Death and Me
They say that death is only the beginning. That death is but the next great adventure.
And it was why he didn't fear it. He wasn't afraid of dying. As his hand gripped his service weapon, and he stared down at the gun that has taken and saved lives, he didn't feel fear. Anguish and anger, sadness and loneness that cut him deeper than ever before, but no fear.
It wasn't supposed to end this way.
They had been on a case out in the middle of nowhere, Boondocks as Tony liked to inform them, along with singing the banjo song along with McGee… The case had only been two days but in two days Tony and McGee's bickering had quickly gotten on his nerves. So when it was time to leave, he had them drive back together, as their punishment, while he drove with Ziva.
He was used to always reaching destinations first with his driving, but when they still hadn't show up after a while, he had started to worry. None of their calls could get through and Abby couldn't track them. He and Ziva had been heading back when he got a call from Sheriff Berk, from the previous case, and he had to literally stop in the middle of the road at the news he got.
Tony and McGee had been in an accident, he and others were at the scene now and only one had survived. Agent DiNozzo was on the way to the hospital.
His world had tilted and blackened at the news of one of his agents gone, and all from a car accident. Tim…gone. Gone without him there.
Gibbs looked down at the weapon, watching as a tear drop fell and landed on the trigger. The darkness in the basement washing over him and him welcoming it.
He had needed to be in two places at once, but he had wanted to be in one. So he had driven like never before, told Ziva what had happened, and though he knew she wanted to go to the site, he knew she needed to be with Tony. So he had dropped her off at the hospital, telling her to call him, and drove quickly to where Sheriff Berk told him where the site was.
The site… The charger had obviously taken a few rolls before landing beside a tree, passenger side up. The body… Tim had been lied out on the ground with a white sheet covering him. The squealing sound of his tires had drawn the attention of the sheriff, officers, and the tow trucker. He had quickly gotten out of the car, running and dropping beside Tim.
Pulling back the sheet, he had been prepared for the worse, and instead of bruises and cuts, he was rocked by how peaceful Tim looked. As if he wasn't dead, just sleeping. The rush in his ears drowned out everything else, not that there was anyone talking as everyone had stopped moving and talking when he arrived.
A trail of blood had run down the corner of Tim's mouth at some point, and so gently, he wiped it away with his sleeve and brushed his hair gently from his face.
A hand on his shoulder had brought him attention back to those around him but his eyes stayed focused on his agent. "I'm so sorry for your loss."
"From what we can guess, Agent DiNozzo swerved to avoid something, most likely a deer, lost control and went rolling. Agent McGee…he was struck with a big piece of glass and was stuck by his seatbelt. Bled out. He was gone by the time we found them and could get them out."
Tony had been in surgery for a few hours in which time the team joined them, in tears for Tim's death and Tony. And when he had first woken the next day, Tony told them about being pinned down and unable to help Tim, Tim trapped to his seat and bleeding down on Tony, watching him slowly die before his eyes.
The darkness of the basement cast shadows around the room, and he felt chills go down his spine as his thumb flipped off the safety, a sense of melancholy yet excitement filling the air. Just one second, that was all he needed. Just one finger movement and he could move on.
His eyes screwed shut at the voice, the sweet hesitant voice of his dead agent.
"Boss, what are you doing?"
Knowing that he was nothing but yet another figment of his imagination, he still opened his eyes to look across the work table. There sat Tim, looking at him with his head tilted, bringing an involuntary smile to Gibbs' lips as he could remember many times Tim's worn that look. Look of complete confusion.
As Tim's eyes flickered to the gun in his hand, and then over Gibbs' shoulder, Gibbs took the time to stare at Tim. There was a glow about him, such innocence and peacefulness. Tim finally looked back at him and he was sucked into those green eyes.
"Boss, what are you doing?"
Gibbs looked back down at the gun and ran his other hand over it. The single object that would bring him peace. He froze though when a pale soft hand covered his own and he looked up again to look at Tim. The glow, the solidness, he wasn't so sure if he was a figment or real. Either way…he didn't care. Tim was there.
"Boss, put it down."
Blinking, he softly put it down and silently asked that the touch never left his hand. Thankfully it didn't. Tim's hand stayed over his, and the basement didn't seem so dark anymore.
"Look at me."
Shaking his head, he brushed away his tears with his free hand.
He wasn't able to deny such a soft spoken request, so he did as asked and looked up to see Tim gently smiling at him.
"You know this wasn't your fault, right?"
"It was an accident. Not exactly the way I wanted to go, but," he shrugged, "can't change anything."
"I need you to do something for me." Anything. "I need you to stay here, Boss. Not only would the team not be able to handle it if you left also, but they need you. Abby needs your shoulder, Tony's going to need your assurance that it wasn't his fault even though I told him when we were in the car, and Ziva…she's going to need your strength, Boss."
He felt as if he was breaking, his tears running slowly as Tim stayed strong and sturdy.
"She's not made of steel, no matter how much she thinks she is," he smiled. "With Tony's injuries and my death, she can quickly crumble. Ducky and Jimmy too will need you."
"Yes. But you need to stay."
He looked down at their hands, turning over his hand to interlock their fingers, his other hand covering Tim's so it was sandwiched between his. "I…I never told you." 'How much you meant to me.'
Tim's other hand came to lift his chin, a sad smile gracing his lips as a single tear fell. "I know Jethro." He raised their hands to press a kiss to his knuckles. "I love you too."
More few tears ran and he copied Tim. He removed his top hand and kissed Tim's knuckles, bringing it to his cheek and almost sighing as he felt fingers in his hair.
"Jethro, I know you're human, something people forget sometimes, but you're strong. You can get through this, and one day you'll join us. Until then…we'll be waiting." He watched Tim look over his shoulder again, seeing something behind Gibbs that he was sure he wouldn't see. So he didn't bother looking and quickly covered Tim's hand that had been in his hair when it lowered to his cheek. "I have to go, Jethro," he whispered.
He almost cried No! but he knew he had no say in the matter.
"I never got to say goodbye."
"No goodbye. Just see you later. I will see you later Jethro, it'll just be a good amount of time before I do."
Nodding, his eyes closed as he basked in slight warmth of the kiss to his forehead. And the next time he opened his eyes, Tim was gone, the basement was bright with the daylight coming through the windows, and Ducky was standing at the bottom of the stairs.
"Jethro? It's time to leave for the funeral."
He looked down at the gun and flipping the safety back on, he stood from his seat, grabbing his jacket to his suit. He headed upstairs, following Ducky, but stopped to look back and saw Tim smiling at him and offering a wave. Letting out a deep breath, he continued on out and on his way to a funeral.
A/N: It just wouldn't leave me alone. PLEASE REVIEW! They're appreciated.