Chapter 5

Curled together they played the game of remember when for hours, traveling the memories of working together, and learning each other. They began with the humorous, moved through the serious, spent time in the sadness, through it all she kept her head rested to him where she could listen his breath move in and out of him and memorize the rhythm of it, make it a part of herself.

It was near dawn when Gibbs excused himself to her bathroom. When he came out his face was serious and angry.

"We agreed this would never happen again."

Sleepily Abby lifted her head from the sofa cushion, "What wouldn't Gibbs?"

He held the razor he'd found on the floor with a tiny bit of dried blood out to her. "THIS."

"Oh. That." She looked down.

"Yes, Abby, THAT. Where, show me where you cut yourself." His hands shook he was so enraged.

She lifted the edge of her skirt to reveal a tiny slice at her thigh. "It was an accident. I was crying, I tried to use the toilet to help myself up and it fell out from behind. I thought you were going to leave without saying goodbye."

"There's no excuse Abby. None. This can not go on. I don't care what happens you cannot use this to make yourself feel better, do you understand? You should have called me."

"What about next week, or next month? Is it an emergency when I miss you so much I have to bleed to let some of the pain out?"

"You don't have to bleed for me. I'll always hear you." He pressed a piece of paper with a phone number written on it into her palm. "Yes. It's an emergency if you're picking up a razor blade. I'll be here before you can make the first cut. I love you Abby."

She looked at the number and then at him. "Mexico?"

He smiled.

"So maybe when I get too sad instead of calling you I'll pull out my bikini and hop on a plane."

"Now every bikini in the distance will drive me crazy until I know if it's you." He kissed his finger and pressed it to the cut on her thigh before locking eyes with her, "No More."

She nodded her agreement and sniffled.

"You'd better get some sleep, and I have to pack. Come lock me out."

She stood and let him lead her to the door, their fingers laced together. "Hey Gibbs, wait!"

He stopped in the open door frame and turned to face her.

"What about the boat in your basement?"

"The Abigail Kate?" He leaned in and planted a soft and lingering kiss on her lips, "Some things are better left in the realm of what might have been."

She didn't say another word, just stood and watched in a daze as he got into his car and disappeared down her street. When he was gone she went inside to find a calendar and count the days until her next birthday.

The End.