Characters/Pairings: Ziva, Tony, Gibbs, Ducky, McGee, Abby
Spoilers: Some for the the rest of season eight, but mostly just speculation
Word Count: 2,517
Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: After Ziva is murdered, Team Gibbs is left reeling. They try to catch her killer.
It’s been nine weeks. Nine horrible weeks since Ziva David died and left her best friends in mourning. They still haven’t caught her murderer either, which is weighing on the teaming. They’ve been after the serial killer for months now, and they’re still not close to catching him.
It’s wearing thin on Team Gibbs. They haven’t been the same since Ziva’s death, and they need to catch her killer.
“Hey, Tony. You okay?” questioned Timothy McGee as he noticed Tony staring at Ziva’s desk. Like with Kate, no one was allowed to touch it. They were all mourning Ziva, but they were extremely worried about Tony. He had been with Ziva when she died and refused to talk about it.
“I’m sure. Leave me the hell alone, Probie!” snapped Tony. He immediately felt guilty about yelling at his friend like that, but his emotions had been all over the place lately.
“Hey, it’s okay to yell. We all miss her. And I forgive you for that, by the way. You don’t have to feel guilty.” McGee felt like yelling himself sometimes. He didn’t blame anyone for their anger, especially when he was so angry himself.
“Whatever. Go back to your own desk or go see Abby,” Tony ordered dully. He continued to stare at Ziva’s empty desk.
McGee sighed and then reluctantly headed back to his own desk, unaware that Tony was caught up in a flashback about That Night.
“Come on, Ziva! What do you say you come over for a movie tonight? We’re going to catch ourselves a sociopath tonight”
Ziva laughed. “Tony, that sounds like it’d be fun. What do you want to watch?”
Tony shrugged and then became alert as the two heard a noise in the corner. “Let’s go,” he whispered.
“Put your weapon down!”
“Federal agents! Put your weapon down now!” Tony ordered.
Tony heard a noise from behind them and was about to warn Ziva when the murderer appeared behind them.
The two agents whirled around, ready to shoot him, when he produced a knife out of nowhere. “Put your weapon down!”
“You’re never going to catch me,” the murderer taunted.
“We will shoot you”!
And then, there was a loud bang from behind Tony and Ziva. They both turned around, too late to realize their mistake. Before Tony could even get a shot out, Ziva was stabbed in the back. When she turned around in a valiant effort to shoot him, she got stabbed again in the stomach. She collapsed to the ground in pain as the serial killer bolted from the warehouse.
Tony would have gone after him, but he had to save Ziva. “Hey, you. We’ll get you to the hospital soon. Don’t you worry.” He tried putting pressure on the wounds to keep her from bleeding out and then called for an ambulance.
Ziva’s eyes kept fluttering shut, but she kept them open. “Hurts.”
“I know it hurts, Baby. But stay awake. I just need you to stay awake. Stay with me. Please, Ziva. Please.” His hands were coated in blood and Tony was shaking. He was terrified Ziva was going to die on him.
“I’m sorry, Tony.”
“Don’t you do this to me! Don’t you die, Ziva! You are a former Mossad agent! You’re currently an NCIS agent working for Gibbs. You are not allowed to die!” Tony was aware he was hysterical, but he didn’t care. He didn’t want Ziva to die. He couldn’t let her die.
Ziva whimpered. “I’m sorry,” she apologized again.
“Don’t you dare apologize. You’re going to the hospital and you will be taken care of by the nice doctors at Bethesda.”
“I don’t think so.”
Tony tried to hold back his sobs, but failed. “Please, please, don’t go. Please, Ziva. I love you. I’ve been in love with you for years. Don’t you dare die on me.”
Ziva beamed at him despite the pain she was in, but it turned into a sad smile. “I love you, too, Tony DiNozzo”.
And then her eyes closed forever. Tony held her body in his arms, sobbing. That’s the position he was in when McGee, Ducky, and the EMTs found them.
It took several men to force Tony to let go of Ziva. He refused to give her up.
Tony snapped out of the flashback and tried to get back to his paperwork. It hurt too much to think about that. He couldn’t stop going over the “what if’s” in his mind. It was driving him crazy.
There had been so much loss lately. He was sick of people he loved dying on him. He had been devastated by Kate, Paula, and Jenny’s deaths, but Tony was pretty sure Ziva dying had destroyed him. He didn’t know what to do anymore. He had lost the love of his life. He had told her he loved her entirely too late.
Tony had so many regrets, and there was nothing he could do about them. He was lost in memories. He couldn’t even sleep at night anymore. Nightmares kept waking him up. So now, Tony just drank a lot of coffee and watched movies all night. It was beginning to affect his work, but he didn’t really care anymore. Without Ziva, he really had no purpose. Work was the only thing keeping him going now, even though it wasn’t as fun anymore.
“Tony, you want to go out to lunch with Timmy and me?” questioned Abby. McGee had gone downstairs to get her since he was worried about their best friend. Although she was missing Ziva like crazy herself, Abby desperately wanted to pull Tony out of his depression.
“No, I’m fine. Thanks for asking, though. You two go enjoy yourselves.” Tony had given up on the paperwork less than a minute after starting it and was back to staring at Ziva’s desk.
Abby and McGee exchanged worried looks that Tony ignored. He appreciated the effort to get him out of the building, but he didn’t want to go anywhere. Didn’t they understand that?
“Okay, Tony. We’ll take you out when you’re ready,” McGee promised. He followed Abby back down to her lab and lay down on the floor. Like Tony, he sometimes got lost in the memories of That Night. He would never forget it. Ziva’s death had hit them all hard.
McGee had panicked when Tony had informed them there was an agent down. That meant that Ziva was hurt. And Tony had sounded hysterical, which just made his panic worse.
When he, Ducky, and the EMTs arrived on scene, there was blood everywhere. Ziva’s eyes were closed. He hoped that didn’t mean what he thought it meant, but McGee had a sinking feeling he was wrong. Tony was sobbing and holding Ziva in his arms.
Now crying himself, McGee felt for a pulse. It was gone. “Tony, you need to let Ziva go so the EMTs can see her.”
“She’s sleeping. I need to wake her up. Why won’t she wake up, Tim?”
McGee closed his eyes and struggled to keep the tears at bay. Tony needed him to be strong for him right now. “Tony, she isn’t asleep. You know that.”
“Yes she is. She’s sleeping and I need her to open her eyes and wake up. Then, everything will be okay.”
Ducky let out a strangled sob beside him. “Come on, Anthony. You need to let Ziva go.”
“No!” Everyone flinched at Tony’s scream.
“Sir, we need the body,” one of the EMTs explained.
“She’s not dead! She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s just sleeping.” Tony was trying hard to convince himself of that fact.
“He’s in denial,” Ducky whispered to McGee.
“Tony, I promise you that Ziva’s going to be okay. But the EMTs need to her see her.” McGee felt so guilty for lying to Tony, but the current situation warranted it.
When Tony still refused to let go, it took McGee, Ducky, several of the EMTs, and two other FBI agents to force him away.
“Come on, Tony. We have to go to the hospital.” McGee didn’t think Tony was hurt, but there was so much blood covering him. It was better to be safe than sorry.
“Ziva’s going to be there?”
“Of course she is,” McGee lied. He hated doing this to Tony, but his friend needed to be taken care of. Tony was obviously in shock.
Getting him help right now was McGee’s priority.
McGee stared up at the ceiling and tried to wipe the tears away. He missed old Tony. It seemed like the old Tony had died with Ziva and they were left with the shell of a man upstairs.
However, Ziva’s death had kick-started his and Abby’s relationship. They had been slowly working their way back to each other, but after her funeral, they got back together. Life was too short to not be with the person you loved. Tony and Ziva had learned that the hard way. They had waited too long and never revealed their feelings for each other. McGee didn’t want to be that way with Abby.
Now, the newly reunited couple was engaged since they didn’t want to waste any more time. McGee and Abby planned on marrying as soon as Tony managed to work his way out of his depression. He wanted his best friend to be his best man. He was sure Tony would agree. Then again, right now, Tony didn’t even realize what was going on around him except for work.
Abby eyed her fiancée and tried to get back to work on analyzing the DNA from the last victim of their serial killer. They wanted to catch the psycho so bad and it was wearing on the team that they couldn’t find him. They had been so close in the warehouse.
Abby had been informed that someone was hurt, but she had no idea who. When Ducky stepped out of the elevator with a bed and a body bag in it, her heart stopped. One of her friends couldn’t have died, could they? This couldn’t be happening again.
“Ducky, who is it? Please say someone else got hurt in that warehouse. Please be the serial killer.”
Ducky took a deep breath and sighed. “I’m sorry, Abigail. It’s Ziva. She was stabbed multiple times. We think she bled out.”
Abby cried out and sank to the floor. “No!”
“We need to get down to the morgue. I can’t believe I’m doing this again,” Ducky murmured.
She burst into sobs and refused to get up off the floor. She (and everyone else) had just lost another family member. How were they supposed to deal with this?
Despite the fact that she couldn’t think straight because of the grief, Abby already knew that team probably wasn’t going to recover from this. There had been too many losses over the years.
She reluctantly stood up and headed towards the morgue, prepared to face the harsh truth she didn’t want to accept.
Abby missed Ziva more than she thought possible. Kate and Jenny dying had hurt her, but Ziva’s was different. Maybe since she had been a part of the team longer. Maybe since she was just another person on the list of deaths that had hit Team Gibbs over the past eight years.
She couldn’t wait until they found Ziva’s murderer and put him behind bars. After finding the evidence she wanted, Abby went to go find Ducky to tell him about the latest victim.
Ducky wanted to put this serial killer behind bars. He hadn’t felt this way since Ari killed Kate. And they still hadn’t found Ziva’s murderer. The victims were piling up. He was afraid for the team’s sanity if they didn’t catch this sociopath.
He wanted this person caught. They still didn’t even know who it was, still he didn’t leave any evidence behind. And he hoped it was soon. It seemed like Anthony’s sanity depended on it.
After getting checked out and declared healthy by Dr. Pitt, Tony was free to go. It was obvious he was still in shock, however.
“I think we need to sedate him,” Ducky told Brad. He wanted the agent calm and not hysterical, like he had been earlier at the warehouse.
“Where’s Ziva? I need to see her.”
“She’s on her way to the Navy Yard,” Ducky explained to him. He was going to let Tony sleep off the sedative at work. It would not be a good idea to leave him alone at his apartment.
He didn’t look forward to performing Ziva’s autopsy, but Ducky wasn’t’ about to let anyone else do it. This was his job and his job only. Ziva deserved the best.
Performing Ziva’s autopsy turned out to be one of the hardest things he ever did. It always hurt to autopsy a friend.
Ducky sighed. He hoped this was all over soon, so the team could get some closure. Maybe then, Anthony would go back to normal. He doubted he would, however. The various deaths over the years had chipped away at him until Ziva’s death ultimately destroyed him. Tony had lost the woman he loved. He’d probably never get over it.
Meanwhile, Gibbs was downstairs in the basement. He was looking at all the evidence they had accumulated over the past few months. Like everyone else, Gibbs wanted this to be over. He wanted the serial killer caught. He had a feeling in his gut that it would happen soon. They were so close!
Gibbs couldn’t stop remembering seeing Tony in the immediate aftermath. He had been sedated at the time and unresponsive.
“Ducky had to sedate him. He wouldn’t let Ziva go with the EMTs,” McGee explained to his boss. He had a blanket wrapped around Tony. He had helped his friend shower and change clothes at the hospital because of the blood coating Tony.
“Tony, you okay?” Gibbs saw that he was in shock, but he hoped to snap him out of it. He needed Tony to tell him exactly what happened.
“He slept for a little while, but woke up. Ducky gave him a mild sedative then.”
“I can’t talk to him when he’s sedated!” Gibbs slammed his hand down on the desk. McGee flinched, but it seemed like Tony didn’t even notice.
“You can talk to him, Boss. He’s still in shock. Whether he’s sedated or not, Tony won’t give us any answers.”
Gibbs sighed. “You’re right. Call me when he’s aware, will you? I’m going back to that warehouse.” Another team had taken over for them temporarily to investigate Ziva’s death, but that wasn’t going to last very long. Gibbs wasn’t about to let someone else find the bastard that did this.
He decided to start going through every piece of evidence they had. It was going to take Gibbs awhile, but he didn’t care. Ziva had been one of the serial killer’s victims. This was of the utmost importance.
Teams Gibbs had a murderer to catch and they weren’t going to back down.