Aura Of Death
Disclaimer: Gibbs, Abby, Kate and Gabriel ain't mine. Really. They're not.
A/N: Yes, it's NCIS. Shut up, Caliga.
…Yeah, you too, Ice.
I blame this all on Prin69, Shordy and Icefemina for liking NCIS and encouraging me to like it, as well. Ya'll suck.
As she turns, not expecting to see anything behind her, she is greeted by the darkness that she thought she had abandoned a few years back. Maybe not as long ago as she tells other people, maybe not even quite as long ago as she tells herself, but she was pretty sure it had gone away eventually. And ok, so maybe she was wrong when she told her diary that she hadn't considered suicide in six months, but one moment after too much alcohol and not enough sleep doesn't really count, right? Not in the grand scheme of things. Not when she's sitting at her desk in the little storage closet that masquerades on a daily basis as her office. She wonders if, once she has left for the day, it drops the mask, releases its breath and enjoys its time as a simple closet.
The darkness comes in a lot of forms, in half forgotten strands of memory that might have been jokes, and might have been someone else's tragedies. It hides in boxes of chocolates received from friends and coworkers on Valentine's day. It slips along the phone line every time a member of her family calls, wiggling it's way into her ear until she can't hear the words on the receiver, and is forced to hang up without any warning or explanations. She sits awake at night, watching the darkness outside of her window, wondering how hard it would be to find a real, honest to God vampire and be brought across into a world where the darkness is a beloved companion instead of a threatening presence lurking at the back of her mind.
She's danced on the edge of madness before, she knows. Played on the hairline fracture on which most of her waning sanity wobbles. Those nights spent staring at the walls, having long, drawn out conversations about life and death and mortality with them, not daring to look away for fear of what might be just behind her. She told the blank whitewashed plaster all of her deepest fears and most primal desires, releasing a part of her that had been dormant for a short time, and yet hadn't yet awakened. Where she would not look, in that empty solitude that played and tugged at the corners of her mind, they touched her, taunted her for talking to the walls. They told her she was crazy. That she would be doing herself a favor if she just picked up the knife and got it over with. Sure, they agreed readily that a few people would be sad, wonder what had happened. But still, they continued to remind her, she had a responsibility to herself, to take care of herself if anything went wrong. Talking to walls was definitely a good sign that something was wrong.
A young man came to her door one night, tired and barely coherent. He told her that he had come from New York, and was running from things that she wouldn't understand. His skin was an alabaster white, and he had hair that could rival coal in it's blackness. He told her that his name was Gabriel, and, enthralled that an angel had come to see her, she had let him in and given him a place to sleep and a way to forget about whatever horrors New York had left him with. Late that night, when he was asleep, she understood that the angel's appearance was a not so subtle message from whatever deity watched over her to hurry up and get her butt up to Heaven before someone much more deserving took her spot in line. She ran the water in her bathroom to drown out the sounds of her angry screaming at the walls that had tricked her into believing that her life was worth preserving. Gabriel had stumbled in on her, half awake and stared, uncomprehending at the knife and the running water tinged with red.
"I understand," she had told him over the sound of the tap water rushing to fill the sink.
"I don't," he'd muttered. "I can't… I won't…"
He had taken the knife away and spoken to her in a manner that made her think this was not his first time talking someone down from an attempt on their life. "I don't even know your name," he told her as he tucked her in to bed.
"I know," she murmured, staring into his dark eyes. He laughed, semi-hysterically.
"Right," he nodded, twisting his hands that were still a little bit red from her blood. "We've all gotta have our secrets."
When she had awoken in the morning, he had been gone, with the only sign of his presence her continued existence.
When she turns now, not expecting to see anything, she sees darkness all over again. They tell her that the new woman's name is Kate Todd, but she's too immersed in her contemplation of the death that radiates off the woman to really pay attention to them.
That night, when she and Gibbs are the only one's left, both running on too much caffeine, no sleep and that sheer determination that makes them just that little bit more special, and that little bit more unstable than the rest of the people who work there, she pulls him aside. "It's been nine months," she tells him proudly. "I've never lasted that long."
He stares at her for a long moment, as if pondering her entire existence. Finally he nods. "Yeah."
He doesn't offer to take her home with him. He doesn't play dumb, nor does he make frantic attempts to save her from herself. He's not her father, nor is he her lover, and if she wants to go home and shoot herself in the head because the newest agent happens to have an aura of pure, unadulterated death surrounding her, that's none of his concern. She's only his concern as long as she's alive and as Abby walks outside into the chilling cold, she's honestly not sure what she is.