So, I know there are already about a hundred tags/post-eps to "Berlin" out there, but, well, who can resist a post-car-crash Tony and Ziva?

There's actually no Tony here. But there's lots of Ziva. And also lots of Papa!Gibbs and his concern over these two agents of his, who seem to have more going on than he'd quite realized.

Disclaimer: Not mine.


"Tony and Ziva were in a car accident."

Vance's brows snap together. "Are—"

"Bethesda."

Tom Morrow looks like he wants to offer condolences, but Gibbs is not very interested in that right now.

Orli's expression jars enough that it grabs his attention, though—or maybe what he notices is the tiny step she takes in his direction. He takes a step of his own to block her from going any further.

"You're supposed to leave now."

She doesn't say anything for a minute and her face becomes very composed, but Gibbs can see hundreds of thoughts zipping behind her eyes, and none of them look like the kind that require only easy decisions.

"Is my concern for Ziva so surprising to you?"

He does not have time for this. "Are you related to her or something?"

She cuts her eyes at him. "Related, no." Her tone, despite its perfect steadiness, has an odd lilt of uncertainty to it, and he's not sure what to make of that. "But...not exactly...just a fellow Mossad officer."

He does not have time to play this game. Vance nods when Gibbs glances his way—a signal that he'll handle it so Gibbs can leave.

It's been a long time since Gibbs took the stairs down two at a time, but this time he does.


They're both okay. Woozy, sure, with some ugly bruises and the possibility of concussions or whiplash, but nothing that should be life-threatening. DiNozzo's somewhere getting stitches where the shattered window sliced into his nose and jaw. He's lucky he wasn't cut a few inches south, says the medical person Gibbs tracks down. If he'd been hit in the jugular, blood loss could've been fatal.

Lucky. Gibbs nearly snorts. None of them are lucky. Lucky would be this sort of thing not happening.

Ziva's asleep. She woke in the car—a different medical person tells him so. But the process of being pulled out of the car, loaded into an ambulance, and transferred into the hospital left her disoriented and panicky, and she's been given a mild sedative.

It must be mild indeed, because she wakes when he comes to stand next to her and brushes his fingers against her wrist. Her eyelashes flutter madly and even though the skin on her arm is cold, he can feel her pulse jumping hard under his fingertips. She mutters something in almost inaudible Hebrew, and then clears her throat and says it again. And again.

It should make him happy to have her in front of him so tangibly alive, but the several long moments it takes for her to pull out of unconsciousness make him deeply uncomfortable. He's seen Tony groggy. He's seen McGee groggy. But although he's seen Ziva tired (and experienced the accompanying grumpiness), he's never seen her in such a fuzzy state of partial-coherence—usually, if Ziva's awake, she's a give-it-your-all, focused, active type of awake, and it worries him to see the way her eyelids keep sliding halfway closed and then jerking open to flit around without landing on anything. She was in better shape the time they found her with duct tape over her mouth and a gash on her head, and that concerns him.

He murmurs that she should go back to sleep, and she says that thing in Hebrew again. Then she gives him a clear and surprisingly loud "no."

Gibbs is torn between smiling at that (Orli wasn't wrong when she remarked on Ziva's independence and strength of character) and thinking irritably that the sedative really wasn't a good idea. All it seems to have done is left her confused, and he knows she won't appreciate that.

Now that she's located the right language, she concentrates on focusing on his face. Succeeds. Says his name and waits for an answer.

"Ziver," he sighs.

"Tony?"

"He's okay. Getting stitches. Took some glass to the face."

She shuts her eyes again and her lips get tight, and he thinks that might be the end of the conversation.

But then she opens her eyes and voices her second concern—how much time has passed.

"An hour?" He can't be exactly sure.

"Ilan?"

"Nothing new."

"Yaniv?"

"Haven't heard anything yet."

"Orli?"

"Dunno." Gibbs watches her face carefully to see if this appears to upset her. It's a losing battle; she's upset about too much at the moment for him to tease out and decode a particular tension from her facial expression. She doesn't have her poker face with her today. Not that it would matter—he can read it pretty well by now. Eventually he nudges a plastic cup of water resting on a side table toward her with his knuckles and sighs a little. "She wanted to come with me."

Ziva's voice turns sharp. "She's here?"

"No. I didn't know the whole story."

Ziva nods, and for a second he thinks she's relieved. Then her chin quivers and she raises a hand over her eyes.

"That's what we were talking about," she says, voice tear-clogged and hard to hear.

"You and Tony?" She nods.

"You mean in the car?"

Another nod.

"The whole story, huh?" He keeps his voice as neutral and conversational as possible, not wanting her to think he's trying to dig out information—but there's not much choice. He can't leave his agents and go look at the scene of the crash, and he can't understand what happened unless she can tell him something about it. The few words she's said so far throw at least a matchstick's worth of light onto what could be going on. Ziva had been sharing something personal with her partner. That could have been a distraction, leading to an accident. Then again, they had had a bag of diamonds in the car with them. That could be a motive, with no part of this being an accident. Gibbs doesn't have the full story yet, but he's leaning toward the second theory.

Tony is not a reckless driver. Gibbs doubts whatever Ziva had to say would have changed that.

"Ziva?"

She swallows and pinches the bridge of her nose.

"I really don't want to talk about it, Gibbs."

"Okay," he allows her. "You know you'll have to write it up if it's relevant."

"It's not."

He watches quietly as she sits up, turns her neck both ways with a wince and a sharp bite to her bottom lip, and inspects her arms. She's wearing a few adhesive bandages—on the outside of her right wrist, on the back of her hand, and on her upper arm, where there's a long scratch that he guesses would have been bad if her jacket had been thinner. She won't be wearing that particular jacket again. Eventually her gaze falls to her hands as they grip each other in her lap, and she is very still.

She looks startlingly fragile sitting there in the hospital bed, her skin pale and her hair messy, and finally he can't help it anymore. He puts an arm around her shoulders and leans down to press his lips to her hair for a long minute.

It surprises him when, instead of relaxing like she usually does when hugged these days, she stiffens her spine and sits up straighter. His gut tugs uneasily, but he lets her go. He should be grateful for her ability to focus—it suggests she doesn't have a concussion, at least—but it worries him. It worries him almost more than her not-quite-secret revenge plotting of the past few months worried him. He understood the revenge planning. But now...she's been hurt, and her partner's been hurt with her. Surely she realizes when it's time to pack it in and let somebody else handle things?

"So," she says, glancing at him fleetingly and then looking past him into the hallway, where he's sure Abby and the others are anxiously waiting. "You haven't seen the crime scene?"

"I came straight here."

"Of course."

He might as well just go ahead and grill her for specifics, if she's going to be set on information-seeking herself. "Anything you can tell us about—"

"We were talking. The diamonds were in my lap. And I was looking the other way, away from the other car. It was bright for a second. I suppose it was headlights...I didn't make the connection at the time. And then..." she flips her hands in a gesture that's vaguely shruglike, "they hit us."

"Just like that?"

"Tony saw them, I think. I did not. Were the diamonds recovered? What about the other driver?"

"Don't know yet. Ziver—"

"This could very well be an intentional hit. Tony was following traffic laws, which means the other driver was not."

"Ziva."

"We really don't have time to wait around like this, Gibbs. I should—"

"Ziva."

Her eyes when they meet his are wetter than her brisk tone and determined focus would suggest, and he feels his face go soft. He's a sucker for a woman in distress. Always has been.

"You need to rest."

"I can't. Please, Gibbs."

He wants to tell her yes. He really does. He wants to help her get out of here, get this whole damn case figured out and over with so they can really get back to normal for the first time in months.

But pain is still tugging at the corners of her mouth when she moves too fast, and there's been too much emotion in her eyes all week, and her determination sets off alarm bells in his head. If he springs her from this hospital, she'll be running after Ilan Bodner before her band-aids begin to lose their stick. It's not healthy. Not physically, not mentally.

"You were just in a car accident, Ziva!"

"I'm fine."

"No." He points his finger in her face. "McGee and I can handle this. The director'll help." The finger drifts down and taps the bottom of her chin gently. "You will rest."

The look she aims at him is obviously trying for anger but telegraphs nothing but a teary sort of frustration.

"No," he says before she can try another argument.

She slouches back against the bed and looks away. He pretends not to notice when she wipes quickly at her eyes with the back of her hand.

For a few long moments, they are silent, listening to the squeaking of shoes in the hallway and the beeps and whirs of machines in nearby rooms. Gibbs checks the phone he's been ignoring—several missed calls from Abby, two from McGee, two from Vance, one from an Israeli number he would bet is Orli—and then slips it back into his pocket.

"Gibbs?" Ziva asks eventually, her voice small. "You are sure Tony's okay? You've, um...you've seen him?"

He shakes his head. "They say he's fine."

"You're not sure?"

Her voice is higher than usual, and he notices that her left hand grips the fingers on her right hand so tightly it must hurt.

"Agent Gibbs?" The same medical person who told him they'd sedated Ziva smiles at him from the doorway. "Oh, and look who's awake!"

Ziva's lips twitch up in a very brief smile.

"I just wanted to tell you that your Agent DiNozzo is awake and all stitched up. You can go see him if you want."

Ziva grabs his hand as he stands up. "Gibbs—"

Medical Lady interrupts with another big grin. "And he's been asking about you, hon. Nonstop. He'll be so glad to hear you're up and at 'em."

Gibbs almost misses the tiny, sweet, sweet smile that somehow puts light and color back into Ziva's face, just for a minute. It's not directed at him—she's cast her face down, and the hair falling over her shoulder almost blocks his view—but he catches a glimpse, and that's all it takes for him to just know. Tony and Ziva have been close for a long time, of course; they have a tight partnership and they're good friends and he's spent some time lately wondering where the two of them'll end up. But that...well, Gibbs has had women in love with him before, if not recently. He knows the I-love-you smile. And that was one.

Something has changed. Something has developed.

He thinks he should be concerned, but somehow his gut seems to think this might not be a bad development. This might actually be...good.

"Well?" he squeezes her hand and glances at Medical Lady to see if she's planning on stopping him. Apparently not. "You coming?"

The look Ziva gives him is almost the sort of look she might've given him months ago, back when she was happy and feeling normal and hopeful and not carrying her entire life's misfortunes so heavily upon her back. It melts the cold right out of his bones.

He slides an arm around her waist and starts to help her out of bed.

"Wait!" Medical Lady yelps suddenly. "Honey, don't you wanna get out of the hospital gown first? This one just ties in the back, you know!"

Gibbs lets go fast.

Ziva actually laughs.


Hope you enjoyed! I wanted to go for Ziva morphing into sort of classic Mossad Ziva like the "Revenge" press release suggests, but I had to pull out of that nosedive at the end because...well. Just because I'm a dork and I like ending on happy, I guess.