I know that "Requiem" has been tagged a million times. I think it testifies to the quality of that episode. I own naught but the order of the words. And even that is debatable. I do appreciate feedback.

Whoopsie! See this is what happens when you don't have a beta. You watch an episode of something or other with a girl named Maggie and your tired brain displaces her name onto a face where it doesn't belong. Thanks to those of you who pointed out the mistake. Coincidentally if anyone is interested is being a beta (the problem is that I update very sporadically so beta's and I usually fall out after at time) let me know.

Breathless

—pounding of his heart. That's what people always said they heard in the moment of panic as they ran. That's not what Tony heard. Tony heard the water in the bay, ripples still settling from the impact of the car.

—feel the jar of his steps against the ground. Tony didn't. All he felt was the distance, how far away the water was, the seconds ticking by...

—cold rush of the water. Tony almost forgot to hold his breath in the hot rush of his own adrenaline. The burning to go faster, the fear. The boss was down there.

—striking pain in his palms. Tony felt the barrier of the door and the slow—too slow—crushing of the windshield.

—weight of Maddie almost dragging him back down. Tony felt the missing weight of Gibbs. If his lungs were screaming how did the boss feel?

—relief of fresh air. Tony inhaled because he had to. Because if he didn't then he wouldn't be able to go back down for Gibbs.

Tony felt the weight of Gibbs. It was a dead weight. A dragging ball and chain between him and the surface. Tony felt the burning in his arms and legs and chest. Felt the bump of the boss hitting the wood.

"Don't do this to me boss. C'mon!" The bosses chest beneath his palms, wet, strong, stubborn. Unmoving. "Don't do this to me! Don't make me kiss you, boss!"

Don't die Gibbs. Damn it. We didn't come all this way so I could outlive you. I'm the reckless one remember? I caught the plague. I was framed for murder. My car blew up because my girlfriend's dad was an international arms dealer...

Don't leave me boss.

"C'mon!" Tony felt his duty dragging him, shoving him, screaming at him. The girl! Save the girl! It sounded like Gibbs.

Tony stepped over his boss and knelt at Maddie's side. The water was dripping out of his hair and into his eyes, onto Maddie. Tony glanced back at Gibbs and felt sure he was dead, for just a second. Just one little second.

Tony could have felt the beginnings and ends of a thousand lifetimes in that second. That was probably a movie quote. He was amazed he couldn't remember the movie.

Maddie moved. Gibbs was breathing. Tony backed away, tipping his head up to breath in the sky. He felt relieved and sick and cold. Tony felt his legs standing beneath him, they wobbled but they moved, and he stumbled away so Gibbs and Maddie could have their moment. His gun was a little speck fifty yards away. Tony looked at it and broke his promise to himself when he looked back at Gibbs and Maddie.

—pounding of his heart. Tony sat down ass first on the ground and put his hands behind his head and his head between his knees and listened to the pounding of his heart. Behind it he could hear the settling of the water and someone calling his name.