Clearly, this is an AU (Alternate Universe) fic. If you've ever read the Dark Guardian series by Rachel Hawthorne, I basically just took her info and inserted it into my latest multi-chap story, Strangers in the Night. I'm planning on making this into a series.

To clear up the time frame, it's set in season four, when Tony is on that undercover assignment with Jeanne (I hated that season), but I figured it would work for some situations I have planned *evil grin* which I'm not telling you about yet.


Chapter One

NCIS-Mossad liaison officer Ziva David crept through the undergrowth, her partner Anthony DiNozzo hot on her trail. Her sensitive nose picked up the scent they were tracking and her eyes were quick to ferret out any visible clues. It would be easier to . . . But no, she would not risk exposing herself. DiNozzo was the only member on the team who knew her secret, and he had sworn not to tell Gibbs, McGee, Ducky, even Abby. They couldn't risk the consequences if the wrong people found out. Not even her Mossad colleagues knew the truth about Director David's daughter.

Ziva suddenly tensed, a slight growl rising in her throat. Tony's sharp hearing picked it up; his senses were almost as keen as his partner's. (How could they not, when they both had the same . . . condition?) She thought at him, Cover me. She's close.

On it, came the reply.

The Mossad liaison officer slunk closer. She knew McGee and Gibbs would come soon, but hopefully the suspect could be apprehended by then. A few yards ahead, she could see a building through the trees. The lights were on, and she could hear someone moving around inside.

Ziva mentally contacted Tony, Forget protocol. I'm going to shift.

Ziva—, Tony started to protest, then stopped. I'm on your six.

She nodded an affirmative, then ducked behind a bush. All Tony could see was her head and shoulders. Then his partner was gone and a dark brown she-wolf stepped out from behind the bush. Only her chocolate-brown eyes remained the same.

Let's go. Ziva's voice in his head reminded him that both of them were telepathic in wolf form. The senior field agent hurried after the she-wolf, thinking the infamous last words of Han Solo: I have a bad feeling about this.

Oh, quit it, Ziva chided, slinking forward until she was at the door. Looking back, she narrowed her very human eyes at Tony. You coming?

Can't you shift back?

Oh, sure. That is, if you'd prefer me without any clothes.

Personally, DiNozzo liked that idea. He quickly shoved aside the mental images, reminding himself that she could read his mind.

Let's get on with it, he decided.

Ziva bared her suddenly needle-sharp teeth in a snarl before throwing her head back and letting out a bone-chilling howl. Even though he knew the dark brown wolf in front of him was his partner, tremors of fear crept down Tony's spine.

Luckily, it had the desired effect. The door opened and Petty Officer Phoebe Madison froze as she saw Ziva standing in front of her looking ready to attack. Then her gaze flickered to DiNozzo, and she bolted.

Tony ordered, Search the house. I've got her.

Okay. Ziva didn't try to argue. She hurried back the way she'd come, picked up her clothes, then pelted back, paws thudding on the ground. The female Shifter headed into the small cabin and shifted back to human. After pulling on her black T-shirt, kaki cargo pants, and other clothing, she quickly searched the place.

A laptop computer was running, with an IM conversation going on. The Israeli quickly scanned it to see what it was about, then typed, "Sorry. Gtg." She bagged and tagged the laptop, then ducked out and followed Tony and the petty officer.

Ziva caught up with them a quarter mile away. She put on a burst of speed and emerged from the bushes a few feet in front of Phoebe, gun drawn. "NCIS! Don't move!"

The brunette slowed to a stop when she found herself looking down the barrel of a gun. That gave Tony the opportunity to cuff the petty officer they thought was dealing coke to her shipmates and murdered a rival.

Then they heard cars pull up, and McGee and Gibbs came to their aid—not that it was necessary.

"Where is—" The question died on Timothy McGee's lips as he took in the sight before him. "You already got her?" he asked in surprise. "We left you guys forty minutes ago!"

Tony exchanged an uneasy glance with Ziva before saying, "Well, a lot can happen in forty minutes, Probie."

"True," Leroy Jethro Gibbs interrupted. The team leader jerked his head in the direction of the car. "Get in back," he ordered Petty Officer Madison.

Sullenly, she did as she was told.

Ziva suddenly remembered the laptop. She told the team, "Follow me. We found her place. It's out in the hindwoods—"

"Backwoods," Tony corrected.

"—a quarter mile that way," Ziva went on as if her fellow Shifter hadn't spoken. Without waiting for a response, she turned on her heel and started hiking back. The Israeli could hear McGee's fumbling footsteps as he kept tripping over rocks and tree roots, while Tony and Gibbs made their way on silent feet. Sometimes Ziva wondered if her boss was like her and her partner.

Thinking of that caused her to remember her first transformation, when she was seventeen. She had gone through it with a friend of hers, but they'd both agreed that they weren't meant to be mates. (The first time a Shifter transformed into their animal form, the age limit was seventeen for girls, eighteen for guys on the first full moon after said b-day.) Ziva never really liked the unwritten rule that said a guy had to go through it alone, but the girl had to have her "mate" with her

Her gaze flicked over to her partner. She'd only seen him as a wolf once, but wanted it to happen again.

When Shifters morphed, hair became fur, teeth sharpened to become fangs, noses elongated into snouts, and hands and feet became paws. The eyes remained human, so when someone looked into a lycanthrope's eyes, they saw the eyes of a human, not a wolf.

The sound of the door creaking open brought Ziva back to earth with a bump. Quietly, she stepped in after Tony, her eyes flitting around, scanning for any signs of illegal activity.

McGee headed for the laptop that was still in the evidence bag where Ziva had left it. He slipped it out and, logging on, transferred all the data in the portable computer's hard drive to his handy flash drive.

At least five minutes later, the other three returned to the main room empty-handed.

"Let's get the laptop back to Abby," Gibbs said, clearly frustrated that their efforts had been futile.

"On it," Tim, Tony, and Ziva chorused, heading for the door.

Then Tony's undercover cell phone rang. He motioned for the others to go on ahead. When they were out of sight, he answered, "Hi, Jeanne. What'd ya got?"

The pretty doctor he was romancing as part of an assignment replied, "Finally! I've been trying to reach you for the past thirty minutes, but you didn't answer. Is something wrong?"

"No, I was in class," Tony lied. "They were watching a movie, and, well—"

"I know, I know," his "girlfriend" said. "I'll call later if this isn't a good time. See you Saturday?"

"Yeah, sure," he replied half-heartedly. "I gotta go." He hung up before she could say anything else. Tony sighed. Sometimes he hated his undercover assignment, since it meant lying to Jeanne—and to the team, Ziva especially. Jeanne didn't know his secret.

Tony, get over here—now! Ziva suddenly barked in his mind. We have problems.

I'm on my way, he assured her, breaking into a run.

The sight that greeted him at the car made his blood run cold—if that was possible for a shape-shifter.

Phoebe Madison stared blankly out the car window. There was a huge hole in her forehead and the front of her shirt was red with blood that gushed from a gash in her neck.