Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine. I wish they were. The only thing I own is the OFC to come later...... I used part of Dido's Here With Me for part of this.

Abby rolled over in her bed and looked at the empty space that was the other side of her bed. Had he really been there that night? She rolled over and buried her face in the pillow. The scent of Old Spice and Sawdust was still there. He had been there.

She just lay there, with her face in the pillow trying to remember. Gibbs had shown up at her door just after midnight. He had a bag in his hand and had been crying, she could tell.

Silently Abby moved aside and let him in. After she closed the door, they sat on her couch and he told her all about Shannon and Kelly. He told her of his frustration with the way people weren't listening to him. How Mike had warned them about Bin Laden and they did nothing. How he was feeling the same way and that was why he left.

He had always said he would do it when Tony was ready. Now Tony was ready. They all were. Abby pleaded she wasn't. Gibbs just looked at her for the longest and pulled her into his embrace. They sat there, neither one moving. Gibbs holding Abby in his embrace, trying to remember her.

He couldn't leave without seeing her this last time. To make sure she had each feature embedded in his memory. He couldn't ask her to give up everything like he wanted to. He didn't even know if the flirts, hugs and kisses meant anything more than just friendship. She was the same way with Tony.

But he knew realistically something was different in the way she treated him. But he passed it off as a crush. Something she would surely get over when he was gone. But for now, he needed to be with her.

So he gave in and agreed to spend the night. They slept in her bed and Gibbs did nothing more than hold her. When it came time for him to get up and make his flight, he did so without waking her. He watched her the whole time he got dressed. Finally when it was time, he kissed her and signed on her cheek that she was his girl.

He walked into the living room, pulled a note out from his bag and laid it on her table. There was a picture of just the two of them on her refrigerator and he swiped it. He didn't think Abby would mind. As quietly as he could, Gibbs left the apartment. He knew if she had woken up and just asked him to stay he would have.

Oh I am what I am

I'll do what I want

But I can't hide

I won't go

I won't sleep

I can't breathe

Until you're resting here with me

I won't leave

I can't hide

I cannot be

Until you're resting here with me

That damn song was playing on the radio when Abby turned the clock radio on. She couldn't believe how well it fit into her feelings at that point. She knew he was gone and she wanted nothing more than to be a stow away in his luggage. She was grateful that it was Saturday. She didn't think she could get up and face the office today. A Gibbsless office. Abby couldn't take it anymore. She went back to bed. Instead of climbing into her side, she climbed into the other side.

She stayed in bed, only getting up for an occasional glass of water and to answer nature's call. Her phone rang constantly. She looked at the caller id and saw it was Jimmy, Ducky, McGee, Ziva and Tony. They all left messages and when the call wasn't returned or answered, they called her cell phone.

She couldn't move from the bed. From the last spot that he had been. She didn't want to face a Gibbsless office. She dozed off an on all day and night. At about 10 that night, the front door opened and closed. Abby heard it and she recognized the footsteps. She had rolled over to her side, facing the wall and laying just on the edge of the bed. She felt the covers move and a familiar weight sink into the bed.

He pulled her into him and just held her. Abby couldn't help but start crying again.

"He's really gone." She whispered.

"I know Abs." Tony said as he kissed her forehead. "But it's going to be ok. We're going to be ok." Tony said as he held her.

"He didn't let me tell him Tony. I wanted to tell him that I love him. He wouldn't let me. Not at the office, not when he came here."

"I know." Tony replied soothingly. "I know."

They got up and got ready for work the next morning. As they were getting ready to head out the door, Tony stopped Abby.

"Abs, he's gone. I know he promised to make sure you were always safe, but as team leader, that's my responsibility now. I won't let you down."

Abby smiled and kissed him on the forehead. "I know Tony."

They left for work. The first day without Gibbs.

For four months, Gibbs tried to forget about her. To move on. But his dreams at night, were about her. He slept better than he had when he was NCIS. After four months he felt better. But then he got the call from Ziva and he knew what he had to do.

In those months though, Tony and Abby had grown closer. He had grown closer to Ziva too. Tony liked having those two women as his best friends. And then Jeanne came along. He hated to have to lie to Abby and Ziva but the Director made it impossible not to.

But he watched something else happen to his girls. He watched them become closer. Ziva and Abby were best friends, finally putting aside the differences that they had. They did all sorts of things together. As long as Abby was happy, Tony was happy. He assumed leadership of the team and they were his now. Until the day Ziva got in trouble.

Gibbs showed back up and temporarily helped. But then he was gone again. The night that he left, Tony immediately went to Abby's. He found Ziva there and the two were watching chick flicks and eating Ben and Jerry's. Ziva kept Abby's mind from dwelling on Gibbs and for that Tony was greatful. He joined them for the last half of the movie and then Ziva said goodnight. Tony knew it was going to be a hard night for Abby.

He made the excuse that he was going to walk Ziva to her car and he followed her.

"How is she?"


"That's why I'm staying tonight."

"She needs you Tony."

Tony grabbed his bag and headed inside. Abby was sitting on the couch and he could see the tears that were welling up in her eyes. He locked the door and helped Abby up.

"Come dark angel, let's get to bed."

Once again Tony held Abby as she cried herself to sleep. His heart was breaking for her. And he was getting madder at Gibbs each time he saw a tear fall. She did such a good job of hiding it to everyone, everyone except him.

The next time Gibbs showed up, he said it wasn't for long, but he ended up staying. The night that he announced he was staying for good, well the day when they all walked into the bullpen to find their desks had been moved, Tony had somehow known it was coming.

He played it off all day and tried not to think about it. But that night, it was only the two of them in the office. Abby was still in her lab working on a case for another agency team. Tony knew it was now or never. So he got up from his desk. He stood in the middle of the bullpen and looked at his boss.

"Are you going to leave again when it gets hard?"

"Excuse me?" Gibbs said as he looked up.

"You heard me. Are you going to leave again when it gets too hard?"

"Why are you so concerned about me leaving again DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked he got up and went to stand in front of Tony. "You want a team leader position DiNozzo, you should have taken the offer."

"You weren't here. You didn't," But he stopped himself. He didn't want to give away Abby's secret.

"I didn't what DiNozzo? You've never been at a loss for words, what's stopping you now?" Gibbs asked angrily.

"You weren't here to deal with the aftermath of destruction that your leaving left!" Tony replied angrily.

"What are you talking about Tony? I told you this was your team and you could handle it. They were all capable of being able to handle themselves without me!" Gibbs replied angrily.

"They did! But you're forgetting about someone! Did you really think that she would be able to handle your leaving? How is it you are so damn clueless about women?"

They were chest to chest now.

"What are you talking about?" Gibbs asked.

"Abby! That's what I'm talking about!" Tony replied.

"Abby? What the hell does this have to do with Abby?" Gibbs barked.

"Think about it. You wouldn't let her talk when you let all of us. You went to her place before you left. You promised to always protect her and you up and left her!"

"Abby? This is about Abby? She's a big girl, she can take care of herself."

"Right. Is that the same promise that you made Gloria when you went to New Orleans that time?"

"How did you know about that?" Gibbs asked as he took a step back.

"Because I'm not stupid, boss. I know you went with her when Gloria had that heart attack. I know you went to school with Abby's father and I know you promised him you would always look after her and protect her! But you sure as hell didn't protect her when you left! You left a heart broken Abby behind and you didn't even look back!" Tony shouted.

He didn't care if Abby heard him all the way down in the lab or not.

Abby had already left to go home for the day when the argument got heated.

Gibbs took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm too old for her Tony. I'm too damaged. She means to much to me for me to break Rule 12 and risk losing her!"

"So you're going to keep her at arms length, protecting her from afar and leaving me to clean up your mess? I don't think so."

"My mess?" Gibbs barked.

"Your mess!" Tony replied. He stopped and took a deep breath. "Look, you didn't see her that weekend you left. She couldn't get out of bed. It was all I could do to get her up and at work Monday morning. I had to keep her with me or be with her at her place for a month before she was anything resembling our Abby. If I wasn't with her, Ziva, McGee or Ducky was with her. You didn't hold her at night just letting her cry for missing you. You didn't watch her try to deal with you being gone."

"And you willingly did?!"

"I love her Boss, she's my best friend. Do you honestly think I'd stand by and let her crumble? She's the closest thing I have to family." Tony replied quietly.

"So what am I supposed to do?" Gibbs asked.

"I don't know Boss, I can't answer that one for you. But I will say this. Don't you ever leave her like that again. If you do, I'll hunt you down and you will deal with me."

They were silent for a minute and then Tony spoke again.

"Boss, if she's that important, talk to her, lay it all on the line and let her decide."

Gibbs didn't shut anything off. He just walked to the elevator and punched the button. He left the Navy Yard, not knowing where to go or what to do.