One shot. My first.
You should probably have some working knowledge of The Sound of Music.
Inspired by: "You know its been a bad day when you find her watching The Sound of Music.
Disclaimer: Only Caden McClay is mine.
"Caden," she said, her voice even and so very calm. "Just put it down. Put it down and this all goes away."
She was trying to talk down a scared kid – a very scared, very big kid. Fourteen-year-old Caden McClay had taken his fifth period history class hostage. It was your classic story of kid who snapped. Life was simply too much to handle. Why ended it for just yourself when you could end it for those who had caused you all that pain and suffering, too?
The kid was standing in front of her. He only had one hand on the gun and it was shaking. The barrel was waving back and forth. She needed to take control of this situation. She doubted he had any ounce of control left in him.
"You're just like them," he said, he was clenching his jaw and she wondered how much effort went into that simple statement.
"What do you mean?" She turned her head at him.
"You're beautiful, too."
He started to convulse and the gun was moving from side to side. She knew he was about to drop it – she could see his fingers beginning to slack. And then something happened. There was a sharp pain in her thigh and she went into overdrive.
It was his third day at the joint session – a gathering of agents from the various law enforcement and intelligence agencies. His third and last day, thankfully. They'd spent three days discussing how to better their working relationships. Tony had spent three days thinking of movies he had yet to see and teams he had yet to evaluate for the upcoming college basketball season.
Maybe his high school teachers had been right. Maybe he did have some type of attention deficit disorder. Well, at least it confirmed one thing – he'd certainly chosen the right career. Well, that is, if you discounted Richard Roeper's career. Movie reviewing would have been the best choice. Still, NCIS was a solid runner up.
He had requested text updates on anything and everything from the team. So far today, though, he'd been pretty much left in the dark except for one text from McGee. Ziva driving. Kid took history class hostage on base. That was all he got. Why was he in this meeting? He loved those types of cases. He was good at them too. He wouldn't let anyone forget the way he had saved Kody Meyers' life. Of course, Jenny had reunited the family but Tony had saved the puppet kid. He went to respond to McGee – something like get me out of here but his phone died. He'd forgotten to charge it last night – a product of falling asleep while texting his… partner. Now he was going to be really miserable – and it was only 11 o'clock.
They had tried him a number of times throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Well, at least, Abby had. She was about to make scene. According to McGee, she already had. For a time, she was convinced that the problem was her cell phone so she switched to McGee's. After ten calls went straight to voicemail, she gave up.
Ziva, meanwhile, had watched Abby as the nurses and one very attractive resident cleaned her wound and stitched her up. She was fine, she assured them. She was completely fine. It was only a flesh wound. Miraculously, the bullet had been just on the surface. She'd be back out in the field in no time. She just looked bad. The black eyes that she'd gotten after tackling the boy for the gun made her look like she was in worse shape than she actually was.
And Tony – she added, Tony probably had his phone off. He was in a very important meeting. Perhaps, he'd realized the importance of his work. That was what she'd said to her team, anyway. To herself, she said other things. He'd only responded to her last text – the contents of which were, of course, classified – this morning saying that he'd fallen asleep the previous evening. She realized that his phone had probably died after spending the entire evening on. She wished they hadn't acted like such teenagers. Staying up all night texting. Really? He'd be standing next to her right now.
Not that she needed, nor really wanted him, standing next to her right now.
The group gathered around her, which had now grown to include Ducky, nodded in understanding. If Ziva said she was fine, then she was. She read their faces one by one. They all seemed to believe her. That is, except for Gibbs. He joined in the head bobbing but his eyes certainly did not agree with his head motions. He knew the injury wasn't too bad – there was never a question about that. She wanted her partner, though. She couldn't fool him on that respect. She'd never be able to.
Tony looked at his watch as he exited the conference area and began the walk to his car. It was nearly half past eight. Early enough that he didn't want to go home. Late enough that there wouldn't be a reason in going to work. Late enough that hopefully his team wouldn't be at work. He'd settled on his third favorite location. Why lie? It was his favorite. It wasn't the Georgetown apartment that really did him in but rather, the woman who inhabited it.
In theory, he would have called first. It was polite – not that their partnership had ever worked in such a way. But, his phone had died. So really, there was no alternative to showing up unannounced.
Normally, he'd stop for some kind of food before arriving – especially if he planned on arriving unannounced. She was not an easy pushover, at least, she hadn't used to be, but food had often done the job. They had given him dinner at the meeting, though, and he figured she'd already have eaten. Still, he didn't want to show up empty handed – that wasn't the way to her heart.
Tony stopped at the convenience store just around the corner from Ziva's apartment. He stood in front of the refrigerators for a moment. He wasn't sure what bringing a six-pack would imply but – he didn't think he liked it. He turned around and stared at the shelf. Red wine? White wine? He didn't like that either. He moved to the next aisle over. Soda would just look plain foolish. Though, she already knew that he was so that didn't really matter. He was about to just give up and arrive empty handed when a colorful carton caught his attention. Was it possible to go wrong with ice cream? He didn't think that it was. He opened the icy door and pulled out a medium sized Ben & Jerry's peanut butter cup. Perfect.
She was sitting on the couch feeling sorry for herself when the knock came. Injured reserve? Was that what they called it in baseball? Well, she wasn't a fan of being on it.
McGee and Abby had helped her home. Abby talked the whole length of the car ride from Bethesda about what a travesty it was that she couldn't reach Tony. She promised to go knocking on his door as soon as they dropped Ziva off. Ziva made her promise not to. Tony would be in touch, she told her friend, and when he found out about what happen he would rush to her side. Abby raised an eyebrow at Ziva and then relented. It wasn't like she hadn't seen the signs. They had settled her onto her couch, made sure she had everything that she needed and then told her to call if she needed anything. Although, both Abby and McGee knew that soon, she wouldn't need anything from them. She'd flipped through the channels for a while – saw herself on the news. Not herself, of course, just a female federal agent – because NCIS didn't actually exist, did it?
After a while, she settled into some sort of a suito depression. She'd been shot today. That sucked. She hadn't seen her partner in two days. That sucked. Her partner hadn't been there when she was shot. That sucked. Her partner's phone was dead and she had no way of reaching him. The day had sucked. She hobbled off of the couch, trying to avoid as much pain as possible. She reached for the lonely disk that sat below her TV. She slid it into the drive and then made her way back to the couch. A small smile crept across her face as a young woman danced through the Swiss Alps of Austria. What else did she do when things sucked?
A second knock sounded. She wasn't getting up, that was for sure. Maybe her refusal of those Percocets had been a mistake. She could really use some high-test painkillers right now.
She waited for a moment, contemplating how to respond. She had known he would show up at some point. He would show up without even knowing what had happened. Clearly, she couldn't call him. He knocked a third time, this one a little louder, this time accompanied by a "Ziva?"
She groaned and began to push herself off of the couch. Pain shot up her thigh from the gauze packed wound. She really wasn't getting up.
"Come in!" she called back. He'd think she'd just gotten out of the shower or something. She called at him once more for good measure, "Come on in, Tony!"
For a moment there was silence. She worried he hadn't heard her. That would really suck. She would force herself to bear the pain and chase after him. She wouldn't want to wait until he reached home, plugged in his phone and saw the twenty missed calls and the four Ziva's been shot texts. She was saved from the pain, though, because just as just as good 'ole Rolf began to lead Liesel into the gazebo, she heard a key being inserted into her front door.
He was almost positive that he had heard her invite him in. Almost. For a second, he thought of leaving – just a second, though. If she didn't want him there, she'd kick him out. He pulled his keychain from his pocket and flipped through until he found the one that was Ziva's. He only had four or five keys on the chain. Hers wasn't hard to find. It was his favorite.
He unlocked the door and then turned the knob, letting himself into her apartment. He shut the door behind him, surprised that she had not appeared by now. "Zi?" he called. He rubbed his head. What a day – what a day. Those conference things were awful.
"I'm in here," she called from the living room.
He followed the sound of her voice into the living room, still holding the carton of ice cream. "I brought ice –" he stopped when he saw her bandaged leg propped up on a pillow. He stared at the red blood staining through the white wrapping before tearing himself away and towards her face. His eyes probably gave him away when they went wide in response to the image of newly bruising circles forming a halo around her eyes. "What happened!"
"Kid shot me in the thigh," she shrugged her shoulders.
She was trying to play it cool. She didn't want him to know that the pain had only subsided when she heard his voice.
His eyes widened as he came around the side of the couch. He did a once over with his eyes making sure that he wasn't missing any other gashes or bruises or broken bones. "My phone . . ." he realized.
"About that, when you do charge it, you will have many missed calls from Abby. She's quite angry with you."
"Sorry." He mumbled. He sat down below her feet on the floor, as she was taking up the majority of the couch. It was then, the small moment of time before either of them chose to speak again, that he realized which movie was playing on her TV. "Must've been a pretty rough day," he said motioning towards the TV.
She didn't reply. He didn't expect her too. She just looked at him. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out what those looks meant.
He gave her good leg a pat before pushing himself off of the floor and heading into her kitchen. He opened the utensil drawer and pulled out two spoons. Coming back into the living room, he grabbed the ice cream off of the end table and took his seat back on the floor – this time, closer to her head. He opened the lid, dug the spoons inside and then passed the carton over his head. She pulled one spoon out and stuck it in her mouth before passing it back to him. The routine continued until the carton was almost empty.
"So, which came first?"
"And then what? You engaged him in a boxing match?" he offered.
"I tackled him, Tony. There were almost two dozen kids in the room."
"Crazy ninja," he muttered.
This time, she set the ice cream on his head, hoping it would fall into his lap after that comment. Of course, he picked it off his hair with ease, not a drop hitting his designer suit.
"This is not a bad movie, you know." She said moments later, as Maria and the Captain were dancing in the Austrian folk dance during the party.
"Wanna know something?" he asked. He turned his head to the side so that he could see her face. "I've never seen the whole thing. Actually, I think I've only seen clips."
"Should I start it over?"
He snorted – trying to contain a laugh. "I think we're all set."
She grabbed the ice cream out of his hand just as he was about to dig his spoon in for another mouthful – one that might very well finish it off. She ate a few scoops from her spoon and then stole his out of his hand and ate another few. She then licked his spoon and handed both the empty carton and the newly cleaned spoon back to Tony.
"Thanks for that," he muttered. He got up again and threw the empty carton into the trash before rinsing the spoons and putting them back in the drawer.
When he came back into the living room he found that she had moved. She was no longer taking up the entire couch but just more than half of it. She sat up straighter and her uninjured leg hung slightly off of the couch. Was she making room for him?
He looked at her and then the small space that he might be able to fit into. That is, if he sat nearly on top of her.
"You are not that large," she laughed.
He huffed before sitting down next to her. She hadn't given him too much room and therefore they were certainly exhibiting red-light behavior. Nonetheless, he proceeded to pull the old yawn – stretch and draped his arm around her shoulders. She laughed again – or she did a mixture of a laugh and a sarcastic huff.
"Didn't we act like teenagers enough last night?" she asked.
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Had we not," she said, that know it all look in her eyes, "You could have held a bedside vigil for me at the hospital."
"Pretty sure those only work if you're unconscious."
"You don't know that I was not," she teased. She turned her head to look at him. She gave him her trademark devilish grin before her smile turned softer. It didn't fade until she saw the look in his eyes. The pain in his expression. She watched him lift his hand from her shoulder and slowly, carefully, trace the blue, black and purple marks the shaped her eyes.
"My Ziva alarm should have went off," he whispered.
"What is that?" she asked, her voice matching his.
"When my Ziva is in trouble, I get this gut wrenching feeling."
She widened her eyes at him before raising a brow. It was when he said things like that that she believed there was no one in the world that cared about her more. The thought made her dizzy. She rested her head back down on his shoulder and focused on the TV. Her favorite song was on. Something good. Her stomach dropped just a bit when she realized the potential irony of the situation.
"I think it's malfunctioning," he continued, a moment or so later. "It's sounding now."
"Is it?" she inquired.
"There's only one way to turn it off."
"Make-out like teenagers."
She turned to look at him before he captured her lips in his. Perhaps, natural Percocets were more to her liking. She'd have bad days like this more often if her partner insisted they end this way.
And that was Ziva David's last coherent thought before she overdosed on her partner, Anthony DiNozzo.