AN: Sorry for the delay. It’s not much but hopefully it makes things a little less confusing. Let me know what you think.
Chapter 8: Factors
Faith was asleep when Willow returned from seeing Buffy and Xander. Ziva was still awake though so she took a seat next to her sister-in-law.
“How are you feeling?” Willow asked.
“I am tired, but very glad to be away from that place,” Ziva answered, giving Willow a soft smile.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” Willow replied. She grabbed Ziva hand. “Don’t be afraid to talk to us, about anything.” Ziva didn’t respond, instead just gave her a soft smile, and squeezed her hand.
“You missed a lot,” Willow stated.
“I can see that. When did you move here?” Ziva asked.
“About four months ago. We had been preparing the school for awhile, but it was top secret. Only Giles, Xander, Buffy, Faith, and I were in the loop.”
“Do you like it here?” Ziva asked.
“I won’t lie. I miss the castle, but I’m so glad to be back in the States, again.”
Ziva looked to her sleeping sister, and hen asked, “When did you get married?”
“Two months ago. It was all very sudden, and nobody has heard about how it happened.”
“Why not?” Ziva asked.
Willow chuckled, and then answered, “Because Faith is having so much fun teasing them with it.”
Ziva laughed at that confession. “You are a very good wife then. I’m glad you gave my sister a chance. You are the best person for her. She is a very lucky woman.”
“I’m the lucky one,” Willow said, looking over to the woman in question. “She brought me back to life again. In so many ways. When Kennedy cheated on me I was sure that I wasn’t going to give my heart away again, but then Faith started spending more and more time around me. She made me feel so special for no reason at all.”
“I remember the day you asked her out,” Ziva said, laughing lightly. “She called me, and was…um… freaking out. That had been the first time I heard her like that. Then when you kissed her, I swear she was worse then a teenager.”
“I didn’t know that,” Willow said. “She’s lucky to have you. You are the best thing that has ever happened to her. I hope you know how much she loves you.”
“I do,” Ziva replied. “I love her too. We are both lucky to have her in our lives.”
“Yes we are,” Willow replied. “I have the research teams working on what we talked about. We have Sam mobilizing her team in case we need them, and Buffy and Xander are going through our contacts for potential help.”
“What about Abby?” Ziva asked.
“We slipped a note under Dawn’s door asking her to fill Abby in, without making her sign the contract. Dawn will most likely bring her here to see you after she’s done,” Willow explained. “I think that your former boss will be an asset to us.”
“Normally I would say the same thing, but Gibbs was acting very strange yesterday. Almost like he was himself,” Ziva said.
“I think he was drugged,” Abby’s said. She was standing in the doorway next to Dawn. She squealed while running to engulf Ziva in a big hug. “Hi, I’m so glad you’re okay.”
“I missed you as well Abby,” Ziva said.
Abby let go of Ziva and looked at her with a very serious look and said, “You have some explaining to do, missy. I thought we shared everything with each other.”
There was no need for Abby to elaborate on what she was talking about. Ziva knew that one day she would be able to safely tell the woman, and then she would have answer for keeping secrets from her. “I am sorry, Abby. I wanted to tell you about Faith, and myself, but I could not. I had to protect my sister, at all cost.”
Abby didn’t get a chance to respond, because Faith, who had woken up by Abby’s loud squeal, asked, “Protect me from what?”
“I had to protect you from Papa, Faith. I am sorry that I never told you, but Papa threatened your life if I kept in contact.”
“So that’s why you jumped on the bandwagon so fast when I suggested that we keep our relationship low key. I just didn’t want to cause problems between you and him, but you were trying to save my life.”
“Ziva, that is a dangerous secret to keep,” Willow said. “You should have told us. We could have protected both of you. You didn’t have to lie to your friends like that.”
“I am very sorry,” Ziva said.
“Never apologized. It’s a sign of weakness,” Abby imitated Gibbs, making Ziva laugh.
“She’s right,” Faith said. “Don’t apologize for trying to do the right thing.”
“So we have another piece of the puzzle. The quicker we figure out the why he‘s doing this, the quicker we can predict his next move. Until then I really need Agent Gibbs’ personal number. If you’re right Abby, and he was drugged, then I need a sample of his blood. It might help us out, and Gibbs himself could prove useful. Plus it means I won’t break as many laws in order to get the NCIS personnel files.”
“Here, you can use my phone to call him. Gibbs will always answer for me,” Abby said and then handed her phone to Willow. “Tell him to call Ducky, and have him draw blood. Do you have a lab here?”
“Yes we do,” Willow answered. “I’ll have Liz show you it later.”
“Cool. Tell Gibbs to send it here, and I’ll analyze it,” Abby said.
“I’ll do you one better,” Willow said. “I’ll tell him to bring it here himself, along with the rest of your team.”
“Ziva, when you’re feeling better, I’m going to need you to tell me everything that you can remember,” Willow said.
“Okay, Willow,” Ziva replied.
“Hey babe,” Faith said, suddenly. “I’m starving. Am I allowed to eat?”
“Sorry sweetheart, not until after your surgery,” Willow replied, and then looked to Ziva. “You should eat something though. Liz said that you can have broths and Jell-O for now.”
“Yummy,” Ziva said sarcastically.
“Dawnie, will you take Abby to the kitchen and have Andrew make us food, Please? Tell him to send food up to the library, and then bring some Jell-O for Ziva.”
“Sure, Willow,” Dawn replied. After bidding the bed bound girl’s goodbye, the two of them left.
“You’re almost done with this round of antibiotics, so I’m going to go and talk to Liz about your surgery,” Willow told Faith.
“Okay babe. I love you,” Faith said, and then captured Willow’s lip in a chaste kiss.
“I love you, too. Get some more rest. I’ll be back after I talk to Liz, and call Agent Gibbs,” Willow said, and then walked toward Liz’s office at the end of the long room.
Faith looked at her sister and said, “Ziva. Promise me you won’t keep anything like that from me again.”
“I promise,” Ziva replied, and then crawled out of her bed, and into her sister’s. “I was just afraid of losing you. Especially after I was forced to kill Ari. I do not understand why Papa does not wish for us to get to know you. You are his daughter after all. His flesh and blood. I know that he has always been detached from me, most likely because of losing Talia. I wish I understood it.”
“You will,” Faith said, and then kissed her sister’s head. “I promise you. One way or another we will get the truth out of him, and then you’ll know. We both will.”
Gibbs, Tony, and Tim ate their breakfast in silence, Gibbs was still trying to piece together the previous twenty-four hours, but what he did remember, he didn’t like. He didn’t like to apologize, he felt it made him look weak, but in this case he felt the urge to do exactly that.
Tony and Tim had the exact same thing running threw their minds. What the fuck is going on? They both had thought that Gibbs had been acting weird, but neither had thought that their boss had been drugged. They had thought it was weird has fast he jumped to obsessed, but knew better then to get in his way when he was like that. It had never ended well in the past.
Tony was waiting patiently for further instructions. One of the reasons he had blindly followed his boss the day before was because he wanted to figure out the mystery surrounding Ziva. Sure he knew it wasn’t any of his business, especially with what happened before Ziva returned to Israel, but when had that ever stopped him before.
Tim was running all the information that they had collected through his mind like a computer. Trying to piece it together and possible find a clue as to what was going on. So far it was proving to be futile.
Their thoughts were interrupted by Gibbs’ cell phone loudly ringing from the counter. Gibbs briefly tried to remember how it had gotten there, but ignored the nagging feeling when he saw Abby’s name flashing on the screen.
“Are you alright Abby?” He asked instead of a hello.
“Agent Gibbs,” Willow replied. “This is Willow Rosenberg-Lehane. I hope you are having a good morning.”
Gibbs pulled the phone away from his ear to check the caller id again. Yep, that was Abby’s name displayed there. “I’ve had better,” Gibbs said, and then asked. “How is your wife doing?” It wasn’t much, but he hoped he caught the subtle peace offering.
“She been better, but she’s also been worse,” Willow answered, indeed catching the offered olive branch. This would be easier then she thought. “Why don’t you come see her for yourself?”
“Where?” Gibbs asked.
“At the Academy in Mayville,” Willow replied.
“I’ll be there,” Gibbs said.
“Before you go, I have something I need to discuss with you. Abby thinks you were drugged,” Willow said, but didn‘t give Gibbs a chance to ask questions. “She wants you to call Ducky, and have him draw blood.”
“Fine,” Gibbs said, not bothering to inform her that he had came to the same conclusion as well. “I’ll call him as soon as we hang up.”
“Good. Bring the blood with you, and the rest of your team, as well. Abby will analyze it when you get here,” Willow said.
“How are Abby and Ziva?” Gibbs asked, letting his fatherly concern slip into his voice.
“Ziva’s good considering. As for Abby, you’ll have to talk to her yourself when you get here. I’ve only spent a few minutes with her,” Willow answered. “I’ve got to go Agent Gibbs. I will see you later today. Good-bye.”
Gibbs didn’t have a chance to respond, because the line went dead. He didn’t acknowledge the questioning looks he was receiving. Instead he dialed Ducky’s number, and waited for him to answer.
“Good morning Jethro,” Ducky answered his phone.
“Morning Ducky,” Gibbs said back. “I need a favor.”
“Ah and what would that be?” Ducky asked.
“Can you come to my place and draw some blood? I’ll explain why, when you get here.”
“Certainly Jethro. I’ll be there shortly,” Ducky said, and for the second time in two minute the line went dead.
Tony’s patience wore off as soon as Gibbs reclaimed his seat at the table, and began eating again. “So what’s the what, Boss?” he asked.
“Willow Rosenberg-Lehane has invited us to her home,” Gibbs answered.
Tony and McGee were puzzled why they weren’t gearing up to go. “Uh Boss,” McGee said hesitantly. “Are we going to go?”
“Yep,” Gibbs said, and then took a bite of his pizza.
“When and why do you need Ducky to come here?” Tony asked.
“To draw blood and we’ll leave as soon as he’s done. Are there anymore questions that need to be answered at this very moment or, can it wait until I know more,” Gibbs asked.
“They can wait,” McGee answered.
“Good. Eat,” Gibbs said.
After Willow got off the phone with Gibbs, she hunted Liz down to speak with her about Faith. She was already preparing for Faith’s surgery in the operating room. They spoke briefly, and then Willow left again.
She stopped by the kitchen to check on the food and found Abby and Dawn laughing at something stupid Andrew had just done. She handed the phone to Abby, and told her that Gibbs would be there later. Andrew was done with the food, so she escorted him up to the library.
While Willow was on her way to the library to fill them in on the latest development, Abby and Dawn returned to the infirmary. The first thing they noticed as they walked through the doors, were the soundly sleeping sisters.
“Awe, they look so adorable,” Abby gushed quietly.
“Yeah they do,” Dawn agreed. She placed the jell-o on Ziva’s tray, and then motioned for Abby to follow her into an empty office. “We don’t get to see Faith look that peaceful very often. She is only like that when she is with Ziva or Willow.”
“I can’t believe Ziva has a sister and never told me,” Abby said, as she sat down in one of the rolling chairs.
“Like she said earlier. She did it to protect Faith,” Dawn said. “She had good intentions, but she broke the rules by not informing us about the potential danger. A slayers first instinct is to protect, even if it puts herself at risk. That why we created these rules, to insure that that doesn’t happen.”
“I can understand the need for secrecy, but I never would have said anything,” Abby said.
“You think that you wouldn’t, but people have a way of getting it out of you. Our lives are dangerous, and a slayers first instinct is to protect those around her. She knew that telling you about Faith or about us would put your life in danger. It puts you right in the cross fire. If you had known before now, then who ever is behind all of this could have used you against Ziva.”
“That’s not much different then how my life already is, so I get why she didn’t tell me,” Abby said, sadly. “I just wished she had told me. Keeping a sister, and the fact that she a mystical being created to protect the world from the thing that go bump in the night, is a lot to keep locked away for so long.”
“Your right. It is a lot to keep in,” Dawn said, and then stood up. “Come on. I’ll give a tour of the building, and I’ll tell you everything there is to know about slayers, demon, and witches.”
“Oh my,” Abby said, and then started giggling, which in return made Dawn start giggling as well.
Willow and Andrew pushed the two carts into the library, well one of the libraries. There were three total. One for the younger students, one for the older students, and one for the Council members. All three libraries were connected by doors, by were magically protected. No student could enter the Council library, and no student under the age of fourteen could enter the older student’s library. Each library contains books pertinent to their age group and studies.
Willow helped Andrew put the food on the table, and then directed him to the big board. Yep Andrew finally got his damn big board. It took up an entire thirty foot wall. Andrew got the markers out of the cabinet.
“Ready Andrew?” Buffy asked.
“Yep,” Andrew answered.
“Good,” Buffy said. “So what do we know so far?”
“We know that Ziva was sent on a mission by her father, and was captured by a terrorist cell. She was held there for three month’s,” Willow said, and watched Andrew dutifully put the information on the board. She would be the first person to admit that Andrew’s Big Board was probably the best idea the man had. It made big cases like this so much easier.
“Ziva was administered the de-slayer serum on a daily basis while she was held captive,” Buffy said.
“Eli David is one of the only people alive to know how to make that drug,” Xander contributed.
“Eli was the one to tell me where Ziva was,” Willow said.
“Ziva worked for a government organization known as NCIS,” Xander said.
“Faith was dosed with the de-slayer serum,” Willow said.
“I think that’s it for what we know at the moment,” Xander said.
“So speculations then?” Buffy asked the group.
Andrew moved over a couple of feet and wrote ‘Speculations’ on the board.
“We believe that Eli is behind this whole thing. Whatever it is,” Willow said.
“We’re looking into the possibility of a mole amongst us,” Xander said.
“As well as the doctor on the plane,” Buffy said.
“Abby believes that Gibbs was drugged,” Willow stated. “She thinks that is the reason behind his crazy behavior yesterday.”
Andrew turned around abruptly, and asked, “Hey Xander. Didn’t we read about a drug in the old Council files that amplifies obsessions?”
Xander thought for a moment. The two of them had been going through some recently unearthed Council files a few days ago, and had come across a book with drug recipes in it. “Yeah your right. It was in that book we found.”
“What does that mean?” Sam asked.
“That means that we have another clue to follow,” Willow stated. “Gibbs is on his way here with a vile of his blood. We can have Liz and Abby analyze it when he gets here.”
“We need Ziva to fill in the blanks. We need to know everything she remembers from the time she returned to Israel, until she was rescued,” Sam said.
“I’ve already talked to her about it. I don’t want to pressure her before she’s ready,” Willow said. “We’ll need Agent Gibbs’ to recount where he’s been for the last two days as well. Where are we for reinforcements?”
“Finn’s mobilizing the team,” Sam said. They should be here by tonight.”
“Have the research team found anything else out about Eli yet?” Willow asked.
“No. They’re currently working on phone records, and visitors,” Xander said.
“So what’s our game plan?” Sam asked.
“We don’t have one yet,” Buffy said. “For now, we have to wait and research as much as possible. Our game plan will un-fold as we know more.”
“Okay. Faith is going into surgery in a few minute, and I’d like to see her before she does,” Willow said. “I’ll see if Ziva will talk to me while we wait.”
“Okay,” Buffy said, as her best friend got up to leave.
“I hope Faith is going to be alright,” Xander said.
“Yeah me too,” Buffy said, and then grabbed a jelly donut off of the platter in front of her.
“Xander, I’m going to get that book,” Andrew said.
“Mmm, good idea Andy,” Xander said with his mouth full. “Take it to Willow, and she’ll give it to Liz and Abby.
Andrew nodded and then left the library, leaving Xander, Buffy, and Sam alone to eat and discuss that case amongst them.