AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTER: Leroy Jethro Gibbs
SUMMARY: Set after Twilight. Gibbs is musing on what happened to Kate.
WORD COUNT: 500
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
A glass of bourbon in his hand, he stands staring out of the window watching the rain lash against the glass, hearing the thunder crash, seeing the lightning split the sky. The storm has been raging for at least half an hour and it shows no signs of abating. He finds the presence of the storm very fitting because inside him he feels a storm brewing.
It's his fault Kate is dead.
If only he hadn't assumed they had taken out the shooter then she'd still be alive.
If only he hadn't taken them out onto the roof then she'd still be alive.
If only he hadn't let them stand outlined against the sky then she'd still be alive.
If only he'd had given consideration to the fact there might be a sniper on another roof then she'd still be alive.
If only he'd given Ari more credit for his ice-cold mind and skill then she'd still be alive.
If only he hadn't let Ari trick him into going for a body shot and not a head shot then she'd still be alive.
If only Ari hadn't known that by killing Kate that he'd hurt Gibbs far more than if he'd killed him she'd still be alive.
If only he'd disobeyed orders and killed Ari when they'd met for coffee then she'd still be alive.
If only he'd never offered Kate a job with NCIS then she'd still be alive.
If only he'd never stolen Air Force One from under the noses of the FBI and the Security Service then she'd still be alive.
If only he'd never met Kate then she'd still be alive.
If only. The most used phrase in the English language. Everyone had if onlys. He'd had a few in the past, but nothing on this scale. Yes, Kate had only been doing her job; yes, she was a trained Federal Agent; yes, she'd always known she might die serving her country; yes, he'd lost agents before but never had it seemed quite so much his fault.
He always told agents who killed an innocent person to 'get over it' and that's what he should do. And that's what he would do; that's what he'd have to do, because the only alternative was to quit and he wasn't going to do that.
He'd failed Kate when she was alive but he wouldn't fail her now she was dead; he'd get the bastard who had killed her and God willing he'd get to kill him too. He'd failed to kill him once; he would not fail a second time. He could not fail a second time.
He stares at the storm which still raged and takes a deep breath and then another and then a third and begins to let go of the storm inside him. He stares into the rain and lets it calm him just enough to allow him to get on with his job. To do what he has to do next.
If only . . .