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So I'm absolutely terrified about posting this up. But I figured it was time to pop my story-writing cherry, so here it is. First part written while pumping out over 50 basements in one weekend. Thanks, Irene. Who knew it would take a hurricane to get me off my ass and write the scenes that have been floating around in my head? Feedback absolutely welcomed. Usual disclaimer about how I don't own or profit from NCIS here.


Ziva had felt it coming all day. She'd fought it in the trenches--in front of the basement vending machines and in the midst of Abby's mass of computers. She'd fought it in the air--the top row of seats in MTAC and the roof, where she could occasionally be found walking through cases in her mind. However, here in the final push of the day, even her years of Mossad training couldn't help the NCIS agent. The sneeze was coming. Apart from that one incident in the interrogation room a few years ago, Ziva had never had an allergic reaction to anything. Thus, despite her firm grip on denial, Agent David was getting sick.

She turned away from the firefighters still clearing the air from the arson scene where a Navy lieutenant commander's house had once stood. She turned away from Ducky and Palmer, who were both knelt over said lieutenant commander's remains. Most importantly, she turned away from Gibbs and dropped the bag of sensitive evidence into his outstretched hand just in time. Her breath hitched once, and a throaty "h'tessch…" followed, caught in a white-gloved hand.

McGee stared at her, puzzled. "I don't think I've ever heard you sneeze before, Ziva," he remarked, brows furrowed.

Gibbs had a more traditional response. "Bless you," he murmured through his usual smirk.

"Has anyone ever seen Ziva sneeze before?" McGee stood up a little straighter in his attempt to poll the crowd of investigators.

Ziva looked as though she intended to reply to one of them, most likely Gibbs, but another sneeze struck as unavoidably and desperately as the first. "ihh… HESSCHiu!" This one bent her slender form double at the waist, and her dark braid swung over her ear. This time it was Palmer who blessed her, and heartily at that.

"The smoke," she lied to the team and herself, sniffling. It was a lame excuse at best, given that the firefighters' PPV fans had easily cleared the building so the investigators could work. However, nobody questioned it, at least aloud.

Ziva wiped her nose on the back of her glove, then turned the offending glove inside out. She tossed it in the trash on her way out the door.

The chilly September air didn't seem to do her any favors. She shivered, then her head snapped forward with a pair of sneezes. The first was uncovered. By the second, she was able to pull a handkerchief out of her jacket pocket and sneeze viciously into it, balled up in her fist.

"HETSHihhhh! h… hh'ESSHHHIUU!"

She swallowed against a rapidly worsening sore throat and briefly laid her head on her arms. A slight shuffling on the porch, no doubt so she wouldn't jump, roused her. She looked up to find Dr. Mallard gazing down at her with a quietly amused expression.

"Are you quite alright, Agent David?" he asked. She swallowed against the congestion. "Yes," she said, meeting his eyes. "I am… as you say… just bucky."

"Just me, dear," he replied absently, lugging a case of medical equipment into the crime scene.

Ziva rubbed her eyes wearily. She may have been breaking with tradition by becoming sick, but she wasn't about to break it and actually remember an English idiom. Not today, anyway.


TBC :laugh:

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Ziva looked as though she intended to reply to one of them, most likely Gibbs, but another sneeze struck as unavoidably and desperately as the first. "ihh… HESSCHiu!" This one bent her slender form double at the waist, and her dark braid swung over her ear.

This is my favourite bit :hug: Great story! TBC? Yes please!

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  • 2 weeks later...

:winkkiss: :winkkiss: :shy: Thank you guys so much. It was really hard for me to take the first few big steps in posting that up. I'm so happy you guys have liked it. Let me know if there's any scenarios you really like or want to see with Ziva, either in this story or a different one.


Though Ziva usually fought to drive, today she was oddly complacent to sit in the back of the modified ambulance. Luckily there was no way for McGee and Tony to see her. She was sitting with her head tipped back, eyes closed against the building sinus headache, listening intently to their chatter about the arson suspect. She didn't realize how thickly or how often she was sniffling.

"Ziva, you crying back there?" Tony brayed.

"Yes," she snapped. "I am thinking of all the ways I could have treated the girl you took out last night better than you did." Furtively, she scrubbed at the underside of her nose with her handkerchief to no avail.

"And to think there are so many such women, Tony." She put on a face, mocking the 'brave doctor' film trope as she peeked through to the front of the vehicle. "It slays me, I just can't s... save them a--hih-HETSSCH!" The force of the sneeze caused her to lift her knees off the seat, bent jack-knifed in front of her, only held in by the seat belt at her lap.

"Bless you," McGee said, sounding as fascinated as he had been at the crime scene. Ziva rolled her eyes.

She shivered suddenly in her thin beige sweater. She reached a hand up and turned the heat in the back higher.

"Can you stop playing with that?" Tony smirked. "That's the third time since we left the crime scene."

"Can you drive any faster?" Ziva called back. "I am incredibly bored back here. To fears, honestly."

"To tears, Ziva," McGee corrected. Tony was practically giggling as he decelerated to a playful crawl.

"That does not even make sense," Ziva tried to argue. "Why would I cry? All I have is fear that I will never, ever get back to my place of work." And my nice warm bed, she finished mentally. "And another thing, To...n'TSSHieh!" She was interrupted again, sneezing into the side of her hand.

"Would you stop that already?" DiNozzo asked, eyes concerned and amused. They quickly shifted back to focused as his cell phone rang. "Talk to me, boss…" His brows furrowed.

"ihh… hah-ITSSCHihhh…" Ziva sneezed into cupped hands, eyes casting about desperately for anything she could use to wipe her hands or blow her nose. Her hands remained there, steepled, as Tony quickly accelerated the van.

"Seriously Ziva, knock it--"


"--off, I'm trying to listen to the boss."

"Excuse be," Ziva sniffled. She was either blushing or slightly feverish.

"They found the arsonist," Tony hung up and threw the phone at McGee, then swung a hard left turn. "He's heading for the Madison Street bridge, probably to dump evidence, possibly armed." They made rapid time to the low-slung concrete bridge, and the adrenaline rush seemed to do wonders for Ziva's congestion. By the time the team stepped out of the vehicle, she felt almost like her normal, paper-clip wielding self again. Her focus only sharpened as the arsonist opened fire.

The team returned each volley, but the arsonist darted between parked cars and managed to avoid every bullet. After a pause, McGee darted out from behind cover to try to get a better vantage point. The assailant took the opportunity to fire, glancing off McGee's side and knocking the wind out of him. Ziva and Tony didn't move until they watched the gunman throw his weapon to the side. Tony gestured Ziva toward the suspect as Gibbs pulled up behind them. As Ziva took off toward the suspect, she could hear Tony's voice behind her.

"Seriously, Probie? Counting shots is only for the movies, and I would know." Ziva caught a glimpse in a car's rearview mirror of Tony cradling the bruised agent as she sprinted, cheeks and nose flushed against the 55-degree chill. They were halfway across the bridge by the time Ziva came within three strides of him. He was tall and fast, looked ex-military, probably Marines.

The man reached into his jacket pocket. In one fluid motion, Ziva raised her weapon and fired into his left shoulder. He dropped the ka-bar he had been drawing onto the concrete and clutched his arm. Ziva stepped closer. "Hands up," she demanded, sniffling roughly. While he complied initially, when Ziva went to cuff him, he turned and swung a kick at her. She drew him close, one hand tightly gripping the handcuff attached to his right wrist, and landed several good blows on his kidneys. However, he soon found that his left hand was working, and he grabbed the front of Ziva's collar, attempting to throw her over the Jersey barrier and into the twelve-foot-deep creek.

The agent shoved back, dropping her shoulder and executing a well-timed judo throw. But the arsonist wouldn't let go. With the scrape of fabric on concrete and a dizzying yaw of Ziva's sinuses, they both fell. Ten feet of air, and then twelve feet of water, greeted them below.

Ziva couldn't tell if it was her imagination or if she heard Gibbs crying out "Ziva!" far behind her.

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