Chapter 20

"I want to help," Ziva said to Director Vance.

"Hell no, David," he replied.

"Why not? I already showed you where all of the bombs are, I can at least help defuse them!"

They were all in Vance's office which had been assigned the Control Room.

"I'm still not sure I can trust you," he said, taking a toothpick out of his mouth.

"I showed you where the bombs are and they've confirmed the locations of ten of them already!"

"That doesn't mean I can trust you to disarm them!"

"Then send somebody with me. Someone you can trust," she said calming down.

She heard somebody step up behind her and Tony said, "I'll go with her."

Vance glared at him. "I don't think so."

"Why not?" Tony asked, obviously frustrated.

"Do you even know how to disarm a bomb, Tony?" Ziva asked him.

"No," he answered. "But you didn't ask for someone who could disarm a bomb, you asked for someone to go with you to make sure you disarm them."

Ziva looked back at Vance and asked, "Can you excuse us for a moment?"

"Go ahead," he answered.

Ziva grabbed Tony's hand and pulled him to the door of Vance's office.

"Where do you think you're going, David?" Vance asked.

"To talk to Tony."

"You think I'm gonna let you out of my sight?"

"She'll be with me, Director," Tony said. "I'm not letting her go anywhere."

Just then, someone knocked on the door and opened it. It only missed Tony because he backed up quickly.

"Sir," the man said. "Evacuation is almost complete."

"Good," Vance said.

"I really think you should come, Director." The man told him.

"After I make sure that everything is under control, I'll go."


"Go, send in EOD."

"Yes, sir."

With that he shut the door.

Vance put his focus back on them, and Ziva realized they were still holding hands. She quickly let go.

"I'm trusting you, DiNozzo," he said. "Don't let me down."

"I won't, sir," Tony replied. And then he opened the door.

"Gibbs," Abby said, "I don't wanna just leave you guys!"

Gibbs looked at her. "You need to go. McGee and Grey are going with you."

"What!" McGee said, as Grey said, "The hell I am!"

Gibbs turned to them. "Do either of you know how to disarm a bomb?"

"No," Grey said. "But"-

"No buts," Gibbs ordered. "Go with Abby, and stay safe."

"But, Boss," McGee interjected. "They're not going to let you disarm any bombs. That's what Bomb Squad's for."

"This is my case, McGee. I'm staying."

McGee face turned defiant. "It's my case, too."

Gibbs glared at him. "Go, or I will knock you out and drag you out of here."

"If that's what you have to do, Boss," he said, still defiant.

Gibbs glared at him for a moment, then decided to go with the kinder approach.

"McGee," he said. "If you don't leave, then Abby won't leave. For Abby…Please?"

The defiance disappeared from McGee's face and shock took its place. After a moment he said, "Alright, Boss."

McGee walked over and took Abby's hand. "Come on, Abby."

"But what about you?" Abby asked Gibbs.

"I'll leave with the Director," he replied, "Now, go!"

Abby and McGee left, and then Gibbs turned around to Grey.

"No offense to Abby," she said, "but I'm not that close to her, so I don't have to do anything for her."

"I'm still your boss and you should do what I say," Gibbs said, walking closer to her.

"You can headslap me all you want, I don't care."

"I wasn't going to headslap you."

"Then why are you getting closer?"

Gibbs was six inches away from her now. He could tell she was intimidated, but she was trying not to show it.

"I'm trying to protect you, Grey."

"Why?" she asked.


"That would be nice."

He looked straight into her eyes as he said, "Because you look like what I imagine my daughter would look like at your age. I couldn't protect her, but I can protect you."

Shock flashed through her eyes, and she looked away.

After Gibbs staring at her for a moment, she picked up her bag and headed for the elevator.

"See you tomorrow," she said, and it sounded almost like a question.

Gibbs just nodded.

"I'm going with you," Tony told her.

"You can't," she whispered furiously. "You don't know how to disarm a bomb!"

They were in a corner of the assistant's office.

"I don't have to know how to disarm a bomb to make sure you do it!"

"You have to know so you can tell Vance for sure that I disarmed them!"

"Us living after you cut a wire should be proof enough!"

"I won't let you go with me," she said.

"I'm not leaving you," he answered, "so either you leave with me, or I go with you." He stood there waiting.

"I have to help them," she said.

"Then I'm going," he replied.


"Because I can't lose you! Not again."

Oh my god, Tony thought. I just said that, didn't I?

There were mixed emotions on Ziva's face. Shock, confusion, and something else he couldn't put his finger on.

After a minute, she finally responded. "What does that have to do with you going with me?"

"Because I can pull you out of it gets too dangerous."

She sighed. "Fine. But only if Vance approves."

They went back into the office where they were strategizing their plan of attack.

"Dinozzo?" Vance asked.

"I'll go with her."

Vance looked down at the blueprints for a second, then looked at Ziva. "Suit up, David."

Tony looked over to see Ziva smile a little. He knew why.

Because in that sentence, was acceptance, no matter how little it was.

Ziva had put on everything except the helmet when Gibbs came in.

As soon as he walked in they made eye-contact. She looked into his eyes and though he was trying to hide it, there was betrayal clear in his eyes.

She walked over to him.

"What?" he asked, his voice cold and distant.

"I just want you to know how sorry I am. I didn't do it to hurt you, I did it to protect you. Please know that."

"Honestly, Ziva, I don't know what to believe from you anymore."

"I completely understand," she said.

"I do have a question, though."

"Ask away."

"Was any of it real?"

"Any of what?"

"What you did for this agency, for this team! Do you really, truly care, or did we just waste our time and love saving you in Africa?"

Ziva couldn't respond immediately, because she was afraid she wouldn't be able to speak. When she did respond, she said, "All of that was real." She looked down so he wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him walk past her.

Get a grip, she scolded herself. You have work to do!

She took a few deep breaths and walked over to the table.

"Everything's under control, Agent Vance, You can leave now," an EOD agent said.

"I did promise that didn't I?" he said. "Fine, lead the way."

Vance left the office with and EOD agent escorting him.

"Okay, let's rock and roll," the head EOD agent, Johnson, said.

Ziva put her helmet on and started going out the door just as Tony came up beside her, also in the uniform.

"You ready?" Tony asked her, smiling as they went down the stairs.


Throughout the next hour, they all went to their designated spots and disarmed the bombs.

Afterwards, Tony and Ziva were walking up the stairs to the Director's office. AS they reached the door Johnson came out.

"Time to get out of here." He said.

"What?" Tony asked. I thought we got all of the bombs.

"There's one in the elevator right there"- he pointed to the one behind them, but we've run out of time. Come on."

"How much time?" Tony asked.

"Five minutes."

They started going down the stairs, but Ziva hesitated on the second step, debating on whether it was enough time to disarm it. Tony looked up from the half way point and said "Come on Ziva!"

She had just started going down the steps when the bomb went off.


Tony ran to her. She had been thrown down the steps by the force of the bombs, and though Tony had been thrown off balance, he only had a scratch or two.

She was at the bottom of the stairway and unconscious.

Tony got to her and crouched down.

"Come on, Ziva," he said shaking her slightly. "Wake up! Come on, I can't lose you!"

He kissed her forehead and checked her breathing. He saw a steady rise and fall of her chest and breathed a sigh of relief. Then she coughed.

"What happened?" she asked.

Tony laughed. He couldn't help himself. She was alive!

She tried to sit up and Tony helped her.

"Let's get out of here," he said.

She tried to stand up, but she swayed. Before she could protest, Tony had picked her up and started walking towards the stairs.

"Tony!" Ziva objected.

"Get over it," he said with a smile.

I hope you liked it, cause that's not the end! Review, per favore!