A/N: Tate lives on! This is just a short piece I wrote last night after watching an old NCIS repeat. Enjoy it because it is the only way Tate will survive now!

Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS. Never will. And the song lyrics belong to Muse's "Sing For Absolution".


Leave A Light On For Me

I watch over you, mostly at night. You seem so distant now. It's like I don't know you anymore. You've let it affect you beyond healing and that pains me more than you'll ever know. You're life is like a shadow that lags behind and soaks up dust along the way, but you don't attempt to turn your shoulder to notice. It breaks my heart that has ceased to beat. This is what you've become because of me.

Lips are turning blue
A kiss that can't renew
I only dream of you
My beautiful

I see you at work and you're the same witty yet incredibly intense guy I knew and fell in love with. You work along side the people you've grown to know and still I can see there's an emptiness inside you, even when you smile and laugh during the day. When there is something for you to do, you do it without holding back. You do what you have to so you can sleep at night and hope to wake the next morning. But the one thing you don't do anymore is pretend you're the best around other people. You don't gloat about your position anymore to anyone, and you don't sneer at those who are lower than you are. You just do your work the way you need to.

To the people around you, you act like you're no different than you used to be. They can see straight through that. They know what you've been through, what I secretly was to you, and what happened to you when I died. You're act is see-through to them, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They let you keep up the pretence of being fine even though they know in truth you are burning inside for a chance just to see me again. It works for them as it does for you.

Tiptoe to your room
A starlight in the gloom
I only dream of you
And you never knew

At the end of every day, when you go home and try to fall into a peaceful sleep, this is when it hurts the most for me. Often you delve into a realm of sweet release by gasping for a drink, intoxicating yourself so it won't hurt anymore. But occasionally you'll breathe deep and endure the pain I've brought to you. Tonight you did just this.

Dropping your keys carelessly onto the counter as you stepped into your cold, lifeless apartment, you held a hand to your forehead and let out a painful sigh. I knew it had been a hard day, for even if the lines surrounding your face didn't tell me, the soft tears that welled around your eyelids whispered to me that you were hurting. You staggered forward, gripping the wall for support as you kept your eyes partially closed. You didn't even bother undressing before you plunged into the soft depths of your bed sheets and tangled yourself in them, wrapping them around your shivering body.

Sing for absolution
I will be singing

I closed my eyes, unable to watch as you sobbed your heartache into the stiff air. I could not bring myself to believe I had caused all of this for you. So I replayed the same, stinging question in my mind as I heard the soft cries coming from you. Why had you loved me?

There's nowhere left to hide
In no one to confide
The truth runs deep inside
And will never die

I knew it had begun early, right after that instant attraction between us when we had met. The quick jokes, the flirtatious insults that grew as the years passed. But when had we really started to fall? I couldn't remember for the life of me. The one memory that came fleetingly to me was when you fell ill with that plague and we were put into quarantine. That had been merely a few months before Ari came back to finish what he started and a few weeks since our time in Paraguay together. I remember vividly the anguish I felt at not being able to do anything when I found out you were infected and I wasn't. I knew there was nothing that I could do to make it go away so I did what I could. I stayed with you and pretended to have been infected as well so you would never know how I felt.

Lips are turning blue
A kiss that can't renew
I only dream of you
My beautiful

I smiled bitterly and opened my eyes, wondering insipidly where the time had gone. You were asleep now, your chest heaving up and down evenly, the tears drying on your cheeks. The bitterness faded from my empty veins as I stared down at you and revelled in all that you had become. I knew that eventually your love for me would die and burn to ashes but you would keep them to remember me forever. This was just a part of life you had to go through to grow. Everything will soon turn back to what they were and you will be able to laugh again without feeling that sinking in your heart.

Sing for absolution
I will be singing
Falling from your grace

So for now, I want you to remember the good memories of me, the ones where we laughed together and spent the days having fun. I want you to smile when you think of me instead of cry, and I want you to know I am always with you, even when it feels like you are alone. I don't want you to feel like you have no one walking beside you, because there always will be.

Our wrongs remain unrectified
And our souls won't be exhumed

And finally, I want you to leave a light on for me every night before you fade into a fevered sleep. Leave a light on for me, because I am watching over you.