I do not own Lord of the Rings, nor NCIS.A/N:
So here is another new chapter. I apologize for it being short, but I will have the next chapter out soon. This is for all of you who were wondering what was going on at home with the team in response to Ziva's disappearance.
A few months earlier
Tony walked into the bullpen, tossing his backpack down behind his desk then plopping into his chair. Looking across to Ziva's desk, he cocked his head at the missing Israeli.
"Probie?" he started, his eyes not leaving the desk.
"Yes, Tony?" McGee rolled his eyes and didn't even look up from his computer, but continued typing away.
"Has Ziva come in yet?"
McGee sighed. "No Tony, she hasn't. And neither has Gibbs. Don't worry about it."
"Yeah, but she always gets in before I do, and I'm even late today." He paused, then shook his head, pulling his badge and gun out and placing them in his top drawer.
"Maybe she just slept through her alarm, Tony."
"Yeah, and maybe pigs grew wings." Tony turned to his computer and was placing his hands on his keyboard when the unmistakable voice of their boss reached them.
"Gear up, we got a dead sailor in Quantico." Gibbs walked around the corner coming from the director's office, and stopped in between Ziva's and Tony's desk. "Where's Ziva?"
"She hasn't come in yet, boss," McGee said, standing as he grabbed his gun and badge, Tony doing the same.
"Call her and have her meet us there," Gibbs finished, moving to his desk and grabbing his own gun and badge, following Tony and McGee to the elevator. As they arrived, the elevator dinged, and a dark haired medium height woman moved to step out, stopping at the sight of the three agents.
"Are any of you Agent Gibbs?" she asked, clutching a file to her chest, her eyes rapidly moving between each of them.
"That would be me," Gibbs said, stepping forward. "Can I help you?"
The woman nodded franticly. "Ziva always told me if something happened to her, to come straight to you."
"Wait, what?" McGee said, and at the moment the woman had all three of their attentions.
"What's happened," Gibbs asked, not letting her move forward.
"We were supposed to meet at this warehouse in Alexandria, because I had some information on an Al Queda sleeper cell working in DC, but when I showed up there was blood and bodies everywhere," the woman answered, shaking her head.
"And Ziva?" Tony asked, leaning over to look the woman straight in the eye.
Gibbs moved immediately into motion. "Tony, take Miss…?"
"Miss Schneier here to the conference room. I'm going to let the director know."
"And me boss?" McGee asked, looking helpless.
"Try calling her McGee," Gibbs said as he quickly moved away towards the stairs.
"Got it," McGee responded, also moving quickly to his desk as Tony led the woman towards one of the conference rooms.
About an hour later, the team had had no luck in tracking down anything of ZIva's whereabouts, and the director had ok'ed them to go to the warehouse to process the scene. Tony and McGee were moving around, tagging and taking pictures of the scene, both unusually quiet.
"Do you think she's ok?" McGee asked, lowering the camera away from his eye.
"I don't know McGee. But this doesn't look good." Tony responded, his sketch pad in hand as he surveyed the scene.
"Neither did your car that we thought you had blown up in. And at least her body isn't here," McGee responded, snapping another picture.
"Yeah, but where is she?" Tony paused in his sketching to stare unseeingly at one of the dead bodies a few feet away.
"All of these men, Jethro, were killed either by a bullet, or a knife, with the exception of this one." Ducky was leaning down next to a body, Palmer beside him. "You see here, there, and there?" he said, pointing to deep and serious scorch marks on his hands, body, and face, the corpse's eyes still staring at the ceiling. "These are marks of an explosion, and a high heat one at that." Ducky shook his head, looking around. "It's almost as if a mini bomb went off, right where you are standing." Gibbs looked down at his feet, noticing the scorch marks on the concrete. "But nothing else was damaged."
"That doesn't make any sense," Gibbs responded, looking around.
"No, it does not." Ducky sighed, standing up from the body to look around again. "Well, if this scene is any indication, she put up a good fight."
"Yeah, the question now is where did she go?" Gibbs said, moving outside and pulling his cell phone out.
Back in the bullpen hours later, Tony and McGee stood in front of the large screen, clicking through the pictures of the dead men, and then driver's licenses.
"So all of the men in the warehouse were identified, and according to Miss Dina Schneider, these were all the men in the terrorist cell whom she had information on to give to Ziva," Tony said, shaking his head as picture after picture went by.
"Who sends out their whole cell to take down one person?" McGee asked, shaking his head.
"Maybe this wasn't the whole cell."
"It is the whole cell, Agent Dinozzo," Dina Schneider said, coming up to stand behind the two agents. "There were no others."
"Then what happened to Ziva?" Tony, asked, then clicked the clicker one more time. "And what about that mini bomb?"
Lead after lead the team followed, trying to find as much information as they could, though they never found any more information than what they had found at the crime scene. Director David had been called and notified, and not even he had been able to find any intelligence about the whereabouts of his daughter. Divers had dragged the rivers, and the most convenient bays had also been dragged, finding nothing. The days and weeks turned into months, and still no one gave up.
"Gear up," the voice of Gibbs dug through McGee's and Tony's musings one morning.
"Who are we kidding, boss? Going along and pretending as if she wasn't even missing?" Tony said, looking up from his computer. "This is bologna. Even her own father has written her off for dead."
"Literally." The team turned quickly as Jenny Shepherd walked into the bullpen, holding a sheet of paper. "Director David has just officially declared his daughter as dead."
Tony, who had been half standing as the director entered fell back into his chair, his head sinking into his hands.
"She has only been missing a few months," Gibbs argued, coming forward to take the sheet of paper.
"I know, Gibbs. And I'm sorry. I guess Director David has determined that is enough time to find someone if they were still alive."
"Well, we're not going to stop looking," DiNozzo stated, he eyes hard.
"I know you aren't, DiNozzo. And she deserves that." Jenny sent a strained smile at the mortified agents, then walked back up to her office.
"Dead?" McGee said, his voice choked with sorrow.
"Not yet, McGee," Gibbs responded, slamming the paper onto his desk.
End Chapter Six