'Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday'
The monotonous pattern drawn across the hospital walls was almost too much to bare. He always hated white, it stained and cracked so easily, often beyond repair.
He stepped into the still room, the darkness engulfed him, it was almost like stepping into a cold marbled room of a mausoleum after the sun had set. Complete darkness, there wasn't a hint of the silver world outside, the windows tightly shut, the chamber, a tomb-world where no sound from the great city could penetrate.
He was not alone.
Ziva lay stretched on the hospital bed, cold and uncovered, like a body on display, her eyes closed tightly, fixed to their lids by invisible threads of steel, unmoved.
The room was cold but nonetheless he felt he could not breathe. He did not wish to open the curtains, for he did not want the light to come into the room. So, with the feeling of a man who will die in the next hour for lack of air, he felt his way toward the cold bed.
An instant before his foot hit the her monitor, he knew he would hit such an object. His foot, sending vibrations ahead and receiving back echoes of the small barrier between his path to the bed, even as his foot swung. His foot kicked. The object made a dull click and slid off into the darkness. CRASH!
The noise startled her awake, the tiny tendrils connecting her to the machine slipped out of her body and her eyes once again slithered shut.
'You can't be in here'. Said a voice from the doorway. Tony spun around to face with the intruder. Immediately he recognised the man as a doctor. The warm face of the doctor was a vast contrast to the cold room that they were in, Dr. Sandoval had passed him many times whilst he waited in the hospital's corridors.
As the hours dragged on, he gave Tony a look of understanding. He had seen this before, Police and Feds alike, waiting anxiously in the hallway, debating whether or not to go into the room and see their colleague and friend.
'Ziva is stable, hers was an odd case, but she should be fine. The arrow was removed and we gave her a transfusion. If she takes her meds, she'll be out of here within a week' He said softly, so not to startle the man before him into wakefulness. His face portrayed the feelings of guilt and anger, surrounding him in a purple haze.
'Ok'. He murmured in response. 'Thanks'.
'Abigail'! Ducky yelled over the music in her lab. 'ABIGAIL'!
Abby spun around on her chair and clicked the volume down and said, 'Hi Ducky'
'I trust that you heard about what happened'. He stated solemnly. Jethro informed him of what happened when he arrived at the scene. He felt his chest drop down and split apart, his stomach rise in his throat.
It has and always will remain the same to him, women will never be viewed as equal in his eyes, until they are viewed equally in death. Ziva may not be dead, but his feelings remain unchanged, he has always been a chauvinist at heart.
'I've been analysing the compound that we found in the arrow from one of the victims to the arrow that the hospital sent me and they match'. Abby continued, deflecting the mention of Ziva.
'Well, what does it do'? Gibbs asked, appearing from the doorway and Abby smiled. Same old Gibbs.
'Well after I ran the victim's DNA and fingerprints through AFAS, I found out that these missing kids aren't missing kids at all'. Abby breathed out into one sentence.
She pulled up images of the victims and told them both, 'Every single victim's DNA and fingerprint sequence matched missing person's cases of elderly people. I think this compound actually stops and reverses the human body clock. All of the victims aged backward'.
'How long does it take for full effect'? Gibbs asked, astound by what he just heard.
'I'm no McGee but, taking into account the victim's age, the time they were missing and the age of bodies are.. I'd say one day shaves off one year'. Abby answered.
'Then we have a serious problem'. Ducky said gravely.
Indeed they did.
Author's Chapter Notes:
During a raid, Ziva is shot by an arrow, an arrow laced with a substance unknown to Abby, a substance that has been found at every one of the suspect's crime scenes. Their child murder wasn't killing children, he was turning adults into children.