A/N: This will most likely be a two-shot. It was going to originally be a one shot, but this is all I got typed tonight and I have to get ready for work. And yeah, I know that Ziva probably wouldn't have been so careless while clearing the upstairs of the warehouse, but I needed there to be somewhere for the bad guy to hide. And besides, everyone makes mistakes now and then. ; )
Disclaimer: These are not my characters. I simply love them like they were my own. : )
The warehouse looked empty, save for the three bodies laying on the floor. Gibbs signaled for McGee to check the left side of the building, Tony the right. There was a long staircase to the back of the building that presumably led up to an office area. He motioned for Ziva to have a look up there and he bent over the bodies.
Ziva made her way up the stairs slowly. It was unlikely that their killer had stuck around after disposing of the bodies down there, but she still kept her gun drawn. At the top of the stairs was a small hallway. A restroom, a closet, and an office. The office was first and as she glanced inside, she called out over her radio.
"Gibbs! You need to come up here!"
Ziva crouched down to look at the explosive in front of her. It was really pretty simple, obviously made by an amateur. It still had over three minutes on the timer. She could wait for the rest of Team Gibbs, or she could go ahead and disarm it herself. She cracked her knuckles and rolled her neck a couple of times before pulling out her knife. This was simple, and her team was still downstairs. She'd have it done before they even caught up to her. She started counting the wires and smiled a little to herself when she heard someone approach her from behind.
"Gibbs, I know what you are going to say, but this is really a very simple-" Whack. She had a moment to realize that it was not her boss behind her, and then everything went dark.
Her first thought when she woke was that someone was shining a flashlight in her eyes. The second was that her head was definitely in someone's lap.
"Ziva? Ziva, dear?" Ducky's voice came from the direction of the flashlight and she opened her eyes for a moment, her arm coming up to shield them from the light. Her head throbbed, and for some reason her entire face, too. Something wet and sticky was everywhere and she realized from the taste in her mouth that it was blood.
"I am fine." The words were out before she could even sit up and Ducky smirked. Those words were so automatic to her, he didn't doubt that they were probably her first words. Spoken as soon as she emerged from the womb. She looked up to see whose lap she was in and found Tony looking down at her, face ashen. He helped her to sit up, supporting her back as she closed her eyes and tried to stop the wave of nausea that was coming. When she opened them again, Gibbs was kneeling down in front of her, glaring.
"Gibbs…" She started.
"Not now, Ziva. We need to get you to a hospital." He watched Palmer hand Ducky a wet rag and the doctor reached out to try and wipe some of the blood from her face.
"I do not need a hospital," she managed to get out around the doctor's hand. Ducky looked up at Gibbs.
"Most of this blood seems to be coming from her nose, Jethro. And that doesn't seem to be broken. I think that the lip is the only thing that will need stitching." He looked back down at Ziva. "You should go to the infirmary though, my dear. You've got quite a concussion there. And that lip is pretty bad."
"Can you stitch it, Ducky?" She asked, careful not to look at Gibbs. There was no way she was going to a hospital. Ducky studied her face for a moment and then put one hand on her leg.
"Let me see you move your arms and legs," he commanded. She wiggled her legs back and forth and put her arms up and down with a slight wince.
"See? Nothing is broken." She turned to Tony and held her hand out to him. He silently pulled them both up. She swayed a little, holding onto his arms tightly. When she was sure that she could stand alone, she turned to face Gibbs, triumphantly. As she looked at him, she took in his appearance. The knees of his pants were ripped and he was dirty and disheveled. She looked at Tony to find him much the same.
"What happened?" She asked, eyes going a little wide.
"Did you check the closet and the head before you started playing bomb tech up there?" Gibbs asked.
"No," She shook her head guiltily, "And you're right. That was a ridiculous mistake. I saw the bomb and assumed whoever put it there would not have stuck around for it to explode."
"Get her in the car and let's get back to the Navy Yard," he told Tony. Ziva watched him walk away with a scowl and Tony led her towards their car.
"C'mon, Ziva." He opened the door for her and slid into the backseat next to her. "You really look awful, you know. Had us scared for a minute there."
"Tony, what happened?" She pressed.
"Gibbs showed up just in time to see you laying on the ground. That psycho up there was kicking you in the face." So that's why her face hurt so bad. "Gibbs clocked him one and I carried you down the stairs. Gibbs was just heading down with that guy in cuffs when the bomb went off." Ziva's eyes went wide.
"Where is McGee?"
"He's waiting for the ambulance back there with our perp. He was closest to the front of the warehouse, he's fine. Don't know the perp's name yet, but he got pretty banged when he fell down the stairs. Gibbs was thrown down a few, too, but Ducky looked him over. Nothing looks broken."
"And you? You are alright?"
"Yeah, well," he laughed a little nervously, "You sort of broke my fall. The blast threw me down and I had you over my shoulder. I didn't let you hit your head, though!"
"Oh. Well, thank you." She moved so that she could see her face in the rearview mirror and gasped a little at the blood. Despite Ducky's attempts to wipe some of it off, she still looked like she belonged in a horror film. She understood now why Tony had looked so concerned.
"Yeah," Was all he could think to say. Gibbs got into the car then, and they headed back for the Navy Yard in silence.
Down in autopsy, Ziva had washed her face as best she could in the sink. She was sitting on one of the cold metal tables now, her face being thoroughly examined by Dr. Mallard. The nose was not broken, but it was definitely swollen and discolored. A bruise was blooming over her right eye and her lip was a mess.
Palmer was all smiles, dressed in his scrubs, as he headed towards the doctor and his patient. A needle was in one hand, surgical thread in the other. Tony stepped in front of him.
"Gremlin… are you sure that's sterile?" He frowned at the younger man, arms crossed.
"Of course, Tony." Jimmy told him a bit nervously.
"I think you'd better let Ducky do the stitching." He liked Palmer, but he wasn't sure if he was the right man for this particular job.
"I stitch people up a dozen times a day, Tony. I've got steady hands." He assured him.
"Yes, but Palmer," Tony leaned in close to speak low, "I don't have to look at the faces of those people all day everyday. You mess her face up and I'll mess yours up." Palmer gulped and stepped around him.
"Doctor Mallard, I have your needle and thread right here." Tony smirked in satisfaction.
Soon Ziva was doctored up as best as Ducky could get her. She had refused any pain medication, and was feeling pretty wore out.
"May I go now, Ducky?" She slid off the table. Having her lip stitched without anything to numb it had made her sick to her stomach, and she didn't want to vomit in front of all of them.
"Ah yes, well, remember, my stitches are not the dissolving kind. You will have to let me take them out in about a week." She nodded. "And also, with that concussion, you really should be woken up every hour or so, at least for tonight. Is there anyone who could stay with you?"
Tony grinned at her and she squinted her eyes. She was not in the mood for his company tonight, that was for sure. It would almost certainly consist of silly chatter and mindless movies that she could not handle when her head was feeling like this. He opened his mouth to suggest himself when they heard the doors to autopsy swish open.
"She's staying with me." Gibbs came striding in, Ziva's jacket and bag in his hands. Ziva shook her head, she just wanted to go home to her own bed and sleep.
"My cellphone has an alarm on it, I can set it to wake me up every hour. No one needs to babysit me, I am not a child." She protested. One look from Gibbs and she sighed, resigned to her fate. She let him help her into her jacket and took her bag from him.
"Alright, but only one night. And I need to stop at the ladies' room first." She definitely did not want to throw up in Gibbs' car. She thanked Ducky and Jimmy and waved goodbye to Tony as they headed out.