Spoilers: For "See No Evil"
A/N: Most grateful thanks to ncyiby for all of her help. The grammar and spelling fixes are so helpful, but it's your suggestions and feedback that are gold. Hugs!
Abby knew exactly where she was when she opened her eyes the next morning. The familiar blue comforter wrapped around her meant that she was in the guest bedroom at Gibbs' house, and she was glad that he had brought her here. Either he knew that she wasn't ready to be alone, or he was being his usual overprotective self, it didn't matter. She was in the one place where she knew that she was completely safe. Bert was tangled in the sheets next to her, and she hugged the stuffed animal to her and fell back asleep.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Gibbs asked when he walked into the room a few hours latter, carrying a tray of food.
"I have to pee," Abby said plainly from the edge of the bed, her feet on the floor and her hand on the table in an attempt to pull herself up.
"You should have called for me," Gibbs scolded.
"I've been peeing by myself for quite some time. I don't need an audience." Her arguing was pointless. Gibbs not only insisted on helping her out of the bed, but on picking her up and carrying her to the bathroom. He didn't make it past the bed though, as Abby panicked at the touch. She started to squirm and push against his chest. When he didn't release her she kicked her legs.
"Put me down now."
"I will just as soon as-"
"Now." she repeated darkly. She had stopped pushing against him, and in her stillness he could more easily hear the fear that tinted her voice. Gibbs worriedly set her down on the end of the bed.
"Abbs?" he asked, brushing his hand against her forehead. She refused to look at him.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, pulling her knees to her chin. One arm wrapped around her legs while the other rested uselessly at her side.
"You have i nothing /i to be sorry for." He knelt on the floor, crouching down so that he could see her downcast face. "Just tell me what's wrong."
"He wouldn't let me go to the bathroom alone either," she said. "He led me there, his hand tight on my elbow, letting me know that he was the one in control."
Gibbs rested his hand on her leg, not knowing what to say.
"He was the last person to pick me up and carry me," she continued, her voice cracking. "And when you picked me up like that..."
Gibbs moved from the floor to the bed, sitting next to Abby up and pulling her onto his lap. He wrapped both of his arms around her, and rocked gently back and forth. When she started trembling he reached for a blanket and covered her with it.
"You're safe now, Abby. Watson will never hurt you again. No one will. And Watson wasn't the last person to carry you either, Abbs," Gibbs reassured her. "The last person to carry you was me, when I got you out the car and into bed."
Abby didn't answer, just tucked her head under Gibbs' chin and curled up even tighter into him.
"I tried, Gibbs," she said after a while. He almost thought she had fallen asleep, as limp as her body was against his.
"Tried what, Abbs?" He ran one hand down the back of her head, smoothing out her tousled hair.
"I tried to escape," she said, her voicing breaking on the last word as she remembered that fleeting moment when she thought she had almost made it. "I knew that if you were in the same situation you would have found a way to get out of there."
On hearing Abby's words, Gibbs pulled away from her so that he could see her face, and more importantly she could see his.
"You did everything right. You were smart, and you were brave. If you hadn't taken the risk and given us that message, I know we wouldn't have gotten to you as soon as we did." He hated to think of what would have
happened to her if they had taken any longer in finding her. The doctor had mentioned, as he was talking to Ducky, that she was so dehydrated that she was lucky there hadn't been any permanent brain or muscle damage. And then, of course, there was the madman with the gun.
"You got that?" Abby asked, feeling for the first time that she had done something right.
"I'm a trained investigator," Gibbs said teasingly. "Of course I got it. It was a smart thing to do. Dangerous, but smart."
"He didn't even notice. The moment the video camera turned on he started talking like you were in the room." She remembered the fear and excitement that had mingled together inside her when she'd realized that Watson hadn't caught her actions. "He hated you, Gibbs. He blamed you for everything bad that had happened to him, including-" Abby's eyes grew big and she stopped speaking mid-sentence.
i Sandy. /i The one thing Watson had been angriest about was loosing his daughter. His daughter, who Abby had held and comforted when she was afraid she was never going to see her mother again. The sweet little girl who had complimented Abby's voice. Sandy, who was now without a father because he was lying on a slab in Ducky's morgue.
"He should have come after me, instead of kidnapping you," Gibbs growled. "He was a coward."
"He wouldn't have done that, Gibbs. He knew he stood no chance against you."
"I wish he would have tried." Gibbs started to clench his hand into a fist, but realized just in time that it was resting on Abby's shoulder. "He would have gotten something a whole lot different then the money and a new life in another country he asked for."
"He didn't care about a new life. He wanted the old one back, and if he couldn't have that then he wanted to drag you into his hell. He was going to kill me," she said, immediately regretting her revelation as she felt Gibbs tense beneath her. Gibbs clenched his jaw so tight that she could see each muscle defined.
"I would never have let that happen," he said finally. His voice was pitched low, and had a hard edge to it. She believed him completely.