-Chapter 1-

It was another normal Monday at the Navy Yard. The brave Men and Women of NCIS were shuffling into work taking with their friends and colleagues about the weekend and what they might do for lunch. Unbeknownst to them a stranger was working his way thru the crowd.

As he moved thru the crowd making his way to the receptionist scanning the faces of the people walking by, looking for possible threats or anyone paying too much attention to him, "Old habits die hard" he thought to himself with a slight smile.

"Good Morning, sir." Welcome to NCIS, how can I help you?" The woman said with a tone in her voice that clearly showed her disdain for her job.

"Yes, I have an appointment with Director Vance." The man said with an accent the receptionist couldn't quite place.

"Oh! Of course sir, um, what is your name so I can inform the Director that you are here?"

"Trent Kort."


"Come on Zee-vah. Just tell me who it is."

Tony was looming over the ex-Mossad officer's desk throwing a barrage of questions her way, hoping for the tiniest clue as to who her new boyfriend was. This had become the usual scene over the past couple weeks ever since Tony had overheard Ziva in the break room turning down date from Agent Clark, by saying, "Sorry James, but I am already in a committed relationship." At first, Tony thought that she was just letting the guy down easy. But, then Tony started to pick up on the subtle changes in Ziva's behavior. She always seemed to have plans on the weekends, she would receive multiple text messages and emails thru out the day that made her face light up as soon as she read them, and the biggest clue was that on a few occasions she would show up to a late night crime scene smelling of cologne, meaning she had recently been with a man. A man that wasn't Tony, that last part really irked him. He had always had a thing for Ziva and she had repeatedly turned down his advances, every time Tony would feel himself sinking deeper and deeper into the friend-zone. He had hoped, or rather prayed , that after the fiasco with Ray last year that she would start to see him as more than a friend and hopefully as a lover.

"Tell you who what is Tony?" Ziva replied, without looking up from the case file that was on her desk. She was amused by Tony's antics at first. The way he would prance around like a five year old, desperately wanting attention. But, over the past few days she started to get extremely annoyed by his constant flirting and none stop questions about her "new" boyfriend. "Tony can be so dense sometimes." She thought to herself. She had been in her relationship for the better part of nine months and Tony was acting like she had just started dating again. Her boyfriend would remind her that she always had big stash of paperclips in her desk, should Tony's rambling become too much to bear.

"Your new boyfriend, Ziva." I know you have one. Who is he? And, why haven't you introduced him to me yet? My sources say you have been real hush-hush about the whole thing."

"By sources, do you mean Abby?" She asked finally looking up from the file. She had long since known that nobody shared office gossip with Tony any more after it became apparent that he could not keep a secret longer than five minutes, and it was the same with Abby. So, all the two could do these days was compare notes with each other.

"Well…uh…" Tony was taken back a little bit, as Abby was indeed his one and only source for office gossip. "Don't try to change the subject. Spill! Give me all the gory details."

"I can assure you Tony," she said over a slight giggle, "that there is nothing gory about my relationship."

"Then why won't you tell me who it is? Afraid he won't measure up when compared side by side to yours truly?" He said while doing his best GQ pose.

"It is because it is none of your bees-wax!" She snapped her eyes starting to narrow. "And you forget that I have already seen you naked. You could say my new is a definite upgrade, yes?" Tony could have sworn he died on the spot after hearing that he was less of a man than Ziva's new boy toy or to any man for that matter. He was the epitome of everything that was manly! "Jealousy really does not suite you Tony. It makes you look all….clonky."

I think you mean 'clingy'. And, I am NOT jealous of a mystery man that for all I know looks like the Elephant Man incarnate." This was an obvious lie. Anyone who had spent more than five minutes with the MCRT could see that Tony was borderline obsessed with her. Even though Ziva and Tony would flirt every now and then, their relationship never once went further than that. "I am just trying to keep you from making another huge mistake. Remember C-I-Ray?"


"Butt out of her personal life."

"Butting out of her personal life Boss." Tony moaned as he made his way back to his desk.

"Where's McGee?" Gibbs asked after a quick glance at the empty desk.

"Probie hasn't shown up yet Boss."

"I am pretty sure the training exercise the Director sent him on ended yesterday." Ziva added. "Do you want me to go to his place to see if he overslept?"

At that Tony giggled."Of course! That would be just like McWeakling! Can't even handle a little exercise. He probably got home late last night and passed out on his living room floor because he couldn't make it to his bed." Tony looked up from his desk smiling only to have it wiped off immediately by a death glare from Ziva and Gibbs. "Or not."

"Ziva call McGee and find out what's keeping him. DiNozzo, finish that report you have been ignoring for the past two days or I will be exercising my foot right up your ass." Gibbs growled as he made his way out of the Bullpen to refill his coffee.

He didn't make three steps before stopping dead in his tracks at the sight of an all too familiar face stepping off the elevator.

"Hello Gibbs."


At the sound of his voice Tony had stopped working and stood up taking a position on Gibbs' left side while Ziva was slowly hanging up her phone and making her way to Gibbs' right with her arms folded across her chest.

"Hello again Cyclops! To what do we not owe this pleasure?"

"It's good to see you too DiNozzo. Love the new car by the way."

"Why are you here Kort?" Gibbs cut in trying to keep the conversation short and with it Kort's presence in the Bullpen.

"KORT." The Director had shouted from the top of the stairs and motioned to his office. With that Kort simply smiled at Gibbs and made his way to the Directors office. As Gibbs and Tony watched Kort disappear upstairs, neither of them noticed when Ziva sat back down and started to stare at McGee's desk trying to keep the worry she was feeling off her face.

-Director's Office-

Both men were standing in front of the Director's desk, Vance looked as if he would explode any second and Kort looked like he was carved out of ice.

"Alright Kort. What happened?" The tone in the Director's voice made it clear he was not in the mood for anything but absolute truth.

Kort took a breath and said simply,"We lost contact."


To be continued…