Chapter 15

When he came to he had a throbbing headache, he was sitting on a chair and it felt as if his hands and feet were bound. John wasn’t able to move; something he hadn’t experienced for over three years. He wasn’t worried – yet -, if he and Ziva wouldn’t report in, Gibbs would come and look for them. Or he’d call the General, he’d have the Hammond lock on to Sheppard’s subcutaneous transmitter, and beam him and Ziva out of here. No big deal. But Ziva… where was she? He couldn’t really see, he was in a brightly lit room and there were mirrors that reflected light as well. Crap, he thought. “Ziva?”

Whatever the guy did to her, she hadn’t felt this much pain in a long time. Ziva could hear John’s voice and knew he was behind her – somewhere. “I’m here,” she said with a groan. “Chloroform…”

“At least you got drugs,” John wished he could rub the back of his head right now, to soothe the pain and to assess the damage. “Are you okay?”

“Other than wanting to tear my spine out, I’m fine,” she said. “I have no clue where we are. Assuming he took us off the property because it is too modern in here or this guy did a lot of remodeling.”

“What do you see?” He tried to focus on her voice and managed to see her shape in front of him.

She looked up and squinted. “Bright white walls, lots of fluorescent lighting. Do you have your sunglasses?”

“No… I think he took my sunglasses and hat… and my holster feels kinda empty.” He closed his eyes, trying to focus started to hurt his head. He tried to move his wrists, but whatever he tried, he couldn’t get any space between his wrists and whatever material he was bound with. “Secure knots.”

“Yes. Mine as well,” she sighed, looking around. In her attempts to shift, she realized that her chair wasn’t secure to the floor and with some work, she managed to turn herself around so that she could see John. “Ohhhh…”

“What? What happened?” The calmness he had tried to keep himself in vanished after hearing the noise of something moving. “Ziva?”

Ziva blinked to get the spots from her eyes as she looked at how bad he was. “Your face is bleeding,” she said simply. “Some bruising around your eyes – it looks as if you were used as a punching bag while you were out.”

“Ah, nothing new then.” He breathed a sigh of relief. If a busted up face was all that was wrong – apart from being in their current situation – it was okay. “You think you can get over here so we can try and release ourselves?”

“I need to rest. Just to come this far – give me a moment,” she sighed and tightened her eyes closed as she felt a spasm of pain shoot through her back. “I think – when we are out of here, I will go talk to Ducky…”

“Well that’s good… and bad…” John frowned and opened his eyes again, trying to determine where the light was coming from so he could move his head and maybe take a better look at their surroundings.

“You honestly think you’re going to make it out alive?” A voice over the intercom sounded. A familiar voice, John couldn’t place it though. “I should have hit harder.”

“Who are you?”

“The one who’s going to make your life hell for at least the next few hours, hopefully days.”

Ziva looked around as she struggled to herself together through the pain she had already been going through. “What is this all about?” she asked the faceless voice. “We had done nothing to you.”

“Your agencies… and others… have ruined my life,” the voice spat. “They made me into some kind of super soldier and then left me to rot. You are going to prove that you are unworthy of your jobs, since they did hire you!”

“Oh come on, that’s childish.”

“We’ll talk again in a few hours… however, I’d make sure to be out of here within the hour as the time release on the sarin gas will engage. Oh and don’t bother about waiting for help. Not only do your phones have no reception, the technology is strong enough to render your transmitter useless while you’re here, Colonel Sheppard.”

Ziva’s eyes grew large at the mention of sarin gas. She stared forward at John, “What transmitter?”

“Everyone who signs up for the Stargate program gets a transmitter underneath the skin so that we can be found at all times,” John explained. “It’s safer that way and should we ever get in to trouble they can scan the planet, lock on and beam us out.”

“That’s wonderful. Is there a reason that this guy would think that it would be able to be blocked? I would think that they would have anticipated that sort of technology to resist things like that…”

“Yeah, I’m not too worried about that,” John shrugged. “But I am worried about that gas. Stay there, I’ll come to you if you keep talking. Okay?”

Ziva sighed. “If you come forward, straight ahead until I say otherwise, you shouldn’t find any obstruction other than a table. Your space people should have included a distress button in your ass or something so that you could let them know when you’re in trouble. Clearly your geniuses aren’t all that bright.”

He had managed to reach the table by the time she was done talking. “Funny!” He chuckled and took a moment to catch his breath. For some reason, the chair was heavier than any chair he had sat on. He saw the table frame, but couldn’t see the top as it was reflecting light. “I’m more interested in how he knows what he seems to know.”

“Clearly he must have been a part of the program,” she muttered. “How’s your head?”

“Trying not to think of it, although that would be a lot easier if it was darker in here. How’s your back?”

“Comes and goes. Happier when it goes, kill me when it comes,” she replied. “He must have known about your problem. Everything in here is reflective.”

“What if this guy has been planning this for a while? What if he observed us for a long time, gathered intel, hacked into government files?” John started to move towards the right side of the table, trying to get around it.

“Maybe. After what I learned, aren’t there like other people who would love to get back at you and the SGC?” she asked.

“He said agencies. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t just mean the Air Force, Ziva.”

“Well what agencies then? I know for a fact that Mossad had nothing to do with whatever this guy is into. My father would kill to get one of his officers in that program though. What? NCIS? FBI? There are way too many agencies that could have a hand in the training of something like that.”

“CIA, NSA…” John thought for a second. “Or all of the above?” He nearly toppled over when he reached the edge of the table. Unlike the chairs, the table was bolted to the floor. “I’ve seen some pretty strange things, Ziva. I wouldn’t put it passed every agency in the world to work on something super secret together.” He then managed to chuckle. “I’m not a conspiracy theorist or paranoid, but if the Air Force is keeping the program under wraps, why won’t this be possible?”

“True. Another two feet to your right John,” Ziva said, watching him before grinding her teeth as she had to breathe deeply as a spasm shot through her. “God! I don’t know if I can handle that much more.”

“You sound like one of Teyla’s tribe women in labor,” John grinned and managed to get passed the table.

She rolled her eyes. “I think I would know if I were pregnant,” she pointed out. “You would certainly know as well, I’m sure.”

“Yeah… when Teyla was pregnant with Torren, she got angry with me for not letting her on the team. If she could, she would have bitten off my head.”

“She had every right to. When she felt it was time to sit back, she would I’m sure. Women who are pregnant aren’t incapable of their jobs. They aren’t broken,” Ziva replied. “If you did that to me, I would likely break your legs or your arms, or something else more dear and let you see what it is like.”

“I feel for you, honey, I really do. I doubt that if they find us, they’d let a visit to the hospital pass on you.” He could see her a bit clearer now, and pushed himself to make the final few feet towards her. “Hello!” he greeted her.

She smiled back at him and shook her head. “Can you see well enough if I turn around with the chair to see the ties?”

“Yeah I can try.”

Ziva hopped around on the chair until she had her back towards him and flexed her wrists to try her best to let him see as much of the ties as possible. “It’s tight,” she added.

“I know… I know this knot.” John squinted as he observed the knots. “There should be a loose string somewhere, if you can tell me where, I might be able to pull it when I turn around to grab it.”

It took them some time, but eventually their hands were free and they were both working on getting their feet unbound. John helped Ziva as she was struggling to bend over and helped her up. “Your face!” Ziva carefully touched John’s face and it hurt.

“Yeah… you already said that…” he winced. “You shouldn’t have touched it.”

“Come on, there’s a door.” Ziva took his arm and walked the both of them towards the door, leading John around the table and various other objects in the room. “It’s unlocked.” she said surprised.

“Open it, let’s go.”

“But what if..-”

“Anything better than the impending sarin gas.”

“True.” Ziva opened the door and pulled John into the new room with her while closing the door. She pushed John against the wall and hugged the wall herself. At least this room wasn’t going to be as hard on John’s eyes than the last room. “Can you see?”

“Yeah, getting there,” he answered, rubbing his eyes. “Is it just me or does this look like a gauntlet?”

“Nope, not just you, there are heavy objects swinging back and forth and some look sharp.”

“Great,” John sighed.

Her eyes were large as they took everything in. “It looks like something out of one of Tony’s movies,” she commented before sliding down to the floor to see if they might have enough room to crawl underneath.

“This should be doable… if there’s some sort of gap in the middle of all of this…” John started. “You know, whoever this guy is, he must have a lot of money.”

“And a lot of time on his hands. My guess is that we are underground on the property. There is no way that he could have taken us too far.”

John nodded. “I suppose.” He tried to assess the distance between the first swinging object and the second and realized that there was no way that they could go together, or with Ziva on his back. “Well this sucks.”

“It looks like we can crawl through but it will be very close,” Ziva sighed as she returned to his side.

“Or… we could just stay here, I’m really not in the mood for games.”

She looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “I thought you didn’t want to hang around for the gas treatment that this guy has planned.”

“That was the other room, I doubt he has any other incentive for us to go through with this in this room,” he looked at her and then rolled his eyes. “Fine, let’s try to get through this without anything getting slashed up.”

“And how do we know that the sarin won’t be distributed through the entire property? Together or one by one?”

“I’ll go first, if I can get underneath it, then so can you.”

Ziva nodded and bit her lip. “Stay low. I’ll be right behind you,” she said as she reached up to cup his face.

He gently kissed her. “I love you, you know that, right?” He said as he softly caressed her hair.

“I do now,” she said. “We’ll talk about it when we are out of here. Now go!”

John kissed her again and then lowered himself to the floor. He went to the left where there was a small space of nothingness and made it passed the first two swinging objects before running into an obstacle that prevented him to use the safe side. “It’s never easy,” he muttered and pulled his legs underneath him so he could sit on his hunches to see what was going on.

“What is it?” Ziva asked as she had her body shoved as close the free space gap as possible. The spasms shooting through her every few minutes didn’t help much and whenever she got to a relatively safe position she had to stop and take a breather to recollect herself.

“Some sort of pit with sharp pointy things in it… however jumping over it will definitely hurt our heads… and dive and roll over it… is an option but I can’t really see what’s on the other end to make sure it’s safe.”

“I will go then,” she said as she slowly made her way closer to him. When she was at his side, she eyed the pit he mentioned. “Well that would ruin anyone’s day…If we lower ourselves but hold on to the ledge we could make our way around it. Do you think you could hold yourself up?”

“Easy,” John replied, “Do you think you can do it with your back spasms?”

Sighing, she shrugged. “I have to. As soon as the next spasm is over, I’ll make my way across. They seem to be pretty consistent in that sense.”

“It’s sounding more and more like contractions to me!” John joked as he turned around and slowly backed towards the edge, lowering himself to hold on to the ledge. “This freak really does have too much time on his hands.” He groaned as he quickly made it round the pit.

“You saw me naked last night…Did I look pregnant?” Ziva replied as she watched him as he moved along. “You’re almost there…”

“I was joking, Ziva.” He chuckled as he climbed back onto the ground and caught his breath. “Although…” he said with a smirk on his face.

“If you say that I looked fat you won’t have to worry about dying by way of sarin. I’ll do the job for this lunatic,” she growled as she started to lower herself and shift over to the other side.

John started to laugh. “What is it with women and caring about weight issues? You’re beautiful, no matter if you’re fat or skinny… although too skinny is unappealing but you are not fat.”

She was nearly to the opposite side when she started to get out of breath. “Well whatever it is, I’m certainly not in shape because I shouldn’t tire this easily. How long do you think we’ve been out of contact?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know how long we’ve been out.” John reached for Ziva’s hand. “Come on, nearly there, then you can take a bit of rest.”

She grunted a little as she shifted, shimmied and kicked her way closer. By the time he was able to pull her up, she could feel another spasm hit and laid there, tense and breathing hard. “You may have a point – about it being like contractions. I’ll give you that much,” she winced.

“I really was joking,” John said as he softly caressed her back. “I’m sure that once we get out of here, a doctor will figure out what’s wrong with you.”

“I hope so,” Ziva said, the pain slowly getting worse but luckily for her, she had a high threshold. “Oh that feels good…” she added to his massaging.
“Magic hands,” he said as he looked behind him to see what was up next while he continued to caress her lower back.

Once she was through the latest round, she sat up tiredly. “Please tell me he doesn’t have any more traps, that he didn’t expect us to get past all this already.”

“I hate to disappoint you,” John sighed. “Although it looks like the next part can be done running… the pendulums swing in a particular way and it might be enough to slip passed them. I could probably also just carry you to the end.”

“Oh god,” she sighed as she pushed herself up. “Let’s just get this over with because I don’t know how much more of this I can take now.”

“Are you giving up already? Such a shame.” The voice had returned. “Even Stackhouse had more spirit than you, and I had to run him over with a tractor!”

John balled his fists. “She is not feeling well. Get her out of here, and I will do whatever more you have planned after we’re through here.”

“No John, I won’t leave you here alone. He’ll likely end up killing you,” she replied as she leaned up against him. “Are you just toying with us? Is there an actual way out of here that you just want us to suffer to get through?”

“Of course there is a way out, I built this, I got out,” the voice laughed. “And what a gentleman you are, Colonel Sheppard, and how weak and pathetic you are for telling me to get her out. I don’t understand why you were marked as one of the best ranking officers at the SGC. Oh and yes, I really hope you’ll die. That way I can deliver your bodies on the door step of NCIS and severely piss them off.”

“What did NCIS do to you?” Ziva asked.

“Ask your director, or his boss,” the guy growled. “Hurry along now, I’ll be increasing the velocity of the pendulums soon!”

“He sounds like a spoiled child,” John muttered. “Didn’t get enough attention from his parents.”

“Well let’s not give him all that much credit. Let’s just get through this and come out alive,” she whispered. “I’m ready to go when you are – but make it quick.”

He lifted her up in his arms and took a deep breath. “Hold on tight.”

Ziva locked her wrists together around his neck and tucked her head in. She couldn’t help but to hold her breath in as she felt him rush through the next gauntlet, praying that the team would come to find them soon. At the very least, hope that Gibbs would have McGee check on the GPS location of their car after not checking in.

John stopped dead in his tracks after reaching the wall and yet another door. “Okay, that was scary.”

She lifted her head and looked at him. Her face was drained of color as she blinked. “Not as scary as what is about to happen…” she said slowly, waiting to see if he realized yet, what she felt.

He carefully set her down on the floor and looked at himself. “Ziva, did you have to pee while you were in my arms? Couldn’t you have waited until I put you down again?”

She shook her head. “Considering the last few hours – I don’t think that is urine John…it’s impossible, but…possible? I’m…” Ziva trailed off, speechless and trying to piece everything together.

“Wait… what?” He looked at her, confused. “You’re saying…”

“Do you think its possible?” she asked staring up at him.

“Anything is possible but… come on, you should have noticed at least something other than back pain?” He looked at her, wide eyed.

“Nothing! I haven’t even missed my period!” she snapped. “Let’s – let’s get out of here then argue about this. It doesn’t pay to figure it out now if we are going to be deadanyway.”

“Unbelievable…” he sighed as he opened the next door and closed it again as it once again was brightly lit. “Oh for the love of – !”

Ziva took a deep breath and opened the door again to see for herself. Her eyes looked around and all she could make out was a stark white room with more fluorescent lighting. “I think this room is meant to weaken your eyes more. I don’t see anything in it. Pull your shirt over your head to block out the light…I’ll lead you through. It’s maybe, ten yards long to a set of stairs and I think a door.”

“Alright,” John pulled his shirt off and rolled it up before putting it over his head and fastened it behind his head. “All I need now be called a pinata and a stick to beat me with.”

“I’ll be first in line,” she mumbled as she took his hand before pushing the door open. She constantly looked around, trying to see if anything else would come flying at them but luckily they managed to get to the steps in one piece before she felt another spasm – or rather contraction come on. It was strong enough that it made her lose her footing as she tried to climb the winding stairs to the trap door at the top.

“Easy.” John pushed himself against a wall – hopefully – and took pulled her against him. “Breathe.”

“John, we need to get out of here,” she said as she buried her face into his shoulder as she gritted through the next wave of pain. Turning her head up, she eyed the door and groaned. “It’s got heavy bolts around it but its wood. We will need something to break through it.”

“I know… but I didn’t want you to fall off the stairs,” John said and rubbed her back. “I can try to see if I can get one of those pendulums down from the other room? Unless you see something in this room that we can use? Or do you think I can break that door?”

Ziva looked around again and shook her head. “No, we’ll need something. It’s a heavy wood door. Can you see through the fabric of your shirt? It should be heavy enough to block out the sharpness of the white lights.”

“I can see the floor from underneath it, stay here, I’ll check the door.” He slowly continued to walk on the stairs until he reached the door. He pushed against it and chuckled. “This is too easy,” he walked down the stairs towards Ziva again and waited until she was ready. “It just looks impossible. It’s not.”

“That makes me nervous to know what else he has planned for us,” she admitted. “Let’s go. Please tell me that it does indeed go outside,” she added as she reached up for him to help her.

John took her hand and gently pulled her with him. “I hope no more light,” he replied as he kicked in the door, and pulled his shirt off his head before putting it back on properly. “Oh, a barn.”

“Outside,” Ziva sighed as she followed him out. She let go of his hand, letting it go to her stomach as she made her way to the wall to try to peer out through the gaps in the boards. “Careful where you step. This is the ideal setting for trip wire. Would your transmitter work now that we are outside?”

“Maybe… but we’re not outside yet.” John stood close to Ziva and looked at the door. “You’ll need to inspect the door for me, I can’t see wires if they’re made out of fishing line.” He then looked back at her. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling the need to kill someone,” she said as she carefully looked around, kicking up dirt where she could to see if there was any twine hiding in the area before stepping forward more. “We are as much outside as we could get…The sun looks to be heading towards setting – we’ve been here at least four hours…”

“I’m sure Gibbs is looking for us by now,” John told her and then pulled her back when he heard a gun shot. “What the hell!” He quickly looked Ziva over. “Are you okay?”

She had already ducked down for cover as she looked around wide eyed. “I’m fine. That’s a sig,” she pointed out as there was more shots. “There is more than one shooter. Hopefully it’s …” she trailed off as another painful spasm shot through her. Ziva tried to keep from crying out loudly, but they were getting far worse than even the abuse she experienced at the hand of Saleem. “Pain is coming a lot faster than before…”

“I’m pretty sure you’re in labor,” he looked at her in shock. “I can’t believe it…” John tried to figure out where the shooting was coming from. “At least he’s not shooting at us right now, let’s move to some place safe, get out of his line of sight. Can you walk?”

Her eyes turned on him as she was clearly trying not to make him a victim of her growing anger. “Say that one more time and you will get to feel exactly what I’m feeling now,” Ziva replied as she took a deep breath. “If we can get to the car – if its still there, I can hot wire it so that we could get out of here.”

John lifted her up. “Hold on to me, I’m going to run across to the next building… that is… if the space is clear for me to run?”

“It looks it,” she replied based on what she managed get a view of through the slats of wood of the barn. “Let’s go. The quicker we are out of here the better.”

He made his way around the remains of the barn and started to run to the opposite side, still hearing the gunshots going another way. “You got a better view of the place before we got knocked out, where do we go?”

Ziva looked behind them and recognized a large tree in the distance. “This is where he took me out,” she said. Pointing at the edge of the wall that they took cover against she added, “I came from around that way. The car should be about 60 feet or so from the house on the other side.”

“I hate to disappoint you, but that’s exactly where the shots are coming from. I don’t accidentally want to get shot at even if it’s friendly fire. Is there a way around it?”

“We are on a farm. What do you think?” she asked, looking at him hard. “Put me down. I’ll go look. I’m just surprised you can even see a thing out of that one eye – your face is so swollen!”

“Well you know…” John shrugged. “When you can’t see properly, the ears take over, there’s a reason why I keep asking you things,” he pointed out and gently set her down on the ground, only letting go of her when he was sure that she was stable on her feet. “I can still see some things, although it’s mostly guess work.”

She didn’t say anything and lowered herself as low as she could before slowly peeking around the corner of the building. Narrowing her eyes, she could make out another car being parked behind where they left theirs but whoever it belonged to, the people had taken cover behind it. Looking the other way she could make out the shooter, roughly, in the distance.

Ziva was about to turn back to John when a flash of silver popped up through the windows of the car making her smile. “Gibbs is here John. They made it,” she said as she tried to figure out a way that they could get from where they were to the cars.

“And I guess the shooter is right above us?” John made his way over to Ziva and sat down on his hunches. “Is there a way inside?”

“I am not about to go inside,” she growled. “I am not interested in seeing what he has set up in this place after what he has under us. We will just have to make a run for it.”

“Alright, alright… it’s not like you’re capable of fighting and I probably won’t see where I’m hitting.” He grinned. “Gibbs?” he called out.

“Sheppard! Is Ziva with you?” Came the reply, John could hear relief in his voice.

“Yeah, lay some cover fire will you, we’re in the line of fire.” John got up and lifted Ziva back in his arms. “No way you’re running.” He told her as he heard how the shooting pattern changed into a three against one fight. “You need to tell me if you see any obstacle on the way in front of us. Am I clear to run?”

“I’m not about to argue right now,” she said as she held onto him tightly.

Gibbs eyed their shadows from where Sheppard’s voice had come from and nodded to Tony to keep up the fire fight as long as possible. “You have a clear route straight to the car!” he called out.

John took a deep breath and started to run towards the general direction he had heard Gibbs’ voice coming from and tried to ignore the sound of the guns, so he could pick up anyone talking. The car came in sight and he moved to his right, seeing the car become sharper and sharper and took him and Ziva behind the car, setting her down behind the tire.

“All clear, let’s get him,” Gibbs’ voice sounded. “Preferably alive, but I’d take him dead too.”

“Whatever,” Ziva replied as she breathed out, trying to resist screaming out. “Just – kill him already – and get us to the hospital…”

“Got him!” McGee yelled. “I’m going in!”

“No you’re not!” John called out. “Not before the bomb squad secures the place, you have no idea what he’s capable of.”

Ziva looked up and shook her head. “He has access to sarin gas,” she gritted out. “We need to get out of here. He knows too much, has access to more than you want to know. It’s like one of Tony’s movies…”

“Really?” Tony’s voice sounded.

“We should get out of here. I’ll make a call to the General and he’ll take care of this place. Nobody ever should lose their life here. We have to get Ziva to a hospital… NOW.”

She nodded. “Considering what he knows about you before NCIS, you need to have your people manage this place,” Ziva said as she shifted so that she could open the door of the car and crawl onto the floor to get to the wires under the console to try to get it started.

Gibbs appeared and handed Ziva a key. “Thank God for duplicates, and you look like hell.”

“She’s in labor,” John slowly got up and helped Ziva out of the front of the car. “And not going to jump start a car when there’s a key.” He opened the back door and helped her in. “Gibbs, you drive,” he said as he made sure that Ziva was comfortable.

“Don’t say a word Gibbs. Not now at least. Later, please,” she groaned as her hands gripped at the head of the drivers seat. “Make sure DiNozzo and McGee get out of here. As soon as there is cellular service, call your general John…”

“Just keep breathing…”

“Boss! I see movement!”

“Get in the other car McGee, and take Tony with you!” Gibbs barked as he got into the car and started it. “And you two…” he looked at Sheppard and Ziva in the rear view mirror. “We’ll talk later.” He floored the car and John had to make sure that he wasn’t falling against the window as he was holding Ziva up. Gibbs then tossed his cellphone on the back seat. “Call the general, McGee and DiNozzo are on our six.”

He grabbed the phone and punched in the numbers while he had to had Ziva check if there was cell reception. When she pressed on the green button on Gibbs’ phone he waited for the General to pick up. “General, you need to have the Hammond level a compound about… 2 miles from my current position. Matter of National Security… yes… yes we’re safe.” John hung up and within near seconds he saw the Asgard beams destroy Cobb’s handiwork. They were bright enough for him to see and breathed a sigh of relief and slumped against the seat.

“That was quick,” Ziva quietly commented as she looked out the back window before settling back. “I need to lay down…I just want to sleep now after everything.”

“Spaceship,” John whispered in her ear and smiled. “Try to sleep, we’ll be at the hospital soon…” He helped her lay down and had her head in his lap.

“Sleep? With the pain coming like every ten minutes? I don’t think so,” she snapped as she shifted, trying to find a position that wasn’t feeling as if she wanted to tear her spine out.

“Make up your mind then!” John chuckled and tried to avoid the glare Gibbs gave him through the rear view mirror.

She glared at him before her hand shot up and held him by the throat. “Don’t tell me what to do Sheppard. I can and will kill you,” Ziva threatened.

“Can’t breathe… Ziva… let go,” he begged and coughed as she released him. “Thanks.” He fought against the urge to rub his face. The adrenaline was wearing off and his face was starting to throb and his head was getting invaded by midgets who wanted to redecorate his brain. “You’re doing great, honey.”

“You two… rule twelve,” Gibbs said as he focused on the road. “What else haven’t you been telling me?”

“You know I hate your rules,” John replied. “We proved you wrong.”

“You should have told me.”

“She didn’t want me to tell you.”

“And she’s pregnant?” Gibbs said unsure.

“Believe me, it’s a surprise to us too. You’d better keep driving because she’ll most likely kill you if we don’t get to a hospital soon.”

Ziva glared at them through their entire exchange as she tried to keep on breathing the way she’d observed women do on television and movies. She had never actually seen anyone go through this herself. When Tali had been born, her father kept her away and focused on her education. “My back has been hurting, I can’t even think about how long,” she shared. “How much longer?”

“I think five more minutes,” John said and softly caressed her hair. “Just hold on for five more minutes.”

“Any place. Are we going to the local one?” she asked sitting up to peer over the seats to see Gibbs using the GPS system. “When did you learn how to use that?”

“Ducky showed me,” Gibbs replied, “And yes, we’re going to the local one, I doubt your fly boy here has other means of transportation to a better hospital.”

“Just say the word,” John whispered in Ziva’s ear.

She shook her head. “If we went by the way you want, then you will have to tell Gibbs more than you are allowed to already. If we are almost there, and they can give me drugs, then this place is just fine.”

“My place has better drugs,” he grinned and winced as Gibbs drove over a bump in the road.

Ziva cried out as her hand went to her back and she rolled to her side. “I believe it, but I’m sure that once Abby and Ducky hears about this, they will already start making arrangements to be transferred closer to home.”

John started to rub her back and looked outside, where he could see that Gibbs was already pulling up at the hospital. “We’re here.” When Gibbs stopped the car, John got out of the car and helped Ziva out as well. He then lifted her in his arms and walked towards the entrance, followed by Gibbs.

“Sir, you have to move your car,” a guard called after them as he got up from his podium at the other end of the waiting room.

Gibbs handed the guy the keys. “It’s all yours.”

“A little help here? My partner is in labor!” John called out.

Ziva let out another cry of pain mixed with irritation. “Doctor! Now!” she growled.

“Alright, alright…” A familiar voice sounded. “You got here faster than we thought!”


“Good to see ya lad! Now get the young lady on a gurney, and… what happened to your face?”

“Not important.”

Ziva rolled her eyes. “His face was used as a punching back by a suspect, and then some. He will also need his eyes checked. The rooms that we were in were bright and reflective,” she said as she pulled herself up on the hospital bed.

“Don’t,” John warned as he looked at Carson. “She’s first.”

“Alright…” Carson sighed and looked at Ziva. “Good to see you again, Ziva,” the doctor smiled. “I’m going to get your pants off you and see how much you’re dilated down there, not to worry. I am a doctor, not a pervert.”

“What?” she asked. “And things aren’t right – I’ve still had my period, haven’t gained any weight…I didn’t even know!”

It took one glare from Carson to get Gibbs out of the room and everyone else who had followed them in. “Don’t fret, young lady, I will take good care of you and the wee baby… I’m actually glad I made it in time then, your wee one will have a bigger chance of survival.”

“But how did you know? Did someone call you? I’m so confused – and ohhhh god…” she said before letting out a scream from one of the most painful spasms she ever felt since everything started.



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