Just a new thing I'm doing. Drabbly one-shots about random relationships (some romantic, some platonic) that have shaped the team. I'm too tired to do a hyper, rambly authors note, so all I'm gona say is:

1. I love Tony singing in the mens room. You can't even call it singing. Yodelling, maybe. Or maybe it's just noise.

2. Ziva kissing Tony was perhaps the best thing I've seen all year.

3. I hate the Verification Principle and the Vienna Circle and I wish fools like Ayers had thought twice before they started pontificating on about logical positivism and all that crap. As you can probably tell, I have an essay to do.

4. On with the show.

Somewhere between Shannon and Jenny, Gibbs did not fall in love.

She was quiet, with solemn hazel eyes and reddish brown hair. Not the laughing ginger freckles of his dead wife, nor the provocative crimson of his future lover. She was soft and gentle, and infinitely patient, and it broke his heart a little to see her so resigned to the limits of his affections. So understanding when he dripped salty tears onto her bare skin as he made love to her. The first time, he tried to meet her eyes. The second, he buried his face in her neck and did not try to hide the sobs that racked his tired, proud body. She stroked his back in slow circles and steadied her breathing.

Two weeping lovers, together in a bed. They drown in it.

The mornings are sweet. Easier, as though the wires on which they are suspended slacken a little, melt and dip in the young sunlight. He might roll over and kiss her cheek, and she will pretend that this stirs her, and that she has not been lying awake through the night thinking about what he does not feel for her.

Oh, he probably loves her. But he does not love her enough, and so she lies awake.

Sometimes they would go out together, and to the entire world they would appear freshly loving. He might even relent enough to hold her hand, but he could always feel the difference in her fingers. They were colder, thinner. He could feel her bones through her skin and it reminded him of skeletons, of dead beauties in boxes with screams on their lips. And suddenly his grip would slacken, and she would understand, and would not cling, and this is how he bears her.

After a while, he leaves her, and though his eyes are tired, and his lips say I'm sorry, his heart is a thousand miles away, and has never been with her.

He is not with her when the little blue lines appear and she sits, alone, on a toilet seat, and cries like a child until her limbs are stiff and her eyes won't open.

He is not with her when the doctor explains the risks and asks whether she will be alone. He is not with her as she lies back on the sterile white bed and the desperate tears spill from tightly squeezed eyes. He does not hold her hand.

He is not with her when she does not fall in love again.

She has so much time left, and she does not know what to do with it.