Six

By: Thought

Disclaimer: No one's reading this.

Summary: Tony DiNozzo has worked at NCIS six years and therefore interacted with Abby Sciuto equally as long.

XXX

I

"I've got DNA samples for you," DiNozzo informed her, strolling into her lab with his arrogant grin firmly in place. She stared him down coldly, but his confidence never wavered.

"Put them over there."

He set the baggies and vials down on the counter and turned back to her. "So. Busy day?"

"Busier than yours."

"Oh, I don't know, mine's been pretty busy. Gibbs is a tough guy to deal with when he's deprived of coffee."

She arched an eyebrow. "I hide the coffee just so I can watch people like you suffer. Besides. By the time he gets home he's just glad to get away from you guys. It makes him very...amenable...to any suggestions I may have." She licked her lips and waited for her meaning to sink in.

It took less time than she thought. He winced and backed away. "Christ."

"Bye, Agent DiNozzo." She waved as he backed out of the lab and straight into Gibbs.

Ii

She slammed down the stack of paperwork with more force than was really necessary. Her jaw ached from smiling all day and her feet were killing her. It was a well known fact that she hated court; hated the way people looked at her tattoos, only partly visible under the shirt and tie. She was constantly worried that the tiny pearl earrings had fallen out, or that she would freeze up while on the stand. And it didn't matter how many times she'd done it, every single time was just as bad as the first.

"You've just ruined my fantasy of you in a pink suit with a tight little skirt," Tony said from directly behind her. She jumped a foot.

"God! Tony!"

He laughed affectionately, patting her head. "Somebody's twitchy. Hot date tonight?"

She laughed. "Only with my computer and this lovely pile of paperwork."

"It's Friday night. Staying at home and doing work is criminal."

"I'm behind. Goddamn court screwed my schedule to hell and back. It's bad."

He nodded wisely but she could tell he was laughing at her. "I'm going to grab some dinner at the Chinese place by my apartment and go see a movie."

"Well good for you. I hope she's worth it, that Chinese is crap and incredibly overpriced."

"Actually, there is no girl tonight."

She shrugged. "Well then I hope he's worth it. Semantics."

He winced. "Not really. And I'm going alone."

"That's kind of pathetic."

"Says she who intends to spend the night doing paperwork and watching Star Trek."

"I wasn't going to watch Star Trek."

"Uh huh?"

"Uh huh."

He sighed. "Oh Abby, you know you want to come with me."

Her eyebrows shot up to meet her hairline. "Are you this blunt with every woman you want to sleep with?"

He cringed. "Your mind must have a beautiful summer home in the gutter."

"There's even a pool."

"You know, I've never actually done the whole...water thing."

"It really isn't as exciting as some people seem to think." He automatically helped her into her long leather jacket and she wasn't ashamed to say that she enjoyed his warm hands brushing her neck.

Iii

They flirted in front of Kate because they both wanted to make her jealous. Gibbs was slowly trying to regain his hold over Abby and they flirted to keep him away. Tim McGee was over-eager and kind of adorable, in a puppiesh way, and Tony liked tormenting him and Abby was trying to get him accustomed to the idea of polyamory, so they flirted in front of him. Ducky was a romantic at heart and was charmed by the idea of young love, so they flirted in front of him.

"Pass me the damn pen, DiNozzo." Kate was standing between them and they're fingers met over the pen and brush the back of her neck as they pulled back. The shorter woman didn't notice. Abby scribbled her signature on the sheet to preserve the chain of custody. Tony walked away and started to fiddle with her mas-spec. "Tony!" she snapped without looking.

"Sorry."

She tossed down the pen and snatched her Caf-Pow off the desk.

"Do you have a fingerprint match yet?" Tony asked.

"Gibbs riding your ass?"

"You have absolutely no idea."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah."

"I guess you would be more used to--"

"Don't even go there, Abs."

She giggled. Kate rolled her eyes.

"McGee called me last night," Abby commented a few minutes later.

"That's cute."

"It is."

"I just said--"

"You were mocking him."

Tony smirked. "Me?!"

Kate walked out of the lab, and neither Tony nor Abby acknowledged it, though they both noticed.

IV

"Because that's mature." Abby twirled a penny on her fingertip. Tony and Kate were sprawled in the booth across from her. McGee should have been there, but Gibbs had kept him working late. Really, Abby didn't care all too much; they'd agreed to keep their relationship a professional one when he started working for Gibbs full time.

"I'm just saying, Abs," Tony held up his hands. "It's not like Johnny Depp is the kind of boy you'd bring home to your parents."

"Yes, but he's so yummy!"

"Did you know Gibbs has never seen that movie?" Kate asked, sipping her margarita.

"Yes," Tony and Abby chorused.

Kate was drunk. Abby and Tony could hold their liquor. Kate could not. It was cute, in a pathetic sort of way. She was fairly sure Tony found it far cuter than she did.

"I really want to smash his car," Abby muttered, finishing her drink in one swallow.

Tony's eyes widened. "Gibbs'?"

Abby shook her head. "I'm not that insane yet."

"Okay." He shrugged, settling an arm around Kate, whose eyes were glazing over as she stared up into the florescent lighting.

"So. Ya think we're actually going to get a free weekend?" Tony asked.

Abby nodded. "Hope so. Somebody's gonna be hung-over tomorrow." This last in a singsong as she jerked her head toward Kate.

"I'm not drunk," Kate cut in.

"Of course you're not, sweety," Abby said with perhaps too much disdained in her words. She was sick of how the female agent treated Tony.

Her cell vibrated against her hip. "Yeah?"

"Abs." The warm masculine voice came over the line.

"Hey Gibbs."

Tony's eyes darkened.

"Where are you?"

"Out with Kate and Tony."

"Come to my place when you're done," he told her. It was phrased as an order but she could hear the tentative note in his voice, making it more of a plea than anything.

"Of course."

She hung up and looked across the booth to Tony. "I--"

"Yeah." His eyes had become like chips of coal. "I'd better get Kate home, anyway."

She frowned at him, irritated with his cold attitude. "Have a good weekend," she said instead of what had been going through her mind.

V

Abby brushed passed Tony on her way into the elevator. He reversed his direction and stepped back in beside her. She didn't notice, head berried in a file, lips moving silently as she calculated budget cuts in her head.

"Going down?" he asked.

"Up." She glanced at him and smiled. "Going to talk to Ziva."

"You two certainly seem cozy lately. You know, I'm starting to feel neglected. I've been consoling myself with the idea that you're saving the best for last."

She returned her eyes to the budget reports. "You should start a comedy routine," she said dryly.

"Gibbs was looking for you earlier."

She nodded absently. "He found me. The Director's trying to get me to present myself in a more professional manner. She figures if she gets Gibbs to talk to me I'll be more willing."

"What, no more career girl Barbie?"

The elevator doors opened and she walked out, stealing Gibbs' coffee as she walked past his desk to Ziva's. Tony had stopped to talk to McGee and she forgot about their conversation almost at once. It wasn't that she was angry at him, she just didn't really know him that well anymore.

VI

Abby was baking cookies. Abby was also screaming into the phone at their boss. Abby was baking cookies and yelling at Gibbs. Tony walked right back out of the apartment, counted to ten, and walked back in. The picture had not changed.

"Oh for God's sake, Jethro!" Two cups flour. "Stop doing that!" One cup brown sugar. "Oh yes, because you're the expert on-- no! I never said-- not in those words--" Two eggs. "I'm not having this conversation with you." Half teaspoon vanilla. "You left. Now, you're back. You kind of shattered my faith in everything and anything that has ever been stable in my entire life, but that's not for you to worry about anymore." One table spoon baking soda. "I'm hanging up now. ...yes, really. No. Goodbye." Slam. He winced in sympathy for the phone as it hit the countertop with a shattering crack.

He stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her back to rest against him. "Hey."

She was tense, but slowly started to relax as he slid his hands up and down her arms. "You're baking cookies." He had to know what was going on because it was undoubtedly one of the strangest things he'd ever seen.

She shrugged. "I like cookies. Don't you?"

"Yeah, but the Seven Eleven down the street tends to have a wide variety in stock."

"Yeah."

He sighed. "And you're baking these because..."

She shrugged. "Because I like cookies."

He nodded. "Okay."

She leaned up against him, breathing in. He held her in silence, the bowl of doe sitting on the counter in front of him. She spoke without looking at him. "Will it ever be normal again?" He couldn't answer her, and that hurt more than anything.