This is a little birthday story for kellyroxton, I'm posting it a tad early because I've got a longer story that I hope to start posting in the next day or so, and I get distracted if I post a one-shot in the middle of a longer story.

Happy Early Birthday 3


"What're you doing this weekend, Abby?" Gibbs gripped her shoulders gently, giving them a slight squeeze.

"I'm helping to finish up a build site for Habitat for humanity. Why?"

"You just seemed distracted a bit today, nothing bad, I was just wondering what you had on your mind."

"You are quite clever, my fox. Has anyone told you that?"

"One person… it might have been you."

Abby gave a knowing smile. "It could've been. So, care to put your handyman skills to work?"

"Is something broken?"

Abby shot Gibbs an exasperated look. "At the build site, duh, Gibbs."


"It's a few hours away, I'm leaving at six am sharp tomorrow. Let me know if you want to come along. I've already got a hotel room booked, so I won't be driving back until Sunday."

Gibbs placed a small kiss on her cheek and pulled back a few inches. "Have fun, Abbs."

Abby watched him leave. She knew he wouldn't be interested in joining her. His weekends, when they were free from work, were reserved for his boat. Occasionally, if she was in a big bowling tournament with the nuns he would take an hour or two and come watch, but then it was back to the dark of his basement.


It was still dark when Abby rolled out of bed at 5am on Saturday. She had packed her bag the night before, so she took a lengthy shower and made a big breakfast. Shortly before six she made her way around her apartment turning off the lights, making sure her computer was switched off, and that she hadn't forgotten anything she would need. She grabbed her bag, and swung it over her shoulder. After locking her door behind her, she took the stairs one floor down to the lobby.

She was halfway to her car when she noticed the figure leaning against it.

Gibbs smiled and handed her a giant Caf-Pow. "I debated on whether or not it'd be a good idea to get you one of these before a two and a half hour drive."

Abby flashed a gigantic grin. "But you decided it would be a good idea?"

"Well, you without caffeine or you without caffeine… I guess it was the lesser of two evils." Abby moved towards the trunk of her car, but Gibbs grabbed the bag off her shoulder. "No, we're taking my car."

"You're coming along?"

"I certainly didn't get up, get a Caf-Pow, and come all the way over here to watch you drive away." Tossing her bag over his shoulder, Gibbs placed an arm around her shoulder and directed her towards his car. "I assume you've got directions?"

"Yeah. If you can you get us to West Point, Virginia, I can get us to the site. Check in at the hotel isn't until noon, so we can go at lunch."

"I wasn't sure where you were staying, so they better still have a room available."

"If not, I can share. But, it's West Point, Va. Is it really that busy?"


Gibbs pulled into the designated parking area around the house. From the outside, the house looked completely built, but there were groups of people working on the yard and a steady stream of people going in and out of the house.

"Mark! The house is looking good. I brought a friend…" Abby reached out and touched her hand to Gibbs arm. "He's really good with tools, I'm sure he'll be of good use."

"That's great, Abbs! We can use as many hands as we can get. We're actually hoping to finish up here today." Mark reached his hand towards Gibbs. "I'm Mark, I'm the director of this project."


"Well, Gibbs. We're glad to have you here. Follow me." Mark led them inside the house. He quickly set Abby to work in painting in what would be the child's room, and Gibbs was put to work helping to install the kitchen cabinets.

Shortly after noon, Abby went in search of Gibbs. She found him chatting with Dave, a fellow volunteer. "Hey Dave." Abby gave him a friendly smile. He returned it with a wave. "Gibbs, are you at a point where you could get away for a half an hour? Hotel check-in is open, plus, I'm getting hungry."

"Sure." Gibbs set down the screwdriver he had been using and followed Abby out to the car.

"It's so good to see you playing nice with the others, Gibbs. Make a new friend?"

"He's a marine."

"Ah, of course."

Gibbs followed Abby's instructions to a small hotel. Abby carried her bag up to the front name and handed over her credit card. Within minutes she had a room key in her hand. Gibbs stood talking to a second front desk person. He wasn't happy when they politely informed him that all their rooms were full.

Abby tugged at his sleeve. "Relax, Gibbs. You can stay in my room. I've got two beds."

"Uh, ma'am, you'll have to pay for the second person." The front desk person broke in.

"No, you have no room for him, so I'm helping you out. I'd hate to take my business elsewhere."

"But there is a different base price for one or two people, I'm sorry ma'am, but…"

Abby held up her hand in protest. "Listen, we're here working for habitat for humanity, can't you just ignore the rule this once?" Abby leaned across the front desk and whispered, "Plus, he's a federal agent, I'd hate for him to file a complaint and shut down your business."

The two people behind the desk looked at one-another. "Well, I guess it's just for one night. We could look the other way."

"Great, and we won't even use your complimentary breakfast… not like I would've anyways." Abby looked over at Gibbs. "It's one big cesspool for germs with the way everyone feels the need to touch every bagel before they go back and pick up the first one they touched."

"I'm sure, Abbs…" Gibbs picked up Abby's bag as well as his own and followed her down the hall to the room.

Abby claimed the first bed, and Gibbs deposited his bag on the second one.


After grabbing a quick bite to eat, they drove back to the build site. The kitchen had been finished, so Gibbs moved on to screwing on light switch covers while Abby started with a second coat of paint in a second bedroom.

Around 6pm Gibbs went in search of Abby. A local pizza place had delivered pizza for the workers, and Gibbs was certain that Abby would be hungry again. Abby was chatting animatedly with Mark who was painting along the baseboards. Gibbs knew he had no claim over her, but he was uneasy seeing her chat so happily with another man. He was used to seeing her around Tony and McGee, even Harry the janitor. It had just never occurred to him that Abby was friendly with males outside of work. Then again, he tried not to think of what she did outside of work. He knew she dated, but the more he thought about it, he hadn't heard about any dates in awhile.

"Abby, there is pizza outside, if you're hungry?"

"Oh, yes… oh Gibbs, you've got something on your…"Abby motioned to his cheek. She watched as he brought his hand to his cheek, but when he felt nothing he looked at her curiously. Abby smiled and motioned for him to come closer, that she would get it. He moved closer. "Right… there." In one quick motion, Abby swept her paintbrush along his cheek leaving a 3 inch strip, an inch wide along his cheek.


"Gibbs, we've been working on this house all day… we all know you're mister-professional, but you were entirely too… too clean. I just had to dirty you up a bit."

"You'll pay for that, Abbs. Actions have consequences." His face was stern, but his eyes sparkled.

"Oh, lighten up Gibbs. Let's go get some pizza." Abby put her paintbrush back on the tray and pulled out a paper towel to wipe as much paint off as she could.

Gibbs followed her out to the pizza. She could be so childish sometimes, yet he found it to be infectious. As Abby was about to take a bite out of her pizza, Gibbs grabbed her hand and directed the pizza slice to his mouth. Satisfied that he had taken a big enough bite, he let go of her wrist and smiled. "Consequences." He mumbled through a mouthful of pizza.


In order to finish the house that night, the team worked until 11pm. Abby said goodbye to all her friends and then followed Gibbs to the car.

Abby conceded the first shower to Gibbs. She claimed that she took longer, and she could tell he was tired.

Once Gibbs was finished Abby grabbed her stuff and locked herself in the bathroom. She stepped under the hot spray of the shower, letting the water run down over her tense neck muscles. She washed her hair and then added conditioner. While she let the conditioner soak in for a few minutes she picked up the small bottle of soap that Gibbs had left in the shower. She opened the bottle and sniffed it. The scent wasn't strong, but if you added a little sawdust, it was like he was standing next to her. She shrugged to herself and squirted a blob of soap into her hands and used it to wash her body.

When she finished with her shower and was dressed her in pajamas she propped the bathroom door open to let some of the steam out. She put toothpaste on her toothbrush and started to brush her teeth. She took a step out of the bathroom.

"I like your soap, Gibbs. I hope you don't mind that I used some."

Gibbs looked over at her, peeking around the corner, her tooth brush hanging from her mouth. "It's just plain soap. No smell."

"It does too smell. It smells like you." He would've caught the meaning of what she said had she not dribbled toothpaste down her chin, and ducked back into the bathroom.

"Cute, Abbs. Cute."

"Shut up."

She applied her night moisturizer and then combed out her hair. She debated drying it, but the idea of holding up a hair dryer sent a protest through her shoulders, so she pulled it up in a ponytail instead.


Gibbs watched as Abby emerged from the bathroom. She hit the light switch in the bathroom, draping the room in near darkness, the only light coming from the moon outside. She was wearing a black tank top and pink boxers with a pirate flag on the butt. He tried not to look, and was glad that the darkness of the room kept his gaze hidden.

Abby sat on her bed, her back towards Gibbs. He watched as she stretched, relieving the tension in her shoulders from a long day at the building site. He listened as she pulled back the covers and slipped her legs between the crisp hotel sheets. She lay with her back towards him, but peered over her shoulder to look at him.

"Night, Gibbs."

"Night, Abbs."

He watched as she doubled up the pillows and snuggled against them. He knew he should roll over and go to sleep, but he couldn't resist one last comment. "Try not to snore, ok?"

Abby whipped around and glared at him, fighting the smile that threatened to weaken the effect of her glare. "I don't snore!"

"How do you know, if you aren't awake."

"I…. I just know." Abby slipped one of the pillows out from under her head and tossed it over the three feet separating their beds, hitting him in the face.

"That wasn't very nice…"

"Shut it, now give me back my pillow." Abby reach out towards him.

"Nope, you threw it at me. You lost it."

"Gibbs, these hotel pillows are flat, I need both of them, otherwise I won't be able to sleep." She pouted.

"You should've thought about that before you threw it at me." Gibbs clutched the pillow in his arms and rolled over to face away from her. He knew he was baiting her, he wasn't sure why he did, but their little game felt natural and he enjoyed it. He listened for her to move from her bed, but heard nothing. He rolled back over, expecting to see her glaring at him from her bed, maybe the bait had failed. He was a little shocked to see her standing next to his bed, her hands planted firmly on her hips, her head cocked to the side. He was impressed; he hadn't heard her get up. Perhaps she was learning from his stealth.

"Give it."

"No. Actions have consequences. I would've thought that you would have learned that by-"

Abby took advantage of his mini-rank and made a grab for the pillow. He was almost taken off guard, but she barely had her hands on the pillow when he grabbed her forearms. He yanked her down and she fell across him in a fit of laughter. She clutched the pillow to her chest as he tried to yank it away again.

"It's mine." Abby complained through clenched teeth. Then as if she changed her mind, she let go of the pillow. She rolled off the opposite side of the bed, taking the pillow under his head with her. Sneaky, he thought. Then, as she started to move away, he reached out and his fingers caught in the fabric of her tank top. Gibbs tugged her backwards and she fell back onto the bed.

In one swift movement he was straddling her, her hands pinned down by her sides. The pillow lay forgotten on the floor.

"You just don't learn, do you, Abigail?"

"Don't call me Abigail, that's reserved for Ducky."

"Reserved for Ducky? Should I be jealous?"

"Gibbs? Jealous? Those two words don't go together."

Gibbs just raised an eyebrow.

Abby rolled her eyes at his questioning look. "Plus, you've got your own reserved nickname for me."

"I do? It certainly isn't 'Abbs' everyone and their mother call you that." Gibbs wasn't sure what she was getting at. He knew for a fact that many people shortened her name to 'Abbs', Mark included.

Abby wriggled her right wrist, and reluctantly he released his hold. Abby took hold of his hand, to make the sign my girl.

Gibbs smiled and released her other wrist. "Fair enough."

Abby smiled up at him as she signed such a gentleman.

Gibbs swore he could feel the air change around him. Something about the way she signed. Their signing had always been just between the two of them, as close to intimacy as he knew they would ever get. But here they were, he was straddling her, in a bed no less. She was signing to him, using their private language to communicate when words were just as simple. He realized that his soap, did indeed smell, and after having pulled her close moments earlier, and smelling the mixture of his soap and her shampoo, it's all he could think of.

"You should go to bed, Abby." He hated how weak he suddenly sounded.



"I can't." She sat up, pushing Gibbs back so rather than sitting over her hips he was sitting over her thighs. She brought her lips to his ear. "You're sitting on me."

Gibbs was quick to move off of her and closed his eyes, waiting for her to move back to her own bed. He could feel her moving alongside him, but opened his eyes when he didn't feel the movements moving away.

"What are you doing?"

"Look Gibbs, I want you, I think you might want me too." Abby silenced him with a stern look as he opened his mouth to say something. "I'm not forcing you to do anything, and I know you've got that lame-ass rule number 12, which shouldn't matter anyways because I'm not a field agent. So I'm going to sleep here, next to you, and you can think about what you want to do. Maybe you don't want to do anything tonight, but maybe you'll realize that you like waking up next to me, and want to do so more often. Whatever you decide. I love you, Gibbs. I have for awhile… shhh." She had to stop him again from saying anything. "Don't tell me you love me too, I know you, you need time to think everything through, and that's ok. It's part of your charm. So kiss me goodnight, on the cheek if that's more comfortable for you, and figure out what you want to do."

Gibbs was dumbfounded and it took him a few moments to find his voice. "Abby, I… do you really..?"

Abby rolled over to face him and propped herself up on her elbow. "Of course, I love you. I wouldn't say it if I didn't."

Gibbs steadied her chin and pushed himself forward to kiss her. He smiled against her lips as she let out a small gasp.

"We're not doing anything here, in a hotel. Tomorrow…" He breathed. "I will take you home and make you scream."

It was Abby's turn to smile. He reached his arm around her to pull her close and as he did, he pressed his lips to her forehead. Abby turned in the circle of his arm, so that her back was flush with his chest as she settled against him. "I can handle that."

Gibbs slid his leg over hers possessively while at the same time running his thumb softly along her cheek. Abby let out a tired yawn, satisfied that Gibbs wouldn't be moving away from her anytime soon. She was nearly asleep, the soft touch of his fingers, as they drew a lazy trail up and down her arm, lulling her to sleep.



"I love you."