Gibbs just stood in the autopsy room with waves of sadness flooding over him before turning on his heel and leaving the room. He noticed the other agents scattering as he made his way to his desk taking up residence briefly before checking his watch and heading towards the elevator. Minutes later he had acquired his target; Ducky's car.
He maintained a safe following distance making sure he remained undetected. Halfway there Gibbs was pretty sure he knew where Ducky was going, and by extension where Abby was staying, but when he turned onto Ducky's street and noticed Tony's car out front he was positive that this was where she was staying. He knew the timing wasn't right, and that he'd fair better under different circumstances so he continued to drive past Tony's car and returned to the office.
Meanwhile, in Abby's apartment, the others were all talking at once about what to do. Abby had had enough when she puckered her lips and let out the shrillest whistle that echoed around the room.
"Okay, Guys cool it! There's nothing more to discuss! I'm fine it just took me by surprise is all. Knowing Gibbs he'll be appearing sometime soon, and I'll have to face him, and then it'll be over. I'm a big girl and I love all that you do for me especially the rides to and from where I need to go and I'm so grateful to have you all in my life but you can't blame Gibbs." Abby took a deep breathe and continued.
"He's back working with you guys; I need you to take care of each other and him, and what I said last night still sticks. Now, this little lunch soiree is officially over with. I need my sleep, so I can be clear headed on the radio. After my klutziness this morning I need the rest so I can have my wits about me. Give me a group hug and get back to work."
She held out her arms and received the hug she wanted along with a separate hug from each member. Ducky was the last whispering in her ear.
"Are you sure my dear? I could play hookie today." Giggling, Abby pulled back and kissed him on the cheek.
"Yes Ducky, I'm fine pinkie promise." Abby paused from the stairs. "McGee, please lock the door on your way out and someone hit the stereo, and don't forget if you wanna chat later you know my digits." Abby smiles as she heads up the stairs to the bedroom. She knows they're still there, and can't control her giggles as she turns to face them.
"Hey McGee, I'm going to get you a shirt that says 'I punched out Gibbs and survived to tell the tale'!" With a cheeky grin Abby was off to her room.
McGee stood dumbstruck at Abby's remark while Tony, Ziva and Ducky all struggled to control their laughter.
McGee mumbled something and Tony leaned in and said "Could ya say that again McMumbles?"
"I can't believe I did that. I know the thought has run through my mind so often, I was so furious at him but to actually punch him. I am so fired, I just broke so many rules and regs it's not even funny Tony." Giving a pointed look at Tony and heading out to the car.
Ziva slapped Tony and Ducky hit the stereo and made sure the music was on just how Abby liked it before locking the door on his way out behind them.
They arrived back to work to find the director and Gibbs making their way down the stairs.
Looking at everyone she asks "does anyone have a problem if Gibbs takes the lead? Tony you did a great job and it will be marked in your file. I know that you will be ready for your own team soon." Waiting for a response from each of them they acknowledged with a nod except for McGee who was looking down at his shoes.
"Agent McGee is there a problem here I should know about?" Director Sheppard asked as she walked up to him.
Gibbs stepped in front of her blocking her path. "I've got this Director, my team is all here and accounted for. I have to start repairing the damage I did when I left." Jenny acknowledged this with a nod before heading back upstairs.
Turning around to face McGee, Gibbs is met with his stare and there's so many emotions running through them. Anger, hate, remorse, are the three Gibbs can see right off the bat but the hesitation doesn't go unnoticed either.
"I didn't know is a very lame excuse but it's the only one I can offer at the moment and it's the truth so you will have to accept it. I will have to apologize to her in the near future but right now we've got a case. Grab your gear." He goes into the details of what has happened as they scramble for their gear and head to the elevator.
Eight hours later and Abby is having a good night at work; she was having a good phone night. It seems that everyone wanted to chat with her about their problems, and long ago she accepted the ideal that the best way to find out how small your own problems are is to listen to someone else's.
It was nearing ten o'clock when Abby got the call from Ziva.
"Hey everyone its Ziva, and I bet she's got a real good story to tell us about Tony."
"Abby, I don't know why I fall for these silly childish pranks he pulls, but I do every time. I say it won't happen again it does. This morning I got to work early and I thought I was the first here. There was a memo on my desk stating that it was from Human Resources and that the women had an updated dress code and that we would be required to wear skirts two out of the five days we work." Abby couldn't help herself, she almost immediately starts giggling.
"I heard two other agents talking about it near the vending machines so I didn't think it was a joke. I made my way upstairs to talk with our director who comically informed me that I had been the butt of yet another joke. I need your help Abby; I need you to help me get back at Tony."
Abby couldn't mask her sigh.
"It's quite a feat to get one over on Tony, he knows you are going to retaliate. My advice is to just wait for the right opportunity and then hit him where it hurts the most." Abby and Ziva continued to talk for a few more minutes until Ziva let her know that she had to finish up the paperwork that was still on her desk so she could go home soon.
Tony knew that Ziva was itching to call Abby so he mentioned that Ducky had just sent him an email and he was going to go and see him. He knew that Ducky had that portable radio downstairs and he could listen in to what the girls are planning. He flew down to autopsy because he knew Amy would put Ziva right through to Abby; concentrating on Ducky when he entered, he didn't see Gibbs sitting at Ducky's desk
"Ducky, Ziva is calling Abby right now, can I flip it on down here and see what the ladies have to say?" Tony asks and stops dead in his tracks when he sees Gibbs on the stool over near the radio.
"Of course Tony, I have a feeling you're in for trouble when those two put their minds together." Chuckling softly, Ducky looks up and sees the confusion written on Jethro's face.
"Our dear Abigail was offered a job on the radio when she lost her eye sight. A close friend of hers owns the station and offered her a position hosting a radio talk show. It's become quite popular. People call in and tell her their problems and in between she plays some 80's music, it's not exactly her type of music but she's good at picking the right song to go along with the problem."
Tony had switched on the radio and after a few commercials they heard Abby and Ziva finishing up their conversation followed by the "Girls just wanna have fun" song that Abby chose so well.
"I'm not falling for that Abby, I know you two will put your heads together and I just have to strike out first." With a nod towards Gibbs and a goodnight to Ducky. Tony went upstairs to let the others know that he was leaving for the evening.
Ducky and Gibbs kept listening to some of the advice that she was handing out. Hearing her voice on the radio had Gibbs' hand reaching for the phone.
Ducky knew that his friend wanted more than anything to call Abby, so he tried to get his mind off of it.
"Jethro, her friend says that she's a natural at this. As soon as she went on the air his ratings went up and the letters started pouring in. Not to mention the calls. They are even talking about letting the show go national." Ducky has finished cleaning his last instrument and he's getting ready to go. Gibbs must have zoned out while listening to Abby and as he looked up at Ducky he realized with a heavy heart that so much had changed.
Author's note: Merry Christmas to everybody!! Thank you to DANI!! My Great Beta J Thank you to my readers. I love it that you keep reading. You All Get an ABBY HUG.