Ashleigh Anpilova


Abby is trying to decide what to wear.

An established relationship story.

Warning: Major character death.

Written: August 2010. Word count: 500.



She stands in the bedroom staring unseeingly into her closet. It should be easy; most of her clothes are black. She should be able to choose an outfit, put it on and go. But it's the hardest choice she's ever had to make.


Her black lace dress? Her black Court suit? One of her black mini skirts? So many choices; too many. Besides, what does it matter? What do clothes matter? What does it matter if she wears a black dress or a black skirt?


"Oh, Tim," she murmurs, wiping away a tear that slides down her face, followed by another one and then a third. "Why? Why, Tim!" she shouts. "Why you? Why did you have to play the hero? Why? You had me and the twins. Tony has -" She stops dead and puts her hand over her mouth, horrified at herself; at her thoughts; at her words. Horrified not only because she said them, but because she meant them.


She drags a black dress out of the closet and pulls it on. "I can't do this alone, Tim," she says, staring into the mirror and beginning to repair her make-up. "I can't. I donít want to. And I don't have to. Tommy and Benny don't need me. They have their Grandpa Jethro and Grandpa Ducky; their Uncle Jimmy and Auntie Ziva; they even have their Uncle Tony. They don't need me. I'll come to you, Tim. I'll -"


The sound of crying coming from the nursery silences her. She sighs as she pushes her feet into a pair of shoes, pulls on a black jacket and heads out of the bedroom. "It's all right, Ducky," she calls, seeing Ducky about to go into the nursery. "I'm here."


"Abigail." Ducky puts his hand on her arm and she turns to look at him. "I . . ." The fact that Ducky the great orator cannot find any words, momentarily almost amuses her. She never thought she'd see the day when he'd be lost for words.


She pats his hand. "I know, Ducky," she says. "Me too." With a quick smile, she moves away from him and goes into the nursery.


As if by magic the crying stops and two faces stare up at her. "Mommy's here," she murmurs. "Mommy'll always be here." And she would be. She wants to be with Tim, but she can't be, not yet, not for a long, long time. She has her boys; they need her.


For them today is nothing special. They don't know today is the day their daddy is being buried. They don't know that today is the day their mommy is saying a final goodbye to the only man she will ever love. For them today is just another day.


"But one day they'll know, Timmy. One day I'll tell them about today. I'll tell them everything about you. And you'll be proud of them; I'll make sure of that. Just as they'll be proud of you." This time she doesn't stop the tears.



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