There were no records of Agent Blackadder having had returned to the mainland and a quick phone call to her usual hotel indicated she hadn’t yet checked out. As Danny and Ziva made their way over, she looked out the window with a smile on her face as the sun and wind entered through the open windows.
“So – you and Steve?” Danny commented trying to make conversation.
“Does my friendship with your partner bother you?” she asked turning to look at him.
“Nah, I kinda figured as much when I saw you guys in the office the other day. He wouldn’t say anything – not that he usually says anything – but I thought I’d just try to goad him a little by trying to ask you out. No offense,” he said.
Ziva chuckled looking back out. “None taken.”
“I will say this though, Steve seems a little less uptight about everything since you showed up,” Danny said offhandedly.
“I never considered him to be uptight,” she frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“Well, ever since I’ve known him his focus has been centered on his dad’s case… which is understandable, I get it. His father was his hero and a lot more besides. But there are times when finding the answers he’s looking for clouds his judgement and closes him off from the rest of us. I get a feeling that with you in his life, things will go a lot easier when new leads come up,” Danny explained. “And when new leads don’t show up, he won’t be as frustrated because he’ll have something other than work to focus on.”
She thought about it and shook her head. “Don’t go getting too comfortable with the idea of that. Remember that I have to go back to DC. At most, I will be out here for vacation right now.”
“Maybe, but you’ll be keeping in touch and he’ll visit you too,” Danny replied. “He’d be nuts not to.”
“He and I already spoke about that possibility,” Ziva admitted. Looking around again, she pointed at the hotel building in the distance. “I think that is the place.”
Pulling into an empty spot, Danny took another look at Blackadder’s file photo on his phone before they headed toward the reception desk. They were about to enter when Danny noticed the outdoor cafes menu. “Oh look, they serve ten different types of tea.”
Ziva smiled cheekily as she walked beside him. “Let’s talk to this Blackadder person first then maybe we can have that tea date. I’d like to try to get this case closed before my team needs to return. They deserve a little bit of a vacation as well and while we all are here – it’d be nice.”
“That Gibbs guy doesn’t strike me as the type of person who’d take a vacation when he could be working,” Danny replied as they approached the desk.
“Welcome to the Tropica Hotel, will you be requiring a room?” the receptionist asked, offering a sweet smile to Danny.
“No, some information would be nice though,” he replied before flashing his badge. “Detective Danny Williams, Five-0. This is Special Agent David of NCIS.”
“NCIS? Is that like CSI or something?” she asked with a frown.
Ziva had been leaning on the counter with her chin in her palm as she glanced back at Danny with a bored expression. “NCIS, FBI, CIA, NSA. Sound familiar?” she asked in turn. “More importantly,” she continued showing her the photo of Blackadder on her cell phone. “We believe this woman is staying in the hotel. Have you seen her?”
“Oh, yes Ma’am. Are you Miss Blackadder’s guests? She asked me to direct you to the cafe,” the receptionist explained.
Danny and Ziva exchanged a glance before he gave the girl a smile. “Thank you very much. There – uh – should be more coming soon then if we are here first. You know, we’ve been planning a surprise for one of our friends. Would you mind not saying that we arrived early when the others show up?” he offered quickly, thinking on his toes.
“Your secret is safe with me,” the woman smiled brightly.
Stepping away from the counter, Ziva idly tapped her phone on her palm. When Danny finished talking with the girl to play up the role, she smirked. “Nice. Quick thinking there. So – about that tea?” she winked.
“So long as I don’t have to stick out my pinky,” he grinned, remembering the time Grace showed him how someone should drink tea.
“That is actually the appropriate way to drink tea. It helps balance the cup while you drink,” she explained with a straight face as she eyed a menu stand with the day’s specials. “You know, maybe we can just have lunch while we are here as well. That tai fish sounds really good.”
“What I wouldn’t give for a pie from Rose’s Pizza,” Danny replied. He still couldn’t get used to how much fish people ate in Hawaii.
The two made their way to the hostess stand and quickly they were seated in a comfortable area where they each had a clear view of Vivian Blackadder, who waited at the bar counter. “She does not look nervous at all,” she murmured to him with a smile.
“She doesn’t look like someone who works in Law Enforcement either,” Danny replied as he glanced at the menu.
“There are many areas where people can be useful. Not everyone is suited for field or combat situations.”
“Not what I meant Ziva,” he replied, “I’ve been a cop long enough to tell when someone’s shady, and that girl can block out the sun. She’s not just shady, she’s dirty.”
Ziva casually took another look. “I suppose you are correct. Still, one’s motives for their career choices can change over years and through events. According to her file, she was always particularly sensitive in regards to the Yemen attack on the USS Cole all those years ago.”
“She lose someone?” Danny asked with a frown, “A Husband? Boyfriend?-”
She didn’t say anything for a moment as she took a deep breath and looked at the woman again, feeling a sense of familiarity. “Brother,” she answered softly.
Danny noted Ziva’s discomfort at the question and opted to file it away for later. They had work to do afterall. “Ahh,” was all he said as a waitress came over.
“Are you ready to order?” she asked.
“I am,” Ziva grinned more cheerfully, looking up at the girl. “How about you Darling?” she asked her partner for the day, accentuating her natural accent.
“What? Uh…” he had a look of a deer caught in headlights for a moment. “Oh… yes. I’ll have whatever you have babe.”
She winked at him as she placed the order as well as their drinks, a blended chai tea based drink that had her intrigued. “Thank you,” she said as the girl took their menus and walked off. Turning back to Danny, she went serious again. “You do know that we have no idea how long it will be before these people show up. How is the zoom on your cell phone?”
“Excellent, Chin hooked us up with some modified iPhones,” he replied as he retrieved his phone from his pocket. “Scooch over, look as if we’re watching some vacation vids.”
Ziva chuckled as she did so, pulling out her own phone as well. Very casually, she let her chin rest on his shoulder as she eyed the woman at the bar who kept checking her watch and notice a flash of irritation and impatience cross her face. “Our girl is getting antsy,” she murmured.
“So not a good sign,” Danny replied. “Do you wanna take her?”
“No. We know she is waiting for someone specific. We should see if its that Robson guy that owns the boats where Owens was killed or someone else that can lead us to the murderer,” she said softly, like she was sharing an intimate secret with him because Blackadder had turned around then and was looking in their general direction.
“She’s made us,” Danny said through the gritted teeth of a false smile.
“Not yet. She could just be looking for her people,” Ziva said randomly pointing at the phone before picking hers up to move to shoot a picture of themselves to add to the cover for security. It didn’t take long for Blackadder to turn back to focusing her attention on the entrance and their lunch to arrive. “Play time is on pause.”
“What?” Danny asked with a frown. “Do you mean play time is over?”
She smiled up at the waiter that began to set their plates in front of them with their drinks before looking at the man pointedly. “Enjoy your lunch. It smells delicious.”
“Uh, I’m sorry, we’re honeymooning,” Danny tried to cover at the curious look of the waiter. “She’s a little handsy and I’ve said too much.”
Ziva chuckled and winked as she started eating her fish filet and moaned in surprise. “This is really good,” she mumbled around a mouthful. “Try it. Really.”
“I’d much rather watch you eat it some more…” he muttered his thoughts. “Oh, uh, yeah.”
She raised an eyebrow and smiled. “It is alright but just do not let Steve hear that so much. He may not be quite so forgiving depending on his mood,” she pointed out.
Shaking his head, he only muttered, “Let’s never speak of this,” before shovelling a forkful of fish into his mouth. “Oh my god… this is actually pretty good…”
“I will not say anything. Do not worry about it. Actually – that reminds me to check McGee’s computer when we get back to the office,” she trailed off in a mumble herself. The two continued their lunch, enjoying the food and watching their suspect. It wasn’t long when a dark haired man and fair haired woman walked in, arm in arm. Making their way to the bar, Ziva’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. When they turned just enough for her to see their faces clearly, her jaw went slack and turned away so that she was not easily seen herself. “Motherfu…”
“What is it?” Danny asked, trying to look casual as he glanced around, “Did she make us?”
“No,” she growled unhappily. When one of the staff walked by, she waved them down. “May we get the check please? Thank you.”
“What? What is it?” he asked, placing his knife and fork down.
Ziva looked up at him with her carefully placed Mossad mask on her face. “We need to get back to the office now.”
Without another word, Danny pulled a $50 dollar bill from his wallet and placed it under the salt and pepper shakers before snapping off a couple of discrete photos.
As inconspicuous as they could, they quickly exited the cafe and made their way to the car. She had her phone out, trying to make a phone call, simply demanding for the Director but was put on hold for a long while. Nearly the entire trip back in fact. Occasionally someone would pick up and she’d repeat her demand for the Director then let out a slew of curses in Hebrew.
Danny was totally in the dark, as he drove them back to the office he observed just how riled up Ziva was getting. He figured that she wasn’t trying to reach Director Vance after awhile, she would have had Gibbs do that. No, this Director was someone closer to her. It was personal. If he hadn’t been driving them, he would have sent Steve a message, or called him, sent out a smoke signal even, anything to warn his partner that one very pissed off storm was coming.
Walking into headquarters, Ziva slammed nearly every door she pushed through, with Danny following her as best he could.. She stormed past the group and curiously fearful looks as she went straight for the privacy of Steve’s office just in time for her father to finally answer the phone.
“What’s going on? What did you do?” Steve asked Danny, fighting the urge to head into his office to check on her.
“Me? I didn’t do a damn thing. One minute we’re keeping tabs on Blackadder, who’s definitely a bad egg by the way. The next she welcomes some guests, a guy and a woman. And Ziva starts freaking out. Starts trying to call some Director while getting as far away from Blackadder as possible.” Danny was visibly shaken, which was a rare thing to see.
“I do not care!” Ziva screamed from the office into her phone as she paced the length of the enclosed area.
Gibbs narrowed his eyes, already getting a bad feeling. “What did those people look like?” he asked, quickly making his way over to the man, trying to not be threatening to him but had actually put on his protective aura.
“I snapped a couple of photos. Here,” Danny said, tossing the silver haired Marine his iPhone.
McGee and Tony watched silently before one spoke up. “Who is it?” Tony asked carefully, already suspecting.
“Tim, get Vance on the line, now!” he growled before tossing the phone to Tony and heading into Steve’s office.
The rest of the Five-0 team watched on, not daring to say a word at the sudden change in the NCIS team’s demeanor.
“Does somebody wanna fill me in!” Steve asked, looking first to DiNozzo.
Tony gritted his teeth as he rubbed his mouth from instinct. “Mossad,” he barely let out, his eyes focused on his distraught partner as she attempted to speak to her father but clearly was getting nowhere.
“Son of a…” Steve stormed into his office too. To hell with stepping on toes, Ziva needed him now more than ever.
Getting nowhere, she ended the call and threw her phone at the wall. “Bastard. He will not speak of ongoing Mossad operations with me,” she said, trying to calm down.
“Relax,” Gibbs said simply, “I’ll talk to Leon, see what he can dig up.”
“Gibbs, I do not believe Director Vance knows anything. I really do not.”
“He may not know anything now, but he’ll find something,” Gibbs replied, Vance did have his uses afterall. “If not from your father, from one of his other contacts.”
She leaned back on Steve’s desk as she stared at the floor. “There is something more going on. Whatever it is, it is big Gibbs.”
“That much is clear. We’ll get answers Ziva,” Gibbs replied. “Now go help Williams in briefing everyone. I need to talk to the SEAL.”
“His name is Steve McGarrett,” she sighed, looking at him as she pushed herself off the furniture. “Please call him by his name. Not what he workedas.” With that, she made her way out to the door, only to bump into the man in question.
“Hey,” he said, placing a soothing hand on her cheek. “Are you okay? What happened?”
“I will be,” Ziva swallowed. “It was – a couple of Mossad officers at the cafe. We must wait for Vance to find out what is going on right now.”
With an understanding nod, he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight for a moment, ignoring Gibbs glare. “We’ll talk later, okay?”
Ziva looked up into his eyes and nodded. She knew that when they would go back to the house for the night, he would not let it go. “Later.”
Joining Gibbs, Steve took a seat behind his desk and let out a deep sigh as he watched her go to talk to DiNozzo.
“Looking at you, I know that you know Ziva’s connections with the Mossad,” Gibbs started, staring the man down. “I also know that she’s told you more about her past than either DiNozzo or I am aware of. I know you care about her a lot-”
“I do,” Steve interjected.
“Let me finish,” Gibbs growled, “But if you’re going to help, I need to know just how far you’re willing to go to help her.”
“Further than Somalia,” Steve replied simply, folding his arms. “You’re her family Gibbs, I get it. You, Tony, McGee, Abby and Ducky… you became her family when that son of a bitch Eli David turned his back on her. You’d do anything to keep her safe from him and keep her alive. So would I. What she and I had… what she and I have… it goes beyond friendship, beyond family. So yes, I’ll do whatever it takes to help her now.”
“Has she told you how she feels?” Gibbs asked casually, nodding with respect.
“She doesn’t have to,” Steve replied. “I’ll take whatever I can get from Ziva. A friendship, a relationship, a vacation fling, whatever. Because whatever I can get is worth it.”
“Well I’ll tell you something McGarrett. One way or another I know that I’m going to have to find someone to fill her spot on my team,” Gibbs said as he glanced around the office. “I saw it coming from the minute we brought her back from Somalia. I didn’t know how she’d leave, for who, or when but I know why. And I suspect that you do to.”
Steve just sat there and stared back at Gibbs as if he was being lectured by his prom date’s father.
“This is the first and last time you’ll ever hear me say this,” he said, his voice lowering in a sinister way. “If you don’t do what you’ve promised you would just now, I will personally come back here and prove once and for all that a Marine can take out a SEAL anytime, anyplace. Are we clear?”
“Crystal,” Steve replied, his eyes never leaving Gibbs’.
“Good. Now your file said that you worked with Naval Intelligence for a while. Do you have any contacts that owe you favors?” Gibbs asked casually as if he was asking a favor from Tony or Ducky.
“Of course I do,” Steve smiled a little.
“Get on the horn, see what you can find out about one Malachi Ben-Gidon of the Mossad. I may have another name for you soon so keep your contacts on the line,” he then got up and headed for the door while Steve noted the name down and picked up his phone.
“McGee, do I have a line to Vance yet?” Gibbs asked.
“Yes Boss, it’s all set up in Williams office,” Tim replied as he and the rest of the group were briefed by Danny and Ziva.
Gibbs walked straight into Danny’s office and over to McGee’s laptop. He wanted answers, he was going to get answers, either from Vance or one of McGarrett’s contacts.
Having provided the team with everything almost everything they knew, Tim looked to Ziva. “Okay Ziva, did you know the woman that Malachi was with? It might help me narrow down my info search.”
“You know her too but those photos do not get a very good angle. It is Liat, the one that replaced me after I left,” she said as she stared at the pictures.
“Sorry… we were kinda in a hurry,” Danny chimed in.
“That’s okay Danny, we know this Ziva wannabe well,” Tim said as he pulled up her file.
“I’ll go tell Gibbs and McGarrett,” Kono said, getting up.
Ziva shook her head. “Gibbs probably already knows. They are usually not far from one another. Mossad is trained to be close and invisible.”
“I’ll prep the armory,” Chin said as he wandered into one of the back rooms. If they were going to take on Mossad, they’d need their best weapons.
“Is there anything more we can do?” Ducky asked as he stood beside Abby.
“No Ducky,” Ziva smiled faintly. “Why don’t you and Abby go get yourselves some dinner. See some of the sights. I do not think we will be finishing anytime soon tonight. I will see if Gibbs will let McGee go with you.”
“No… I’m not going anywhere,” Abby said as she pulled her best friend into a hug. “You might not need us but I wanna make sure you’re safe. Whenever we deal with the Mossad, I get this hinky feeling, and this time its worse.”
Ducky placed a hand on Abby’s shoulder, “It’s going to be alright Abigail. Ziva’s not only got Jethro and Anthony with her, but she has our new friends here to back her up. They’ll be fine without us for a while. You don’t want to miss your chance to see the dolphins, do you?”
Danny smiled weakly and raised his hand for the attention. “The Pacifica resort that you’re staying at Abby actually has a dolphin cove. I took my daughter there a few months back. It’s really nice and their security is good. If it makes Gibbs feel better I can call and have a couple plain clothes HPD friends to hang with you.”
“Thank you lad, we appreciate it, as will Jethro,” Ducky nodded before looking to Abby.
The woman pouted as she considered it. While she was hesitant to leave, the idea of playing with dolphins was a strong pull. “Only if Gibbs is okay with it,” she finally let out.
“I’ll go talk to him right now,” Ducky smiled and headed for Danny’s office.
Tony was still watching Ziva as everyone talked amongst themselves while they waited for their next move. “Are you okay okay?” he asked. While he worried for her, he knew she wasn’t in any danger any more but the emotional turmoil was enough to shake even the most secure of people.
“I am fine Tony,” she answered irritably before feeling bad. “I am sorry. It is just frustrating. Not knowing anything anymore.”
“I get it, these people were your colleagues, your friends.” He nodded. “And now you’re no longer one of them in their eyes. But listen, whatever happens, we’ll get through it as a team. Just like every other time we’ve faced Goliath.”
Ziva smiled softly before resting her head on his shoulder. “Thank you for everything,” she sighed, no looking at anything in particular anymore.
Tony couldn’t help but sense the tone of finality in her voice at that moment and he wasn’t quite prepared for the pain he felt from just a few simple words. “I uh, I’m gonna go help Chin. I hear that Five-0 have some pretty hot firepower.”
“You do not like glocks,” she laughed as she stood up straighter.
“No, but I could get used to an MP-5,” he grinned, his vulnerability shielded once again.
As if fate was playing its hand, Steve, Gibbs and Ducky left the offices at the same time, Steve carrying a pen and a pad.
“I’ve got something,” McGarrett said, rejoining the group. “Malachi and his partner arrived in LA ten days ago and stayed at the Israeli embassy for most of their visit before flying out here under false identities. They’re staying at a safehouse in the Ohalu housing complex.”
Ziva raised an eyebrow as she looked at him. “You were able to locate a Mossad safehouse?” she asked in disbelief.
“What can I say, I know some of the right people,” Steve grinned. He wasn’t about to go into great detail into who he knew and how, because if he did he would likely have to kill her and everyone else in the room.
“Leon’s just confirmed it. Eli David ordered Malachi to investigate a criminal cartel with ties to a number of terrorist groups who are running a money laundering scheme to fund their activities. One of the major players in the cartel is believed to be working for the US Government.” Gibbs added, “It seems Blackadder’s thirst for revenge got her in a little too deep.”
“What’s the plan boss?” Tony asked, returning with Chin.
“Our orders are to find out what Malachi knows. Because Director David failed to inform Vance about this particular operation and NCIS’ involvement, we’re to treat the Mossad officers as hostiles, but we must bring them in alive.”
Ziva snorted bitterly. “Works for me. Except for the alive part.”
“So we gear up and we swarm ’em,” McGarrett said.
“No. We have to get them in a public place. Less risk of exposure. They would have to come willingly to avoid a scene,” she said. “Malachi will not fight us then. I know him that much.”
“So how do you propose we draw him out?” Danny asked, already knowing that Steve wasn’t going to like the answer.
Gibbs looked at Ziva directly, who’s eyes burned holes in the monitor where the photo was still up. “I will have to let them know that they are known on the island. Any way that we can find out populated areas that they may be lingering about? They would try to blend in either as a local or a tourist.”
“There’s a park about 30 minutes away from their housing complex,” Kono said, “The play area’s pretty run down so I doubt there will be any kids around.”
“No. We want people. A beach, or somewhere open, crowded,” she murmured.
“The beach it is,” Kono replied.
Danny looked to Steve. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” he asked with a grin.
McGarrett looked at his partner and narrowed his eyes before smirking. “Oh yeah…”