After the revelation about Dawn’s threat, which Gibbs doubted the kid would actually have followed through on, the group had all gotten along great. Kate and Dawn were taking turns telling stories about Kate’s early days with the Council, while Abby and Ducky did the honors sharing tales of NCIS. Occasionally someone mentioned something relating to Ari, but it seemed to Gibbs there was a silent agreement to avoid that subject for the time being.
Dawn was giggling at an anecdote of Ducky’s when the front door slammed.
Dawn and Kate traded glances as Faith stomped into the kitchen.
“Faith, I thought you were supposed to be at Petco,” Dawn said. “Something about puppies?”
Faith shrugged as she snagged a brownie and grabbed a carton of cookies and cream ice cream from the freezer.
“Saw the puppies, sympathized with the cats, got bored, now I’m back,” she said, slathering her brownie ice cream creation with chocolate syrup.
She frowned as she noted the lack of seating, then pulled a tray out of a cupboard and cleared a swathe of counter, transferring the cookies to the tray and plunking it down in the middle of the table.
“You all need to eat more cookies. Red really outdid herself this time, and the rest of the girls aren’t back until tomorrow.”
She hopped up to sit on the newly cleared counter space.
“Anyway, I’m not interfering with the family reunion. It seems to be going well. They’re catching up on all they’ve missed of each other. Might even get around to noticing Kate ducked out of the room soon.”
She grinned at DiNozzo.
“So, this is the one that got the plague?”
“Kate, what have you been telling her?”
“Not much, Tony. Just your greatest moments. Like the time you fell for the Hamas chick, the time you kissed the trans…”
“Ah, just like old times,” DiNozzo said. “You making up crazy stories, me wondering what you’re talking about.”
Faith snorted and was about to say something when she suddenly cocked her head to one side, frowning.
“Huh. That’s not good.”
That was all the warning they got before Ari’s bellow of fury echoed down the hall.
“He did WHAT?”
Kate shot to her feet.
“Faith, what’s going on in there?”
“Ziva’s dad left her to die in a desert,” Faith said, her face darkening. “We didn’t invite him to this shindig, right? Cause I’m pretty sure I really don’t like him.”
Her tone implied that her dislike was not good for one’s health.
“No, we didn’t invite him,” Kate snapped. “And we aren’t going to, either. He goes nowhere near my husband or my children!”
“How does she know what’s going on in the living room?” Gibbs demanded.
No answers were forthcoming. Dawn had a look of shock on her face, and Kate headed for the living room, but was met at the doorway by Willow and Ziva coming in, who turned her right back around.
“Ari’s going to the training room to work off his temper,” Willow announced. “And the rest of us are going to give him some space until he calms down.”
“You going to elaborate on the whole ‘left her in a desert to die’ thing?” Faith demanded.
“Uncle Eli manipulated Ziva into volunteering for a dangerous mission to assassinate a terrorist in Africa,” Willow replied flatly. “It didn’t go well. Ziva tried to finish the mission solo and was taken prisoner. NCIS went and got her, which we thank them for, and Ziva is no longer on speaking terms with my uncle. In fact, I’m not too sure I am either.”
Faith frowned. She started to say something, then stopped, before deciding that it was totally worth saying.
“So, are we going to go make his life a living hell?”
“No,” Dawn ground out, “We can’t. Just in case we ever need to work with Mossad. He’s the bloody director now. Believe me, if it wasn’t for that...”
Gibbs was surprised at the anger in the room, from people who hadn’t even met Ziva an hour ago.
“She’s alive,” Dawn cut Faith off. “If she wasn’t, maybe it would change things. But she’s alive and she’s here and it’s the mission that matters. Sometimes you have to dance with the devil.”
Gibbs was surprised by the steel in the girl’s tone.
“Sounds like you know a thing or two about that,” he said curiously.
The look Dawn gave him spoke volumes. He’d only seen her youth when he’d looked at her before. Her eyes showed the experience- and abruptly convinced him that if she needed to, she was completely capable of carrying through on any threat she issued.
“She’s not here to trade war stories, Gibbs,” Kate cut in, stopping any reply Dawn might have made. “This is supposed to be a happy reunion- without bloodshed.”
The last bit was said with some force, and appeared to be directed mostly at Faith, but maybe partly at Dawn. Despite having shot Faith down first, the kid still looked pissed.
“There won't be any bloodshed here
- he’s not the one whose blood we want to shed,” Faith pointed out.