A/N: A slightly angstier one-shot involving Gibbs and Kelly. Inspired by the scene in one of Gibbs' memories in 'Hiatus', where he's standing in front of Shannon and Kelly's graves, on crutches. It's sad, I won't lie, and not that long.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or plot of NCIS.
He hurt. Everywhere.
The crutches dug in under his arms, and as he clutched the wood in his fists, his wedding band dug into the ring finger on his left hand.
The cut over his eye hurt, and the rest of the wounds from the explosion were sore and made him ache.
His eyes ached from the unshed tears he held behind them; his head hurt from the grief that hung over it.
But the most prominent pain was the one in his heart as he stared at the graves of his wife and daughter. The pain that tore him to shreds on the inside; the pain that came from seeing something that shouldn't be there.
"You promised me forever Daddy."
He could still hear his little girl's voice. He could still see her big blue eyes, pleading with him to stay, teardrops forming in the corners of her eyes.
"I thought you would stay with me forever Daddy."
"I wanted forever, Kelly," he whispered, his grip on his crutches tightening. "Oh baby, I wanted forever so badly."
He'd been yelled at by Joann.
He'd been yelled at by Jackson.
He'd been yelled at by himself.
"God Shan, Kel, I miss you two so much," he whispered, the names on the green metal caskets blurring with his tears. "I shouldn't have left, I should have stayed with you and kept you safe. You'd still be here if I hadn't left."
He didn't know how many times he could beat himself up over it. He missed his baby girl; he missed his wife, the love of his life, the woman that had shown him what love and a family was.
"When you come back, Daddy, will you stay with me and never go away?" Kelly asked, her big blue eyes looking up at him. "Will you stay with me forever, Daddy?"
"Kelly, I'd do anything for you, you know that," Jethro replied, wrapping his arm around her shoulders as they looked up at the night sky, counting the stars and losing track. "You want forever, you've got it kiddo."
"Well, I want forever Daddy," Kelly said in return, settling against him, a contented smile on her face. "Can you promise?"
"Kelly, I promise, when I get back, we'll have forever," he said, and Kelly sighed happily, resting her head on her chest and pointing to a constellation.
"I'm sorry I broke my promise Kels," he said, his eyes etching the sight of her small casket in his mind so that he would never forget. So that he would have that imagine in his mind when he confronted the man who had ripped everything from him; who had taken away his life and soul. "I never meant to break it, sweetheart, I really didn't. You know how much a promise to you meant to me."
He swallowed, the words catching in his throat. The emotion crashed over him, and a tear ran down his cheek.
"You two were my everything, my night and day, my every waking hour," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "And I will never forget that."
With that he turned and walked away on his crutches. He would catch the man who did this.
He would make them pay for taking away his forever.