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Set after 14x11 “Willoughby”

“Eleanor? Ellie, sweetie what’s wrong?” Her mom’s voice floated over the receiver to her.

“Mom?” Her voice broke.

“Ellie, what is it?”

“Um, I- Mom? He’s gone.” Her voice broke again.

“Who’s gone honey?”

“Um,” she couldn’t get anymore out. Suddenly the door to the hospital room opened and Gibbs walked in. He looked around for her, and found her sitting on the floor, back to the bed, the landline hanging loosely in her hand.

“Ah, Bishop.” He picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Agent Gibbs!? What’s going on? Who’s gone? Is Eleanor okay?”

With a sigh he answered. “Physically. There was a shooting. Qasim was hit. They just pulled the plug.”

“Oh no. Oh my poor baby. Gibbs? Can you put her on?”

“Yeah, one sec.” He passed the phone back to Ellie, making sure to stay close if she zoned out again.

“Ellie sweetheart, I love you okay? I know you’re not okay, I know. Do you want to come home? I’ll fly out right now and get you.”

“What? No! Mom I can’t leave. I can’t, I-. Za ta sara meena kawam.”

“What?”

Za ta sara meena kawam. It means I love in Pashto. I-I never got to tell him.”

“Oh Ellie,”

“I never got to tell him.”

“Sweetie, I’m sure he knew.”

“But I never said it. How terrible does that make me? If I hadn’t convinced him go to the library, if I’d just listened about the forest, told him how I felt, he’d still be here.”

“Eleanor, that’s not how it works and you know it. I’m flying out there okay? I know you don’t want to come home, so I’m going to come stay with you. You don’t need to be alone okay? I’ve got to go. I love you baby.”

“I love you too mom.” Her voice broke again.