Title: Déjà vu
Written for: gosgirl
Prompt: Gibbs / Ziva first time het romance related to a case file. Post Somalia or even in a universe where Somalia didn't exist.
Pairings: Gibbs / Ziva
Disclaimer: To my constant disappointment I own none of the characters you recognise, if I did I'd be a lot richer. Isabella, Blake and the other original characters involved are entirely my own invention. Any inaccuracies are mine and mine alone.
Word Count: 9,746
Summary: Ziva thinks she's over Somalia but what happens when a case the team investigates hits a little close to home?
Author's Note: This story was was written for Gosgirl as part of the NCIS Ficathon over on LJ. She provided me with a great selection of prompts and the one you can see above was the one I went with. Some of you may have read this before over on LJ, if you did I hope you consider it worth the re-read. If it's your first time I hope you enjoy it!
The summer in Washington D.C. had been long and hot, beginning towards the end of June a heat wave had swept much of the Eastern seaboard leaving temperatures rarely dropping below 100°F during the day and not much lower at night. Now in the middle of August the temperatures showed no signs of falling. Secure in her air conditioned office on the third floor of the Pentagon, Commander Isabella Maya Crawfield sighed and set down the file she had spent much of the afternoon perusing. Leaning back in her seat she stretched to loosen the muscles in her neck and shoulders that had become stiff from sitting and reading in one position for most of the afternoon. Catching sight of the clock on the wall she decided that she had done enough for the day, and rose from her desk, returning the file to its rightful place in bank of secure cabinets on the far wall. She glanced out of her window; one of the benefits of being an expert in her field was an office in the outer ring and a view over the lagoon. Reaching for her handbag she doubled checked she had her cell, keys and purse before leaving the office and securing the door behind her. Heading for the metro she gasped quietly as she left the cool of the air conditioned building and stepped into the intense heat that still permeated the city even as time passed from afternoon into early evening. Hurrying down the steps she made her way to the yellow line, before switching to the red and emerging in DuPont Circle. Sighing once again at the heat she began the walk back to her apartment in Georgetown, stopping along the way to buy a bottle of wine and grab take out for dinner.
Entering her apartment Isabella pushed the door closed, dropping her bag on the table that stood in the hallway for exactly that purpose, before placing the chain on the door. Slipping off her shoes she made her way into the kitchen, depositing her dinner and the bottle of wine on the counter. Walking into her bedroom she pulled the drapes before beginning to undress, throwing her shirt and skirt into the hamper she crossed the room dressed solely in her underwear, the white lace of her bra and panties accentuating the natural sun kissed glow of her skin; reaching her closet she pulled a simple white vest top and a pair of loose cotton shorts from a shelf. Pulling her hair from the tight braid it occupied during her working hours she allowed the dark waves to frame her face, as her fingers worked her scalp, massaging it gently to release the tension her braid had left. Finally free of anything work related she walked back through her apartment, her bare feet sinking into her soft carpet as she made her way back to the kitchen. Grabbing a wine glass out of one of her cupboards she uncorked the bottle of chardonnay and poured herself a large glass before picking up the takeaway container and chopsticks and making her way into the lounge. Curling up in the corner of her large couch she switched on the TV and navigated her way through the many channels until she happened across one of her favourite films just beginning. Smiling to no one in particular she set the remote down next to her wine glass and opened her food.
Around 30 minutes into the movie Isabella heard a crash coming from the direction of her bathroom. Sighing she set down her wine glass and rose from the couch. Making her way towards the bathroom she assumed the neighbour's cat had once again snuck in through an open window and was now creating havoc in the small room. However as she opened the bathroom door it wasn't the neighbours small tabby cat she was faced with but a 6' 4" male with a haircut that could only mean he was part of the military, or at least had been at some point. Faced with a stranger in her own home Isabella automatically reverted back to her martial arts training and dropped into a fighting stance.
"Who are you? What do you want?" she barked harshly, immediately wanting to establish the nature of the threat facing her.
The blond haired man laughed slightly, he knew better than to underestimate an opponent but he had almost a foot and close to 60 pounds on the slim built woman in front of him, "Who I am isn't important." Was his rather simple response, "What do I want? Well that's rather simple, I want you."
That said he moved towards her, not willing to simply be taken Isabella lashed out, twisting slightly and lifting her leg in order to send it crashing into his stomach. Without pausing to assess his reaction Isabella dodged from the doorway, making her way across the hall and into her bedroom. Jumping across her bed she reached her bookcase and began to pull several books from the middle shelf as she tried to gain access to the hidden wall safe, and more importantly the gun it contained. She had managed to input 3 numbers from the 4 digit code when she felt a strong arm encircle her waist and pull her away from the shelving. Instinctively she drew her elbow back, this time making contact with her attacker's nose. Grunting in pain the man threw her across the room, turning to see her head make contact with the bedpost. He waited as she groaned, and watched as she slowly pulled herself back to her feet, blood slowly trickling down her face from the cut just above her eyebrow. Wiping his own blood from just below his nose he moved towards her once again, blocking her foot, as she tried to kick him once more, he caused her to lose her balance and she stumbled into her dressing table, knocking a vase and bottle of perfume to the floor, she watched them shatter before pulling herself round once again. Turning she found the man almost on top of her already, grabbing a broken piece of glass from the shattered vase she ignored the sting as it cut into her own hand and slashed at her attacker, slicing into his upper arm before his hand closed around her wrist and twisted it sharply causing her to drop the jagged piece of glass. Twisting her arm around behind her he forced her to turn in his grasp. Ignoring her struggles he slipped his arm around her neck and pulled her into a choke hold. Looking into her mirror Isabella was sure she saw a hint of regret flicker in his eyes, and then her world went black.
Three of the four members of the Major Case Response team could be found at their desks in the bullpen. The special agent in charge of the team Leroy Jethro Gibbs had been summoned into the Director's office not long after the team's arrival in the building and was yet to return. The three remaining agents were all taking advantage of this down time in their own way. Senior field agent Anthony DiNozzo was using the unexpected free time to try and beat his high score on the Hollywood Trivia game; as such a running commentary could be heard coming from his desk. Special Agent Timothy McGee was using the downtime in the only way he could, happily surrounded by cables as he upgraded his computer; he had already replaced his monitor to the latest high definition screen, and was now reconfiguring his system after updating much of the software. Special Agent Ziva David was using the quiet time to strip down her service weapon, expertly taking it to pieces, cleaning the individual components and putting it back together again. Sliding the clip back into place she glanced at her watched and noticed it had almost been two hours since Gibbs had jogged up the stairs and disappeared into the Director's office.
It was not long after that moment of recognition that Gibbs reappeared on the walkway and made his way back down the stairs to his team, Tony had the misfortune of sitting with his back to staircase and as such the first thing he knew of the senior agent's reappearance was when he felt his palm connect with the back of his skull. "Didn't feel like finishing off your reports then DiNozzo…"
Tony gently rubbed at the back of his head, "Sorry boss, I'll get onto those now…"
Jethro shook his head, "No time, grab your gear; we have a suspected kidnapping…"
A flurry of activity began the moment the words left his mouth, Ziva checked her weapon once more before securing it on her hip, grabbing her badge from her desk drawer and reaching her back pack from the floor, and hooking it over her shoulder as she rose from her seat and began following Gibbs towards the elevator. The boys were not quite as fluid in their movements, McGee tripped over one of his many wires as he made his way towards the lift and Tony's mad search for the van keys resulted in Gibbs's disapproving look as he had to hold the lift for him. Stepping out into the parking lot Gibbs made his way towards the Charger as the guys headed for the van. Surprised to hear the passenger door closing just after his he turned to see Ziva settling into the seat beside him. A cheeky grin met his raised eyebrow as she pulled her seatbelt across her body and fastened it. Rolling his eyes and allowing a slight smile to cross his face he simply started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot, leaving the guys to follow along behind them in the van.
Gibbs pulled the Charger to a stop in front of an imposing building in the centre of Georgetown. Turning off the engine he eased himself up and out of the car to find Ziva already leaning against the hood as she looked up at the building. Quickly scanning the building her attention was immediately drawn to the main entrance into the building, "It is a secure doorway, yes?" she asked turning towards Gibbs, upon seeing his nod she continued onwards, "So how did the attacker get in? Do we think she let him in?"
Jethro nodded in the generally direction of a narrow alleyway just to the left of the building, "Local PD believe he went up the fire escape and forced the bathroom window."
Ziva nodded in understanding and pushed herself off the hood of the car as the truck rounded the corner and pulled up behind the car. Ziva moved with the guys to grab her kit from the back of the truck and then followed Gibbs into the building and up to the Commander's apartment.
Stepping into the main living space of the apartment the team found it basically untouched; family photos lined shelves and bookcases were filled with trinkets from around the world. Isabella's glass of Chardonnay remained half-finished on the small table beside the sofa; the unfinished carton of Chinese was still sitting on the coffee table, a pair of chopsticks still sticking out of the remaining noodles. From this viewpoint the agents could have been forgiven for thinking nothing untoward had occurred and that the occupant of the flat had simply remembered a prior engagement part way through the meal and had left in a hurry. One look down the hallway and into the bathroom and master bedroom was enough to dispel this idea.
Ziva had quickly finished taking wide shots of the living room and followed Gibbs down the hall towards the bedroom. Stepping in through the doorway one quick glance told her that this woman had not gone quietly. The contents of her dressing table were lying broken on the floor, what had clearly been a well-made bed was now a mess of tangled sheets, throw pillows were now scattered all over the floor. Finishing taking photos she crouched down beside Gibbs as he examined a cluster of blood drops, "Do you think it is the Commander's or her attacker's?"
Gibbs shrugged, "Get a sample, Abby will be able to tell us…"
Ziva nodded and reached a swab from her kit, taking a sample for Abby she sealed it away and secured it in her bag. Tony stuck his head around the door as Ziva rose from the floor, "Boss, the Commander's father is here…"
Jethro nodded and followed Tony back out to the living room. Spotting the tall man standing by the bookshelves and staring at photos he moved to stand alongside him, "Admiral Crawfield?"
The man turned to him, "Yes, you must be Special Agent Gibbs; the Secretary told me he was speaking to your director to ensure you took on the case. Tell me, what are you going to do to find my daughter?"
"Everything we can Admiral. My team is currently gathering forensic evidence from the apartment to see if we can gain any information. What you can do to help is speak with another member of my team, answer a few questions and see if you can think of any reason Isabella may have been taken." He waved Ziva over, "This is Special Agent David…"
Ziva smiled slightly at the man, glancing at the photograph in his hand she smiled in recognition, "That is Haifa no?"
The Admiral nodded, "Before I spent all my time behind a desk I was a naval aviator. One of the carriers I was based on was docked in the port at Haifa; it was where I met my wife…"
"My mother was from Haifa, I spent a lot of summers there as a child…" Seeing the bond beginning to form between the Admiral and his agent Gibbs moved away and returned to finish examining the bedroom and discuss what his other agents had found throughout the flat.
The Admiral put down the photo and turned his attention towards Ziva, "You look rather like my Isabella… Agent Gibbs said you were Agent David is that right?" Seeing Ziva nod in confirmation he continued, "Any relation to Eli David?"
Ziva nodded once again, "He is my father… Admiral Crawfield was Isabella seeing anyone? Has she had any relationships that have ended badly recently?"
The Admiral moved to sit beside the window and shook his head, "I believe she was seeing someone last year but it just sort of ended, nothing noteworthy, it wasn't anything particularly serious to begin with. She's been concentrating on her education and then her career."
Ziva nodded in understanding, "Is it possible that Isabella has been dating but not spoken with you about it? Maybe she would share more with her mother about her relationships…"
The Admiral sighed and rubbed his hand over his face, "Maya, Isabella's mother died in a car accident over 20 years ago. Isabella was 10 at the time; Maya had just picked her up from a friend's house when a drunk driver ran and red light and went straight into the side of their car. Isabella survived, Maya didn't…"
"Is there anyone else you can think of that might want to harm your daughter? A work colleague perhaps…" The Admiral shook his head again, "Is it possible that someone maybe trying to use your daughter to hurt you?"
"It is possible, I oversee several selection committees, committees due to make decisions on several military contracts in the next couple of months, and they'll make whoever wins the contracts millions of dollars."
Ziva nodded, "So it is possible that one of the bidders involved has taken your daughter for ransom, holding her until you agree to award them the contracts?"
"I think it is the most likely possibility, the Secretary of the Navy agrees with me."
"But you have had no contact from anybody yet?"
The Admiral shook his head, "I expect they want me to worry first."
Ziva nodded, "Perhaps it would be an idea for you to go home and wait by the phone. The agency will probably want to set up a system to monitor any calls you receive."
The Admiral nodded, rose from his seat and shook her hand before leaving the apartment. Ziva re-joined Gibbs and the rest of the team, "The Admiral believes Isabella has no-one in her life who would wish to harm her, but he believes it is possible that a company or individual competing for a military contract may have kidnapped her in order to gain his vote."
Gibbs nodded, "That's what the SecNav is concerned about. Where is the Admiral now?"
"I sent him home to wait for a call, I told him that someone from the Agency would want to monitor any calls he received."
Jethro nodded once again, "McGee you can do that, take DiNozzo with you, Ziva and I will go back to the Navy Yard and start researching the firms competing for the contracts."
Hidden off a dirt trail deep in the Appalachian Mountains stood a tiny run down wooden cabin; far from any of the main routes through the mountain this cabin had lain forgotten for many years, the flaking paintwork and broken shutters were a testament to this point. It was in a darkened room inside this cabin that Commander Isabella Maya Crawfield reawoke. Wincing as she tried to open her swollen eye, the stiff muscles in her shoulders and neck protested as she attempted to look around at her surroundings. As she tried to move her arms it swiftly became apparent she wouldn't be able to; cold metal cut into her wrists as she pulled against the cuffs holding her arms behind the chair. Attempting to move her legs revealed they had also been restrained, this time with rope, ensuring it was impossible for her to attempt to escape. From what she could see from her position the room was sparsely furnished, a table sat underneath the window on the far side of the room, the smallest ray of sunlight creeping in around the broken shutter. A second chair was situated just across from her, it was a simple wooden dining chair, much the same as the one she found herself strapped to. Isabella could also see a floor lamp sitting just behind the chair, but that seemed to be the only other object in the room. Twisting her head to the left she could see a single door seemingly leading to the outside, and to the right two more doors, leading into what she could only presume to be more rooms.
Suddenly a particularly tall man appeared through on of the doorways on the right wall. Isabella followed his movements into and across the room. Her eyes moved upwards, the muscles in her neck stretching as she tilted her head back, allowing herself to look up into his eyes as he came to a stop directly in front of her. "Who are you? What do you want from me?"
The man remained silent as he tilted her head from one side to the other, vanishing back into the mystery room he returned with a bowl of warm water and a cloth before gently cleaning the dried blood from her face; moving to place the bowl and cloth down on the table before lowering his tall frame into the chair opposite her. He quietly watched her, before finally answering her question, "Who am I? You can call me Blake… What do I want from you? Nothing, I needed the money and someone offered to pay me…"
Isabella leaned forwards in her seat , "I can give you money if that is what you want, just let me go, I'll match what you've been paid and I won't press charges, you can just forget this ever happened…"
Blake shook his head, "There's more than just money involved, besides my employers would probably kill me if I didn't hand you over, a rather ruthless group of people so I'm told… Their country requires something from you"
"Another country? You would betray your own country?"
Blake rose from his seat, the anger clear in his eyes, "Betray my country? What about the way in betrayed me? I was a soldier y'know, served my country and what did it do for me? Ordered my unit on a mission that we warned them was too risky, that the potential for ambush was too great, but we were sent anyway. Do you know how many of my unit made it back to camp?"
Isabella shook her head, not making a sound as he continued on with his story, "Just me, I was the only one, we were ambushed, didn't stand a chance, a group of them came out of nowhere and started shooting. We fought back of course but by the time the last bastard dropped dead I was the only one left standing. My best friend died in my arms, and what did my country do for me? Gave me a medal and a nice honourable discharge, suddenly I was no longer their problem, and who cares if I'm having a few problems, nightmares every time I close my eyes, after all I only watched 14 other men die. So Commander Crawfield tell me what exactly what I owe the military, what I owe this country?"
Isabella's eyes darted towards the main door as she heard a car pull up outside. Both pairs of eyes were on the doorway as it opened. A short but fierce looking woman entered the room first, closely followed by a much taller heavily built man, closing the door behind him he moved towards Blake and passed him a holdall, "You have done your job, now leave…"
Blake grabbed his jacket from the side, swiftly walking across the room to the exit, eager to be away from the cabin before the pair decided it would be better if he were dead and unable to identify them. Isabella listened as a car engine started and then grew fainter as the car moved away down the track. Once she could no longer hear the car she turned her attention back to the two other occupants in the room, her eyes focusing on the man until the woman began to speak. "Commander Isabella Maya Crawfield… We have much to speak about."
The early morning sunlight was beginning to filter through the large office windows when Ziva began to stir from her spot on the office floor. None of the team had gone home the previous evening. Tony and Ziva had stayed late at the office looking further into the Crawfield's history and the companies that were potential suspects, whilst Tim and Gibbs had spent the night at Admiral Crawfield's home waiting for a ransom call.
Pulling herself off the floor and back into her seat she stretched, attempting to loosen her stiff muscles just as the elevator pinged and the doors slid open to reveal the other half of the team. Waiting for the two men to reach their desks Ziva swivelled round in her chair to face her boss, "Any calls?"
Gibbs shook his head, "Hey DiNozzo! What you got?"
DiNozzo started from his sleep as Gibbs called his name, his head banging into the bottom of his desk as he sat up quickly. Rubbing the top of his head Tony gingerly moved into his seat, "Not a lot boss, companies involved all seem pretty clean…"
"Perhaps the SecNav is mistaken…" The three male members of the team all turned their attention towards the single female voice, "The secretary and the Admiral are both convinced Isabella has been kidnapped to persuade the Admiral to award to specific contract to one specific company yes?" Gibbs nodded his head in confirmation, "And this is the route they have told the director we should focus on no?" Again Jethro nodded in confirmation, this time Ziva turned her head towards Tony, "The Admiral is involved in how many selection committees Tony?"
Tony looked down at his notes, "Four currently, each with between three and six companies bidding for the contract."
Ziva nodded, "So we have anywhere between 12 and 24 potential suspects. Surely if that was the reason behind the kidnapping contact would have been made. How is the Admiral to award the contract to the company involved if he does not know who it is?"
Gibbs nodded, "You have another theory?"
Ziva inclined her head, "Information…" Smiling at the slightly blank faces of her colleagues she elaborated, "Commander Isabella Maya Crawfield is a very bright woman, she is what you Americans would call a high flyer no… I think with the rank of her father the SecNav and the Director may have forgotten what an asset Isabella is in her own right. Isabella has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale, and PhDs in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Caltech. In the private sector her skills could easily make her millions; instead she followed her father into the navy where she now oversees weapon development programs. She has access to all the latest weapon system information, files that not even the director could gain access to."
Tony scoffed slightly, "Who would go to all that trouble for a little information? What could she really tell anyone?"
Tim turned to him, "Tony if what Ziva says is right Commander Crawfield has either designed herself, or overseen the design of many of our latest weapons systems. Top secret information Tony that would be very damaging to the Navy if it fell into enemy hands. Imagine what could be done if enemy countries were able to hack into our systems and redirect our own missiles back towards our ships?"
Ziva nodded, "Tony you remember how I looked when the three of you found me in Somalia? That was after someone tried to get a little information on NCIS out of me…"
Gibbs nodded in agreement, "You're right, Ziva, DiNozzo, go and see if Abby has got any results yet, Tim see if you can find anyone suspicious entering the country, I'm going to tell the director about the new direction the case is going in."
With that he rose from his seat and the team all began to work on this new angle.
"Wakey Wakey Isabella" Came the sing song voice of Samireh Mousavi. Isabella was awakened from her broken sleep by a bright light being shone into her eyes, blinking to give her pupils time to adjust; she opened her good eye, the other now completely swollen shut after being hit during a little gentle persuasion to get her to talk. This gentle persuasion had also resulted in a split lip, her head wound from the previous night had reopened leaving the blood to once again trickle down the side of her face, and if one were to remove her shirt they would find a myriad of bruises beginning to form.
Seeing that Isabella was now focused on her Samireh continued, "Come now Issy, it would be so much easier for all of us if you just told us what we want to know…"
Isabella shook her head, "I told you I'm telling you nothing, I would rather die than betray my country…"
Samireh rose from her seat, slowly circling Isabella, "You realise that in time everyone breaks, eventually you will tell us what we want to know, why not save us the time and yourself a lot of pain and just tell us now. We know the US Navy have just introduced a new torpedo based weapons system. What is the range of the new torpedoes?"
Isabella shrugged, "How would I know?"
Samireh had stopped behind Isabella and now pulled on her hair, tilting her head back into an uncomfortable position. She smirked as Isabella hissed as the additional pressure widened her head wound, "tut tut, did your parents never tell you it's rude to lie? I know that nothing on that project passed without you signing off on it, you know everything there is to know about that system, you basically created it…"
Samireh released her hair and walked back around to face Isabella, "So I shall ask once more, what is the maximum range of a torpedo in the new system…"
Isabella looked defiantly up at her, "It seems to have slipped my mind…"
At once Samireh's palm connected with the side of her face. She hit her with search force it turned not only her head but the whole of her body, jarring her shoulder joint as her handcuffs forcibly stopped the momentum the slap had created. Samireh moved away, standing to one side of the room and allowing Amin to take up a position in front of Isabella, "My colleague had been very patient with you Commander Crawfield, but no my patience has run out, you will tell us what we want to know."
Isabella once again shook her head, "No…"
Amin moved behind her and unlocked the handcuffs, roughly pulling her into an upright position even as her feet remained secured to the chair legs. He roughly twisted her arm behind her back, "I am going to ask a very basic question and I want an answer. What is the maximum range of a torpedo in your new system?"
"No" came the simple response, even as Amin increased the pressure on her arm Isabella refused to give in, even as the pain levels increased and brought tears to her eyes she refused to answer the question. Then the pressure on her arm increased again and the bone snapped with a sickening crunch. "Go to hell" was all Isabella was able to gasp before she passed out from the pain.
Down in Abby's lab the forensic scientist was trying to explain to Ziva and Gibbs the problems with the blood sample they had brought her, "It's contaminated Gibbs, I can tell there are two samples mixed together but another liquid is mixed in with them, it's damaged the DNA profiles so I can't tell you who the blood belongs to…"
Ziva looked towards Gibbs, "The sample did come from the bedroom, all those bottles from her dresser were broken, perhaps perfume or something mixed in with the blood on the floor."
Abby nodded eagerly, "Find me another sample and I'll run it again…"
Jethro nodded, "Zee, you can come with me"
Both women looked at him, amusement clear in their eyes, but it was Abby who was the first to respond, "Zee, Gibbs?"
He shrugged, "Call you Abs don't I…"
Abby pouted, "But I thought I was special…"
Gibbs's famous half smile snuck onto his face, "You're still special Abs…" He nudged the CafPow he had brought her towards her and gently kissed her forehead. He then gestured with his head towards the door and followed Ziva out of the lab.
Arriving back at the apartment building the pair made their way quietly up to Isabella's home. Ziva's keen eyes quickly spotted the discrete seal they had left on the door had been broken. She silently pointed this out to Gibbs who nodded in understanding and reached for his side arm, releasing the safety he waited for Ziva to do the same before pushing the door open and entering the apartment. Moving in tandem through the property they cleared the rooms one by one until they reached the final room, Isabella's bedroom. Gibbs entered the room first, closely followed by Ziva both quickly directing their weapons in the direction of the man sitting on the bed.
Blake looked up at the pair pointing their guns at him and slowly raised his hands, "Don't shoot, I'll tell you everything I know…"
Ziva looked at him critically, "How much do you know?"
Blake lowered his hands, being careful to keep them in full view of the watching pair, "I was paid to snatch Commander Isabella Maya Crawfield and take her to a prearranged location… I needed the money; it seemed an easy enough job…"
"Why did you come back here?"
Blake sighed, "Look I was treated pretty badly by the Army, so when someone said they would give me money and a chance to screw the military I took it… Truth be told ever since I left her there I've been regretting it. The pair of them seemed ruthless; I don't think they'd hesitate to kill her if she doesn't tell them what they want to hear… And I don't think she'll tell them anything…"
"Who paid you?"
"It was a couple that came to me, man and woman, Middle Eastern, said they were from Misry I think, something like that…"
Ziva frowned, "MISIRI?"
Blake nodded, "That's it, MISIRI…"
Ziva looked to Gibbs, "Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran…"
"Where did you take her?"
"It was a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains…" He held his hands out in front of him, waiting to be cuffed, "Take me to a map and I can show you it"
Ziva moved towards him and placed her cuffs around his wrist before walking him out to the car alongside Gibbs and heading back to the Navy Yard. Upon reaching the bullpen Gibbs had Tim pull up a map and satellite images of the area and waited whilst Blake pointed out the cabin and the route towards it, taking care to inform them they'd have to walk from a certain point or they would hear them coming. Gibbs arranged for Blake to be held in an interview room before leaving the building with the team.
Arriving at the cabin the team quickly realised that with the shutters up there was no way they could see where in the cabin Isabella was. Ziva quickly announced that she would simply have to get herself inside. Pulling her gun from her hip she handed it to Tony along with her badge and left the cover of the trees before any of them could stop her. Ziva moved closer to the cabin, intentionally stepping on a twig and snapping it with a large crack to draw attention to herself. Within second a man appeared, wrapping his hand around the top of her arm and roughly dragging her into the cabin. Samireh rounded on her as soon as Amin released her, pushing her into the centre of the room. "Who are you? What are you doing here?"
Ziva glared at the man, "I was just out for a walk when I was grabbed…"
Samireh took several steps towards her and Ziva automatically dropped into a defensive position, Samireh laughed, "Just out for a walk but you drop into a defensive stance as soon as I walk towards you…" She paused studying her, "Krav Maga, you must be Israeli… Military or Mossad… Why would anyone have sent you here…"
Ziva was watching carefully as Samireh circled her, still very much aware that in her periphery the man was hovering over Isabella. Samireh shrugged as she got no answer from Ziva, "Why you are here doesn't matter…" She suddenly burst into action, sending her leg in a sweeping action towards Ziva who dodged out of the way, already planning in her head the best way to allow Samireh feel she had gained the upper hand without actually giving it to her. Ziva allowed the next kick to connect with her side, before allowing herself to fight back in a very limited manner, hoping to convince Samireh she wasn't a real threat without making it obvious she was holding back. As this was going on Ziva remained very much aware of the need to remove the shutters from the window to allow the rest of the team to see into the room, carefully absorbing the blows that Samireh aimed in her direction she manoeuvred the fight towards the window, stopping her movement as she reached the table in front of the window. It was at this point for the first time in the fight she allowed herself to take the full force of a blow, making no effort at all to lessen the effects she flew backwards as Samireh's foot connected with her stomach. She was unable to stop the grunt from escaping her mouth as her lower back came into contact with the window sill. The force of her body hitting the wooden wall was enough to dislodge the remaining screws from the rotting wood on the opposite side of the wall; she managed to hide her face as a slightly satisfied smirk crossed her face briefly as she heard the shutters fall to the ground outside. Carefully schooling her face she rose gingerly back to her feet; she knew that she had to buy the rest of her team a few minutes to get into position whilst insuring neither herself nor Samireh blocked their view of Isabella and Amin. Ziva was sure to move in such a way that would ensure Samireh believed she was more injured than she actually was, she waited patiently for her to move closer, patiently waiting until she was exactly the right distance away for her fist to connect solidly with Samireh's face as she swung it in an upwards motion, catching her by surprise she was able to grab her shoulder, pulling her body down as her knee moved in an upwards direction, connecting solidly with her torso and causing Samireh to cry out in pain. In one fluid movement Ziva had pulled the knife from her belt and twisted round behind the other woman, pulling her upwards and holding the knife to her throat.
At once Amin positioned his gun directly against Isabella's temple, "Drop the knife or I will shoot her…"
Ziva shrugged and pressed the knife tighter into Samireh's neck, the blade beginning to dig into her flesh, "You kill her you do not get the information you are looking for, my mission was to stop you obtaining that information. It makes no difference to me if the woman leaves here alive or dead."
The lack of emotion in Ziva's voice was enough to convince Isabella that she was telling the truth. It was at this point that the window shattered and almost simultaneously blood sprayed onto her face as a bullet connected with Amin's skull. Less than a minute later the door burst open and Tony and Tim entered the room. Tony moved towards Ziva and Samireh, pulling out his cuffs as he did so. Meanwhile McGee went straight to Isabella; lifting the keys from Amin's dead body he swiftly removed the handcuffs and untied the rope securing her legs to the chair. Helping to her feet she led her away from the body of her captor and towards the exit of the cabin, passing Gibbs as he led her to the waiting ambulance that had moved up the track on Gibbs's instructions.
Gibbs made his way straight over to Ziva who had sunk down onto the table as the levels of her adrenalin in her body had already begun to decrease and she was actually beginning to feel pain from the injuries she had allowed herself to receive. Crouching down beside her Gibbs shook his head and gently tilted her head from side to side examining the cuts and bruises already beginning to form. "That was foolish Zee…" He rolled his eyes as she simply shrugged and informed him it had got the desired result. Standing once again he held his hand out to her, pulling her upright, I want you to go with Isabella in the ambulance, get yourself checked out and then go home. I do not want to see you in the office until tomorrow at the very earliest. No arguments…"
He pointed towards the door and for once Ziva followed his instructions without argument, stepping up into the ambulance just as the doors were about to close she rode with Isabella down to the naval hospital at Bethesda. She waited patiently as she was poked and prodded and whilst several minor cuts were cleaned and dressed. Finally after her X-rays were reviewed and it was confirmed she had broken no ribs in her collision with the cabin wall she was allowed to leave. Rather than leaving the hospital straight away Ziva stopped at reception and asked for the Commander's location before making her way up to her room. Knocking quietly on the door she smiled slightly as the Admiral opened the door, "I just came to check Isabella was doing okay, I will not interrupt you…"
The Admiral shook his head, "You're not interrupting anything, come in, Isabella explained what happened…" He looked Ziva up and down, "I'm not sure how I can thank you, going through all that to get a stranger back…"
Ziva shrugged as the Admiral led her into the room, "It's just a few minor cuts and bruises, nothing serious…" She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled at Isabella, taking a deep breath she gently placed her hand over Isabella's, "Two years ago I was captured in Somalia and tortured for information on NCIS. The physical injuries will take time but they will heal, mentally it will take even longer but you will get there eventually. You have a wonderful man in your life who I am sure will listen whenever you need him to, do not be afraid to talk to your father, as tough as we women in the military like to feel we are you cannot deal with this alone…"
Isabella nodded in understanding and Ziva released her hand, reaching for the pad and pen that was sitting on the nightstand she jotted down her name and number before pressing it into Isabella's hand, "If you ever feel you want or need to talk to someone who has been in the same position you call me… Now you should rest, it has been a stressful few days for you…"
"Thank you…" Were the two words Isabella briefly spoke before sinking back into her pillows. Ziva rose from the bed and walked outside closely followed by the Admiral.
She turned to him, "Call me Ziva please…"
"Ziva, your father, how did he deal with you being kidnapped…"
She looked up at him simply, "He left me to die in the desert. I was a replaceable asset; it was not worth risking numerous other agents for one."
The Admiral wasn't sure if he was more shocked at the man's actions or the lack of emotion in the woman's voice as she spoke of how her father had made the decision to leave her to die, "How did you escape."
She smiled slightly, "Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs… I had left NCIS to return to Mossad when I was kidnapped, but he brought the team to rescue me, Agents DiNozzo and McGee allowed themselves to be captured and Gibbs shot the man who had arranged for my snatching, just as happened today."
"And now, you're over it?"
She shook her head, "I have good days and bad days, it is mainly good days now but sometimes I have nightmares. Isabella is a strong woman I can tell, she allowed a man to twist her arm so badly he broke the bone rather than give him even the most basic information he wanted, she will recover from this in time… Do not push her to talk about it, but be ready to listen when she comes to you. It may take time but she will come to you…"
The Admiral nodded and thanked her once again before walking back into his daughter's room and leaving Ziva to make her own way home.
Rolling onto her side Ziva looked at her clock, the glowing green digits proudly declaring it was five minutes after midnight and exactly ten minutes after the last time she had looked at it. Deciding she had had enough of seeing flashbacks of her time in Somalia every time she closed her eyes and that sleep would not be coming to her anytime soon she rose carefully from her bed, biting down on her lip as her body protested at the movement. Making her way over to her closet she pulled out a pair of joggers and pulled them on over the small black boy shorts she had worn to bed, an NCIS sweatshirt covered the matching black vest top. Pulling on a pair of socks and her sneakers she grabbed her car keys on the way out of her apartment. Slipping in behind the wheel of her car she turned the engine on and pulled out of her parking spot and onto the quiet road, driving without any destination in mind she wasn't exactly surprised when she found herself outside of Jethro's home. The upper floor of the property was dark, as was the living room, but she could see the hallway light glowing through the glass of the front door, coming to the conclusion it was more than likely Gibbs was still up and working in the basement she made her way up the path and silently opened the door. Closing it quietly behind her she made her way over to the stairs leading down to Gibbs's workroom and began to descend them, reaching the penultimate stair before Jethro looked up from his project and spotted her, "I thought I said I didn't want to see today…"
She smiled and descended the last step, "Your exact words were 'I do not want to see you in the office until tomorrow at the very earliest.' As you can probably work out we are not currently in the office, and if you check your watch you will find it is after midnight and so technically it is tomorrow…"
He rolled his eyes and moved to the work bench to set his tools down, casually leaning against it as he observed her, "I half expected you would come tonight…"
Ziva nodded and moved across the room towards him, "I believed I was okay, I have passed all my psychological evaluations…"
Gibbs scoffed, "We both know you could convince the shrinks of anything you wanted and get them to sign you off…"
She shrugged, "Perhaps this is true, but I dealt with the issue, it no longer occupied my mind, and then when I entered the cabin today and saw Isabella it was as though I was not actually seeing her but myself instead. I was right back in Somalia, broken and bruised… And then this evening when I tried to sleep all I could see every time I closed my eyes was his face, him demanding I give him information on NCIS…"
Gibbs sighed, "Ziva other than the Shrink the agency made you see have you spoken to anyone about this?"
Ziva shook her head, "No, I thought I could deal with it myself…"
"Zee, no one should have to deal with something like that themselves…"
She laughed, "That's what I told Isabella…" She paused and looked up at Gibbs, "I do not know what is worse, remembering the physical pain, or knowing my own father did not feel I was worth rescuing…" She shrugged, "the physical pain goes away, remembering cannot hurt me again, but knowing that my own father, the man I worshipped as a child decided I was expendable… I am not sure that will ever go away, as much as my father and I attempt to rebuild our relationship it will always be there no? The fact he left me to die in the desert…"
Gibbs nodded, "Sometimes something will happen that you do your best to forgive but you just can't forget. You just have to work a little harder to rebuild the trust. Just remember that you were rescued, you may not been able to choose your blood relatives but you do have a family that loved you enough to come and find you…"
Ziva nodded, "I never did thank you properly, all three of you risking your lives to find me when my own father couldn't be bothered…"
He sighed, "You don't have to thank me Zee, you know I would always come for you if you needed me…" He gently pulled her towards him, wrapping his arms around her small frame and gently kissing her forehead before releasing her. She took a step back from him, briefly staring up into his eyes before closing the distance between them once again and hesitantly pressing her lips to his. She had just felt him begin to respond when he suddenly pulled away. "No, Zee, you're tired, the past 24 hours have been draining for everyone, worst for you with all the memories it had brought back to the surface, don't do something you'll regret in the morning."
She looked up at him, "Do you know what I missed most when I went back to Israel?" Jethro shook his head and she continued, "You… I do not think I realised what it was at first, but being back in Israel it just did not feel like home anymore and I could not understand why until that moment in Somalia when we rounded the corner and you were standing there. I saw you and I knew everything was going to be okay, for the first time in months I realised I was home. Israel is no longer home, neither is America, it occurred to me that day that home is wherever you are. I realise now I have loved you for quite some time…"
He looked down at her, "Ziva I am old enough to be your father…"
Ziva frowned slightly, "Perhaps I misspoke and you did not understand me, I do not love you as a daughter loves her father, I already have one and as much as he may not be the greatest father he the world he is mine and I do not need another one." She slipped her hands under the hem of his T shirt and ran her hands over the bare skin of his torso, before resting them both on his shoulders, "I love you as a woman loves a man Jethro, I am in love with you… I do not care that you are older than me, I do not care you are my boss and I believe all good rules are made to be broken…" She moved back up onto the balls of her feet and kissed him again, this time he allowed himself to respond, only backing away as she began to pull his T shirt up and over his head.
Moving back towards her he rested his arms on her waist, "What did the doctors say to you?"
She shrugged, "Just a few minor cuts and bruises, nothing significant…" She slipped her arm around him, sliding it up his back and into his hair, "Certainly nothing to stop you doing this…" She smiled as he dipped his head and began to kiss her once more, his tongue demanding entrance to her mouth as he began to assert the dominant side of his nature that had featured heavily in the vast majority of her fantasies about him. He lifted her onto the work bench, gently nudging her legs apart and moving to stand in between them, he continued to kiss her as his fingers found the hem of her shirt and began to pull it upwards but she was unable to hide the flinch as his fingers brushed across her back. He took a step back, frowning slightly before carefully removing both her sweatshirt and vest top, leaving her just in her bra before looking over her shoulder and taking in the large bruise, that had covered the majority of her back in a multitude of colours, all radiating out from the central point on her lower back where it had connected with the window sill.
"Just a few minor cuts and bruises?"
Ziva hooked her fingers into the belt loops on his jeans and pulled him back towards him, "Yes, that just happens to be quite a large bruise… It is fine really, just a little sore." She moved his arms back around her body, guiding them to rest just below the small of her back before reaching up and unhooking her bra, sliding it off her arms and dropping it onto the workbench. She leaned forward so her breasts pressed against his chest as she smiled up at him, her deep brown eyes meeting his icy blue ones before their lips came together once again. His hands slipped down to rest on her arse, gently squeezing it as he pulled her tightly to him, as his lips left hers and found her neck. Lightly biting and sucking, marking her as his own as she tilted her head back to expose the side of her neck to him. Suddenly Jethro lifted her from the bench, his arms hooked around beneath her arse to support her weight as she wrapped her legs around his waist; the prominent bulge in his jeans suddenly becoming very obvious to her. Ziva took advantage of Jethro's need to look where he was walking to explore his body, her hands running over the tight muscles of his back, before she took the time to repay him for the bruises she knew he had left on her neck. Smirking to herself as she knew he would have a much more difficult time hiding the bruises on his neck than she would.
As they reached the bedroom Jethro gently placed her down on the centre of the bed before moving over her; he was careful to distribute his weight through his hands and knees and not to put any additional pressure on her back. He slowly began to explore her body, placing light kisses down her neck and across her chest before taking a dark nipple in his mouth and lightly sucking on it, drawing it up into a swollen nub before repeating the process on the other. Enjoying the moans he was eliciting from the normally staid agent he continued his movements downwards, his tongue sweeping into her belly button as he placed kisses over her toned stomach. Reaching the low slung waistband of her joggers he slowly slid them from her body. He ran his finger down the dark material of her underwear, a smirk crossing his face as he could feel the dampness seeping through. Watching her face he slowly removed the underwear and nudged her legs apart. Settling down between her legs he watched her face as he slowly traced his fingers up her thigh before brushing across her core. He chuckled quietly to himself as she lifted her hips encouraging him to continue. He slowly slipped a finger inside her, moving it in an out at a leisurely pace as he used his thumb to tease her clit. he continued until he could tell she was close to orgasm before stopping and waiting for her to come down from the high, intentionally ignoring her protests before beginning again, this time using his tongue to tease her, his nose brushing against her clit as her hands slid into his hair holding his head in place until she came screaming his name. Jethro rose from the bed, licking his lips as he looked down at Ziva, her body flushed and glistening with sweat as she lay trying to regain her breath.
Quickly removing his jean and boxers he re-joined Ziva on the bed. Smirking as she took control pushing him onto his back and straddling his waist, her core pressing up against his erection causing him to moan as she leant forwards, her breasts brushing against his chest as she kissed him. "Mmm, aren't you very special agent Gibbs…"
He brushed her hair behind her ear before moving his hands to her hips, lifting his hips he groaned, "Zee…"
She laughed at the neediness apparent in his tone and lifted herself up, positioned herself over him and then slipped down onto him, gasping as she felt him stretching her. Pausing a moment to get used to the feeling of him inside her before beginning to move up and down. Jethro began to thrust his hips upwards in time with her movements, their eyes locked on one another as they moved together, both drawing close to completion. Jethro watched as Ziva's muscles tensed, her once fluid motions becoming more erratic, her golden skin becoming flushed before she flung her head back, screaming his name.
The feeling of Ziva's muscles contracting around him was enough to bring on his own orgasm, and after a few more shaky thrusts he came with a grunt. Ziva's legs gave way in the aftermath of her orgasm and she collapsed down onto him as they both fought to regain their breath. Jethro wrapped his arms around her, holding her against him as she began to move away, "Where are you going?"
She smiled, "Nowhere, I told you I would not regret it, I just did not want to make you uncomfortable, you cannot want me sleeping on you all night."
She slipped off of him as he loosened his grip on her, instead curling into his side and resting her head on his chest as he wrapped his arm around her waist. Gently kissing her forehead as she yawned, he pulled the covers up over the pair of them, "Sleep Zee it's been a tiring case…"
She kissed his chest as she snuggled closer to him, "Should we not talk about this?"
He looked fondly down at her as he ran his fingers through her hair, "Talking can wait Ziva, you haven't slept properly in 48 hours and you took a beating for Isabella today, we have all the time in the world to talk…"
Any protests she may have had died on her lips as she yawned again, her eyes beginning to close even as she fought against her body's overwhelming need for rest, "I love you…"
"I love you too Zee…" Jethro whispered, his only response was a light snore, and he chuckled slightly as he glanced down to see her already asleep on his chest. He wasn't worried she hadn't heard the words though; he had the rest of his life to show her exactly how he felt.