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Rip It Up and Start Again

By Gina Mae Callen

Other / Drama

One Shot

He looked at the letter in his hand.

Dare he do this?

Could he just rip up his life and start again?

He wasn't sure.

This was all he knew, this was all he loved.

Had he gotten so jaded as to think he was good at this, so good as to be indispensable to the team, to her?

She had betrayed him.

All he had done had been for the greater good. The greater good to protect the agency, to save his friend, to reunite his family.

She had been his confidante, his heroine, his saviour. Now she was reinforcing the stereotypes he had grown up with and had learned all his life.

Don't Trust.

Don't Relax.

Don't Believe.

Don't Hope….Never Hope.

Maybe it was time.

She didn't trust him, they would soon follow her lead, his team… no, her team...not his.

They had willingly joined her hunt for him. Not one once trusting him as the team leader to be doing what he felt was right.

He looked again at the letter, his resignation. To be sent to Director Vance before he went to fix what was broken. His pulled together, makeshift excuse he had for a family.

It wasn't a real one he knew that he was never going to have that.

For him that was always going to be the one thing that was too much to ask.

He would do it, because ultimately it was the right thing to do. It would be the right thing, to go off and find Arkady, reunite him with his daughter Anna. Save her family in the way he had been unable to save his own.

He didn't need NCIS, and he didn't need her.

She obviously didn't forgive him for trying to protect her and the agency. After all it wasn't like he had never used his sick leave before to work on something important to him. Apart from being shot he was very rarely sick so he might as well use his sick leave on something more worthwhile than the odd day off.

He wasn't trying to be cocky, or disobedient. He hadn't meant to disappoint her, however after the fiasco last year that had sent her to Washington D.C. away from the safety of the team he had realized that even when she did help like in the case of her going to Romania for him, or realizing that Jack Simon would be saved if she sent Kensi to Afghanistan. Then she was being held accountable. Going away from the safety of the team had left her vulnerable and she had nearly been killed by Matthias Draeger.

He would not be responsible for her death even if she did hate him now.

After all that's what parents do right?

Love…? Well, care for a child when it does well and then walk away when it fucks up?

Nothing in his experience had told him he was wrong. At least, he had thought that no matter what he did, she would be there for him.

He laughed sourly to himself, he knew now he was wrong, she wasn't different from the other people who had tried to step into the vacant position of parent in his life.

He had made the mistake of letting her past his walls, putting her on a pedestal.

And oh how painful it had been when she had crashed from the pedestal, it had been literally electrifying for him. 100 volts of electrifying to be exact.

The one adult he had trusted never to hurt him as a child, had broken that promise to the man.

He had finally tried to apologize, but she didn't want to know. She had removed herself from the position of surrogate parent in his life and he had stood to one side as she had taken a new surrogate child under her wing and crowned him with a kiss to the forehead. Something he had wished she would have done with him, a comforting move.

Never had he been worthy of it.

He nodded to himself, it was inevitable really, she had just taken longer than the others that was all.

He sealed the letter and wrote on the envelope to Director Vance, eyes only, NCIS Washington D.C. and placed it in his bag.

Right now he had to wait go through the motions until he had all the information that he needed to save the man he had begrudgingly called friend. He would do his job, protect his team, but he wouldn't drop his guard down around them for a long time in case they turned on him. In his heart of heart he hoped that the team would never turn on him, but he had hoped that about Hetty too, besides, like Gibbs he had rules too, and he had forgotten his rule number one.

Never trust blindly and never think you're safe.

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