You Can Let Go
By: RHHP Freak

Characters: Kelly Gibbs & Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Genres: Tragedy & Family
Disclaimer: NCIS does not belong to me. I bet that comes as a surprise.
This is my very first NCIS fanfic and as I am still new to this fandom, I am not sure all the characters aren't OOC. This is a sad, sad fic, and it's inspired by the song 'You Can Let Go' by Crystal Shawanda. Enjoy, and please R&R! It would make me very happy.

You Can Let Go

"It was killing me
To see the strongest man I ever knew
Wasting away to nothing in that hospital room"

She was standing in the doorway, watching him. She didn't know how long she had been standing there, but it felt like an eternity. His chest was barely moving, and she know he was running out of time. This was it. No way forward, no way back. The point of no return. It was over. The end of a long, exciting and sad, sad story. All you had to do was to write 'The end' and now the pen was slowly moving across the paper.

Once she had persuaded him to go back, but this was different. So very different. There had been hope for him, and it not it was gone. His body was almost an empty shell. There would be no more. Time was slowly running out for him.

She wished he could have died a natural death. She had hoped it would have been painfree, so that his friends and family would not have to watch him suffer. That she did not have to watch him suffer. But it had all gone wrong, and now he was lying on the hospital bed, barely alive and there was his friends watching him being in pain. All of them had tears in their eyes, and she wished she could comfort them, but how could she when there were tears in her own eyes as well?

Besides, it was impossible. She knew that only one person could see her, and he was lying on the bed with a bullet in his chest.

But she knew everybody who was gathered in that room. To her, they were like family. Ziva, Tony, Abby and Timothy would have made some nice siblings. They could all be together and they would tell her all about being a NCIS agent.

Ducky would have made a really cool uncle. He would tell her all of his stories and they would never get boring. She could still imagine herself sitting next to him as he told her about his crazy aunts and uncles. And she would have laughed and begged him to tell her more, until Dad would tell her to go to bed. The thought almost made her smile. Almost.

To her this was nothing but a fairy tale. An impossible story which would never, ever come true. It would forever be a dream. A dream she had always wished would become reality.

Suddenly, she noticed how shallow his breathing was and tears welled up in her eyes once more. She could do nothing but watch as his breath became more and more shallow; how he soon had to gasp for every breath; how his heart started to slow down. It seemed like it was welcoming her, urging her to step closer.

She took a deep breath and slowly walked into the room. She had to look away from him and studied their faces instead. It was so much easier, and yet so much harder. They did not see her. They were staring at his face, no doubt remembering their good times with him. The man who had been like a father to them. Her daddy. The gunny. The man she had been waiting for, for so many years. A man who had saved hundreds of lives. A man she was proud to call her...

"..daddy..." she whispered and sat down next to him. She could see his eyes flutter open. They could not. She could see the eyes as they were, not clouded by pain or the medication in his system. She could see the brilliant blue color, so much like her own.

"Kelly?" he said softly. Maybe he did not have the strength to say it louder, but the sound broke her heart. Again. "Is it... time?"

She nodded, the tears shining in her eyes. She hated this so much it was unbelievable. She did not want to take him away. He had a life here. A good life. He was not even supposed to be lying in this bed. He was supposed to be up, catching the bad guys, occasionally give Tony a headslap and being nice to Abby! This was just wrong! But she nodded and said: "Yes daddy, it's time. It's time to stop fighting and let go."

He closed his eyes for a second. Then he nodded and said: "I'm ready" He seemed to be deep in thought for a second, but then he smiled widely. He slowly sat up and she could hear as the monitors started to beep and his... their family started to call for help. "Is Shannon there too?" he asked and looked around, completely ignoring the chaos around them as nurses and doctors started to fill the room.

"She's waiting for us. She has been waiting for a long time." She smiled to him. "But daddy, she's not happy about your ex-wives, so don't mention them."

He chuckled. A sound she had missed. She held out her hand and he grabbed it like it was a lifeline. How ironic. His hand was calloused from many years of building boats in the basement. But she did not care. Even though she knew it was selfish, she no longer cared if she was taking him away. The familiar scent of sawdust was bringing back all of the happy memories from her childhood. For a few seconds, it felt right.

He looked at the faces of those surrounding his body on the bed and a hint of sadness was visible in his eyes. He could not hide it.

"I won't get a chance to say goodbye, will I?" he asked and her selfishness was blown away. She felt so very ashamed of herself. How could she ever believe this could possibly be good?

"No, you won't," she said. "But, dad, don't think of this as goodbye. Think of this as 'see you guys later.' One day, it could be you in my shoes."

He shuddered. "God, I hope not." She knew that feeling all too well. She had felt the exact same thing many times before, every time she had thought of this day, but she had always known it had to be her.

He was her daddy. He was supposed to have watched her grow up. He was supposed to see her graduate. He was supposed to lead her down the aisle to a man she would spend the rest of her life with. He was supposed to spoil his grandchildren. He was supposed to die with her beside him, happy for a long, fulfilling life with his wife by his side.

He should have died with a smile on his face, not a grimace of pain. And she was going to stand in front of a church, talking to his friends and family about all the good things he did in his life and how sorely he would be missed.

But fate had different plans, it often has. And here she was, an eight year old girl with a mind of an older, wiser person. She had witnessed the horror of war and death. She had seen all the things her dad has been through. Killings, robberies, fights, kidnappings. It wasn't pretty. Life never is.

She stood up. He followed her lead and she slowly lead him through the room. The rapid beeps turned into a single tone, which seemed to echo in her ears. Everything around them happened in slow-motion, but neither them noticed. There was no coming back for either of them.

Right outside the room she looked back and she saw the immediate grief in their faces as they all broke down. Ziva was being held by Ducky as she sobbed into his shirt. Abby, who had been crying more than once since she had made her entry, broke down again and slid down on the floor. Tim was beside her, holding her. And then there was Tony. Tony was just there. Only a few tears escaped his eyes, but she could see it in his face how much he was really grieving. He had considered her dad as a second father, and unlike many other girls she had been happy to share. She had a strong feeling that he needed daddy more than she did. And she believed daddy needed to look after somebody. Like him... and Abby.

And as they walked away, she knew he looked back more than once. She knew he regretted it. She knew he wished this would never have happened. She knew he wanted to go back to spare his co-workers, his friends, his family the grief.

But finally he let go.

It was over.

"You can let go now daddy
You can let go
Oh I think I'm ready to do this on my own
It's still feels a little bit scary
But I want you to know
I'll be okay now daddy
You can let go"

The end