Gibbs reached out towards his night stand as his cell phone jolted him out of his sleep.

"Better be important DiNozzo…first real sleep I've had in…"

"Days, yeah I know boss…listen its Abby…"

Two words that brought him quickly to his feet. "What is it?"

"We uh, we all went out for a drink after work…and well, she had more than a few…"

"You woke me up at 2 am to tell me Abby's drunk? Remind me to head slap you on Monday…"

"Will do boss. But uh, well, she won't leave with us."

Gibbs rubbed his eyes. "Tony she's not a child; think of something."

"She's asking for you."

He laid back down. "Put her on."

"Gibbs…"

"Abby...you gotta go home. Listen to DiNozzo."

"You mad? You sound mad?"

He let out a loud sigh; then wished he hadn't.

She started to tear up a bit. "You are mad."

"No Abby, I'm not mad…" He heard the call end; and frowned at getting a dose of his own medicine. It wasn't long before Tony called back. "Stay with her, I'm on my way."


He arrived at the bar well after closing to find all but three chairs up on the tables. The bouncer met him at the door; and he swiftly shined his badge.

"You must be their boss."

Gibbs ignored the comment and made a B-line for his team.

"DiNozzo, McGee, go home. Get some rest."

The two stood up at the request, but not after giving a final gesture of comfort to her. Gibbs watched them leave and sat down. "They're gonna lock this place up with us inside Abs…"

She had her head buried in her arms and slowly looked up at him. Her mascara was smudged, her lipstick barely visible and her eyes more blood shot than he'd ever seen them. "That wouldn't be such a bad thing…"

"Abby…" He began as if policing the tone she implied. "Come on, I'll take you home." He reached out for her arm but she moved away.

"I don't want to go home…"

"It's late."

"Can I come home with you?"

He rubbed his eyes, and examined hers. "Okay."

She tried to stand but didn't have much luck. He immediately reached out for her as she threw an around his shoulder for balance. "My knight in shining armor." She whispered as she gave her best attempt at walking. Gibbs tried to smile as he led her to his car. He drove surprisingly slow, and noticed her dosing off en route. He found himself fixating on her frame; she looked so innocent and fragile.

He turned off the car, and quietly made his way around to the passenger side door. After gently undoing the seat belt, he placed his hands underneath her and lifted her into his arms; her head lying soft on his chest. He kicked the car door shut with his foot; and slowly made his way up to his front steps. She was murmuring a bit; but still asleep. He tarried upstairs and placed her gently onto his bed; tucking the covers in tight. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead before turning to leave. It was then she reached out and took hold of his hand.

"Don't go…" She managed; still half asleep.

He looked down at her and sighed. "You need to sleep Abs." But the squeeze she put on his hand left him no other choice but to sit down. He sat beside her and stayed close. He then watched as she moved her head near his side. "You okay?"

"Am now."

He continued to stare at her as she slept; and it took everything in him not to curl up beside her and do the same.

"Are You okay?" She mumbled; her eyes still closed.

"Why wouldn't I be?"

She shifted onto her side, and let her hand fall loosely onto his leg. He immediately quivered, reaching for it and setting it back beside her. She was slightly awakened by the movement; but still remained somewhere between asleep and awake.

"Kate…you miss her too…"

He swallowed hard. "I'm okay Abs." He stood up slowly and noticed her hand still clenched to his. "You really need to sleep…"

She moved back onto her back and patted beside her with her other hand. "So do you."

He couldn't smile; even if he wanted to. "I've been married three times; I'm used to the couch." He tried to pry her hand away; but watched her eyes begin to open and stopped. It was minutes before he started to dose off himself; he stared at the open side of the bed and there began his internal debate. She was the best thing in his life; he couldn't hurt her. He then slid himself down onto the floor; his back up against the side of the bed; her hand still close by. He laid his head back and slowly but surely fell asleep. He awoke hours later; his arms wrapped around her with her head on his shoulder. At some point she'd made her way down onto the floor as well.

He let the side of his face lay against her head; and tried to smile. She started to become restless and he picked her up into his arms once more. This time placing a soft kiss on her lips as he laid her down. And with no internal debate; he took his place beside her. And as they drifted back to sleep; he heard five sweet words that melted his broken heart...

"My knight in shining armor."