Disclaimer: I need to buy the same teapot that Ducky used in the last ep, so that I'm ready when he stops by for tea. Until then I own nothing but my DVDs (and the nail that I stole from the set, but we don't talk about that.)

A/n: Much thanks to Iby, who couldn't be a bitch even if she wanted to. Thanks for the beta, luv.

For the lj 100situations community prompt #37, Office


He was almost home when he realized that the stack of files he had intended to bring with him were still sitting square in the middle of his desk. Not wanting to go back to work tomorrow, a Saturday, unless a case called him in, Gibbs turned a sharp U at a red light and headed back for the Navy yard. Barely nodding at the security guard, who was paying more attention to the night dispatcher then the front door, he punched the elevator button for the third floor.

His intention was to grab the files and leave. As he walked out of the elevator though, his gut let him know that something in the bull pen was out of place. Scanning the room from left to right it took him a moment to find the problem; there was a woman lying on the steps leading up to MTAC. Even in the dim lighting he could make out the black dress and more importantly the black pigtails. It was Abby, and she wasn't moving.

"Abby," he breathed. He ran to the stairs, leaping over the railing instead of wasting valuable time turning the corner. Two steps brought him to the landing, and he fell onto his knees. "Abby," he repeated again, louder this time.

The heartbeat of time it took for Abby to respond seemed to last an eternity as Gibbs tried to figure out what had happened. He only started breathing again when Abby's eyes flickered open and she grinned at him.

"Gibbs!" She rolled over, her head still pillowed on a step, her back now flat against the landing.

"Can you move Abbs?" He couldn't see any blood or other obvious injuries, but there were a hundred other things that could be wrong.

"Could if I wanted to," she commented, closing her eyes.

"What happened? Why are you on the steps to MTAC?" He reached for her foot, pressing lightly against the skin, not wanting to hurt her further if one of her ankles was sprained.

"Closer than the futon in my lab. Not quite as comfy." Her words were slightly slurred, and though his first thought was a concussion a sniff of her breath changed his mind.

"You've been drinking."

"Have I?" Abby sounded slightly surprised. "That's probably how I got drunk then."

"You were fine when you got back from the club. How the hell did you get drunk without leaving the office?"

"The Director has a rather est... extent... quite a bit of alcohol in her office." Flailing, Abby attempted to move into a seating position. With a hand on either arm, Gibbs pulled her up.

"You raided Jen's liquor cabinet?"

"It's not really a cabinet. A cabinet would have doors of some sort, whereas..."

"Abby," Gibbs snapped.

"I didn't raid it. She called us up. Had a question to ask, or I think she did. I don't remember her asking one, though. We sat on the couch and she offered us drinks, and then there were more drinks. I think we emptied a couple of bottles."

"Who exactly is this 'we' that you are referring to?" It was odd to think of Abby and Jen in the same room in anything other then an official capacity. He wasn't sure if it was more or less strange that other people were there too.

"Me and Jenny, of course. She said I could call her Jenny, because work was over for the day," Abby confided in a low voice. "And Ziva, who looked even hotter when she took her hair out of that bun, and Michelle. Michelle's funny when she drinks. She forgets that she's supposed to be serious agent lawyer woman, and lets herself laugh. Didya know that Gibbs?"

"No, I didn't. Who's Michelle?"

"Michelle is Michelle," Abby explained, patting Gibbs' shoulder a few times before leaving her hand resting against his clavicle.

"That clarifies things," he muttered. He vaguely remembered that Lee's first name was Michelle, and decided that that was whom Abby was talking about.

"Glad I could help. Anymore questions or can I go back to sleep? I was having a really sweet dream. Captain Tight Pants and The Doctor were fighting an alien invasion together, and I think it was just about to start raining." She moved as if to lie down, but Gibbs stopped her with a hand cupped against the back of her head.

"Don't you think it would be a better idea to go home?"

"Don't think I should be driving right now, 'cause everything's a little fuzzy. Jenny went home with her driver, took Ziva and Michelle with her. Offered me a ride, but I..." Abby furrowed her brows and wrinkled her nose. "I said no, but I don't remember why. Do you know, Gibbs?"

"Not a clue, Abbs."

"I think I was going to go check something in the lab. I know I was going to get a Caf-Pow, but then I was walking down the stairs and I tripped on these stupid shoes." She pointed at her feet, eyes widening when she realized that they were bare. "My shoes are gone. Someone came and stole my shoes."

"These shoes?" Gibbs picked up a pair of black high heels by their straps. They had been sitting inches from Abby's left hand.

"That's why I like my boots; I don't have to worry about loosing them or tripping over them. I only wear my streetwalker shoes on special occasions."

"Your what?" Gibbs dropped the shoes as if they suddenly burned. With just a few words Abby painted a picture that both shocked and intrigued him, though he would never admit to the latter.

"Don't you think they look like something a prostitute would wear? I always thought they did." Using Gibbs' shoulder as support Abby stood shakily. She reached down as if to pick up the shoes, but Gibbs stayed her hand. The last thing he needed was for her to try and put the shoes on now.

"I'm taking you home now."

"My home or your home? Because my home is closer but it's not in the same direction as yours and that means you have to drive farther. What time is it?" Abby seized his wrist, pulling it up so she could read his watch. "It's not even midnight. If you head towards your house there's a club about a mile and a half from here. You could drop me off there. A couple of Red Bulls and I could go for the rest of the night."

"We both know that's not going to happen. I'll take you to my place, and we can go for pancakes in the morning, okay?" He wrapped an arm around her waist, holding her steady as they walked down the stairs.

"No." Abby shook her head. "I have breakfast plans already."

"Oh." He shouldn't feel rejected, but he did.

"I told Tony I would treat him to steak and eggs at Louis in the morning. He was kinda upset after, well you know. I need to make sure that he can talk about it if he wants to talk about it."

"You're a good friend, Abbs."

"I am. So're you." When the elevator doors opened Abby stared at the control panel, then ran her finger up and down the row of buttons. Gibbs brushed her hand aside and pressed the one for the first floor. "Hey Gibbs?"


"How come you never stop the elevator when it's just you and me?"

"Don't need to."

"Why?" Before he could protest she leaned across him and pulled the emergency stop. The elevator came to a sudden halt.

"I only use the elevator when I need to talk to someone in private. If I need to talk to you I just come down to the lab."

"Sometimes there are people in the lab." Lately there seemed to always be people around when Gibbs was in the lab. The team was acceptable, but Lieutenant Cornel Mann was crossing her threshold way too often.

"People who I can kick out if I want to."

"But if we talked in the elevator then you wouldn't have to kick them out of the lab." Or head slap them out of the lab, she thought, laughing out loud.

"Would you rather I dragged you out of the lab every time I wanted to say something to you?"

"Drag me out of the lab? That sounds a little cavemanny. I wouldn't mind if you did it once or twice though. The elevator does have some advantages that my lab doesn't."

"It's smaller, less well lit, and has less breathable air?" he remarked sarcastically.

"But more importantly there are no cameras." She stood on tiptoes and pointed to the corners of the space where walls and corners met, stumbling as she did so. Gibbs caught her arm, keeping her from falling.

"Why is the lack of cameras..."

"Because no cameras means no one can see us do this." She fell into him, her mouth landing on his in a move that was surprisingly graceful. Abby, he discovered, tasted of bourbon and cherries. He wondered if she had drunk cherry liquor or if cherry was a natural Abby flavor. She teased him with her tongue, tracing his lips, his teeth, darting away when she encountered his tongue. When he realized that he wanted to taste more of her, to deepen the kiss and then take it further, he pulled away. Abby let him, using the wall of the elevator to balance herself.

"Abby, I..."

"See, that would not have been a good idea if there were cameras around."

"That wasn't a good idea regardless." Rule twelve, he reminded himself when she frowned at him. There was a reason for each one of his rules, particularly that one.

"Gibbs Gibbs Gibbs." She shook her head, sending disheveled pigtails flying. "Has anyone ever told you that you are a spoilsport?"

"More than once."

"I've got good new for you, Gibbs. You don't have to be a spoilsport. All you have to do to cure yourself is repeat after me. Say Abby..."

"Abby," he started to protest. She pressed a finger to his lips before he could say more.

"Good job. Now say Abby, I liked kissing you and would like to do it again."

"I won't deny that I liked kissing you but it won't happen again."

"Aren't you Marines taught to follow simple directions?"

"I won't lie to you, Abby, you're too important for that."

"You know, as 'Gibbs compliments' go that's a pretty good one. I've thought about it, though, and I think the person you're lying to is yourself."

"What?" Gibbs reached for the emergency stop, wanting to get the elevator moving again so that he could escape, but Abby swatted his hand away.

"You don't want to kiss me, despite the fact that you enjoyed it, because you don't think we should be in a relationship. I don't know if it's because of your rules, or the age thing, or the fact that my sport is bowling and not golf, but that doesn't matter. The point you're missing is that we are already in a relationship. You might as well enjoy the perks. And I have to say that sex with me would be quite a perk."

"First of all I can't believe you just said that. Secondly, we are not in a relationship." He reminded himself that she was drunk, and this was nothing more than the ramblings of someone not used to much alcohol. He wondered if she would remember any of this conversation in the morning. He hoped not.

"Denial's not just a river in Egypt, Gibbs. You take me out every year for my birthday. You notice when I'm upset and listen to my problems or cheer me up. When I fly home to visit my parents you insist that I call and let you know I landed safely. You took on the entire admin department and risked pissing of the Director just because I didn't want to wear suit to work. And when anyone tries to hurt me you threaten to break their bones." Abby held up a finger with each remark, and wiggled her extended hand in front of Gibbs' face. "You convinced yet, or should I continue? Because I could remind you of the fact that I'm the only other person who has a key to your house, I regularly cook for you..."

"I understand, Abbs." And in a flash he did, his mind finally seeing what his gut had always known. He'd recognized for years that he loved Abby, had never had a reason to deny it. From almost the day they had meet there had been a bond between them. He had been working so hard not to repeat the mistakes of his past that it took Abby all but slapping the back of his head for him to realize that he was i in /i love with her.

"Do you really?" Her eyes were clear and serious as she studied his face.

"I do." And he proved it with a kiss, backing her against the elevator wall, covering her spider tattoo with one warm hand pressed against her neck, his other hand resting on her hip. Abby smiled into the kiss.

"You can take me home now." Blindly she felt for the elevator panel and allowed the elevator to move once again. "And tomorrow we'll take Tony out for breakfast."

"Okay," he said. And then he smiled.