A/N: This was written for the Last Fiction Writer Standing over on LiveJournal in response to the prompt: Write a missing scene/episode tag. And here is the finished product! It takes place sometime after Reunion (and probably Good Cop Bad Cop) but there aren't any major spoilers, I don't think . . . . Anyway, there is another little tag I wrote that was posted a while ago under Random Papers with the same title, but they aren't the same stories :^) So, I hope you enjoy and I hope to also have a tag to last week's episode up over the weekend (maybe Friday even). Much much love and keep the peace, until next time, Kit!
DISCLAIMER: D. All of the above.
Guest appearance by Special Agent Heather Kincaid.
He glances up at the bright ding out of habit with the thought of Pavlov's dogs escaping briefly through his mind. It takes him several seconds to recognize the woman stepping out of the elevator's steel embrace because her hair is shorter and she's wearing a pantsuit and he only ever knew her for less than an hour anyway. But he remembers her character and her pretty face and so he leans back in his chair and offers her a warm smile, greeting, "Officer Kincaid."
"Special Agent DiNozzo," she returns politely, her lips quirking up at the edges as she comes to stand before his desk. She extends her arm and he stands, accepting the handshake. When he lets go, she adds, "It's actually Agent Kincaid now." And peeling back her blazer, she flashes him the shield at her hip, explaining, "FBI took me on."
"Agent Kincaid, then," he acknowledges, impressed.
She smirks conspiringly, "Let's just cut the formalities and stick with first names."
And her suggestion triggers another smile and he nods, agreeing, "So long as I get to be Tony."
And she rolls her eyes playfully, "But I was angling for that one."
"Sarcasm," he notes appreciatively.
Silence settles between them suddenly; awkward and unforgiving because he did not volley back a quick response. Instead, he appraises her quietly until she shifts her weight unconsciously and then seems to remember the file tucked under her arm, the golden ticket that offers her escape. Her voice is earnestly apologetic when she says, "I gotta take this up to Director Vance before my boss has my head. It was nice seeing you again, Tony."
He smiles, "You too . . . . I'll see you around." And she can't tell if he's extending an invitation or a creatively disguised dismissal.
Playing it safe, she allows for a coy, "Maybe," before she's gone.
Dark eyes glance up to meet the realization that the woman standing by the partition is, in fact, addressing her.
"I apologize," Ziva says, setting her pen down, "Were you talking to me?"
The woman smiles, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, extending a hand. "Heather Kincaid," she introduces, "FBI."
Ziva smiles, "Ziva David," and there's a pause before the curious stating of the obvious, "NCIS."
Heather Kincaid, FBI, nods knowingly, "I was just passing by and, well, thought I'd offer you my congratulations."
Ziva pauses, pursing her lips, looking slightly lost. "I do not think I know what we are talking about," she admits with a chuckle, gesturing vaguely between them.
Heather bobs her head, elaborating, "You got the position on Special Agent Gibbs' team – the competition was fierce, for the job, I mean. Apparently, the agent who left last spring was practically irreplaceable." And suddenly, Ziva gets that they're talking about her. And, of course, she knew that her empty desk had to be filled in her absence, she just never truly considered . . . .
"You applied for this job."
"Yeah, but I wasn't what they were looking for. Wrong fit, I guess. But, you know, I've got a pretty good gig at the Hoover Building, so it all worked out for the best." And if only this stranger knew just how true the latter statement is.
"Thank you," Ziva says truthfully, smiling. "I am very happy here."
Heather smiles as well, "It was nice meeting you, Ziva."
And a warm feeling swells beneath her ribcage as the elevator doors thunk shut and Ziva's gaze flickers around at the collection of desks surrounding her. Because she's been disposable her entire life, another soldier always standing in the shadows ready to fill the vacancy should she fall. And now, now she's where she belongs, permanent and certain and it feels so very good knowing that people miss her when she's gone and want to keep her around –and she does intend to stay.
And it's funny, she muses, imagining herself as irreplaceable, as something vital, something priceless.
"What's got you so happy?" McGee asks curiously as he takes his seat behind his desk, dropping a stack of papers next to his keyboard.
"I am . . . . just glad to be back."