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Wishlist 2010

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Ficlet(s)

This story is No. 2 in the series "Wishlists". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Twenty-four gifts for twenty-four people giving me twenty-four prompts. Ficlet collection. Part II. - Now Up: To The Ground! verse Christmas fluff.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR152440,119311736,70930 Nov 1024 Dec 10Yes

yalda - BtVS/NCIS

Warnings: sulky!rookie!Ziva, which I blame entirely on Amusewithaview. It was all her idea.

Prompt: millaros asked for BtVS/NCIS, Buffy, Ziva, Ziva looked over the small blonde woman in front of her and asked incredulously, “She’s the assassin we hired?”

You know, I just realized that I did not actually include that line. The sentiment is there, but the words aren’t. Sorry for that. *scratches head*

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yalda

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The sun is baking everything it shines on and the air above the landing strip of the private airfield is shimmering, wavering like it’s going to shift and become something else any moment now.

Or it would be, if Ziva had the time and inclination to dream up silly, fanciful stories like this. As it is, she settles for the facts. It is August in Israel and the sun has the power to turn human beings to red, baked shells.

Her handler, a gritty, bearded man by the name of Noah is leaning against the sheet metal wall of the hangar as if it isn’t hot enough to make an omelet on, squinting into the distance. Ziva is standing next to him, playing with one of her knives, cleaning under her fingernails. She hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it, chips her nails as often as she nicks skin, but she’s getting better. Occasionally, Noah looks over at her and snorts quietly.

He is a good trainer, a good teacher, but he still looks at her like she is a little girl, the way he looked at her when she was twelve and got handed a gun for the first time. She has come a long way since then, is an agent in her own right now, an adult. But as long as Noah is around, she is his pupil and until he dies, she will stay that.

There is a bit of white gauze peeking out of the collar of his shirt, reminding her uncomfortably how close they came to that, only a week ago. She knows it is weak, but she does not want Noah to die. He has been her teacher for over ten years and she cares for him. More than for her father, perhaps.

The reason he got injured is also the reason they are standing here today, waiting for a private plane to land and deliver them a specialist that is supposed to be the answer to all their problems.

Those problems being that they have lost no less than nine agents in the past two months, to a mission that should have been easy. Noah almost because number ten and the only reason he didn’t was because he ran. Ziva finds that distasteful, but she would never say so out loud. And the information Noah brought back did help, in the end. It told them that what they are fighting is not human at all.

A golem, Noah hissed at her while he was being wheeled into surgery. He has since corrected his words, calls it demon now, instead of golem. But his description stays the same. Big, dark, inhuman.

Which is why the Director called in this specialist that is supposed to kill the demon for them. Ziva was pleased to be put on this job, even if she knows she is only here because Noah is and her father is unwilling to let the man out of his reach quite yet. He is still badly injured. But that does not change the fact that Ziva is curious to meet this specialist, to learn what he has to teach. A demon hunter, a true slayer of monsters. He must have a few tricks Noah could never teach her and Ziva is an eager student of the art of killing things.

Too eager, Noah sometimes says. But Noah also calls her ‘yalda’. What does he know?

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The plan lands fifteen minutes too late and Ziva has to retrain herself to keep from fidgeting as the heavy door of the passenger cabin opens and someone moves in the shadows, jumping down.

For a moment, the young agent just stares. This cannot… “They are playing a trick on us,” she tells Noah, her voice low and angry.

What they sent is no specialist but a girl. Tiny and lithe, blonde, wearing a skirt. Ziva identifies her as American before she ever opens her mouth to speak and she is disgusted by the pink lip gloss the girl wears and her big, stylish sunglasses. Everything about her is soft, is feminine.

Utterly useless. There is nothing this… this yalda can teach Ziva, except maybe how to apply nail polish.

Hers is bright red.

Noah looks at her with a shift of only his eyes, grinning under his beard at her fury. “They are not,” he says, laughter in his voice, but also a warning. She tries to restrain herself, to listen to her teacher, but both he and her father have obviously gone mad.

Ziva’s little sisters would stand a better chance of killing this demon, for all that they are only twelve.

The blonde comes closer, swinging her carry-on childishly. She stops in front of Ziva and Noah, looks at him. “Are you Noah?” she asks. Even her voice is girlish.

Ziva makes a face of disgust and shoots back, “And who are you, little girl?”

She makes sure to use the English words to insult her, not the Hebrew, so she will understand. Noah makes a warning sound at the back of his throat but she does not care. She could wipe the floor with this girl in less than ten seconds.

The blonde blinks and sets her bag on the dusty ground. “Wow,” she says, but does not sound impressed, “Usually it’s the guys that make trouble, not the women. A little girl power, Miss…”

Ziva ignores the implied question, snaps, “I am not a girl. I have been training since I was twelve years old.”

“Great,” the blonde deadpans, “And I’ve been killing things since I was fifteen. How long since your last demon, sugar?”

Ziva says nothing.

“Thought so. Can we get a move on? People to save, things to kill, you know?” She dismisses Ziva, just like that, turning her gaze to Noah, looking at him questioningly. As if Ziva is not worth her time, or her attention.

That is a mistake. Ziva flips the grip she has on the knife she was playing with, before, and attacks to Noah’s warning call. She lunges at the girl, intending to get her in a choke hold, to scare her and maybe bruise.

But then the world tilts and the next thing she knows, she is sitting in the dust, her knife gone from her head, her teeth aching from her hard impact. Above her, the American is inspecting the knife before handing it off to Noah, who has not moved. He tucks it away and spares Ziva a single, disappointed look.

As a teenager, those looks made her curl into herself and feel like a failure. Now, they only make her angry, fuelling the fire already burning in her gut for being put on her ass by a cheerleader.

And then the blonde has the gall, the sheer arrogance, to turn her back on Ziva and look at Noah again, still waiting for an answer. Dismissing Ziva like she is nothing. An insect.

She rolls to her feet at lightning speed and barrels into the other woman’s back without slowing and twists her into that choke hold. “First lesson,” she hisses as she has the girl securely under her arm, “Never turn your back on an enemy.”

“Yalda,” Noah starts, but she’s not listening to the old man, doesn’t need to listen to him anymore. She’s her own person, an agent. She’s not twelve and she doesn’t want to please him anymore. So fuck him.

The blonde bucks and twists, slamming the heel of one palm into Ziva’s elbow, forcing herself free. A moment later their positions are reversed and Ziva smells the girl’s perfume, sweet and thick on the hot summer air. She wrenches at the arm around her neck, but it might as well be steel for all it budges. “First lesson,” the bitch throws back at her, “You do not have the power. Acting like you do will get you killed.”

Then she lets Ziva go, shoving her forward and kicking her in the backside to send her sprawling in the dirt.

She catches herself on her hands, spins and gets ready to flip to her feet when Noah appears between them, a dark, hulking shape. His hand is on the butt of his gun and his expression is a thunderstorm in his face.

Yalda,” he says again, and this time it’s not an endearment, not like usually. This time, it’s an insult. He’s calling her a sulky, whining little girl.

Humiliation and anger burn in her gut and Ziva hates that woman, hates her perfectly and brightly and with the desire to put a knife into her gut.

If the blonde notices, she doesn’t let one. She simply picks up her bag and starts moving toward the car parked in the small strip of shade along the hangar’s wall.

After a moment, when neither Noah nor Ziva follow, she calls, “Well, come on. Time’s a-wasting! Chop, chop!”

Noah grunts and spins on his heels, leaving without offering Ziva a hand up.

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