A/N: Somehow I totally missed the season 2 episode Hometown Hero. How did I do that? Anyway, I just watched it for the first time, and I think knowing what would happen 2 weeks later gave me angsty view of what should have been a lighter B plot.
Hugs and love to Bingle Jells for the awesome and quick beta'ing!
She found it in Tony's top drawer, buried under an assortment of scrap papers, pens, and paperclips. The whole team was gone and she had nothing to do in the lab, so she had decided to await their return in the bullpen. The marker she had been using to doodle on Tony's calendar had died, and she had been rifling through his drawer to find another one when she found the plain white envelope. Her name was scrawled across the front in familiar writing.
If she had been sitting at anyone else's desk she would have returned the envelope to the drawer and tried to forget about it. Her curiosity would have killed her, but she would have done it. But this was Tony. If he was planning some prank and planned to use her as a shill or an alibi, it was better to know ahead of time. Especially if what ever he was planning involved Gibbs in any way. Besides, her birthday was over and it was months until Christmas, so it wasn't like she was spoiling a surprise for herself.
When she withdrew the single piece of paper, the tears that she so seldom shed threatened to fall. It was a reservation confirmation for Serenity Retreat. Three days and two nights had been booked under the names of Abigail Sciuto and Caitlin Todd.
Was it really only a month ago that she and Kate had been planning to get away together for the weekend? When work had interfered she had teased Gibbs about replacing their reservations, but never really expected anything to come of it. After all, she and Kate would have other opportunities to get away from the city. Or so she had thought. That was before a single bullet altered the course of everything she believed in.
"Hey Abbs. Gibbs went down to the lab to look for you, so you might want to..." Tony breezed into the bullpen, but stopped short when he realized what his friend held in her hands.
"Tony!" she looked up at him, her eyes as wide as a deer caught in the beams of a car. "I was... the pen was out of ink and I... I know I shouldn't have..."
"It's okay Abbs," He took the paper from her and glanced at it briefly before laying it down on the desk. "It's yours anyway. I would have given it to you weeks ago, but it never felt right."
"It was sweet of you, Tony."
"Yeah, well, it was the least I could do after the way I ragged on you and... you and Kate."
"It was sweet Tony," Abby repeated. "Kate and I would have had a blast."
"After your weekend was ruined I just thought that you guys..."
Abby nodded, and blinked to keep her eyes clear.
"I was going to give it to Kate the day I received it, but then the mail came and there was that whole fun thing with the genetically engineered plague and my forced time off. And when I remembered it again..." The next time he opened the drawer of his desk had been the day after they had returned from Indiana, and the desk across from him had been empty.
"Thank you, Tony." Rising from the chair she wrapped her arms around him and clung to him briefly.
"You're welcome, Abby." He picked up the reservation, taking a moment to examine it. "You don't want this, do you? It's one of those open ended things, so it's still good."
"I couldn't." Not without Kate. It would hurt too much, after all the hours they had spent together poring over brochures and planning everything in minute detail.
"I didn't think so." Tony balled the paper and the envelope up together and threw them over his shoulder.
Abby watched as it sailed into McGee's trash-can, and allowed a single tear to fall down her cheek.