To A by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own NCIS or any of its characters.

The sweltering heat drove Timmy from a perfect fantasy dream in which he'd been lying in bed with Abby, holding her, and, later, making love. He blinked open his eyes against the gritty light, and sat, moments later.

In the kitchen, he watched a spider hanging in a web inside his window, spinning a floating coffin around a shabby grey fly no longer buzzing, or struggling at all. He sipped his coffee, lousy and watered-down, and decided to try another brand next time he was in a supermarket, convenience store, or service station. Perhaps he'd even try the new continental shop in the small shopping district three blocks over, a collection of five shop fronts, its newest store already sporting smashed windows and packing tape from his last inspection upon passing through the street in his car.

He'd heard Abby had married some years ago to a man named Pedro Montez, and that they'd had children; it wasn't looking likely that his dream would be coming true.

Coffee finished, he stood to grab his jacket and stopped by the window to gaze, for a second, out of the grubby glass down onto the footpath, and road, below. He picked the remains of the dead fly from the spider's web carefully, and walked out of the room; stepping out into the hall, he pulled the door to his apartment closed firmly, and navigated his way downstairs, listening to the echoing sound of his footfalls on the concrete steps of the stairwell. He'd need a refill on real coffee before dropping into the office for the day's work.

Out on the street, the sunlight zapped to the back of his head and started a sharp ache there. He unfurled his fingers from around the carcass of the fly, and it twitched its wings momentarily, as though in confusion, and took flight into the brightening morning air. He found his car parked down the street; he left the radio off.

There'd been a girl first, if his memory served him correctly. The marriage, and then the birth of Abby's first born had come right after his transfer, and he'd heard about it somehow, though he couldn't remember now exactly how, and he felt little compulsion to push himself to dredge up such a fact, his concentration on the traffic conditions around him.

Two girls and a boy, he recalled, as he was sitting in Starbucks, sipping a coffee. Jennifer-Kate, Cassidy, and Gomez. Another point for his memory, and for the dull ache building again in the back of his skull. His mind found a diversion in his writings as Thom Gymcitee, wondering, if, in fact, the time had come to take up the task of writing his last Leroy Tibbs novel. It'd been five years since his last novel featuring Tibbs, and even he, along with his fans, had began to wonder if it would remain his last. He'd left things open, like a badly wrapped gift, unfinished; he needed a good wrap-up to end the series, and now was as good a time as any to start. What of Amy, he wondered later, which was his cue to change the direction of his thoughts.

Ziva had had a child, too; Abby had not had the monopoly on motherhood for very long. Rather than a father that she'd grow up knowing, though, Vista had had a number on a register of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of sperm donors.

Timmy dropped his empty cup in the trash on his way out of Starbucks, and headed for his car, feeling the stirring of changes already; later, it would rain.

As he worked on paperwork beneath unsettling artificial lights, the bright, acid-bleached paper stinging his eyes, a pen scratching against invisible strands, he thought of the past, of those first few months of his transfer, of the loneliness, and then, the attack, and the discovery.

In theory, he had always been a healer, though, in reality, he had no way of knowing whether or not he'd possessed it in him to heal, or not.

He'd been hiding, or sheltering, with a group of young children when the explosion had happened, trying to find a way out, and keep them as quiet as possible, at the same time. The explosion had been completely unexpected, and, when he'd regained consciousness, the first thing his mind had done had denied it, until he'd opened his eyes, and found himself, not in a room full of children, but a room full of the parts of children. Despite the pain in his skull, he'd felt an immediate need to be violently ill, before he'd registered the pain all over, and the little girl beside him, holding his hand, her little hand clutched unshakably to his last finger only.

In the hospital, she was unconscious, as she had been when he'd woken, and when the paramedics had arrived on the scene, but otherwise unscathed. The techs who'd reenacted the events digitally concluded that he must have shielded her with his body, except he hadn't. She hadn't even been beside him, she'd only been near him, holding his hand, but she'd survived. Of those directly in the vicinity of the explosion, himself and a little girl were the only two survivors. The little girl had been in perfect health, and he'd been in pretty bad shape, but even that, given time, worked itself out. And landed him behind a desk, filling out paperwork.

He'd been on a few missions on the field, but mostly his job entailed paperwork, or lending his services as a computer expert.

The little girl – Heinzie – still wrote to him in the mail, though she'd long since moved out of state, and he wrote back to every one of her letters, always only with positive things, though, inside, he wondered where he found the words; he felt anything but positive inside, he felt as though maybe he'd died in that explosion, and he was just waiting for his mind to compute that fact.

He would dedicate his last novel in the series that had began with Deep Six, merely with the words: To A. If she was reading, he knew Abby would know that it was meant for her. He'd give Amy a happy ending, though it'd be tragic, too. She'd die, but she'd find peace on the other side. The others would survive, but have to face living without her.

Outside, the first warm drops of rain rammed themselves headlong onto the pavement, and into the glass and metal of vehicles, and, inside, Timmy shivered as he felt the rain begin in earnest, the airconditioners beating down from their mounts on the walls as though the heads and eyes of vultures from their nests, their constant gazes steady and unwavering, and he paused in his task to turn in his seat and retrieve his jacket from the back of his chair and pull it on.

Thanks for reading! Writer has a bit of an obsession with healers, apologies.