Title: Bitter Sweet - Gibbs
Summary: Gibbs had a daughterÖ
"Sydney! Sydney! Open the door. Youíre going to miss the bus!" Gibbs was knocking on the door of his 16-year-old daughters bathroom. Upon getting no response he made a decision that he would regret for the rest of his life. "Ok. Well Iím going to work. Call me when you get home. Iíll probably have to work late".
"Gibbs?" the soft voice and touch of Caitlyn Todd, woke him from his revere.
"Where are we going? What have we got?"
"I have to go," he said, standing up from his desk, "Check with Ducky"
He left work early that night. Something just wasnít right. He pulled into the driveway and made his was to the door. It was unusually quiet. "Sydney?"
He left his bag on the kitchen table and noticed herís still siting by the front door, where he had seen it that morning. "Syd?" He began to make his way up to her room. The bathroom door was still locked. "Sydney?" He called, banging on the door. No response.
Gibbs had never been a religious person, but then he had prayed. Prayed that she was safe, at a friends house. That perhaps she had snuck out the previous night. But deep down he knew that that hadnít happened. He pulled in through the gates and took a deep breath
"Hey Ducky," Kate said as she entered the coroners domain
"Hello my dear. What can I do for you?" he enquired, his gaze directly meeting that of the young agent.
"Whatís up with Gibbs?"
He had braced himself and kicked down the door, something he had never expected to do in his own home
"Whatís the date, Caitlyn?" He asked her, slowly removing his gloves
"May 31st. Why?"
"Ah! Just as I thought," he exclaimed making his way to the desk. He reached into the drawer and pulled out a gold frame, containing the picture of Gibbs and a girl. She had deep brown eyes and hair, which contrasted with her porcelain complexion. "She was the apple of her fatherís eye. Very popular at school."
"What happened to her Ducky?"
"She died," Ducky said simply
Gibbs walked through the yard, pushing the gate open. This place was full of memories.
"Hello 911, what is your emergency?" The water in the bath had been stained a deep red, and she was lying there, her skin with a grey tinge, eyes staring emptily at the ceiling. "It my daughter. Sheís dead".
Kate was speechless. "How long ago?"
"Three years I think. Before either you or Tony started here. I do remember at one point she was here on work experience and the whole building was moving with that appealing music from Abbyís lab. They were quite close"
He reached into the bath and held her, tears streaming down his face.
"no, no, NO!"
"Heís never overcome it. It hit him hard. He didnít see it coming. I was present at the autopsy. She had so many scars. Itís a wonder she hadnít succeeded before that"
He had emptied the bath 3 days later. Abby and Ducky had come over and they stood together, watching the water and blood swirl down the drain.
"How?" Was all Kate asked next, still gazing at the photo. Upon closer observation she could see that the girls smile, didnít reach to her eyes.
"She killed herself. Slit her wrists, but that wasnít what killed her. She overdosed on sleeping pills. She drowned. But she had bled out before Gibbs got to her. He blames himself you know. That he left for work before he talked to her. That he didnít say that he loved her before he left." There was silence for a moment before he spoke again, "He never found out why, Caitlyn. Thatís why he canít move on. He thinks it was him"
Gibbs sat with his knees pulled up to his chin in front of the grave marker
Sydney Natasha Gibbs
09.10.1986 - 05.31.2002
Beloved daughter of Jethro Gibbs
"I miss you Syd. You would have been 19 this year. I know Abby misses you to. Sheís gone gothic. I donít think Iíve told you that." He sighed and began to trace the letters of her name, "I really miss you kiddo. Your mom called the other day. She wanted you to come over. It came as a shock to her that youíve been gone for 3 years. I couldnít get in touch with her for the funeral. She was off with one of her boyfriends. You know how she is." He stood up, he placed a bouquet of flowers by the stone. A azalea was growing alone beside them. The bouquet contained red and pink carnations, a pink camellia, cyclamen, a purple hyacinth, a primrose and a yellow zinnia. "Iím sorry"
Azalea: Take Care of Yourself for Me
Pink Carnation: I'll Never Forget You
Red Carnation: My Heart Aches For You
Pink Camellia: Longing for you
Cyclamen: Resignation and Good-bye
Purple Hyacinth: I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me
Primrose: I Can't Live Without You
Yellow Zinnia: Daily Remembrance