Summery: For Jackie. Kind of missing scene for "Dog Tags" (5x13) about why Abby named the dog Jethro.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story. Never did, never will. I just borrow them for this excursion and I promise to give them back unharmed afterwards. I borrow some lines from the episode as well (most of them are still in direct speech).
Spoiler: 5x13 Dog Tags (who would have guessed ;-))
A/N1: Jackie asked me to write this missing scene for episode 5x13 (Dog Tags). Actually this is not really a missing scene, it more likely is a 'missing thoughts' one-shot about Gibbs's thoughts in that scene when he learns that Abby has named the dog 'Jethro'. And for everyone else who wonders "why they didn't let Gibbs kiss Abby on the cheek after that scene" ... find my answer to this in here as well.
A/N2: Story is written from Gibbs's POV. This is the first time I write in the first person form, so please be merciful. I just thought it appropriate, as it is about Gibbs´s thoughts.
Beta: Pretty Dead Flower (Thank you so much!)
A Dog Named Jethro
"Who's a good Jethro?"
I hear Abby's voice as I enter the lab, but I do not catch sight of her immediately. I guess she has heard the doors of her lab slide open, assuming it was me.
I wonder how she always can tell without even turning her eyes from her work. She probably is trying to tell me to better be prepared that she hasn't got much results by now and as if on autopilot I react to her words, attempting to let her know that there is no need for her to fear my reprimands, because results are not what I came down here for in the first place.
"I am a good...," I start out, and as my voice trails off -- "... Jethro," -- I realize Abby is talking to the dog.
She looks up at me, beaming, the word 'enthusiasm' written all over her face. God, I should have known she would fall for the dog. But 'Jethro'?
Upon seeing the questioning and astonished look on my face she tells me, "Don't be mad. Be flattered."
I try to smile, but I fail miserably.
I am not mad. Why should I be? I never could be mad at my girl. She possibly would have to shoot me to make me go mad at her and even then I am not sure I would be able to curse her. So no, I am not mad. But I am not flattered either. Abby has never called me Jethro -- not one single time -- and I often have been wondering why.
I dare to say that the way she pronounces it sounds ... cute. Really. It´s not a word one would expect me to use, but ... it really sounds ... cute.
But let's not forget, she hasn't said it to me.
Hearing Abby call the dog 'Jethro' -- a dog that possibly has killed its handler Petty Officer Hanson --, this makes me feel awkward.
And 'Jethro' ... does she really have to call him 'Jethro'?
'Jethro' -- like the grumpy, bad tempered boss whom it is difficult to satisfy when it comes to secure evidences and work a case thoroughly, or 'Jethro' -- as in your boss who sneaks up on you and bites if you are not watching out (because I don't bark to warn you of my presence)? 'Jethro' like Gibbs ... the bastard... ?
No, these probably are not the reasons why Abby calls the dog Jethro. That doesn't fit the joyful mood she is in. Moreover Abby has always told me she doesn't believe I am really like that and she knows what she is talking about. She knows me far better than anyone else.
"He's just so strong and handsome and quiet. That's why I called him Jethro," Abby immediately explains her choice.
Okay, I am flattered now, learning that she obviously thinks of me like that. Or rather I would be flattered if..., if it didn't make me sad, seeing how attached she already has got to the dog.
"Abby." I want to make it clear to her that she is making a big mistake here, but I cannot find the right words instantly. I don't want to hurt her. Moreover, or, just to start with, this dog's name actually is 'Butch'. But Abby tells me, it sounds too butch.
"Well, 'Butch' was just too ... you know ... butch."
Okay, I might agree with that, but ... does she have to rename him?
That is definitely not a good sign. As I stated before, she is getting too attached to the dog. I should have considered that earlier and it actually is the reason why I came down here -- to make sure she treats this dog as a suspect and not as long term friend -- and now it is too late already.
Abby starts getting nervous. She looks at me and immediately starts to babble. About evidences, of course, and that I needn't worry. She lists all the evidences she already has collected. Before cleaning the dog, of course! Then she adds that she hasn't got any results for me yet and that she knows I am here to get results from her.
Yes, of course I am.
But there is something else I wanted to tell her in the first place, I remember.
"Abs," I start anew, still struggling to find the right words.
The way she looks at me tells me she knows what I actually came down here for. She is reading the expression on my face. I have long given up trying to hide my thoughts from her. Because it is pretty much impossible. Abby reads me like a book, even if I don't say a word and even if I am certain my posture does not give away anything.
She crouches down, hugs the dog and nestles up against him and a sad expression is taking hold of her face and I assume, it somehow resembles the one on mine. Abby rarely hides from me what she is thinking, and she now lets me know that she knows very well what I am thinking.
"That's not what you are here to tell me. You are here to tell me 'Abby, don't get too attached to the dog because he doesn't belong to us and we don't know where the evidence is going to lead us yet.'"
It's hard for me to confirm it and it is only getting over my lips very quietly. "Okay, then good. I won't have to tell you."
"No you don't," she pouts, still hugging the dog who seems to know this conversation is about him.
I know she wants to cry and the only reason why she doesn't probably is, that she knows chances are this dog is not innocent. As much as she wants to believe it, she simply cannot be sure of his innocence right now.
And me? I hope she is right and the dog really is innocent. It would break her heart if it turned out differently.
As it is breaking mine to look into her sad eyes and not be able to do what I want to do so much right now. I want to comfort her, I want to tell her everything will be all right. I want to take my girl in an embrace, hug her tightly and kiss her forehead.
But with that I would only just approve of her behaviour to getting attached to the dog -- a suspect -- and I also would admit that inwardly I am torn two ways by this scenario.
I really have to be strong now.
"Abs, the dog belongs in the kennel," I tell her, keeping my voice as soft as possible.
"No he doesn't, Gibbs! He shouldn't be behind bars. He's innocent," she tries to convince me.
The lump in my throat is momentarily making it impossible for me to say something, anything, and I only am able to give her a mild version of my typical stare. I suppress a sigh. Abs, please, do not make it that difficult for me and do not make it that difficult for yourself!
She is fighting back her tears, knowing she could easily break me with this if she started to cry and continued to pout and beg right now.
But she doesn't.
She shows understanding and consideration as she tells the dog to get inside the kennel, insisting that she would prove that the dog's saliva and the saliva she swabbed from the Petty Officer's neck are not identical.
"We'll see," I tell her softly.
I do not let it show, but I am really proud of my girl. I could easily question her confidence with being careful with the evidences, now that she is kind of 'personally involved' with the case.
But I don't.
Because I trust her.
And to not make it any harder for any of us, I turn and walk out of the lab, but not without letting her know that I am fully aware of what she is up to.
"Dog stays in the kennel, Abs!"
I hope she understands why I did not even kiss her cheek this time.
But I will. I promise.
As soon as this is over.
Oh Abs, please do not miss any evidence to prove this dog innocent.
A/N: In my opinion, Abby and Gibbs are more like father/daughter in this scene, so I kept it a bit in that direction. But -- putting MHO aside -- you can read it any way you like ;-)
The requested "little kiss that wouldn´t hurt" unfortunately is only an imaginary one this time. Hope you don´t mind, Jackie. Hope noone does ;-)