Xanthic light

Disclaimer: you know the drill

Abby lay huddled in the darkest corner of her lab on a Saturday night. No one could possibly find her there in the darkness, not the real her anyway. No one would see her pain. No one would have to be surprised that Abby the happy Gothling wasn't quite so happy.

She let an insane chuckle escape her lips. The happy Gothling.

Her usually loud music was several significant decibels lower then usual. Only because she didn't want to alert anyone to her presence. She wanted to be alone with her pain.

Such pain is sometimes a comfort. She almost feared letting it go as though she was better off with it compared with without. The unknown was more frightening then the present.

Depression was like a dark blanket of familiarity. She didn't know if she wanted it any other way.

She peered out from her shadow to lay her eyes on the windows at the top of the room. There were footsteps on the path outside, illuminated by yellow streetlights. Such common sites for this time of the evening

She sighed, wishing it were raining outside. She loved it when it rained. Every noise was washed away; leaving behind a dull, calm noise which never failed to make her feel better.

She glanced at the monitor as the song changed and then she returned to her corner. Closing her eyes and resting her head on the wall behind her she let the pain wash over her. And yet, she knew she could stop feeling miserable, she knew that if she just stood up and walked out of the building, if she just had a Caff-Pow! If she just did something then she wouldn't be holding all of these emotions within her.

She wished she could see herself like others saw her. The clever, effervescent, idiosyncratic forensic scientist who easily charmed her way into everyone's heart, eventually, that everyone else saw. But when she looked in the mirror she saw the dark, insane, twisted girl before her. The girl who in her heart wondered whether she deserved to live.

Why couldn't she fool herself like she fooled everyone else?

Even Gibbs didn't see through her disguise. There were only slight moments when she let her guard down, sobbed into his shirt like a little girl and always regretted it afterwards. What people liked about her was her happy and humorous outlook, they wouldn't like her if she were a depressed, handcuff-toting psychopath. Handcuffs they could handle, depressed they cannot.

But more then that she didn't want people to think about her like the depressed Goth. They treated her with such respect now; she knew that would change if she let it out.

She squeezed her eyelids tightly together, trying to decrease the size of her headache. The pain that had been pressing her skull together for weeks now, making her sight blur. There was slight relief as she let her eyelids part. She stared absentmindedly at her chewed fingernails.

She wriggled to get more comfortable and briefly wondered what Gibbs was doing at this time of night. It was nearing the eleven o'clock mark. She fixated her eyes on the clock n the lower right corner of the screen.

'I should really get out of here' she thought, but didn't move in accordance with it.

She listened to her music without thinking a thing for a while, not sure how long. Why did everything feel so horribly wrong? Like she was living in a nightmare everyday where every one around her seemed happy.

There was nothing going wrong right now. No hideous murder case, no dead coworker for months, she wasn't completely alone. So why couldn't she shake the feeling of depression?

Because maybe the people who loved her didn't really love her. She thought about it for a moment. Was this really her?

She thought she'd gotten over these feelings many years ago.

Maybe it was time to stop being miserable on the inside. Time to let go of these irrational fears and feelings and thoughts.

Gibbs was her closest friend, and the person she trusted most in the world. And he was the one to have seen her in all those vulnerable truthful moments. That destroyed her previous theory.

There in the darkness she came to a realization. With no distractions but her music she suddenly knew what was wrong. She was that happy girl who everyone saw. She was the effervescent girl who stole people's hearts with her laughter. But she'd let herself believe that she wasn't happy, believe that she had to be miserable to be in control.

She didn't know why, she didn't want to know! She felt free!

She had no reason to be disheartened! She had friends who truly loved her, who she could count on. She had a wonderful job, a mortgage free house, no credit card bills, nothing. She had everything she needed.

She stood up, her face lit by the monitor. She stopped the music and shut down the computer.

For the first time in months she really was happy, actually happy to be alive. She didn't have to be sad any longer. She didn't have to seclude herself.

She stood in the doorway and looked back into her lab, the yellowy-lit lab. And she smiled, silently thanking the room for helping her out with another problem.

The she closed the door to the lab and on all the feelings she had felt.