Leaning Together
Rating: T
Who: Gibbs/Abby, Gibbs/war
Summary: This is not home.


Gibbs, who was born on a wet Tuesday with the skies crying out along with his mother, who somewhere along the line turned Atlas and now shouldered the responsibility for everything. Duty in the shape of a world he approaches with a caution his father taught him.

Marking the left side of his chest, with its black and bold characters, is Semper Fi. When in his dress uniform, the tattoo is under his ribbon bar and over his heart. It's exactly where it should be.

He knows the way the sun would cut across the sky and the twitch that lives in his trigger finger. Hair high and tight and how his hands seemed to remember a weapon instead of discover it.


Sometimes Gibbs was so real he scared her. She is more comfortable with fictional heroes than with real people like him who have lost their faith, innocence, and those other things that growing up destroys.


There's a look that Abby has all the time now and without it she seems exhausted. She waits for one of them to have the decency to stand up for their failure. Those questions run too deeply and her voice resonates off the walls of their thick survivor skin.

He has learned to measure things by her eyes that said: Kate's dead, Gibbs. She blinks at him in slow surprise, and added: But why can't you hear my heart beating?

He's gone. Long gone. They come to each other by circles. Sharpen each other like knives. This dance leaves marks.


One day she stood in his kitchen, Gibbs standing like he was the only one in the room, as any Marine should.

"Not a good idea." He took a look around. "You shouldn't be here, Abby."

"It hadn't occurred to me," she replied.

He no longer knew any language beyond her smirk and finally met her eyes with tones she had previously suspected, but couldn't bring into focus.

Her facial expression twitched. "Please," she said.

He's past the point of resistance when she pulls him down to his knees, to the floor, to the pressure of suddenly sure fingers. Hands brushing against hips as her breath hitches once, twice, and his grin pressed into her web—

Then nothing.


And once, it was Jen's warm thigh in Paris or Kate in the morgue, and the void where any of his women once stood is getting harder and harder for him to ignore. He murmurs threats like prayers. No one's ever looked at him, really looked at him, and wondered just how many men he's put in dirt.

He questions whether there is a familiarity in the way his world often crumbles, but those memories always search for his throat and he hates the involuntary way in which his voice turns harsh when it comes to things that matter to him.

He is hungry for noises and dust at his feet. What he wants is a war he can actually see.