Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 845
Warning(s): Character Death
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ducky Mallard
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Episode(s): 2-22 SWAK
Summary: He's injured horrifically at a crime scene and his lover is forced to pick up the pieces.G/D relationship.
Author Notes: Part of The End series for Anna and is completely and utterly dedicated to her.
Warnings:Dark, death, you have been warned.
You can find the first story in this series, Finding Him at the End, here:http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4706422/1/Finding_Him_at_the_End
“Just breathe. Breathe for me. You. Will. Not. Die.”
The gasping sounds, low groans of pain, panting breaths filled the room. Ducky’s wide eyes dominated a pale face as he fretted near the head of the bed, trying to soothe their patient. They’d been here before and gotten through it. They had to be victorious again.
“You hear me? Follow my breaths. In…out. In…out.”
It looked futile, but he wasn’t about to give up. Where there was life, there was hope and the life force still flickered in the broken body. Ducky’d said there was nothing that could be done, but he wasn’t giving up. He was determined. They’d been here before and he’d survived, dammit.
“Come on. Breathe.”
He shook his head at his partner lying so still, a wry grin twisting his mouth. Never thought it would be this way, not after beating the plague. Second and third chances had been traded in but that life force couldn’t be stopped easily.
A stutter, a brief hesitation before the gasps started again. He wasn’t ready for it to be over.
“We should sedate him, let him go peacefully…”
“No, Ducky. Hell no. You think he wants that? Look into his eyes, he doesn’t want that.”
“But, dear boy, he’s suffering… Jethro…”
“NO! Not unless it’s what he wants.” He looked at his lover. “Do you want us to sedate you?”
One blink for no. He turned and gave Ducky a triumphant smile but he knew it was more like a grimace.
“Never did listen to instructions well, did you? Never did listen. No idea how much I wanted to headslap you. You didn’t need to take this one for the team. We need you. I need you.”
The chemicals had ravaged the patient’s lungs, burning them beyond repair. His voice was gone. Even if they had intubated him, they had an hour if that. And he’d blinked a no rapidly when that option was offered. He was just trying to hang on to see the team one last time, but Abby was over eighty miles away, Ziva and McGee with the prisoner at the Navy Yard. He’d be gone before they got back.
“Did you call them, Ducky?”
“I did, but you know as I do…” He sighed, rubbing a hand over his eyes and looking at the shell of their friend. “Oh, Anthony. I never wanted to see this.”
He rested a hand on the ME’s back. “None of us wanted this. Ducky, can I hold him?”
Ducky nodded, shaking and watching as he slipped into bed. The chemical wasn’t topical, it had been breathed in. None of them were in danger except the man losing his life, the heart of them.
“Just breathe…breathe for me.”
A gasp, a wordless sound crept past destroyed vocal chords. He rested his head atop his lover’s, toying with the slightly too long strands of hair.
“Keep breathing. Remember? You can’t die. Take my strength, my will. Stay with me.”
One long breath then shorter shallower ones. The broad chest rising and falling rapidly now.
“Not now, Ducky. Not now.” This was their moment and Ducky wasn’t a part of them. “Breathe for me…listen to me.” He cupped the firm chin, tracing a fingertip over the cleft. “Breathe.”
A hand came up, a weakened signal that his eyes followed and he closed his eyes, shuddering his own breath. His lover’s last words were his most heartfelt.
“I know. I love you too, Gibbs. Now breathe for me.”
Gibbs shook his head slightly, eyes widening, struggling mightily for each breath. With what had to be superhuman effort, he reached up, resting a hand on the back of Tony’s head and urging him down.
Tony brought his head close, lips nudging Gibbs’ gently, blowing air against his mouth, trying desperately to save the man who meant everything to him.
“Just breathe for me, Jethro.”
“It’s time,” came the whispered reply, forced out through sheer willpower.
Tony shook his head in denial, but he knew. He took Gibbs head in his hands, thumbs stroking over the cheeks. “Never forget how much I love you, Gibbs.”
“Love you, Tony,” Gibbs rasped out on his last breath. He managed a smile, his eyes brightening for a second before he slipped away with a sigh, hand still buried in Tony’s hair, free hand making the ‘I love you’ sign.
“Anthony…” Ducky touched his shoulder gently some time later. “Things need to be done. The team…”
“How am I supposed to live without Gibbs?” Tony asked.
“Take it moment by moment, breath by breath. Just breathe, Tony, and one day the pain will be almost bearable.” Ducky stepped out of the room then and Tony was left alone, looking at the still body of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
“Goodbye, Gibbs. You’re taking my soul with you.” Tony kissed him one last time gently. “Goodbye.”