A/N: Yes, I am joining the plethora of fans that have written something based off of Shabbat Shalom. I am not considering mine one of the best out there, but I like it. Obvious spoilers to season 10. This is just my take on thoughts.

Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to NCIS

Cost

The thoughts in her mind keep her awake at night. They crash into each other with lethal force commanding her eyes to remain open. Rivers of red paint her once bright eyes. In all but the color they match the ever present streaks on her cheeks. She has made no attempt to conceal her pain. No comfort can be offered. The last person in her family is gone. The violent death is not surprising, but to see his body…that she did not expect. The last words she said to him were words of hate, malice, and contempt. He had been trying to work on having a relationship with her once again. She had shot it down. Her father had survived this long…

A fresh wave of tears streams down her cheeks. She is alone. No one can offer her any comfort. There isn't a soul in the world that could make this any easier for her. Arms around her would only remind of all the things that she missed out on all the things that she wanted from the man that was a living, breathing human only hours before.

It's not like her to cry. She takes things in stride. Stopping to consider the implications of anything is not the way she was taught. The only outcome is completion of the mission, but what is her mission? She stares at the blank white wall and pictures of the past flit across it. Everything she can remember that she deems pertinent enough to consider flows in a steady stream making the wall a impromptu movie screen to her life. Her mind is a vast vault of memories. In a painstakingly slow ascent she comes up from the depths of her sorrow and wipes away the tears. Her mission is clear: find the person responsible.

This leads her to an even greater debate. Her boss is the obvious choice. He will find the responsible party no matter what, but at the same time he might not allow her to be included in the search and destroy. In fact, he probably won't even destroy the monster. He will most likely take the perpetrator into custody to serve out a prison sentence, or so that the director can look into the eyes of the one that took his wife away. The director will not be directly involved either, that much is blatantly clear. She is going to be kept out of it. She will be side-lined. Her teeth grit at the thought.

The only other soul willing to help her achieve her goal will be more dedicated to her cause. He will find a way to get her everything she needs without question, but at what personal cost? He could lose everything for her. It's not something she would usually use. Using him means putting him in danger. Danger comes with the job, though. He knows that. To go to him with the intention of killing someone and possibly jeopardizing both their careers is insane. She smiles a cruel smile at the thought. Insane is what she needs. She needs something to focus on. Her focus will be on finding the one responsible. Help will come from the one most willing.

Does it matter what happens during the battle? No. Is she willing to sacrifice everything for the man that she despised in life only because he did what he thought was necessary to win her back? Yes. All that matters is the outcome. All that matters is that the person responsible suffer the same fate as her father. The in between and the after can be considered later. The moment when death reaches the one that deserves it cannot come soon enough.

She's a mess when her mind is finally made up. It doesn't bother her. Her hair is out of control. Her clothes body has taken a beating from the sobs that had recently racked her have been reduced to slight tremors. She is unsteady on her feet when she stands. None of this makes it to her brain. It is not firing on all cylinders or she would know that she needed rest before she went to find a killer. She is trained to work through being tired, but she is nearing on exhaustion. She doesn't feel it. All she can feel is the soul tearing pain. She can't take many more wounds to her tattered soul. This one has almost caused it to split. She wouldn't be surprised if it did. Right now she has no use for a soul. There will be no remorse in this death. The blood on her hands will not shine.

A whisper of her former self begs her to stop what she is doing. It is telling her that the person making these decisions cannot be trusted. It practically begs her to see that she has reverted to the assassin that took so long to bury. She considers it for half a breath, then shoves it away. There is no need to consider anything else. All that matters to her is her ultimate goal. The ultimate cost remains unconsidered.

A/N: Please leave your thoughts!