AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTER: Ray Cruz
SUMMARY: Set after A Desperate Man. Ray knows what he's lost and knows what the future holds for him.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for ncis_drabble's 'Inspired By' challenge.
SPOILERS: A Desperate Man
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one - Nietzsche
Ray sits in his dark apartment, a full glass of whiskey in one hand, his gun in the other. A faint light filters through the blinds from the world outside.
He's lost everything: the woman he loved (still loves); his reputation; his job; his career; his future; his self-respect. And soon he will lose his life.
He knows how it goes; the CIA can't afford to put him on trial, instead they'll clean their own house. Very soon now his parents will get a phone call or a visit expressing the CIA's deep regret over the loss of their son. His parents will be told how he served his country; how he was an asset to the agency; how he will be missed; how he died doing his job: serving his country.
It's the one shard of light he can hold on to; his parents will never know the truth about their beloved son. They will never have to face the humiliation of knowing he killed an innocent woman. They can remember him with love, affection, they can remain proud of him.
NCIS's paperwork will already be filed away; locked, closed; 'eyes only'. No one will learn the truth from NCIS; there may be turf wars with the CIA, but they too will close ranks. They will keep the secret. That's what sister agencies do; they fight, but they cover one another's backs.
If he could have one wish, it would be to go back and face Ziva again; to tell her he was wrong to kill an innocent woman, wrong to try to cover it up, wrong to break protocol and take out Norton on US soil.
He had really thought she'd understand; she was Mossad, she'd done plenty of things in her past that were more than unsavory. He'd truly believed she'd understand that the loss of Commander Burris had been an acceptable price, because by killing Norton he'd saved many lives. He'd thought she'd be able to rationalize one life against many - even if it was an innocent life.
Now he knows he'd always been fooling himself. Now he knows deep down he never really believed that. Now he knows he never truly believed she'd forgive him, forget it, marry him, have his babies and settle down.
He'd told her he wanted to go back to the man he'd been before he'd killed Commander Burris. She'd been right when she'd told him 'that man has gone'. Going against his superiors she could have, would have, understood. Killing Commander Burris she couldn't. He knows that now.
He takes another long swallow of whiskey, but no longer tastes it. All he can do now is to wait. If it wasn't for his parents, he'd take another way out. But he can't do that to them. He hurt the woman he loves; he can't hurt his parents.
MIAMI TWO WEEKS LATER
"Mr. Cruz? This is John Hutton of the CIA. I'm afraid I have some bad news for you, sir. It's about your son."