Tooth and Nail, Part 1

id="tagline">NCIS Fan Fiction Series - Story 2

Officers Malachi Ben-Gidon and Liat Tuvia had arrived in Dubai to meet with a contact, who indicated that they had important information. They had arranged a 'dead drop' in the Main lobby of the Burj al Arab hotel. While Liat sought out the dead drop, Malachi checked in at the front desk. "Reservation for Thomas Spencer." He showed the clerk a British Passport with his alias.

"Yes, Mr. Spencer, here is your key," the clerk responded as he showed 'Thomas Spencer' the floor and location on his suite. "We hope you enjoy your stay."

As Malachi headed toward the lift, his partner caught up to him. "Did you find the package."

"Yes," Liat answered.

As they entered their suite, they opened the package. Inside was a flash drive. They took out their laptop computer and connected the device. The flash drive contained numerous pictures, nearly all of them of fellow members of Mossad, and many of them have been shown to be killed.

After looking through the pictures and identifying everyone that had been depicted, the Israeli partners opened the enclosed document. The same message had been written in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and English. Upon reading the message, Malachi used his encrypted satellite phone to make a call. "Director," he stated as the person on the other line answered. "We have a problem."

For some time, DC's number one NCIS Major Case Response Team, led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs, had a familial bond. In the past two months, that bond has grown stronger and has expanded. During a murder/robbery investigation, Gibbs found out that the adopted daughter of the victim, Catherine "C. J." McCoy, was his biological daughter. C. J.'s father willed custody of his girl to his friends Jacob and Allison White. After the team discovered the connection, the White family encouraged the team to keep in touch. While murders, mysteries, and other cases still took a lot of the team's time, they did find time to come together. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the members of this ragtag family visited their other friends and relatives. They all had decided to get together on December 9th. For the party, the Whites insisted on hosting.

Allison prepared a crock pot full of dip for Sunday football, along with plenty of tortilla chips. During the night game, Tony, C. J., Ziva, and Tessa gathered at the pool table for a round of eight-ball. Tony had just finished setting up the object balls and had pulled the rack. "Your turn to break," he called out to his partner. C. J. smiled knowingly and placed the white cue ball in position for her break shot. The young redhead's shot hit cleanly, scattering the balls, and placing the 1 and 7 in opposite corner pockets. "Excellent, C. J," Tony stated as he gave her a high five.

"Thanks," C. J. replied, "my dad taught me."

"He wouldn't have picked up the nickname 'Slim' anywhere," DiNozzo replied as he prepared to follow up his teammate's shot.

"No, but I do get the Jim Croce reference." C. J.'s adopted father's name was William, but like the character in the song, he was from the southern part of Alabama. "Everyone called him 'Bill,' but he was someone who you didn't want to mess around with."

"Neither is you other father," Tony stated. "I've seen suspects tremble upon the simple gaze of the steely blue eyes of Leroy Jethro Gibbs," he continued as he took his shot. The cue ball steered to the right of his target, going into the side pocket.

Ziva chuckled when Tony scratched. "I think you need to work on your pool skills." She turned to her partner, "Tessa, you're up." While Tessa White was not as experienced as her best friend and foster sister in Pool, she was a decent casual player herself. She immediately targeted and pocketed the 10 ball. "Nice Shot!" Ziva noted.

Tessa high-fived her partner. Tessa had given Ziva a clean shot of the 9 ball, and Ziva was able to pocket the 9, and give Tessa a clean shot of the 11. "Boo, yah!" Tessa exclaimed.

While the kids continued their round of eight-Ball, their mother was cleaning up dinner in the kitchen with help from Abby. "The only thing I was worried about," Allison commented, "with Gibbs being part of his daughter's life was that Tessa would be left out."

"Trust me," Abby answered, "There's no way either girl would be unloved by this family. C. J. actually favors Tony, and it looks like Tessa has formed a bond with Ziva."

"I've noticed that, too," Mrs. White noted. "I also noticed that your friends have this sort of personal chemistry between them. Do you know if they're in a relationship outside of work."

"Not that I know of," Abby remarked, "but no one on the team would be surprised if it did happen."

Monday morning came quickly for NCIS Director Leon Vance. He was going over some paperwork when his personal cell phone rang. "This is Vance," he stated.

"Leon," a familiar voice on the other end of the line replied, "I need a favor from you."

Meanwhile, in the bullpen, Ziva and Tony traded barbs about the previous night's pool game. "Come on, Ziva, even the best pool players scratch sometimes, it's part of the game."

"Last night, you looked like an amateur instead of a pool bear."

"It's 'pool shark,' David. Besides, we were all there to have a good time. You did enjoy yourself with your mini-ninja, right?"

"Of course," Ziva answered, giving a coy grin, "especially since we defeated you in both games."

Before Tony could say another word, his desk phone rang. "DiNozzo," he answered. He listened to the person on the other end before continuing, "sure thing, Director, we'll be right up."

"What did Director Vance want?" Ziva inquired.

"Us," DiNozzo answered.

As soon as Ziva and Tony entered the director's office, Vance motioned to them to have a seat at the conference table. Once they were seated, the director sat at the head of the table before reaching under the table for a concealed button. The windows were immediately covered with an opaque metallic shield, and the doors were sealed off. "This must be big if you're giving us the Cone of Silence treatment," Tony remarked.

"Officially, the two of you will be joining the NCIS task force in Tel Aviv."

"Obviously, my father is asking a favor from you," Ziva noted.

"As you know, tensions between Isreal and Hamas have gotten hot lately. Mossad had sent several agents undercover in Gaza. They have lost contact with all of them. Recently, someone told Mossad that they had information concerning their operatives. They dead-dropped the information via a flash drive. The flash drive containing pictures of most of the operatives, most of them killed. Eli now believes, and is operating under the assumption, that that there is a leak in Mossad."

"Does he have an idea who might be the leak?" DiNozzo inquired.

"From what I could tell, I don't think so. If he did, I doubt he would have called me. Your task is to identify the leak, and plug it."

"Why did you choose us for this assignment?" Ziva asked.

"I didn't. Your father specifically asked for you and DiNozzo. Despite your rocky relationship with him, he still trusts you. He also knew that you needed a partner you can trust with your life and, despite past animosity, he knows that Tony is the only one that fits the bill."

"It's nice to know that Eli at least realizes that you trust me, Ziva," Tony remarked.

"I also want you to know that you will not be going into this op blind. Gibbs, McGee, Abby, Ducky, and Palmer will be briefed this afternoon. They will be processing the flash drive, and provide you with any assistance you might need. Your flight for Tel Aviv is at 0300 tomorrow, so take the rest of the day to pack and get your personal affairs in order. Any questions for me?"

"No, director, though we may have some for Director David when we arrive tomorrow afternoon."

"I'm sure you will. Now, get out of here," Vance said as he took his office out of SCIF mode.

Tony and Ziva said goodbye to Gibbs and McGee, informing them that Vance would explain the situation to them, then left to pack. They both agreed that they needed to at least tell C. J. and Tessa that they were going to be gone for a while, so they agreed to meet after the girls got out of school.

The adult partners met with Allison and the kids at a park near the White's home, "Hey, C. J., little ninja," Tony said to the girls.

"Hey," C. J. replied, "what's up."

"You know that we sometimes have a dangerous job," Tony began. "Well, Ziva and I have been asked to take a particularly dangerous assignment. We're going to be out of town for a while, and we don't know when we'll be coming back."

The girls understood the situation, even if their mentors couldn't explain much. "Tony," Tessa inquired, "will you keep an eye on Ziva for me?"

"To be honest, I think Ziva will have to keep an eye on me," Tony replied.

"Kinda like how she beat you at eight-ball," C. J. remarked. "Do you guys have enough time to come to Tessa's recital tonight?"

Even though they needed to get to bed early, Ziva knew from her personal experience how it felt when her father missed her performances. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

As Tessa performed her number, she scanned the audience. She spotted C. J.'s red hair immediately. She looked to her left and spotted her parents. I knew they would be here, she thought before glancing to the right. Next to C. J. sat Tony. If he came, then Ziva had better be there. Her suspicious were confirmed as she looked at the petite brown-eyed brunette next to Tony. She also noticed that her hands were interlocked with her partner's.

After the recital was over, Tessa ran to her family with open arms. "Ziva!" she exclaimed as her big sister knelt down to receive a hug and provide feedback on her routine.

"I know Ziva's her favorite," C. J. noted to Tony, "but I'm glad you came along, too. I would have thought that you would need some time apart before you leave tomorrow."

"I couldn't resist those baby blues," Tony remarked. "This is the last time I'll see you in a while. Just do me a favor, keep your fathers in line."

"I will, if you and Ziva promise to come back in one piece. My mom and dad can wait to see you."

Tony and Ziva each went home and went to bed right away after coming home from Tessa's recital. At 0200, a US government SUV was waiting outside their respective doors to take them to Joint Base Andrews, where a Navy Gulfstream was waiting to take them to Tel Aviv.

It was early evening when the plane landed in Tel Aviv. A pair of agents from the Tel Aviv detachment greeted the D.C. agents and escorted them to a waiting SUV, where they were taken to Mossad headquarters. The director of Mossad greeted his visitors personally. "Ziva, Agent DiNozzo," Eli stated, "Please, come with me." Tony and Ziva followed Eli into the Mossad's command center. There were two other agents already seated in the room, agents that the NCIS duo had met before. As Tony and Ziva sat down, Eli began to explain the situation. "A few days ago, we received word from a contact that she had information of utmost importance. Malachi and Liat went to Dubai to retrieve and analyze the information. Once they arrived, they picked up the package and examined it. When the realized what the message was, they contacted me."

"We were told about the photos, was there anything else in the package?" Tony inquired.

"Only one thing: a document" Malachi answered. "There was writing in several languages, but they were all the same message: 'We know you. We're coming for you.'"

"And just who are they," Ziva inquired.

"That is why you are here," Eli replied. "I can not and do not trust anyone inside Mossad besides Malachi and Liat, nor do I trust anyone else in Israel to investigate."

"Which is why you called your friend and counterpart at NCIS," Tony noted. "It sounds like this is a joint investigation. Agent David, since you are familiar with both organizations, I believe you are most qualified to lead."

"How very generous of you, Agent DiNozzo," Ziva answered. "Officer Ben-Gidon, what did you do with the physical package you received in Dubai?"

"Per the director's instructions," Malachi responded, "we hand-delivered it to the NCIS Dubai office, and instructed the special agent in charge to have it sent directly to Agent Gibbs in DC."

"Speaking of which," Ziva replied, "I think we'd better call him and let him know we made it."

"On it, boss." Tony stated as instructed Liat on how to contact MTAC in Washington.

Once the connection was established, the faces of Vance and Gibbs appeared on the main screen. "Director, Gibbs," Ziva stated. "as you can tell, we made it to Mossad in one piece."

"What's the situation?" Gibbs inquired.

"The only ones over here that know about this op are in this room," Ziva noted. "Until we find the source of the leak, no one is above suspicion. You should be receiving a package from Dubai. Have Abby and McGee run forensics on it."

"Eli," Vance added, "until we find your leak, I suggest you run your day to day operations as you normally would. If there is a mole in your agency, we don't want to spook him."

"I agree Leon," Eli replied. "Shalom." As the call ended, the Mossad director turned to his team. "I arranged two adjoining rooms at the Rothschild for you. Your cover will be as a pair of visiting married couples. It's getting late. Get some rest."

Gibbs entered the forensics lab with his ever-present coffee and a Caf-POW for his favorite scientist. "What do you got, Abs?"

"I was able to get a partial off the casing of the flash drive that did not match either Officer Ben-Gidon or Officer Tuvia. I'm running it through the database that Director David provided."

"What about the contents of the flash drive?"

"It looks like she used a fresh flash drive. I looked for signs of deleted files, found nothing. The photos were taken by the same camera over the past month. There's no embedded location data, so I can't tell where the photos were taken, but it's a good bet they weren't all taken in the same place." Before Abby could continue, the computer beeped to indicate that a fingerprint match had been found. "That's impossible," Abby noted as she saw the name of her match.

"Remember rules 3 and 8."

"Don't believe what you're told, and never take anything for granted. That will be on the docket first thing tomorrow," Abby answered, quoting both of the rules.

Tony, Ziva, Malachi, and Liat were driven from Mossad headquarters to the Rothschild Hotel in a black SUV from the Israeli Government's motor pool. As they made their way to the hotel, Tony spoke up, "I know the last time we worked together, things between us didn't exactly go smoothly."

"That was an understatement," Liat noted. "I bet you still wish you had video of our little kitten fight," she continued teasingly.

With Ziva, Tony would have corrected her. However, he decided to let this misplaced expression slide. "Ziva is not the only connection between NCIS and Mossad. Eli David and Leon Vance have been friends for over 20 years; Amsterdam was a career maker for both of them. So, is in not too much to ask that we work together."

"I agree with Agent DiNozzo," Malachi replied. "For this operation to be successful, we will need to have each others back."

After spending much of the next day touring Tel Aviv with an enthusiastic American-born Italian in town, the couples had dinner at the Rothschild's on-site restaurant. As the waiters came to their table with dinner, Ziva received a phone call. She excused herself from the table to take the call. "So, I take it the two of you are still together personally," Tony noted.

"What, are you jealous," Liat teased. "Do you have something against teammates sleeping together."

"Me, no, but the boss man back in DC does," Tony responded. "I think it's because he was heartbroken when Jenny chose her career over him."

Malachi joined in with some advice. "I think our relationship has helped us more than it hurt us. Yes, we're both married to our job, much like the two of you. However, knowing your partner intimately, even if it's nothing serious, means you know your partner professionally."

Tony understood where his counterpart was coming from. Ever since Ziva became part of the NCIS team, they had complimented each other. "I think that bond between me and Ziva is just as strong, and probably a little more serious, despite the lack of sexual relations. I know I trust her with my life. I can't speak for her, but I'd be willing to bet she feels the same way."

Before they could continue their conversation about personal relationships, Ziva returned to the table. "That was Gibbs. He said they got a print off the flash drive. He didn't go into details, but he is having Abby run the print through the FBI and Interpol databases. He's hoping to get an ID on our informant by tomorrow morning."

McGee walked in to the lab to check on the progress with the fingerprint. "Hey, Abs, do we have anything new on our print?"

"Just got a hit," Abby answered. "The FBI database identifies the print as belonging to a Lauren Sloane. "She's from the small town of Lebo, Kansas. Went to the University of Kansas, majored in business and dance. She spent a few years teaching at a dance studio in Kansas before moving to Baltimore."

"She looks familiar," Tim commented. "Pull up the security footage we got from the Burj al Arab." The hotel was forthcoming in providing their security video to the NCIS office in Dubai, who forwarded the footage to DC. "Okay, there's where Liat picked up the flash drive. Now rewind the feed." Tim and Abby kept their eyes on the drop spot while watching the reverse time-lapse. "Stop it right there." The video timestamp indicated that the dead drop occurred three hours prior to the recovery. Abby ran facial recognition between the photo of Lauren Sloane and the women in the video. The comparison came back positive. "What's a dance teacher from Baltimore doing making a dead drop in Dubai?"

"That's not all that's hinky about her," Abby stated, revealing the positive match from the Mossad database.

"Do you still have that aging program loaded?"

"I do."

"Let's see what happens when we age match the two photos."

Tony and Ziva managed to act like a married couple, albeit a slightly bickering couple, all the way from the restaurant to the room. Ziva had already unpacked a secure laptop provided by Director Vance. "Better guard that with your life," Tony teased, "and if someone shoots at you, you may as well use it as a shield." Ziva answered him by punching him in the shoulder before powering on the computer. There were no messages from Gibbs, McGee, or Abby concerning the op. "You do know it's nearing the end of their shift over there," Tony continued. "Until then, it's just you and me, sweet cheeks."

Ziva raised an eyebrow when she heard DiNozzo calling her by a pet name. "Are you trying to hit me?" Ziva inquired.

"That's hit on you," Tony replied, "and we're supposed to be a married couple, are we not?"

"Are you not worried on what would happen if Gibbs found out we slept together?"

"You mean like what our Mossad counterparts are doing right now? Not really. The question is, do you trust me?"

Ziva took a minute to think about it before answering, "Yes, Tony."

"Than trust me now, it will be fine," Tony stated as he lifted Ziva and placed her into the bed.

McGee and Abby went up to the bullpen to advise Gibbs on their findings. "We confirmed that Lauren was the one who made the drop for our Israeli friends," Tim noted. "I searched her finances, nothing out of the ordinary. Her flight records indicate that she returned to Baltimore right after making the drop."

"Go pick her up," Gibbs instructed.

"There's just one other thing," Abby continued. "Remember the hit we got off of the Israeli database? We did an age-adjusted facial comparison between the a known photo of the Israeli and the photo of Lauren. The facial recognition was a match. There's something hinky about Miss Lauren Sloane."

As Ziva once told me, Tony remembered, Mossad operatives usually start their day at 0500. Tony decided to beat his 'work wife' to the punch. He got up at 0330 and removed the laptop from the room safe. He plugged it in and established as secure connection to the NCIS servers. Once the secure connection was set up, he logged in to his email. Sure enough, they managed to get a clean fingerprint. He read the email from Abby. Holy Cow, Tony thought, this girl's got a dual identity. Fortunately, he had not prepared a cup of coffee, otherwise, he would have spit coffee all over the laptop. He hooked the laptop to the hotel-provided multifunction printer to print the photo of Lauren Sloane for his Israeli counterparts.

He knew that Ziva would be shocked by the picture.

"I'm Special Agent Gibbs, and this is Special Agent McGee. We're with NCIS. We're here about your recent visit to Dubai."

"I know, and I've been hoping that you would be the one to come, Agent Gibbs. I've read up on you. Please come in." Lauren led her guests to a couch in the living room, then went into the kitchen to prepare some coffee. She brought out a coffee pot for her guests and poured a cup for Gibbs, black, just as he liked it. "I know you're wondering why my fingerprints matched two different names. Obviously, I wasn't originally from Kansas. When I was 16, I met this lady by the name of Hetty Lange. Apparently, she was an old 'spook' in the intelligence business. She learned that I was being specifically targeted by Palestinian terrorists, apparently on a tip from someone inside Mossad. For some reason, she felt the need to save me from this certain death. She deliberately made me miss my bus that day. Just after I would normally get on, the bus was destroyed in an attack. She then took me to the states, set me up with a foster family in Kansas, and established a new identity for me."

"Hetty Lange is now an Operations Manager in our Los Angeles office," McGee noted.

"I made some friends in the intelligence community." Lauren replied. "I got word from a friend indicating that the Palestinians had received information about Mossad operations. I paid him a visit in Dubai, glanced over the information, and knew that it needed to be shared with someone very close to the top."

"Why didn't you contact Director David directly."

"Do you think my father would believe that his baby girl was alive?" she inquired. "I had to prove who I was, That's why I dead-dropped the drive to my father's most trusted team. I figured the bombshell would require him to call in a favor to your director. While my day job is as a dance teacher, I still know a few things about the spy business."

Gibbs and McGee were still shocked over the young woman's revelation. "Would you mind if we brought you to the Navy Yard, and confirm your story with Hetty?"

"I expected nothing less," the young woman replied.

Once again, the Tel Aviv team spent the day sightseeing while waiting for more information. Over lunch, Tony showed the team the photo of the woman they knew as Lauren Sloane, and of the suspicions the Washington team has about her true identity.

Late in the afternoon, Tony and Ziva walked together along the Mediterranean shoreline, hand in hand. "I cannot believe that, after all this time, she has possibly been alive and living in the US," Ziva noted to her best friend and confidant. "After seeing that photo, I am almost sure of it. It's something a sister knows."

Tony nodded in silent agreement. He knew that his technically minded brethren back in Washington had tweaked and tested the photo, and suspected what his partner all but knew in her heart. "If she is who we think she is, I wonder what she would think of us?"

"She would probably like you, Tony. You're witty and fun to be around, even if you can sometimes be a pain in the ass."

"Ziva David, are you actually admitting that you actually like my company?"

The petite Israeli moved closer to her green-eyed Italian partner. "Right now, I couldn't think of a better person to be with."

Upon returning to the Navy Yard office, Gibbs and McGee escorted his guest directly to MTAC. McGee established a connection to the operations center in the Los Angeles office. The call was answered by a young woman that Gibbs was unfamiliar with. "Hello?" she asked.

"This is Special Agent Gibbs in Washington," Gibbs stated. "We need to speak to Hetty Lange. It's regarding a case we're working on."

"I'll go get her," the young woman answered as she left the room.

A minute later, the woman returned, accompanied by a much older woman. "Thank you, Miss Jones," the older woman stated. "Agent Gibbs, how can I help you?"

"I needed to double-check on something," Gibbs responded. "Do you know this young woman?"

Hetty observed the young brunette standing next to the senior agent. "Yes, Agent Gibbs. I saved Tali David from a Palestinian suicide attack back in 2001. I gave her a new identity and placed her with a family stateside. She is a bright young woman, and I thought at the time her future was too promising to lose."

"Hetty," Tali stated, "Whoever targeted that bus all those years ago may be back. A friend of mine had something he needed to share with me. I went to Dubai to pay him a visit. After reading the information that he provided, I knew that the info needed to go straight to my father, so we arranged a dead-drop."

"Why didn't you come straight to me with the information? You do know that Director Vance and your father have a longstanding friendship."

"I know. I just figured this was a better way of achieving the same results. As much as I am thankful to you for saving my life in Israel, I would like to reconnect with my family."

Hetty nodded in acknowledgment. "Agent Gibbs, my office is at your disposal should you need anything."

"Actually, if you could stay on the line, we'll get Tel Aviv on."

Ziva and Tony were back in their hotel room, engaging in sexual foreplay, when the phone rang. The couple got back to business as Ziva answered. "Understood, aba," Ziva replied as she hung up. "Gibbs has something for us, we need to go back to Mossad for a video conference."

"We might want to freshen up," Tony noted. "Lest the boss suspect anything."

The couple quickly took turns showering and got dressed in comfortable work cloths. They met up with their Israeli counterparts in the front lobby. Late evening traffic was fortunately light, and they made it to Mossad headquarters in near record time. "I take it Ziva was driving," Eli commented as the four made their way to the operations room. Malachi and Liat nodded in acknowledgment.

Once in the operations room, Liat opened the connection with Washington. "Gibbs," Ziva stated, "what bring you to contact us?"

"We were able to find our person of interest. She was very forthcoming."

Talia David, also known as Lauren Sloane, stepped forward out of the shadows and into plain view of the Tel Aviv team. "Shalom, aba, Ziva."

While the entire team suspected it, the fact that Talia was alive and had been living in the US under an assumed name still shocked the Israeli team. Eli showed little outward emotion, yet his eyes still got damp. Ziva, on the other hand, shed tears of joy. Tony was glad that Ziva was happy, but wrapped his arm around her in a consoling embrace anyway. Tali and Hetty re-told their story on how they met, and how Tali came to the States.

Once Tali and Hetty finished, Tony brought up the present. "We've still got someone trying to destroy Mossad from the inside, and we've been sitting around doing nothing."

"On the contrary, Agent DiNozzo," Tali answered, "You've gotten an all expenses paid tour of Tel Aviv with three of the best tour guides, and you have found me. There's something going on her much bigger than just a mole in Mossad. The fact that I was targeted to be a victim of a suicide bombing indicates that someone has a vendetta against my father."

The others nodded in agreement as Liat stood up to offer a suggestion. "Opening the past may be a dangerous proposition; however, the past may hold the key to finding whoever is trying to burn Mossad."

"I'm sure that my father has more than his fair share of enemies, however, we could rule out enemies from the more recent past. We can open that can of worms tomorrow morning," Tali concluded. "In the meantime, I'm sure my sister has an intimate encounter to get back to. I'll contact my friend before I go to bed tonight and arrange a meeting for you."

"Is your sister serious about you two sl"

Gibbs's question was interrupted by a head slap by Tali. "Not much gets past me, Gibbs. I can see the beginning of something grand between those two. If you have any problem with those two together, I suggest you get over it fast." The entire team was still shock by Gibbs receiving a head-slap to question her. "I'll let you know more about your meet tomorrow morning."

Once back at the hotel, Tony and Ziva discussed the revelation that Tali was alive. "I'm not sure which is more amazing, the fact that you sister is alive, or that she had the gall to she head slap Gibbs," Tony noted

"It's still a shock to me, too," Ziva responded. Tony pulled her up so that her eyes were level with his. Looking into her older partner's green eyes, she saw a longing for passion and untapped sexual energy. Seeing that look in his eyes made her cognizant of her own untapped passion. Remembering one of Tony's favorite movie characters, the Israeli assassin instinctively planted her lips upon his. After pulling away from the kiss, Ziva gave Tony a devilish grin, indicating that she had something special planned for him. She swiftly wrapped her legs around Tony's waist. "I seem to recall," Ziva noted, "that you always liked a good squeeze."

The feeling of Ziva's muscular legs constricting against his waist aroused Tony. She definitively knows what I like, he thought. With his partner still attached to him, Tony DiNozzo walked across the room to the front door. He opened the door slightly, hung the 'Do Not Disturb' tag on the front doorknob, then closed and dead-bolted the door before walking back to the bed, all while Ziva remained clinged to his torso. "I think I'm the luckiest man alive." Tony commented as he fell backwards onto the bed.

"I can tell," Ziva answered as she released her grip and gave her mate a sultry smile, "and that is definitely not your knee."

As Gibbs got ready to drive Tali home, he received a phone call. "Yeah, Gibbs."

"Gibbs, this is Jacob. I was wondering if you could do us a favor. Allison and I had planned a night out together, and our babysitter just cancelled. We were wondering if you could come by and watch the kids for a while?"

Tali had a keen sense of hearing, and was able to discern the other side of the conversation. She also wanted to spend more time with her sister's co-workers. "I don't have any classes scheduled for tomorrow, besides, I could still be of help on your case."

Gibbs acknowledged the response from his passenger. "I've got a guest tonight, but she says she would love to meet the kids. I'll be there in 15 minutes."

Upon arrival at the White residence, Gibbs rang the doorbell. A look of relief was on Jacob's face when Jacob saw who was at the door. "Gibbs, thank you for coming on such short notice."

"The pleasure is all mine," Gibbs answered. As he entered the living room, he received a warm hug from his daughter. "Hey, Catherine."

"Hey, aba," C. J. replied.

Tali was surprised that the young redhead referred to Gibbs as 'father' in Hebrew. "Are you two related?"

"Catherine is my biological daughter," Gibbs explained. "Two months ago, her adoptive father was murdered. His Will gave custody of her to the Whites. We found out that she was mine soon after, and the Whites welcomed me into their home."

Tessa followed her sister out to greet Gibbs, she stopped when she noticed the young woman accompanying him. "Hi," she introduced herself, "I'm Tessa."

"Hello Tessa, My name is Talia. I'm Ziva's little sister."

"I thought Ziva said you were dead."

"Obviously, I am not. Someone upstairs decided to save me at the last minute. It's a long story," Tali noted. She noted the young brunette had a poise and grace that Tali looks for in her dance students. "Are you a dancer?"

"Yes, I am," Tessa answered. "I just had a recital on Monday. Ziva and Tony came to see me before they left."

Tali noted a spark in the young girl's eyes when she mentioned Ziva. "You really like her, don't you."

"Yeah, she's great to be around," Tessa noted. "When I grow up, I want to be a kick-ass ninja like her."

While Tali bonded with Tessa, Gibbs sat down with his daughter. "How are you doing in school."

"I'm on track for straight 'A's in all my classes this semester. I think Tessa's going to have a couple of 'B's, but Mr. and Mrs. White are still proud of our grades. I also did an extra credit book report on the new 'Deep Six' book." C. J. delivered a coy grin before delivering the rest of the story. "My classmates were shocked when I told them I was friends with Thom E. Gemcity."

Gibbs smiled at his daughter's remark. He knew that his team would definitely get a chuckle out of that. "I'll make sure McGee gives you a very personal autograph."

TO BE CONTINUED...