Hollow Reflection

He stared in the mirror. The face stared back at him. It looked like him. More tired, more stressed. Sad and unblinking his reflection stared back. The heavy eyes and downturned lips. His hair was rumpled from his hands furiously pulling at it. The skin pale from shock and disbelief. His gaze was empty, numb, hollow.

But what was most intriguing about his face was the blood spatter that lay across it. Soaked into his skin like it was fabric. Stuck to him like paint. It was bright in contrast to his white skin. A drop had smeared when a finger had brushed across his face. But the rest had stayed. Dried and crusted until it wouldn't come away with a gentle brush. He would have to scrub it away. Scrub away her.

Tony's face crumpled as he thought of her. The woman that he had grown to love over the past few years they had worked together. They had joked and grown to be great friends. They had spent long hours together and went home and spent more of their free hours together. He had seen her in some precarious situations and she had saved his skin more than enough. He had helped her in long sleepless nights and she had stayed with him after the whole plague thing.

Tony flipped through his memories bitterly. Wishing desperately to be back in them, enjoying them. He wished he had put all the things about her in his mind so he could easily remember them. He wished he had memorised the way she smelled, her voice and the way she walked. He wished he had held her more, enjoying the weight in his arms and the feel of her skin on his skin. Her pulse under his fingertips. The feel of his hands in her hair.

He choked on a sob as he thought of the last time he had touched her. Still warm as if she was alive, her face as if she was asleep. But the bullet hole in her head told him different. The way she didn't scramble to her feet again told him other things that he didn't want to hear.

His reflection swam in front of him but he could still see the blood on his face. He slammed his hand onto the tap and watched as the water ran down the plug hole. He soaked a paper towel with it and raised it to his face but found he couldn't do it.

He didn't want to wash her away. As if her blood on his face was the last thing he had of her. The last memory of her. The last thing of hers that belonged to him. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander. He could see her face, bright under his eyelids. She was smiling that way she smiled and Tony couldn't help but smile back. He could hear her laugh and smell her smell. He knew that things everyday would remind him of her. He could even hear her now, talking to him.

"DiNozzo, you think a washing a little blood off your face is gonna make you forget me?" She asked, sarcasm laced every word. He could see her disbelieving glare and his heart thumped at the thought he would never see it in person ever again.

"I guess not." Tony mumbled and opened his eyes again. He rubbed his skin hard and let the blood be washed away. He blinked and let out a sigh, his face now devoid of the blood. Her physical presence now long gone, but her memory was not and Tony would force himself to remember. He took a deep breath and rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hands, brushing away the tears and sadness. He tried to smile at his reflection and shook his head a little. Maybe he would work on the smiling again later, because now wasn't a time to smile.