Disclaimer: n. 1. The act of disclaiming; the renouncing, repudiating, or denying of a claim; disavowal. 2. A clause added to legal documents, etc., limiting the application of previous clauses. 3. One who disclaims. See; me and the characters of NCIS
AN: I know, I know, I KNOW. I didn't mean to not update for ten months, but it happened. And I could think of a thousands reasons, but you don't want to hear them.
Totally un-beta'd, so just ignore the mistakes.
Dedicated to: babybecca for reminding me to update - it's because of babybecca there's another chapter, folks! Chas from The Chaser for going on Triple J (or if you will, JJJ (a radio station in Aus)) and playing "Do the Bart Man" whilst I was trying to write this. Thanks Chas, no, really…
And my sis Beth (who I know is reading this) because she's feeling sick..
Abby woke just as McGee was paying the pizza man.
'Hey, you're up!' McGee exclaimed, returning to the lounge room with the pizza 'Hungry?' Abby shrugged
'A bit, I guess.' She replied. McGee dragged the coffee table in front of the couch and placed the pizza on top of it.
'Want a drink?' McGee asked as he walked into the kitchen.
'Um, yer, water, thanks.' She called after him. He returned moments later with a glass of water and two plates. He handed her a plate and the glass of water. Abby watched in amazement as McGee said down on the couch, flipped open the pizza box and placed a slice on his plate. In the short time he'd been staying with her he had become totally comfortable, at home. What was weirder, though, was how she had become so used to having him around. She liked it, too. He was kind and considerate, he made her laugh, and he didn't use all the hot water. Lost in her thoughts she handed McGee the remote without realizing she was doing it.
'Hey, are you feeling alright?' He asked, taking the remote from her and placing it on the table. He rubbed the grease on his hands onto his pants and placed it on her forehead. 'You don't feel warmer than usual…'
'I'm fine,' Abby claimed and McGee dropped his hand 'I was just thinking, that's all.' She quickly took a piece of pizza and dropped it on her plate.
'Guess that's not unusual, then.' McGee took a bite of pizza and made a face 'Does this taste weird to you?' Abby took a bite.
'It tastes a bit like peanut butter. What did you order?' McGee shrugged
'I can't remember. I think I told them to "surprise me", and I guess they did.' Abby laughed
'Oh, McGee, never tell someone who works at a pizza place to "surprise" you.'
'Why not?' He asked
'Let's put it this way; that is peanut butter you can taste.' Abby laughed again.
'No wonder the deliverer gave me such a weird look. It kinda works, though.'
'Yer, it does.' Abby agreed, munching on her slice. 'From now on I want all my pizzas to have peanut butter on.'
'Really?' McGee asked
'Nah,' she said with a shrug and almost jumped out of her skin when McGee's cell started ringing. McGee swallowed his mouthful and pulled his cell from his pocket.
'It's my neighbour.' He said, sounding surprised 'Nat?' He answered, then after a few moments said: 'Is everyone okay?' Abby looked at him curiously and he said: 'Okay, I'll be there soon.' And promptly hung up.
'What's going on?' Abby asked
'My apartment, it's on fire.' McGee answered, dazed
'What?' Abby exploded 'Shouldn't you, perhaps, get over there?'
'Yes, I'm going.' McGee said, standing up
'Well, wait up; I'm going with you.' Abby also stood up
'No, you're not!' McGee replied
'Yes, I am!' Abby said, imitating McGee perfectly
'No, you're not.' McGee said again, crossing his arms
'God, we're turning into Tony and Kate, here.' Abby said with a sigh. 'Look, you need someone with you, and I'll…' Abby paused to think 'I'll wear something warm and stay in the car.'
'Oh, alright.' McGee said with a sigh. Abby hurried off to get dressed
Tony suddenly found himself wide awake. He suddenly had the feeling something was wrong. Kate wasn't it bed anymore, that was it. She had been right next to him a few hours ago…
He slipped out of bed and went in search of her. He didn't have to go far; she was in the lounge room, on the couch, sipping a glass of water. He sat next to her.
'I didn't wake you, did I?' She asked
'Nah, I woke because I suddenly realised that no one was hogging all the blanket.' Kate gave him that look. 'Are you okay?'
'I couldn't sleep.' Kate said with a shrug
'Any particular reason why?' Tony asked, rubbing his eyes
'I don't know. I think it's just everything.' She said and Tony nodded sleepily 'Go back to bed, Tony.' She ran her hand through his hair.
'No, I'm fine. If you're staying up, then so am I. Now hand me the remote, will ya?' Kate held remote her back.
'You're tired, and you need some sleep.'
'No, I don't.' Tony said stubbornly and made a grab for the remote. She tried to move it out of his reach, but his arms were longer than hers. Just as he had almost got it, the phone started ringing.
'If that's Gibbs…' Tony said, before answering the phone 'DiNozzo.' He answered. Kate watched as he listening intently to whoever the person on the other end was saying 'Are you okay?' He asked. Kate looked at Tony alarmed. Was who okay? 'Well, can we do anything?' He paused 'Okay, then.' He said before hanging up.
'What is it?' Kate asked
'McGee's apartment was set on fire, looks like it was purposely, too.' Tony replaced the phone in its handset.
'My God!' Kate exclaimed 'Is he okay?'
'He was at Abby's; his fine, but won't be going to work today.'
'Can we do anything?' Kate asked
'He wants us to tell Gibbs, but other than that he says there's nothing much that we can do. He says he'll se us later, at Abby's.' Tony said, and rubbed his hand over his face.
'Who would do such a thing?' Kate asked
'I don't know. McGeek doesn't have enemies.' Kate sighed and took his hand.
'C'mon,' Kate said, standing up and pulling him along
'Where?' He asked
'Bed,' she replied 'I can always listen to you snore if I can't get to sleep.'
'I don't snore!' He replied, huffily
'Sure you don't.' She gave his face slap
'Hey, Kate?' Tony asked as they crawled into bed 'Are you sure you're okay?'
'I'm okay,' she said and wrapped her arms around Tony. He did the same.
'Okay. Night Kate,' He said, dropping a kiss on the top of her head.
'Night Tony.' She replied and within minutes she was asleep. Tony, however, lay awake thinking for hours after.
Meanwhile McGee was talking to a fire marshal, or was trying to, anyway. He was finding it rather to concentrate. Abby had not stayed in the car like she had promised, but had instead slipped her hand into his hand and followed him passively around, squeezing his hand every now and then. That's what was distracting him; her hand in his. It made whatever the fire marshal was saying seem pointless.
'The fire was contained to the bedroom, so there was minimal property damage, but there's going to need to be some serious renovation.' The fire marshal was saying 'So, I'd find yourself a place to stay for a couple of months.'
'He'll be staying with me.' Abby said
'I will?' McGee asked
'Well, you need a place to stay for a couple of months, and apparently I need someone to look after me for a couple of months… So, yeah, you can have my spare room.'
'Makes sense.' McGee agreed wisely
'If I could get some contact details from you, then.' The fire marshal handed Abby a clipboard and pen. She released McGee's hand to take it. McGee had a sudden feeling of loss.
'Are we needed for anything else?' Abby asked, handing back the forms a few minutes later.
'No, you're free to go.' The marshal waved them off with his hand
'Thank you,' Abby said before taking McGee by the hand and gently pulling him. 'C'mon, McGee.'
'Um, thanks.' McGee said before allowing Abby to drag him back to the car.
'Are you okay?' Abby asked carefully once they were in the car.
'Why would someone want to target me?' McGee asked, awed.
'I don't know. Maybe it was a mistake.'
'Does that sound likely to you?'
'No, not really.' Abby said with a sigh 'Let's just go home, hey?'
By the time they got back to Abby's Abby had fallen asleep against the window, and for a second McGee thought he was going to have do something noble, like carry her, but she woke as soon as he touched her arm.
'Home already, huh?' She said with a smile and allowed McGee to help her out of the car.
'Bed time, I think.' McGee said
'McGee! I had no idea you had it in you.' Abby winked. McGee turned bright red.
'I didn't mean-'
'Don't worry, I know.' She patted his arm reassuringly 'Besides, I'm too tired for that.' McGee wordlessly followed her inside.
Once inside; she disappeared into her room and re-emerged in pjs. McGee took the opportunity to change in the bathroom. She was waiting for him when he got out.
'C'mon,' She dragged him along by his sleave 'Now, this,' she opened a door at the end of the hall 'will be your room for the next couple of months.' She switched on the light and stepped in. There was a double bed, a chest of draws and a dresser in the room. They all looked normal. It was quite un-Abby like.
'For normal people.' She told him gravely.
'It's great, Abby, thanks.' He placed the clothes he was carrying on the bottom of the bed.
'Hey, McGee?' Mind if I sleep with you tonight?' Abby asked timidly 'You know, in case of nightmares…'
'Sure, Abby.' He shoved the clothes into the top draw 'Hop in.'
'Thanks Timmy.' Abby grinned at him as she climbed into bed.
'I'll be right back.' McGee said, but he needn't have bothered; Abby was almost asleep. McGee fetched Abby a glass of water (just in case), moved his belongs into his room, and remembered to turn off the lights before finally climbing in next to Abby.
It was nice, sleeping next to Abby, he decided. There was something very nice about listening to her breath, it was soothing. He was soon asleep, too.
Abby wasn't the one who had nightmares, that night, though.
'Ow!' McGee exclaimed, having been woken up by Abby elbowing him in the side.
'Sorry,' Abby said, sounding slightly guilty 'but you yelling in your sleep.'
'I was?' He asked
'Yes. What were you dreaming about?' He had been dreaming that he and Abby were trapped in a room with no doors, with a fire about to burn the whole place down.
'Fire,' McGee finally said
'Are you okay?' Abby asked, rolling closer to him, and throwing an arm over his shoulder.
'Yer, I'm fine. Go back to sleep.' He kissed her forehead
'Okay,' she replied, sleepily, and fell back to sleep, but it took McGee a far longer time to find peaceful sleep.
The piercing alarm woke Kate up at an hour that was way entirely too early for Kate's liking.
'Tony…' She moaned, and went to hit him, but he wasn't there. 'Tony?' She asked, sitting up, and turning the alarm off herself. She found him in the kitchen, leaning over a hot pan.
'Morning,' Tony exclaimed cheerfully
'You're up early.' She said, sitting at the table.
'Well, I made pancakes.' He said, placing a plate off pancakes in front of her, before sitting down with a plate of his own.
'Tonight we're eating something green.' Kate said firmly, before reaching for the syrup.
'Okay,' Tony said, grinning at her
'What?' She asked a few seconds later, when Tony wouldn't stop staring, or grinning, at her.
'Nothing.' He replied 'I've just been thinking, and something hit me this morning…'
'Left a bruise, I hope.' Kate said
'Fine, if you don't want to know…' Tony teased between mouthfuls
'No, I do, what were you thinking about?' Kate said with a sigh
'Nope, not going to tell you now. You'll just have to wait now.'
'Eat your pancakes.' He said, before kissing her cheek and standing to get some coffee.
AN: Weird place to end, huh? So, do you think Kate has Maple or Golden syrup?
I promise, I'll try not to leave the next chapter for ten months…