-1Okay. People are probably gonna be mad at me for working on this instead of on 'Won't Let Go', but writer's block is the bane of my existence and I have to take inspiration where it comes. I watched the episode 'Frame Up' the other day (I have all the eps on my computer for reference purposes; ITunes ROCKS!!!), and I was thinking, what would have happened if Abby hadn't been able to overpower Chip? What if she was too tired and he'd been less of a wimp? Well, this is how I figure it would have gone. Or, how it would have if I wrote it, at least. Reviews greatly appreciated!

Chapter One

"Abby!" Gibbs burst into Abby's lab at full speed. He took in the spilled Caf-Pow, the overturned table, the lab equipment scattered across the floor. A flash of movement caught his attention, a glint of light off the surface of a knife aimed his gun, and the sight of Chip plunging the knife downwards again fired the bullet. The rest of the team filed in behind him in time to see Chip fall, and Gibbs dropped his gun and rushed to where Abby's still form lay bleeding on the lab floor while Tony and Ziva moved towards Chip, keeping their guns pointed on his writhing form. Tony dragged him away from Abby, then glanced over at Gibbs, who had dropped to his knees beside her.

"Abby?" The fear in his voice was obvious, something none of them had ever really heard from Gibbs before. He touched her shoulder lightly. "Abbs?"

Her soft moan in response was a relief to everyone; the collective sigh was audible. Gibbs instantly was all orders. "DiNozzo! Call an ambulance." Tony grabbed for his cell phone, found he didn't have it, reached for the lab phone, realized it was lying broken on the floor, and finally dashed out of the lab at top speed after the nearest working phone. "Ziva, McGee, get that bastard out of my sight." Ziva roughly yanked the injured man to his feet, drawing a yelp of pain from him that only made her get rougher. McGee following, she dragged him out of the lab, with a hardly perceptible glance back over her shoulder at Abby. "Jen, get Ducky!" The Director knew better than to hesitate at the order, hurrying out of the lab and leaving Gibbs and Abby alone.

Gibbs kept his hand on Abby's shoulder as he tried to assess her injuries. Her lab coat was stained scarlet in multiple places, keeping him from being able to see where exactly the wounds were. Her hands and arms were nicked and cut; she'd put up a fight, Chip had just proved a stronger assailant than the exhausted girl could handle. The last stab had obviously been intended to kill, but something - whether it had been Gibbs' shot or Abby's struggling - had thrown off his aim. But he'd still gotten in a good strike, and had been taken out before he could pull it out again. The sight was sickening: the end of the knife handle protruding from her chest, shoved in deep from the violent thrust.

"Oh, God, Abbs…" Gibbs whispered softly. His hand moved, trembling, to the knife handle, scared of the damage it might be doing, wanting to get it out of her. But if it was in deep enough, her lung would be damaged - what if pulling it out did more harm than leaving it in? The dilemma was solved when even his light touch on it drew a deep moan from her lips; her eyelids flickered and she made a weak attempt to pull away.

"Don't…" the word was barely audible, merely a breath, but he heard it. He moved his hand to her forehead, brushing a few loose strands of hair out of her face.

"Shh, Abby, it's okay," he said softly, wanting to keep her calm. Her breaths were coming fast and hard, in pained, laboured gasps; two fingers pressed to her neck told him her pulse was weak and rapid, her heart pumping blood too fast and only serving to increase the rate at which she lost it.

At his words her eyelids flickered again before slowly opening, letting her gaze blearily up at him. "Gibbs?" This word had a bit more voice behind it, but not much.

"Yeah, Abbs, I'm here," he answered gently, taking her trembling, bloodied hand into his own.

She moaned softly, her eyelids drooping. "It h-hurts…" she whimpered, her body tense and shaking in pain.

"I know, Honey, I know." He glanced at the doors; where the hell was that ambulance? Or Ducky? She was losing way too much blood, the crimson liquid beginning to pool beneath her. "Just hang in there." Her eyes drifted shut, and his hand moved to her cheek, tapping his finger gently against her skin. "Stay awake, Abby." She whimpered again, but obediently opened her eyes again, only managing to get them halfway unlidded. "Stay with me."

"Wh-where's Chip?" she asked, glancing around the lab.

"It's okay, Abby, he's gone. He's not going to hurt you anymore," Gibbs assured her.

"He… he t-tried… to fr-frame Tony… h-he…" Her voice was fading, she was getting weaker. Gibbs brushed a finger lightly against her lips.

"Shhh, Abbs. I know," he whispered. "Don't talk, Hun. Save your strength." She nodded faintly. He smiled slightly and carefully lifted her head into his lap, stroking her forehead. She sighed softly, stirring slightly and wincing at the movement.

"Abby!" Ducky's voice rang out as he rushed into the lab. He froze momentarily, taking in the scene before him. "Oh, dear Lord."

Gibbs looked over at him, the fear and concern obvious in his eyes. "Yeah, that about covers it, Duck."

Ducky joined Gibbs by Abby's side, taking her wrist to check her pulse. She managed a weak smile. "Hey, Ducky…" she whispered faintly.

He smiled sadly back at her. "'Hey' yourself, Abby." He lay her hand back beside her and carefully pulled her lab coat back to get a better look at her wounds. She winced, and at his first cautious touch pulled away, but Gibbs held her still and she was too weak to protest.

"Did someone…" Ducky started, but Gibbs cut him off.

"DiNozzo better have called an ambulance by now, or he is going to be out on his ass next time I see him."

Ducky nodded. "Good." He looked at the knife handle and winced. "Oh, my dear, he didn't go easy on you, did he?"

"Should we pull it out?" Gibbs asked, his tone making it obvious he didn't really want to be the one to do so. Ducky shook his head.

"It would only cause her to lose more blood if we removed it. It's not worth the risk." Gibbs nodded; she'd lost too much already.

His attention was drawn back to the girl he held when she tried to draw in a deep breath and failed, beginning to cough violently. "Abby!" With Ducky's help he pulled her into a sitting position, bracing her shaking form as painful coughs wracked her small frame. She finally fell limply back against him, gasping in shallow, ragged breaths, lips stained red and a thin stream of blood trickling from the corner of her mouth. "Stay with me, Abbs…" he pleaded, and she tilted her head slightly, gazing up at him through dull, cloudy eyes.

Ducky took her hand in his, rubbing her fingers lightly. "Where is that ambulance?" As if in answer, the sound of sirens began to filter through the cracked window. Ducky sighed in relief and squeezed Abby's hand.

"Hang in there, Abbs. You're gonna be okay," Gibbs whispered, stroking her hair gently. He could feel the warmth of her blood soaking through his shirt and held her a bit closer. "I've got you." She smiled weakly at him and tried to say something, but she didn't have the strength to manage words. Instead, she moved her hand, forming a well-known sign before letting her head drop back against his shoulder, her eyes drifting shut. He felt her go limp in his arms, the sound of her shallow breaths the only sign of life, and hugged her close, being careful not to hurt her.

He'd been too surprised to respond to her sign in time - she had signed 'I love you', and he hadn't fully expected that. As the sirens got louder and her blood soaked his clothing, he looked helplessly over at Ducky and prayed he'd be given the chance to answer; that she'd be able to hear him. "Don't leave me, Abby," he pleaded, leaning down to whisper in her ear. "I can't lose you… I love you, too…"