Title: In A Whole New Way
Author: CJ aka WritinginCT
Categories: Romance, Angst
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Disclaimer: I don't own the recognizable characters I'm just inspired by them. Hopefully they've had fun playing in my sandbox.
Summary: Interesting things can happen when you start seeing someone in a whole new way. Abby/DiNozzo Written for the NFA "The Playboy, The Goth & The Geek" Challenge.
Abby made her way into her lab alerting all of her equipment that she was there and that they all needed to wake up, they had work to do. She dropped her coat and purse on her desk chair and flipped on her computer monitor. It took her a second to register that there was something lying on her keyboard. A flower, more specifically a beautiful blushing cream colored rose. There was a little folded paper tucked into the keys next to it. Printed in a beautiful archaic font was a poem,
"The red rose whispers of passion, And the white rose breathes of love;
Oh, the red rose is a falcon, And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud, With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
-John Boyle O'Reilly "
She smiled as she teased her nose with the rose as she read and reread the beautiful words. This was the latest in a series of incredibly sweet, romantic surprises that had been left for her. They had started appearing about two weeks after they got back from Kate's funeral.
The first one was a bar of decadent Swiss chocolate left on her lab table with a simple unsigned note, "A sweet for someone sweet."
It was a silly, sweet gesture that made her smile. And at the time she had desperately needed things to smile about through her grief. What bothered her was that she didn't know who left it. Gibbs? Ducky? McGee? She could have peeked on the security tape to see who had done it or lifted fingerprints from the candy's glossy wrapper, but she didn't. It would have just taken away from the moment. Instead she just carefully saved the wrapper and the note in her desk drawer.
She never knew what she was going to find. Sometimes it was candy, or weird little stuffed animals. She laughed hardest at a little vampire coloring book and crayons left in the ballistics lab. And she adored the travel guide to the most haunted places in the country. Whoever her little gift giver was he knew her well.
But today as she read the poem she realized that the tone was changing. Normally the notes were light hearted, sometimes just little jokes or silly rhymes. But this was more, it was deeper. And it brought a flush to her cheeks as she tried to picture herself with any of the likely perpetrators. It really wasn't Gibbs' style; he was more direct. He'd be more likely to give her a Caf-Pow with an "I Love You" straw in it for Valentine's Day rather than leave roses and poetry. She could picture Ducky being this sweet and romantic but she couldn't picture him buying some of the sillier items. That really only left McGee or Tony and it really could be either of them. They both knew her well enough to know what she would like, and neither would think twice about buying some of the gifts. Although, she had to admit, she just couldn't picture McGee buying the coloring book.
She gave the poem a final glance and tucked it away in the drawer with the rest of her memento's. The rose was going to spend the day in a tall graduated cylinder on her desk.
Gibbs was the only one to comment on the flower as he teased, "Did I forget something, Abs?"
Her smile was wide as she looked at the rose, "Nope. It was just a surprise from my secret admirer."
Seeing how happy she was about the whole thing he smirked and was about to tease her when Tony walked in.
Abby gave him a big smile, "Hey, Tony."
He handed her a little paper bag, "Sorry no sprinkles today, but I figured a chocolate iced donut would be a close second."
She opened the bag and inhaled in the scent of the donut, "You know me so well."
He turned to leave and nonchalantly mentioned, "Nice rose, Abs."
Tim was on his way back to his desk when he noticed something sticking out of Tony's knapsack, he took a step closer and had to bite back a laugh, since when did Tony read poetry? He must be trying to impress some girl again, Tim thought as he sat down at his desk.
He sighed thinking about how easy it was for Tony to date. He'd just smile and say something clever and presto, he had a phone number. Tim always felt awkward around Tony and women, always the odd man out.
Then he smiled, there was one woman that Tim had dated that Tony never stood a chance with, Abby. Things had cooled to a close friendship between them but he held out the hope that maybe they would have another chance.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts and get back to work, but he did decide to ask Abby out for dinner soon.
Tony was whistling to himself in the elevator, inordinately pleased with himself. Smiles from Abby could light up the darkest room and since he had started leaving her little presents there had been more and more of them for him to enjoy.
Things had changed so much the day that Kate was killed. Besides the raw gaping wound on all their hearts at the loss, Tony had realized for the first time that it could have just as easily been him killed instead of Kate. And he had looked at his lonely life and realized that if had been, who would have cared? Who would have missed him? And he had a horrifying vision of his funeral with a long line of women all taking a number to walk by his casket.
Then Ari had taken a shot at Abby and suddenly everything changed. Throwing himself on top of her to protect her was instinct. But what he felt, both physically and emotionally, as he lie on top her in that instant made him look at her in a whole new way.
He knew her well, but he wanted to know more. He wanted to share the secrets that lovers shared as they cuddled on the couch. He wanted to go watch fireworks with her sitting in front of him with his arms around her so he could feel each gasp of surprise. He wanted to take her bowling and be able to scoop her up and spin her around when she got a strike. He wanted to go walk on the beach at night with her and make wishes on all the stars. And he wanted to kiss her. Really wanted to kiss her.
He knew that things between her and McGee had sort of fizzled out, and he felt bad for McGee. But he would learn from Tim's mistakes. Abby wasn't the type to be rushed into anything. And he had formulated his strategy, he was a romantic at heart and once the idea of being her secret admirer had blossomed in his mind he went with it.
Gibbs had left Abby to blissfully enjoy her donut. And he was smirking to himself as he walked into autopsy.
He knew that it was Tony leaving the gifts for Abby. When she had first slipped and let Gibbs know that she had a secret admirer he had done what she hadn't, he watched the security tapes. He wanted to be sure that whoever it was wasn't some psycho stalker. This was Abby after all. He had almost choked on his coffee when he first discovered that it was Tony. He had somehow expected it to be McGee.
At first he had thought it was just Tony's way of helping Abby through her grief over Kate. But he had noticed other things that made him wonder if something had changed for Tony. He no longer bragged about his dating conquests and no longer complained about spending long hours at the office. Tony had also started making it a point to walk Abby out to her car every night, without fail. And although Tony and Abby had never been shy about hugs and touches, Tony seemed to slipping in little caresses here and there that he had never done before.
Gibbs knew that down deep Tony was a good man. And Abby, well Abby was Abby. She had her own mind and her own heart. And if she returned Tony's feelings then he would be happy for them. And if she didn't, he knew that she would let Tony down in the same gentle way that she had let McGee down.
He did feel bad for McGee though.
Tbc… feedback always appreciated!!