A/N—This is just a short piece based on the press release for the upcoming episode, "Engaged, Part II". Not much else to say except please enjoy :)
"What's your greatest fear?"
"Ugh, I hate rats," Tony shivered as he and McGee got back into their car. "Who could possibly think they'd make great pets?" he asked as he started the engine.
"Ah, come on Tony. It wasn't that bad. They didn't even get near you; they were all in cages!"
"But his house was full of them!" Tony countered. "Definitely a real-life Willard."
"He owned ten of them at the most; he wasn't a 'Willard.'"
"That's ten too many. Look, you may think it's a strange fear to have, but you didn't have the—"
"Pneumonic Plague. Yeah, I know. You mention it every time you see a rat," McGee sighed.
Tony shot McGee a look before asking, "What, you think I'm a wimp for being afraid of rats?"
"No, I just think you're overdoing it a bit; you got the Plague from a powder, not the rats themselves. I just think there are worse things to be afraid of," McGee shrugged.
"Rats aren't what I'm afraid of most; they're just up there on the list," Tony shot back without thinking.
"Really? Alright, so what's your greatest fear?" McGee inquired.
"What, you think I'd reveal that?" Tony asked skeptically. "That seems like it's just asking for trouble," he said pulling up to a stop light.
"Just for the sake of curiosity, nothing more," McGee clarified.
Tony looked thoughtfully out the windshield as he stopped at the red light.
"Tony?" McGee asked. But his partner didn't seem to hear him.
The slight vibrations beneath her seat. The drone of the engines. The itching feeling that radiated from her fingertips to every inch of her body. Gibbs' silent presence sitting next to her. Ziva focused on all of these things in order to distract herself from the Afghani mountains sliding by far beneath her, visible through the window at her right.
She found herself unable to sit completely still, and the thoughts buzzing around her head refused to quiet themselves. The case she and the rest of the team were involved in left her with uncomfortable reminders of her own past. A female Marine missing in hostile territory. Now she was on the other side of the mission: Find the woman and bring her home.
But despite the pull of her duties, despite the empathy she felt, she was almost terrified of what she was doing. Ever since her return to the United States after her capture in Somalia, she had not left American soil with the exception of very brief trips to Paris and Mexico. She suddenly found herself on a plane half a world and an ocean away. Ziva never realized how protected she felt in her new home until she had left it. Now she felt exposed and defenseless.
And the nagging feeling she felt upon boarding the plane only intensified as she and Gibbs drew closer to their destination. What exactly was the feeling? Was it fear? But fear of what? What was it about her current situation that bothered her so much?
What am I afraid of? she thought to herself as she viewed the terrain below.
Closing her eyes, she thought again, What am I afraid of...?
"Tony." McGee said loudly, snapping him out of his reverie.
"Yeah," Tony said, clearing his throat.
"The light's green," he said pointing ahead.
"Sorry. Guess I dozed off for a second," Tony said accelerating a little too roughly.
"So come on, what's your biggest fear?" McGee asked again once the car was brought back up to speed. Tony paused just a beat too long before exclaiming, "Going bald, of course!" He flashed a quirky smile at his partner, but McGee couldn't help but notice the falter beneath his grin. He was silent for a moment before giving Tony a knowing look and saying slowly, "Yeah. I'll bet."
When the plane landed, Gibbs jumped up from his seat. As he made to grab for his bag, he saw that Ziva hadn't moved, and that she was sitting completely still, her gaze fixed on something beyond the window next to her. He found this strange since she couldn't stop fidgeting the entire flight.
"Ziver?" he asked, bringing her attention back to her surroundings as she looked up at Gibbs with a slight note of surprise on her face. "You okay?"
"Yes, I am fine," she said as she got to her feet.
"You sure?" he said eying her as she picked up her own bag.
"Yes. Let's bring her home," she said, walking past Gibbs to disembark the plane.
"What's your greatest fear?"
What's my greatest fear? ...That she won't come home again. That's what I fear the most.
A/N—Thanks for reading! Feel free to review, comment, or criticize. And until next time, happy reading :)