What Follows
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Age Friendly!

Title: What Follows.
Author: Ky
Rating: Age friendly.
Summary: Tony thinks that Gibbs looks old.
Pairing: Kinda Kate/Gibbs, kinda Tony/Kate, kinda ship-free.
Season/Sequel: Yup, it's a Twilight fic.
Disclaimer: Not Mine.
Author's Notes:
Date: 09/03/06


If you have to leave,
I wish that you would just leave
Cause your presence still lingers here
And it wont leave me alone.


In the seconds that follow, no one breathes.

A smile of humor is still plastered on his lips, witty retort sitting at the back of his throat, waiting to escape.

He feels that smile fall, each crease on his face sliding lethargically back into place as his jaw slackens and awareness begins to seep in.

Numbness follows, his body unwilling to move for fear that any action will make this real.

It can't be real.

In the minutes that follow, their stunned silence hangs in the air like a tightly strung noose, only interrupted by a broken cry of "No!"

Tony pretends not to hear the weakness, tears, anguish that are buried in that simple cry. He remembers, as a child, his parents fighting while he hid under his pillow to escape the harsh words and their meanings.

He wishes he had a pillow now.

In the hours that follow, they do what they do best; they work.

Don't think about it. Process the scene. Look for evidence. Take it to Abby. Solve the case.

Get the killer.

Tony pretends that the slab in the morgue is not his friend. He pretends that he doesn't really get the full implications of his Boss' strange behavior. He pretends that he isn't well aware of who did this to her.

He pretends that he doesn't know who's next.

In the days that follow, Tony tries not to say much. Think much. Feel much.

He smiles, when he thinks of her, in the Schoolgirl outfit and the well-times gust of wind. He would have done just about anything to see that, before...

Before she died.

They all go to her funeral. Boss turns up late. Tony almost thinks for a moment that he's making some kind of statement, but suspects not.

He lingers at her coffin, waiting to be lowered into the earth. Boss puts his hand on the polished wood and says something to her lifeless body, maybe has a one-sided converation with her, but Tony doesn't catch it.

He imagines.

I love you...

I'm sorry...

Please come back...

Don't leave me, Katie.

Tony thinks the same.

In the weeks that follow, Tony begins to see better than he ever had before. A wrinkle here, a line there, fading colour of the eyes. Permanent frown etched into hard features. Words spoken with a poision tongue.

For the first time in over 2 years, Tony thinks that Gibbs looks old. Tired. Defeated.


He doesn't say anything. Not even when Boss refuses to let anyone near her desk. Everything remains as it was, including a half-finished report, and they all wonder when he will let that go. If he will.

Probie notices too, mentions it in passing once to Tony, but he doesn't say anything to the Boss.

Neither of them have a death wish.

In the months that follow, Tony learns that every day on the 16th, Boss has 4 cups - mugs? buckets? - of coffee before ten. They all stop counting after that.

He snaps at the rest of the team, almost hit a suspect once. His shirt is never ironed on the 16th. Sometimes, when they get in, Boss is still sleeping, slumped at her desk, her bracelet stays on his wrist.

Tony wants to remind Boss that they lost her too, but he never does.

"It's the 16th." Probie doesn't sound afraid as he once may have, more resigned.

"I know."

"What's so special about the 16th?" Neither of them volunteer to explain it to Ziva.

They hear the elevator 'ping', signaling the start of another bad day.

Boss look tired. There's a coffee in his hand as he steps out, and Tony has already purchased another that rests on his desk in waiting. He grunt at them as he passes and Tony can see that he didn't sleep last night. He never does.

He takes his gun out of the holster and places it in his desk draw without making eye contact with anyone.

They've all wondered about the potential dangers of him having a loaded gun on the 16th, but no one will broach that subject.

Tony knows that he loved her, and he knows that in the hours that follow the gruff arrival of their Boss are to be filled with harsh words and sharp looks.

He doesn't say anything.

It's the 16th, after all.