Again, before you read farther, *Major Character Death*. You have been warned.
This is a far cry from what I usually write. I could never stand to see a character be killed in the show, so therefor, I never wrote it in my stories either. But this little plot idea would just not leave me alone, so here we go. Please enjoy and please don't shoot me either for being so mean to our favorite characters.
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any of it's characters.
He ran the sander carefully over each plank of wood, removing the ruff edges, the worn spots.
The movements of the sander was all he concentrated on. Never anything else. He wouldn't allow it.
Because he knew the moment he did let his mind wander, even a little, he would be assaulted by happy, yet unwanted, memories. The demons would haunt him, the emotions would overwhelm him. And the guilt, he feared, may just be enough to suffocate him this time.
So he simply blocked his mind with his fifth boat and a stash of bourbon.
The wishes, the wants, the needs, the feelings, and the emotions were all shoved to the farthest corner of his mind.
He chiseled the holes with great care, making sure each fit perfectly with their peg counterparts.
It was something that took a smaller amount of bourbon to do, so it made it harder to suppress the memories. The cases, the stakeouts, the endless nights pouring over desks together, the few rare gem of moments outside of work where they were able to relax, all the jokes and laughs and smiles. All of them came unbidden into his mind. Attacking his memory and his heart in a painful assent.
His eyes stung slightly. He blinked a few times and threw back another glass of bourbon. That would have to do for now.
He placed the planks of wood in their proper fittings, watching as the form started to take shape. He pushed the side, making sure it was firm enough to weather the waters. It was sturdy.
The smallest of smiles graced his face at the progress he had made. As quickly as the quirk of his lips appeared, however, it was erased. The smile felt foreign to his face. It felt almost wrong.
Almost like he was betraying the memory of the life that had been taken oh-so suddenly from this world by a single bullet, by feeling happy now. He knew that wasn't the case. He knew that, that person would have wanted him and the rest of the team that had been left alone in the life's wake to be happy. It would have hurt that person to see them hurting, but he just couldn't bring himself to be happy. There really seemed no point to it anymore.
After wiping the last remains of sawdust from the now finished form, he tossed the rag to counter and reached for the varnish on the top shelf.
He froze as a few pieces of photo paper fluttered to the floor, knocked loose by the removal of the varnish can.
Placing the can on the counter, he stooped to pick them up.
As he stared at the top one, his heart felt an all too familiar ache. There were his girls. Shannon and Kelly. They smiled up at him, their eyes seeming to shine even in the photograph.
A smile graced his lips for the second time in a month as he flipped to the second photo and saw Kelly, hands covered in sand and grime, as she stood proudly by her newly made sandcastle at the beach.
Flipping to the third, he saw his beautiful Shannon staring back at him. He loved this photo of her. Her head rested in her hand as she looked at him, that gorgeous smile that he had looked forward to seeing on her face each day, in place. He really missed that smile. The day felt empty without it.
Looking at the last one, an awful wave of pain came along with the ache to his heart.
It was the last photo taken of the team before one of it's members had permanently been taken from then. Seven smiles greeted him, including his own. He wished he go back to that moment in time when the photo was taken. Before everything went so wrong. Before one of the people who had so important to him, who had been such a large part of his new-found family after Shannon and Kelly, had been ripped away from him.
With a huge amount of effort, he tore his eyes away from the long missed face and stowed the photos back on the shelf.
He polished the frame, making it pure and slick. Running his hand over the carefully crafted project, he realized with a slight pang of sadness, he was very nearly finished.
He wasn't sure what he was going to do after that. He had taken all of his time. All the unused leave time he had put in over the years to finish his latest boat and now his time was nearly up. What was he to do then?
Go back to work of course, but that certainly wasn't he wanted to do.
It was funny, he thought, that things had changed so drastically in the past years.
Before his job at NCIS had served as a purpose. A reason to get up in the morning after his loss of Shannon and Kelly. A reason not to waste a way.
Now it only served as a reminder. A painful hit the heart every time he walked in and saw that empty desk. A blow to have to go through the day without that familiar soul that he and the rest of the team had come to depend so much upon, not there to fill the squad-room.
His work had, during the first loss, saved his life. Now it may just be the thing that would end it.
After dipping the brush back into the paint, he used it to fill in the last, few final strokes of his latest project's name. The namesake would have been proud.
Standing up, his knees screamed in protest at the sudden change in position. Acknowledging the momentary ache with nothing more than a wince, he went over to the counter, rinsed his paintbrush, capped the paint, and shoved them both back on the shelf.
Turning, he leaned against the counter, admiring the boat. It was his finest work since 'The Kelly'.
Made sense really, he guessed,
He had thought he'd never get another chance to be a parent after Kelly had passed.
And while no one could ever fill Kelly's place, just as no one could fill the place of his recent loss, he had been blessed with a second chance with his team.
They were none of kids anymore, that was for sure. But that didn't mean they didn't need a paternal figure in their life from time to time. And he was more than happy to fill that roll.
After time, he had grown to care about them more and more, until he was unable to think of them as just his agents and instead think of them as his children. Abby, Tony, Tim, and Ziva. His kids.
And now, just as with Kelly, he had lost another child.
He gave a tired, heart broken sigh as he glanced at his watch.
Two forty-five, AM.
He should at least try to get some sleep, he decided.
With a last glance at his project, he headed for the stairs.
He hit the light switch and closed the door, casting the room the into complete darkness, save for a single shred of light from the tiny window on the back basement wall.
It was not enough to light the basement itself, but it was light enough to illuminate the words that had been painted in black across the boat's side.
I know, I know. It sucks that Tony died. But just let me state for the record (and so none of you will come after me with weapons) I do NOT want Tony to die. If you've read any of my other stories or my profile, you know Tony is one of my most favorite characters and if he were to really be taken from the show I'd be in tears and the NCIS writer's would receive an angry letter from me.
This was just something that popped into my head and I couldn't get it to stop bugging me so I had to type it out.
Anyway, that being said, please leave me a review and I hope you enjoyed. :)