Chapter 1: Is Anybody Out There? Is Anybody Listening?
Four months ago, Ziva David, Anthony Dinozzo and Timothy McGee, to quit their jobs and hand in their badges as NCIS Agents to Director Leon Vance.
Ziva doesn't regret her decision - she never will and she knows for a fact that Tony and McGee feel the same way.
They were always in this together, her, Tony, McGee, Gibbs, Abby, Ducky and Jimmy. It was not fair for Gibbs to take the fall all by himself.
She'd meant what she said in Gibbs' cabin; finding a way to get Parsons off their back was not about being able to keep their job, it was about protecting her family.
They were the ones who had remained by her side, despite everything they've been through together. She was going to do everything in her power to protect them even if it was from herself.
Unemployment comes with plenty of free time, they all realised.
For Ziva, it meant more time to work out, catch up with old friends, spend time with Tony and look for a house. She loved her apartment but she felt like it was time for a change. That was what drove her to travelto Israel less than a month after she quit.
She decided to finally sort out the fortune she inherited from her father; sell some of the properties, transfer some of the money to a separate account so that she could buy the house she wanted to and give up the rest to various charities.
Maybe Eli had built his fortune using illegal and sometimes unethical methods but Ziva was going to be damned if it wasn't going to be used for a good cause.
She was collecting anything that seemed important to her from the farm house in Yavne'El when she was attacked by three men. One of them managed to shoot her in the right leg but she managed to kill them and flee to the centre of Tel Avil to seek help from her old friend Deena Bashan who was a doctor as she couldn't go in an actual hospital, from fear of being found.
Later, she would classify that meeting as a turning point in her life.
McGee, spent the time he was unemployed and his reinstatement as a NCIS Agent, with his girlfriend Delilah Fielding, a DoD cryptologist.
Even though they had only been together for two months, to McGee she had become one of the most important people in his life.
He could actually see their relationship progressing into something more permanent.
But that had to be put on hold as he was busy investigating and trying to take out Parsa and his terrorist ring that was responsible not only for the bomb that killed the Secretary of Navy and a dozen people but for the death attempts at his team mates' lives.
Abby Sciuto split her time between three things. Being worried about the lives of the people she loved, trying to find those who threatened said people and getting to know her newfound biological brother, Kyle.
If she wasn't spending her days torturing herself with different scenarios for how one of them could be killed, she was collecting all her favors and trying to locate Ziva so that she and Tony could come back. This way, they could all put an end to Parsa's terrorist actions and their lives could get back to normal. If only she knew how wrong she was.
Vance, after deciding not to quit from Director of NCIS (He was in too deep and would never truly stop worrying about the agency and the people who worked there), spent some time with his children. It was just two weeks in a family fishing camp but it was enough to repair some of the damage that his wife's death had caused.
They had not accepted an invitation to talk to a professional about how they had changed after their mother's passing but Vance managed to get them to open up a little bit.
He even got them to laugh when he on purpose fell from the fishing boat and into the lake.
Tony didn't get to do much until Ziva invited him to Israel or more specifically, until he took it upon himself to find an ex-Mossad officer who was trained in disappearing and hiding her tracks.
He worked out more (a habit he had gotten from Ziva, he told himself. He didn't dare to admit that it was because he was getting older), drank more than usual (thankfully McGee was there to talk some sense into him before the situation got out of hand) and bought a goldfish that he named Kate, after his deceased co-worker. It was a good companion. Listened to him but it didn't talk back. Well, it was better than talking to himself.
He spent an embarrassing amount of time talking to it even though he knew that it didn't understand him and could not offer any reply of sorts.
He often wondered if the lack of investigating murders had made him go crazy but he found out that McGee felt the same way as well.
His communication with Ziva while she was in Israel was the highlight of his entire day and it got him hoping that maybe they could finally make the transition from friends (they weren't coworkers anymore) to something more.
But then his apartment was sho at by gunfire, the rest of his team had had someone threaten their lives and he spent four months searching for Ziva, only to find her a completely different person to the one he had known for 8 years.