I wouldn't say that my life would not be the same without one of them. Your life is not the same after you talked to that stranger on the bus this morning. Everyone we meet, every stranger we pass makes our life not the same day in, day out. But those strangers are not the ones that matter. "Not the same" is nothing.

It is the people who make your life entirely different that you have to look out for.

Those special people, those few special people, they change you. They are the ones who leave gaping, gasping, desperate holes in your life if they leave. They are the ones whose absence makes everything, every single thing, different.

They are the ones who matter.

Sometimes they are the family we are born into. Sometimes they are the family we make for ourselves. It does not matter which.

At the end of the day, it is the same whether we are tied together by blood or by other bonds.

They make us who we are. They strengthen us when we are weak and challenge us to be better than we thought possible. The laugh with us, cry with us and for us. The live life with us. They are our life.

And when one of them is no more, every single thing is different.

The empty space they leave suffocates you until you can't scream anymore.

You continue to drift. People ask you how you are and you say 'fine', because you don't want to talk about it. And they accept that because they don't want to talk about it either.

But you are not fine. You continue to exist but you ceased to live the moment they did.

Nothing can bring them back. And deep down you know that nothing will ever make you feel whole again. Time does not heal all wounds. You tried time. The wound only got infected and your heart festered until it stopped feeling altogether.

You continue to exist, but you cease living.

Life without her in it is no life at all. And no life at all is better than life without her in it.

So I go. For closure, for justice, for the chance to make one last difference to the world.

Because I couldn't live without her.

But then…

I am stunned. Maybe I died already. It was fast, painless, I really didn't see it coming. But then, I saw her. I mean really saw her. Her hollow eyes, her tangled her and her clothes hanging off a weakened body. This is not how I would imagine her if I was dead. I would not see her like this. This was not my ninja.

And then I know.

I guess that it is irony then, or maybe some twisted cosmic test, that choosing to die would be the only thing that could give me my life back.

A/N. Still don't own them.

So I know it is not really 'in character', it is not really meant to be. It is more a collection of thoughts based around what Tony might have gone through.

Let me know what you think! How do I improve for the next story? Any favourite lines? Things I overuse that you hate!

Bonus points for anyone who can guess what I was watching when I wrote this angst ridden piece. (Hint, it is not NCIS, that would be too easy!)