By the time Tony returned to the basement, McGee and Gibbs had untied Ziva. She was still sitting on the cardboard box, which made McGee wonder whether she was as unharmed as she said she was.
"You okay?" Tony asked her.
"I am fine," she said. "Only my pride is injured. Eight stood in the middle of the road, and I had to swerve to avoid hitting her."
"I always said your driving would get you into trouble." McGee was surprised to hear how steady Tony's voice sounded. He wondered how long that was going to last.
Ziva was solemn. "Yes, you did. I should have listened.
"We're going to talk about why you left the safe house," said Gibbs. "Later."
Ziva nodded, rubbing her wrists where the ropes had burned her skin.
She looked at Tony. "You knew she was going to surrender. You could have killed her."
"You wanted to."
"I did," said Tony. "Which is why I didn't."
McGee shook his head. Eight was supposed to be lying on one of Ducky's tables, not sitting in the same cell that she had just escaped from. He'd seen the look in Tony's eyes, and he hadn't thought that it could end any other way.
"I don't get it. Why didn't she resist arrest? Why would she stage something like this, and then just go quietly?" he asked.
Gibbs came closer, standing next to Tony so that their shoulders touched. "She let Tony arrest her, because she isn't done playing with him."
"She is going to try to hurt Tony again," Ziva realized.
"It isn't over yet," said McGee.
"It will never be over, Tim!" Tony yelled, and McGee had his answer.
"This isn't one of your god damn books, with a beginning, a middle and a happily ever after! It's always, "Ask again later." She let me catch her. I wasn't good. I wasn't even lucky. There are no such things as good guys, and if we knew everything about her we would probably realize there's no such things as bad guys, but we don't get more than one perspective. We don't get a complete story. We don't get catharsis. We don't get anything but tired."
McGee let Tony's anger wash over him, like he had seen Tony do for Gibbs more times than he could count.
"You're wrong," he said. "There are such things as good guys."
Tony looked away so fast that it was almost a flinch, but when he met McGee's eyes he was smiling, and McGee was pretty sure it wasn't even fake.
"That was really cliché, Probie. Promise me you won't use that in your next book."