Saturday, March 30, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 44

McGee centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

44. And If We Can't Protect, We Avenge

Tony dropped Abby off at Tim's and then headed toward Ziva's place. He's not sure what to say to her when he gets there. Not entirely sure if he wants her to be there when he gets there.

He parks, sees her car, knows this has to be dealt with, and hopes she'll let him in enough to help.

He knocks on the door. It takes a few minutes but he hears her moving around in there.

She opens the door, in her bathrobe, and he can see pajama pants under it. She's looking sleepy and confused that he'd be there.


"Can I come in?"

"Yes. What is going on?"

"Just wanted to see you." He flips on the TV and pops the first DVD he finds into the player. She's staring at him, wondering why he'd be doing this. He knows it's unlikely her place is bugged. But it's not impossible, and Bodnar is at least as good as she is at this kind of stuff, so he's not tipping his hand.

"You missed our date night," he says, turning up the volume while sitting on her sofa and patting the cushion next to him, hoping she'll sit down next to him and just talk.

"Do we have to do this at one in the morning?"


She sits down next to him, looking exasperated. "I'm fine, Tony."

"Are you?" His eyes are soft as he asks. "Fine Ziva hangs out with us and plays laser tag and kills Palmer nineteen times in the first twenty minutes. Fine Ziva eats pizza with us, and laughs when we make jokes, and rolls her eyes with me when McGee and Abby get too cute." He leans in close to her, lips an inch from her ear, voice very low. "And fine Ziva doesn't shut us out when she's planning on killing someone."

He can see her understand why he's got the movie on now, and why the volume is on high.

"Tony." Her voice is soft, and she's staring him in the eyes. He's not sure if that look is angry, sad, or pleased.

I will hold him down...
His hand finds hers, and squeezes gently. "You are not alone. No matter what you do about this, we've got you. McGee is taking care of your computer right now, making sure your tracks are covered properly. Abby and Palmer are ready to make sure that when you're done with Bodnar, no trace of him is ever found. Breena will give all of us an alibi and access to a crematorium if need be. And if you want, I will hold him down while you kill him."

"Tony, you can't..."

"I can, and I will. I meant it, whatever you need, I am here for. And if you want this to be just you and Vance, we'll do it that way, too. But we can't help if you won't talk to us. So, please, talk to me."

And she did.

When Tim got home, Abby was still up.

"All done?"

He looks at her curiously and mouths the word, "Bugs?"

She shakes her head, no. After attacking Tim's computer, checking to make sure his place was safe was the second thing she did.

"For now." He sat down on the bed next to her.

"You're good with this?" she asks, holding his hand in hers.

He nods. "Yeah. He hired someone to spray bullets into a residential neighborhood during dinnertime on a Friday night to try and stop a peace deal. He killed Mrs. Vance. It was only luck the kids weren't there. Only luck a stray bullet didn't hit someone else. And he was trying to start a war by doing it. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dead people if that had happened. We can't try him without an international incident, and possibly war breaking out. I'm fine with this."



"Yeah. Look, I know Ziva's dad wasn't a saint. I know he screwed her over badly, more times and in more ways that we probably know about, and honestly, if it was just him, I wouldn't be fine with this, but Mrs. Vance... That's over the line. We protect our own, and if we can't protect them, we avenge them."

He nods at her.

"What'd you do?"

"Mostly just made it harder for anyone to see what she's doing. She won't tip him off if he's keeping watch on who is watching him. I didn't totally wipe her tracks clean. I'm thinking that when we catch him, she's going to keep looking for him, for at least a year, and periodically after that, that way if anyone better than me does get a hold of her computer, they'll see her hunt for him didn't stop when he vanished."

"Makes sense. Anyone gets a hold of her computer, they'll know you did it."

"Sure, but I don't think it'll matter. Hunting for him isn't illegal. She can claim she was working the case. I can claim I was helping. And, yeah, she's not supposed to be on that case, but I am, and as long as we're trying to bring him in, we're still on the right side of legal. And as long as she doesn't stop looking for him when he finally vanishes, that'll make it harder to pin killing him on us."

She nods at that. He gets up, gets ready for bed, and snuggles in next to her. And, while it's true that both of them understand the need for this, that on an intellectual level both of them know this is right, it's also true that both of them were still awake when the sun rose three hours later.

April 21, 2013 was the last time anyone saw Ilan Bodnar alive. He'd been in hiding for months at that point, but he came up on the facial recognition software on a traffic cam in DC.  

April 22, 2013, a safehouse in DC, abandoned by Mossad in 2006 when it was compromised, burned to the ground. The official report showed that faulty wiring and years of neglect combined to cause the fire.

April 23, 2013 The Slater Funeral Home and Crematorium cremated one unrecorded customer, along with three bags of clothing, a tarp, a roll of duct tape, the carpet and upholstery of a van, and a knife.

No one ever asked any questions. And after it was done, no one at NCIS ever talked about it again.

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