new scene

the changed verse
Escaping Hell-Dogs

new scene


“I swear, if you make a single joke about riding me, I will kill you.”

Tony was holding on for dear life – trying his best not to touch her boobs – and hadn’t thought about it, though he had no doubt that given some time, there were a whole lot of dubiously work-allowed comments waiting to be uttered.

“Just—get us the hell out of here,” he said instead, breathing fast.

“I am trying.” He couldn’t argue with that; Ziva was galloping as quickly as she could across the streets. “Are they still following us?”

Tony did his best to turn his head to look back while still holding onto her. He couldn’t see their pursuers anymore, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there.

Hell-dogs. Really, this job had gotten way more exciting since the Change.

Ziva kept running for a minute or two longer, just to be on the safe side.

“We really should get down to the river,” she said. “Water will make them lose track of our smell.”

Tony looked down at himself. He was soaked in sweat from their sudden forced escape. “I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to smell me anyway.”

Ziva crinkled her nose. “Agreed.”

“Hey, it’s not like you’re much better off,” Tony said, only slightly offended.

“I’ve run eight blocks.” She raised an eyebrow. “What did you do?”

“Stayed on?” he said. “I know I make it look like a walk in the park—” she snorted “—but staying on your back when you’re galloping is tough. It’s not like there’s a handle to hold onto or anything.”

“Do you want me to get a saddle?” He heard the dare in her voice.

He grinned. “There’s probably some hot stuff out there now, saddle-wise. I mean, I can hardly be the first one since the Change to ride a centaur.”

She looked like she wanted to smack him, but she couldn’t reach because he was on her back. It was a bit of a weird feeling. He remembered riding the horse out with Gibbs in the desert, but other than that, he hadn’t much to compare it with. Still, he was pretty sure that riding on centaur-Ziva’s back – he was careful not to call it ‘riding Ziva’ even in his head, because it’d slip out and then he’d end up in pieces, being fed to the hell-dogs – was very different form riding a regular horse. For one thing, she could actually talk to him.

“Call Gibbs.” She woke him from his reverie.

“You do it.”

“I got us out of that mess,” Ziva said. “You call Gibbs.”

He made a sound like a half-groan, because calling Gibbs to tell him that the murderer had gotten away and that the dude was guarding himself with hell-dogs really wasn’t on his top ten list of things to do today.

He fished out his cell phone while she started walking towards NCIS. They were only a few blocks away.

“I suppose you don’t want to walk on your own?” she asked before he had time to dial the phone.

He looked down at his left leg. It was throbbing, with warm, sticky blood coated along the side. Damn dogs and their sharp teeth. He’d almost forgotten about it in the adrenaline kick of the flight.

“Don’t think I can,” he said. “Sorry.” He meant it. He was pretty sure that Ziva had never had anyone ride on her back and the only reason he was currently up there was necessity. If he could’ve walked, he would have.

He dialed and a moment later, Gibbs’ gruff voice answered. “You didn’t get him.”

It wasn’t a new thing, Gibbs’ gut, but it having turned into a mind-reading version, which was like a major upgrade, was still weird.

“Well, no,” Tony said. “He had hell-dogs.”

“Just get in here. Abby’ll fix you up.”

The call ended with a click on Gibbs’ part and Tony put the phone away. His leg throbbed and he longed to get back to NCIS. It was practical, having a healer on staff these days. No more sitting in Ducky’s morgue on cold metal, waiting for the good doctor’s reprimands about being more careful. Although he did get the same lecture from Abby.

He held onto Ziva lightly, hands on her waist. When she wasn’t galloping for dear life, it was easy enough to stay on her back, even though her dark brown coat was glistening with sweat.

“You know,” he said, “that was really cool back there. The whole swinging-me-up-on-your-back thing. And I’m pretty sure the running thing was cool too, if I’d had the time to enjoy it. Though, like I said, something to hold onto would be good.”

“You are not going to ride me again, Tony.” There was just a hint of playfulness in her voice, the rest was steel. But it was enough to let him know that if put in the same situation again, she would no doubt act the exact same way. She had his back.

It was good to know that the Change hadn’t changed everything.

Read? Review!

Readers of Escaping Hell-Dogs:

© 2002-2013 | Design & production by Cosmic Creativ Consulting