09.04 am +1GMT
September 9, 2001.
It was morning. Simple morning on the coast of Mediterranean Sea. Her every morning started like that. She woke up, went to the balcony, took a breath of still warm Italian air. She was dressed in her silky red bathrobe, her red curls loosely on her back and her emerald eyes still groggy with sleep. She yawned and walked back inside.
It was a beautiful morning, but something felt off. Something wasn't right. Something was going to happen and she could feel it in her gut. Yes, Jennifer Shepard had a gut feeling or actually "her bad feeling". The same she had before getting shot and before Jethro got shot. It's her feeling that tells her, that something is going to happen and that something is not good. She has no idea what's going to happen, is it her or someone else... She just knows that something will happen. Something bad.
With that bad feeling she walked to the bathroom. She took a long hot shower. But the feeling didn't disappear with the refreshing feeling that took over her body from the outside, but nagging feeling on the inside didn't let the shower work on it's magic.
Jenny wrapped the towel around her now wet curls and went back to the bedroom. She took a look in the closet and picked out her clothes.
She dried her hair and changed. Finally she was ready to go downstairs. She was greeted by the smell of coffee and toast. Slowly she made her way to the kitchen.
"You decided to wake up too ?" her partner asked from the table.
"Can you feel it ?" Jenny asked and decided to avoid the question.
"Feel what ? The breeze of Greece ? The fall, that's coming ? The fact that you have a bad day ?" he asked and looked up from his coffee cup.
"No. I feel like something bad is going to happen today. I don't know what and when, but I just have the feeling," Jenny said.
"You want me to handle our friends today alone ?" He asked and looked up.
She shook her head.
"No. I'm coming, Will," she said to her friend.
She walked to the coffee machine, took her cup and poured herself a cup of good coffee. She grabbed a toast and sat behind the table. She was facing her friend, who seemed to careless at the time. Yes, William Decker was so careless on the day, when she was feeling so bad. She blamed Gibbs and his encouragements to follow the gut and trust the inside feeling. It sucks. Now she has to make it through the day with this gnawing fear inside.
"You okay ?" Decker asked.
"Yes. It's nothing. I just have a bad feeling and that's it," Jenny said and took a bite.
"So you are not having some other woman problems ?" Decker asked warily.
The newspaper crashed into Decker's head. He was annoyed, she on the other hand found it amusing. Unfortunately it didn't help with the feeling.
"I hate you," she announced.
"Yeah, yeah. Callan and Morez and coming over in an hour. We have some things to discuss. The mission is ending. We have the final round to make. And then you're free to go back to the States, unless Morrows has other plans with you," Decker said.
"Finally. I am so tired of them already. I wanna go to my bed, in my home and use my bathroom and I have a closet full of the clothes I miss now so much. And I have shoes to match my outfit," Jenny said.
"You have like 10 pairs of shoes here," Decker whined.
"Say no more. Or I'll broke one of them by hitting your pride," Jenny threatened.
"I'll shut up now," Decker said and turned back to the other newspaper he was reading before she came in.
After that moment neither of them was with each other nor the mission. Decker read the Greece newspaper and tried to understand the news it wrote about. Somehow he didn't find anything interesting there. Still he read to practice the language and also to avoid Jenny – even he could see that she wasn't much of a talker at this morning.
Jenny on the other hand drank her coffee and stared the table. She was deep in her thoughts trying to figure out the meaning of the feeling. She couldn't and so she focused on her coffee and nothing else. Despite the fact that it was killing her, she let it go, for a moment.
The doorbell rang.
Both agents rose from their thoughts.
"I'll get it," Decker said and took his handgun from his room.
Jenny nod and went back to drinking coffee. She heard Decker talking and the door closing. 2 men walked to the kitchen. One was Decker and the other their target named Giorgos Papae. Jenny excused herself from the kitchen. In this mission she was just Decker's girlfriend and backup, Decker's alias was a criminal, Jenny's wasn't. She pecked Decker's cheek and she was gone.
She heard Decker leaving after awhile and then she decided to read her book.
Without realizing she was soon asleep.
"Jenny !" Decker shouted as he walked back into the house.
Jenny shot her eyes open. The book fell to the ground. She grabbed her gun and ran downstairs.
"What ?" She asked, when she saw Decker. He was in front of the TV watching news.
"Look at this," he said and pointed to the TV.
The news were in Greece, but both of the agents realized, that it was about a terrorist attack. And then the camera moved to the building that was now in flames. It was WTC 1, or the remains of that, then camera moved to WTC 2, which was also on fire and broken.
"Oh, god," Jenny gasped.
The news went on nevertheless. The scene changed. Another woman was talking. Then the camera moved to the building behind the woman. It was Pentagon. The smoke came from it, flames were visible and then the camera showed pieced of airplane a little away from the Pentagon.
Jenny turned away. Her breathing was fast and uneven. She tried to calm herself, but somehow she couldn't.
Decker kept on staring at the same scenes over the TV. He was too shocked to move or even close the TV with those horrible scenes.
After few good minutes, Jenny had had enough. She couldn't hear this anymore. She grabbed the remote from Decker and switched the TV off.
Jenny turned to Decker. His face was unreadable.
"I knew something was off. I knew it. I felt it and you mocked it. Did you see the TV ? Did you see the people, the firefighters and everybody trying to save innocent people ? Did you see all that ?" Jenny burst.
"Yes," Decker simply said.
"What the hell happened ? World is not supposed to be a warzone. We should make sure that the world is not the warzone. We should keep people safe. What the hell went wrong ?" Jenny asked.
"Terrorists hijacked planes. They crashed in WTC 1 and 2 and Pentagon. One landed somewhere in Pittsburgh. Don't know where exactly," Decker said. His voice was indifferent and low.
"What ? When did it all happen ?" Jenny asked.
"Flight 11 crashed into WTC 1 at 8.46 am, Flight 175 crashed into WTC 2 at 9.03 am, Flight 77 crashed into the west side of Pentagon at 9.37 am and the last Flight 93 crashed in Pittsburgh at 10.03 am. It was supposed to hit the White house or the Capitol, but something went wrong. The twin towers collapsed due to the collision. All planes to USA are canceled until tomorrow noon at least. Morrows hasn't called yet, but he is busy and probably this mission isn't on his mind right now," Decker said. His voice was shaking as he talked. He refused to look at Jenny. He closed his eyes.
"This wasn't supposed to happen. Why didn't anyone stop it ?" Jenny shouted in fury. Many emotions were inside of her. She was angry, sad, shocked and confused at the same time.
"I don't know. I wasn't there," Decker said.
"How many people got killed ?" Jenny asked another question.
"I don't know," Decker said.
"WHY YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ?" Jenny shouted and threw the remote on the floor. It crashed into many little pieces.
"I AM NOT THERE, JENNY. IT'S NOT MY FAULT. I DIDN'T HIJACK THE PLANES. I DIDN'T CRASH THEM. I CAN'T KNOW THESE THINGS," Decker finally burst. He hit the wall on his right.
Jenny was taken back by the violent outburst. Of course it's not Decker's fault, but there was no-one else to ask and to be angry at.
"I'm sorry, Will," Jenny said quietly after a moment of silence.
"You're forgiven," Decker said and walked past Jenny. He went to his room and slammed the door close.
Jenny jumped as the door closed. She stood there in front of the TV. The pieces of remote were in front of her, the wall was bloody, where Decker had hit it.
Slowly she moved to upstairs and closed herself in her room. She wanted to scream or cry or hit something or to anything, but she didn't know what she was supposed to do. She felt guilty, but the same she couldn't have stopped the plane. They should have worked better. By them she meant all agencies working against terrorism including small agencies in Finland and Japan. This attack meant that all of them had failed. She didn't like the feeling.
In anger Jenny took off her shoes and threw them to the wall. They ended on the floor with a loud bang. Jenny didn't care. She fell to her bed and stared at the ceiling. Her mind started thinking about all the things that should have been done, but still are undone.
Later that night both Jenny and Decker were still in their room. Neither of them had left the room since they went there.
Jenny was brought back into reality, when her phone rang. The number was hidden.
"Yes," she answered.
"Hey Jen. How are things ?" Leroy Jethro Gibbs asked from the other side.
"Jethro. Why are you calling me ?" Jenny asked.
"Aaah. Director wanted to talk to you, but his phone is not working, so he asked me to call you. It was nice hearing your voice and I'll give you to Morrows now," Jethro said. Jenny couldn't tell if he was angry at her, or he was not himself because of the attack, probably both, but he was not okay.
"Hey Jenny," Director Tom Morrows greeted.
"Tom. I take it isn't a social call," Jenny said.
"No it isn't. You probably have heard about the attacks. It's not pretty and I won't get into details, we're kind of busy here, but the director of Mossad called me earlier. He is concerned about the safety of Israel. I have been talking with Eli for multiple times and we were planning on running some anti-terrorism ops in Eastern Europe and in North Africa. We agreed that those ops are necessary and we have to start running them fast. Mossad had intel about some terrorist cells in Egypt. That's where we start," Morrows said.
"You want me and Decker to go there ?" Jenny asked. That was the only good reason why Morrows was calling her.
"Not quite. You will go there, Decker will finish in Greece alone. I'll talk to him later. You'll get the assignments from the airport. Callan will be there, he'll take over in Greece instead of you. You'll change the intel there. Now start packing," Morrows said.
"I'm going tomorrow ?" Jenny asked. That was fast.
"No. You're flight goes in 3 hours. Pack and be at the airport in 1 hour. Callan will wait you at the main entrance with your ticket," Morrows said.
"Okay," Jenny asked.
"No. Oh, and your new partner will be Ziva David from Mossad. She'll wait for you at the airport parking lot with red car. She is wearing a red coat and lights a cigarette, when someone approaches the parking lot," Morrows said.
"Got it," Jenny said.
"Now start packing," Morrows said and hung up.
Jenny shut the phone. New mission, Cairo with Mossad... It ought to be interesting.
She took her suitcase and threw clothes, shoes and other necessary things inside. She didn't have too many things in Greece, so she had no troubles packing. She took a quick look in the room and in the bathroom before closing the suitcase. All of her things were there. She closed her eyes, put on the coat and grabbed the purse.
She managed to took a few stairs, when she saw Decker leaving his room. Decker looked up and went to help Jenny with the suitcase.
"Where are you going ?" He asked.
"Morrows called. I'm sent to Cairo. You get Callan. He is briefed and has Morrows directions. I don't know more. My plane goes in few hours," Jenny explained as they walked down.
"I'll get you a cab," Decker said and picked his phone. He ordered the cab and turned back to Jenny.
"You're the second. In Europe, 1999. It was you and me and Callan and Gibbs. Of course Ducky was here too, but he was here as medical person, not as an agent. First to be sent away was Gibbs. Then you and me and Callan were here. Now you are sent away. That leaves me and Callan. Wonder, who is the next to leave ?" Decker said.
"My mission will bring me back to Europe soon. But we won't work together, I think. We'll see someday in the states," Jenny said.
"Sure," Decker said.
The cab pulled up in front of the house.
Decker took the suitcase and walked with Jenny to the cab. He put the suitcase to car and turned to Jenny.
"Take care, Jenny," Decker said.
"You too," Jenny replied.
She hugged him for a moment and sat into the car. He watched his friend go until the car was not visible anymore. Decker went back to the house and hit the wall in anger. He let it all out, since he was alone.
Jenny walked through the Cairo's airport. She had gotten the mission intel from Callan and told him things he needed to know about Greece and Decker. Their meeting was brief and strictly professional. All people were in shock today.
Jenny entered the parking lot. She looked around and saw a woman in red coat smoking. That must be Ziva David. Jenny walked to her with her suitcase behind her.
"Ziva David ?" Jenny asked the woman
"Jennifer Shepard ?" Ziva answered with another question.
Jenny nod. Ziva did the same.
Jenny put her suitcase on the backseat. Both woman sat into the car and Ziva drove off. She was driving like a maniac.
"I'm sorry about the attack, agent Sheppard," Ziva said.
"Thank you. And call me Jenny," Jenny said and gave a little smile for the first time of the day.
"Ziva," the Mossad officer said.
Despite the fact that people got killed and the day was sad and always remembered as the day, when a lot of people got killed and terrorists showed the power. World won't be the same after this. Somehow, Jenny felt like meeting Ziva was a good thing. She felt that she'll like the younger officer. She found hope at the end of the day. Hope, that she could stop terrorism at some point, hope that she could make the world a better place.
Hope in chaos. That's what Jenny felt, when Ziva drove dangerously in Cairo at night. Ziva probably ignored all the rules, but Jenny didn't care. She felt safe. A small smile lingered on her lips.
It was midnight. Another day. Yesterday in mind and unsafe future in front of them – that's how two strangers drove to the next day.