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Chapter 1

They all stood silent as the rain fell, it seemed appropriate somehow that the heavens would cry today. Each was lost in their own thoughts and pain, their own memories of Kate. Gibbs stood slightly apart from the others, his eyes dark and brooding, even Ducky walked carefully around his friend at the moment, they all did. They were all taking Kate's death hard, it might be an acknowledge risk each time they came to work, but it didn't make it an easy one to live with when it happened.

The graveside service ended and the mourners all turned to leave, Kate's family had all flown in, their grief palpable around them, their anger that the person who had killed their daughter, sister and friend sustaining them for the time being.

Gibbs watched them silently, knowing the anger for them would fade, the pain would recede and life would continue. He also knew that for him the only way it would fade was when Ari was lying on Ducky's table, Gibbs's bullet in his body.

He watched Tony walk away silent and alone, his mind dwelling on things he had wanted to say to Kate, things that would forever go unsaid, McGee looked lost, as if unsure of his place here amongst Kate's friends and family, seeming to forget that Kate had also considered him her friend. Abby and Ducky walked arm in arm, the Goth and the British M.E, so different and yet so similar. They had found strength in each other, support in their shared affinity with death, there understanding and acceptance of it.

Gibbs watched them all leave and slowly crouched down, his hand reaching into the muddy earth at his feet, letting it trickle through his fingers. He stood slowly and crossed to the open grave, his eyes hard and cold

"I promise you Kate" he whispered letting the remaining dirt trickle into the grave, the sound of it hitting her white coffin echoing around his heart. With a last look at her coffin he turned and walked down the hill, away from the rest of the mourners.