Pairing: None (Leroy Jethro Gibbs&Timothy McGee Gen)
Warning: Major character death.
Author on LJ: enthused_fish
Author Website: Not that I know of
Why this must be read:
I don't read much gen, for a variety of reasons. However, the main two characters for this story (being two of my favourites) as well as the title caught my eye - and I am glad it did. Gibbs and McGee have been captured and are trapped in the hold of a ship. Gibbs is seriously injured, McGee not quite so much. During their time, Gibbs draws McGee out, talks to him, and tried, in true Gibbs style to make things easier for him. They talk, of all things, about poetry; indeed the story was inspired by the poem O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman and the poem is used, by McGee to great effect throughout the story.
The story shows the deep affection, caring, and I'm going to use the term 'love' (in the friendship, filial sense) that exists between Gibbs and McGee (and by extension the entire team). And the final line of the story sums up what Gibbs is to them all. It is an incredibly beautiful, moving, sad, painful, bitter-sweet, so right in its wrongness story that is so very much in characters. It also, amazingly given the subject matter and the inevitable outcomes, even has a smidgeon or two of humour in it - the author does a superb job. It could easily be a scene from the series that we are watching unfold. Even on re-read I am sniffing. I can honestly say that no gen story, especially one that doesn't feature both halves of my pairing, in any fandom has ever touched me so much.
"Well, stranger things have happened. Okay, McGee. I’m going to lay down some ground rules. Here is what we’re not going to do. Are you ready?"
Gibbs kept his voice as normal as possible. "First, we are not going to give into despair. Second, we’re not going to sugarcoat anything either. This situation doesn’t look good for either of us, but that’s no reason to avoid the fact or to lose all hope. So, no pits and pendulums. Got it?"
"Finally, no more addressing each other by titles or last names."
The silence that greeted his final rule made Gibbs smile for the first time since the bullets had started flying.
"Tim, in all likelihood, I’m going to die. You may as well. I think that forces us into a position of greater familiarity than we’d reached before. Got it?"
"Good job, Tim."
"Does it sound as strange to you as it does to me?"
"Probably not. It is my name after all."
Again, they lapsed into silence.
O Captain! My Captain!