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Abby was standing to Ellie's desk when she heard someone call out Gibbs name.
He was exiting the elevator when he turned to see who it was calling him.
Smiling she approached the man she had bumped into the day before.
Abby rolled her eyes. "I think I'm going to puke." She mumbled.
Bishop followed her gaze to the woman who was standing to Agent Gibbs. Looking back at Abby searching her friends face. "Um… I'm going out on a limb here but I'm guessing that bothers you."
"No, it…" She trialed off as she watched the woman come closer and stuff a piece of paper in his coat pocket while he just stood there "yes, it does." She admitted while looking at Ellie.
"Why?" Bishop asked.
"She only wants him so that she can parade him around to her friends who are probably just like her and how would that make him feel?" She asked.
Looking back at the elevator Bishop watched him smile at the woman. "I think he would enjoy that."
Abby shook her head. "No, I already know how this is going to go down. After a tough case or when something starts to bother him he's gonna go into "DiNozzo Mode" and call up someone like that and she's gonna prance on over, give him what he thinks he wants then drop him after she's found a hotter guy."
"Who could be hotter than him?" Ellie asked before thinking.
The smile on Abby's face could have powered the building for years. "Really Ellie, is that what you think?" She teased.
Regretting that her mouth was quicker than her mind that time she changed the subject as quick as she could. "What do you think he needs?" She asked.
Still smiling from Ellie's reply Abby looked at her Gibbs. "He hates being alone but you wouldn't know that only because he's gotten good at being alone."
Bishop listened to the rare piece of information that Abby was sharing with her.
"There are reasons why he has so many exes… they all expect him to spill his heart to them and say all the right things like some perfect guy. He's not perfect and if they really did love him they would take him just the way he is because he's perfect even with all his flaws. They want him to bring down his walls, forget his past and love only them. They don't understand that his walls are there for a reason and if you really do know him you won't need to over come them you just have to love him just like that, his past is what makes him… him. He can't just love only them because he loves his car and building things they should just be happy that he tries to love them at all." Abby explained.
Bishop looked up at the woman standing in front of her and realizing that she really did have Gibbs all figured out and perhaps she knew all those things because that's how she truly knew him. That she loved him with all his flaws that made him perfect, that she accepted him for who he was and always will be because she didn't dare change the man who was perfect for her, whether she knew that or not. What their relationship was kept people guessing and made them question just how much they really knew Gibbs and Abby, but sitting here Ellie realized something, she didn't need to figure them out they were Gibbs and Abby and that's just the way it would always be.
Gibbs walking by Abby snapped her out of her thoughts that were finally giving up on deciphering them.
"So, what did Marcy with a 'y" want?" Abby asked.
Gibbs chuckled while taking a seat at his desk. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
"Know what?" Tony said coming into the squad room.
"That Gibbs was swooning over an easy woman… that's easy with a 'y'." Abby jabbed.
The gunny raised his eyebrow in amusement.
"Oh yeah, did you get her number boss?" Tony asked.
Smiling he pulled out the piece of paper from his coat pocket and held it up to show the younger agent.
Abby rolled her eyes.
"Nice!" Tony exclaimed.
"She said she has a friend." Gibbs smiled at Tony.
"Really?!" Tony breathed getting up to his feet.
"Yup" The gunny replied.
Abby approached Gibbs desk taking the paper from his hands.
"HEY!" He exclaimed.
"I can't believe you two! Especially you, Tony" Abby said facing her friend.
"What?" Tony asked smiling.
"Don't you go ruining what you've been working on for years… she still has those knives and I'm sure she won't hesitate using them" Abby warned.
Gibbs smiled at Tony.
"And YOU!" Abby said turning her attention back to her Gibbs.
He smiled brighter as she stepped closer to his desk.
"You know you could do better than that." She pointed out.
"Really, who would be better than that?" He asked.
"Someone who has more than 10 minutes on her mind, someone who wants forever and someone that makes you happy." She told him.
"Who would that be?"
"I don't know but knowing you; you won't even notice a woman like that if she was standing right in front of you." Abby told him as she turned and walked away with Marcy's number in hand.
Ellie's mind raced 'was Abby suggesting something and what would Gibbs say to that?'
"Where are you taking that?" Gibbs asked looking after Abby.
"Burn all the easy off of it! That's easy with a 'y'!" Abby yelled from the elevator.
The gunny only smiled as he turned his attention to the files on his desk.
Bishop couldn't believe it; he didn't even pick up what Abby was saying and did Abby know what she was saying? Sitting at her desk she shook her head while getting back to her work all the while Tony stood there looking at his boss.
"Uh, you do know Abby was standing in front of you right?" DiNozzo asked who had also picked up on what Abby said.
"Course she was, your point?" Gibbs replied while signing some documents.
Tony huffed "But… she" He took a deep breath. "Never mind" He said as he went back to his desk.
Taking a seat he looked across at Ellie who only smiled knowing Tony was now questioning Gibbs and Abby's flirtationship again.
It wasn't everyday that they spent lunch together but when they did it was relaxing and even better when they weren't working on a case. So, they all met up at the diner that was undoubtedly Gibbs favorite place to go.
Ellie and Tony were first to arrive so they picked out a booth as they waited for Gibbs and Abby.
"Well, you certainly made me start questioning them again." Tony said taking a seat.
She smiled across at Tony. "Good luck I'm just letting it go, there's no point."
"Great, you give up on them and here I go wondering all over again." He said annoyed.
"I just don't think they try to flirt or even if that's called flirting to them but I mean did you hear what Abby said this morning?" She asked.
"Yeah, I looked at him and he didn't even flinch; he just sat there like it was nothing." Tony said.
"Exactly, nothing… maybe it all means nothing to them. Their interactions are purely innocent and I don't think they're flirting it's just how they are." She suggested.
"You know what lets see how they act sitting next to each other." Tony said getting up.
"What?" Ellie asked.
"Yeah move over they're coming." Tony demanded as he flopped down next to her.
Quietly they watched as Abby got out from Gibbs car laughing while he emerged from the driver seat looking at something he was holding.
"That's not funny." They heard him say as he followed Abby who was laughing walking to the entrance.
"Wonder what's going on now?" Ellie thought out loud.
"Time to find out" Tony mumbled while turning his attention to the menu.
Abby was giggling when she scooted down the seat to sit across Ellie.
Tony secretly peeked over the menu at Abby who was smiling at Gibbs as he sat down next to her.
"It had a lot of easy on it." Abby said innocently.
Gibbs chuckled. "I didn't think you would actually do it." He said holding up the small evidence bottle in his hand.
Tony laughed seeing the ashes in it. "She burnt it?"
"Yup, and she give me the ashes." Gibbs said as he set down the bottle on the table.
Abby laughed as she took off her coat. "Hey, if she's meant for you her number will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix."
"The usual gunny?" The waitress asked as she approached the table.
"Yeah" He replied.
"With coffee I take it?" She said jotting down the order.
"Uh, I'm up for a soda." He told her.
"Ooh, with two straws." Abby said happily.
"I'm not sharing with you." Gibbs told her while looking at her.
"Be nice to the girl." The waitress said as she gave him a light head slap.
Looking at the waitress Gibbs was going to protest but seeing her glaring back at him he groaned.
"Two straws" Gibbs mumbled back.
Smiling Abby placed her order. "My favorite salad please."
The waitress smiled back at Abby. "You can have anything you want Abby, he's paying for it anyway." She smiled.
"Am not." Gibbs said looking at Abby.
"You always do now shut up." The waitress told him as she looked at Tony. "And you?"
"Ugh, I'll have your special for today, with a chocolate shake." Tony replied while looking at Gibbs who was grinning at Abby.
"I'll have the same." Ellie smiled at the waitress.
Taking their orders the waitress left their table.
Tony and Ellie were carefully listening to their banter and never really said a word; not that anyone would be paying much attention to them anyway.
"You need a vacation." Gibbs told Abby.
"Where would I go?" Abby asked.
"Anywhere." He told her softly.
"What if I miss my friends… miss my Gibbs." She smiled at him.
"Why don't you just go with him?" Tony said out loud.
"Doesn't a vacation mean that you want to get away from everything that drives you crazy?" Abby replied. "… he drives me crazy."
"Yeah, in two and half seconds." He jabbed.
"I don't think you could've lasted those three seconds also?" She told him.
"I don't think you can last ten minutes." He shot back.
Abby started to laugh while the waitress came up to their table with their food.
Having their orders they began to eat while Tony and Ellie couldn't help but watch as Abby stole a fry from Gibbs plate and watched him steal it back from her.
The waitress clearing her throat snapped them out it. Tony smiled at her as she looked at the oblivious couple eating their lunch.
"It's amazing isn't it?" She said out loud.
Gibbs looked at her. "What?"
Looking at him she smiled. "All the things I've seen in this diner."
"Like what?" He asked before biting into his sandwich.
"I see people come and go and I see things that people just don't know are there." She pointed out.
"Such as?" He asked with his mouth full.
"Love…" She smiled.
Ellie looked at the waitress knowing what she was talking about.
"Love?" Gibbs asked confused looking at the waitress.
"Mmm hmm…" She said looking at the gunny.
Abby looked at Gibbs who was listening intently at the waitress; and with a mischievous grin she knew exactly how to distract him.
"You see I've seen a lot over my years" The waitress continued. "I've seen people sit in this very diner who have gotten married and I've seen people so oblivious that they wouldn't know they found love even if it-"
Just then Abby leaned over and bit his ear.
"OW!" Gibbs said shooting her a look. "That hurt."
The waitress shook her head. "Yup, wouldn't even know it if it bit them on the ear." She mumbled.
Ellie and Tony both looked at the waitress who continued to shake her head as she walked way.
They ate their food while their minds wondered about Gibbs and Abby who ate their meal not knowing just how much people around them were reading into their actions and choice of words. How could they just be friends and how long could they remain just friends? Were some of the questions they were asking themselves while they ate.
Soon after all their meals were done they said their 'see you later s' and parted. While Tony and Ellie were getting ready to leave the waitress came back taking their plates from the table.
A question was burning on the tip of Tony's tongue and as usual it didn't burn there long.
"So, what do you know about those two?" Tony asked tilting his head to the couple that were walking toward the muscle car.
She smiled as she set the plates back down. Looking at the clock on the wall she let out a sigh.
"I guess I can take my break now." She sat gesturing them to take a seat as she did.
Tony and Ellie sat down wanting to hear what this woman had to say.
"I knew you were itching to say something to me once they left." She smirked while looking out the window seeing Abby hanging on the arm of the gunny. "They're something aren't they?"
"The question is what?" Tony mumbled.
The waitress chuckled. "Oh, I first saw them together…" She smiled. "I rather not say how long ago because she might kill me." She laughed while the two people seated in front of her listened eagerly. "It's been years since that night when I first saw him with her but I remember it clearly."
They watched as the waitress smiled at the memory.
"He brought her here I think it was around the first week that she started at NCIS days before Valentines Day, anyway, he was nervous, shy even, if you can call it that. There was something different about him, he was smiling a whole lot more than usual and she was stealing glances at him, hell all the women here that night were doing the same, they always do." She chuckled. "But he didn't care about anyone else that night, that marine only had eyes for her. They talked, they laughed and I over heard her tell him almost whispering
'I like you'
'I like you, too'
"… he shyly stumbled through those four little words"
Shaking her head she continued. "There was a silence about them after that little exchange like they were figuring out where to go from those innocent words, maybe it was date maybe just dinner, who knows. Your guess would be as good as mine." She smiled at them. "They left and I went to collect their plates. That's when I looked out the window." She said looking at the window and began to laugh. "As fate would have it this very window here." She smiled. "I look out and I see them standing so close facing each other, I waited for something to happen and he leaned in and kissed her but by the look on her face it was a kiss she wasn't expecting."
Tony frowned while silently questioning what type of kiss it was.
"He kissed her on her cheek." The waitress explained.
The agent raised an eyebrow as the waitress continued.
"Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if he really gave her the kiss that she wanted. Would they have become like Karen and Todd over there." She said nodding in the direction of a couple seated there with a little girl. "That's their daughter Samantha…" She informed the two people seated in front of her.
Tony cleared his throat. "What are they like when it's just them?" He asked.
"You mean when they come here?" She asked.
She pursed her lips. "Not any different then what you saw earlier, though there are times when I see glimpses of that shy marine from years ago and she still steals glances just like any breathing woman in here does when he's here. There were times when she would come here with that young man the one that talks too much about computers and such."
"McGee?" Tony said.
She nodded. "Yeah, but she doesn't look at him like the way she does when she's here with her Gibbs. When she's with him she looks at him like she knows what he's thinking, looks at him like she enjoys that he's here with her and no one else. There were times when he brought others here and I know they were women he was in a relationship with but he never really was like the way he is, when he's with her. They wear their hearts on their sleeve and still they can't see past the words and gestures that mean nothing to them now."
"Like the kisses on the cheek or the hugs." Ellie filled in.
"Mmm Hmm… take any two people on the planet and have them do what they do every day they would say they were in love that they are made for each other but no, not them. Their kisses have become innocent, meaningless even. What they say to one another means everything but nothing at the same time." She chuckled. "What could mean everything to everyone else and mean absolutely nothing to them? Now, there's a riddle for the ages." She smiled as she got up from her seat.
Tony and Ellie looked out the window seeing Abby hug her Gibbs while the waitress went back to her job.
"So, the kisses didn't start after he gave her the rose." Ellie pointed out.
"I guess not." Tony said.
"She lied about that; what else do you think she lied to us about?" She asked.
"Dunno, we don't have enough time on this earth to think about that." Tony told her.
"There's no point at all is there?" Ellie asked.
"Nope" Tony breathed as he got up.
Bishop got up after him.
Abby breathed in the scent that was purely her Gibbs. "Mmm… So, no one, hasn't found the smell of sawdust sexy, lately?" She asked.
He smiled. "Nope, poor Marcy never even had the chance to smell the sawdust on me." He teased.
She giggled leaning up placing a usual kiss on his cheek. "You deserve to be loved Gibbs, really loved. Not by someone like her who's only going to leave you in your basement trying to drink away how you felt. You need someone who will never leave you." She told him.
Looking at the woman he held he smiled as he leaned in placing an innocent kiss on her cheek. "You haven't left me yet." He whispered.
"I could never leave you, even if I tried." She whispered back.
In that moment they saw something in each others eyes that they never saw before. A hint of something that he only saw in Shannon that he concluded that only she could ever look at him that way, but in this split second he knew he was wrong.
She watched him look at her like he had discovered something, something that had always been there but never seen until now. This gaze didn't last long because it terrified both of them that if they held it any longer their lives would never be as simple as it was now.
How could she love him when he was out of her league? How could he love her the way he only loved the girl with the red hair, so many years ago? Words left unsaid they let each other go physically all the while still holding onto the meaningless love that kept them friends for this long.
Soon after they sat quietly in the car both unsure of what to say; until she gathered her courage and broke the silence between them.
"You forgot this." She said quietly.
He looked at what she held in her hand. He faked his first smile ever since meeting her as he took the small evidence bottle that had ashes in them.
There were no jokes to ease this moment and they couldn't tease their way out this to forget what it was that they saw in each others eyes moments ago. It's the way they always were, the way they always were going to be, right? Just friends with kisses that were innocent gestures of endearment, friends who never considered having it any other way than the way it has always been. A flirtationship that bordered on a line they never saw until today.
A line that would keep them on this side of love and away from the kind of love that, fearless lovers only dared to embrace. While everyone gave up on trying to figure them out they sat quietly in the car now trying to figure out what it is that they saw in a gaze that only lasted a moment. A destination a waited them but it wasn't the Navy Yard it was a destination that was determined on how they would handle what they saw in that split second moments ago.
This is where this story would end and perhaps where a different story would begin; if only they knew what to do about the silence that was killing them.
"Hope you enjoyed this little story."
-The Gabby Effect -
*Read the sequel - THE KILLING KISS*