Written For: taylorgibbs for halloween_tibbs 2011
Prompt: At end of the fic. :-)
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 3,775
Beta: sinfulslasher who did a quick one since I was too late to send it to azraelz_angel
Warnings: Character Death
Timeline: Post 09x06 Thirst
Author's Note: Happy Tibbs Halloween Everyone! Now off I go to prepare for the 3,000 or so kids that are about to bombard my street. :-)
Crossposted: halloween_tibbs; ncis_slash
Summary: A gift from the past leads to some otherworldly revelations...
Ziva was never one to celebrate her birthday. If she thought hard enough, she could recall a time before Tali that it was celebrated, but after, nothing. Her training had started early at the insistence of her father and that left little room for celebrations. Since her time at NCIS, the issue had never arisen. It seemed that the only birthday celebration revolved around Abby and the occasional bottle of bourbon for Gibbs. And Ziva was content to leave it that way.
It was also the reason that Ziva had turned down Abby's invite to her Halloween party. Not celebrating her birthday meant that she did not want to celebrate anything on her birthday. Especially some Americanized holiday that led to cases that were at some times too strange for even them to handle. She was perfectly content with remaining at home and perhaps handing out some candy to a few of the kids that lived in her building.
With a glance at the prepared candy bowl by the door, Ziva picked up her mail and moved to the couch. The majority were bills and there was a new issue of GSM that she could peruse later for the articles and details to use with Tony. However, at the bottom of the stack was a padded envelope with a return address for a law firm called Wolfram & Hart.
Using one of her many knives, she slit the envelope open and poured the contents on her coffee table. They seemed harmless at first glance, just a letter on the company’s letterhead and a velvet drawstring jewelry bag. With a bit of wariness, she picked up the letter and began to read.
Dear Ms. David:
This package was to be sent to you at the bequeath of your late brother, Ari Haswari, to be received on the date of your birth in the year 2011. This fulfills Wolfram & Hart's final obligations to our client Mr. Haswari. Please accept our deepest sympathy for his passing.
The rest contained the standard legal jargon, but Ziva couldn’t get past the fact that her brother had arranged for her to receive something. Taking in a deep breath the memories of those final moments in Gibbs’ basement when she pulled the trigger flooded her mind.
“Why?” she asked out loud to the empty room. She glanced at the velvet bag sitting innocently on the table. Part of her wanted to throw it away without looking inside. She didn’t need a reminder of what started her downward spiral with her father.
But something deep inside urged her to open it. With a trembling hand, she loosened the drawstring and let the item within fall to the table’s surface.
Ziva gasped when she saw the wooden Star of David with a gold chain. She knew that Ari would not have normally given her such a gift with his background, however, it wasn’t the necklace that was important. It was the person that had originally owned it that was.
“Tali,” Ziva whispered softly as she reached for her dead sister’s necklace. “How?”
With tears welling in her eyes, Ziva unclasped the necklace and placed it around her neck. “Toda Lecha,” she said softly as a green light enveloped her and she screamed in pain.
“You promised, Tony!” Abby all but wailed into the phone. “You can’t not come. If nothing else, you have to see Tim’s costume. You’ll have teasing material for a long time.”
“I said I would try, Abby. But you also told me not to come without Gibbs and you know how he is,” Tony said with a sigh.
“But if anyone can convince him, it’s you,” Abby said with a pout.
‘Not likely,’ thought Tony. Out loud, he said, “I’ll try. Get the party started and I’ll be there fashionably late, with or without Gibbs.”
“With, Tony. Think positive. And don’t forget to dress up.”
Tony clicked his phone shut and ran a hand through his hair. If only he could say no to Abby, but he couldn’t. Halloween was not his favorite time of the year, but Abby always tried to get him involved. One year, she even volunteered him to take a group of underprivileged kids trick-or-treating. That had not gone well. At least a party he could manage. It was Gibbs he was scared about.
Since the crap over the summer had come to an end, things with Gibbs had been on a more even keel than it had in a long time. It reminded Tony of those early years, before the plague, Kate’s death and the explosion changed everything. And having just that little bit back meant that he didn’t want to rock the boat, even if he wanted more.
“But Gibbs would never want more,” he said dejectedly. “But I guess I can appease Abby. Or try to.”
He threw on some Ohio State gear and debated added some university colors to his face before nixing that idea. Simple and easy was his motto for the day. Of course convincing Gibbs to go would be neither simple nor easy.
“Do you think he’ll get Gibbs to come?” Abby said as she looked out the window towards the street below. “It’s already been an hour since things started and no word.”
“You know Gibbs. And I don’t see how Tony would be the one to get him to come. You’re Gibbs’ favorite. Although I’m surprised Tony hasn’t shown up to be the life of the party yet,” McGee answered, moving to stand next to her.
“Oh, ye of little knowledge. I might look like the favorite, but that’s totally Tony’s spot. Even if neither of them acknowledge it.”
“I’ll agree to disagree with you on that one, Abby. What about Ziva? Couldn’t convince her either.”
“No,” Abby said sadly. “It’s her birthday and she sees it as a day of non-celebration, not even celebrating something non-birthday like.”
“Maybe we could-“ McGee cut himself off when he saw a red light move across Abby’s forehead. He started to lunge toward her, but wasn’t quick enough when he heard the glass shatter and Abby’s scream.
Guests were scattering and thankfully Jimmy crawled over to the spot where McGee laid as he pressed against Abby’s bleeding shoulder. “Take care of her and get someone to call 911 if they haven’t yet. I’ll call Gibbs and see if I can get a line on where the shot came from,” he barked in a surprising imitation of Gibbs.
Thankful he had his gun with him, McGee ran out the door flipping his cell open. But before he could hit the speed dial, he stopped short at seeing Ziva in front of him.
“Ziva! Abby’s been shot. A sniper. Had to have come from that building over there!” he pointed frantically.
“I know, Special Agent McGee.”
And at her oddly intoned words, McGee had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. Especially when he noticed the sniper rifle in her hands.
“Ziva?” he questioned, heart beating fast. In a surreal way, he saw the police skidding to a halt and exiting their cars, heard the ambulance and one of the partygoers directing them to the right place. But he was focused on Ziva and the gun in her hand.
“Was it- Ziva, did you?”
“Where are Gibbs and DiNozzo?” she asked instead.
“Tony was trying to get Gibbs to come to the party. Do you know what’s going on?”
“I do, Agent McGee. I do,” and without another word, she pulled the trigger, hitting McGee in his leg before fleeing the scene.
Tony didn’t knock at the door, he just went right inside and headed toward the basement. His nerves were still threatening to revolt, but he steeled himself as he went down the stairs.
“Hey, Boss!” he called out. Although he knew that Gibbs would have known who it was. “Happy Halloween!”
Gibbs responded with a muffled grunt that Tony took as a return of the ‘happy Halloween’ sentiment.
“Abby’s been expecting us, Gibbs. Costumes, beer, some laughs at McGee, all sorts of fun I’m told.”
“Not up for a party, DiNozzo. Or costumes,” Gibbs added as he took in Tony’s attire. “Reliving the college days?”
“Something like that. Figured it was better than putting on my badge and jacket and going as a federal agent. I can only get away with that every other year.”
Gibbs snorted and Tony took that as a victory.
“So,” Tony hedged as he took a seat at the worktable. “If we aren’t going to the party, what are we going to do?” He winced when he realized his words could take on a double meaning.
“I plan to work down here. Don’t know about you. Got some beer in the fridge and some steaks thawing,” Gibbs added almost as an afterthought.
“Sounds better than watching Abby’s transvestite friend perform. Although she does have great legs,” Tony said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
“Go fix the steaks. We’ll eat down here,” Gibbs ordered around a smile.
“On it, Boss.”
An hour later, the plates had been pushed aside and Tony was sipping on his beer while Gibbs drank some bourbon.
Tony was about to break the comfortable silence when Gibbs’ phone rang. Tony looked quizzically as Gibbs flipped it open to answer.
“I’m not coming to the party, Abby,” he stated in greeting. Then Tony tensed when he heard Gibbs’ voice darken. “Palmer? What- Hospital? No, he didn’t. Ziva? We’ll be there. Call Duck and tell him where.”
Gibbs snapped the phone shut and started towards the stairs. “Abby was shot in her apartment. Shoulder. McGee went out to pinpoint the sniper location and according to the police that witnessed it, was shot in the leg by Ziva.”
“What the hell?!” Tony shouted as he followed Gibbs, only to slam into the other man’s back. “Boss?”
Tony looked over Gibbs’ shoulder and saw Ziva standing there, a gun pointed at both of them.
“It was so convenient of you to both be in one place. It made things much easier,” Ziva’s voice came out in a non-normal tone.
“Why, Ziva?” Gibbs asked simply.
“Because I can, Agent Gibbs,” Ziva answered with a wicked smile forming on her face. “I have always wondered if it would have gone differently if Agent DiNozzo had been shot on that rooftop instead of Agent Todd. Shall we see?”
With that, a trigger was pulled and Tony fell to the floor as he felt the bullet slam into his chest.
Gibbs dropped to the floor next to Tony's body as he pulled his gun to keep it trained on Ziva.
"Don't you die on me, DiNozzo."
"Trying not to, Boss," Tony choked out as he coughed up some blood.
"Why?" Gibbs shouted back at Ziva. "Abby, Tim and now Tony? It's like you're-"
"Like I am who, Agent Gibbs?" Ziva taunted with a smile. "Like I am my brother?"
"It's not possible," Gibbs ground out. "You put a bullet through his head."
"I taught her too well, Gibbs. And you of all people should know that things do not always go accordingly to the standard way of life. I learned many things while I was waiting for my return. Perhaps I should call you by your true name, son of Aceso, grandson of Apollo."
"Boss?" Tony gurgled with a confused expression. But he was silenced by Gibbs' hand pressed against his lips.
"If you know that, Ari, then you know that I will not let you take him or anyone else from me."
As Gibbs spoke, a glow began to emanate from his hand and spread over Tony. Tony remained still, blinking rapidly as he was covered in the tingly gold light.
"Impressive, Gibbs. It will only make it more of a challenge to keep inflicting wounds on him only to see you rush to heal him. Is there a limit to that power you have? I know you were unable to use it on Caitlyn and your wife and daughter."
"I'll destroy you before you have the chance, Haswari," Gibbs spat out, trying to not interrupt the healing process.
"But to destroy me, you'll also destroy my dear sister. Can you kill one to protect the others?"
Gibbs cut the flow of power he was transferring to Tony when he felt that the younger man had been healed. Then he steeled himself for what he was about to do.
"I can," Gibbs responded, locking eyes with the thing inhabiting Ziva's body. He heard Tony start to say something but silenced him with his hand again.
"But can you live with it, Gibbs?" Ari questioned. Then Ziva's head dropped for a few seconds and when it lifted back up, confused eyes were staring back.
"Gibbs," Ziva's voice carried out, sounding more like her. "I- I tried to fight him. Kept him from getting kill shots. But I cannot-" she took a deep breath as if struggling for air. "You must do it, Gibbs. If he succeeds, I do not want to live with myself."
Then Ziva was gone, replaced by a man Gibbs longed to send to Hades with no return trip.
"My sister is a fighter, Agent Gibbs. But she cannot win against me and neither can you. Which will it be? One or all?" and the gun was pointed back in Tony's direction.
Gibbs' finger rested on the trigger of the gun. He knew he had no time left for reservations. Then time seemed to slow as he started to move his finger.
"I will not let you do this!" Ziva's voice rang out, piercing the silence. Then her hand was moving and the gun that had been trained on Tony's prone body was turned to her own head.
"No!" Gibbs wasn't sure if the shout was from himself or Tony, but it didn't matter.
The shot rang out and Ziva dropped to the floor.
"Is she..." Tony trailed off, wanting to avoid the subject all together.
"Yeah, DiNozzo," Gibbs said with a heavy tiredness in his voice.
Tony noticed and sat up, placing his hand on Gibbs' shoulder. "You okay, Boss? I mean, I don't know what you did or how you did it, but you don't sound like yourself."
"Haven't done that in a long time. Not since you had the plague," Gibbs added with a glance at Tony.
"You did- I thought I imagined that glow when you head slapped me and told me not to die." Tony fell silent as his mind turned over the details. "You just did enough to make sure I didn't die and that I healed at a faster rate. I guess a miracle cure from the plague due to a head slap was out of the question, huh?"
"Yeah. And as long as you change clothes before anyone else shows up, you didn't have a miracle cure this time either."
"Got it, Boss," Tony said standing up. He gave a quick look towards Ziva's body and drew in a sharp breath. "The necklace!"
Gibbs turned and saw the dark green swirling around the Star of David. "That's how that bastard got to her," Gibbs spat out.
"What do we do? I don't think touching it would be a good thing. I'm not longing to give Ari a free ride to the land of the living again."
Gibbs sighed and looked up toward the ceiling. "Mom? I could really use some help about now..."
Tony gasped as light suddenly exploded in the basement. The light coalesced into the form of a young, extremely fit man.
"Leroy," the deep voice intoned. "I see my grandson has been attracting trouble in the form of some very dark magics."
"I asked for mom, not you," Gibbs grumbled.
"Well, I'm who you have. And I see you've finally used those abilities again that I generously gave you as a teenager," he added with a measuring look in Tony's direction. "You've only used them twice and both times were on him."
Tony stayed silent, but cast a curious look in Gibbs' direction that the other man pointedly ignored.
"Can you do anything for Ziva?" Gibbs asked with a touch of sadness.
"She has gone, Leroy. And bringing her back would cause tension where there does not need to be any. However, I can take care of this and ensure that his soul is returned to its rightful place in Tartarus," he said as he yanked the still glowing necklace from Ziva's neck.
"Thank you," Gibbs said softly. "And Ziva?"
"I will ensure that she is enjoying her time in her version of the Elysian Fields. Is he fully healed?" the man asked nodding in Tony's direction.
"Yeah. Think I even got his lungs from the plague damage. Didn't have much control over it."
"That's because you don't use it. It was given as a gift, Leroy, not a hindrance."
"The only ones I would have used it on, I couldn't," Gibbs said quietly.
"I know," Apollo said as he placed a hand on Gibbs' shoulder. "They are well and safe and you will see them again when it's time. And now I must go and dispose of this."
"Will he-" Gibbs started to ask but Apollo interrupted.
"He'll remember, Leroy. He seems to be handling things okay and you could stand to have someone know more about you. He's good for you." And with a blink, Apollo and the necklace containing Ari were gone.
"Part God, Boss? Really? Should I start making Hercules references? I'll probably go with Kevin Sorbo versus Arnold. Is there anything else you can do? I mean your gut, is it more than a gut? A godly gut? Or maybe-"
Gibbs reached out and slapped Tony across the head, satisfied when he heard the hastily mumbled, "Shutting up now, Boss." Neither mentioned the fact that Gibbs' hand stayed on Tony's hair, giving it a slight caress.
"Go change and do something with those clothes. Need it to look like Ziva was the only one injured before others show up."
"How are we handling this, Gibbs? I mean, I know we can't say all the stuff about Ari and you and Apollo, but... I don't want Ziva to take the fall for this when she's not even here to defend herself."
"I know. But there's not much we can do about that. There were witnesses to her attack on Tim even if there is nothing confirmed yet for Abby. We can't change that."
The two men shared a look that promised a longer discussion, but first they needed to act.
"So she committed suicide?" Abby asked in a small voice. "I don't understand. I mean everything was going better. Well, better for us that is. Tony was done with his assignment and didn't get killed. Ducky's girlfriend wasn't so good, but everyone is safe. But why Ziva? Why now?"
"We may never know, Abby," Ducky said softly. "It's just a blessing that Tim and yourself will make a full recovery and that she took her own life over harming Jethro and Tony."
"I'm not sure about a full recovery, Ducky," McGee said with a trace of pain in his voice. "My leg is not too convinced a the moment."
"Don't worry, Probie. I'll whip you back into shape. Or at least find you a hot physical therapist to do it."
"How's Gibbs, Tony?" Abby asked, redirecting the subject.
"Being Gibbs. He's trying to kick out these crime scene cleaner guys so he can have time in the basement. I should probably go make sure he hasn't killed them yet."
"Go, Tony. Ducky will stay here to keep us company, right?" Abby said with a bat of her eyelashes.
"Of course, my dear. Tell Jethro that they will be okay with time," Ducky added as Tony left the room.
"So, it seems they got the blood out," Tony said for lack of anything else coming to mind.
"Yeah. Same ones that cleaned up after Ari."
"If only they knew," Tony trailed off. "Was at the hospital. Abby and the Probie are doing good. Full recovery and all that jazz. I think Abby was talking about a tattoo to go around the bullet scar on the front and the back. Not sure what to think about that. And they also want to know why Ziva did it. I wanted to tell them, but- well, you know. Who'd believe it? Hell, I'm still not a hundred percent sure and I saw the whole mess."
"You don't have to remember," Gibbs said quietly. "I can arrange it so you believe the story we told."
"No!" Tony all but shouted. He moved closer to Gibbs' spot at the work bench before continuing in a calmer voice. "I may not understand it all, but I'm not leaving you by yourself in this. I've always had your six and I'll have it this time too. You saved me from the damn plague and I never even knew. Then you save me from death. Can't let you take this on by yourself."
"I can't lose you, Tony. I lost Shannon and Kelly. Can't lose you too."
Tony moved in close and leaned against the bench, letting his hip brush against Gibbs. "If you had been there for Shannon and Kelly, could you have saved them?"
"According to the reports, Shannon died on impact. So like Kate, there was nothing I could have done. Kelly- they said she was alive after the wreck, but died in transport to the hospital. I might have been able-" Gibbs broke off with a choke.
Tony ignored all normal responses and bent down to wrap his arms around Gibbs. "You would have saved her if possible, Jethro. Just like you did me. You just didn't have the chance."
"And I regret it every damn day," Gibbs huffed out. Then he looked into Tony's eyes, holding their gaze. "Don't want any more regrets," he said just before he pressed his lips against Tony's.
Moments later they pulled apart and Tony flashed the most open smile Gibbs had ever seen on his face. "No regrets here, Jethro. I just have one question."
"Only one?" Gibbs questioned, a smile breaking out on his own face.
"Yup. A very important one," Tony said, his gaze turning to what Gibbs would classify as a full body caress. "If you're part god, what with having Apollo as your grandpa, does that apply everywhere?"
Gibbs couldn't hold back the laugh that spilled out of his lips. "How about I take you upstairs and show you just how godly I am."
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Author's Note - Prompt
Prompt 2: When one of our boys is attacked by Ziva, the other needs to heal him supernaturally or he will die. He is (insert creature).