Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine.
A/N It's depressing, it's sad and it was written in the early hours of the morning. Please, please don't hate me and kill me off in the same way. I plead temporarily emotional breakdown. It's gory. I had to stop a few times before continuing. I made myself cry. I apologise for the candyfloss line, I hope I don't put you off it. I also apologise in advance for any kind of adverse trauma I inflicted with this very early morning fic. Unbetaed so all mistakes are my own.
Rating: T (maybe R/M?) for adult themes, some gore and general sadness
Warnings: CHARACTER DEATH! Major character death. It's a gory death … read if you will.
Summary:He loves her …
"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell." - Edna St. Vincent Millay
He is falling.
Free falling into darkness.
He wonders whether this is how she felt.
Not knowing, never knowing when the impact would come …
Until it did.
Until it's dark, like the lights have been turned out …
Never to be turned on again.
He wonders what she was thinking.
Not that she had much left.
Not that she had many outside work.
Not that he knows about one.
Not that shewould … she had only known them a few years.
Not that he believes it.
Why would it be him?
He is not special … he's just … him.
Him who banters …, flirts …, and flaunts his sex life around the office.
This is him … no one special.
She would never have thought of him.
It was routine.
She went without backup.
Why would she need back up to interview a witness?
They were already stretched to the limit as it was.
It made sense.
Ten simple minutes, but that was an understatement.
When they had finally figured it out … it was too late.
"Tony," Abby says softly in his ear, gripping his shoulder gently as a sign of affection. "It's … you know, time …"
Abby sounds different in his opinion.
She sounds so sad … so un-Abby.
She's been crying, he can tell.
They can all tell.
Because they've been doing it too.
It reminds him of someone he once knew.
He wonders if they are together.
Together where the stars twinkle all day long.
Together where there is peace, not war.
Happiness, not sadness.
Love, not hate.
Laughter, not tears.
He hopes they will get along.
Maybe they can swap stories about him.
That will make them laugh.
They will be happy.
He will be happy.
"It's Jensen," Gibbs yelled, slamming a manila folder on his desk.
"What?" Tony looked blankly at Gibbs.
"He's the killer, DiNozzo," Gibbs shot back.
"Killer," he repeated as if it was a foreign word.
Then his eyes widened. He remembered.
"Ziva …" was all he managed to say.
"She'll be fine," Gibbs said calmly.
He had been wrong.
"C'mon, DiNozzo," Gibbs says gruffly as he gently takes Abby's hand off his shoulder, wrapping her hand in his own.
"Oh, Gibbs …" she whimpers.
Tears are forming in the corner of her eyes …
She thought she had run dry.
She was wrong.
"I know, Abs, I know," Gibbs replies, kissing her on her forehead and lifting his thumb to wipe away the lone tear that had fallen down her rosy cheek.
He knows all too well.
"What about McGee, boss?" Tony questioned as they raced for the elevator.
"No time, DiNozzo," he replied curtly. "Later."
There would be time for explanations later … just not the ones he had hoped.
He barely feels a thing as Gibbs and Abby pull him over to where the others are standing.
The others …
And them …
Do they feel as much as he does?
Do they cry?
Or do they shout, scream, and do anything to be loud?
Do they drink away their problems?
Do they throw themselves into cases?
The ones that can't be solved.
Or do they do as he does …
And pretend it didn't happen …
And live in a world of oblivion?
"I don't wanna do this," Abby sobs as the first shards of earth fall and spread over the coffin. "No … Gibbs … Timmy … make them stop. I'm … I'm not ready."
"None of us are, Abs," McGee says softly, trying to keep this own tears at bay.
"Make them stop," Abby continues to sob.
Her eyes are pleading with him … them … anyone of them.
It's enough to break his heart …
If it wasn't broken already.
"Abby …" Gibbs tries.
"No. No. No!" she yells, her yells mingling with her sobs so she sounds borderline hysterical. "They can't … not yet … not Ziva."
Abby was happily humming along to one of her songs as he entered her lab. For once he didn't care about the music, he couldn't even hear it. The only sound he could hear was the repeated thump of a body hitting the bonnet.
"Hey, Gibbs," she greeted with a smile, her face turned away from him. "So did you get the guy? Did you take him down in a blaze of glory? Ooh, was all action-y?"
They took down the guy all right, but not before he had taken down one of their own.
When Gibbs didn't reply, Abby spun around, her pigtails whipping against her neck as she did so. She started to smile at him, but her smile faded when she noticed his look.
In an instant, she knew.
Just like Kate.
"Who?" she whispered.
He doesn't speak. He can't speak. He lets the one thing he vowed to keep out the office appear …
"Who?" she repeated with urgency in her voice. "Gibbs … who? Please …"
She was already crying, though she didn't know who for.
One word brought her world to a shuddering halt.
He still remembers it as if it happened yesterday.
Every single, little, gruesome detail is etched into his mind.
All the bloody patterns.
The little bits of bodily parts strewn across the pavement …
And the car.
He remembers every one of the emotions.
He remembers every one of the reactions.
'Oh, fu …'
'Oh, my God.'
'I think I'm gonna be sick.'
'No. No. No!'
He remembers that he wants to forget …
But his mind won't let him.
He is a prisoner … a prisoner of his own mind.
They sped along the highway, way over the speed limit. For once, Tony did not care. Gibbs was at the wheel, so he knew he was in for a ride. He didn't even notice.
They had sent Ziva into the clutches of a paranoid killer. Nothing mattered at the moment, expect for her.
They screeched into Silver Avenue. Luckily, it wasn't a dirt road or dust would have been flying everywhere. That's how fast they were going.
For a second, they didn't even register the impact of the body hitting the bonnet. It was as though it didn't happen.
Gibbs slammed on the breaks, driving Tony forwards into the dashboard. He didn't care. Gibbs had his hands resting on the steering wheel, replaying those last few seconds in his head.
A body hitting the bonnet.
A feminine body hitting the bonnet.
A dark-haired, feminine body hitting the bonnet.
A dark-haired, feminine body with a NCIS jacket hitting the bonnet.
Ziva hitting the bonnet.
"Oh, fu …" he started to say as the impact finally hit home.
"Ziva …" came Tony's strangled cry. "No …"
Automatically un-doing his seatbelt, Tony pushed open the car door and slowly stepped onto the street. Gibbs followed.
It was as if life was moving in slow motion.
He saw the body and, for a second, held on to the hope that she was alive.
But then he saw it.
Her face … if you could even call it a face … was totally caved in.
It was as if she was a porcelain doll and someone had stepped on that porcelain face …
Only infinite times worse.
He looked at Gibbs. He was staring at the body. He was going pale and, if Tony knew right, was about to throw up.
He was right.
But he couldn't do that.
All he could do was stare at what had once been a lively agent.
Now a broken doll, a shadow of what she used to be.
At least Kate still looked like Kate after she has been shot.
Ziva … he didn't even know where to begin.
He … he could see into her skull.
Memories of high school science flooded his mind.
He could see pale pink … goo … protruding from her head.
He knew in a heartbeat what it was.
The bile rose in his throat as he turned towards the car.
Pale pink pieces were strewn across the bonnet … and the windshield …
Like pieces of a child's candyfloss blown apart by the wind.
It was intertwined with blood and even the shrapnel of bones.
But still he didn't throw up …
He just … stared.
He watches as they each pick up a handful of dirt and throw it onto the coffin.
He wonders if this is enough for Abby to give up sleeping in one.
After Kate and now Ziva.
How could she still do it?
He wonders whether her father mourns her.
He cannot see him, but it's not surprising.
He has three children … all three are dead.
He wonders if Probie will write Ziva out of his book.
Or keep her in an attempt to keep her spirit alive.
Forever immortalised in a book they had once ridiculed.
He wonders whether Gibbs will retire now … for real.
He doesn't know how much more of … this … Gibbs can take.
Shannon, Kelly, Kate, Ziva ….
He wonders how Ducky managed the autopsy.
He never spoke of doing Kate's, the same with Ziva's.
But he notices that Ducky has seemed to have aged ten years, as he did when Kate died.
He wonders how Jenny will continue to run NCIS.
Ziva and Jenny were close, good friends.
Ziva had saved her once … she had been unable to save her in return.
He wonders how Palmer is coping with all of this.
Not just their team, but others often forgot him.
Ziva never forgot him.
He wonders if Lee will be placed back on their team.
He doesn't think they could handle breaking in a new agent.
At least Lee has done it all before.
He wonders if he can ever move on.
He loves her, but never got to tell her.
He loves her, but couldn't save her.
He loves her, but couldn't revive her.
He loves her, but can never see her again.
He loves her ….
For seven days, eight hours and nineteen minutes, Anthony DiNozzo has been trapped in his own mind … unable to utter a word.
He is lucky that his boss managed to convince the hospital to release him for the day.
His psychiatrist thinks it might help.
Abby, McGee, Ducky and Gibbs are hopeful.
They have been at the hospital every single day.
Willing him to talk.
And for the first time in seven days, eight hours and nineteen minutes, Anthony DiNozzo talks as his heart breaks all over again.
"I love her …"