This is set post-"Hiatus" features Gibbs' thoughts about a certain special someone.

Chapter 1 - Reflections

I told myself that I didn't care.

That I just didn't care.

And for a long time I truly believed that I didn't care.

Until I began seeing her everywhere.

There was that time when I was walking down the street; I know they were her pigtails that I saw in the distance.

Last week I was sure I saw her going into a Goth store wearing one of her outrageous t-shirts.

Then there was that time that I was standing outside the coffee shop, and could have sworn that I smelled her homemade perfume laced with gunpowder. I'd recognize that scent anywhere.

But of course it wasn't her.

The black pigtails belonged to a kid who couldn't have been more than 12 years old.

And as it turned out, the girl at the Goth store was really a man. Made me think of DiNozzo - he always liked she-males!

And the gunpowder? I was a Marine sniper for years – I smell it all the time.

Snap out of it; get a grip on yourself; you've moved on.

My brain was saying it, but my heart was refusing to accept it. My heart told me that I was a stupid fool who had turned my back on the only good thing that had entered my life in the past 15 years.

There were a million reasons to justify why I left.

I was far too old for her.

She deserved someone better than me.

We had nothing in common.

She was so full of life, while most of the time I felt like an empty shell. Except when I was with her.

And besides, that "music" of hers always drove me nuts.

Those may have been reasons to justify why I was leaving, but they were also all reasons why I wanted so badly to stay. But of course I did the only thing that I knew how to do – I left. Left without a goodbye; just a finger pressed gently to her lips and a soft kiss on her cheek. I had convinced myself that we were both better off this way.

And I have to hand it to her, even though I could tell that she was absolutely devastated and that she wanted more than anything to convince me to stay, she let me do what I needed to do. In the process I broke her heart.

I guess that's why there's two B's in my name. The second one's for bastard.

I've been back in town for almost a month, and I still haven't set foot near the Navy yard. My brain says that it's because I no longer work at NCIS, and I have no reason to go there.

But who am I kidding? I just don't want to risk running into her.

I don't know if she would even talk to me if I did.

I certainly don't deserve it.

I certainly don't deserve her.

I'm such a bastard.

I've come to realize that I can try to hide from it all I want, but I know deep down I do care.

I really do care.

I care more than anything.

I walk to the door, pick up my keys, and head to the car.

I'm going to the Navy yard.


To Abby.