Title: Feel Again
Spoilers: Twilight/Kill Ari
Summary: After Kate's death, Gibbs and Abby are left with their grief. Hurt/comfort Gabby, one-shot, complete.
Author's Note: Written for my lovely friend AbbyGibbs. Happy birthday, Steph! :)
She's leaning against a shelf in her supply closet, hunched over into her grief, sobbing as silently as she can manage and hoping no one will choose that moment to come and bug her for results. Now that Kate's funeral has been and gone, the smiling, blonde-haired spectre has abandoned her, leaving only bleak reality in its place. Special Agent Caitlin Todd is dead.
He walks into the lab, by choice rather than out of necessity. For a year, the driving force that's been keeping him going has been Ari Haswari. Now his desire for revenge has been sated, there's a void that's permeated his reason for existing. Instinctively, his mind has turned to Abby, the one person who's always chirpy and bright despite the sombre hues she cloaks herself in.
He doesn't have a particular goal in mind; he just wants to see her. He needs the light banter they've always shared, needs the distraction from his grief.
What he finds completely throws him. She hasn't heard him approach, and she's weeping in her closet, mascara-tinted tears running down her face. She's always had a vulnerability to her, but underneath it all he's always assumed she's tougher than she lets on. He never expected to be proved wrong so brutally.
"Abbs," he says softly, keeping his distance so as not to startle her too badly. She jumps and spins, blinking away the tears that blur her vision. The urge to take her in his arms is almost overwhelming; he stifles it, knowing that he'd only be taking advantage of her weakened state.
"Sorry," she mumbles, trying to pull herself together. "Did you come for the results? Cause they won't be done for–"
"I came to check on you," he replies, laying a concerned hand on her shoulder. Her face crumples at the sympathy, and she throws her arms around his neck, her body wracked with silent sobs. He holds her, letting her cry herself out, kissing the top of her head, wishing he could let go of his grief as she is able to.
Eventually she draws back, her pale face streaked with makeup. "Thanks, Gibbs," she whispers. "I've been going a little nuts."
Something snaps inside him, and the urge to get away from the Navy Yard is almost overwhelming. "C'mon," he says, taking her arm. "I'm taking you home."
Puzzled, she frowns up at him. "But, the results…?"
"…are low-priority and can wait until tomorrow," Gibbs finishes, handing her jacket to her. "We have a day of compassionate leave, and we're taking it."
For a few more seconds she resists, but the thought of trying to concentrate, even on the job she loves, is too much to bear. "Okay," she murmurs, and lets him guide her from the lab.
During the drive to her place they're both silent, lost in thoughts and memories. Kate, smiling as Abby coaxes a tidbit of gossip from her. Kate, indignant as her mouth forms a single exasperated word: Tony!
Kate, lying in her coffin, serene and motionless. Kate, being lowered into the ground, the first shovelful of earth scattering over the sleek wood.
He pulls up outside Abby's house and kills the engine, glancing over at her. She stares blankly at her fidgeting hands, eyes full of tears.
He knows how she feels. "Abbs…"
The word jolts her mind back to the present, and she shakes her head slightly. "Sorry." Before he can tell her not to apologise, she opens the car door and steps out into the mid-morning sun.
He follows her through her front door and into the kitchen, where she immediately flicks the switch on the coffee machine. "You want?"
It's a stupid question, she knows. Gibbs always wants coffee. Why would today be any different?
He nods, takes a seat on the edge of the kitchen table. He's never this quiet. Okay, that's a lie. He is, sometimes. What she guesses she means is, she's never this quiet. But her usually busy brain has slowed to a crawl, and no amount of caffeine seems to help.
Her hand slips as she pours the coffee, and a few drops of scalding liquid spill onto her skin. As she bites back a gasped curse, Gibbs steps up beside her, taking the coffee pot from her hand, his fingers brushing hers. "Let me."
Thankfully, she steps back and lets him finish pouring, rubbing the sore spot. He finishes and glances over. "How bad's the burn?"
She shrugs, holding up her hand for him to inspect. "Minor." For some reason, though, it seems like a huge thing, and she feels tears begin to threaten her composure again. Concerned, he examines her hand to check it's really as superficial as she says.
She breaks down once more, feeling a little stupid for letting something as insignificant as a burned hand affect her so profoundly. He pulls her into his arms as she sobs, and she rests her head against his shoulder, breath coming in staccato gasps against his skin.
The last thing on his mind right now should be sex, but it's there, hovering on the edge of the numb landscape his mind has become. As she calms and her breathing slows, he tries to pull away, berating himself for even thinking of her this way when she's so damn vulnerable.
But then she tilts up her chin, her eyes meeting his, lips only inches away, and he sees a spark of something ignite in her, too. Tentatively, she brushes her lips against his jawline, and the desire he feels takes a step closer to the forefront of his mind.
It's a bad idea, she knows. But she just can't think of Kate any more, or she'll go insane. Just for a while, she needs to forget, and Gibbs is here, and he's holding her so close, and he's so… Gibbs. It's not as if she's never thought of kissing him before, and she knows from the conflict in his expression that he's at least a little tempted.
"Please," she whispers, and within a fraction of a second his lips are on hers, his hand at the back of her head, his embrace crushing her almost to the point of pain. She relishes the sensation, taking it as affirmation that she's alive, breathing, able to feel.
Having Abby so close to him, her body moulded against his, banishes the pain of the past few days, if only for a little while. He kisses her until they're both breathless, his hands slipping under the hem of her shirt to explore her warm, smooth skin, and she gives a tiny cry of pleasure.
An image presses into his brain: a shattering window, Abby's terrified yell, the momentary cessation of his heartbeat as he'd contemplated that she might be dead, the coffee cup falling from his hand. He draws back from her, gazing into her face, his fingertips brushing her cheek as, for the first time, it hits home how close he was to losing her that night.
"Abby…" He doesn't need to speak more than her name. She reads the expression on his face, his absolute need to possess her, to check for himself that no part of her is injured. When she nods, he lifts her effortlessly, and she wraps her legs around his waist as he carries her through to her bedroom.
They shed each other's clothes in a hurry, leaving brief, light kisses on exposed skin as they pull at fastenings and tug at fabric. Abby clings to him, her lips moving over his chest, his neck, seeking out the pulse that confirms that he didn't die on a rooftop or in a basement. By some miraculous twist of fate, they're alive, and she feels her own heartbeat jump to match his as he guides her down onto the bed.
Gibbs begins to kiss his way down her body, over her breasts, but before he can get any further she whispers, "I need you now… please…"
He claims her lips again, and her nails scratch a little way over his shoulders as she pulls him down to her. As he drives into her, she wraps her arms and legs around him, gasping his name, and the feel of her skin against his shatters what little self-control he has left.
He takes her hard, their bodies rocking together, her moans of encouragement spurring him on. Every sense reminds him that they still live and breathe: her fingers digging almost painfully into his shoulders, her breath against his neck, each whisper of his name and the taste of her skin as he kisses her.
And when Abby falls apart, spiralling out of control as the orgasm hits her, she's never felt more alive. Gibbs holds out a few seconds more before joining her with a growl that makes her shiver, and they lie together, regaining their breath, coming back down to earth.
"I'm so glad you're safe, Gibbs," she whispers, and he kisses her gently, conveying the same sentiment back to her without saying a word.
Nothing has changed; Kate is still gone. But at least Abby doesn't bear the burden alone. She knows Gibbs understands the pain, the loss, the helplessness, and while she feels those things, so will he. He'll support her and she'll support him, and together they'll learn to feel again.