Summery: Tag to "Safe Places" ... Abby ... alone ... at Gibbs´s house ... bored ... . An egg ... flour ... . What Jenny didn´t see.

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I don´t own them, but I love them. Therefore I will put them back unharmed.

A/N: I made you wait ... I know ... I´m sorry ...

A little ficlet about how the egg got smashed on the floor and why there is a path of flour leading to Gibbs´s basement.

-xxx-

When Abby Was On Strike - Part I

Abby is a workaholic, buzzing around incessantly, almost always being in motion and even when she is concentrated on evidences and results, she at least is bobbing up and down slightly.

But Abby has been on strike since Monday. Away from her beloved lab. Director Shepard refused a safety check of her lab equipment, including the obligatory exchange of wearing parts. Abby already had to tolerate the forced delay more than half a year ago, but on Monday she finally refused to pick up her work again under these circumstances. Leaving in a rage, she drove home and suddenly felt odd.

Would she really be able to get through with this, she suddenly wondered. Gibbs is on her side of course. He wants her safe. Abby remembered how Gibbs had defended her at Jenny´s office and it made her feel lonely.

So when Gibbs returned home later that Monday he found Abby had taken residence at his house, secretly of course as at that time nobody was to know that the two of them were in a relationship. A relationship of which no-one could exactly say how long it had already been going on.

It had started unexpectedly about two and a half years ago, in the middle of a stormy night, followed by occasionally shared nights in secrecy every few weeks. Neither of them looked upon this as a relationship. For them, it was just an opportunity of giving or seeking comfort to or from one another. No expectations, no promises, no feeling sorry. At least that was what they believed it to be. And that´s why this went on for almost two years until certain circumstances led to the insight, that they both hadn´t had any other partners ever since and that the true reason for their behavior was that they deeply cared for one another.

Abby is safe at Gibbs´s house. No-one ever comes over when he isn´t home and rarely even when he is; and even if -- there is no reason why Abby should not be at Gibbs´s house every now and then.

Gibbs has to put much effort in convincing Abby that she not returns to work before her demands were fulfilled. He of course is right, but Abby gets bored, being alone all day. And she is missing her lab, her work, the centrifuges, Mr. mass spectrometer... .

Abby eventually decides she has to find something equivalent to work.

Rummaging through the boards and drawers in the kitchen -- first in search for more coffee, then out of sheer boredom -- she for the first time really notices how many unusual herbs and spices Gibbs´s kitchen holds. Which on the other hand isn´t actually surprising to her. She knows Gibbs has some fantastic recipes in store which not many people know about. It doesn´t take long until a crazy idea hits her.

Cookies. Spicy, nice smelling and tasty. Gibbs also loves them.

A wide grin settles on Abby´s face as she picks the various ingredients from the boards and places them on the kitchen table. She doesn´t even need a recipe for her favorite cookies. She can easily recall it like one of that many tests she runs at her lab each day.

Abby is only just searching the boards for some certain spices when she hears the front door being opened. With a smile on her face she is pouring a mug of coffee and the next moment two arms slide around her waist and an open mouthed kiss is ticklishly breathed on her neck.

Gibbs peers over Abby´s shoulder, his cheek tenderly rubbing against hers. Taking the mug of coffee Abby is handing him, Gibbs wants to know, "You wanna cook?"

"Bake," Abby tells him.

"Oh, then I better do not interfere." With a grin Gibbs kisses her cheek and heads for the bedroom to change into something more comfortable.

Abby shakes her head with a little laugh, then she starts to fumble about with butter and sugar.

Being busy with the mixer Abby doesn´t hear Gibbs walk back across the hall towards the kitchen. She wouldn´t have heard him either way, because Gibbs has planned to not being recognized by her immediately and therefore he is sneaking towards the kitchen on his socks.

Silently he is standing in the kitchen´s door frame, watching Abby who is fully concentrated on the eggs.

Gibbs smirks as he realizes that Abby is not aware of him standing so close behind her. A rare thing when it comes to Abby and a tempting opportunity to sneak up on her unrecognized.

It only takes him a few tiny steps.

Abby shrieks and jumps as he snakes his hands around her waist, pressing up against her back. The egg, which she has only just been about to crack open does of course not survive its fall and gets smashed on the floor.

"Oh," Gibbs takes a quick peek over Abby´s shoulder, a low chuckle giving away how much he enjoys this teasing her and having made her jump.

"Gibbs!" Abby scolds, playfully tapping the back of his hands around her waist. While Abby continues to stare at the smashed egg, Gibbs buries his face in the back of her neck, chuckling.

Abby really hates it when she drops things, but all her cursing doesn´t help, there is no chance Gibbs would let go of her too soon. She tries to free herself, wriggling in this -- what she believes -- pretty unfair embrace. Abby has been startled pretty much when Gibbs unexpectedly had wrapped his arms around her and what he is now doing to that sensitive spot on her neck isn´t making it any better. The ticklish sensation makes Abby writhe in his embrace even more.

"Giiiiiiiiiiiiiibbs," Abby squeals.

Gibbs holds her tight in his embrace and stops nibbling the skin of her neck to again peer over her shoulder -- this time the other one --, his scrutinizing look finally resting on the bowl on the kitchen table in which Abby has already mixed up fat and sugar.

Abby gives a partly frustrated, partly relieved sigh and eventually gives up the effort to try to free herself from her captor. At least Gibbs has stopped driving her crazy by torturing the nape of her neck.

"Okay, Miss Confectioner," Gibbs says, not taking his attention away from the blended mixture in the bowl. One swift move later he has made sure that Abby isn´t able to free her arms or hands, his left holding her tight, while his right reaches out and he dips one finger into the fat-sugar mixture.

"Mm hm. Good." Gibbs nods as he licks the sweet stuff from his finger. "What is this supposed to be?" he then wants to know.

"Cookies?" Abby replies hesitantly and it sounds more like a question than an answer.

Being pretty much sure that Gibbs is up to something, she watches closely as he dips his finger into the mixture for a second time before offering it to her. Abby eyes it suspiciously, then she slowly shakes her head.

Which she better should not have done.

"Scaredy cat," Gibbs breathes in her ear and at the same time he pastes the mixture on Abby´s nose, causing her to squeal and writhe again.

"Giiiiiiiibbs, remove that! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!" she continues to wriggle in his captivity for a while without achieving anything.

"No," Gibbs simply tells her with a wry smile on his lips. "Okay, let´s see. Butter, sugar," he first points to her nose, chuckling mischievously, then he points to the floor. "Eggs. Hm, what else do we need?"

Not really expecting an answer from Abby he turns his head to overlook what else she has put on the table and immediately he spots what he is looking for.

"Ah, yes! Flour!" Having barely spoken the word he already reaches out his hand, putting it in the bowl with the weighed flour. Carefully he takes some of it between two fingers and Abby follows his movements first with curious then with eyes that are widening in shock as she realizes his hand is getting nearer and nearer to her face.

"No, no, no!" Abby begs, shaking her head in disbelief. "No! You don´t...," backing away was not an option as Gibbs still is holding her tight, pressed up firmly against him.

Smirking, Gibbs carefully dusts the flour onto the batter on her nose. Abby sighs with relief, yet wishing she could rub that tickling stuff off her nose. Horrified she notices that Gibbs then is reaching into the bowl of flour again, this time grabbing a whole handful of the white powder.

"Gibbs! No!"

"Shh!" Gibbs keeps her firmly tugged to his chest while holding out his hand over the smashed egg on the floor, dusting it thoroughly.

"Gibbs, what the hell are you doing?" Abby giggles, relieved that he has not dusted the flour over her, as were her primal fears.

"Um-mm... . Bake?" Gibbs answers innocently, closing his palm and withdrawing his hand carefully.

"You wanna help me bake?" Abby asks suspiciously. She cannot help but think that Gibbs is just joking.

"Nah," Gibbs shakes his head. "I´d better leave this to you... little snow-queen." And upon this last word he suddenly lets go of her and takes a step backwards, blowing the remaining flour from his hand onto Abby´s hair.

The past few weeks Gibbs has more and more enjoyed joking about with Abby, but this is topping it all. He is in high spirits, childish maybe, but who cares? He considers himself happier than he had been for a long time. Too long. And Abby is the reason for his getting contented again, relaxing inwardly and finally being able to feel alive again.

Abby shakes herself, making Gibbs laugh out loud. He only just in time realizes that she wants to grab the pot of flour and he snatches it away from her instantly. But Abby has been able to get some of the white powder in her hand and she flings it in Gibbs´s direction the very next moment. Which only adds to Gibbs´s state of childishness and he instantly wants to pay her back.

His hand sinks into the flour pot.

Abby draws a face and warns him, "Don´t you dare! You don´t want to do this!" And to reaffirm her warning she grabs the still half empty packet of flour from the table.

Chuckling, Gibbs takes advantage of her inattentiveness and throws some more white powder towards her.

And Abby now definitely does what she has threatened to do and like boisterous children they laugh and fight their way out of the kitchen, across the floor, over to the door which leads to the basement, leaving behind an impressive path of white powder.

When Gibbs´s pot is empty, he flees downstairs. Abby, however, stays behind, leaning over the banister and watching Gibbs from above, who walks to stand below her.

"Abs," he pleads, extending his arms. "I give up."

"Yeah, I can see that. You don´t have any choice, do you?" Abby grins, stretching out her hand in which she is holding the paper bag with some remaining flour. She starts to slowly turn the packet upside down.

Gibbs squints up at her.

"No, Abs, you are not doing this," he says, shaking his head.

"Why not?" Abby laughs. No, she does not intend to pour the remains from the packet from above, but it´s fun pretending.

"Because ..., now look at me, Abs, I am already covered all over in this stuff... ." And to demonstrate it, he pats himself, dusting off the white powder from his clothing.

A cloud of dust instantly surrounds him. As a result he starts to sneeze.

"Gibbs! Oh my god, Gibbs!" Abby shrieks, seriously worried as he seems to not be able to stop. Being shocked, she lets go of the flour packet -- quite not what she has intended to do and quite not what is doing Gibbs any good now, because even more white powder threatens to pour over him now as Abby starts off to rush down the stairs.

But Gibbs manages to get out of the way of the load from above. Heading for the bottom of the staircase, he welcomes his torturer who is not able to stop in time. Abby literally crashes into him and he carries a writhing and kicking and squealing Abby over to his workbench, where he puts her down, instantly stepping close to make sure she would not try to flee from him.

They just look at each other for a while, silent words of happiness and love passing between them. After what seems like ages, Gibbs starts to grin mischievously and he brings one hand up to Abby´s face, grinning even more as her eyes stay fixed on the fingertip of his stretched out forefinger, which gets nearer and nearer towards her nose, making her squint.

Gibbs gently wipes away the fat-sugar mixture which is still lingering on Abby´s nose. He once again offers the batter to her and this time Abby licks it from his finger, watching him from under her eyelashes, the provocative air of her look making Gibbs´s blood surge even more.

"Good?" Gibbs asks lowly. His aroused state lets his voice sound husky.

Abby nods and giggles. Gibbs runs his hand through her hair, tugging small strands behind her ear and he leans in to tenderly kiss her.

"Ah, I don´t know," Gibbs whispers when he eventually breaks the kiss. After licking his lips he continues, "I love your cookies, little snow-queen, they really taste good, but..." Gibbs smirks, enjoying the shocked look on Abby´s face. "But right now..." His hands slip underneath Abby´s shirt and he lets his rough fingertips deliciously travel over her bare skin.

"Right now ...," Gibbs drawls after a long silence, then he again stops speaking while his fingers continue to graze Abby´s skin and he watches her eyelids flutter as she savours this incredibly arousing sensation, which makes her skin get covered with goosebumps.

Gibbs brings his hands to Abby´s back and he pulls her close. Groaning, he buries his face in her neck, tracing the strands of her spiderweb tattoo with the tip of his tongue, before gently nibbling at her earlobe.

"Gi-ibbs!" Abby giggles, "Could you please stop this?"

"Nope," Gibbs mumbles, continuing his ministrations for some more minutes and all her begging and giggling cannot make him stop.

And just before loosing complete control he manages to confess, "Because right now, I prefer you over the cookies!"

A/N: Thank god Jenny had already left by then ;-)