lightly on the pillow next to hers, the place where Michael once slept. It seemed like a lifetime ago, she thought. So much had happened since then. Saleem and..."No," she muttered. "I won't go there."
She turned away from the lone pillow. She was back with the team - everyone seemed so happy - and tomorrow she was officially off desk duty. She knew she had to push away these thoughts of Michael and Saleem and the past - be the same old Ziva that Team Gibbs counted on, the trained Mossad liason who didn't let anything or anyone stand in her way.
Tony noticed what may have been a slight bounce in Ziva's step as they worked in the abandoned DC warehouse, and he grinned as he saw her smile and pat the gun at her side nearly every minute. "Watch out, ladies and gentlemen," Tony cried, walking past Ziva with his hands dramatically in the air, "Ziva David is back on the streets."
She simply smiled, last night's thoughts buried and locked away. "It feels good to be back, Tony."
He felt a little flutter in his chest. It felt really good to have her back.
Relishing this banter between them, such a simple pleasure that only a month ago he though he'd never have again, Tony slowly circled the naked body of Petty Officer Lyons that Ziva was photographing.
Trying to get another smile out of her, Tony mustered his best Henry Hill impression. "They even shot Tommy in the face so his mother couldn't give him an open casket at his funeral."
Ziva shook her head and took another shot. "We have a crime to investigate, yes?"
"It's Goodfellas, Ziva! Goodfellas!"
"Well, this is not a good...'fella' we have here," she said, placing an emphasis on the 'fella' as she tested out the word. "And we do not have time for fooling around, Tony. Gibbs is counting on us to find the man responsible for three dead marines."
Ziva was referring to an unknown killer that had taken down two other marines over the past week. The fact that he was likely a man, left his victims naked with a bullet in the face and the chest, and used the same gun for each murder were about the only leads the team had.
"No, probie," he playfully corrected. "You don't have time for fooling around. Now snap that camera of yours - make sure you get a close up of his face!"
She gave a slight grimace as she leaned in to continue the shots. "I do suppose that this poor fella will not be having an open casket, with a bullet hole in his face."
Ziva paused her finger on the camera's trigger as she spoke, and caught Tony's gaze. For a moment, their eyes locked and spoke to one another, before Ziva smiled playfully and turned away.
The two worked in a comfortable silence for awhile. Ziva taking photographs and gathering evidence from the body awaiting Ducky's arrival, while Tony took notes and examined the the rest of the warehouse room.
Breaking the silence, Tony used a pen to hold up a pair of men's whitie tighties found behind some discarded boxes. "Think these could belong to Lyons?"
Before Ziva could answer, a loud crash came from upstairs. "Tony," Ziva hissed as she drew her gun. "I think our killer is still here."
Tony drew his own gun while Ziva continued, "I thought you checked upstairs?"
Silently, the two of them crept through the warehouse, adjusting their eyes to the growing darkness as they made their way to the staircase. Ziva took the first step, Tony behind her, as they silently crept up the stairs, guns alert.
Ziva stopped in what was now near pitch blackness, cocking her head to listen for signs of human life.
Tony leaned into her ear. "Maybe it was just a cat that.." He was interrupted by a swift kick to his chest before falling backwards and down the staircase.
Ziva's body tensed into full fight mode as the assaulter turned on her. Ziva reacted. Pointed her gun. "STOP! NCIS."
His hand appeared out of the darkness and as it painfully knocked her wrist against the staircase banister, she heard her gun clatter down the stairs, after Tony.
Tony...she thought fearfully. He was completely silent. Her right arm delivered a punch headed straight for the assailant's nose - or at least, what she thought was his nose through the darkness - but his hand circled her wrist, stopping her with his force.
His other hand, curled into a fist, collided with her face, and she felt a knife pressed to her throat. The coldness of the metal blade against her hot skin felt earily soothing as she was dragged up the stairs, stunned by how quickly he had overpowered her. He deposited her in a chair in the center of the room, and as he tied her wrists behind her back, Ziva felt a familiar sensation of obedience and hopelessness overcome her.
Tied to this chair, in a small cement room, her mind brought her back to Somalia. One month ago she was positive that death was on her doorstep, and that fact was alright with her. As she had told Gibbs, she had death in her heart. Had lost the will to live.
Why, one month later when she was reunited with the team, when she was finally a real NCIS agent, did these feelings come back again? Flashbacks ran through her mind like a movie. She felt the weight of fists on her body, the burlap sack scratching her face when they did not want her to see, the soothing feel of cement against her hot, fevered skin.
Ziva shook her head sharply, willing the flashbacks to stop, stay locked away and forgotten. Instead, she concentrated on the man as he exchanged his knife for a gun, leaving the room to deal with Tony, Ziva was sure of it.
He is likely badly injured, Ziva thought. Tony hadn't made a sound since falling.
Shouts and gunshots exploded downstairs, and a cold sweat broke out on Ziva's forehead as all went silent. Hopelessness consumed her. She bowed her head as she heard footsteps come up the stairs and then someone enter the room. She knew that she would be next, but how long he would hold her for...Ziva didn't think she could bear another minute completely powerless in captivity.
Just get it over with she silently pleaded, before speaking. "Saleem, just end..."
Her head snapped up to see Tony, standing before her, hunched over. Her body shuddered as a silent gasp escaped her. Blinking rapidly, breathing hard, it took her a few seconds to transition from Somalia to the DC warehouse.
"Are you ok, Tony?" she finally questioned, forcing her usual playful voice to come through for her.
"Nothing like a little fall to start off your morning," he chuckled, trying to make light of a situation Gibbs would undoutably not be to keen about. He winced as the movement pained his bruised ribs. "I was knocked out for awhile down there."
He untied Ziva's wrists. "Are you ok, Probie? It looks like you took a nasty hit to the nose."
"I am fine," said Ziva, as she swiped at the blood, stood up and walked over to bag the assailant's forgotten knife.
Tony looked at her strangely as she pulled an evidence bag from her pocket. There was a strained note to her voice. Something was not right with her.
"Ziva..." he started.
"We need to call Ducky," she interrupted, bagged knife in hand as she headed for the stairs. "Gibbs will want to know if this guy is responsible for our three dead marines."
As Gibbs walked toward McGee and the crime scene, and Ziva headed toward their government issued car, Tony reached a hand to her arm, stopping her. At his touch, Ziva jumped and gave a little cry, and as her face turned toward his, he saw a flash of fear and then shame across her eyes.
"Ziva, why did you call me Saleem?"
That's it for today…please let me know if you are interested in the next chapter!