Disclaimer: Nope...it's not mine. Don't even ask...


Gibbs looked up from his scope.

"Daddy, please, please, please don't go!"


"Gunny! What're you doing?" Beside him, Seergeant Tom Gates was on his belly, sniper positioned like Gibbs', ready to fire. "Get focused!"

"Tom, do you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

Shaking his head, Gibbs went back to his scope. "Nevermind."

"Daddy? Where are you?"

"Kelly?" Gibbs looked around again.


"I hear my daughter, Tom! I can't see her!"

"What're you talking about! She's back home, stateside!"

"Daddy!" Kelly's voice sounded more urgent. "Mommy, where's daddy?"


Gibbs' eyes grew wide, and his breathing sped up. "Shannon?"

"Gunny! What the hell's going on with you!" Tom looked back through his scope. "Targets are approaching! Get ready, Gunny!"

A blue car was driving down the dusty dirt road, headed in their direction. It was Gibbs' and Gates' job to hit the targets in the back of the vehicle.

Trying to shake it out of his head, Gibbs repositioned his scope. "I...I have visual."


"Stop it," Gibbs muttered. "Stop!" He pulled the trigger on his rifle, hitting the driver square in the heart.

The car swerved, but Gibbs could hear screaming.

"Kelly!" Shannon's scream echoed throughout the desert.


Beside him, Gates hit the target between the eyes. "Got him! We got him, Gunny!"

But Gibbs wasn't paying attention. He saw the target's car fall into a pit, stopping at the bottom. There was no way anyone could survive that. But why was he hearing screeching tires and screaming in his head?

"Daddy, please come home!"

"Kelly, watch out!"

"NO!" Gibbs sat up straight in his chair immediately, blinking back tears he didn't realize he was shedding. His breathing came out in short, quick spurts, and he was sweating. Where was he? Scanning the room, he found himself sitting at his desk at NCIS. He looked at his watch. 0200.

Across from him, McGee was slouched forward over his keyboard, sleeping. The junior agent had left his computer on, and his cheek was pressing random buttons. He must've fallen asleep while typing up his report for Gibbs.

Beside him, Ziva was leaned back in her chair, eyes closed. She was sleeping peacefully, with her hands folded neatly on her lap.

Gibbs couldn't see Tony asleep on his desk, but it was quiet enough for him to hear unintelligent muttering coming from behind the senior field agent's desk. Tony was probably stretched out on the floor.

Calming down, Gibbs pulled open his desk drawer, going through it until he pulled out a cream-colored envelope addressed to him. Slowly, he looked at it, recalling the first of many times that he read the contents of it. He pulled the letter out, unfolding it carefully.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs,

I hate to be the one to inform you that two days ago, at aroung 1400 hours, yourwife and daughter were involved in a fatal car accident in Washington D.C. Medical examiners say that their deaths were instantaneous and that they didn't suffer a painful death. You are being sent back stateside tomorrow at 0700 hours and will not be returning to Iraq. We can meet to discuss more later.

Mike Franks

It was short, to the point, and heartbreaking. Gibbs sighed and put the letter away. He had thought it was a cruel joke at first, denying that the letter in hishands were real. When he arrived in the states that week, standing at their funerals, he could no longer deny it. He visited them everyday for weeks, sitting between their headstones, sometimes holding a gun in his hands, turning it around. He had thought that by killing himself, he might wake up from the nightmare that wouldn't seem to stop.

"Boss?" Tony sat up on the floor, eyes going directly to Gibbs. He was breathing heavily, sweating. "Oh. You're here."

"Bad dream, DiNozzo?" Gibbs' voice cracked a little, but he recovered.

Tony rubbed his eyes, ignoring the question. "Uh, what time is it?"


"Wow." Tony stood up, ready to finish his report that was still on his computer screen. "Sorry, Boss. Dozed off."

"Go back to sleep, Tony. You can finish it tomorrow."

The senior field agent looked curiously at Gibbs.


"You're not acting like Gibbs."

"I'm not?"


"Well, it's me."

Tony smiled. "Of course you are. I, uh..."

Gibbs looked at him, realizing what had awoken him. He sighed. "I was... ..." Was he really about to tell Tony the truth?

"You don't hafta say it. I know." Tony sat back down on the floor. "It never gets any easier, does it?"

Gibbs leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling. "No, it doesn't."

Tony sighed. "But once you accept it...it gets a little better."

"Accept what?"


"...That they're not really gone. Not really."

Gibbs smiled. "Yup..."

Tony hesitated. He had never spoken about this kind of thing to Gibbs before. "My... ....mom went when I was little... ... ...Blamed myself."

Gibbs held in his breath. "Wife and daughter... ... ...blamed myself too."

"Ever forgive yourself, Boss?" Tony was beginning to drift back to sleep.

Thinking for a minute, Gibbs sighed. "I was more afraid that they'd never forgive me." He closed his eyes, allowing himself to fall back asleep.

A/N: So I stayed up until four this morning, trying to fall asleep. When I finally fell asleep, I woke up about an hour later from a terrible nightmare. That was the inspiration for this. I hope you enjoyed it.