Ziva followed Remmick through the house, not looking at him particularly as she was more concerned about Steve’s well being. She could not help but to mumble a slew of curses in every language she knew when he opened the door to the room they were holding him and took a look at the swelling to the back of his head. She hurried to his side and was unsure of how to hold him by how painfully the injury looked.
An icepack was tossed into her lap from across the room by a woman she recognised as Vivian Blackadder. “Place that on the swelling. It’s more than he deserves. You’re lucky we don’t blow you both away.”
“Careful Viv, the boss is looking to hire these two on as extra help. Along with their sniper friend out there,” Remmick explained as he tossed them their equipment but not their weapons. “You may wish to update your friend Mr. Leroy.”
Ziva snorted as she carefully lifted Steve’s head to hold the ice to the swelling. “I will inform my people when I am good and ready. So far your friend has done nothing by me to receive my support especially after nearly blowing up a friend of mine a number of years ago.”
Steve stayed quiet, keeping his eyes on Remmick, Yes his head hurt and it was swollen but it wasn’t as bad as he made it out to be.
“No, you’ll call off your dog now, or your friend will need more than an icepack,” Blackadder said as she placed her sig on the counter in front of her for emphasis.
Ziva narrowed her eyes on the woman. “You would not dare. Not if you wish to keep your lucrative position here. I doubt that La Grenouille would find you as useful if you are so quick to disobey his orders.”
Turning her attention to Steve, she smiled softly. “You okay?” she asked, resting her hand against his cheek. “He wants to give us a job…”
“No kidding,” Steve replied as he took the icepack from her and held it to his own head, “If it’s anything like the last one, I’ll need my weapons back. And he’ll need to pay us more.”
“Pay you more? You’re kidding right?” Vivian laughed, “You got caught.”
“After we took out most of your guards,” Steve replied casually. “And from the looks of them, they were ex-SEAL’s, Marines, French Special Forces. Your boy was lucky.”
“You wanna say that again pretty boy?” Remmick growled.
Steve stood up and got right in his face. “You go in there and tell your boss that if he wants our support, we’ll need our weapons back and we’ll need you to back off and let us help!”
“That’s great work McGarrett,” Gibbs said over the ‘wig. “Ziva, McGee needs that photo now.”
Ziva rolled her eyes at the orders in her ear. “Look whatever your name is,” she said as she went to pull Steve back. “We work for money, surely as you do. Let’s go back to your boss now and talk it out.”
“He’s conducting business,” Remmick conceded, stepping away. “Alright, you can have your weapons back. But I’m watching you… both of you.”
“Remmick, are you nuts?” Blackadder protested. “We don’t even know who they are.”
“But the boss does. And he’s the one paying off your debts, so I suggest you keep your mouth shut and watch them while I get there weapons,” Remmick snapped.
Ziva’s button cam snapped off a picture of his face quickly and transmitted it to McGee just before Remmick left.
As the man left to retrieve their weapons, Ziva stood merely smiling knowingly at Blackadder. “You do know that I would have killed you before you would have gotten a shot off,” she smirked.
Blackadder wanted to respond, but she know that Ziva meant what she said. Picking up her sig, she slipped it back into its holster and simply scowled at them both.
“Boss, I’ve got a hit on Remmick, from the picture that Ziva sent us,” McGee said over the comm, “You’re not going to believe this.”
“Don’t play guessing games McGee,” Gibbs complained as he continued to study the house through his scope.
“He’s one of us boss, he’s an NCIS Agent working out of Pearl,” McGee replied, looking at Tony and then at the equally speechless Danny.
“Didn’t he say his name was Remmerick? There is no agent by that name that I can see, first or last,” Danny commented as he looked up what he could on the computer.
“Remmick’s real name is Agent Christopher Jarvis,” McGee explained, “Remmick is one of the aliases he used while working as an overseas OSP Agent.”
“Did he and Owens work together?” Gibbs asked.
“They sure did boss,” Tony replied, getting his mojo back. “Owens and Jarvis worked together on a number of cases. Including working with the FBI on an arms trafficking case. I’ll give you three guesses who worked on the case for the FBI.”
“So we’ve got ’em right, we can take them down?” Danny asked, wondering how Steve and Ziva were doing.
“It’s not that simple. Kort still needs to complete his deal to get the information the CIA needs,” Gibbs replied. “For now, we hold.”
Even though the two were armed again, Ziva and Steve were still not permitted to leave the room they had taken the previously unconscious man. As they stood by the window, glancing out assessing and watching Blackadder who guarded them at the door, Ziva turned to Steve. “You okay?” she asked softly.
“I will be,” he replied softly, “Just as soon as tonight’s over with.”
It was then that Kort entered the room, carrying the suitcase that Kalib had been carrying earlier in the day. “You’ll be pleased to know that our business in Hawaii has been concluded for the moment,” he announced. “Given that we have dead guards to take care of, I’d like the four of you, plus our new friends Sniper to see that the bodies are disposed of. Once you’ve tied up the loose ends here, make arrangements to join us in Paris.”
Ziva met Kort’s single eyed gaze with a curt nod, understanding the situation. “We haven’t discussed our payment if we were to agree to the job that you asked of me,” she said evenly. “Or do you intend not to keep your word?”
“I will contact you tomorrow with the details,” Kort smiled softly. “I will forward five thousand US dollars into your usual account for the clean-up, regardless.”
“Well you’re one cheap bastard,” Steve commented, rubbing his neck. “Make it 20 each and we have a deal.”
Ziva smiled as she kept her eyes locked on Blackadder during the conversation. Malachi who had been observing the exchange from the corridor nodded to Kort. “Very well,” the man said before walking out. “Goodnight.”
“I guess pretty boy here’s the negotiator of your group,” Remmick grinned a few moments after Kort had left the house, “Figures. Cos he sure as hell can’t fight.”
“Oh, ya think so huh?” Steve stepped up to Remmick. “You better go grab a shovel before I’ll show you how well I fight.”
“Oooh,” Remmick mocked him before backing away and heading for the large storage cupboard. “So freakin’ scared.”
Ziva looked at each of the men. “If you two do not cut the crap, I will show the both of you just how well I can work a shovel – over your heads,” she glared, making sure that Steve wasn’t left out.
Glaring at Ziva for a moment, he turned his attention back to Remmick. “Lets get this over with,” he hissed before following Remmick outside, leaving Ziva alone with Blackadder.
She looked at the woman that killed a fellow agent. “Is the restroom this way?” she asked, pointing down the hallway.
“Yes,” Blackadder snapped, “Down the hall to the left.”
Ziva did not say anything as she turned and walked down the corridor and disappeared into the room, keeping an eye through the door as she closed it to make sure that the woman stayed away. “Gibbs, can you hear me?” she asked quietly.
“I got ya Ziva, Kort’s yacht has left the dock and is making its way out to sea,” he replied as he spotted her through the bathroom window.
“Good, send in SWAT now. But make sure that you arrest Steve and I as well to maintain cover,” she replied.
“All units, move in. Take them all into custody,” Gibbs order was plain, simple and to the point. Chin, Kono and the HPD SWAT team swarmed the house.
As soon as he spotted their approach, Remmick drew his sig and was about to open fire when Steve snuck up behind him and elbowed him in the back of the head. Remmick collapsed in a heap and was out cold.
“Thanks Boss,” Kono whispered as Steve dropped to his knees and put his hands on his head so that she could disarm him and cuff him.
“Don’t thank me, that felt really good,” Steve grinned as she slapped on some cuffs “Not to tight huh?”
Meanwhile, SWAT breached the house and had Blackadder in custody. She didn’t even get a chance to reach for a weapon before half a dozen weapons were trained on her. Chin found Ziva in the bathroom, her weapon ready just in case. “Well done Ziva,” he said as he held up a pair of cuffs. “We got ’em.”
She smiled briefly as she turned to let him cuff her. As he led her through the house, reading her Miranda rights, she glared at Blackadder but smiled with accomplishment.
Having returned to the Five-0 Task Force Offices, the teams were putting the case to bed, conducting final interviews, writing up reports, tieing up loose ends.
Steve, Ziva and Gibbs had already broken NCIS Special Agent Jarvis AKA Mister Remmick. He admitted to living a double life and a plethora of crimes including murder and selling secrets to the highest bidders. However, Blackadder sat in the Interview Room and remained tight-lipped. Chin and Danny had tried every approach they could, she just wouldn’t speak.
From the observation room, Gibbs, Steve, Ziva and DiNozzo watched and waited, much like Chin and Danny were.
“She’s still pretty tough, boss,” Tony said quietly. “Jarvis sang like a canary.”
“Because he wants to make a deal,” Gibbs replied, “Blackadder’s got nothing to lose.”
Ziva smiled up at her teammates before moving around them to go and walk into the room. Her smile grew more smug involuntarily at the expression of surprise on the woman’s face. “FBI Agent Vivian Blackadder,” she said and waved the confused expression on Chin off. “I believe you and I have mutual friends.”
“I knew you had something to do with this, you Bitch!” she spat, narrowing her eyes on Ziva.
She smiled and shrugged a shoulder. “Yes. You should have expressed your concerned to La Grenouille a bit stronger. Lucky for us, he has cooperated in the past. I am sure you know Special Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo…” Ziva said just as the two walked in silently and stared at her.
“What? No…no no no, they’re not here. You’re not with NCIS!” Blackadder began to fall apart from the mere mention of her former colleagues names.
“Agent Ziva David,” Ziva replied, holding up her badge and identification formally. “You can continue to remain silent all you wish. We have more than enough evidence against you to lock you up in a federal prison for at least 20 years. That is if they do not wish to charge you with terrorist related crimes. What is the average detention in Gitmo Gibbs?”
He continued to stare at Vivian with his icy blue eyes when he answered in a slightly broken voice. “Life,” he said simply, letting his agent continue to speak because he, and DiNozzo, would not react so calmly if they were in charge of the questioning.
Looking between Tony and Gibbs, tears began to flow from her eyes. “I did what I had to do. Remmick promised me that La Grenouille would help me find the answers I need about my brother. It’s not like NCIS or the FBI were going to help.”
“I know it is not easy but it is a part of the territory. The downside of the job. There are other legal ways to find answers. Taking someone’s life – an innocent life is not the way,” Ziva said. “You miss your brother, I understand that. But Agent Owens was someone’s brother as well.”
“Have you ever lost a loved one, Agent David?” she asked, throwing an accusing look her way. “Because I have. Why am I even talking to you, you don’t understand!”
“Every day until he died, I believed my brother to be innocent of what people claimed. Then I heard his admittance to killing an NCIS agent – and was about to kill Gibbs when I shot him. I lost my mother, my sister…Do not tell me I do not understand the loss of a loved one, especially to war,” Ziva yelled back at Blackadder.
Blackadder was stunned by Ziva’s admission, as was McGarrett, Danny and Chin.
“Ziva…” Gibbs said softly, gesturing toward the door. It was hard for her to admit, he could tell. But then again it was always hard for her when the subject of her bastard of a half brother came up.
She glared at their prisoner and did not move until Gibbs moved closer to lay a hand on her arm. Jerking away from him, she walked out ignoring the looks that her friends, old and new, gave her as she passed them to leave the area completely. She felt suffocated and tried to make her way outside or to the nearest balcony where she could get air, ignoring her name being called behind her.
“Ziva,” Steve said finally as he reached her. He didn’t dare touch her, not until she let her wall of anger down. “Ziva, I’m so sorry.”
“What for?” she asked, pacing with her hands on her hips as she struggled to not put a fist through a wall. It wasn’t that she was sad anymore, but full of a great deal of anger and frustration because as much as she could have done what Vivian Blackadder did, she just couldn’t become one of those that she often hunted.
“About Ari,” he said carefully. “I know you loved and cared for him when others turned their backs on him. And I’m sorry that he betrayed you.”
“Steve – please don’t do this,” she pleaded as she looked up at him. “I am long over it. I just could not stand there to listen to her excuses any more.”
“You really look like you’re over it from where I’m standing,” he said honestly. “So you killed him to save Gibbs, and you decided to work for Gibbs afterward. You could’ve told me, y’know.”
“Would it have changed anything?” Ziva asked as she looked at him. “No. So it did not matter. Please, I do not want to go over this again. You know I never was one to share – feelings – like that. The only person I really spoke about Ari was with Gibbs and I’d really prefer to keep it that way now.”
He wanted to be there for her, to give her someone to open up to, but he knew that she wouldn’t until she was ready and she clearly wasn’t. “Danny can drop you back at the resort,” he said softly, “I uh, I’ve got paperwork to do.” Steve turned back and headed toward his office, he needed a painkiller and more ice for his head, and they all needed sleep.
Her eyes narrowed slightly as she stared at him walk away. She spent awhile longer out on the balcony as she worked on calming down. When she found her way back into the office she saw Steve in his office, assuming the others were still down in interrogation. Knocking on his door, she kept her eyes down. “You don’t have to worry about having your friend give me a ride. I’m going to take a walk and call a taxi to bring me back to the hotel. I do have to start packing after all. I’ll – see you,” she said before closing the door behind her as she headed back for the exit.
“Fine with me,” he lied, a moment later he slammed his hand down hard on the arm of his chair, the need for ice and a pain pill forgotten.
Ziva walked out, not looking back as much as she wanted to. She pulled her phone out and considered it but shook her head and turned it off instead. Glancing up where she assumed Steve’s office was, a part of her wished that he came running out after her and knew that he would not. Setting off, she began walking towards the direction of the beach, hailing a cab along the way.
“Steve, HPD picked up Blackadder and Jarvis. Gibbs wants to call it a night,” Danny said as he ducked his head around the door to his partners office. Looking around for Ziva, he looked at him with a puzzled expression. “Where’s Ziva?”
“She caught a cab back to the resort,” he replied quickly. “Send everyone home Danno, I’ll wrap up here.”
Danny frowned as he walked in and tucked his hands in his pockets. “Everything okay?”
“What do you think?” Steve snapped as he rubbed the back of his head. “I just found out that the only guy ever to slip away from my SEAL team was killed by his own sister, who I just happen to be sleeping with… or was until today.”
“Gee man. What did you say to her?” he asked, wincing as he made his way over to the window.
“Nothing,” Steve replied, “I just tried to be there for her. You see, she and her brother were pretty close. The David’s weren’t the most functional of families. Ziva’s training meant that she rarely let people in, so when people started telling her that her brother wasn’t who she thought he was, she defended him. Now I find out that she was the one that finally put the bastard down and I blow it.”
Danny nodded slowly. “Were you there for her or did you try to get her to talk about it?” he replied, feeling a sense of understanding. In his own experiences, he never wanted to talk about the kills he made, just or unjust. All he had wanted was his wife there to hug him and go on with life.
“Danny, if she’s still affected so strongly by it, even after all these years, even after learning the truth, yes she needs to talk about it,” Steve snapped.
“Steve – it’s her brother. If I had to shoot my brother like that, I wouldn’t talk about it with anyone except for the force’s shrink because it would be mandatory. I doubt you would be so willing to talk about it either.”
“Danny, you don’t understand. With her, I never held anything back, not once. In the short time we were together, she learned more about me than I’ve ever told anyone, including my family. That didn’t change when she came back into my life. And I thought she felt the same way.”
He looked at his friend and shrugged. “Maybe there is a reason why she isn’t so quick to being open with you again. Jilted lover or whatever. Ask Gibbs. They seem pretty close. Let her cool off then go find her and apologize. That’s my advice. Take it or not, but let her come to you when she is ready. If she feels for you like you do for her – she will. Just might take some time.”
“She’s leaving with the others,” he said, “There’s nothing to talk about. Danny… just go home…”
“Oh I will! Rachel texted me that I need to pick Gracie up for school – but talk to Gibbs. He should be up any minute,” Danny insisted. “I’ll talk to you later.”
“Yeah, night,” he said before switching off the overhead lights, leaving his office bathed in lamplight only.
Gibbs and DiNozzo strolled in, one with a coffee in hand and the other yawning deeply, nodding as Danny made his way out, whispering a few words into Gibbs’ ear. The older man frowned as he looked towards the office with a nod before making his way over. He walked into McGarrett’s office just as brazenly as he did the office of the Director of NCIS and sat down. “So, good result.”
“The case, yeah,” McGarrett replied simply. “Sorry about Blackadder, and Agent Owens.”
“Never say you’re sorry,” Gibbs repeated for what was probably the millionth time in his life. “I figured you and Ziva would be long gone by now.”
“Well, you thought wrong Gibbs,” Steve snapped, only to receive a scowl from the older team leader. He matched it with one of his own. “Why didn’t you tell me that Ziva killed Ari.”
“It wasn’t my place to tell you,” Gibbs replied honestly. “It was Ziva’s. Knowing her, she probably wanted to tell you differently or not at all.”
“Not at all. Jesus… do I even know the real Ziva?” Steve asked himself. “Or did she just put up another wall when we were together.”
“What does your gut tell you?” Gibbs asked and waited for a response but got none. “Do you love her?”
“Do you think I’d be this pissed if I didn’t?” Steve replied, “Yes I love her. And I care about her, but if she’s not going to let me in, she may as well head home with the rest of you.”
“Then what are you doing sat here in your office alone when she wants to be here with you?” Gibbs asked as he drained what was left of his coffee from the take-away cup and tossed it in the refuse bin by the door. “Go find her and tell her how you feel instead of sulking to me.”
With that, the leader of the MCRT left his office and headed for the rental car.
Thinking about what Gibbs said for a moment, Steve grabbed the keys to his truck and switched off his lamps.
According to Abby, she had not returned to the hotel room, and after two hours of searching, Steve finally arrived home without Ziva. Wherever she was, she didn’t want him to find her. Walking up to the front door, he noticed that the lock had been opened. There was no sign of forced entry, no broken glass and the door and door frame were intact. Drawing his sidearm, he stealthily stepped inside.
Nothing appeared to be missing but the lights were off. Steve moved on autopilot, checking every possible corner, nook and cranny that someone willing to surprise him could use. His eyes narrowed on the back door that was open and he was positive he closed and locked it before he left that morning. Slowly making his way to it, he couldn’t help but swallow hard as he reached it, unsure of what to say or do.