'Gibbs, no!' His gaze was steady as reached out and pulled his forensics technician into a hug.

'I'm sorry, Abbs. Kate's gone.' He had known that breaking the news of Kate's death to Abby would be almost as hard as witnessing the event itself but this was one task he wasn't prepared to delegate.

'But she can't be. She promised me we'd go to the fair together this weekend. We were gonna go on the rides and eat candyfloss. She promised, Gibbs!'

Gibbs felt a sense of grief rise up inside him as he tightened his grip on the young woman. 'I know, Abbs. I'm sorry.'

He could feel the tears soaking through his shirt as he held on even tighter and laid his chin on her head. Finally the sobbing stopped and two big tear-stained eyes looked up into his.

'I miss her, Gibbs.'

'Me too, Abbs. Me too.' Again he felt the hollow sense of loss and guilt that he had been trying unsuccessfully to bury ever since he left that roof. He looked down at his damp, tear-stained shirt and wished for a moment that he was someone else. Someone able to show how much his colleague, his friend, the woman who had died for him, really meant. He never would be able to, though. He wasn't someone else. He was Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a marine. And marines don't cry.