Disclaimer: Not mine! :sigh: How sad. The only thing I own, is the idea within, and an obsession for all things Gibbs/Abby. :sigh: Good stuff.

A/N: Anything in italics represents thought.

It was a long black box with nickel hardware. It did, but did not look like a coffin. There was no over abundance of hardware on the sides. No high-gloss shine. No real shape, either. Just a long, black, box. Guess you might say it depended on your mood, when you looked at it. Abby always cast a loving eye upon it... it was a coffin, but it wasn't for sleeping in, like so many thought/figured. It was her solace. A place to climb into, and shut away the world. It hid her well, and only her thoughts could find her, in the silken, pitch black of midnight blue satin lining. An oasis of sorts, in her busy world/life.

She loved it.

Not surprisingly, a few of her friends made it into her coffin as well... Tim McGee had asked with fear in his voice if Abby was really going to make him sleep in a coffin. She had laughed and told him it was therapeutic, she would get in with him, and they didn't have to close the lid all the way down. With much hesitation he finally climbed in, and before long, McGee had been fast asleep, Abby's arms wrapped around him, and woke up the next day amazed at better he felt after a night in a coffin... no... sleeping box, as he preferred to call/remember it.

Ducky had seen it... she'd invited everyone over once, to have a small birthday celebration in his honour, and he'd come over early. As she took him on a tour of her place, he noted the coffin, perched at the foot of her bed, in her bedroom. "My dear, Abigail! Surely you don't sleep in that?" She'd only laughed, and said it was a hiding place, when the world got to be too much. If her attitude on life hadn't been so vivacious, he would have been worried. But as it was, Ducky knew that Abby did things her way, and this was just another one of those little things that was totally 'Abby', and you just either accepted it, or ignored it. Ducky accepted it, but told her in no uncertain terms that if she ever developed an unhealthy interest in spending too much time in it, he would set her straight posthaste. She'd wrapped loving arms around him, and kissed him softly. "Of course you would Ducky! That's why I love you... you look out for me, no matter what."

Kate had been scandalized. But she climbed in any ways, certain that it wasn't right, and downright morbid, and... Kate too, succumbed to the lure of it, and every once in awhile she would come over to Abby's, get her to climb in with her, and they would talk quietly in the serenity of it, gentle whispers in blue satin. When Abby had seen Kate in her coffin at the funeral, she almost had half a mind to jump in with her, shake her awake and tell her no time for sleeping yet... not till the Ben & Jerry's was done, and they'd talked about every 'do-able' male agent at NCIS for at least 3-4 hours. But she'd refrained, and oh how it had hurt to leave her there!

Almost a month had gone by after Kate had been killed, and Abby hadn't ventured near her coffin once. Then Tony came over. He'd been in it once already, and knew that she used it for down time, and not sleeping. He'd made a casual reference to it earlier that day, and Abby had told him she was thinking of getting rid of it. Tony knew how much it meant to her... how many memories it held. That night he simply picked her up and carried her to her coffin, and dumped her inside it. She screeched at him, but then he only calmly got in with her, and lowered the lid. She'd started crying almost immediately, and he held her... allowing her to get it all out, rubbing circles on her back, making soft, soothing noises. They slept huddled together that night and the next morning, they both acted as though nothing unusual had gone on. He'd kissed her gently on her forehead that night, as they left work. When she got home, she climbed in and lay there for awhile, allowing her mind to drift... her coffin became peaceful to her once again.

She would always and forever be grateful to Tony for that.

When Gibbs left that fateful day, she'd rushed home as quickly as possible, and after changing quickly, she climbed into her coffin, shutting the lid, and the horrors of the day out. She cried bitter tears. Gibbs, the one she cared for the most (next to Kate, but that was just so totally different and...) was leaving her. She'd finally fallen asleep, tears drying in salty patches on her pale face. Gibbs came by a few hours later... he knew where she would be, and when he opened the lid, his heart slammed into his chest. There Abby lay, black hair spread out on the blue pillow, and alabaster white skin, looking even whiter than normal thanks to the long white nightgown she was wearing, swathed in the blue satin, looking heartstoppingly dead, for just the slightest second.


Her eyes opened at once, at the sound of his voice. Green met blue. "What are you doing here, Gibbs?" She looked sad. "I've come to say goodbye." A tiny frown appeared on her face, but all she said was a quiet "oh". He sighed then, and told her to move over. She did, and he climbed in next to her. The coffin had built large enough for two, because Abby had always said this wasn't a piece for burying, but rather, for resting. He wrapped his arms around her. "How are you feeling, Abbs?" A sigh, bone deep, it seemed, came from her. "How do you think, Gibbs? You say you're leaving, you won't let me say goodbye, you just place a finger on my lips and walk out of my life, and..." she trailed off, sobs tearing through her once more, clinging to him like she was drowning. He held her, strong arms wrapped around her slight frame so tightly, that he was surprised she didn't break.

"This is only goodbye Abbs. I never said it was goodbye forever."

Her breath hitched. "Wha... what did you say?" She couldn't disguise the tremor in her voice. "I said it's not goodbye forever. I... I can't stay on at the job any more. At least, right now I can't. So I'm taking some time, going down to Mexico, and seeing if I can't get my head straight. As soon as I can, I'll be back. I'm going to leave some info with you, in case you need to contact me. I didn't want to say anything earlier in case it upset the others. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you Abbs." He placed a kiss, soft and gentle, upon her temple. Her arms shot out and wrapped tightly around him, she buried her face in his chest, sobbing in relief. "I thought... I thought you were leaving me too... 'cos it seems like everyone leaves, and... oh..." she trailed off, emotions too much for her to go on. He rubbed her back, smoothed her hair from her face, and kept quietly telling her to 'shhh'. Too soon, she had fallen asleep in his arms. He carefully managed to get out of the coffin, and he wrote her a note, as he watched her sleep.

"Abbs... by the time you read this, I'll be gone. You were sleeping so peacefully, I didn't want to wake you. I've enclosed the promised info... an emergency can be anything... missing me, can't find Bert, DiNozzo is being obnoxious... these are all serious emergencies, and don't hesitate to contact me if any of them come up.

I think you know how much you mean to me... I'm going to miss you terribly. I've thought about this over and over again... but I'm going to do something crazy, anyways. Along with all my info, is also something else. If you need to, use it. You'll know when, and why. Do as your heart tells you to, Abbs.

I've got to be going. I gave you one last kiss, before I left. Remember... this isn't goodbye forever... just for now. I'll be seeing you again, Abbs. Semper Fi. Gibbs."

Just as he'd promised, Gibbs leaned down and kissed her one last time, gently, on the cheek. He'd left the note next to her, the plane ticket to Mexico peeping out slightly from underneath it. He lowered the top of the coffin down somewhat... and ran his hand along the top. When she awoke, she might be alone, but she would have some options before her, and a good place to think about it all. His hand paused over the top left-hand corner; near the foot... a small ornate 'LJG' was faintly carved into the top. His signature. Hers was the first and only coffin he'd ever made, and it brought him peace to know that whenever she needed to get away from it all, it was always here, within his creation that she lay. He sighed, and quietly left her to her peace... within the soothing dark of her coffin, Abby slept on, a smile gracing her lips.

The End.