Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. If they did, Gibbs would never have left Abby behind.

Spoilers: None

II

They had been dating six months when he asked her to marry him. Actually, it was more of an order.

"Marry me, Abbs," he said one rainy Saturday afternoon. They were in his basement, where he was working on his boat and she was sitting on the workbench watching him. When he turned around to get a new tool he found her using his pliers to reattach a broken spike to her dog collar choker. Gibbs chuckled at the sight, and everything that he had felt for so long seemed to into place. This, he knew, was how he wanted to spend the rest of his life.

"Marry me," he repeated as he pressed his lips to hers.

Abby laughed and kissed him back, but she shook her head 'no.' She kissed him again, and then again. Before he could catch he breath he was pushed against the wood frame of his boat and he couldn't think of anything but the taste of her mouth and the feel of her hands on his back.

A week later he did it right. He took her to dinner at Cafe Atlantico and afterwards they walked along the city streets in the moonlight. He stopped her at the edge of a park with a thousand stars shinning down on them and removed the velvet box from his pocket. The ring was an antique; white gold and a blood ruby surrounded by little diamonds. When he saw it he knew it would suit her better then anything new.

"I love you, Abigail Scutio. I want you to be my wife." Abby smiled when he opened the box but when he tried to slip it onto her finger she pulled away.

"Gibbs," she exclaimed. The moonlight glinted off unfallen tears in the corners of her eyes.

"Abby?" he questioned, suddenly unsure of himself. Four proposals, and he'd never received anything but an exuberant yes. He should have known Abby would be different; since when had she done anything that other people did?

"It's beautiful. It really is. I don't think I've ever seen a more perfect ring." As she spoke, Abby toyed with the bracelet at her wrist.

"I care more about the question then the ring, Abbs," Gibbs replied.

"I always knew I'd mess this up," Abby said, more to herself then Gibbs.

Frowning, Gibbs returned the velvet box to his pocket. "If you don't want to be with me, all you have to do is..."

"Of course I want to be with you. How can you doubt that?" Framing his head with her hands, Abby kissed him softly. "I love you, Gibbs. I will always love you."

"Then marry me," he whispered against the skin of her cheek.

"I don't know if I'm cut out for marriage. I've never thought of myself as the type to dress up in white and walk down the aisle." When the other little girls in her neighborhood had been planning their dream weddings, she had been studying car wrecks and trying to determine their causes.

"I don't care about any of that. You can wear black, or we can fly to Vegas. It's not the wedding that matters." He'd had his fill of traditional weddings anyway. If he could get away without wearing a tux this time, all the better.

"You don't talk to any of them," Abby blurted out.

"What?" The sudden change in topic confused Gibbs for a moment.

"Your exs. You don't talk to any of them. If something happened and we... I couldn't stand to be cut off like that Gibbs," she admitted.

"Oh, Abby." There was a park bench a few feet behind them. Gibbs picked Abby up and sat down, holding her in his lap. "That will never, ever happen."

"How can you know that?" She couldn't bear to lose him.

"Because I promise you that it won't. Have I ever broken a promise to you?"

"No." Abby shook her head.

"And I'm not about to start now. Here." Gibbs pulled the ring box out of his pocket once again, and in one smooth motion opened it and removed the ring. "This is my promise to you. I will always love you, and I will always talk to you. I will be here when ever you need or want me. If the day comes that you decide you want to be married, all you have to do is ask. If you never want to be married, that's okay too. All I want is you, Abby."

"You have me, Gibbs." Smiling, Abby allowed a single tear to fall as Gibbs slipped the ring on her finger.