“This room is outrageous,” Danny said as Ziva waved off the bellhop. “2800 bucks a night… so worth it!” He flopped down onto the emperor sized bed and began searching for the remote to the 80-inch TV hung on the opposite wall.
Ziva rolled her eyes, amused at the man. She went straight for the windows to look out for their person. They managed to get the room number of Blackadder from the manager but unfortunately the man informed them that the floor she was on was either completely booked or rooms were under heavy renovations and closed for safety precautions due to the status of construction. “I will have to have McGee send some equipment. Binoculars in particular. She is in her room and does not appear to be leaving for the day right now,” she said, as she eyed the woman sitting on the room’s balcony with a book.
“Yeah…” he replied, his focus directed solely on the football game he was not watching. “I’ll get right on that… OH COME ON, PASS THE FREAKIN’ BALL YA SCHMUCK!”
Ziva looked at him and narrowed her eyes. She very well could have thrown the decorative pineapple basket that was on the table at him but the fruit had done nothing wrong to receive such abuse. Picking up her phone she called McGee herself.
“I need you to send someone over with surveillance equipment. Binoculars, and anything else you think we might need,” she said into the phone as she glared at Danny.
“Having fun playing the wife again?” McGee teased as he moved about the Five-0 office to collect what he could.
“Loads of fun. The hotel manager set us up in the honeymoon suite,” she replied.
“Oh? Are you going to have to –”
“Do not say it. No we will not. It is not that kind of mission. Just get us some equipment so that I can watch Blackadder from here. She is on her balcony right now with a book. I believe she may be remaining low for the moment.”
“You got it,” McGee replied, grinning to himself. “Do you want me to bring you anything else? Inform Gibbs?”
“Fill him in, but ah – don’t tell him how much the room is costing. I provided the hotel manager with the blanket card that Vance gave us before we left,” she replied. “Oh – got to go. Blackadder just went back in to answer the phone.”
“What are they up to now, Chin?” Gibbs asked from the drivers seat of the unmarked surveillance van.
“They’re ordering coffee. Malachi’s sending a text to Blackadder’s cell. We’re here. Do you think she will come down and keep them involved?” Chin asked from the computer terminal.
“Definitely, she’s just letting them stew for a while, probably using the time to work things out with her contacts,” Gibbs replied.
“So she was part of your team before Ziva?” Chin asked.
“Long before Ziva came along, and even then she wasn’t really part of the team,” Gibbs replied, “Things didn’t end well for her at NCIS. She spent some time as an Agent Afloat and then went back to the FBI. A buddy of mine who works for the Bureau kept tabs on her for me for a little while, but she stayed under the radar… now I know why.”
“Bet’cha didn’t see that one coming,” Chin sighed as Gibbs’ cell began to ring.
“Yeah, Gibbs,” he answered, his eyes still focused on the cafe area.
“Hey boss, it’s McGee. Ziva and Williams are set up as guests in the hotel. Plain-clothes HPD are going to drop off some surveillance equipment for them within the hour,” Tim explained. “Also McGarrett’s team have reached the housing complex according to the GPS. The cellular reception is spotty as you know but he will call in on his sat-phone.”
“Good work McGee, do me a favour and check on Abby and Ducky,” Gibbs said, wondering if they were having fun playing tourists.
“Sure thing boss, let me know if you need anything else.” With that, Gibbs snapped his phone shut and returned his attention to the meeting.
“Here she comes,” Chin said as they watched Blackadder confidently walk over to the undercover Mossad officer’s. “We should be able to listen in.”
“Ziva and Williams are moving into position,” Gibbs replied before moving into the back of the van and picking up a second headset.
Chin looked up at the monitor and grinned at the sight. “Oh – Danny is going to be getting an earful from McGarrett. Well, maybe if he survives your girl after that look she just shot him. What’s her story anyway?”
“You catch the last name of Mossad’s Director?” Gibbs asked before taking a long sip of his now lukewarm coffee.
“David? Yeah. They’re related I take it.”
“He’s Ziva’s father. From the moment she was born, he had her lined up to join the Mossad. Maybe even replace him one day. He had her trained as an assassin, a spy, a soldier… amongst other things,” Gibbs said with a blank face.
“No wonder she gets on so well with Steve. Hell, if things don’t work out for her at NCIS, she’s more than welcome here. She can even pass for a local depending on the neighborhood,” Chin smiled slightly.
“Yeah, they’re cut from the same cloth alright, except I doubt his childhood was as difficult as hers. Eli David isn’t going to make father of the year anytime soon.”
Chin put down the camera he was holding and thought about it. “Steve’s wasn’t so easy either. His father may not have always been there – he was a cop as well. His mother was killed in a car accident, and he’s just learning things now about them as the investigation into his dad’s murder goes on. The last thing we figured out was that the accident -”
“Wasn’t one. Yeah, I can relate. Guess they’re more alike than I realised,” Gibbs replied thoughtfully. “So tell me Kelly, you seem pretty loyal toward McGarrett when you’ve only known him a short time. Why is that?”
“Back when I was a beat cop with HPD, I was partnered with Steve’s Dad,” Chin explained. “He was a good man, I learned a lot from him. When Internal Affairs and I had a disagreement, Steve’s dad stuck by me, even after I handed over my badge. When he was murdered, I met up with Steve and he gave me a job at Five-0.”
“So he earned your loyalty? Good,” Gibbs replied simply.
“You’re worried about your girl? I get it, but Steve’s not in the habit of giving up on people he cares about and I get the feeling that he cares about Ziva a lot,” Chin smiled.
“Noticed that too did ya-.” Gibbs suddenly frowned, “Looks like they’ve finally stopped arguing about missing the earlier meeting.”
“Would you stop brushing up against me like that,” Danny whispered through a fake smile. “I’m already going to hell with your boyfriend’s bootprint on my ass, I don’t need another print on my crotch.”
“If it were your crotch, I have the distinct feeling that it would be that of a siletto heel,” she murmured. “We are supposed to be a newly married couple. Is this your first time undercover?”
“No, of course not,” Danny replied as the waitress came with their drink order. “But Hawaii does have laws against indecency in public…”
The two had been leaning against a standing counter, up close and personal with each other as they took turns to watch Blackadder from their position. Ziva had pressed her body against the man’s on occasion, more whenever someone looked in their direction and while she knew very well that Danny’s look screamed COP!, one would not be so – touchy feely if they believed to be on a job. “You would never make it in NCIS or Mossad with this attitude. Sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to get the job done. And it could be fun at the same time. What you and I are doing is nothing more than any other intoxicated tourist or love sick couple that vacations here. Just relax and get into the role. It will be much more believable for everyone around.”
With that, something in Danny’s mind snapped and he lunged forward, kissing her passionately just as Blackadder seemed to look in their direction.
In the van, both Chin and Gibbs leaned back in their seats laughing. “Whoa! I didn’t think Danny had it in him!” Chin laughed as he shoved a handful of trail mix in his mouth. “I hope Steve doesn’t go and look at these tapes later. We’ll be planning a lot of funerals then.”
“I’d be more concerned about what she’ll do to him when they’re alone,” Gibbs shook his head. If only DiNozzo was here to see this.
“What do you think she’ll do? She did just finish telling him to get in the role. Have you guys done things like this before?” he laughed.
“Stakeouts don’t happen nearly as often as DiNozzo hopes they would. When we get back to the office, be sure to ask him about his first undercover assignment with Ziva,” Gibbs grinned. “You won’t believe half of it.”
Unlike earlier, the van and the team with their eyes on the target were all wired up for communication and they heard everything. “Tony would not say a word Gibbs. He knows better than do to that. He had met my knee then and would meet my fist next.”
“I’m sure he would,” Gibbs replied with a grin, “But let’s stay focused on our friends for now. You can deal with the fireworks later.”
“Yes Gibbs,” Ziva smiled, flipping her hair back over her shoulder as she looked back at the table that Malachi and Liat were seated at by the hostess. “Are you having a good time Dear?” she asked, reaching up to lightly tap on his chin.
“I’m so going to hell for this,” Danny muttered to himself before looking into Ziva’s eyes. “Of course honeybear. Now we don’t have to go telling Steve about this, do we?”
“It is all for the good of the mission. I will deal with him. You do not have to worry about it,” she smiled.
“That’s easy for you to say, he never got you shot,” Danny replied as Malachi, Liat and Blackadder got up from their table and began to make their way to the parking lot.
“How would you know that?” Ziva asked as she signaled for their check. “He did not tell you of how we had met originally?”
Undisclosed Location, Vietnam, 21:00 hours local time, 24 August, 2001
As a tropical storm battered their surroundings, Steve was glad that he was inside the run down shack that the locals called the bar, rather than waiting with Sam and the rest of his SEAL Team. At the behest of Admiral Cartwright and with some help from an an NCIS agent named Shepard, he was here to meet with a Mossad contact with regard to an Israeli terrorist cell operating in the area who had been looking to procure the makings of a dirty bomb.
Fortunately, the locals stayed out of his way, to them he was just a tourist. The local militia were another story however. They’d been hounding him since he arrived in town earlier that day.
Ziva slowly made her way into the door, Michael Rivkin a step behind her, as she kept her head down and made a quick assessment of the people in the shack. Satisfied that they were more interested in themselves than anyone that came in, the two made their way to the back of the room where there was a bar built of mud and brick.
“Do you know who the person is we are to speak with?” Michael asked her quietly into her ear.
“An American. My contact was unable to give much information at the time. He will show,” she replied as she ordered one of the few local drinks she was confident in pronouncing correctly.
Aware of everything going on in the room, McGarrett spotted the newcomers just as the barman placed another bottle of piss that passed for beer in front of him.
Sitting for nearly an hour, Ziva slowly grew impatient from waiting for the contact to visit. She knew they had arrived quite early, even considering the storm that raged outside. Michael tried to calm her but it was not coming across so receptive. “Perhaps your American friend set you up. I said from the beginning that you should not have trust in them. They will turn on you the first moment they get,” he complained as he threw back another shot and ignored the glare she gave him.
“Jenny has given me no reason that her word is untrue. If she said her contact would be here, he will be here,” she warned in their native tongue.
Michael snorted and looked around, not caring, especially about the man that was dressed in beggars rags and kept his head low behind him. “The Americans are nothing more than pigs that are out for our oil. We would do better on our own…”
Bingo, Steve thought, pushing himself away from the bar. Turning to face the mouthy Israeli, he stepped up behind him, grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back. “Last time I checked, you called us,” he whispered so that they both could hear.
“Remove your hands from him,” Ziva immediately reacted, having pulled out her weapon already and had it fixed on the stranger.
As soon as people spotted the gun, they scattered. The distraction was enough to give Steve the opportunity to push the mouthy one up against the wooden support beam to his partner’s left and kick the 9 mil out of her hand. Dropping into a defensive posture he stared directly into her eyes and said, “Pull a weapon on me again and I’ll make you pay for it.”
“You are joking, right?” The woman scoffed before striking him in the throat hard with her fist despite being considerably shorter than the man.
Pushed several steps back, Steve coughed a couple of times before replying in a croaky voice. “You punched me in the throat. Don’t make me hurt you. Your friend was blowing your cover for crying out loud, I had to do something.”
“Excuse me? But it is the common belief of those around these parts if you paid enough attention and those that travel through here. Perhaps you should return to your people,” she warned carefully, narrowing her eyes on him as she took a defensive stance in front of Michael while he recovered from the stranger’s attack.
“So your people really believe that. I suppose you don’t need our help afterall. I’ll be sure to send Shepard your regards,” he said before he walked back toward the bar.
Ziva’s eyes flashed over at the name. “When did you arrive because I know I did not see you enter,” she said carefully as she stood straight but held herself in preparation for attack.
“You weren’t supposed to,” he replied simply before placing some money on the bar. “My team had you pegged from the moment you set up shop across the street. Pretty sloppy.” The truth was, Sam spotted the mouthy Israeli by chance earlier that day and relayed the information to Steve. Had he not have spotted him, they probably wouldn’t have known the Mossad officers were even there.
“Maybe you were to know of that location,” she smiled, knowing what he referred to. Her partner had set up that apartment but she secured another one just on the edge of the city with more than enough cover.
“If that’s the case then you are sloppy,” he replied. “You don’t gain anything by giving your position away in a situation like this and you know it. Now you can either tell me what you know now or I can be on my way. You can then explain to your superiors why an Israeli terrorist cell made you look like a bunch of fools.”
“Despite you and I having a mutual acquaintance, how do I know that I can trust you with what I know?” she asked back, her lips pulling back as she approached him, leaving Michael behind complaining.
“Because I’m the only one willing to help you,” he said simply.
Honolulu, Hawaii, present day
“I still can’t believe it,” Danny said as they drove in the convertible. When HPD brought them their equipment, McGee had included a set of keys to a new rental that he got authorization for from Vance after the man had filled him in.
“Believe it,” Ziva smiled softly. “McGee does pay attention to Tony from time to time. What self respecting honeymooning couple would drive anything but a convertible while vacationing in Hawaii? That aside, if they ran the plates on your Charger, it would come back to you.”
“He’s a smart one,” Danny nodded, “You’d think that a guy with his skills would be working for Microsoft or Apple.”
“He is happy where he is at with the team,” she said. “He has done remarkably well given the circumstances he gets placed in time to time. Such as that case I mentioned the first afternoon when he was at the women’s prison. He pretty much was the only one on that situation.”
“Well, next time you talk to him, tell him thanks from me,” Danny smiled, finding a new level of respect for the computer wizard. “Has there been any word from Gibbs about where they’re going?”
“Nothing yet Ziva,” Gibbs reported, having had been listening to their conversation the entire time.
“No,” she relayed the message.
Danny was about to respond when his cell phone rang. It was Rachel’s phone calling, which either meant she wanted to speak to him, or Grace wanted to talk. “Detective Williams.”
“Danno! Stan got me a new camera!” she greeted her father happily. “You should see it! It’s pink and it has a lot of glitter flowers on it.”
“Monkey! Hey! That’s great!” Danny smiled a broad genuine smile. “Have you taken lots of pictures?” Of course he hated the fact that her stepfather was showering her with gifts, but the sound of his little girl’s voice could brighten the worst days of his life.
“Yep. I took pictures of Mr. Hoppy and of Mommy and Stan, and of the fishies. I just need pictures of you now. And of Uncle Steve, and Uncle Chin and Aunt Kono…”
“Well, I thought that on Saturday we can all go watch another football game. Eat some popcorn and cotton candy. Maybe we can get a picture of you with the mascot and cheerleaders? What do you think?” he asked. Although the weekend was another week away, he had something to look forward to.
Ziva smiled as she looked up at the man. She do hope they would be able to close the case before then so that he could keep that promise.
“Sure. I just have to ask Mommy. She said something about movies but I’ll tell her that I want to go to the game with you,” Gracie replied, sounding as if she was suddenly distracted.
“You do that sweetheart,” he smiled before mouthing a quick sorry to Ziva. He was supposed to be working after all.
She shook her head and waved him off as she looked back out the window at the woman’s car a few spaces ahead. Tapping on Danny’s arm, she pointed to the coffee shop where Blackadder was pulling into for him to follow. “I’ll go in. You stay here,” she said quickly before slipping out of the car and leaving her gun behind before he had the chance to object.
“Uh, Gracie, I have to go now. Danno’s working but I’ll call you back first chance I get. I love you. Bye,” he said quickly before hanging up and dialing Gibbs. He would have been able to use the ear wig but some how his stopped working back at the hotel and they hadn’t had the chance to trade off for a new one. Dialing Chin’s number, he waited for him to pick up before going off. “What do these people want me to do now? She just went in there unarmed if this lady gets suspicious and pulls something. I get keeping an eye on the door for visitors but what the hell?”
“Ziva won’t need a gun,” Gibbs said over the speaker phone as he watched Ziva slip into a booth and pick up the newspaper left there. “Blackadder won’t even know she’s there.”
“How can you be so sure?” Danny asked as he tucked her piece into the back of his pants, pulled his shirt over it and made his way to the coffee shop.
“Because I know how good she is,” Gibbs replied.
Undisclosed Location, Vietnam, 22:40 hours local time, 24 August, 2001
“So you think that this Ari can find us a link to the cell’s base? Someone that can take us there?” Steve asked, folding his arms and leaning against the bar.
“He has said that the group he is working with has nothing to do with the talk going on here. From what we all could come up with is that it is a local group or even someone new, trying to make a name for themselves,” Ziva shared. “It is rare that we end up in this area of the world to start with but we both have information for each other that Agent Shepard evidently believed would be beneficial to each of our groups.”
“Then I guess we’ll need a face to face meeting,” Steve said as he walked over to the window and looked outside. “How soon can you arrange it?”
She looked at Michael who glared at the American with disdain. “It could take as long as a week depending on if our contacts are in an area where we can get word to them,” she replied. “How is it that you know Agent Shepard?”
“She called my team in to retrieve some information on an arms dealer she’s after,” he explained. “Afterward we were due to head home for some R&R but she asked us to help with this assignment once she knew you were involved.”
“I see, well I will warn you that there is a good chance that for this assignment, there may be no back up. I do know of one person – but it is not easy to get out to the land,” Ziva sighed. “It is about a four day walk through the jungle, six days if you wish to stay off the main road for cover.”
“My team can ha-,” Steve paused as he spotted the Militia Jeep come tearing around the corner. “We’ve gotta move!”
As he, Ziva and Rivkin moved to the back of the bar, three militia soldiers burst in and started opening fire. Steve pushed Ziva behind the bar and took a shot to the shoulder before managing to double tap the lead soldier in the chest. He dropped behind the bar and checked his shoulder, it wasn’t bad but it would need to be treated soon if he didn’t want to pass out from blood loss.
Ziva ripped the sleeve from her t-shirt that hadn’t gotten wet from the storm and was dry yet. She quickly worked it through his arm and tied it off before pulling out her weapons. Closing her eyes, she listened for the area where the shots were coming from and as she stood, she threw out one of her daggers into the shooter’s neck. She and Rivkin followed it up with shooting at those remaining. “We need to get out of here,” she spoke to no one in particular.
The bartender who she had been nice with when they arrived, and impressed by her ability to speak his language, had too ducked under the bar. Waving her and the two men she sat with, he revealed a very well hidden trap door that one really would not know was there at all, it was concealed so well. “Hide,” he said in broken English, holding the hatch open.
Rivkin was the first to duck into the hatch, quickly followed by Steve and finally Ziva and the bartender before it was closed and locked from the inside. The group quickly made it deep into the darkness as the bartender stumbled along the wall searching for something. Suddenly the room was lit but fire as he held a torch proudly. “Hide!” he repeated, pointing towards an opening in the room that was a narrow tunnel away from the building.
“Cám ơn,” Steve told the bartender with a grateful smile as they reached the tunnel and moved further and further away from the militia.
The bartender nodded several times until they reached the grate covering the tunnel. With a swift kick from both Ziva and McGarrett, they were free and clear. The bartender ran off toward another group of buildings while Steve, Ziva and Rivkin headed into the jungle and out of sight.
The three kept moving as far away, as fast as they could in the rains while they could. “There are caves, I am sure of it,” Ziva repeated as she persisted in one direction towards the mountains almost as if she was tracking by radar.
“Ziva, we need to find a way to get word to our people,” Michael called after her as he struggled to keep up with her.
“No, we need to find someplace dry and lay low for awhile. Then we need to get the American medical aid,” she replied, turning to look back at the men. “Are you okay?” she yelled out to Steve who appeared to fall behind some.
“I’ll be okay, so long as we can reach my team, my medic can patch me up,” Steve explained as he followed her. “Are you okay?”
Ziva looked at him for a long moment before nodding quickly. “I am fine. Once we get somewhere dry, I will look at the wound.” Turning back around, she started forward again heading for the mountain.
“You have field medic training?” he asked as they moved over the rough terrain. Steve having to stop to help Rivkin with his good arm.
“I have experience in the field,” she answered cryptically. During her time in the Israelie army, she had to dig out more than enough bullets from her fellow soldiers.
“Huh, you are good,” he grinned, scanning her body with his eyes for a moment.
Honolulu, Hawaii, present day
Just as soon as Danny entered the cafe, he was roughly pulled into Ziva’s booth and a menu was tossed at him. “Ziva, what the hell! Why did you leave your piece in the car?” he whispered, only to receive a kick to the shin. “ACK!”
“I told you to stay in the car,” she whispered back.
“And I would have, had to brought your gun,” he muttered, “If anything happened to you, it would’ve been my ass on the line. It’s bad enough with Steve, if he wouldn’t have killed me, your boss would have!”
“I can handle myself without anything on me Jason,” she said. “My boss knows that. It is not the first time I have gone into a situation unarmed.” Her eyes locked on his for a moment before sighing. “Just – order something. It appears this is the location where she meets her cartel contact. I think we are waiting for that person now.”
“Oh my god… look at this crap. Spam fritters, spam and eggs, spam salad, spam, spam, spam… it’s not even real meat!” he sighed. “I’ll have to tell McGarrett about this place, he’ll love it.”
Ziva chuckled. “No, no. I know Steve hates spam. If he tells you otherwise, he is simply pulling your yarn,” she said. “The shrimp salad sounds safe enough, yes?”
“I guess I’ll have the same,” he replied, snapping the menu shut just as a waitress came over. Giving their order, they sat and waited for whatever might happen next.