Gibbs settled onto his couch with his fourth cup of bourbon in his hand when he heard his front door open. He had insisted on being alone on New Years; just like every other holiday. He deemed it a time for him to remember…and this year had had its share of heart ache.
Her cheery voice broke the silence like a cell phone going off in the middle of a quiet theater. "Abs…"
"Before you tell me to go and give me a bunch of reasons why I should. I would like to state a bunch of reasons why I should stay. Reason number one…"
She ignored him and continued. "Reason number one…no one should be alone on New Years eve, it's like a rule or something. Reason number two, you should be celebrating with people you love because you just never know how much longer you have with said people. Reason number three, well, honesty, I could only think of two on the way here. But if I had more time I could probably think of at least twelve…"
Gibbs stood up before she started and was now standing in front of her. "Are you done?"
She shook her head then nodded. "Um, if being done means I have to go, then no. If being done means I can stay, then yes."
He gave a small smile before nodding towards the door. "Thanks for stopping in."
"Gibbs, I've been here for like thirty seconds." She glanced at her watch then reached for his hand before he could resist; pulling him towards the couch. "I know you; you put on this tough guy façade and say you want to be alone. When really you don't want to be alone. Because being alone is what tough guys think they need to be; when really they don't need to be alone at all, and in reality really don't want to be…alone. Really."
He obliged her yanking on his hand and took a seat beside her. "I want to remember Abs. I find it easier to do by myself."
"Gibbs you find everything easier to do by yourself. But that's only because its been so long since you tried to do it with someone else." She watched as he remained silent and decided to start out slow. "So you want to remember? Then let's do it together."
Gibbs reached for his glass when her hand laid over his and eased it back down. "Are you sure you don't just wanna forget?"
Gibbs almost smiled at her concern. "Never works."
He shook his head with purpose. "Gave up on forgetting a long time ago Abs…"
And when he reached for his drink a second time; she didn't try and stop him.
"That's what's so great about the new year Gibbs. It's new. Like a new pair of shoes, or a new car. It's a chance to replace the old with the…"
"New." He finished for her. "I get it Abs. In case you've forgotten I've seen a few more ball drops than you over the years."
She sent him a trying smile. "Did you just admit you're old?"
He sighed. "I'm just tired."
She watched him set his glass down and stand up; only he didn't insist that she leave or give any inclination that he wanted her to. He walked out the living room and returned with a pillow and a few blankets. "We cant go to bed yet…we still got twelve minutes…"
He sat down reluctantly and stared at her as if captivated by her insistence. He watched her fold her hands and couldn't help but be afraid at the look of determination on her face.
"I'll start…" She sat up straight and smiled. "What was your happiest moment of '08?"
Gibbs stifled a laugh. "Honestly?"
"How can I answer this without you thinking I'm a softy?"
She giggled a bit. "You are a softy Gibbs; the secrets out. Now come on, tell me."
He clears his throat to by himself some time. "When uh, when you said thank you."
"Gotta be a little more specific. I say thank you like a hundred times a day."
He smiled as he remembered the embrace and locked his gaze to hers. "In the bull pen…right before David came back. You were so happy…" His throat suddenly became dry. "Ah hell, when you're happy I'm happy alright?"
She had to laugh at how angry his last statement sounded; and yet it was so sweet. Text book Gibbs. "Aw. Well when you're happy I'm happy too. Which isn't as often as when I'm happy but that doesn't really matter because sometimes I'm happy for no reason at all..."
He handed her the pillow with the vain hope of stopping the next question
"Saddest moment?" She offered in an almost whisper as if unsure whether or not to ask it. She watched as he closed his eyes for a few seconds and couldn't help but wonder where his mind was taking him…
"Jenny died protecting someone…"
Gibbs eyes shot open and he took down the last of his drink. "TV's downstairs if you want to watch the ball thingy drop…"
As he stood up she reached for his hand. "Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have asked."
He shook his head and sat back down beside her. "Don't apologize." And in a moment of potential weakness he grazed his hand down her face and slid away a strand of hair. "If I'm grateful for anything Abby; it's not having to remember…alone."
She managed a small smile before standing up and pulling him towards the basement. She flipped on the switch and continued to yank him down each step towards the small TV. "You know Gibbs…in two months this thing won't be compatible anymore…"
She shook her head. "Nevermind." She pointed at the screen. "Oh my gosh…fifteen seconds!!!"
He watched her jump up and down in glee and couldn't help but notice she hadn't let go of his hand. But then, neither had he. As she started to count down he had to keep himself from laughing out right. Gosh she was beautiful. At the increment of five he decided to join her until he found himself engulfed in one of her signature embraces. He held her for a full thirty seconds before easing away but only far enough to keep her close. "Happy New Year Abs."
She was grinning from ear to ear. "Happy New…" She couldn't finish as her mouth was soon covered by his in a long and passionate kiss. It lasted for almost a minute before she took in a full breath and finished. "…Year, Gibbs."
His face was a look of shock and awe mixed with relief. He'd wanted this for so long but never felt it was right until that moment.
"Guess what my happiest moment of 2009 is gonna be?" She began, placing a quick kiss on his lips.
He managed a smile before lifting her into his arms and moving up the stairs. "We've only just begun Abs…we've only just begun."