A/N: First foray into writing for NCIS. David family angst, spoilers for Kill Ari pt2 if you squint real hard at it.




I never forget them day or night:
They beat on my head for the memory of them;
They pound on my heart and I cry back to them.

'Killers' – Carl Sandburg


There is nothing in this world so cruel as losing a child, so they say.

Do you remember the first time?

The dense, heavy heat of summer, the slow boil of an argument waiting to happen. Stupid disagreements over stupider reasons and tempers running high. A blunt refusal for extra dance lessons, a week of sulking resentment and then Ima trying to make peace for your hurt and the eruption that followed.

The bitter bite of 'I hate you' on sullen teenage lips, the storming out with the unspoken expectation of a sheepish atonement in the evening that never comes.

One man with a jacket full of explosives and a cafe full of young laughter and all that is left at the end of the day is a mother whose childs last words to her were words of anger.

They say there is nothing crueler than losing a child, but what of sacrificing one?

A child unlucky enough to be of mixed birth, and unluckier still to be one half you. A good man, a man of medicine and healing, a man sent blithely into the serpents den to further a cause that nobody can really see the end to.

A son whose hatred of his father was used to twist him and pull him apart and put him back together as something completely different.

A man who commits hideous crimes and meets his end far from home at the hands of the one who loved him most.

If there is cruelty left after this, then it must be in the blatent disregard of all that a father is supposed to be.

The last child left, the weapon, the unseeing hand that crushes at the fathers command. The sharp end of the spear. The child that takes so much from so many with so little reason.

The child that loses the last of herself in a basement, who takes the life of her only solace to save a stranger.

The child that atones for this every day after by helping other strangers. Saving lives instead of taking. But it's still not enough, never enough. Never enough until i no longer see them in my dreams.

There is nothing left here for you to use, and if I too am to be collateral damage than you will have to come for me yourself, because there is no other child to do your dirty work for you. Now you have no one.

You have made monsters of us all, Papa, so what now?