Title: One and Only
Author: Jo. R
Spoilers: Post-ep for 'Road Kill'
Summary: He didn't know why the inane conversation was still running through his head.
Disclaimer: Still sadly not mine! Don't know where I've gone wrong :(
"Evil twin or clone?"
The question kept going around in his head, as did the look on McGee's face when he'd snuck up behind Abby.
McGee hadn't answered, and Abby hadn't seemed to have a preference but it was still - stupidly - bugging him.
His forensic scientist - as brilliant as Ducky claimed - had always been one of his biggest supporters, of that there'd never been a doubt, but it was still flattering to know she thought there were few who could go up against him and win. He'd overheard McGee telling Tony and Ziva how she'd thought he'd have no problem against the Terminator - though he didn't know the difference between 'TX' or 'T100' - not to mention the fact she thought he could beat Godzilla and Monthra - who he *had* heard of, surprisingly - without too much of a struggle.
He didn't know why the inane conversation was still running through his head. It was late, the case was over, and the only thing he could think about was Abby's conversation with McGee and the outcome of the evil twin vs. clone debate.
Gibbs ran a hand through his hair and glanced at the empty desks of his agents, wondering why he hadn't left when they had.
'Probably because you know Abby's still here,' a little voice at the back of his mind nagged him knowingly.
It was concern for her well-being, he argued with himself internally. He knew she worked hard - she'd said it herself, she was like the energizer bunny of forensics - and he knew he pushed her for results whenever he had an active case (most days, he admitted with a sigh) but he remembered a time when she'd first started at NCIS, when she'd been trying to get prove her worth to him and the Director and had taken to eating at her desk, sleeping at her desk, *living* at her desk...
It wasn't healthy and it wasn't right and it was his job, as her boss as well as her friend, to take care of her.
That was it.
Gibbs shook his head in an attempt at clearing it, blue eyes blinking when he heard the ding of the elevator at the far end of the bullpen - the one from the lower floors, not from the outside world.
As he'd expected, Abby bounced out of it - she always seemed to bounce, unless she was upset or really tired, so it was a relief to see her being her usual enthusiastic self despite the late hour.
"Hey, bossman." A smile lit up her face when she saw him and she made a beeline for his desk, one hand clutching a rattling container of Caf-Pow - the rattling noise suggesting it was more empty than full. "Don't you have a home to go to?"
"Could ask you the same thing, Abs." He arched an eyebrow and studied her intently. There were slight shadows under her eyes but nothing to get too concerned about, he decided. He noted her hair was down, her coat buttoned so he couldn't see if she'd changed her clothes or still had on what she'd worn today - meaning that he'd have to ask, instead of making an assumption based on his own observations. "You got a party to go to?"
It was the usual reason for her late-nights when there wasn't an on-going case; to leave from a location nearer a party or a club than her apartment, somewhere she could leave her hearse and catch a cab under the watchful eye of the security guards at the front gate.
"Not tonight." Her smile was still as bright as ever but a glimmer of curiosity shone in her green eyes. "Do you?"
Gibbs laughed; he couldn't help it. "Sure. I'm a party animal."
"Well, I always suspected..." Abby smirked and edged around his desk, making him wheel his chair away to allow her space to perch on the edge of it. "So if you're not going to a party and you're all caught up on paperwork..." She glanced at his clear desk, a crease in her brow. "Why are you still here? Won't your boat be missing you?"
The thought of telling her the real reason for his stay crossed his mind momentarily but the reaction he imagined he'd get was enough to put him off broaching the subject. "Just finished up," he said instead, purposely holding her gaze so she wouldn't suspect it was a little white lie - the only kind of lie he found he could get away with where Abby was concerned, both because she knew him so well and because his conscience wouldn't allow for anything else. "I was just heading out when I heard the elevator."
"Great." His answer pleased her. "You can walk me to my car like the gentleman I know you are."
He chuckled and stood when she did, grabbing his jacket, his badge and his gun before following her across the bullpen to the elevators. It was the opening he'd been hoping for. "A gentleman and a fighter, Abby? You sure I can be both?"
"You're Gibbs," she answered simply. "You can be anything."
He said nothing as he followed her into the elevator, a hand hovering over the small of her back. "Apart from my own evil twin or clone, apparently." He glanced at her, noted the slight blush staining her cheeks. "So, did you decide who was best?"
"Best?" Abby looked at him, eyebrows lifting at the question. "Between the evil twin and clone? Or between them and you?"
It was his turn to blush, though unlike Abby, it wasn't as obvious. The tips of his ears began to burn and turn red and he hoped - though doubted - that she wouldn't notice. "Either." He shrugged and tried to appear casual. "Both."
"Well...." Abby puffed out her cheeks and crossed her arms over her chest, a thoughtful look on her face as she tilted her head to one side. "Your evil twin would be devious enough to try some nasty tricks but I think you can be pretty devious yourself when you need to be. You'd win eventually - the good guy always does. Your clone would totally be like you so you'd be evenly matched in almost every way..." She paused and the line reappeared between her eyes. "But, as with all clones, there's bound to be some kind of flaw in his genetic make-up, which would ultimately mean you'd win in the end."
Again, her absolute faith in him was flattering - even if he didn't understand her point about clones and would have to take her word for it.
The elevator arrived at the ground floor and they stepped out together, walking in silence towards her car - parked, as usual, just a few spaces away from his own.
He waited until she unlocked the car door before leaning in and brushing his lips against her cheek, murmuring a quiet goodnight.
"You haven't asked which one I'd prefer," Abby called out when he began to walk across the vacant car lot spaces to his own vehicle. Even in the dim, artificial light of the streetlamps, Gibbs could see her eyes dancing with merriment as she closed her car door.
He stood beside his own car as she reversed out of her space and rolled down her window when her car came to a stop behind him, the quiet hum of the engine almost concealing her words.
"I'd go for the original every time," she told him softly, her eyes soft and her expression meaningful. "No copy could ever live up to it."
She drove off before he could respond, her hand appearing out of the open window to wave as she left the car lot.
Gibbs watched her go, a stupid grin on his face he couldn't get rid of, a bounce in his step as he finished the short walk to his own car and unlocked the door.
There was only one original, he thought with a chuckle and, fortunately for him, he was it.