Title: What About Abby?

Author: A.M. Glass

Copyright: December 14th – 25th, 2008.

Ratings: (USA) T (UK) 12/12A (AUS) PG

Spoilers: Slight ones. Can't remember the episode title though.

Pairing: Gibbs/Abby overtones – nothing direct however.

Show Disclaimer: The characters of "NCIS" were created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill. The following companies produce the show: Paramount Network Television/Bellisarius Productions and it is presented by CBS television. The Executive - Co-Executive producers are: David Bellisario, Donald P. Bellisario and Chas. Floyd Johnson.

Author's Disclaimer: Let's face it, I don't own UB or any of the characters, back story, etc. I'm not making a cent from it - if I did, I'd buy a new computer and some other things. The story; along with any original characters are mine

Author's Notes: I believe you can call this a sequel to "Unasked Question," this would be Gibbs POV.

Gibbs watched Abby from the door, she was typing away, lost in thoughts – pausing every now and then as if contemplating what to write next.

Something told him it wasn't work related, yet he didn't feel the need to interrupt. Whatever it was seemed important and he would indulge her a few moments more before he made his presence known.

Had it been McGee or DiNozzo, they would have acted as if they had been caught raiding the cookie jar.

McGee would practically have an apologetic fit trying to explain whatever he was doing away. It would be "Boss," here or "Boss," there.

DiNozzo on the other hand would simply pretend to be working.

His "tell," was getting up out of his chair rather abruptly and moving from his desk as quickly as he possibly could as if he suddenly remembered something vital he had to take care of.

Abby would simply say: "Oh hey Gibbs – I'm just waiting for the analysis," on something or other and that would be the end of it.

He smiled.

Yes, Abby was different and everyone knew it.

He treated her differently, acted differently around her as well – even Jack had spotted it.

He couldn't hide it from his father who had called him not only to grill him about Abby, but to talk to him about DiNozzo as well.

"Look son, Tony's a good kid, a little crazy, but a good kid. He looks up to you, you do know that don't you?"

"Yes sir," he replied.

"Good, that boy needs a role model and like it or not, you're it..."

"Come on..."

"Listen good Leroy, he idolizes you and you have to do right by that kid."

"He's not a little boy Dad…"

"It doesn't matter, do you understand me?"

Gibbs knew it was better not to argue with his father. "Yes sir."

"Good, now what about Abby?"

"What about her?" he'd answered warily. His father brining up DiNozzo was one thing, but Abby was different.

"Is she seeing anyone?"

Gibbs eyebrows rose – "You're too old for her," he answered quickly. He could recall hearing his father's laughter over the phone.

"I wasn't asking for myself son..."

It dawned on him what his father meant. "Oh no…"

"What's wrong? Is she seeing someone?"

"No, she's not." At least not that he was aware of.

"Then what's wrong? You're not getting any younger…"

"I know that."

"Does she not like guys?"

Gibbs chuckled momentarily. He thought about the men Abby had gone out with and his smile was wiped off his face as he recalled the men who had gone after her.

"I can't," he'd said quietly.

"Why not?"

"I'm no good for her."

"Let her decide that…"

"Look, she's been shot at because of me!" Gibbs snapped regretting his outburst immediately. "I couldn't live with myself if something happened to her."

The line grew quiet.

"Can you tell me about it?" His father asked.

"No sir, I can't."

"Can you at least tell me that you went after the son-of-a-bitch!"

Gibbs smiled hearing his father swear. "Yes, I did."

"That's good enough for me. Now look son, don't be a fool. We don't get many chances at happiness – we both had it taken from us. Don't let it slip through your fingers because you're scared. That's right I said scared – you may not show it..."

"I understand," Gibbs interrupted wanting to finish the conversation as quickly as he possibly could.

"I hope you do son, I hope you do."

"I'll talk to you later Dad."

"You do that and tell Tony to give me a call later on. He's a smart aleck, but he's fun, keeps me on my toes."

Gibbs could hear the smile on his father's voice. "Yes sir."

Gibbs shook his head to clear his thoughts. He couldn't stand in the doorway forever, but he couldn't move.

His father – he hated to admit was right.

He was scared.

Abby brought out a side of him he hadn't felt since Shannon and Kelly and that frightened him.

He would be devastated if anything were to happen to her, if he lost her before he'd worked up the courage to tell her how he felt.

There would be no coming back.

Nothing, no one would be able to stop him from ending it all, not his sense of duty, his sense of loyalty – nothing.

Not even Ducky, the man he held in high regard – the man he treated like a beloved uncle and for a time a father figure a role Ducky willingly accepted.

He would hate having to put Ducky into the situation of having to identify his body if worse came to worse, but Gibbs thought Ducky in some small way might understand.

He treated Abby like a daughter – if not granddaughter.

It made Gibbs happy to see them getting along – they were able to support each other when he couldn't, which was most of the time.

He couldn't give Abby the attention she deserved and what he did give her wasn't enough in his eyes.

It could never be enough.

Abby deserved someone who would devote his entire life to making hers the best it could possibly be.

She deserved to be loved and cherished by someone free of inner demons – free of self-recriminations – free from the past.

A past he tried to escape with little to show for it but two failed marriages.

No, he wasn't worthy of Abby.

If he was, there would be nothing in the world holding him back from declaring his feelings, from sweeping Abby off her feet and showing her by word and deed how much he cared.

How much he loved her.

He'd take care of her and in turn, let her take care of him. She would expect no less nor would he expect less of her.

There was no doubt in his mind he loved his Goth lab rat.

And much to his chagrin – those feelings made themselves known.

Damn those kisses.

It was an impulse he could no longer deny.

He was able to hold back from time to time, but for the most part he would give in. He couldn't remember how or why he started, but now he could hardly go a day without them.

He had put them into two distinct categories:

The ones on her temple or on the top of her head, those were safe, those were ones he could handle – they were brief and to the point.

The ones on her cheek – those were dangerous.

He was playing with fire and he knew one day he'd get burned.

He would find himself hovering tantalizingly close – so close he would swear that her body shivered. A lesser man would have succumbed by now, how could any man resist her?

It took all of his self-control not to kiss her neck. All that skin, waiting, wanting to be kissed – he closed his eyes thinking about it.

Whenever he was that close, his entire concentration was focused on listening to what she way saying, what she was showing him.

Once she had finished, he had to leave as quickly as possible, any moment longer and his iron will would crumble to dust.

His solitary prayer during this time was that she didn't move – she didn't turn her head, not even a fraction. If she did, their lips would meet and he would be lost... until she pushed him away and looked upon him with disgust.

What else could she feel?

He was old enough to be her father, she didn't see him as a man – she saw him as: Gibbs – her boss.

He sighed this introspection wasn't his style, not without his boat in front of him.

Taking a deep breath, he entered the lab. "What do you got for me Abbs?" he asked.

Usually she's out of her chair in an instant – waiting to tell him all she's found out in the limited time frame he's given her, but not now. In fact, she doesn't respond at all.

He moves closer.

"Abbs?"

Still no response – now he was getting worried.

He walked up and stood right behind her, he placed a hand on her shoulder and whispered, "Abby?"

She practically jumped out of her skin, letting him know he startled her. He noticed how quickly she grabbed the mouse and minimized the screen, it's obvious she doesn't want him to see.

Normally he might have reached for the mouse, but not this time, although, he would like to know what made her so jumpy.

"You okay?" he asked wanting to make sure nothing else was troubling her. She tells him she's fine, but even he can see how quickly her pulse is racing on the side of her neck. "Are you sure?"

He can't help but smile as she attempts to show him how "fine" she is by swilling the concoction called "Café-Pow," she can't seem to function without.

"So, what do you have for me?" he asked again, unable to help himself as he leans in closer to get a better look at the computer screen. 'Yeah right,' his inner-voice chides him.

She starts telling him what one of her beloved machines has come up with. As soon as she finished, he kissed her temple – his lips tingling as he touches her skin.

'Calm down,' he tells himself as he straightens up. He takes a deep breath, "Thanks Abbs," he whispered before leaving.

She can't see the broad smile on his face as he walks toward the elevator.

He couldn't believe it, she kept the straw.

It was a silly spur-of-the-moment purchase – a silent declaration of his feelings toward her.

Was it bold?

Yes.

Warranted?

Most definitely.

Did he want to say the words written on the heart?

Yes.

Did he think he'd ever say them?

He jabbed the call button for the elevator. He looked back – shook his head and entered the elevator when the doors opened.

The End.