Title: Cracked Spun Glass
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I think I'd be doing more than just writing stories...such as drooling...
Spoilers: Hiatus II
Summary: Can he keep her from breaking when he can hardly keep himself together?
A/N: I'm just so mean...
"Abby!" he called as he walked through the doorway. He'd seen the way she'd splintered in the bullpen, saw her take on all the strength of cracked spun glass. He'd seen it but hadn't been able to help her; he'd been too focused on holding himself together. Time had blurred for him once the cold weight of Gibbs' gun and badge settled in his hands and when the spell had broken with the elevator chime, she'd been gone.
She needed someone now, didn't need to be alone like this. And, while he knew he wasn't the right person, couldn't really fix this, he hoped he was enough.
The relative silence of the lab unnerved him, set him on edge. Abby always appeared to be a bundle of barely-bottled energy and for her domain to be so still and silent struck him as unnatural. He stood perfectly still, trying to seek through the silence and find some clue of where she was. He noticed Bert sitting alone on her desk and his heart lurched. For her to be so upset she left Bert...? Almost frantically, he crossed the distance to her inner lab.
He barely recognized her when he found her.
The confident, vibrant young woman was gone, leaving a lost child behind, huddled in the corner. He felt half-sick as his heart broke for her and he lurched forward to kneel next to her. Dull hazel eyes rose to meet his and he watched as she broke. He pulled her into his arms as she sobbed, held her as tight as he could as she clung to him. Broken sounds fell from her lips as she wept, cutting at him, drawing tears to his eyes. He whispered soothingly in her ear, promises he meant to keep, vows he wasn't sure he could fulfill. He didn't think she could hear him, but he couldn't stop. As he tried to save her, tried to patch her broken heart, he wanted to shot Gibbs for doing this to her.
He'd saved her before, protected her from things that would hurt her. Her stalker ex, her crazy lab assistant, Ari's bullets; he'd helped catch them to keep her safe, had shielded her with his own body, even when it would've meant his life for hers. He'd done it willingly, hadn't had to even think about it, knew he always would. But he couldn't save her from this hurt, couldn't take away her pain, because even he couldn't make Gibbs do what he didn't want to do – he couldn't make Gibbs stay. As his own pain washed over him as he held her, he shoved it back, ruthlessly cut it himself off from it. She needed him, his team needed him, and he couldn't let them down.
Finally her sobs began to diminish, though she still clung to him. He didn't relax his hold, understanding how badly she needed to be held. She sagged against him, leaning on his strength in the wake of her emotion and his chest clenched at how frail she seemed. His strong, beautiful Abby was gone for now, stolen away by amnesiac with hard blue eyes.
He almost thought she'd fallen asleep when she spoke, her voice small and trembling. "What'll we do, Tony? What'll we do now he's gone?" she asked.
He swallowed harshly at her question and closed his eyes at the pain. "We'll, uh...we'll keep goin', Abs." His voice was hoarse as he pressed his cheek against her hair. "We'll keep going."
She nodded against his chest and he felt a few more tears seep through is soaked shirt. They sat in the silence for a while after that, clutching each other as they found themselves set adrift by their loss.
He glanced up at one point and wasn't surprised to find they weren't alone. McGee was leaned against Abby's desk, his elbows resting on his knees, and Ziva leaned against the wall, her arms wrapped around herself. He met each of their eyes, understood the pain he saw there. He took it into himself, pulled it close.
He was the only one they could count on now, the only one left. He had their trust, though it was tempered by doubt. But he knew he couldn't fail them, had to keep them whole, couldn't let them break.
He'd be their strength and it would hide his own fragility.