22 February 2006 @ 04:23 pm
NCIS: Keepsake (PG), Gen.  
Going through her things never bothered him before.



Morrow called them personal effects.

When the director spoke at the funeral he said she was like a daughter, and had tears in his eyes, but now, back at the office, she's gone and what she left behind is called personal effects. The cell phone, the stapler, these things are NCIS property, not hers, and will be left behind--recycled for someone else.

He has the sudden juvenile urge to carve her name into the desk, to leave behind something that can't be removed, because it doesn't seem right for her to be so easily erased. The desk is smooth, though, glossy and perfect because Kate doesn’t leave scratches behind, wasn't the type, and he isn't going to ruin that for her now. He can barely see anything with only the desk light on anyway. It was a quarter to midnight when he got here and now it's past one, so everyone else is home; their homes maybe, someone else's home, sleeping, drinking, crying--building a boat. He should be, too, probably--sleeping, that was, but these days it's hard to even move.

He hasn't had real sleep since the rooftop. He spent three nights in the morgue, sitting with his head against her drawer. He didn't need Gibbs shouting at him to know that it was screwed up, but he just couldn't leave her there alone. Gibbs didn't get it, none of them did, but Kate didn't leave him--she could have gotten herself killed but she stayed anyway, she stayed to listen to him ramble on about movies because he was scared and she knew it. And now he finally understands why Ducky talks to the dead, because he told stories until his voice went out and even that wasn't enough.

Every time he thinks about her underneath the ground it gets harder to breath. He can't follow her there; he can't spend his life telling stories beside a grave. Snap out of it, Gibbs had told him, and a year ago he might have wasted time wondering how he could be so cold. He knew now that it was just an act, kind of like the way he would smile and say he was fine, and he knew it was Moby Dick all over again. Ari was as good as dead, because Tony had no doubt Gibbs would find him and end this. It didn't work for him like it did for Gibbs. He wanted Ari dead as much as the rest of them, but it wasn't going to make him feel better, it wasn't going to help anything and it wasn't going to bring her back. Gibbs wasn't as perfect as he always thought, Tony has realized, because Gibbs thinks it will.

He lifts a compact from the drawer, and sets it in the box neatly labeled 'Kate Todd' in black ink. He tries not to look at her name, at her things, but this is his own fault because he offered--he told Gibbs he would do it. Now he isn't so sure he should have, because Kate had never liked it when he went through her things.

If he was crazy or life was like a movie he might see her maybe, she might appear standing over him, telling him to mind his own business and get back to his own desk--but even when he's trying to dream her up, the room remains empty. He's always been a little too sane for his own good, and comparing life to the movies only works to a point. Kate had always hated that, anyway, and he should probably stop. He was sure Kate would appreciate the irony of that, his waiting until she was gone to stop doing all of the things that annoyed her.

‘Look at me,’ he might say if she were there. ‘I’m all grown up.’
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sister moon: katemelanie_anne on May 11th, 2006 - 10:07 am
Aww. This was so sad. A few lines really stood out to me: He spent three nights in the morgue, sitting with his head against her drawer. He didn't need Gibbs shouting at him to know that it was screwed up, but he just couldn't leave her there alone.
...
but even when he's trying to dream her up, the room remains empty.

Nicely done :)
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patty22patty22 on August 10th, 2006 - 01:04 pm
oh my god,that was so good,but so sad!!!!it almost made me cry.
really good and believable written.thanks a lot for posting it!!!
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(Anonymous) on October 7th, 2006 - 09:45 pm
And yet again, great look into Tony's head and how he's dealing (or not) with his grief. It was very poignant, his thoughts about going through her stuff and how it hadn't bothered him before, when she was alive to be annoyed by it.

Laura.
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anranr on December 1st, 2008 - 08:38 am
This is terrific. Excellent look at Tony following Kate's death.
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Layton Colt: tony favorite scarlaytoncolt on December 1st, 2008 - 09:33 am
Thank you! :-)
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