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Abby barely flinched as the needle pressed against her flesh, over and over. She didn't dare look as the ink seeped into her dermis, knowing the letters being spelled onto her flesh by heart CMT, Caitlin Marie Todd. The tattoo was unusually delicate for the goth scientist but suited perfectly to the person it memorialised.
She smiled, tears running down her cheek as the artist turned off his tattoo machine and carefully dressed the raw area. The newest tattoo was tiny, just above her breast, pale blue lettering encased in the wings of an amethyst butterfly. CMT, 2003.
She didn't dare tell Tony and McGee, but two days later she slid her shirt back to reveal still red, but slowly healing skin to Gibbs, who smiled bitterly.
"You're one of a kind Abbs." smiling sadly she pulled her shirt back in place, Gibbs pressed his hand on hers for a moment, she didn't need to know sign language to know he was telling her it would be okay. She nodded.
The tattoo artist, Rat, as he was affectionately known by his clients had asked where Kate was. She wasn't surprised the appointment had been for two. They had planned to get matching tattoos, Abby had changed the design only slightly upon the news of Kate's death. The original design held a name in each wing, Kate and Abby, to cement the friendship the two had built. Abby had planned on Red, Black for her butterfly, Kate pale blue and amethyst.
A week and a half after Kate's death when the group found themselves sharing a drink after work, Abby found herself smiling. Each of them continued to carry a little of Kate Todd everywhere. Abby knew that Tony had swiped Kate's ID when Gibbs was going through her desk, McGee had written her into his novel, Gibbs had slid the bullet used to kill her from evidence and into his top drawer, even Ducky had a little of Kate hidden away, one scalpel he would never use on a victim or otherwise. The loss of their friend hit them hard but none of them would ever forget that she had in fact lived.
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