This is a warning that I am putting on all of my fanfictions now. IF for whatever reason, dear reader, you disregard the previous warnings about my fanfictions and choose to flame me, be prepared to have the same done to you. I am reasonable, and will give people due warning before they get into my story, but I have no tolerance for blatant disrespect.

To all of my Dear Readers and others who enjoy what I write about and give friendly advice and such, I love you most of all. Thank you for not being like the dick-heads mentioned above.

I read about one of my favorite authors who was flamed and I empathize with her/his position. Apparently the flame was about a pairing that someone found contemptible. She/He said that FANFICTION IS FANFICTION. I would like that to be a reminder to all. Even though some of us may not like that annoying little fact.

Thank you,

Azrael Neo Erebus Thorne

~*~*~

The air was as sharp and thin as a double-edged blade. Jethro felt it slice through his lungs each time he inhaled. Since he was a Marine, it was easy for him to ignore the chill that was enveloping him in an invisible blanket; it also helped that he was wearing a long, black, well insulated coat with a black wool scarf around his neck. Jethro exhaled slowly, enjoying the white air streaming from his mouth as he walked along the park pathway.

In his journey through the park, he spied one of his agents sitting on a park bench, which was a few meters away from a broad pond, hunched over with a posture that indicated that he was in a contemplative mood. There were several male mallards quacking around him. The agent would occasionally put his hand in a bag next to him and pull out chunks of bread, which were still steaming, and toss it at the feet of the begging birds.

Seeing the man brought of all of his memories of the agent to the forefront of his mind. Jethro closed his eyes and remembered the way the other man smelled. He had the aroma of several different cooking spices which blended to make a musk that was intoxicating, but not unbearable, like the Axe the younger generations were wearing. Jethro slowly opened his eyes and noticed that the other man had moved and was now slouched backward, his arms taking up the length of the back of the small bench, his head resting on the back with open eyes staring up at the grey clouds above him.

Jethro decided to keep an eye on his senior field agent for a while, just to make sure he was doing okay. It wasn't too long ago that Anthony was fighting a mutated version of pneumonic plague. Tony was pale and he looked very frail; his lips were puffy and cracked and his eyes were sunken and dark with pain and exhaustion. Jethro felt his heart clench painfully when he saw his second-in-command cough and the nurse walk away with a tissue that had blood splatters on it. At that moment, Jethro deeply regretted not shooting the scientist who had created the Y. pestis which had infected Tony.

When Jethro had walked into isolation he marched straight over to Anthony and bent down to whisper near his agent's ear.

"Tony, I want you to listen to me. You will not die," Jethro told him, his voice partially scratchy due to his emotions he was trying to hide.

Tony mumbled something in return, his eyes fluttering closed. Out of desperation, Jethro delivered one of his well known head slaps to the back of Tony's head, although this one was more of a tap but it made Tony open his eyes wide and listen.

"You will not die," Jethro repeated to Tony, more emotion showing through.

This time, Jethro was pleased with Tony's response, "You got it, Boss."

Jethro was brought back to the present when he smelled Tony's unmistakable scent very close to him. He opened his eyes and looked to his left where Tony was standing with the bread, pulling off pieces for himself now, rather than the begging ducks which were now all taking a swim in the frigid, black water.

"Do you want some, Gibbs? I made it this morning," Tony asked quietly as he offered Jethro some of the warm bread.

Jethro took the bread and grunted a thank you, as he drank in the scent of Tony and the body heat the younger was exerting. They stood shoulder to shoulder for a while, eating the last of the loaf of the mouth-watering multigrain bread.

"Thank you," Tony whispered at long last. "Without you, I might've not made it."

Jethro felt a rather large lump form in his throat. He didn't want to think about how life would be without his best agent. He put his arm around the younger man in a friendly manner as he composed himself and used his Marine training to dissolve the lump in his throat so he could speak without being choked.

"Tony, who else am I going to smack to feel better?"

~*~*~

To all of you who wish to leave a kind message to me, will you please tell me if I should continue this story or end it here?

Thank you!

Az-chan