Disclaimer: I don't own anything having to do with the show. No, that's not true. I have a screw I stole from the set...
A/N: I wrote this for the AU challenge at flashfic, and now that its over I'm free to post here. This is part of a AUverse I started a couple weeks ago, in which Kelly wasn't in the car that day, and survived. This fic actually takes place during my fic Timeline, Redux but before Mistaken Flirting. It can be read all by itself, though.
And nyciby is the best beta (and person) ever.
"Hey Stan," Kelly Gibbs greeted the only agent currently in the bullpen as she dropped her backpack on the floor next to her dad's desk.
"How's it going, kid? Anything new happening?" Stan used his pencil to make a check mark on his list so he wouldn't forget what numbers he had already called.
"Nothin' much." Kelly smiled, making sure to show her teeth, hoping the agent would notice the change.
"Nothing at all? No math tests or school dances?" Having had no luck chasing down a lead on their current case, Stan was happy to talk about anything not related to law enforcement, even if that something was high school. He cocked his head slightly to the side and studied the teenager. Something seemed different about her, but he wasn't sure what it was.
"Midterms are over, and high school boys are stupid. I'd die before going to a dance with any of them." Turning on the computer, she skimmed the contents of her dad's hard drive. Given his lack of ability with all things tech, she'd made a habit of cleaning up his computer and running a virus scan every time she visited the office. "Hi Agent Pacci." She waved to a man as he passed through the bullpen, his head buried in a file.
"What?" Pacci said confusedly before looking around. "Oh, hey Kel. You got the braces off finally, huh?"
"Just yesterday. About time, too." A year and a half of the metal things glued to her teeth, but it had been worth it.
"I knew there was something different," Stan interrupted. Pacci returned to his file and continued on to his desk.
"And you call yourself an investigator?" Gibbs shook his head as he entered the squad-room. "Really, Burley, sometimes I wonder."
"I was focused on the case?" Stan half asked, half argued. Gibbs ignored him.
"Peppermint mocha, hold the whipped cream." Gibbs carried two paper cups, and set the smaller one on the desk next to Kelly. "You know, one of these days I'm going to teach you to appreciate real coffee."
"The chances of that happening are only slightly better then me teaching you to program your cell phone," Kelly returned cheekily.
"Why would I need to do that when I have you around?" he returned with just as much glibness. Kelly rolled her eyes.
"We're a couple of years away from the twenty-first century, dad. Technology isn't going anywhere."
"Technology might not be going anywhere, but you are. I need my desk to do some actual work." He offered her his hand, and pulled her out of the chair.
"Real subtle." She picked up her backpack and slung it over her shoulder before grabbing her mocha. "I'm going to go say hi to Uncle Ducky."
"Not if he..."
"Yeah, I know." She cut him off before he could repeat the same warning he gave every time. "Not if he has any bodies on the tables."
She was taking anatomy in school, and had tried to convince him that she could handle seeing dead bodies. He still forbade her from visiting autopsy when Ducky was working. He'd be the one to decide when she was ready, he told her at the start of the school year. When she asked when that might be, he'd muttered something about 'the week you get your driver's license.'
"Page me when you're ready to go home." She headed for the back elevator, feeling slightly sorry for Stan Burley, who was now getting reamed. When she stepped off the elevator at the lowest level, she found that although there were no dead bodies in autopsy, there was no Ducky either.
"He's at the cafe, buying a Caf-Pow!" Gerald told her.
"Since when does Uncle Duck drink soda?" Kelly asked quizzically. "He's usually the one lecturing me about how bad they are."
"Me too," Gerald said, look guiltily at the Pepsi he had taken out of the mini fridge after the doctor had left the room. "He's getting it for the new forensic tech."
"She must be pretty." Uncle Ducky had an eye for attractive woman. Kelly never understood why he was still single. Maybe because he didn't know anyone who could stitch him up if he got hit with a golf club. -
"She's..." he grappled for the right word, but failed. "She's Abby."
"Abby, huh? I guess I'll have to go check her out." After saying goodbye to the assistant ME, she headed for the stairs.
The last guy who had held the forensics lab as his personal domain was a tight lipped older man who liked complete silence while he worked and took himself way to seriously. He only tolerated her coming into the lab because she was Gibbs' daughter and he was more then a little scared of the man. It was a surprise, therefore, when Kelly came out of the stairwell to find the rhythmic pounding of Android Lust filling the lab.
"Hello?" she called out into the seemingly empty room, noticing the changes that had been made. Equipment had been moved and supplies rearranged, but the most noticeable change was the art hanging on the walls. "That's weird," she commented to herself as she took a step closer to one of the canvasses. "It looks kind of like..."
"The skeletal remains of a possum," a gravelly voice behind her supplied. "I call it "Dinner A La Hit and Run."
Kelly spun around, her backpack narrowly missing hitting the woman behind her. Her first thought was to wonder what this woman was doing in the NCIS building. With black hair pulled into pigtails, a black corset and a skirt so short that her dad would ground her for a month if he ever caught her in one, the woman standing inches away from her was about as far from military as it was possible to get. Kelly's second thought was admiration for the earrings the stranger was wearing, and a quick mental calculation to try and figure out if there was any way she could talk her dad into letting her get her ears double pierced.
"I'm Abby." A hand was held out and Kelly shook it, finding the grasp firm and the fingers surprisingly warm. She'd been watching too much Buffy lately, it seemed, and almost expected a gothic appearance to equal a vampire, and cold skin.
"Abby, the new lab tech?" she asked.
"Yup," Abby nodded, causing her pigtails to shake. "And I'm going to guess that you're Kelly."
"How did you..."
"Ducky," Abby explained. "He told me that Gibbs had a daughter, and given that teenagers don't usually wander around the subterranean levels of government buildings very often, I figured you were her. Plus you have your dad's eyes."
"I get that a lot. Dad's eyes, but according to him I take after my mother for the most part."
"You mean you don't know if you look like your mom? I mean..." Abby pressed the fingers of one hand to her lips briefly. "Never mind, I shouldn't ask things like that. I have a bad habit of asking things that are too personal.
"It's okay, I don't mind. My mom died when I was little, so I only know what I see in pictures or what Dad tells me." Wary of hitting anything in the lab, Kelly took off her backpack and set it down on the evidence table.
"So it's just you and your dad?" After two weeks at NCIS, Gibbs was the only person who was still a complete mystery. She had talked with Stan, Peter, and Tina, the special agents assigned to the team, on a handful of occasions and more or less understood them. Gerald had taken her to lunch the first week she had been here, and she thought they would become friends. And when it came to Ducky the man was an open book if you really listened to him. Gibbs, however, was all about work. Maybe once he got used to her, and trusted her abilities to get him results, he would open up.
"For now," Kelly replied, trying to stop herself from rolling her eyes. "I have two step moms, and when my dad and Susan get married next month she'll be number three. She has red hair," Kelly added as if that explained everything.
"You like her?" Abby asked, smiling devilishly. "Because if you don't you could always watch The Parent Trap and pick up some tips on how to discourage her from sticking around."
"Nah, she's cool." Kelly shook her head. "We met her at Uncle Ducky's; she's a friend of his. She's a softball coach, though, so she's not going to understand."
"Understand?" A machine across the room beeped, and while she waited for a reply Abby walked over to check on the test she had been running.
"The work. Dad has a tendency to bring cases home with him, and that's when he's not working a bazillion hours at the office anyway. The first time Susan came over and saw a report on the dining room table, she screamed. The crime scene photos were a little… graphic."
"I totally know what you mean. I had this boyfriend once…"
"Abigail, I don't think Jethro would appreciate you telling his daughter any stories about the type of men you date." He winked at her to soften his words, and handed her an oversized plastic cup.
"I wasn't going to tell her any of the good stuff, Duckman." Abby accepted the drink and took a long sip of the red liquid.
"Kelly, my dear, how are you?" Ducky asked affectionately.
"Good." She greeted the ME with a hug, and he returned with a kiss to her forehead. "I got an A on my anatomy test."
"It won't be too many years before we'll all be addressing you as Dr. Gibbs, will it? Which reminds me, I found that book we were talking about the other day." It was one of Ducky's great joys that this girl, who he considered to be the closest thing to a child that he would ever have, intended to pursue a medical education.
"Oh! The one about the medical effects of cannibalism? Awesome!" She had asked Ducky single question about African tribes a few weeks ago, and it had turned into a conversation about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other rare medical conditions.
"Can I borrow the book when Kelly's done?" Abby asked. "It sounds like a trip."
"Of course," Ducky agreed. "I assure you, it is quite 'a trip.'"
Abby and Kelly looked at each other and laughed.
"I'll come down to autopsy before I leave," Kelly promised.
"Very good. Now I will leave you two ladies to get acquainted. Just don't get into too much trouble, okay?" He kissed Kelly on the cheek, and when Abby half turned away from him Ducky kissed her cheek too.
"So, what should we do first?" Abby asked once they were alone. "Blow stuff up or spy on the bullpen via camera."
"Any reason we can't do both at the same time?" Kelly asked.
Abby cackled. "Kelly, we are going to get along just fine."