A/N-I love when ideas come out of nowhere :) . This is just another "What if?" for the two "Enemies" episodes coming up based on some bits of information that we know. Not much to say except I also have a short second chapter planned as a conclusion to this story; it should be posted tomorrow. Please enjoy :)
She did not know who was shooting, or for what purpose. But she knew she and the rest of her team had a duty to uphold. And they would fulfill it no matter the cost.
Ziva, Tony, Gibbs, and McGee surrounded Vance, and the contingent of Mossad officers surrounded Eli David as shots rang out in the large ballroom of the hotel. The NCIS conference that had been in progress instantly broke-up, panic spreading as people screamed, running from the men firing shots at the small stage where the two groups were now quickly departing from.
Acting as the security detail that they were, they shuttled Vance and Eli away from the gunfire along their planned escape route. Gibbs and McGee took point and Ziva and Tony took the flank as they moved along a small service corridor that ran behind the ballroom, their weapons drawn and ready.
As they rounded the bend that led to the kitchens, their established exit point, the gunmen burst through the stage door that the two groups had just left. The NCIS team and the Mossad officers opened fire, determined to protect their respective charges. Ziva, Tony, and two of Eli's men continued firing around the corner as Gibbs and McGee continued along the hallway toward the kitchens.
Suddenly, the assailants threw an object down the hallway toward where Ziva and Tony stood. "Go! Go!" She yelled to her small group as the cylinder bounced toward them. As they entered the kitchen, there was a loud THUD and white smoke billowed from the corridor that they had just left. Just a smoke grenade, Ziva thought reassuringly as she and Tony ran the length of the kitchen, leaving the officers by the door as they held a defensive position.
Vance's and Eli's groups had just reached the service door that led to the underground garage when Gibbs heard the explosion from the hallway. But he was briefly relieved when he saw his two agents running toward him.
As Ziva reached him, she rushed, "Continue on. We will hold them off here as much as we can," she said, indicating herself, Tony, and the two members of Mossad. Gibbs eyed them both before saying, "Take care of yourselves. I don't wanna have to find two new replacements!" he yelled, leaving through the door. Ziva and Tony both flicked quick glances in each others direction as they turned to rejoin the officers at the head of the kitchen.
Suddenly, one of the Mossad took a shot in his stomach, falling to his knees by the swinging door that he had been guarding. As he fell, his lower height offered him a new vantage point of the kitchen, his attention drawn to an object duct taped to the underside of a steel work table in front of him. Through his pain, he eyed it suspiciously before realizing what it was.
"BOMB!" he yelled to the other three people in the kitchen. There was a short, deafening silence as the word echoed off the walls, reaching Tony and Ziva at the far end of the room, stopping them in their tracks. Both of them barely had time to formulate a thought before an ear-splitting blast rent the air as the kitchen flew apart.
Ziva was thrown off her feet as something solid slammed into her and knocked her to the ground by an industrial refrigerator. Her hearing was all-but obliterated for a moment as she heard nothing but muted sounds of falling rubble and an incessant ringing in her ears. She was suddenly dazed, attempting to force herself to take stock of the situation. She vaguely realized that she now lay under a pile of debris consisting of drywall, splintered fragments of wood, and various objects that once occupied the kitchen.
Her head spinning, she lazily thought of what had just happened. Bullets ricocheting down a narrow corridor. Entering a kitchen, the gunfire not far behind. A Mossad officer yelling something about a bomb. Tony's shocked face turning in her direction...
"Tony!" She blurted out in a panic, the weight of the debris on her chest growing heavier. As she struggled to move out from underneath it, it stirred and emitted a weak groan. She hadn't even noticed for the thick white dust that had settled over everything and everyone. For the first time, she could see the semblance of a suit jacket and a tuft of hair beneath the coating of white.
As she looked at the person's face, she realized that her partner lay on top of her, his head hanging limp by the side of her torso. "Tony?" she asked uncertainly. He gave another noncommittal moan, and Ziva knew that she had to unbury them as quickly as possible. She managed to wiggle herself out from beneath her partner and the loose debris, taking care to leave Tony as undisturbed as humanly possible so as not to make worse any injuries that she knew he had sustained.
As she stood and tried to find her balance, she took a brief look around to assess what the bomb had done. The kitchen was completely decimated, no-longer looking anything like what it once was. When she looked up at the ceiling, she realized just how lucky she and Tony had been: Great chunks had caved-in in some sections, broken concrete slabs littering what remained of the room. She did not know the fates of the Mossad officers, but she heard no sounds from where they had once stood, and she wasn't optimistic about any explanation beyond the obvious reason. As she started to pull the debris off of the pile that lay on top of Tony, Ziva heard the sounds of shifting rubble behind her. She turned wearily toward what once had been the doorway that Gibbs, McGee, and the others had left through.
She heard their boss frantically yelling her and Tony's names from the other side of the pile. Ziva dazedly stumbled over to it, finding her voice weak as she answered as strongly as possible, "I am fine. Tony is buried. I do not know the extent of his injuries." She heard indiscernible and muffled yells come from the other side before she turned her attention back to her partner. Resuming her task, she realized she was bleeding profusely from gashes on her forearm and forehead. She paid these wounds no attention as she focused entirely on Tony's well-being.
As he groaned again, she saw him turn his head to the side, his eyes barely opening. Ziva bent down next to him, asking worriedly, "Tony, do you feel pain anywhere? Where are you injured?" He started mumbling quietly, words too low to understand. She bent her head closer to his face in an attempt to hear him better. She heard him say in a garbled whisper that was hardly there, "Just...returning...the favor..."
Ziva pulled her head back to stare confusedly at his face. "What?" she said, taken aback. He shook his head in small, slow movements in an agitated way and started mumbling again. She brought her ear to his lips as he slurred even quieter than before, "Base...ball...just...knee..." She looked at him again, comprehension dawning on her face. The smirk that had appeared on his own vanished just as quickly, his smile faltering as he lay completely still.
"Tony? Tony!" she yelled, trying to rouse her partner. But he made no acknowledgment that he heard her. Ziva stood back up and returned to her previous task in earnest, removing what was left on top of him. As she pulled away the final piece of debris, a steel cabinet door, her eyes grew wide as she saw her partner's back.
His suit jacket and shirt were almost completely shredded by the shrapnel and various bits of debris that were now embedded in his back. The worst of these was a four-inch shard of steel protruding from the lower-right quadrant of his back. A dark pool of blood had already collected on the now-pitted and destroyed kitchen floor, mixing with the white dust that covered everything.
Ziva knew better than to pull anything out or even apply pressure to any of his wounds, so she hurried back to his head to try to get another response from him. But her heart sank as she realized he was just barely breathing, the pulse on his neck hardly even there. For a moment, she was at a complete loss for what she should do as she yelled fruitlessly to no one in the destroyed kitchen, "Help! HELP!"
Taking one last look at her partner, she forced herself to think logically and efficiently as she moved to do the only thing that she knew she could do. She quickly removed the jacket that she was wearing and placed it securely, the inside of it facing down, on top of Tony's body so as to prevent anymore dust or debris from entering his wounds.
She hurried over to where Gibbs and a few others had already begun to displace the rubble to reach the two survivors still inside. As Ziva attempted to remove as much as she could, frantic thoughts of her partner's tattered back chasing themselves through her mind, she never even noticed how much her own blood was now smearing onto almost everything she touched, her head wound blurring her vision.
A/N-Thank you very much for your time :) . Comments, criticisms, and reviews are always greatly appreciated. I'll post the conclusion to this tomorrow. Until then, happy reading!