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 Post subject: The Long Goodbye
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:56 am 
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Title: Kibbs Addict
Name: Sarah
Aliases: sarahflute, sarah-flute, Floot, tiggrie, kassipoeg
Gender: Female
link: fanfiction.net
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"They're bound by death, and neither of them is sure if this is the cure or the punishment."

After Tony's untimely death, Ziva and Tim find a way to cope. That's not to say it's a healthy way.

Now + Gibbs & Abby

discussion thread here

A/N:Very oblique reference to sex, not explicit, decidedly unsexy. One F-bomb. The aforementioned character death. Also thanks to Mad for a comment she had Ducky make which inspired me re: Ziva's thoughts about Tony's death.

~~~

THE LONG GOODBYE

it's the fall that's gonna kill ya

~~~

They never talk about him. He's the unspoken presence in the room, and Tim is fairly sure this is the most unhealthy way imaginable for them to deal with losing a team member. Neither of them seems to care.

Of all the ways Tim imagined Tony might die, something so senseless was not one of them. It should have been a hail of bullets, or at the very least chasing some bad guy. Despite himself, he can still clearly remember Tony's face as his foot hit the patch of black ice, the way his eyes went wide as he realised he was losing his balance, the look of utter fear as he fell backwards into thin air.

Tim's not certain, but he thinks the image might never actually leave him alone. It certainly hasn't yet. He also suspects it's the only time he ever saw Tony really, genuinely frightened, and it was the last emotion Tony ever felt, and the idea haunts him.

His hips move a little faster, his body attempting to block out these thoughts by forcing him to feel, and he's not sure whether it's gonna work this time or not, but still he drives himself into Ziva's body like he's searching for something more than release. Because he is.

Ziva is stretched taut, her fingernails digging into his neck, biting so hard on her lip she's probably going to leave a mark.

Tim suspects she doesn't care. He has no idea what she's thinking; he's not sure if he even wants to know.

~~~

For her part, Ziva is doing her best not to think about anything.

Certainly not to think of seeing Tony fall, the way she ran but was too late, too far away, as if she somehow could've caught him had she only been closer, faster.

The sickening thud as he hit the ground, the way he looked up at her, surprised and shocked and hurt, tried to say something, choking on his own blood; the way his eyes lost focus, the way his breath just stopped and it was so painfully clear the man who'd been an unstoppable force had finally met an immovable object and lost.

It seems wrong Tony died this way, wrong and cruel, but Ziva also sees an odd poetry to it. The fatal instrument of his demise was nothing less than the Earth itself; nothing less than hitting an entire planet was enough to take out Tony DiNozzo. In amongst the pain and the sadness, she takes a perverse pleasure in knowing that.

She screws her eyes tight shut and wraps her legs harder around Tim's backside. She's not sure if this will continue to work, but in this senseless, post-Tony reality, it's the only thing that feels real.

~~~

They never kiss. It wouldn't seem right. Of all the things this is about, love and romance do not feature. Intimacy is not what they're looking for.

This is about pain and release and connection and fear and grief. This is about survival. They're mourning a man they both loved. More than either of them ever realised or ever told him.

They're bound by death, and neither of them is sure whether this is the cure or the punishment. They never talk about him. He's the unspoken presence in the room as they fuck the feelings away against a broom closet door.

It's sad and it's unhealthy and it's the only thing that helps.

~~~


I've never quite 'got' McGiva as a pairing, and a long time ago I was trying to think of ways to make it feel plausible to myself. The most credible I could think of was to make it a reaction to grief. I wrote the first paragraph and then it languished in my WIP folder for an ice age, till a few days ago I opened it up and whoomph, whole story.

It came out even more depressing than I'd imagined, not to mention shorter, but I'm pleased with how it came out, in an OMG what is up with my muse kind of way. (Poor Tony. I've killed him twice now, and it was horrible both times.)

I do, however, sincerely apologise to any Tony fans or McGiva shippers who read this and then want my blood. Mea culpa.

(Evil people are petitioning me for a followup from Gibbs' POV. This is your official warning.)

___________________________
Words in this post: 827
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"Sarah, I think your autocorrect is weirder than you are." (Xiexie, Xiexie! :lol2:)

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 Post subject: Re: The Long Goodbye
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 18400
Location: UK
Title: Kibbs Addict
Name: Sarah
Aliases: sarahflute, sarah-flute, Floot, tiggrie, kassipoeg
Gender: Female
link: fanfiction.net
link: AO3
link: NFA storyboard
"Something inside of him is broken. Has seen too much, lost too much, and cannot accept one more loss. It's just not right."

It wasn't intentional, but this chapter could be read as Tibbs if you're that way inclined (and want to make it even more depressing).

~~~

betrayal

~~~

He arrives in the morgue almost frantic, not willing to believe, needing to see with his own eyes. Even though he knows, painfully and certainly, because the looks on Ziva and Tim's faces were all too truthful.

Ducky is standing by an empty morgue table, his arms crossed, his face sad and kind and stubborn.

"Where is he?"

"He's gone. And his remains are mine to deal with."

Ducky isn't usually so blunt. Gibbs stops short. "I need... I need to-"

"You don't need to torture yourself with what cannot be undone."

For a moment, Gibbs just looks at him in confusion and surprise, and then he's striding for the morgue drawers to find Tony for himself. He doesn't expect to meet an immovable object, in the shape of a diminutive but bloody-minded ME.

He tries to push Ducky aside, but Ducky is not easily shoved, and Gibbs doesn't have it in him to risk hurting his friend. "Ducky, I need to do this." He can hear the cracking in his voice, knows Ducky will hear it too.

Ducky just shakes his head. "I shan't change my mind. This is my morgue, and my decision."

"Ducky-"

"Jethro, please. Anthony would not want you to see him like this."

"I shoulda been there, Duck."

Ducky gives him a look. "So you could have what, saved him? Come now, Jethro. It was a terrible, terrible accident. It was not your fault. Even you could not have predicted it or stopped it."

"Shoulda bin there. Shoulda been able to-"

He stops. Been able to what? See a patch of ice that both DiNozzo and McGee missed? Stop Tony from falling? Be there to catch him? Be a fucking superhero?

He sinks into the chair that's conveniently situated by the morgue table, and for a second he's confused, and then he realises. He didn't know he was quite this predictable. He shakes his head.

"Need to say g'bye, Duck. Need to-"

"Oh, Jethro." Ducky reaches out and softly pats his head, as if he were a child. In a different circumstance, it might be patronising. Today, it's just comforting, although Gibbs isn't sure he deserves the comfort.

It shouldn't be like this. His team are supposed to outlast him. Tony is most definitely supposed to outlive him. So full of life and sass, his obnoxious but endearing personality. Tony isn't, can't be dead. It's... absurd.

"You've seen enough dead bodies, Jethro. You don't need to see one more. Not this one. Not him. Don't punish yourself this way."

Gibbs doesn't have the words to explain he deserves, needs to be punished. For letting his team down, letting Tony down. No matter what anyone says, he feels sure this is his fault. He's not sure how or why or what the hell he could have done to predict it and prevent it, but he should've been there. They're a team.

Logically he knows they can fend for themselves, but logic is no match for guilt and pain and shame. Something inside of him is broken. Has seen too much, lost too much, and cannot accept one more loss. It's just not right. Not Tony. No one should die like that, but Tony... if he had to die, he should've gone out in a blaze of glory, like Jen, or at least have fallen prey to an evil man, like Kate. He should've lived to go grey, like Mike.

Tony should never have been killed by a patch of ice.

"But I-"

"No."

Ducky's hand is firm and reassuring on his shoulder, and no more words are spoken. No more are needed.

There's a tacit understanding between them, and Gibbs knows he won't be trying to come back down here again, won't be looking in the morgue drawers while Ducky's back is turned. It feels like a betrayal not to come face to face with this pain, but it would be a betrayal to go behind Ducky's back. Tony would forgive him. Hell, Duck'd forgive him. But he might not be able to forgive himself. And he doesn't like it, but he trusts Ducky's judgement, and if Ducky is this insistent...

Bile rises in his throat and he chokes it back. He'll always feel guilt over this, but maybe there are worse things he could feel.

Besides, he already betrayed Tony. He can't betray Ducky, too.

It seems like they all miss Tony more than they expected. That they all loved him a little more than they realised. They're all broken, all running on empty, and he can't imagine how they will recover - as individuals, as a team - from a loss so senseless and unpredictable and unexpected. So utterly shattering.

Eventually he makes himself get up from the chair, and if he had it in him to laugh, he'd laugh at being helped up by an elderly man. But Ducky is sturdier than them all, and Gibbs can't help feeling slightly awed. Ducky has autopsied so many friends, so many people he loves, and yet he still allows himself to care, still lets his heart be broken each time. It takes a kind of strength Gibbs doesn't possess, can barely comprehend.

Instinctively he leans down to offer a hug, and they embrace for long seconds, and Gibbs does not generally allow himself the solace of tears, but this, this almost finishes him.

He lets go, and they exchange a look, and then he turns on his heel and heads for the door, head lowered.

Behind him, Ducky is getting back to work, and before the doors close, he's a reluctant eavesdropper to a morgue drawer being opened.

"Oh Anthony." Ducky's voice is old and sad. "We do all miss you so very much, dear boy."

___________________________
Words in this post: 1005
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Lie to NCIS (banner returning asap!)

"Sarah, I think your autocorrect is weirder than you are." (Xiexie, Xiexie! :lol2:)

GNU Terry Pratchett


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 Post subject: Re: The Long Goodbye
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:05 am 
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Team Leader

Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 18400
Location: UK
Title: Kibbs Addict
Name: Sarah
Aliases: sarahflute, sarah-flute, Floot, tiggrie, kassipoeg
Gender: Female
link: fanfiction.net
link: AO3
link: NFA storyboard
Abby sees ghosts.

I have an idea for a possible fourth and last chapter to finish this story, but I'm not sure whether it'll work. As it stands, this is the last one <i>at the moment</i>

~~~

ghosts

~~~


She sees ghosts.

Ducky talks to dead people, but when Abby talks to them, they talk back.

They don't tell her what happened to them. She already knows. But they help her keep going when the pain seems unendurable.

The bullpen is almost silent when she walks through. Team Gibbs is officially on leave (no one wants to say 'probation'), pending further psych evaluations, and the other teams in the room seem to be in mourning not just for Tony, but for the team which has been torn in pieces by his death.

Not irreparably. She never allows herself to think this could be forever.

She makes her way down to the lab, and they're waiting for her. Kate still comes as a Gothic princess, and it still makes Abby wish she'd tried harder to Goth Kate up while she was alive.

Mike is just himself, leaning in the corner, dragging on a cigarette. She never thought she'd miss the smell of smoke until he died.

Tony hasn't really settled to one outfit. Maybe he never will. He always did like his clothing.

Today he's apparently James Bond, judging by the sharp suit. Abby's only surprised it didn't happen sooner.

"Hey guys."

Kate and Tony look up from discussing something, both of them smiling at her. Mike nods, and gives her a wink.

They keep her sane.

(She knows it's not really sanity. But it's a version of life she can deal with. Just because Team Gibbs is in tiny shards, life at NCIS hasn't stopped. She is still overworked and underpaid, but she does the work and does it well. They'd give her time off if she asked, draft someone else in, but she's not sure what she'd do with herself, how she'd survive without the sense of purpose it gives her. If they had any idea how she's keeping it together, they'd probably force her to take leave, too, which is why she's kept it to herself. Not even Ducky knows.)

She talks about nothing much, and they talk back. It keeps her mind off the fact she's never really going to see them ever again. It stops her from falling back down into the hole that grows deeper every time she loses someone she loves.

Others pop by occasionally, but Kate has always been her confidante. She's almost always around. People assume Abby's talking to herself, but half the time it's her babies she's cajoling into action, and the other half, she's talking to Kate.

Mike appears when she's worried about Gibbs.

Tony... she chokes back a sob and shakes her head. When she looks up, Tony's watching her with sad, apologetic eyes.

Tony should not be here.

Kate shouldn't, either, but Abby's had time to get used to that.

It's never stopped hurting, but she and the pain have a deal. She doesn't press on the bruise and the bruise doesn't make her collapse on the floor and weep.

Losing Tony is not just awful in itself, but has her terribly afraid, because she fears it might be the last snowflake before the avalanche, the domino that topples and falls and takes all the others with it.

She fears losing Tony could also mean losing Tim, Ziva, Gibbs. Losing Kate hurt the team, but it drew them together, made them stronger. They had a common enemy, someone to blame - blood to shed in vengeance.

Losing Tony seems to be breaking them and pushing them apart. They loved and needed him more than anyone knew. Maybe if Tony had been killed in the line, they could have avenged him and moved on, but in a death so senseless, there's no catharsis to be had.

Tim looks superficially okay when she sees him. He's eating well but not too much, hasn't significantly lost or gained weight, seems healthy, at least physically. He gives all the right responses to her questions. He's doing a really great impression of a man who's coping with his grief as best he can, in sane, sensible ways.

If Abby didn't know him so well, maybe she wouldn't spot the tells, but she does, and so when he looks at her and smiles a fake smile that reeks of despair, and she knows he's carrying on by sheer force of will, she feels her heart break a little more. He and Tony may have squabbled, but they were partners, best friends, practically brothers.

The gaping void in his life is painfully obvious.

Ziva eats only fresh vegetables, drinks only water, and spends most of her day, so far as Abby can tell, exercising, training, honing herself back into the killing machine she once was. Except scarier.

There's not an inch of extra flesh on her, her eyes are huge in her gaunt face. There are scars she won't explain on her arms and legs. She looks worse than she did when she returned from Somalia.

She rarely speaks. She never smiles. She's a blank mask.

Gibbs scares her the worst. Usually when Abby goes round there she finds him asleep on the ratty couch in his basement. Sometimes he mumbles in his dreams, and she can never seem to wake him up. The few times he's been awake, his face seems somehow sunken and collapsed, like he's aged decades. He smells, not of sawdust and man like he used to, but musty and stale, and his chin is covered in unkempt scruff she can't bring herself to call a beard.

She leaves meals and picks up dirty dishes, and tries not to worry how little of the food actually gets eaten.

The first time she went (after he roughed up a suspect a bit too hard, and things came to a head, with Vance intervening to make sure they all lost their clearances to work rather than their entire careers), she went around the house and emptied every bottle of scotch, whisky or bourbon she could find down the drain. She's pretty sure he never goes out, and she's yet to figure out whose responsibility it is he somehow still manages to have alcohol in the house whenever she drops by. At first she emptied those bottles, too. Eventually she gave up trying to stay ahead of it.

She's terrified to the point of near paralysis that one of them will crack under the strain, and there will be another funeral. There's a sad logic to how she makes sure to see Gibbs more days than not, even though she's not sure how much good she's doing. She wants him to know she'd be the one to find him, if he ate his gun. She's not sure it will slow his hand, but she has to hope it might.

Talking to her ghosts helps, helps her stay strong, helps her feel sane when the walls are crashing in and she can't hold them up and she's trying not to panic. She's used to being surrounded by strength, and it scares her to realise how much she took it for granted.

She shivers - she's always so cold these days - and hugs herself.

Unfortunately, one thing her ghosts can't do is hug her.

She glances at the clock and wonders how early is too early to call Ducky and say 'hello'. Ducky, who's been a rock for them all, whose continued strength staggers her. He'd give her a hug if she went down there, but her nightmares have come back.

She doesn't sleep much, because when she sleeps, she sees them laid out cold and pale on the metal tables, Gibbs, Ziva, Tim. She would rather stay here with her friends, however insubstantial they are, than go and face the possibilities haunting her dreams.

She talks to ghosts, and they talk back. And she holds on to her sanity by her fingertips.

___________________________
Words in this post: 1344
_______________________
Lie to NCIS (banner returning asap!)

"Sarah, I think your autocorrect is weirder than you are." (Xiexie, Xiexie! :lol2:)

GNU Terry Pratchett


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