Cliché: A Day Without Rain

By: Thought

Disclaimer: NCIS isn't mine.

A/N: Part three of four.

XXX

She woke up alone.

The heavy curtains over the windows of his bedroom had been pulled closed, blocking out most of the early morning sunlight that would have otherwise flooded in to cast the room in a yellowish glow. To Abby, waking up with the sun shining down on her was one of the absolute worst ways one could move from the realm of the sleeping to that of the wakeful and was almost always an assured precursor to a bad day. She knew for a fact that the curtains had been open when they'd gone to sleep earlier in the morning, long before the sun even gave thought to inching its way over the horizon. It didn't surprise her that Gibbs had closed them for her, though it still made her smile fondly.

The bed was comfortable, more comfortable than she had imagined it would be. She hadn't exactly been paying attention to the quality of the mattress the night before, and now took the time to revel in the way it supported her body with a firmness that strangely made her think of Gibbs himself. The blanket was light, and she tossed it aside without embarrassment - the curtains were closed and the only other person in the house was Gibbs. Stretching in the cool morning air, she rose from the bed and made her way into the bathroom on the other side of the hall.

As she showered she let her mind wander back to the night before, smiling mischievously at some of the mental images the remembrance evoked. Abby had learned long ago that the way women described their sexual experiences in romance novels was anything but the truth. It was her personal opinion that quite a few of those authors were high when writing, because the night's events were definitely not a blur. Admittedly, she couldn't remember every touch, every whispered word and nowhere on her body could she still feel his phantom kisses. Her mind had catalogued it all with the same accuracy as any other event. It wasn't in her nature to be unobservant, in her line of work such a trait was the professional equivalent of sticking a postit note to your forehead labeling you as incompetent.

She finished with her shower and, wrapped in a thin towel, padded back to his bedroom. There was a drawer in his dresser which he kept specifically for her clothing, she having stayed over so many nights before in a completely platonic capacity. She tugged on a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt that proudly proclaimed 'God is dead. We killed him.' - her Sociology thesis had focused on Nietzsche, and a friend had thought the shirt fitting. Deciding she had forgone coffee long enough, she bounced downstairs, grinning when she saw the sugar bowl sitting right beside the full coffee pot. Everyone claimed that Gibbs coffee was akin to thick tar, but Abby was willing to suffer the taste for the caffeine buzz that followed. The sugar helped, and after stirring her mug of the hot brew she figured she'd given Gibbs long enough to brood. His house, though old, was still in good condition and the stairs to the basement didn't even creak as she descended.

His hands were moving over the boat in long, graceful motions and she took a moment just to admire the way his muscles worked under the light blue shirt. "Good morning, Abs," he said without looking away from his task.

"Morning," she replied, perching on the workbench with her coffee. "You been up long?"

He worked a shrug into the movement of his shoulders. "No."

It was such a blatant lie that it was as good as the truth. She studied him for a silent minute. "You're not regretting it, are you?"

He continued sanding. "Nope."

"That's good. Because I'd have to smack you if you were, and I'm sure physical violence isn't the best way to start off a relationship."

"Mmm."

She glared at the back of his head. "Well! Somebody's feeling monosyllabic this morning."

He set aside the sander and turned to look at her, a small smile playing at the corners of his lips. "I didn't know that was an emotion."

She slid down from the work bench, setting her coffee aside. "Do I get a good morning kiss?"

He glanced down at his watch. "If you can make it out to the car in five minutes, yes."

She frowned at him. "Really."

His lips formed a full fledged smile. "Yup."

She pouted prettily. "You sure I can't have just one?"

He sighed, giving in easily and closing the distance between them. He tasted like coffee and toothpaste, which Abby had found to be the norm for good pre-work kissing.

She pulled back after a moment, resting a hand on his chest. "That's better." She slid her hand across to his shoulder and down his arm, tugging his wrist up so that she could see his watch. "Damn. We're gonna be late."

He grinned. "Nah." She walked toward the stairs as she spoke. "Sorry, I forgot you were a racecar driver in a past life. Want a travel mug?"

He made an affirmative noise in his throat. She paused on the stairs, glancing over her shoulder at him. "Stop staring at my ass, Jethro."

XXX

The morning wasn't all that sunny, it turned out, a cool breeze gusting harmless looking gray clouds across the equally gray sky. "Maybe it'll rain," she said as she stood on the porch, waiting for Gibbs to lock up.

"Rain messes up crime scenes," he replied, turning to face her. "Destroys evidence."

She sighed and skipped down the steps. "Yes, but it's pretty."

"Leroy! You never told me you had a daughter!" a woman's voice floated across to them. Abby spun to find the origin of the call.

"I didn't know you were on a first name basis with your neighbors, Leroy," she mocked softly, leaning against his shoulder.

"I'm not," was his short answer. The woman strolled across the lawn in a pink jogging suit with a top that left her midriff bare.

"Good morning," she greeted them both, shoving blond hair back from her eyes. She held out a hand to Abby. "I'm Sarah Shaw. Your father and I are good friends."

Abby stared at her as if she were a fascinating blood stain under her microscope. "I'm not his daughter," she said finally, smiling as best she could and nestling herself closer to Gibbs.

Sarah seemed taken-a-back, but her expression swiftly moved from surprise to disgust. "I see. Really, Leroy, I wasn't aware you were so desperate as to hire a girl for your needs."

Abby felt every muscle in Jethro's body tighten. She rested a hand on his back, hoping he'd get the message. "I'm actually his lover," she said coolly, using her height advantage on the woman to stare down at her with as much disdain as she could muster.

"Well, aren't you a little young for him?"

Abby shrugged. "No."

Sarah turned her gaze back to Gibbs. "Rather impolite, isn't she? Though I suppose there's only so much one can expect from one of those devil worshipers. I'd check her pockets before you let her out of your sight, my sister's daughter was one of those heathens, and she stole her own mother's diamond bracelet from right under her nose."

"I'm not too worried," Gibbs was slowly losing patience, and Abby knew she didn't envy Sarah the explosion which she would get the brunt of.

"Well, I guess you wouldn't with that CSI job of yours. Is that how you met this... Individual? Are you rehabilitating her from a life of crime? That's very sweet of you!"

Abby was starting to wonder if this woman was for real. Gibbs turned to her, but before he could speak a man's voice carried across the lawn.

"Sarah?"

The Barbie doll glanced over her shoulder and called out. "Ryan, come meet Leroy's... "lover"."

Her husband was a tall, muscular man with small eyes and shaggy brown hair. He studied Abby with obvious contempt.

"Damn, Gibbs, never woulda guessed you to be into the kink. She's a damn fine piece of ass, but I gotta say, isn't it a bit degrading to bring her out in the light of day?"

Abby knew that Gibbs was going to snap. She doubted if he would physically harm the man, but the look in his ice blue eyes made her wonder.

"Abby," Gibbs said calmly. "Go get in the car."

She blinked, shocked. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me. Go get in the car."

Abby's temper flared. "I'm good, thanks."

"Wasn't a request," he snapped. Her eyes darkened.

"I'm sorry, have I given you the wrong impression--"

"Abby!" he snapped. She flinched back at the harshness in his tone. Furious, she stalked off, giving the three others a disgusted glance and slamming the car door behind her.

She buried herself in her I-Pod until the driver's side door opened and Gibbs slid in to the seat. He barely had time to close the door before she was on him.

"What the fuck was that!" she exploded.

"Abby--"

"Do not try to defend yourself! There's no excuse for what you just did."

"I couldn't let that man say those things about you."

"I don't remember asking you to be my knight in shining armor."

"And what did you intend to do, exactly?"

"Nothing."

He slammed his hand down on the center consol. "That's my point! You would have just stood there and taken it."

"It's always easier to mock the idiots once they've left. Fights are messy."

"And that right there proves to me that you can't fight your own battles. I always thought you could, but I guess I was wrong."

"And I thought you had respect for me, but I guess I was wrong in that." She jerked open the door, starting to move out of the car but Gibbs' hand caught her wrist and his grip was tight enough to be painful.

"And how exactly are you planning to get to work, Abby?" he asked calmly.

"I'll figure it out."

"Abby. Get back in the car... please."

She stared. "So what. You think now that you've said please I'm supposed to magically forgive you and fall into your arms?"

He shook his head and pulled her back into the car. "Calm down."

She laughed harshly. "Funny, I don't remember me being the one to beat up on the car half a minute ago." He was still holding her wrist as if he were afraid she would flee again.

"I'm not going to say I'm sorry, because I'm not," he told her flat out, catching and holding her gaze. "I admit I could have handled it--you better, but I'm not sorry. I can try to change, not be so protective, but it will take some time and no matter what happens you're still my girl. You can either accept that and try to live with me, or you can get out of this car now and we can forget any of this ever happened."

Her eyes dropped to study the floor of the car intently. He released her wrist, sitting back and waiting silently.

"Alright," she said finally. "But I hope you know that your glare of doom will start losing its effectiveness on me."

He laughed softly, and rested a hand at the back of her neck where her hair separated. "C'mhere," he said affectionately, and she turned into his arms, pressing a kiss to the side of his neck.

"I hope you know you're the only guy I'd ever let get away with that," she muttered. "And just this once; I don't take orders well."

He tilted up her chin, smirking down at her. "Really." She flicked her tongue over her lips.

"What'd you do to the terrible duo?"

He turned to face frontward, sliding the key in the ignition. "Nothing physical. I think I just wounded their egos."

"...and made them want to run off and kill themselves in their ridiculously expensive pool with a set of chefs' knives? Okay!"

He shook his head. "Sure, Abs."

She grinned. "Excellent."

They were late to work.