Epilogue

The air was crisp, and the sky a beautiful pale blue that held the promise of a beautiful autumn day, but Gibbs saw none of it. He never heard the silence of the area, the occasional bird singing or the rustling of the leaves, the peace the silence gave. He stared down at the ground before him, slowly his eyes turned to the headstone standing tall and proud, just as she had he thought sadly. His fingers traced her name gently, a name that was forever carved in his heart, in his mind.

He pictured her smiling, laughing, angry. But they never took away that last image he had of her, laying on the roof top a bullet hole in her head. Nothing took the image away, not even the knowledge that finally Ari had his bullet in him, that Ducky had finally been able to weigh his liver. He had thought that when finally it was over there would be some kind of closure, but there wasn't, it didn't change the fact that Kate was still dead.

Gibbs sighed and bent down to place the flowers he held onto her grave. He picked a few weeds out of the ground before straightening again his eyes distant, his demeanour remote.

"It's over Kate" he said softly, his voice betraying none of the emotions he held inside. "Ari is dead" he whispered to her. He had made her a promise so long ago and he had finally kept it. He just hadn't realised what the personal cost to him would be.

He thrust his hands in his pocket, his shoulders slightly hunched, not against the cold crisp air but against the memories he fought to beat back.

He stood there silently for a moment, his hand touching the sheet of paper folded in his pocket. He slowly drew it out and stared at the creased sheet.

Ari had known that he was going to die, his cover had been blown but he had still managed to pass on the information that had led to the capture of Jules Therese, or Julie Writer as was her real name, he had written it all down, knowing it would be found after his death.

It always amazed Gibbs what people would give up for money. They would sacrifice family, love and honour. They would betray their country and friends all for money. It wasn't something Gibbs really understood, money meant little to him. Family, honour and justice were what mattered. But to some they meant nothing.

He fingered the corner of the sheet of paper, his eyes skimming it for the thousandth time. He tore his eyes from the paper to Kate's gravestone. Ari had passed on information not only on Julie Writer, but on the leader of the American Al Queda cell. They hadn't caught him yet but at least they now knew who he was and what he looked like. It was only a matter of time before they found him. Gibbs turned to watch a bird hover above the cemetery. He watched as it circled, swooping lower and lower until suddenly it swooped down below the tree line, obviously in search of its prey. Gibbs smiled slightly as it re-appeared a few moments later, something clutched in its talons. He turned and smiled at Kate's grave, the hunter finding his prey he thought, something he understood.

Gibbs turned his attention once more to the paper in his hand, to the letter Ari had written, the letter for Gibbs.

Gibbs remembered his last conversation with Ari, where he had claimed he had felt no sympathy for him, but Gibbs knew that he had lied to some degree. It wasn't sympathy he had felt but empathy. He could understand what had driven Ari. He understood because Gibbs was only ever a step away from being Ari, they all were.

Gibbs knew what it meant to fight for something you believed in, to kill for something you believed was right. Ari had been no different, only more ruthless, more determined to win. In different circumstances Gibbs wasn't sure he would react any differently, he wasn't sure anyone would.

He looked down at the paper and read the words written there.

My friend,

I pray that it is your bullet that ends it, that you find the justice you seek in my death.

Are we really so different?

Ari Haswari

Gibbs balled it up and threw it high into the air, watching as the wind carried it away. No they weren't so different, and that scared Gibbs.

Gibbs turned and slowly walked away, it was over.

The End

I juat wanted to say thank you to everyone for reading and especially for reviewing...it is appreciated!