Title: A Father's Love

Genre: NCIS

Pairing: None, but heavily implied Tiva

Characters: Ray, Eli, Hadar and just because it was interesting, Liat.

Rating: T. Only because I don't rate things K or K+ (we are not babies here people)

Timeline: Post 8X24 pre 9X1

Spoilers: None at the moment, but possible for Season 9.

Disclaimer: Looks at the alarming amount of zeros and commas… I can't afford that! And that's just for Ziva! What about Tony? *eyes bulge* *sighs* No, not mine, I'll just play then.

Warning: Ugh! *Face in palms*. Even I really like Eli after this. (Not that I disliked his character before.)

A/N: The muse was going wtf after 8X24… and she had this really nasty idea… That not even an hour long session with the cattails could get her to let go of, so I humoured her, and this was the result.

Summery: Ray is in Israel intending to ask Eli for Ziva's hand, but Eli knows better. Heavily implied Tiva. Tags 8X24
Written: May 2011

Word Count: 1 696 (short and to the point)


Ray stood outside the concrete building, taking a deep breath before entering. He had wanted to propose to her before he'd left, but he'd also wanted to do this right. He wanted her fathers approval. He had read her file, had seen what she had been willing to do to earn that. So there he stood, outside Mossad's offices. In the scorching sun, wondering how Ziva had managed to keep her skin as flawless with the unrelenting heat and dryness of her home country. He stepped into the atrium looking towards the receptionist. The woman had dark hair and dark eyes with strong Arabic features. He drew her attention before speaking, 'I'm here to see Director David.' his voice conveying more confidence than he felt. He knew that Ziva's father was a powerful man, capable of unleashing the wrath of a nation if it was needed.

The woman looked at him, frowning slightly, then picked up the phone dialling a number and grumbled something in Hebrew, before returning her attention to him.

'Officer Hadar will be with you shortly.' She spoke with a heavy accent, her eyes expressionless.

Ray turned around, looking at his surroundings. The offices of Mossad were devoid of any real decoration. It was not difficult to discern that funds in Mossad went where the funds were needed, there was little need for superficial appearances.

'Good day Agent Cruz.'' Hadar's voice came from behind him. Ray turned to look at the burly man, astounded by his stealth, even for his size.

'Good day, you're officer Hadar.' Ray asked, having heard of the man, but not from Ziva.

'Yes, please, Director David's offices are this way.' Hadar returned, indicating for Ray to precede him.

Ray was led down a series of passages before coming face to face with a small dark haired female officer, who looked him up and down, then grunted and tossed her head in dismissal. 'Another one of Ziva's.' She plainly stated, causing Ray to frown slightly.

'Officer Liat.' Hadar warned.

'He is not as attractive as the previous one.' She deadpanned, stepping out of the way and allowing them to pass.

They halted before a door, Hadar knocked, before opening it and stepping inside. 'Director, agent Ray Cruz to see you.' Hadar introduced Ray. Eli looked up from his desk.

'Please, sit.' Eli invited, gesturing to one of the chairs, sitting back slightly and looking the man over.

Ray looked at Eli. He could easily see where Ziva had received much of her looks, especially her eyes and brow. Eli kept his gaze on the man for a moment, letting his silence intimidate Ray.

'You have come here to see me about Ziva.' Eli simply stated, only after Ray had sat down.

Ray frowned at Eli's bluntness.

'You are Agent Ray Cruz, a CIA operative. Based in Miami but travels extensively. You have been seen skiing, dining and attending the Opera with my daughter.' Eli continued, looking piercingly at Ray.

Ray folded his arms over his chest, to which Eli smiled within, noticing the man's defensive stance.

'Does Ziva know that you have her under surveillance?' Ray spoke up, hoping to have some form of power shift in the conversation.

'Ziva is not under surveillance, my people report back to me whenever they see her. I am her father and concerned for her welfare.' Eli stated, not giving an inch.

'That's why you consistently placed her in danger whilst she was with Mossad.' Ray challenged.

'Her past activities as an officer of Mossad are not open for discussion.' Eli stated in return, making it clear that Ziva professionally and Ziva personally were two different people to him. Eli noted yet another slightly uncomfortable shift Ray made in his chair.

'You have come here to see me about my daughter, you seek her hand and my approval of this.' Eli spoke up, after allowing some silence to further unnerve Ray.

Ray simply nodded.

'I would not give my consent or my approval of this.' Eli pronounced, unperturbed as to the effect of is words.

'What!' Ray exclaimed, sitting upright in his chair in disbelief.

'Your actions are noble, but you are not suitable for Ziva.' Eli simply decreed, slightly shaking his head. 'You are not her match or her equal.' Eli finished, taking in Ray's shocked expression, saw the fight rising in the man. Then spoke up before the man could form a coherent argument. 'You may have my daughter's attentions now, but you do not own her heart.' Eli sat forward slightly, 'she will grow tired of you, she will see past your intentions as to what you really are.' Eli continued, having placed his hands on his desk.

'How do you know?' Ray challenged again.

'I know my daughter, and I know her heart. She has chosen long before you.' Eli said whilst settling back in his chair again.


'Agent DiNozzo.' Eli stated, like it was a given fact.

'Tony? But he's like a brother to her.' Ray insisted in disbelief.

'Is he?' Eli simply challenged, seeming apathetic to Ray's words, 'or is that what you choose to believe?' Eli questioned in return.

Ray shook his head in disbelief. 'What do you mean?' he finally asked.

'They have always been close.' Eli started, playing slightly with his fingers, almost as if in thought. 'Ziva has willingly left behind her country, her family and her responsibilities, for a man, who has to date fulfilled every requirement of a husband and a partner.' Eli continued, looking past Ray to some point on the wall behind him.

'But she never said anything.' Ray persisted.

'They share a long history,' Eli continued his train of thought. 'Many things have happened in that time, things that would break most partnerships.' Eli declared, looking directly at Ray again, wanting to make his point clear. 'And through all of those they have remained together.' Eli for a moment dropped his hand. 'Ziva may fancy you and the distractions you have provided.' Eli said before picking up a pen from his desk, stretching the silence for emphases. 'But Ziva's heart, her passion and commitment lies with agent DiNozzo.' Eli continued tapping the pen against the desk for emphasis. 'He is man enough to handle them, and her.' Eli continued sitting back in his chair before staring to play with the pen. 'I would not consent or hand her to a man who cannot channel her passion, or to whom she will not willingly submit.'

'If Tony has her heart, then why is she not with him?' Ray demanded in retaliation.

'Because he respects her wishes, even when he opposes them. He knows she will return to him as he does to her. They cannot be separated, we have tried.' Eli avowed,

'He's involved at the moment.' Ray stated, wanting to dent the high regard that Eli seemed to have of Tony.

'He is a man with needs, as are you.' Eli returned, indifferently.

To this Ray shifted uncomfortably again, not liking the way Eli could turn a conversation to his advantage. Eli noted Ray's sudden discomfort and took full advantage of it.

'I make it my business to know with whom my daughter associates, there are people out there who would not think twice when it comes to harming her.' Eli proceeded, after having allowed for an uncomfortable silence to settle in the room. 'Agent DiNozzo has never made my daughter empty promises, he is a capable and exemplary agent, and I can see why agent Gibbs trusts the man.' Eli started, before dropping the pen back on his desk. 'He has looked after and saved my daughter's life on numerous occasions. Why should I therefore hand my daughter to someone in a rival agency, who has yet to prove his commitment to her?' Eli challenged Ray.

Ray looked at Eli, shocked by the man's stance.

'Even here you fail to stand your ground.' Eli insisted, tapping his fingers against his desk for emphases. 'Agent DiNozzo has under more difficult circumstances managed to stand his ground, to not back down when it came to my daughter. Even with her animosity aimed directly at him, he has stood his ground and behaved accordingly.' Eli confronted Ray with.

'It takes a man of such stature to truly capture my daughter's heart. A man to whom she is an equal, one who does not seek to manipulate her.' Eli stressed. Giving Ray a moment to think things over.

'Already you are intimidated by me, a man whose fire and passion has diminished with time.' Eli started, sitting forward again. 'How will you be able to stand up to my daughter, who holds more passion in one hand than most people possess in their entire being.' Eli proclaimed, impassioned, his hand forming a fist for emphasis. 'She will flatten you like a fly, if she were ever to unleash it.' Eli emphasised his words by striking the desk with is hand, causing Ray to jolt back slightly.

Eli sat back again, having seen Ray's increased apprehension at his sudden movements. 'My brother always says, "to coax the beauty and spirit from the Arabian, you should never saddle up a horse that you know you could never control."' Eli looked pointedly at Ray. 'You do not know my Ziva well enough to truly fathom the corollary of the commitment you propose. That is why I would not consent to your hand. You are not her match.' Eli finished looking Ray over once more. 'Finish what you came to Israel to do, then leave.' Eli dismissed Ray. Pressing a button on his desk. Moments later Hadar knocked and entered the office. 'Please accompany agent Cruz out.' Eli spoke up his attention already returning to the folder on his desk.

'Yes Director.' Hadar confirmed whilst waiting for Ray to join him, then closed the door.

'Is he always as oppressive?' Ray asked as they walked down the corridor.

'The director is in a good mood this morning.' Hadar returned, choosing to misinterpret Ray's question.

'Then I'm lucky I didn't come on a bad day.' Ray returned as they stepped into the foyer again.


I love my muse when she has a sense of humour.