Title: Comfort
Author: Jo. R
Rating: K+
Spoilers: Up to and including 'Dagger'
Pairing: Abby/Gibbs - could be friendship, could be more
Summary: Short and strange post-ep to 'Dagger' with Gibbs and Abby.
Authors Notes: Couldn't get this out of my head, though it doesn't come across on paper the way I wanted it to.
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine, no money being made etc. etc.

He was brooding again.

Two hours spent working on a boat that was hardly starved for attention, coupled with three glasses of the expensive bourbon he kept in his basement, and he still hadn't shaken himself out of his mood.

It was because of Kelly, because of Amanda.

Because of that damn Agent Lee, may she rest in peace.

She watched him from the stairs leading down into the gloom, legs growing numb due to the time spent sitting in silence, waiting for him to notice, waiting for him to come back to her.

When 2am rolled around, Abby Sciuto knew it wasn't going to happen without some form of intervention.

She got to her feet, too tired to take care not to step on the stairs she knew were creaky. The sound made his head shoot up, hand reaching instinctively for a gun that wasn't there, proving that the alcohol in his system had done little to dull his reflexes.

The sight of the bandage on his hand and the new cut on his brow made her heart stop beating for a second.

He'd see them as reminders of his failure, of the life he'd failed to save and the little girl whose world had come crashing down around her.

She saw them as a reminder that life was too short and too precious to waste on regrets and what might have been.

"You should get some sleep."

Another step, another creak. Abby carefully by-passed a pile of sawdust, not wanting to risk injury to her bare feet by standing on an errant nail or tack. "So should you."

His attention returned to his boat.

Wrapping her arms around her middle, wishing she'd put on something more than one of his old t-shirts and a pair of shorts, she slowly made her way towards him, settling herself on the stool at the workstation behind him.

For a while, she was content to sit patiently and watch him work, admiring the view, convinced his silence wouldn't continue for long now he was aware of her presence.

She was wrong.

After the third shiver danced down her spine in as many minutes, Abby stood and crossed the short distance between. She wrapped her cold arms around his waist and cuddled into his back, trying to get some feeling back through transfer of body heat.

"Abs." His tone was a warning as was the stiffening of his shoulders.

"Gibbs." She pressed her cheek between his shoulder blades and closed her eyes.

After another long moment, his arms dropped to his sides, tools forgotten. One hand rose to cover hers where they were linked over his stomach. "I should have saved her."

"You couldn't save her."

He turned to face her, his blue eyes seeking hers in the shadows. "I should have saved her."

Abby slid her hands up to his shoulders, stepping closer, pressing herself into his personal space with no regard for the frustration on his face. "You couldn't save her. There was nothing else you could have done, Gibbs. You did what you had to do."

"It wasn't enough." His arms tightened around her, contradicting the flash of anger in his eyes.

"You never think it is." She squeezed his shoulders before clasping her hands behind his neck, resting her head against him. She wondered, briefly, who they were talking about – Agent Lee or Shannon and Kelly. "I can't ask you to let it go because I know you can't," she spoke softly, words muffled against his t-shirt. "But don't beat yourself up about the past. It's done; it can't be changed."

He couldn't argue, so settled for a soft sigh. The fingers of one hand splayed out over her back, drawing her as close as possible with the slightest of pressure. For a long time, they stood together in silence, remembering those who'd been lost; hopeful for those yet to be saved.

Finished. Said it was strange - reviews still appreciated, though x