Chapter Two: Ziva David, Let’s Make a Deal!
After Gibbs left his office, Leon decided to confirm the information that he’d been given and made a series of calls that included the State Department, NCIS Legal Department, Director Marshall at the CIA and Director Morrow at Homeland. He wanted to confirm that not only did he not have to keep Ziva at NCIS, but also that he could move on from her at any time as long as someone else was willing to take her. He then confirmed that both Director Marshall and Director Morrow welcomed her with their agencies. In fact, both were almost gleeful to have her with them, but Gibbs was right in that it seemed to be for different reasons.
Director Marshall could not wait to have Eli David’s baby girl on his payroll and seemed very enthusiastic at the very idea. Almost uncomfortably so in Leon’s opinion, and was somewhat glad that he had another option for her. However, if she was dumb enough to take a spot with a man whom her father considered an enemy, then that was her problem. If she chose the CIA, Leon would talk to Hanna and Callen out at the Los Angeles OSP and see if they had any contacts left at the CIA that could watch out for her. He expected though that she’d see Homeland as the better situation and the one she could most easily manipulate.
Little did she know that Morrow was a lot of things, but easily manipulated was not one of them. The man was as hard-nosed as they came and took pride in being underestimated. He knew that he was viewed as standing in the shadows of men like Marshall and Director Skinner over at the FBI, who was a cousin to Retired Admiral Chegwidden over at JAG and didn’t mind in the least. Morrow took great pride in being seen as an underdog by those that didn’t really understand how DC worked and that Tom was feared behind closed doors where the truth was more apt to come out. Morrow also made damned sure that no one ever knew who his favorites were. So, Eli’s daughter would have no idea the shit storm she would be stepping into by going to Homeland.
To say that Morrow was displeased with the way that Ziva viewed Tony and how she treated him was an understatement. The man hadn’t gone to the lengths he did to make sure that no one could ever penalize Gibbs or DiNozzo for their relationship for Gibbs’ sake. No, that was all Tony. The former Director held a soft spot in his steel lined soul for the man who had, in Tom’s words, come in and tamed the beast that was Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The fact that the Assistant Director at Homeland wasn’t at NCIS anymore wouldn’t help her in the least. Tom Morrow was one of those political powers who always knew what was going on everywhere, but especially at NCIS, and specifically with his favorite agent.
Needless to say, Tom was looking forward to getting his hands on Ziva, and then the Homeland Assistant Director would make sure that David had absolutely no other options of escape. Once she signed her paperwork for Homeland, all of her other avenues of employment would mysteriously dry up. Ziva would find herself under the sharp eye of a man who was not going to be fooled by her and would make sure the former Mossad agent did things his way. If he was able, at the same time, to find a way for her to pay for her many, many transgressions since she’d conned her way into NCIS… Well, that would be even better. As it was, her time at NCIS had come to a close, and frankly, Leon couldn’t wait to be rid of her. If Eli didn’t like it, Vance just couldn’t give two shits any longer. He was about done with Eli David and his bullshit, as well.
They’d been friends for quite some time, but Jackie frequently asked what Vance was getting out of their friendship. Leon knew it was time that he took his wife’s question seriously. It had been with great chagrin that Vance realized how one-sided his supposed friendship with the Mossad Director actually was. One of the calls he’d made was to SecDef. He’d probably pay for bypassing SecNav, but he knew Jarvis was more political than any of them liked, and he wanted to make sure that he had support from someone who really understood what was about to happen.
Fortunately, O’Neill, like Morrow, had people everywhere and was more than happy to hear that Ziva David would be moving out of NCIS. The older man had been quite happy to give his support for the move and advised Vance not to worry about SecNav, saying that he’d take care of it himself. That was music to Vance’s ears, and he was now waiting for Ziva to arrive in his office. Shortly after Gibbs left his office, Leon got an email from the MCRT Leader advising of the reports that Tony assigned to Ziva and McGee. He’d also expressed his opinion that maybe they should wait for Ziva to finish her assignment before she have her meeting with the Director.
Given that at the time he’d decided to make more calls, Leon had been happy to agree. The two of them decided that the end of the workday was a much better time for the confrontation. It would not only give the Director time to prepare, but it would give Tony time to be safely ensconced with Balboa, or at home. An hour previously, Leon got a message from Balboa that he’d sent Tony home, and before he’d left the Cold Case Team Leader informed the MCRT SFA what was going to go down. Showing his awareness of the realities of his teammates, Tony decided to take up the dinner invitation that he’d received from his mentor and the BAU Unit Chief who was also Dr. Reid’s boss.
Knowing what a crack shot Unit Chief Hotchner was, Leon felt much better about his agent’s safety, because there was no way Ziva wasn’t going to be out looking for blood. Fortunately, both he and Director’s Morrow and Marshall were aware of this. Leon had ordered a couple extra security officers to be on standby for the meeting should things get out of hand there at the Navy Yard. In addition to that, Marshall had sent over Trent Kort, and Morrow had come personally with his own security detail. Technically, Ziva had a third option, which was to give up her citizenship and position with NCIS and go back to Mossad and Israel. Leon thought this was the least likely option for her to pick, but should she take that route, Morrow had volunteered to see her to the airport with his security detail.
Once Gibbs advised that Ziva was on her way up, Leon placed a secure call to Eli, to inform him of what was going on. The conversation got quite heated, but the NCIS Director stood firm in his decision. He’d actually been quite frank with the Mossad Director about his thoughts on Eli’s handling of not only his daughter but his business dealings and their friendship. In the end, Vance made it quite clear that Ziva had three options of which she would make on her own without her father’s input, and that Leon was more than ok with the end of his friendship with his agent’s father.
Once he was done with the call, his door immediately opened, and Ziva stormed in, stopping short when she saw that she was not alone with the Director. One of Morrow’s security detail members had been stations by the door and made sure it was shut quickly, and Leon engaged the room’s lockdown protocols. This way they could have their meeting without Eli calling to interfere. “What is going on, Leon?” Ziva demanded angrily, but Leon knew he had all the cards, and just motioned toward the conference table in his office where Morrow and Kort were already sitting.
“Have a seat, Special Agent David,” Leon ordered as he stood and made his way to the table sitting at the head between the two guests from outside the agency.
“I demand,” Ziva started only to be interrupted. Director Vance had no interest in indulging her temper tantrums.
“That’s an order, David,” Vance growled, “I’m not really concerned with your demands.”
Vance was almost amused as the agent flopped angrily into a chair and fought the urge to roll his eyes. His two children hadn’t acted so immature since they were toddlers. He couldn’t wait to be rid of this headache and couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t seen the problems earlier.
“You know Agent Kort,” Leon stated starting his introductions, “but I don’t think you know Director Morrow.”
“He is the Assistant Director over at Homeland. I have asked them both here for the meeting. I have come to the realization that having you at NCIS is not working. Your attitude is affecting not just your team, but the teams around you. I literally get complaints weekly about your interactions with others inside and outside of this building. Despite how long you’ve been with us, you still refuse to follow the laws of this country and are determined to throw in everyone’s faces how things work at Mossad. You have no respect for the chain of command and have caused problems with cases in court due to either your belligerent testimony or something you screwed up while investigating.”
When Ziva started to interrupt, Leon just glared her into silence. “When I want you to speak, I will let you know. Once I decided that things were not going to work out for you at NCIS, I consulted with not only our Legal Department, but the State Department about your position with us, and found that the agreement was only that you would have a spot with a Federal Agency. It does not state specifically that we have to provide you a spot with this one. As long as another agency is willing to take you in, we can move on from your services. So, this afternoon I made some calls, and the Directors at both the CIA and Homeland have advised they are willing to take you in.”
“My father will not stand for this,” Ziva hissed angrily, and Leon just snorted.
“Your father has no say in the situation. I have already discussed things with him and informed him that I am more than ok with our friendship ending. I’ve recently come to understand how one-sided it is, and I think its time that NCIS does not have such close ties to a foreign intelligence agency. I will admit he wasn’t happy, but SecDef is aware of the possibility and advised me that both he and the president support the move.
“So, you have two options, you can choose a position at the CIA or Homeland. Agent Kort and Assistant Director Morrow are here to answer any questions that you may have as to what you will be doing for them. If you decide to take neither of their offers, then Director Morrow will be escorting you to the airport. Apparently, its written into your agreement that should you decide to turn down any employment offers, your citizenship would be immediately revoked, and you must leave the country as soon as possible. So, do you have any questions?”
“I will not work for an agency that actively works against my father,” Ziva spat angrily glaring at Kort, who just arched an eyebrow openly looking amused.
“Darling, you hurt my feelings,” Kort purred, “Director Marshall would love to have you… under him.”
“Not even if I were dead,” Ziva shot back readily, and Kort just blew her a kiss, which almost made Leon swallow his toothpick.
“Are you choosing Homeland then, or heading back to Israel?” Leon asked calmly, hoping that he was hiding his amusement well.
“I will not give up my life here to go back under my father’s thumb,” Ziva snapped, and Leon watched her eyeballing Morrow. When her lips curved upward, Vance knew that she’d reacted the way he planned. He was well aware that Eli David didn’t think much of Morrow and apparently had at some point passed his feelings onto his daughter.
“I will choose to offer Homeland my services,” Ziva murmured with her arrogance firmly back in place. “After all, I will not be gone long. Gibbs will not be pleased when he learns of your actions and will demand my return. His team needs my expertise.”
“Why in the hell would an investigative team need a spy and an assassin, Darling?” Kort queried, and Vance did a happy dance inside when he saw Ziva’s jaw tick with annoyance.
“I am much more than those things,” she insisted, but Kort just snorted. “Not really, my dear. You’re a killer and a thief of information. Neither of those things helps solve murders in any way. Frankly, as much as it pains me to say because I hate the bloody wanker, as long as they have DiNozzo they’ll continue to succeed. He’s the true secret to that team’s success, and everyone knows it, Love.”
“He is nothing but a man child and a clown,” Ziva snapped and flipped her hair over her shoulder as she smiled at Morrow. “I am looking forward to working with people who are much more professional and understand my worth.”
“I am sure that we can go far together,” she purred, and Vance almost swallowed his toothpick. Surely she wasn’t hitting on Tom Morrow. Good Jesus this was even more entertaining than he’d believed. When the older man gave her a faint smile and a nod, Leon almost gave up the game by laughing. When he saw the former Mossad Agent lean back in her chair in a way he imagined she thought seductive, he had to fight not to shake his head at her obliviousness of the situation. “I look forward to our brief time together. Although, you must understand it will be brief.”
“Gibbs is the one who demanded you removed from his team,” Vance pointed out drawing her attention back to him. “He advised that you weren’t getting any better, and your investigative skills just weren’t up to par for what was expected for his team. So, given that he requested that you be moved off his team, I wouldn’t expect him to say anything but good luck.”
“You are telling tales,” she denied, and Vance just shrugged.
“I can’t control what you believe, Ziva. I can only tell you the truth as I know it. Gibbs no longer wants you on the team. I wanted to refocus the MCRT back onto domestic crimes, and away from terrorist activities that we were forced to assign them, so you could be useful. No one else in NCIS wants you on their team, so I contacted other agencies. You have now accepted Assistant Director Morrow’s offer of a position at Homeland.” Getting up, he headed to his desk where he picked up a folder that Legal put together and dropped off for him earlier.
“Sign the papers in here, and then Director Morrow will be escorting you out. I believe he wants to speak with you. NCIS thanks you for your time with us. Keep in mind that once you leave the Navy Yard, you will not be allowed back in without authorization. Your access to our systems is already being shut down. Please leave your badge on the desk. Gibbs has already gathered your weapon from your desk. Any personal items will be packed up for you and shipped over to Homeland tomorrow. Good luck, Ziva.”
“You will regret this,” Ziva spat as she stood and stomped to the door. “You will quickly find out my worth.” When she yanked on the door, and nearly dislocated her shoulder, Leon swallowed his laugh with a sip of water from the glass in front of him. Morrow was as stone-faced as always, but Kort made no bones about sharing his amusement.
“Security protocols, Darling,” he shared as he straightened. “Director Marshall will be most vexed, but I think things have worked out for the best.”
Leon stood and moved to his desk where he could unlock the room, and maybe hide his grin behind his monitor. When the trio left, with NCIS security following to ensure no hijinks happened, Leon let out a sigh of relief and hoped that Gibbs took McGee to a conference room on another floor. They were almost rid of her without any major incident and hoped there were no last-minute mishaps. Letting his head fall back to rest against the back of his chair, Leon took a deep breath and wondered if it was his imagination that everything just seemed lighter all of a sudden.