DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN NCIS OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS!
Written as a tag of S10E21 Berlin
WHEN DARKNESS FALLS
The headlights came so fast he didn't have time to react other than to shout out her name in warning. The impact spun their car across the intersection, deploying the air bag as the windows shattered within.
There was no time to feel any pain despite the numerous cuts he sustained. His last conscious movement was to reach out to touch her hand, but the darkness came before he did little more than brush her fingers with his own.
She was trying to take comfort in her partner's words. Perhaps some good could come from her personal tragedy, or if not 'good' at least amends could be made. Her father's former lover, who ruined her parents' marriage, would most likely need an ally as she took the reins as the head of Mossad.
She took strength from the gentle squeeze he gave her hand. She was about to thank him for his kindness and support when she saw the look of surprise turned to fear on his face. As she turned her head to see what had frightened him she heard him yell her names as the impact sent her into instant darkness.
Gibbs woke to his cell phone vibrating on the pillow by his head. Instantly he sensed the caller wouldn't have good news to share.
His abrupt greeting was followed by the stoic voice of the director informing him that two of his agents had been rushed to the hospital following a two-car accident.
He was out of bed dressing in his jeans and hoodie before he snapped the phone shut. He stepped into his shoes and quickly descended the stairs, grabbing his jacket from the stand by the door as he exited his home.
The drive to the hospital was a blur. The speed limit didn't matter other than he took into consideration the reason his agents were in the condition they were in, so he was very aware of the traffic around him. Still he arrived at the emergency room within twenty minutes.
His barked demands to know where his agents were and what condition they were in were matched with a calm understanding that did little to soothe him. He let them say their piece and allowed them to lead him to a family waiting area outside the trauma department.
It didn't go unnoticed by the lead agent that his agents must be critically injured. Before he could decide whether to pace or take a seat he was joined by the remaining member of his team who was already gathering all the details of the accident as well as the background on the driver.
Gibbs gave his young agent a brief smile of approval and listened grimly to the report he delivered.
The other driver didn't survive and his remains were taken to NCIS where Ducky was already performing the autopsy. The police had determined the deceased driver had sped through a red light striking the passenger side door of Tony and Ziva's vehicle.
Gibbs' eyes narrowed and hardened. He wished the driver was alive if only so he could murder him himself.
Tim watched the anger rise in his boss' face. Before he continued he waited until it passed. The driver was agent who worked closely with Ilan Bodnar.
It was no surprise to hear Gibbs curse at the news. He pulled out his phone to call the director and find out how quickly they could get a team together to find the man that topped his most wanted list.
Vance informed him that he already hand-picked a select few to work diligently to ferret out Bodnar who had eluded them for far too long. "You can use them as you see fit," he instructed Gibbs knowing that the drive behind their mission would be more revenge than justice and making a silent statement that he agreed.
Gibbs told McGee to get in contact with the agents Vance selected and bring them up to speed on what he had. "Find him Tim," he ordered grasping the younger man's shoulder.
"On it Boss," he answered knowing that he was going to travel on a dark path he never thought he'd venture on.
Tim left the waiting area and Gibbs ran his hands down his face. He wanted to be out there hunting the man responsible for causing more pain to his team. There was NO way Bodnar would leave the United States alive. First having Jackie and Eli assassinated and now going after his team. Saying it was now personal would almost be redundant, but it now was top priority for the agency not just his team.
Tim met with Vance's agents. It was no surprise that all of them were top shooters on the range. They did perfunctory introductions, everyone aware of each other, even if they hadn't worked on the field together. They offered sympathies and waited for Tim to bring them up to speed on what they had to get started on finding Bodnar and anyone else he had with him.
Tim thanked them all and presented all the facts and evidence he and his team had accumulated since the shooting at Vance's home. It was pretty impressive to show all that he and Ziva had amassed on their own. A lot of what they had had been a false trail, but they learned how he thought and were able to back track to his last known location in the U.S.
Gibbs maintained his watch at the hospital until he finally received word that Tony and Ziva were stable, but not quite out danger of complications from their injuries. Tony had sustained multiple lacerations, as well as a concussion and a few broken bones. The head injury had rendered him unconscious for a short period of time and had concerned the doctors who had reviewed his history. They had taken him into surgery to set the broken bones in his left arm.
Ziva had yet to gain consciousness, but all the tests they ran didn't indicate any major trauma to her brain. The physician that updated Gibbs was hopeful that she would recover within 24 hours. He was surprised that she hadn't been more severely injured physically, since the impact occurred on her side of the car. He wouldn't call it a miracle, at least not until she awoke from whatever rendered her into the comatose state she was in.
When Gibbs called to give Tim the news, Tim updated him on the status of their search. With the talents of all the agents combined they were able to narrow their search and with a little surveillance found a cabin where at least one other friend of Bodnar's was spotted frequenting.
Gibbs left the hospital after ensuring they had his number to call if there were any changes in his agents' conditions. He arrived at the Navy Yard and was proud to see that Tim had begun organizing the plans to stakeout the cabin. Every agent was armed and ready to act if they found their suspect or his friends.
Vance gave them a nod as they entered the elevator. He hoped to never see Bodnar alive again. Once the newly formed team had left, Vance pulled his shoulders back, buttoned his jacket and lowered his head, took a deep breath and resolved himself to go and stand vigil at the hospital. He pushed aside the memories of his last visit there and the loss that he and his children suffered. Tonight all that pain would be put to rest, he had no doubt.
He entered DiNozzo's room first and hid a smile at the senior field agent's flirting with his nurse. Yeah he was going to be just fine. When Tony glimpsed the director coming his way his demeanor changed and Vance could see the fear in the younger man's eyes of what news he may have come to share.
"It's alright Agent DiNozzo, I only came to see how you were fairing," Vance spoke to try and reassure the patient that he didn't come bearing bad news.
Tony nodded slightly not wanting to aggravate the headache that lingered. His nurse finished up her duties and left giving both men a smile.
Before Tony could ask about his partner, Vance said, "I haven't seen Ziva yet, so I can't tell you much. Last I heard she was still unconscious, but the doctor has hope she'll recover soon."
"Where's Gibbs?" he asked taking into account his boss wasn't nearby.
"He was here until he got word you were both stable. He's out now with McGee and a few agents looking for Bodnar and his friends," Vance answered.
Tony looked up at the ceiling and closed his eyes. He knew what Gibbs would do and he said a silent prayer that he'd be successful. He only wished he could be beside him and have the honor of putting the bullet into the brain of the man he knew was responsible for his and Ziva's present circumstances.
Seeming to read his mind he heard Vance say, "I'm sure Gibbs will accomplish his goal." He then told Tony he was going to check in on Ziva. "I'll let you know if there are any changes."
"Thanks," Tony said wishing he could get out to check on her himself.
Vance gave a nod and walked out the door to find Ziva's room. The sight of her lying in the bed with no response when he entered into the room was a bit unnerving. He stood beside her bed and looked for any sign that she knew he was present. Though there was some movement under her eyelids, she remained perfectly still. He began to wonder if her mind was somewhere else and if so just what she was thinking.
The darkness that surrounded her was filled with images of her past. Mostly her father. It was no surprise really she'd been plagued with her memories of him since he was murdered. Some of them were happy moments and others ones that she was only now understanding having been too young to see things for what they were at the time.
Now she was saying good-bye to him as she prepared to leave for America with her friend Jenny Shepherd to take care of Ari and hopefully get a position as a liaison at NCIS. Jenny had told her it wouldn't be a problem since she was going there to take over as the new director. Her father smiled at her knowing she wouldn't let him down.
It was a bittersweet moment even then, as she was proud to make her father pleased, but sad that she would have to be the one to end her brother's life. Maybe she could convince Ari to stop what he was doing and return to Israel and make amends with their father. She had to chuckle to herself knowing Ari was far too stubborn to change his plans.
As she turned to leave her father stopped her, "Ziva."
"Yes father," she replied looking back over her shoulder as she was opening the door.
"I know that this is the hardest thing I have asked of you. I also know that you won't disappoint me."
She nodded her agreement and left.
Vance stood watching, her face betraying whatever her mind was conjuring up. It startled him to see a smile on her face and a tear making a trail down her cheek. He couldn't stop from reaching out to brush it away.
The contact must've brought her back to the present because before he lifted his fingers away her eyes opened. He gave her a smile, 'Welcome back Agent David.'
Her thoughts were muddled as she tried to sort through what was happening. She recalled going to Berlin and finding Ilan's brother there and the diamonds. The diamonds? They were an important piece to finding Ilan.
She spoke urgently but quietly. 'The diamonds? Do we still have the diamonds?'
Vance stood erect and looked at her quizzically. 'What diamonds?'
Ziva shook her head. 'Find the diamonds, and you will find Bodnar. We had taken them from Yaniv who was working on his brother's behalf. I am certain he intended to meet up with Ilan and give them to him, so he could disappear somewhere undetected.'
'I'll inform Gibbs. I'm sure McGee can get a search going,' Vance told her before pulling out his phone and leaving the room to make the call.
Gibbs' phone vibrated and he roughly took it out from its holder to see who was calling. He answered with frustration, 'Director this better be important.' He looked at the agents who were ready to invade the cabin and held up a finger for them to wait.
'Ziva thinks they may have the diamonds on them. It also means someone else was either in the car that struck them or nearby watching,' Vance informed him.
'We'll check into it,' Gibbs answered then closed his phone. He signaled for the men to circle round the cabin. When they were in place he gave McGee the go ahead to fire in the smoke bombs. Gunfire broke out from the windows as the smoke began to fill the cabin. The agents returned fire shooting out the rest of the windows.
Gibbs called, 'Cease fire.'
They waited and cautiously approached the cabin. Gibbs kicked open the door and entered with his weapon ready to fire at anyone that moved. Two armed men lay on the floor near the front window and he signaled one of the agents to check on them. McGee followed his leader to the rear of the cabin where they found Bodnar who was clutching the bag of diamonds in a bloodied hand. Gibbs reached down and snatched them tossing them to McGee.
He smirked down at the man who had caused so much pain to his team and waited for him to take his last breath. When it was clear he was dead, Gibbs turned to McGee and with a toss of his head, ordered, 'Let's go.'
Back at the hospital Tony had managed to convince his nurse to assist him into a wheelchair to visit with Ziva. He still didn't know what condition she was in, but had to at least see her. He felt guilty for what had happened, even if it was the other driver's fault.
He gave her his trademark smile when she looked at him coming through the door. He never thought he'd be so happy to see her. 'Hey Ziva, glad to see you're awake,' he gave the nurse a nod of thanks as she pushed his chair next to Ziva's bed and left them alone for a few moments.
'It's good to see you too Tony,' she smiled tiredly.
'How are you?' he asked.
'I will survive,' she answered touched by the concern in his voice.
There was a quiet moment between them as Tony gently took Ziva's hand in his own and lightly rubbed his thumb along her fingers. She closed her eyes and wondered just what their relationship was becoming. It certainly had changed much since they first began working together, but just how close she could allow him to be she was uncertain.
Changing her course of thought she uttered, 'It was no accident.'
Pulled from his own thoughts, Tony looked at her questioningly. The obvious answer came before she spoke. 'Bodnar,' he nodded.
'It must have been. The diamonds were taken.'
Tony's face tightened. More than ever he wished he could be out there hunting for the man.
'I am sure Gibbs and McGee will find him,' Ziva said confidently.
Tony nodded, 'I'm sure they will.'
Later that night Gibbs entered Tony's room at the hospital.
'You got him,' Tony stated.
Gibbs nodded. 'You okay?' he asked.
'You know me Boss. It'll take a lot more than a good blow to my head to take me down,' he grinned.
Gibbs patted him on the arm and left to check on Ziva.
He walked into her room and sat beside her bed. She was quiet, but slowly opened her eyes and smiled. Without a word he handed her the bag of diamonds.
She clutched them in her fist and wept for all the pain and death that had finally found closure.
She didn't really need to ask, but did, 'He is dead?'
Gibbs nodded silently and clasped his hand over her fisted one. Ziva closed her eyes and said, 'Thank you.'