A/N: Companion piece to Walk Don't Run. I decided it needed an ending, and after a grueling semester of grad school sitting at my computer and writing is a fairly awesome feeling. I am not completely up to date on absolutely everything, so that's a warning. This is a universe that began before Bodner, though so nothing revealing about the latest episodes. I hope you like it and thank you for reading. I appreciate it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to NCIS.
Time is slipping through their fingers. It's barely tangible. Holding onto time is like trying to hold onto water. It is not possible. With every passing day, she can feel the clock tick faster, toying with her. It's been months since his accident, months since she felt that something that she never believed she'd feel. No words justify how she feels for him.
They have started a new dance all their own in the months since she ran to him. The steps are simple and they usually end up close enough to share a touch. Feeling him close is an exhilarating feeling she can't describe, explain, or understand. The most striking realization that destroyed the walls around her heart and soul was finding out he trusted her inexplicably. Looking back it shouldn't have been a surprise, but she has spent years keeping him out. Letting him in was much harder than she thought it could be; letting herself go…almost painful.
A knock echoes through the empty space in what was once her apartment. The final box is resting at her feet. She turns to stare at the door wondering who has interrupted her farewell. Her eyes remain glued to the door as she recalls as many memories as she can of events that have taken place in her sanctuary. Her apartment in D.C. was the second place she felt safe after her spirit was shattered in Somalia. The pieces clicked into place here, feeling whole had never felt as it had that night.
A small smile graces her features. The rooms around her didn't bring her back from the brink, nor find all the scattered pieces. It didn't provide the glue, or the frame. No, the people around her did that; all on their own. It was here that she realized she didn't hurt as much, dream as much, and hoped more than ever before.
Her fingers wrap around the knob on her front door for what will most likely be the last time to allow the final visitor to enter. All of the ending words that have been floating through her mind run rampant tonight. They are all attempting to inform her that some part of her life is coming to an end. What part? She isn't sure. Lately it has all been a blur as the time she thought she had slips through her fingers like sand.
"Hey," he says softly from the hallway. His smile is small, but has a trace of sad understanding. She knew he would come to share this moment with her. He has been good. He left her alone for most of the final packing and clearing of the place. Others came to help her, he waited at her possession's destination calmly unpacking them all again.
They didn't talk much during the transition. There was nothing to say, really. She took a few days off to prepare and he went to work. Staying separate for the past few days was extremely important to her. Were they making the right decision? The thought that they might not be haunted her days and nights. Suddenly, with her empty apartment behind her and him in front of her the answer found her. It was simple and there all the time. Did she want to stay in an apartment full of possessions, alone, and empty, or go to him? That question was too obvious to answer.
"Ready?" he asks her quietly. She turns to stare in the empty room in front of her. One box sits patiently in the middle of the floor. He slips by her to check the other rooms in the apartment giving her one last moment to look and remember. He finishes and waits by the box. She nods at him. He picks up the box and they leave. The door clicks shut with finality.
It's time she moves away; away to a life full of dreams, hope, and time.