Title: Optimistic
Rating: G
Spoilers: None
Summary: Gibbs doesn't do 'festive', and that extends to New Year celebrations. Friendship piece - Gibbs and Abby.

Author's Note: Happy New Year, all! Here's to an amazing 2009! *hugs*

His cell rings just as he's about to down the first shot of bourbon, startling him. His first thought is to ignore it, but out of force of habit he checks the caller ID.

And is immediately glad he did.

Answering the call, he speaks her name into the handset. A familiar voice answers, sounding a little more chirpy than usual, if that's possible. "Are you at home?"


"Can I come over?" she asks.

He glances at his watch, surprised. It's eleven-fifty p.m. on New Year's Eve, and ever since he's known her, Abby's celebrated in her usual flamboyant style, gathering friends around her and hitting clubs he doesn't want to know about. "You're not seeing in the New Year downtown?"

"Not this year. I guess I'm kinda bored with the same old stuff."

He'd planned to spend New Year the way he spends every Wednesday night – boat, alcohol, his own company and his own thoughts – but he never turns down an interruption from Abby. "Sure. Door's open."

Above, he hears footsteps, and her slight frame appears at the top of the basement steps. She snaps shut her cell, telling him, "I noticed."

Smiling a little at her eccentricity, he puts down the phone and watches her descend the steps. "Shoulda just come down, Abbs."

Abby shrugs, taking a seat on his workbench. "Wanted to make sure you wanted company." Reaching past him, she picks up the glass he abandoned and knocks back the contents. "Happy New Year…"

"Not for another ten minutes," he points out, pulling the alcohol bottle out of her reach. She's wearing huge platform boots, and he knows she's a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. In those shoes and in the vicinity of so many of his tools, he doesn't want to consider the outcome of letting her get drunk.

Abby sighs, but chooses not to make an issue of it. "So what did you do last year for New Year's Eve?" she asks. Before he can answer, she continues on. "You were here, in your basement, with your boat. How about the year before? Same thing. And the year before that?"

"You got a point, Abbs?" He seals up the tub of varnish he's been using and places it back on the shelf, waiting for the inevitable.

"Well, yeah," she says. "You need to get out of your basement, Gibbs. See the New Year in, watch the fireworks, make some resolutions. Get festive, y'know?"

He hasn't bothered with the New Year celebrations since Stephanie insisted on them. Ever since then, he's made a point of spending this time of year single. "Come on, Abbs – you know I don't do festive."

Almost smugly, she grins at him. "Maybe not. But if you won't come upstairs and watch the fireworks with me, I'm gonna miss out until the Fourth of July celebrations. And you know I love fireworks, Gibbs."

He has to laugh. She knows she has him wrapped around her little finger, and she uses that whenever possible. "We better get up there, then. Only a few minutes to go."

She glances at her watch and yelps, then grabs his hand with one of hers and his bottle of bourbon with the other, and drags him toward the stairs. Not content with reaching the first floor, she drags him up and into the bedroom facing the back of the house and sets the alcohol down on the windowsill, throwing the window open as far as it'll go and leaning out.

The night is clear and cold, and as he joins her at the window he hears the faint sound of New Year's revellers gathered in the nearby park. Abby takes a sip out of the bourbon bottle and passes it over, and he keeps holding it, not bothering to take a mouthful just yet.

The breeze whips around them, and Abby hugs herself for warmth, shivering. "Wow, it's cold. I mean, it's December, and it's meant to be cold, I guess, but… wow."

Smiling a little, Gibbs puts his arm around her, and Abby snuggles into the slight amount of warmth he can offer. "Thanks. So did you make any resolutions?"

Gibbs doesn't bother to answer. Detecting his amusement in the hitch of his breathing, she turns her head to grin up at him. "Stupid question, huh?"

He takes a swig from the bourbon bottle before answering, his voice made a little rough by the alcohol. "Did you?"

"Only about thirty," she says, beginning to count them off on her fingers. "Drink less Caf-Pow!, go to more parties-" The faint noise drifting over from the park intensifies a little, and she interrupts herself to listen, leaning a little further out of the window. "The countdown!"

They listen to the faint chant in silence: Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one… Another cheer goes up as Abby flings her arms around him, beaming. "Happy New Year, Gibbs!"

"You, too, Abbs." At the window, the first of the fireworks goes up, and Abby pulls back a little to watch them, still hanging onto his arm.

In awed silence, she watches the exploding showers of every imaginable colour, captivated by the intricate patterns of sparks and smoke. And Gibbs watches her, taking in the delighted wonder and hope on her face, knowing that she's full of optimism that the coming twelve months will be good ones.

As a particularly loud firework detonates, Abby glances up to check his reaction, catching him examining her. "What?" she asks, cocking her head to one side as she waits for his answer.

He returns her gaze without flinching, pointing out, "You're missing the fireworks."

"So are you!"

"Missed 'em last year, too, and I survived."

Abby socks him in the arm and takes the bourbon from him, taking a generous gulp as she tries to act irritated. It doesn't work, and she gives up the pretence after a couple of seconds, hugging him again. "Love you, Gibbs. Don't ever change."

"Wasn't planning on it, Abbs." It's as good a resolution as any.