Author: tonnie2001969 PM
During "Driven"... When Gibbs sees Abby in danger, they both have to face their nightmares.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Leroy Jethro Gibbs & Abby S. - Words: 2,865 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 89 - Follows: 7 - Published: 04-25-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5019129
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The elevator doors had barely closed before Gibbs felt Abby lean heavier against him.
His arm automatically tightened around her as he took her weight completely, worry evident in his voice as he asked softly, "Abby, you okay?" He caught DiNozzo's side glance as the younger agent looked up quickly from his cell phone, the call to Ducky apparently complete.
Abby felt her legs growing weaker, and held onto his hand as tight as she could. She knew Ziva was on her other side, trying to help her, but she had no choice but to lean toward him. The dizzy feeling was growing, and she swallowed hard against the nausea, doing her best to stifle the desire to cough.
She was unsuccessful.
Letting out a deep breath, she felt his other arm come tight around her as she whispered, "Gibbs, I think I'm gonna…" Her eyes closed against her express wishes, and the part of her mind that was still functioning made a mental note to have a stern discussion with her body at some point later in the day.
Gibbs caught her as her legs crumpled beneath her, and deftly swung her up into his arms, cradling her head against his shoulder. A quick glance at her now-paler-than- normal face ensured that she was still breathing, albeit shallow. Visions of her trapped filled his mind as he glared at Ziva and Tony, his voice echoing in the elevator as he yelled, "Why isn't this damn thing moving any faster?"
Abby couldn't hear his words, but she knew he was speaking, his chest rumbling under her ear. The dull roar in her head competed with the nausea as she coughed once again, feeling his arms tighten even more, his fingers strong and warm against her neck.
The doors finally dinged open, and the younger agents ran in front of him, DiNozzo pushing the emergency open switch to Autopsy as he passed. Gibbs strode into the room, heading straight for the man in scrubs standing by an empty steel table.
Ducky's surprised eyes met those of Gibbs, taking in everything at once as he slid the metal sections together on the table. "Put her here. Tony told me it was carbon monoxide?"
"Quite a dose, Ducky." Gibbs reluctantly laid Abby on the cold table, staying close, his eyes never leaving her, his hand cradled protectively between her dark hair and the hard steel.
Noticing the distracted look in his friend's eyes, Ducky took charge immediately. "Ziva, get my medical bag next to the desk. Tony, open the red emergency cabinet and get the oxygen canister." Looking up at the man across the table, he asked quietly, "How much did she get, Jethro?"
Gibbs shook his head, still not looking up. "Don't know, Duck. She was trapped in the vehicle we're inspecting, which was rigged to funnel exhaust into the interior."
The doctor reached for the oxygen mask that Tony had brought to the table, deftly slipping the mask over Abby's nose and mouth, then adjusted the dial on the tank. "When did she lose consciousness?"
"Elevator. She was okay for a few minutes, just said she was lightheaded. She walked into the elevator, but…" Gibbs' voice trailed off uncharacteristically, his eyes still focused on Abby's pale face. The red jumpsuit seemed particularly garish against her white skin. His free hand crept toward hers, lacing their fingers together.
Ducky looked up from the blood pressure gauge, his stethoscope hanging from his ears. He smiled, reassuringly, not trying to hide his surprise at his friend's reaction. "Blood pressure's coming up. I believe our dear Abigail will be just fine, Jethro."
Gibbs suddenly felt her head turn and her fingers tighten simultaneously.
"Don't talk about me like I'm not here." Gibbs barely made out the words, what with the mask covering her face, but he could read her eyes, which were finally open again.
"You gave us quite the scare, Abigail." Ducky patted her arm softly, frowning as he saw her mouth open again. "Don't try to talk right now; just keep taking those nice deep breaths."
She ignored him, which didn't surprise anyone. "What happened?"
"You fainted." Gibbs answered her question, his voice flat. His fingers however, had tightened against hers, and she frowned to herself as she saw the emotions hiding in his eyes.
"That is such a weak girl thing to do." She pulled on his hand, and he helped her sit up slowly, moving to place his arm behind her as she adjusted to the new position. She heard a cell phone chirp, assuming correctly that it was not his when he didn't throw it across the room.
Ducky looked up from placing his equipment in his bag, smiling as he commented, "Actually, it's a quite common physiological reaction to an external stimuli that causes an extreme shock to one's system. I remember once, while I was on sabbatical in the back country of Nigeria, that…"
She could still hear Ducky droning on behind her, but her gaze was focused on the man beside her. His eyes had never left hers since she sat up. Her hands moved in front of her, and she quickly signed with one hand, spelling out the letters, "You okay?"
Gibbs smiled tightly, whispering his answer. "I should be asking you that question."
"You got me out." Abby smiled through the mask as she quickly moved her fingers. "I'm fine."
"Yes, you are."
Tony cleared his throat, catching everyone's attention. "Boss, I hate to interrupt, but that was the interrogation room. They've got everything loaded and ready."
Gibbs smiled down at her, one of his real smiles that made his eyes crinkle, as he laid his hand against hers for a moment. She saw the movements of his fingers, and knew that he had used the universal sign for "I love you."
Taking off the oxygen mask, she whispered, "Me, too, Jethro."
Putting his hand over hers, he slid the mask back into place, letting his fingers trail down her cheek. She tilted her head toward the door, knowing that he wouldn't leave until he knew she was okay. "Go now. You don't want to miss a lead on this case."
"Ducky?" Gibbs looked across the table, meeting the eyes of his long-time friend.
Ducky patted Abby's hand, laying down his stethoscope. "I predict an amazing recovery, after she breathes a bit more of our miracle oxygen there."
"She stays with you until you tell her she can go." Gibb's tone brooked no argument.
Ducky rolled his eyes, a laugh in his voice. "Jethro, do you even know our Abigail? She will do whatever…"
"She'll do whatever she needs to do to get well, won't you Abby?"
Snapping her fingers to her forehead, she gave her best imitation of a salute, knowing that it would make him laugh. It did. Her expression turned serious as she watched him turn toward the door, his intrepid team with him. Reading his expressions had become one of her innumerable talents, and she was almost certain he wasn't going straight to the interrogation room.
She pulled the oxygen mask down again. "Gibbs."
At that one word, he immediately turned around, almost spinning on his heel as he did so. "Abbs?"
"Go easy on him. He really didn't mean any harm."
"Abbs, he failed at the job." He was standing in front of her, shifting his body downward so that he could look her in the eyes.
"Maybe he just didn't…"
"You can't defend him on this one."
"Just don't do anything stupid, okay?"
Their eyes still locked, his fingers wrapped around her hand, moving the mask back to cover her lips and nose. "You're too forgiving, Abbs."
She watched as he turned again, the doors swishing open as he led the way out of the bright room, steps firm against the hard floor.
Gibbs stepped into the elevator, watching as Tony pressed the call button for the third floor. Reaching out quickly, he pressed another button, not missing the glance that Tony and Ziva exchanged.
Tony cleared his throat as the elevator started to descend instead of rise. "Boss, the interrogation room.."
Gibbs stared at his distorted reflection in the elevator walls. "I know where the interrogation room is, DiNozzo."
Ziva turned to face her supervisor, knowing he wasn't going to listen, but needing to say something anyway. "Gibbs, maybe now isn't…"
"Officer David, trust me when I tell you that you really don't want to finish that sentence.
The elevator doors shuddered open, and Gibbs strode out onto the concrete floor. Tony and Ziva followed, hanging back as they watched their leader move toward the lone man sitting at the computer in front of them. The Hummer beside him seemed innocent enough, but the open door reminded them all of the earlier events.
Gibbs stopped in front of McGee, slamming his hands against the makeshift desk. Jerking his head up, McGee's eyes widened as he stood quickly.
"I'm only going to say this once, so listen very closely. She was your partner this afternoon, and she almost died because of your incompetence." Gibbs leaned forward, his face mere inches from the younger agent's. "I know that woman well, and I know that she will forgive you. I have no such inclinations. If anything, I repeat anything, like this happens again, I'll make you wish you had never met me. Am I understood?"
McGee's head was nodding even before the words came out of his mouth. "Yes, sir. Absolutely."
Gibbs had already turned, moving back toward the open elevator. Tony and Ziva quickly stepped in the transport behind him, not daring to look at each other or at their boss. As the doors were closing, Gibbs stuck out his hand, stopping the doors and staring at the man still standing, frozen, at the table. "And I never again want to hear an excuse for why you didn't protect your partner. If so much as a hair on her head is out of place at the end of this day, I will personally ensure that you are not employed here tomorrow."
Tony watched the doors slide close as Gibbs violently punched the call button for the third floor. This was not going to be good.
Later that night
Her scream of his name, which could only be described as desperate, had him sitting up and reaching for the Glock hidden behind the headboard. Fingers touched metal before he realized she was still right beside him, body stiffening, her legs kicking hard against the quilt covering them both.
He turned quickly, her black hair tangled in his hand as she tossed against him, her face contorted in fear, but her eyes closed. Leaning over her, he put his other hand on her shoulder, shaking softly, not wanting to frighten her anymore than she apparently already was. His voice was calm but forceful as he said, "Abby, wake up. It's just a dream. Wake up."
Her eyes finally snapped open as she bolted straight up, slamming into him, screaming his name again. Her arms wrapped around him as she buried her head against his neck. Cursing under his breath, he pulled her as tight as possible, one hand behind her neck, the other wrapped around her waist, her heart beating rapidly against his. Her breaths were shallow at best, and he worried that she might hyperventilate.
"Slow breaths, Abby." His words were whispered against her ear, and he forced himself to do the same thing he had just told her.
Her head barely nodded against his tshirt. He just held her for what seemed like forever, even though the red digital numbers across the room told him it was really only five minutes. Mulling every possible complication he had learned from his private grilling of Ducky earlier in the evening, he was almost ready to call the good doctor once again. But when her breathing seemed more regular, he reluctantly loosened his grip, moving his hand to her cheek. "Better now?"
She lifted her head, eyes blinking a few times as she stretched her legs against him. Strong fingers rubbed against the back of her neck, kneading muscles she didn't even realize had tightened. Her words were a faint whisper in the blackened room. "The elevator doors opened, and you weren't there. No matter how much I screamed, no matter what I did, I couldn't reach the button. And I knew you could get me out, but you weren't…"
She stopped, taking a shuddering breath.
He forced himself to not stiffen, his own recollection of the events of the day still fresh in his mind. "I got you out, Abbs. It was just a nightmare. You're free and you're safe."
"Safe." He repeated the word with firmness, staring into her eyes. "I will always protect you, Abby."
"I've never been that scared before. Not even when Ari took potshots at us, not even when that crazy…" Her words trailed off into nothingness, her hand moving to press against her forehead.
"Head still hurt?"
"Not bad." She dropped her hand quickly.
He frowned slightly at the outright lie, his fingertips rubbing softly across the furrow in her forehead, brushing her bangs to the side. "I'll get you another pill."
She glanced at him sideways, knowing he hadn't believed her. "Not one of Ducky's. Those things made me feel hinky."
Moving slowly, he propped her against the pillows, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He could feel her eyes watching him as he strode across the room toward his bathroom. Reaching the door, he called out softly, "Close your eyes. I'm turning on the light."
The bedside lamp was on when came back into the room. She had moved up against the headboard, and silently took the two white pills with the water he gave her. The mattress squeaked as he sat down next to her, and she scooted toward his side of the bed, invading his space like only she could.
Nightmares with Abby were something that still caught him by complete surprise, occurring sporadically since his return from Mexico. Their first night together had only been a few months ago, and had turned out to be the reason he knew he was staying for good. But the depths of her true emotions were often hidden, emerging suddenly and violently in the predawn hours. Experience had taught him that she would not close her eyes again tonight.
His fingers crept under her cotton tee, resting at the base of the cross that he knew was there. Black hair tickled his neck as she settled against him, her body curled around his side, fingers linking with his. Experience had also taught him that he would not let go of her tonight.
She sighed against his skin. "I hate feeling weak. I hate feeling…"
"Vulnerable." His chin rested on top of her head, and he had the sudden desire to tuck her in closer, wrapping around her completely.
"It's a normal reaction after an event like today, Abbs."
"Has it ever happened to you?"
She quickly twisted her body, legs sliding against his as she moved to straddle him. He dropped his hands to her waist, pulling her tighter, his fingers trailing against the back of her bare thighs. Hands slid up his chest, wrapping behind his neck as she leaned her forehead against his. "Tell me."
"You don't need to know my nightmares, too, Abbs. The job gives us each enough of our own." Even though he would never tell her, he knew that she knew. For ten seconds earlier that afternoon, he thought his nightmare was coming to pass. For ten seconds, when he couldn't get her out of that damned vehicle, he thought he was going to watch her die because of HIS job. For ten seconds, while moving as fast as he could, he saw flashbacks of another woman who had paid for his failure.
She watched his eyes flicker in the dim lamplight, and pulled her head back, her hands moving to cup his face. "I don't know what's going on in that mind of yours right now, but let me remind you of your earlier words. I'm alive. You got me out."
"Yeah." They had both known nightmares before, and had both known nightmares to come true. But this time was different.
"Yeah." And she leaned in to kiss him.
And for a moment, they both forgot the nightmares.
Thanks for reading! Please review and let me know what you thought about my first (and only!) NCIS fic. As always, thanks to Tracia (ilovetvalot) for reviewing this fic and encouraging me to post (even if it's not a Criminal Minds fic!)