Her breath caught in her throat as she watched the screen. The Chimera had exploded, and Gibbs and his team were still onboard.
She left the MTAC without a word, leaving people as stunned as her in her wake. She had asked for more time for her team, but they hadn't granted her the wish. They couldn't allow the Chimera to fall in other hands, no matter that a team of federal agents were still there. So they had just killed them to save their precious research, whatever it was.
She considered briefly going to Abby's lab to tell her, but she couldn't, not yet. She could barely bring herself to think about it, so talking about it was out of the question for the moment. She would be the one to tell her, she had to, not only because she was the director, but because she was the only one who could do it. But not now; she first had to come to terms with it herself.
Walking into the Squad Room, she stood there, hoping she would see each of them at their desks, fighting playfully with one another, smiling, being alive. Jethro, Tony, Ziva, McGee, and Ducky, all dead. She fought back tears, knowing that she couldn't shed them, not here, not now.
She watched as other agents went about their work, not knowing what happened. She wondered how she could tell them about the deaths of five of the best agents of NCIS. She wondered if she should tell them that they were killed by their own people, people who didn't want secrets to fall into the wrong hands. They would probably understand in the end, but she didn't think she could.
Sitting down at Gibbs' desk, her lips stretched in a small smile, remembering that one time when she sat there and his reaction to it. Now, he couldn't tell her anything anymore. Fingering the glasses he had left on the desk, she couldn't help another smile; he had borrowed hers so often that she considered buying him another pair she would keep with her. She guessed that was out of the question now too.
She wondered what would have happened if she wasn't the director of NCIS. If another director could have saved them. Despite that a part of her mind was telling her that she had done everything she could, another part told her that they were dead because of her. And that last part was winning for the moment.
She didn't know for how long she was sitting there, but she knew that if she stayed longer, people would start to wonder what she was doing there. Despite the fact that she spent a lot of time in the Squad Room for the director of NCIS, she was rarely there when a member of the team wasn't there with her.
Making her mind up, she picked up the phone, and pressed the speed dial for Abby's lab. She didn't have to wait long for her to answer.
"Hey Gibbs!" Abby's cheerful voice answered her, and she swallowed hard.
"No, it's the director. Could you come to the Squad Room, Abby?"
"Sure. I'll be right there."
She somehow heard the surprised tone under Abby's words. She had already worried her, and it would be worse once she knew what happened to the team and Ducky. She closed her eyes, hoping that there was another way, that she wouldn't have to do that, but it was real; it had really happened.
"Sitting at my desk again, Jen?"
She jumped at the voice and turned her head towards it. For the second time that morning, her breath caught in her throat as she saw them standing there before her. She didn't know how, and frankly she didn't care, but they were here and alive. All five of them.
Biting back tears, she quickly stood up and engulfed Gibbs in a tight hug.
"I thought you were all dead," she whispered loud enough for him and the rest of the team to hear.
"Sorry to disappoint you," he answered, hugging her back.
When she broke their embrace, she went to hug the others in turn.
"Hey! What's happening here?" Abby asked, as she came towards them. "You wanted to see me?"
"Uh, yeah, I…"
"She just wanted to ask you to join us for a breakfast," Gibbs replied for Jenny, who was at a loss; he was pretty sure about why she had called Abby in the first place, but refused to worry her about something that had not happened. "She said she's paying."
At any other time, Jenny would have protested, but it wasn't any other time. She had thought them dead, but they were alive and well, and for the moment, that was all that mattered.
"Yeah. So, are we going?"
"Lead the way," Gibbs replied, and they shared a smile.
"You two are so married," Abby commented at the way they acted, before walking towards the lift.
Jenny and Gibbs stood there for a few seconds, while the rest of the team joined Abby. Looking at each other, they shook their heads and giggled.
Married. Yeah, right.