"That means if you kill her, you're killing the only women I ever loved,"
"Amy and Agent McGreggor can't marry each other in the end. They're all wrong for each other."
McGee swallowed reflexively. He wondered what had made him say that McGreggor was going to marry Amy. He could have just said they were good friends. He could have said McGreggor cared deeply for her. Why did he have to admit that he loved her, before God and everyone?
"We can talk in the morning," he heard himself say to Abby, but it didn't feel like he was saying it at all. Some other person with his voice was saying it.
Abby looked at him, right at him, with eyes that seemed to look straight into him and know what he was thinking.
"No, McGee. Now. I can't stay here anyways. I'm going home with you."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Gibbs asked.
"Yes. We need to talk right now," Abby insisted, still clutching Bert.
"Ok. I'll… ah… I'll get your bag," McGee said, awkwardly.
Gibbs took a step closer to Abby, hugging her once again. Bert let out his signature farting noise, and they both smiled a little.
"Be careful with him, Abs," Gibbs warned. "He's had a hard day, and confessing something like that isn't easy to do."
"What am I going to do, Gibbs?" Abby asked, looking more and more like a scared child.
"Say what you have to say, but say it gently," Gibbs advised.
McGee walked into the room.
"Ready, Abby?" he asked.
"Yeah," she replied quietly.
They sat in McGee's car in silence as he drove back to his apartment.
McGee unlocked the door and dropped her bag inside.
"I'll take the couch," he said, avoiding her eyes.
Abby caught his arm as he made for the bedroom to grab some pillows and a blanket.
"We have to talk now, McGee."
McGee sat down heavily on the couch.
"Fine Abby," he said, his irritation rising. "What do you want to talk about? How my book almost got you killed? Or how you think Amy and McGreggor are all wrong for each other? Or how bout the part where I confessed in front of everyone that I…" McGee stopped abruptly, realizing what he had been about to say.
"That you what?" Abby asked, as if she was afraid to know the answer.
"That I… was terrified for you," he finished lamely.
"It wasn't your fault, you know," Abby reminded him. "About the gunman. It was your book, but he was the one that thought it was reality."
"I don't know what I would do if… if something happened to you. I would never forgive myself," McGee said.
"But I'm fine. Look, here I am, right here. It was terrifying, and I'll probably have nightmares for months, but I'm still alive," Abby reminded him.
"I almost got you killed, Abby," McGee said. His face crumpled, and he buried his face in his hands. The events of the day came back to him in a sudden wash of images and sounds, and all he could see was that madman pointing a gun at Abby.
"Oh, Tim," Abby said softly. She pulled him to her and held him close, her arms wrapped around his bent shoulders.
A tear dripped off her nose. Followed by another. Soon, tears were running down her cheeks and she was wracked by sobs. McGee gathered her into his arms and they held each other close.
"I'm so sorry, Abby. This is all my fault," he said after a long moment of silence.
"It's not your fault, Tim," she reminded him again, wiping a tear away.
"Say you forgive me anyways," he replied.
She lifted her head up, so that their foreheads touched.
"I forgive you," she whispered.
McGee's eyes traveled from her tear-washed eyes to her lips, and back again. An inner battle waged between his mind and his heart. His heart told him to lean forward just a few more inches and kiss her; his mind screamed for him to turn away, while he still could.
A dam burst inside of him, and all reservations were swept away. He leaned forward and kissed her. At first, Abby did nothing. Then, she responded, their lips moving together as one.
She broke the kiss sharply.
"McGee! We cannot do this!" she said.
McGee's heart plummeted into his feet.
"Abby…I… I'm sorry…" he stuttered.
"We can't start this again, Tim. We just can't. We can't get back together, and neither can Amy and McGreggor."
McGee shifted away from her.
"Why not, Abby?" he asked.
Abby sighed, and ran a hand through her loose hair.
"You can't let the characters in your book become involved again. Amy and McGreggor had their chance. You know that."
"Is it too much for McGreggor to want a second chance? He screwed up, Abby. He screwed up and he has never regretted something so much in his life."
"McGee, you know Amy and McGreggor can't get married. It would just never work out. ,"
"Why not?" McGee asked softly. He took a deep breath. "McGreggor loves her. He loves her. Like he has never loved anyone. She is the love of his life, if only she could see it."
"McGee…" Abby was looking at him pleadingly. "McGee, it can't be like that."
"Why not?" McGee repeated fiercely, his anger flaring up once more.
"You and I… we're just all wrong for each other," Abby said.
McGee registered the switch from Amy and McGreggor to you and I.
"But why, Abby? Tell me why we are all wrong."
"We… fight all the time, and lose our tempers. And you're a good boy with an MIT degree and I wear black clothes and sleep in a coffin. You write on a typewriter and I listen to death metal," Abby said, her eyes pleading with him to understand.
"But those are all the things that drew me to you," McGee reminded her. "Those are the things that I love about you."
Abby shook her head.
"You really love me, don't you?" she asked, a hint of wonder creeping into her voice.
"That's not the point. What I'm trying to say is…"
"McGee," she interrupted. "Answer the question. Do you love me?"
"Yes, alright!" McGee snapped. "Yes, I love you. With everything that I have and everything that I am. I am madly head over heals in love with you, Abby, and I have been since the day that I first met you. There, I said it. What else do you want?!"
Abby's eyes were as large as dinner plates.
"McGee, I… I never knew," she said softly.
"Yeah, well, I usually try to keep it hidden," McGee said, letting out a breath that he had been holding. "And I know you don't return my feelings, and I know there's no hope of us getting back together, but I can't help how I feel."
"I didn't say I didn't return your feelings," Abby said slowly.
McGee's heart jumped into his mouth.
"I just… don't want to get married, McGee. Not yet."
"We don't have to get married just yet, Abs. We could just start dating again. I would settle for that," McGee breathed, hardly daring to hope.
Abby traced his face with the tip of her finger.
"I would like that, I think. Just… don't go too fast, ok?"
A smile slowly crept onto McGee's face.
"Does this mean we're going to give it another go?" he said cautiously.
"Yeah," Abby said, smiling. "But really slow, ok? Just casual stuff. I'm not ready to get married or anything."
"Fair enough," McGee said.
Abby yawned hugely.
"Sorry… I'm getting really tired," she said, looking embarrassed.
"It's ok. You go to bed and try and get some sleep. I'll crash on the couch," he said.
She nodded, and stood. She walked a few steps, and then turned around, pulling McGee to his feet and wrapping her arms around his waist.
"I'm glad we sorted this out, Tim. And I'm glad I know how you feel. And… I really do care for you, a lot more than… than I'm willing to admit sometimes. I guess sometimes it takes a near death experience to get your priorities straightened out," she said. She leaned up and kissed his cheek before heading to the bedroom, leaving McGee standing in the living room with a silly grin on his face.
"McGee, it's six in the morning. What are you doing up?"
McGee turned around at the sound of her voice. He had been up most of the night, typing on his old typewriter furiously. He had to get all his ideas down while they were still fresh in his mind.
"I could ask you the same thing," he reminded her. She stretched luxuriously, and walked over to the window, throwing open the curtains.
The sun was just coming up over the horizon, and it filled the room with a warm glow. Abby was dressed in her nightgown, which fell to her knees, and her hair was tousled from sleep. As the first rays of the sun hit her, McGee mused that he had never seen anything so beautiful.
She turned to him.
"Your clacking woke me up. So I thought I might as well come and see what you were doing."
She seated herself comfortably on his lap.
McGee smiled at her.
'I was writing another chapter of my book. The chapter where McGreggor tells Amy that he has always loved her, and she agrees that they can give their relationship another chance," he said.
Abby grinned, and leaned her head on his shoulder.
"Read it to me, Timmy?" she asked.
McGee reached for the manuscript, and began to read.
" 'McGreggor swallowed reflexively. Amy folded her arms across her chest and waited for his answer.
"Well? What did you mean, McGreggor, when you said you cared about me?" she demanded.
"Is now really the time to be talking about this?" McGreggor asked, looking over his shoulder to see if the gunmen were still out there.
"We could die any time, McGreggor. I think now is the perfect time," Amy answered …..'"
Author's Note: I was so mad when they didn't show what Abby said to McGee after "we have to talk…" in Cover Story. So I knew that I had to write her response to the whole Amy-and-McGreggor situation.