Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or Dark Angel.

I honestly don't know what happened, one moment I'm done my novel writing for the night and the next I'm typing this up. I know it's time leaping and a kind of abrupt ending but I was just going to leave this fanfic discontinued so- make of this unexpected and weird conclusion as you will. It's spellchecked but it's not edited, I don't have the time to go over it but I just didn't have the heart to leave this in a folder abandoned. I hope this makes you guys happy, a little.

Chapter Two

Abby wasn't sure why she hadn't just run a few days ago when everything had gone down but something in her couldn't just leave without saying anything to Gibbs.

She wasn't mad at Syl, after all how was Syl to know that her quick visit would bring gloomy Zack. Running her fingers over the wooden frame on the boat, Abby could feel something in her break. She wanted to tell Ziva she understood what it was like to have a remorseless killer for a brother like Ziva's brother Ari. Ben was misunderstood, Zack was...

It took Abby finding an old bottle of alcohol in the basement to finish that thought. She couldn't believe that Zack had tried to frame Tim, her McGee all as part of an elaborate set up to make her leave town.

She was very disappointed in her oldest brother and Abby had known it was Zack even if he called himself Keith Archer. Only Zack could look that grumpy, not even Gibbs brooded like her big brother did. Zack's grand plan was unravelled by Gibbs and his team and Abby had followed McGee and Gibbs to their arrest of the fake police sergeant.

There had been no way that Zack would let them arrest him, she had guessing that Broody Zack would deploy some fancy roadrunner style zooming and then vamoose. Instead Zack had thrown a punch that threw Gibbs well clear of him and Tim, and tried to shoot him. Exposure had always been on Abby's mind and for all her years working for NCIS as the Forensics Specialist, Abby was aware of even the tiny clues that could tell on her.

Saving Timothy wasn't a clue, it was a big announcement board to Lydecker, Manticore and NCIS that Abigail Scuito wasn't who she pretended to be. But Abby couldn't just let McGee die and Abby had blurred and knocked McGee down.

She could have bailed out of there and had a chance not to be exposed. But Zack, broody hypocrite had drawn her into a fight on purpose. Just long enough to get Gibbs and McGee to see who she really was and to end her charade forever.

Abby peered into the almost empty bottle; it was too bad that it was almost empty because she wasn't even a little drunk. Being an X5 really sucked when she couldn't even get drunk and play the contradiction that drinking was. Drinking alcohol was funny to do depressed because alcohol was a depressant and Abby knew she really didn't need help to be miserable. She couldn't even take comfort in that running from NCIS and Washington D.C. meant no more Michael.

Because leaving meant no more Tony or Ziva or Ducky or McGee and especially no more Gibbs. Abby didn't feel bad that they were her family over her brothers and sisters, she felt bad because this was one family she couldn't just leave behind.

In the NCIS bullpen, things were far from normal. For a start Tony wasn't torturing McGee and they were all working quietly. It was a normal thing for any other team but not the team of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Gibbs had disappeared up into MTAC with the Director and some visitor from a black ops army project.

No one had recognized him except for the Mossad Liaison officer. Ziva David had taken one look at the 'Colonel Lydecker' and she had gone cold enough to remind everyone that she was a trained assassin. She had immediately pulled her cell phone from her bag and gone into the elevator which hadn't been working for the last half hour while she conversed with Mossad.

Jethro Gibbs had arrived home with a heavy heart and the heaviness was unpleasantly familiar to when Kate was shot by Ari, to when Shannon and Kelly had been... he was supposed to keep his people safe. And especially Abby. Gibbs had always suspected that there was something different to Abby and that he didn't know everything about her.

He understood why Abby had lied. Everything about the army project 'Manticore' was perverse and sick and Donald Lydecker was a monster. Like Eli David of Mossad, he created trained killers out of children.

Gibbs hadn't cared to hide his anger at the man who saw his Forensics Specialist as his own, how did a man call Abby 'one of my kids' one moment and then dismiss her humanity out of turn. Try to turn everything about her, the gothic life style, her upbeat attitude and the fact she slept in a coffin into something unbalanced.

And the one defence that Gibbs could use was one that Lydecker had thrown in his face. That if Abigail Scuito or X5 was really on America's side and worth more free and independent, something that Director Sheppard and the chief of defence had wanted to approve, she wouldn't flee.

That bastard. If he was Abby, and scared of a fate that she had every right to run from, he would be far from here. Gibbs hated being this powerless to help... the door to the basement was open and he drew his gun carefully walking down the steps, alert until he saw her. Abby, curled up in a corner, same pigtails and everything he had known as her since the first day he'd met his Forensics Specialist.


She was scared and Gibbs felt his heart clench at the idea that the fear could be for him but only for a second.

Hesitantly, Abby met his eyes and then she looked, no searched, for anywhere else to look. "I'm sorry Gibbs, I didn't..."

"Why didn't you come to me Abby?"

"It's been awhile, how is your father"

Ziva resisted the urge to pull out her knife and make it so two wouldn't be able to stay with NCIS rather than just one as she left the elevator. It figured that the commander of Manticore would wait to see her, her father had just become the Director of Mossad. Manticore and Mossad had an uneasy understanding of each other and no doubt Lydecker hoped he could remedy that.

Ziva narrowed her eyes and noticed that Tony and McGee were hanging on every word and nuance of the conversation. "My father sends his regards Colonel and I believe he wishes to share the news that we will be providing shelter for Abby from you" Ziva smiled. "Win all, lose all"

"That's win some, lose some Ziva" called Tony who was unapologetic in interrupting the conversation and got up from listening at his desk to join them. He didn't like Lydecker very much either.

Any trace of a pleasant encounter vanished and Lydecker became very cold and dangerous. Not a word more was spoken between them but the Manticore commander moved into the elevator, his eyes never leaving Ziva.

The Mossad Liaison officer didn't back down and glared back. As the elevator doors closed, breaking the staring contest, Tony waved his hand in front of Ziva's face and winced as he pulled it back. "Deadly staring contest, did he wrong you in some way?"

"No" Ziva said with a sad smile. It was Abby that had truly been wronged and even in Israel she couldn't guarantee her friend's safety from Manticore. She truly hoped on a star that something or Gibbs could really help Abby.

Why wasn't he mad at her, why wasn't Gibbs looking at her like she was some weird Frankenstein creature or in the very least slapping her on the back of the head? Abby didn't quite understand but enjoyed the hug in spite of Gibbs knowing everything there was to know about her. It made her feel safe for a moment. Like the last month hadn't happened and there wasn't something really wrong with her for being what she was.

It was like Gibbs read her mind and he started talking again. "Abby, Lydecker trained you to be a soldier without a regard for life, humanity or even the country he swears to protect. You aren't the heartless, soulless killer here Abs, he is, do you hear me- you are not a monster"

It was supposed to be her first day back at work and no one had mentioned anything. Abby wasn't sure she was awake, she had gotten up and been so nervous even the dulcet sounds of her metal music hadn't been enough to calm her nerves. Abby was so out of it, that she had gotten dressed in her court suit before she had taken a good long look in the mirror and shrieked. Being nervous was no excuse for putting that on.

Abby had gotten redressed, gotten into her hearse and driven to work. It wasn't like she had no visitors in the time the Director had made her take off for stress. Stress? Stress was when her assistant Chip had been given to her; being attacked by him had almost been a relief. Stress was when Abby was taken away from her machines that needed their mommy to talk to them every day and stress was knowing someone else was in her lab.

Her first visitor had been Ziva who was definitely cooler now that she knew the truth and they could even compare techniques while Ziva cooked until Ducky came around. Ducky told stories of the origins centuries ago of obsessions with perfect humans. It was really fascinating. And Tony had come and there hadn't been an itty bit of fear just questions, and really bad jokes. He had come around during Syl's brief visit and Anthony DiNozzo's first question had been were all her sisters that hot.

Talking about her other family wasn't something that Abby particularly liked to do, now that she couldn't see them again. A condition- no one could make her track down her siblings but she had to stay away from them. Abby knew it was probably for the best, after all as a part of a federal agency she was hardly going to be invited to any reunions. Also, Abby had no problems with whatever happened to Zack in the end, he had crossed that line when he had threatened her family. Especially Tim, the last to visit, all sweet, trying to get her to talk about her feelings. It was a special occasion, so Abby played along.

There was no real reason for nervousness. She would have worried about mean old Lydecker but then he had already tried to visit her at her house and Gibbs had caught him. Abby grinned and bounced up and down for a second and then resumed her walk to her lab. Gibbs hadn't just threatened to kill Lydecker if he came near her again; Gibbs had also kicked his ass at the same time. Because while the Colonel was one mean fighting machine, he was only army and Gibbs was a Marine.

And when on the way out with his bruised ego, Lydecker had almost begged her to resume her duty as the soldier she was born to be, Abby had stuck out her tongue.

She would have used her favourite comeback but Lydecker would have liked that she could kill him with two fingers and left no forensic evidence. Stupid Lydecker.

What Abby was really afraid of was that nothing would be the same again. She just wished someone would come out and say something so she wasn't just thinking about it.

But the moment Abby entered the lab and saw all the new evidence just waiting for her to analyse and work through, she just knew everything was going to be okay.

First things first, Abby thought, pulling the first lot to her and noticed how much backed up work there was waiting for her. It would be okay as long as the Director didn't try to give her another assistant.

Abby's cell jingled and she recognized Michael's number and she grinned to herself, around by all of her lab machines that loved her. Her real family at NCIS loved the complete Abby, especially Gibbs, and she still had her life. And now, she no longer had to cover up the awesome and the really cute barcode on the back of her neck.

Abby was a very happy genetically engineered forensic specialist and there was a new full bottle of black nail polish to keep the happy going.

All in all life was good and right now she had to get down to an exploded ambulance that had gone all kablooey and figure out why it went kablooey. And the only body was an already dead one.

Life was very good for Forensics Specialist Abby Scuito.

The End