Disclaimer: If you read something and think, "you know what, I think I might have seen that on TV once..." you did. Characters and recognizable scenes belong to CBS and NCIS, not me.


...Running, the thrill of the chase fights the burning in her lungs, the aching of her muscles; she streaks forward, he shouts, she turns; suddenly alone, the rhythm pounding on the street marks the rhythm of her heart; she drives herself forward, seeing her prey, but where is he? Closer still now, the prey can't move, it's trapped, she knows what to do, she's done this a thousand times, she smiles, it's over––stop! But the grimy gazelle she's pursuing turns and bares his concealed teeth of steel and the lion falls as she hears him behind her screaming her––

Night under the stars; the ground is hard as he whispers to her; his caress is fire...

. How long have they been crouched like this? The man they seek will never leave his ashen castle and her back is screaming...

Black water below, the lights of the city reflect spots of green and blue and white and the violet sky that will never fade to black, that shows no stars, though it's midnight; the city shouldn't be this cold, not in July; total silence, so different from the lively ritmo of the salsa still pounding in her head...

. Freezing. Trapped. The bullet leaves her gun and collides with the wall, the other wall, the other wall, so many walls, she's trapped, each ping of the bullet pierces her frozen, burning temple; how can he not notice? How can he smile? Empty wealth goes up in flames; the fire does not warm her...

Words. Words, hushed, unintelligible. A hand strokes her, but the words? What is he saying? Promises are a language she does not understand, and from his mouth run a stream of foreign syllables...

. Where is he? She speaks, she hardly knows what she is saying. Everyone is speaking. Everything is words, only words, nothing but words. Alone. Where is he? He wouldn't...not again. Her hand drops. She makes her promise as she wonders if promises can be kept...

Motion. Everything is motion, she is moving, sliding, she can't control herself, going to run into something if she can't stop, she doesn't like not being in control, stop! stop! But he won't stop, he turns back laughing, see you at the bottom…

. The wind blows her hair, too slow for the scooter, the sun peers through the buildings. Dawn. She's moving again; her hands clutch his back; why is he shaking? Control. Control, now, is holding on to him...

Click, clack. Click, clack. The sound of labored breathing. Mechanical. Everything is mechanical and the hay irritates her back and the ground is hard and her head, her head! A piercing noise that shouldn't be there, not so far from the city, not with nothing but fields outside the barn. She sees them, searches for the face she wants to see. There, no….

. Wrong face. He came. He came. He came again and her stomach churns. Guilt or pain. Wrong face. Right face. The only face…

Snow...

. Sand...

She can't see anything; it's all too white on the mountain…

. Thirst...

Beeping. A message. What is it? Nothing. Was it real? Of course. You lie. They lie. Beeping. No. Hand in hers. I have something for you. Beeping. What? Proof, at last. Light pounding of her heart; electrical beat. Beeping. New message. Empty box. Beeping. Disappointment….

. Hand in hers. Calluses. Her head, her ribs, the pain. So long since anyone has held her, he holds her gently, afraid to break her, carrying her to safety. He came. He shouldn't have come. He came. Soft caress…

The ground grows soft. His caress stops exploring her skin. That shouldn't be there. She gasps. He can't know. What? Nothing. He turns away…

. Back again. Safe. Light pouring through the windows, too much light, it should be darker. Why did I say that? I can't tell him. Come on, Ziva….

Come on, Ziva.

Come on, Ziva.

The whiteness is blinding. So many faces. But there it is. Right beside her, to the left. Just there, and it smiles. The right face.

The only face.

His face.