A/N: Okay, well, I haven't really felt too much like typing up and posting this chapter, but I did it anyways, just for you guys. So yay- lucky you! I'm sure that Abby and Gibbs are going to seem out of character, because Gibbs is going to be nice and apparently he's not supposed to care. And then there's Abby, who apparently isn't supposed to be jumpy... Bitter? Who's bitter? ::yawn:: Okay, back to bed, I'm tired.
Gibbs jumped out of his car as Abby fumbled with her seat belt. He opened her door and then reached across her lap to unbuckle it for her. "Come on Abbs, out you get…" When she didn't move, Gibbs lifted her gently out of his car and set her carefully on her feet.
This was enough to bring Abby back to earth. "Huh? Oh… Um, thanks."
Gibbs shrugged. "It's just ice cream Abbs," he reminded her.
She rolled her eyes. Guys could be so oblivious… But she already knew that, as she still had her job. "Yeah… Right, ice cream."
'Great,' she thought sarcastically, 'Here comes grill-Abby number… whatever.'
Still, Gibbs was being polite; she had to give him that, as he held the door to the ice cream parlour open for her. She walked into it and immediately felt a chill run down her spine. Silly her, she had thought that because it was almost summer, she wouldn't need a jacket. But then again, she was with Gibbs. And Rule Number who-knew-what was 'Always be prepared.' Which, judging by Gibbs and his appearance, obviously meant always wear a jacket.
"Well, duh Abby, they sell ice cream here- it's going to be cold, if not damn freezing." She rolled her eyes at her random outburst. Sometimes she wished she could learn to keep her mouth shut.
Gibbs looked concerned. "Are you cold Abbs?"
Abby didn't want him to turn into an overprotective father or anything. She managed a 'warm' looking smile. "Only a little bit, but I won't be in a minute. It's just the temperature difference- you know- between the warm summer's day and the air-conditioning of an ice cream parlour… That's all."
As she told him this, Gibbs was apparently not listening to her because instead he was peeling off his jacket for the second time that day. He wrapped it around her arms with a smile that told her he was quite proud of himself and she wondered why. Deciding she didn't really care- though it was a lie- Abby snuggled into her new found warmth. Naturally, the jacket was rather big for her, but it was cosy, so she hardly noticed. And there was, of course, the fact that it smelled good.
Gibbs chuckled softly. "Better?"
She cocked her head. "Yeah, much…" She grinned at him. "Thanks!"
He put an arm on her shoulders. "You know I'd do anything for you Abbs."
His arm was making her slightly uncomfortable, so she looked away shyly. Gibbs noticed her sudden change in attitude and realized why. After their little conversation in the hallway, he should have known better. Stupid, stupid, stupid! His arm immediately slid off of her shoulders.
Abby was now chatting with the woman behind the counter. She was cute, he supposed. A petite redhead, in her early to mid thirties with long and slightly curly hair. When had girls like that stopped being his type? A couple of years ago, he would have been almost as bad as DiNozzo, but now… What was wrong with him?
He noticed how close behind Abby he was standing; it probably looked like he was being incredibly possessive. Why didn't that bother him? He was tempted to move the tiniest bit closer, but he knew that if he did Abby would get a little uncomfortable again.
"Gibbs? Hey, earth to the Bossman." Abby turned and waved her hand in front of his face. "Come on, snap out of it!"
Acting as though he had been with them the whole time, Gibbs raised an eyebrow at her. "Abby, get your hand out of my face please."
She shrugged. "It wouldn't be in your face if you were actually listening to us. Order your ice cream, Mr. Macho Ex-Marine man…"
Ah, so that was what she wanted… Still, he couldn't let a remark like that go without some kind of a comment and this was too perfect of an opportunity. "Once a Marine, always a Marine, Abbs." He turned to the lady behind the counter and noticed the way she was looking at him. Great… More redheads; that was the last thing he needed. "I'll have a peanut butter and fudge swirl double cone."
The woman grinned at him. "Sure thing…" She disappeared to some hidden back room to get their ice creams.
Abby grinned at Gibbs. "She likes you, you know."
Gibbs pulled a face and didn't offer her an answer.
"Aw, come on, she's not that bad!"
"I know- she's just not my type…"
Abby frowned. "Redhead, female, about your age, sexy… And now that's suddenly not your type anymore? Honestly, the next thing I know you'll be taking Kate out for dinner or something."
"Nah, not Kate…"
As Abby was pondering his reply, Adrianne- the ice cream lady- came out with two identical ice cream cones. She handed one to each of them and grinned as Gibbs handed her the money for their ice creams.
As they walked to a table, Abby attacked her double peanut butter and fudge swirl cone with her tongue. Gibbs looked at her incredulously.
"What, haven't you ever seen a girl eat ice cream before?" she teased as she caught his gaze.
"Honestly? No, not like that. Girls don't often order ice cream; especially not double peanut butter and fudge swirl cones," he answered as they sat at an empty table that was far enough away from the counter that they wouldn't be bothered by the redhead. "It's loaded with sugar and fat and all of that other delicious anti-girl stuff."
"Exactly, and it's peanut butter with chocolate! What's not to love?"
"You never cease to amaze me Abbs," Gibbs admitted as he licked his own ice cream.
"Well, maybe you should just expect nothing. Then, when nothing comes, you're not disappointed, but on the off chance that something does come, you're always pleasantly surprised." Abby suddenly realized that she wasn't talking about ice cream anymore and shut her mouth before she said something to give herself away…
"Abbs, I'm sorry," he began, realizing that he needed to at least apologize for making her upset earlier.
'And here we go again with the apologies,' Abby thought. Only Gibbs didn't have anything to apologize for. "Wait- what the hell are you sorry for Gibbs?"
He sighed and lowered his voice. "I'm not very good at this, so bear with me, okay? I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry that I made you mad and defensive. I'm sorry for tricking you. But most of all, I'm sorry for making you cry and being so…"
"Accusatory towards McGee? Manipulative? Over-reactive? Stubborn?" she finished bitterly. "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to sound so mad, I just- Oh, I don't know…"
"Hey, Abbs, you have every right to yell at me and be mad. I was an asshole; a bastard. I'm not going to change my opinion, but I'm not going to inflict it on you anymore, fair enough?"
"Well, it's a bit late for that, but it was a nice apology, so you're forgiven… Now can we change the subject please? Let's talk about…" Abby grinned as she caught Adrianne's eye. "Adrianne…"
"Who is Adrianne?"
Abby just grinned and turned her head in her direction.
Gibbs groaned. "You, Abigail, are as bad as Kate…"
"If you say so Leroy…" She knew that Gibbs could tolerate people calling him Jethro, but the name Leroy was one he'd just as soon forget.
"Touché, Abbs… Can we pick a topic other than my love life…? And names?"
"Okay, then how about Kate and Tony?"
And from there, the two of them began their plotting.