Disclaimer: The standard disclaimer applies

Author's note: Thank you to VerityFrancesB for helping me to get the details of the break up right.

Gibbs sat staring at the empty bourbon glass in his hand. Fool! Thy name is Jethro he thought… She's gone, and the only thing you can think about is running after her! You're a foolish, pathetic excuse of a marine. Get to your feet Gunny.

He rose slowly and drunkenly to his feet and paid the barman. Boy was he going to have a headache in the morning. He hailed a cab to the hotel, and stumbled to his room. The place was a mess, the frame that held a picture of them was lying smashed into a million pieces on the floor. Kneeling beside it, he gently thumbed the golden frame.

She really had left him, he thought is shock. The only thing he had to show for it now was a "Dear John!"

He took the letter from his pocket and smoothed out the wrinkles. He stared blankly at the words of the woman he loved. She had callously walked away from him, to fulfill her dreams. Evidently he was not included in those.

But he knew that if she had returned and asked to be forgiven. He would not have refused. He would have taken her back into his arms willingly, to hold her even a moment longer. His sky blue eyes hardened into an icy grey.

Leaving the coat on the plane had been a diversion, so that she could be gone without having to face him.

He was a fool, to think that she loved him.

She was the first since Shannon that had brought out the soft side in him. Their many adventures in Paris, the long nights spent together, the fateful trip to the Eiffel Tower.

But she had left him, not the other way around. Goddamn it! He should not be sitting around, drunk and moping like a lovesick teen. It had been much too good to be true. It was the story of his life, to have loved and lost.

He pitied the man who wrote "It is better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all."

Evidently he had never lost.

He wondered vaguely if she'd ever really felt anything for him at all, or he was just a mildly pleasant diversion during their mission. Despite hoping, he knew he wouldn't see her again. He knew that if by chance they ran into each other, the meeting would be awkward and full of memories. Not necessarily good ones either.

He wouldn't look for her again... Wouldn't let her know how badly she'd gotten to him. She was his partner and subordinate. She was his former partner and current subordinate.

Rule 12; never date a co-worker. He would have to add it to the long list of rules given to him by Shannon.

The tears poured down his face. He knew this was partly the alcohol, making him so emotional. It was also her. She and Shannon were so different and alike. Both had the fiery temper and personality that red heads were famed for. One was stern, the other gentle. One was bold and outgoing where the other was shy and introspective.

He felt as though a dagger had been run through his heart, and it was being slowly twisted by memories. Two women, similar yet different, both had touched his heart deeply. The knife twisted a little deeper. Both had left him, the only difference was that one had been involuntary.

Slowly over time, he began to collect the pieces of a shattered heart. He moved on, got married again. And again. But strangely enough Jenny was never replaced. She and Shannon had a special place reserved in his heart.

They had shared that same red hair. The flaming locks that he'd absentmindedly run his fingers through.

Both had the ability to make him fall apart. Both had the uncanny ability to read him like an open book.

He loved them both.