Hugs

Anthony DiNozzo didn't do hugs.

The occasional pat on the back, a peck on the cheek, sure, but never a loving hug. He couldn't. He didn't know how, and more importantly, never seemed to find a reason for giving them.

This was before his life course crashed into Abby's.


Abby hugged people; that was what she did. She offered comfort and simple affection with those cuddles. Everybody had always loved her hugs until that ungrateful ex-cop came around.

The first time the former detective entered her lab following Gibbs wake she unceremoniously gave him a brief, friendly welcoming embrace and he shied away. People never shied away from her!

Gibbs seemed to think the whelp was okay, but Abby wasn't so sure. He didn't hug for cryin' out loud! What kind of normal person didn't like hugs?

She never did get her point through to Gibbs, though.

"Giiibbs, I don't like him. He's all…hinky!"

"Thought you liked hinky, Abs."

She bided her time.

Gave the LEO suspicious glances and saved her embraces for those who knew to appreciate them. She didn't try to hug him again for ages.

In the weeks and months that followed, the ex-cop pried himself into her daily routine; running errands for Gibbs, asking a thousand questions and always fidgeting with her lab equipment.

She reluctantly found him to have the most charming smile and a wicked sense of humor. He wasn't afraid of her unlike many of the new probies, but never got too smart-assed either.

The cop and the lab rat surely although reluctantly became friends. Their souls merged with time. Abby again started bombarding him with her embraces, but he was a really slow learner, she had to admit that. Always tensing up, never returning the affection. However, in her inimitable way, she refused to be deterred and simply worked her way through those silly emotional walls of his. She was adamant.

The first time she caught him off guard was after a really tough case some months into his federal employment.

He had been on a stake out for a week before finally getting enough evidence to take the Petty Officer into custody for his crimes. Gibbs had told her how Tony single-handedly had chased down the suspect and for that had been rewarded with a great, blue shiner. Gibbs had suspected a tiny concussion, but was content with the fact that the young agent hadn't puked in the car on the way back to the office.

She found him half-asleep at his desk, his black eye a screaming contrast to his otherwise pale face.

She was able to sneak up on him - another piece of evidence to confirm his concussion - and simply put her arms around him. He flinched from her at first, but then sighed and let her hold him. Maybe even relaxed a little. Abby was really excited about this, but for once, she managed to keep her bouncing emotions to her self. She did however pump an imaginary fist in the air.

After this groundbreaking occasion, it wasn't too hard to get him to comply with more affection. She was careful not to scare him off but slowly, slowly brought the wall down, brick by brick.

As he came back from sick leave after his bout with the plague, all bloodshot eyes and wheezing breaths, she flung herself at him and he caught her with natural ease, though grunting a bit. He didn't flinch then. Well, not until she squeezed the oxygen out of him, and he had to breathe.

In the lab the night Kate was killed, he sought out her comforting embrace and she leaned into him and cried and spluttered and smeared makeup on his shirt, and she didn't know who got solace from whom. It didn't matter. They hugged and that made it all a tiny bit better.

She had the whelp well trained by now…

END


I just love Tony/Sciuto as brother/sister, but I don't think they clicked right away. They're just too different.