Anyone who just wants to read the story: Please skip this note and start reading below the broken line. Thanks!
First, I would like to give you an update on my current writing plans. Right now I am pondering over quite a few stories (funny, seeing that two weeks ago I thought I was running out of ideas):
- Finishing "Fourteen Days..." of course. I have already sketched the last chapters, but they still have to be written properly and I have to see if it works.
- 2 sequels to "I Don´t Regret a Thing". Yes, two! One is half written, one sketched only. Unfortunately in the wrong order. Right order as far as time-line is concerned, wrong order for posting it (doesn´t have to make sense to you right now). And two more sequels lurking somewhere in my mind (depends on your feedback to the other two sequels).
- Brooding over a missing scene to episode "3x21 Bloodbath", requested by chocolateluvr223. It took me a while to find a (to me) plausible solution to your request and I unfortunately haven´t got an opportunity to contact you.
- Last not least, some people seem to be interested in a sequel to "Notice of Resignation". I actually never intended to write one, but I might second-guess. Just don´t nail me on it, please ;-)
And most important: A note regarding the story you are about to read: Lost? - Found!
To be honest, this time pun somehow is intended, because I kinda borrowed the title from episode "5x09 Lost and Found". Disclaimers apply. Although I haven´t seen this episode yet, I know about what is happening in it and I know the title refers to some other events (hm, depends on the way you are looking at it, in my opinion. German readers might know the term "Teekesselchen").
Yet, my story deals with what I can´t accept -- Hollis Mann having retired to Hawaii and the possibility that writers might decide to not let her return. I wouldn´t be able to deal with this. I would have to, I know, but why not keep hoping? So to please me (and hopefully some of you as well?) I was brooding over a solution, actually since I first heard of "Lost and Found". You see, it took me a few months, but having found the right starting point - here it is!
Summery: Gibbs struggles to deal with Hollis being gone. Mibbs Romance and Gabby friendship
Disclaimer: I don´t own any of the characters in this story. If I owned them, Hollis and Gibbs would stay together till the end! But I just borrowed them to write about my own wishful thinking.
Spoiler: Lost and Found (at the most)
Rating: K plus
A/N: Being Mibbs-fan since Gibbs and Hollis shared their first case and having come to like Gabby-fics, I actually never thought it possible to have Hollis and Abby appear in the same story.
Time-line: Set a couple of days after "Lost and Found"
And not to forget: Feel free to not read this story, if you don´t like Hollis Mann
Lost? -- Found!
Gibbs hung about in Abby´s lab like he had done for quite a few days now. He wanted to ask her for advice, but he hadn´t had the courage to, so far.
Abby had become aware of his increasing nervousness, but till now, she hadn´t dared to ask him, either. He was extremely bad-tempered for quite some time now and it was getting worse each day. And he was grumpy. As always. No, not as always. There had been times when he hadn´t been like this. Times, which were not that long ago.
"Abs, how about some results? Today! Now!" Gibbs suddenly barked.
Now, that was enough. That was definitely enough!
"Okay, Gibbs. What´s up, huh? What´s bugging you?!" Abby demanded, pretty annoyed, but somehow in an attempt to stay calm.
Gibbs threw her a threatening look.
"What are you talking about?" he growled. "I need some results, Abby! And quick! Damn it, hurry up!"
"What do you actually think I am doing here?" Abby raised her voice, now pissed off as well. "You needn´t observe me, that won´t speed up the tests! You needn´t bark at me, that won´t make me work harder than I already do!"
The air was palpable and Abby looked at him, intently, narrowing her eyes as she drew her conclusions.
"You messed it up, huh?" she finally asked in a surprisingly soft and sympathetic tone.
Her question was yet met with a certain amount of anger and Gibbs stared daggers at her.
"That´s none of your business!" he snapped.
Abby had hit the very nerve and Gibbs wondered why he couldn´t just admit it. Because that exactly was the reason why he had been down here all the time. Gibbs knew, whatever advice Abby would give him, it would be the right one. He trusted her, professionally and personally. Their long existing friendship had survived so many inconveniences and she had always been able to encourage him.
But this time, he simply hadn´t had the guts to just ask her.
"Come on, Gibbs! You are grumpy. More than usual. You are constantly nagging at me and you even bark at me. Your bad mood is insufferable. You might do that to your agents all the time, but you never dare to treat me like this. Almost never. Unless you scared away a woman you truly love."
Abby´s tirade was met with silence. Enough of confession to her that she was right. Gibbs struggled to keep up the threatening expression on his face, but it was a mere facade by now.
"Call her, Gibbs." Abby eventually broke the silence.
Gibbs didn´t move.
"She did you a world of good, Gibbs. You two were happy together. You were happy. Whatever you did that pissed her off, tell her you are sorry."
Gibbs wanted to say something, but Abby didn´t give him the chance to speak.
"And don´t tell me something about 'rules' and 'never do apologize'," she finished.
"I told her I couldn´t deal with having someone around whom I always would worry about and whom I feared to loose to some crucial accident or something like that," Gibbs admitted, utterly astonished about his own honesty.
"Oh great!" Abby groaned. "Why do you always tend to make things that complicated? Do you really think, it´s better this way? She´s gone, Gibbs! Thousands of miles away! And you love her, Gibbs! Notdid, but still do! You still worry about her, but now there is nothing you can do, because she is out of reach. And you would find out -- one way or the other -- if something bad happens to her and it will hurt you at least the same, if not more, because you can´t be there for her. Or she ... for you."
Gibbs stared at Abby. His jaw was working. She had a point there.
"But...," he started to say, but there were no 'buts'. Not as far as his feelings were concerned. Hollis -- Hollis was mad at him. And it was her right. He had hurt her.
"Gibbs!" Abby suddenly exclaimed and she freely searched his pockets for his cell phone, grabbing it when she found it without being stopped by him.
Abby knew, what she was just doing was an absolute impertinence, but shewould do it -- if he didn´t keep her from doing so.
"Now, that´s evidence!" Abby triumphantly noticed and she pressed the button to dial the number she had just selected from the menu. "You still got her number!"
Abby grinned. She held the phone to Gibbs´ ear and made him take the phone. She could clearly hear the ringing tone from where she was standing right next to Gibbs.
Several moments passed and nothing happened. Gibbs seemed to be relieved at that and Abby´s hope sank.
But then -- Gibbs was only just thinking about hanging up -- there was an audible click and then ... .
Someone had answered the phone. The person didn´t say anything, though.
And Gibbs couldn´t either.
"Gibbs!" Abby all of a sudden bawled at him.
She couldn´t watch this scenario any longer and she grabbed Gibbs´ cell.
"Colonel Mann? This is Abigail Sciuto speaking," Abby said.
"Abby," Hollis said in a monosyllabic greeting tone and waited for Abby to go on.
Hollis had noticed Gibbs´ number and she had pondered whether to answer her phone or not, but then she had decided to do even so. She, however, would not say anything unless he had said something first.
"Gibbs wants to tell you something," Abby said and held the phone to Gibbs´ ear again, once more making him take hold of it.
A minute of silence followed. Hollis would not address him. Abby signed, telling him to say something; and soon -- otherwise she, Abby, would be getting really mad at him.
"Holl?" Gibbs eventually said in a timid voice.
Hollis didn´t react, so Gibbs hesitantly continued, but his voice grew stronger while he was speaking and he prevented Abby from leaving the lab by grabbing her arm and not letting go of it until he had finished this conversation with Hollis.
"Holl, I miss you. I am incredibly worried about you and it´s even worse, now that you are gone. Abby has just made me realize this. I understand that I cannot keep all dangers away from you and I can even less, now that you are that far away from me. I love you, Holl! Although ... although I told you I couldn´t stand the mere thought of loosing you to some cruel fate when we are that close, I now know that I cannot stand the idea in any imaginable way. And the further you are away from me, Holl, the worse it gets."
And after a short moment of silence, Gibbs added, "I think, that´s what people call love, Holl. I am not good at this, Holl, but please ... please give me one last chance to ... to take care of you and to accept your support as well. To trust you, Holl... ." Gibbs´ voice trailed off.
He could not see that the woman on the other end of the line had tears running down her cheeks, but when she finally spoke, her voice gave away that she was crying.
"Jethro," Hollis said and for a brief moment she fell silent again.
"You know," she then continued, "that I never stopped loving you. And if you really mean what you just said..."
"I do, Holl. But I will need your help, your patience, and first of all, just you. You to be close."
"I never wanted to be with anyone more than I wanted to be with you, Jethro. And I still feel that way. Otherwise, I probably would say 'no'."
The load that these words took off Gibbs´ mind was probably heavier than the whole NCIS-building with all its equipment and staff.
"I haven´t packed all my bags in D.C. yet and I only can leave here tomorrow evening. If I get a flight, that is," Hollis then told him. "You think, you can wait that long, Jethro?"
"Just come back, Holl!" Gibbs begged, not bothering to hide his tears of relief any longer and when they had ended the call, Gibbs was glad to have Abby at his side and he hugged her closely as he let his tears run freely down his cheek.
A/N:The story is not complete yet. There is a short epilogue lying right in front of me, but it has to still be typed and it is late and I don´t want to mess it up. So I´ll grab some sleep now and you maybe come back tomorrow? Reviews won´t go unnoticed, though :-)))