A/N: Hey all! So sorry it's been so long, uni is INSANE (I guess that's what you get for taking two of the hardest languages on the planet + politics, though...) Now, I've referenced something in this chapter that people may or may not recognise, but I want to be sure I give credit where it's due: The Chalet School books were the fabulous work of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. I've merely taken some inspiration. And seriously, if you have daughters in the age bracket of 8-14 who like school stories ala Enid Blyton, they would love these. Anywho, on with the show, thanks for reading, let me know what you think! love xx Shezzi
Buffy looked around the paneled hallway, trying to get a feel for the place. This was the third school she and Ziva had looked at, the first two being the biggest Jewish schools in the city, both of which had been turned down by both sisters, for different reasons.
Now they were checking a school Jenny had recommended, one that catered to the children of overseas diplomats, particularly those who were bi/multi-lingual due to their parents’ overseas postings. Their linguistic program was the best in the city, the rest of their academics also outstanding, and they offered enough extras to rival a Swiss finishing school – probably because the school was started by a group that also ran one.
Buffy was especially looking forward to checking out the stables. It was a long time since she had ridden a horse, almost a year, and she missed it. She also knew it was a sport she could compete in without feeling that she brought any unfair advantages to the field, except possible an inability to lose her seat. Hockey, tennis, football (European style soccer, that is) and swimming – they were all physical activities in which she knew she would have an unfair advantage.
The atmosphere of this school felt…better than the last two. She wasn’t entirely sure why, but so far it was her favourite. The teachers were nice without being overly friendly, and the buildings were frankly gorgeous, old stone manor style that apparently dated back almost to the civil war.
The school was actually on the outskirts of the city, set on a large property that offered the space for the various extra-curricula programs provided. The security, Ziva’s first concern, was excellent, and both of them liked the Headmistress, a woman named Madge Bettany. It was a all-girls school, offering both day- and boarding-school options. There were still a few students, mostly those whose parents were on postings where they couldn’t visit and who had no other family to go to, who were staying at the school for the summer, and the program for the break that the girl showing them around described certainly sounded decent, with lots of planned trips and activities, the full run of the riding stables, and access to transport into the city, if they advised their guardians of the desire the day before.
Miss Bettany, as the students called her, came from a long line of schoolmistresses. Her Great-grandmother, for who she was named, and whose surname she had taken for reasons known only to herself, had started a school in the Austrian Tyrol in the 1930s, and after much moving around it still ran in the Swiss Alps. This school and that were actually connected, and students could go to the Swiss school for a ‘semester abroad’ experience. Like its counterpart, the Chalet School in Washington had three languages spoken by all its teachers – German, French and English. The school days were divided up, two days of each week the classes were in French, two days they were in German, and one day they were in English, except for language classes. On any given day, no language except the language of the day was to be spoken.
“I like it,” Buffy told Ziva in Hebrew as the girl who was showing them around stepped away for a moment. “It’s old fashioned, but…I like it.”
“You want to try it? You can always move if you discover it is not to your liking,” Ziva agreed. She thought the school was excellent – well balanced academically, with the requisite security, and brilliant extra-curricula activities. “Are you sure about the all-girl angle?”
“Doesn’t really bother me,” Buffy admitted. “I’m not going to be boarding, so I’ll be less in danger of oestrogen poisoning than those who stay here all the time?” she suggested, smiling. “No, really, I think I’d like it here. The teachers seem nice without being too nice, and I like the sound of the course load. Plus, I don’t speak German very well yet.”
“Okay, well, I guess we’re done,” Ziva wrapped an arm around Buffy’s shoulders, giving her a small squeeze. “I’ll go and start on the paperwork.”
Buffy paced in the bullpen, towards the windows, a sharp 180 before she crossed the path of general traffice, then back down the aisle between Team Gibbs’ desks.
She hadn’t seen Ziva in two days, not since she went undercover to try and find the serial killer who was taking out military wives in the local area. She knew from listening in on the radio that they were closing in on the guy, about to catch him in point of fact, and Buffy couldn’t help but feel that something was going to go terribly, terribly wrong.
She’d been staying at Gibbs’ house, helping him build the absurdly large boat in his basement (and trying to figure out exactly how he planned to get it out) while waiting for her sister to return.
She walked back to ‘her’ desk – a tiny cubby at the end of the row, next to Gibbs’, and sat with a sigh. A soft whine interrupted her thoughts, and she looked down to meet Jethro’s sorrowful-looking eyes. The shepherd, once he had her attention, pushed his head into her lap, staring up at her face with a pathetic expression.
“Awww, big baby,” she whispered at him, hand coming up to scratch his ears, and his eyes automatically drooped, his mouth falling open and his tongue just barely visible. Her attention was yanked away from him once more as the radio that was tuned into the team’s frequency crackled.
“It’s over,” Gibbs voice came over the airwaves, and she breathed a sigh of relief. “Duck, we need you here, and an ambulance, as well.”
“What happened?” Buffy grabbed the radio and demanded, hands shaking. “Where’s Ziva?”
“I’m alright, Lizzy,” Ziva’s voice came over the radio. Buffy relaxed, but didn’t let it go.
“What happened?” she asked again, hearing the pain in her sister’s voice.
“She’s getting checked out, Lizzy. She took a bullet graze to the head, I’m going to try and get her to go and get an x-ray, otherwise I’ll want you to get her to go home and rest.”
“And the suspect?”
“Taken care of,” the finality in Gibbs’ voice, and the request for Ducky, answered that question. “Go and help Abby prepare the lab, Lizzy. She’ll need it.”
“Yes boss,” she replied, her voice serious. She wanted to see her sister, to know she was alright, but she could wait. Gibbs didn’t sound too concerned, so she knew that Ziva was not too badly off.
Clipping the radio onto the wide leather belt she wore, she made her way down to the lab, where she helped Abby clear up the last of the evidence left from their previous case.
When the evidence showed up, Ziva came with it. Buffy immediately crossed to her, turning her head to see the injury her sister’s hair was hiding.
“I’m alright, ‘Sheva,” her sister told her gently. “Really.”
Buffy stared at the wound, trying not to allow her horror and fear to show on her face. The suddenly occurred to her that Ziva, and all the other members of her new family, could be lost to her so easily. The idea hurt. “Let’s go home, you need to rest,” she said, remembering Gibbs’ request. “Please, Ziva?” she asked, her voice soft as she employed the ‘puppy-dog eyes’ for all they were worth, definitely not above using manipulation to get her own way. “I want to be sure you’re alright. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Okay,” Ziva sighed, conceding defeat and gesturing for Buffy to precede her from the lab.
“Have you even seen a doctor?” Buffy asked once they were out in the hall. “You could have a serious concussion or a subdural haematoma, Ziva!” she scolded when she saw the expression on her sister’s face following the question. “You are going to the hospital.” She planted her feet firmly in the hallway, arms crossed.
Ziva thought about refusing, she really did. But the expression that Buffy didn’t quite manage to keep off her face decided her. She couldn’t stand to see the fear in her sister’s eyes.
“Alright,” she agreed. “Let’s go.”