Warning: This story has a grim basis, but justice and hope will prevail!

"It has been said 'time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

-Rose Kennedy

A simple butter knife would never be able to cut through the tension filing autopsy. You would need something life a steak knife,

Or a chainsaw.

With the three former agents and one former forensic scientist spread out in the four corners of the morgue the silence couldn't be heavier. And the aging Medical Examiner could do nothing but stand in the middle of this.

Eye contact was avoided at all cost. They couldn't even steal a glance at each other without seeing the broken and bloody images of their friends that had so well stained their nightmares.

Ducky was speechless. Although he had not endured the tragic event that left them this way, he had helped them through the ineffective therapy sessions. He knew they hadn't seen each other in years, five to be exact. He was only expecting Ziva, he had given up hearing from them after Abby left, the last one to go. But when Ziva called to come over for the holidays, he had been more than welcoming . Once Abby's eyes fell upon Ziva's, Ducky's stomach had begun to churn. And when McGee and then Tony showed up, also unexpectedly, he knew the storm was upon them.

Abby stood closest to the automatic doors biting her inner lip and she blinked back the tears that were blurring her vision. Her hand tightened slightly around the hand of the five year old clinging to her side . Even the young raven haired child knew something was hinky and declined to ask her mother about these strangers.

Near the bathroom door stood McGee. His hands were dropped awkwardly at his side and he longed for the touch of his keyboard or the diamond ring he had put on Rebecca's finger just days ago. He wasn't expecting this, and he definitely wasn't going to expect what was to come.

Tony stood by the hallway entrance. The last to enter, he had immediately regretted letting Nina drag him back to Washington and when he saw his three formers co workers, his heart almost stopped. He, like all of them, couldn't even look straight at any of the others without seeing their tortured selves. He had stolen a short glance towards Ziva and even though she was in the best shape of her life and may have gotten more beautiful than he thought she was long ago, his memories of that dreaded few days filled his head and he couldn't bring himself to look at her again.

Ziva knew this was not going to be the simple get together with Ducky she had planned it to be the moment she saw Abby and the small child by her side as she entered autopsy. When Tim and Tony entered her heart broke. She had longed for them to be a team once again but even the strongest member of the MCRT couldn't get the tortured images of her friends out of her mind. The closest she had come to any of them was occasionally bringing herself to breeze through Tony's columns and forcing herself to read Dark Blue, even though she couldn't take any more of Thom E. Gemcity's words after the first chapter.

The tension was rising with every passing second, they had tried so hard to get over the physical and emotional effects of the event but even the strong bond of friendship could not erase the helpless, tortures, bloodied, and broken images of the other three, and for the first few months, the haunting images of themselves.

This meeting was not planned, nor was it supposed to happen. They did all they could to leave their tragic past behind and start over, moving to new cities, getting new jobs, and meeting new people. But fate had something different in store for them.

The shocked and awkward former NCIS agents and employee stood in the morgue, still avoiding eye contact and running dozens of excuses through their minds in hopes of getting out of there. But somewhere deep down inside, they wanted to stop this, they wanted to be normal again, they wanted to be friends again, but they had given up hope on that too long ago.

A few moments had passed, although it had felt like a lifetime for the six people in the morgue. Ducky, who's eyes had flickered from each person to the other examining their every awkward movement and nervous demeanor, had opened his mouth in shock and dread, turning to Palmer and uttered the only words and/or sound that had been heard since Abby watched Ziva enter autopsy.

"Oh dear."

Just a prologue, but it is intriguing isn't it ^.-?

So tell me what the hell you think is going on!

I probably wont update this for a while, but that shouldn't stop you from reviewing! There are still a few tweaks I need to work out.