Outside Abby's hospital room.
"Are you positive she is going to be OK Duck?"
"Yes, Jethro. The threat has passed. Keeping her under observation is purely a precautionary measure at this stage. I think your news will help ease her mind. The two men stare through the glass at the sleeping form of Abby. "Go on Jethro. I know she's keen to see you." Ducky pats Gibbs on the arm and walks away. Gibbs enters the room and places Bert by her pillow causing Abby to wake.
"Gibbs?" she asks groggily. "Ducky says you are going to be fine. Your mother and brother are on their way and the team will be in to visit tomorrow."
"Tell..me..Gibbs" she orders her voice gaining strength with every word.
"A security gard who blamed me for his firing from NCIS destroyed my boat and tipped off the press about the Paulson case. At the mental health clinic where he worked he met a patient with an equally strong grudge against me. This patient helped him and also sent letters to McGee, the Director, Ziva and DiNozzo in an attempt to discredit me and destabilize the team."
"But why would a patient with a grudge against you want to posion me? Unless it's because we're friends and hurting me hurts you. I don't understand Gibbs?"
She looks so vulnerable and un-Abby he almost loses the nerve to tell her but Ducky had told him that knowing was better for her than imagining and it would help her recovery.
"The patients name was Mikel Mawher. He's been in and out of treatment and on and off various medications for years. He had been planning his pay back ever since I showed him you didn't love him. At first I thought it was just that but then Ducky reviewed the letters he sent. He believes Mikel had convinced himself that you and I were in a relationship and that was the only thing preventing him from being with you. He wanted me out of the way and when that didn't work he must've thought if he couldn't have you no-one could."
Abby shudders and grabs his hand. "Gibbs!"
"He will never hurt you agin Abs." Looking into her eyes he is unsure if she has caught his meaning. As he opens his mouth to explain she responds.
"He's dead?" "Yes." "How?"
"It was suicide by cop Abby. He was waving a gun around and threatening the agents at the scene. They had to shoot him."
Even slightly dopey from being drugged Abby knows him well enough not to let it go at that. She thinks for a moment. "There's more isn't there? The agent who killed him; it was you right?"
There's a long but not uncomfortable silence.
"Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?"
"Of course." Gibbs gently kisses her on the forehead and settles himself in the chair beside the bed. "Hush now. You must rest."
"Yes sir, Dr Gibbs."
The next morning when the team arrive Gibbs is asleep in the chair still holding Abby's hand.