This is a really long one-shot piece. I wrote it on Memorial Day 2009. It is set at the end of the sixth season but it disregards everything after the end of the mole hunt. It is a story to honor those who fought for their country, whatever country that maybe, and those who were left behind when they died.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything

Spoilers: Judgment day and Twilight I guess

Those Left Behind

SATERDAY, MAY 23, 2009—THE OFFICE

Gibbs sat at his desk. It was Saturday the 23 of May. Monday would be Memorial Day. For the general American public it was a day to remember all those who had fought for their country. For the most part those who had were honored had fought across the seas, but not all of them. Some people had died on their own land, protecting their country from it's own people. It was two of those heroes that his team would mourn today.

They were his two fallen heroes. They had served their country well and it had cost them their lives. He sighed and looked around the room. It was the fourth Memorial Day since the loss of that first agent and the first since the second agent had died. The remaining members of his team were standing in the room around him, all wearing black.

McGee was sitting at his desk with Abby in a chair beside him. He was gently stroking her hair. Memorial Day was always hard for Abby because she had been so close Kate. In the nearly four years since her death nothing had lessened Abby's grief for her friend. It had been hidden but always a part of her. Then Jenny had died last year and that had been hard on Abby too.

His gazed moved to the next desk. Ducky was sitting at Tony's desk looking composed but sad. Gibbs knew his Ducky missed Kate and Jenny, but he also knew Ducky would not fall apart. Ducky had done autopsies on both Kate and Jenny and had known about Jenny's illness from the start. It was Ducky who held them altogether in their darkest hours because worked with death all the time and accepted it.

Gibbs eyes moved to the last desk. Tony was sitting there. His arm was resting gently around Ziva's shoulders. Then there was Ziva. For the first three Memorial Days after she came to the team Gibbs had not allowed her to come with them on Memorial Day. He had not been intending to include her this year but she had approached him and come as close to begging as he had ever heard her. He remembered the conversation.

Gibbs, can I come with you on Memorial Day this year?

Why?

Because I understand that Kate was an irreplaceable agent and when it was just her you were visiting it was not my place to come. That was you time with a fallen agent who's death probably occurred based on information I gave. Now it is Jenny, too. Jenny was my best friend for nine years. She was almost family.

You could visit Jenny but not Kate.

I want to say good-bye to Kate and apologize.

Finally he had agreed to let her come. He was not actually sure why she had not been allowed to come before. It might have been that life had change so much after Kate died and Ziva came that he did not want to mix the two worlds. She had lost to many she people she cared about to the battles of the world. Most of her biological family had been killed in Israel in relation to the endless fighting there, and after all Memorial Day was not just for those gone it was for those left behind.

SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2009—ARLINGTON CEMETARY

They reached the cemetery a little before ten in the morning. It was Saturday so the cemetery was not that crowded. That was part of why the team always came Memorial Day weekend. The other part was federal agents did not get that day off. They all were holding a token of some sort and moved forward one at a time as the others stood in a little group.

Gibbs went first. He always did. He crouched beside the stone. 'It has been a year, Jen. I never thought I would see the day when I would be standing by your grave. Somehow I always saw me dying first as it was usually me who came up with the stupid plans. Not that you didn't come up with some. Can you believe that it has been ten years since Paris? I don't think I ever told you that was the happiest year of my life. God, I miss you Jen. We all do.' He closed his eyes for a minute, his hand resting on the stone. Then he put a small French flag in the dirt at the foot of the stone. "I love you, Jen." He rose and walked back to the group.

Ducky was next as usual. He walked forward to the spot Gibbs had just vacated. He smiled at the stone. 'You were wrong, Jennifer. You told me that the team would never visit you when you died. You did not think we cared about you as much as Caitlin, but here we are.' He paused to think for a minute then continued. 'You death was on your terms wasn't it? You know that if you had not died in the diner two years ago, then you would have almost certainly have died of the disease by now. You knew that didn't you? You were saving the pain of that death.' He mused. 'But it wasn't just yourself that you were protecting from pain now was it? No, you were saving us all from sitting watching you die. Thank you, Jennifer. You are missed.' He laid a yellow rose next to the flag and rejoined the group.

Abby went third. She took Ducky's spot as he rejoined the group. She looked at the stone fighting tears. 'I miss you, Jenny. Wait you don't mind if I call you Jenny do you? I hope not. I mean everyone else does except McGee. Everyone at NCIS misses you so much. Leon Vance replaced you as director and he is no good what so ever. His first act was to break up the team. Can you believe that? Tony was made agent afloat. McGee was moved to cyber crimes. Ziva was sent back to Israel and she got blown up in Morocco. I missed them so much. Now we are all together again. Well almost I mean you and Kate are still not here and that means our family is two short.' Abby paused thinking of what else to tell Jenny. 'You know how you always complained that Ziva was never allowed to come to visit Kate? Well this year Ziva practically had to beg Gibbs to come, but he finally let her. Can you imagine Ziva begging? You probably cam because you worked with her for so long but I can't.' She paused again. 'That is really all that has happened except for the mole hunt and Agent Lee being the mole. She got shot, which was a shame. Bye Jenny.' She laid a black rose next to the yellow one and rejoined the group tear running down her face.

Tony stepped forward from the group and approached the grave. 'Hello, Jenny. Sorry about this.' He gestured vaguely at the grave. 'I should have listened to Ziva. She told me we needed to follow you. I told her to relax. What if I had listened to her? Ducky said you were dieing anyway. I don't know. I just seem to screw up every assignment you give me. First, I screwed up the one with Jeanne. I don't know what I was planning to happen but that wasn't it. I blew my cover. Then you got shot when I was supposed to be you body guard. I make a pretty sucky agent for cover missions.' He looked around. 'Sorry, Jenny.' He laid a pink rose next to the other two and walked back to other two, stood, and walked back to the group.

McGee gently released Abby whom he had been holding and walk forward. 'Hello director.' McGee felt a little awkward and did not know what to say. 'I don't really know what to say. I did not really send a lot of time with you. Sorry about that. I guess Tony and Ziva just made better company than me. A lot of fans of my books were upset when Director Julie Shannon died. I guess you figured out the books where based on you guys. She was a pretty popular character. I can't count the number of emails I got telling me I should not have killed her. Well actually I can count them because in my email account I set up a system so that the computer automatically scans the contents of an email sorts it according to… You don't care do you? Sorry about that Director. Bye.' He laid his white rose down, rose, and walked back to the group.

In years previous Jenny had been last but now Ziva had taken her spot. She walked forward and knelt beside the grave. 'Jenny, I am so sorry. I never meant for it to end like this. I never really thought about you dying. You were always there either as my partner or friend. I should have force Tony to follow you. This would never have happened, or maybe it would have just not this way. I guess there is no use crying over spilled milk. It is milk, yes? I really miss you. I never told you this but you were a lot like a mother to me. I never knew my mother but I would have wanted her to be like you.' Ziva looked at the grave in silence for a minute then put a little American flag in the corner opposite the French one. 'Sorry, Jenny but I am guessing you are tired of people apologizing to you. In which case, Shalom, old friend.' Ziva stood up and turned back towards the group tear shimmering in her eyes.

The team walked slowly away from Jenny's resting place. They were more untied and yet more broken than they were any other time of the year. Abby had tear still running down her cheeks and the tears in Ziva's eyes where now falling too. McGee had an arm around Abby's shoulders and Tony had one around Ziva's waist. Gibbs wished that he could still hold the woman he loved but she was gone forever and he was left behind.

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2009—INDIANA

They reached the graveyard Kate was buried in almost the same time they had reached Arlington the day previous. "It is the twenty fourth of May." Ziva said, "It has been four years since Kate died." No one knew what to say to this because not one of them had realized that Ziva knew when Kate had died. It was also true that none of them had remembered the date. When they reached her grave they followed the same pattern they had the day before.

Gibbs walked forward. He knelt in the grass next to Kate's tomb. 'Hello, Kate. I don't know what to tell you. Yet another year has come and gone. There is one thing I thought I should tell you though. After one mission about six years ago I lit two candles in a church. You asked me whom they were for and I never answered. The answer is that a drug dealer killed my first wife, Shannon, and my child, Kelly, in the spring of 1991. Kelly was eight. I was injured around the same time because I was fighting in Desert Storm.' Gibbs paused there was nothing he had not told her before except one thing. 'Our director was killed last year, and before you ask. Yes I loved her and yes she was a red head. You were always predictable, Kate. Good-bye, Kate.' He stuck an American flag in the ground by her grave and stepped back.

Ducky took his cue as Gibbs returned to the group. 'Ah, Caitlin another year has come and gone without you. I regret to tell you that your mother and father passed away this year. They were in a traffic accident and at that age there was not much of a chance. I am sorry. I am guessing that Jethro told you about Jennifer. She was a good director and agent and she will be missed, just as you are. It has been exactly four years since you left us Caitlin. There has not been much that has happened this year. Except, Anthony may have discovered that he is in love with a certain someone but you will have to ask him about that not me. Until next year Caitlin.' Ducky said as he laid his yellow rose on the foot of the grave. Then he turned and walked back to the group.

Abby was next and walked forward tear hinting in her eyes again. 'Hey Kate. I really miss you but I guess you already know that. I mean I really like Ziva but she is not you. It is not that she is second to you. She is really awesome, but she did not take you place either. I promise that no one will ever take your place. She succeeded you not replaced you. I can be friends with both of you right? You don't hate her because her brother shot you. Do you? I think she is really worried about that. For a trained Mossad assassin she is really nice. Not as nice as you or maybe just in different ways. I don't know. She got sent back to Israel for a while and Tony was agent afloat. I was so sad. It felt like they had died but then they came back so it was ok. Well mostly. She got blown up in Israel but she was not badly hurt.' She paused. 'I miss you Kate.' Abby laid a black rose on the grave next to the yellow one. She then turned and walked back to the group smiling but crying at the same time.

Tony was the next to step forward. He knelt in the grass and placed his hand on the grave. 'God, I wish you were here Kate. For all the usual reasons that I miss you and you did not disserve to die, but you were like a sister to me and I need sister advice. I know I could ask Abby but I would prefer a sister who does not tell anyone and everyone what I tell her. I really like this girl. I can feel you glaring at me. I really like Ziva. You know, she is my partner. I worked with her for four years and I just started to realize how much she meant to me. I just don't know if I should tell her. What if she does not feel the same way? It would destroy our friendship. I really wish you were here to tell me what to do. You always seemed to understand people, which made you easily susceptible to Stockholm syndrome. I am not say that is a bad thing. I am just saying that I need you here. Bye Kate.' Tony laid a pink rose next to the other roses. Then he walked away feeling a sharp pang in his chest.

McGee walked forward past Tony and toward Kate. He always found this part hard. Kate had been his close friend and even sometimes his ally against Tony. 'Hey Kate. Life has been strange. I don't think that Gibbs has head slapped any of us in months. In a way I kind of miss it. Tony is still the same Tony that we know and love. Ziva is still Ziva and she still scares me half to death. I forgot to delete some pictures that Tony took of her in a bikini. They accidentally reverted to my screensaver and I thought she was going to kill me. I don't know if you would like her. She is almost you opposite. You are a devote Catholic. She is a very non-observant Jew. You have slight issues with shooting people. She is an assassin. You had a normal family. She had one ravaged by war and greed. You are not exactly wonderful at concealing your emotions. She is very good. On the other hand, you both serve Gibbs loyally and were originally part of your respective country's secret service. I miss you Kate.' McGee laid down a red rose next too the other three and stepped back.

Ziva walked forward to the grave. 'Hello, Kate. I am Ziva David. I don't know what the others told you about me. Ari Haswani was my half-brother. I know that you must not be thrilled that the person who took you spot was you killer's half sister. I did not take you spot thought. Not really. I made my own. The first few months that I was here it was so clear that you were part of the team. You were always there. Where they meant to or not I think that for a while they were comparing the two of us. I never met you but I think that you would have made a good friend if we did not kill each other. I really am sorry for what my half brother did. Good-bye Kate.' She said then took a small wooden cross out of her pocket and placed it in the dirt so it would stand up right. The she walked back to the rest of the group.

It was strange Gibbs thought how lose brought people together. Maybe it was knowing just how precious life is or maybe it is wanting to hold all you have left. Every year on Memorial Day people honor those who fought to keep their country safe. Some of those people had lost loved ones and some like Ziva had never met them but knew the price of their sacrifice. Every person who fought for their country was remembered because they never died alone. There were always people left behind.

So there it is my own little memorial. I hoped you liked it. Please review it. One other thing. Was Kate buried in Indiana or Illinois? I had to guess but I think I am right. Thank you to all who read, all who review, all who fought for their country, and all who were left behind.