Under her desk, her hippo hugged to her chest Abby fought the tears back. The urgent sting behind her lids suggested they wouldn't be held off much longer, but for now she just needed to keep it together.
If only he had allowed her to speak, to throw her arms around him and talk sense to him, but Gibbs had placed that single finger over her lips before kissing her cheek. He probably thought that moment of tenderness replaced all the words that weren't spoken between them but nothing ever could, ever would balm the wound he left by tearing himself from her life.
Raw and exposed she shivered and waited for the clock to tick into place. When she unleashed this pain it would be relentless and never ending. She wasn't sure she'd ever walk back into the lab that she loved after today, even if she did, nothing would ever be the same.
McGee came in and sat with her on the floor for awhile. He was as shell-shocked as she and didn't bother to offer any words of comfort; he just sat and held her hand. Tony had called him away; it was smart of him, not allowing the mourning to continue, to give the team focus. Tony hadn't bothered to try to pull Abby back; it was clear in her eyes that she was already gone.
She tugged her bag over her shoulder and looked around the room. It had let her down, this space; it was supposed to be the place she was in control. She startled a little when she realized the director was waiting at her door.
"C'mon Abby, I'll take you home."
"Um, no thanks Director Shepard, I have my hearse here."
"I know, I saw it in the lot." Jenny smiled, "I'd still like to drive you home."
"I seem that messed up?"
"I just know the look, I've been left behind by Jethro Gibbs myself Abby."
"Oh, right. Okay." She took her animal, her bag and her keys and followed the director out.
In the car there was uncomfortable silence until they were off base. "Do you want to stop and get a drink, maybe talk a little?"
"No, thank you director Shepard, I just want to get home and"
"Cry." The director took Abby's hand and squeezed it.
As Abby got out of the car Jenny told her, "He didn't leave you Abby, he left NCIS. I've seen him walk away in anger before, but he's never abandoned the people he cares for. Try not to worry."
All she could do was shake her head and say thank you before running inside her place.