Once inside the front door Abby could hear music echoing from the basement and as weird as she should have found it, she didn't. She just followed it to the source and descended the old wooden stairs that sighed beneath her feet.
Gibbs looked up from his spot on the small bench beside the counter littered with his tools. He watched as the woman anyone else his age would consider strange and dysfunctional strode down to the bottom level and stared at him.
In his calloused hands Abby could see a small photo book she knew held images of his late daughter, Kelly. Next to his shoulder were two objects she knew always accompanied his memories; the small lunch box that once belonged to the red-headed, blue-eyed girl and a bottle of bourbon.
When he gave her his usual stoic gaze she laughed lightly and continued her journey to just a few feet in front of him. With careful ease she leaned her behind against the skeleton of the boat and watched him watch her, she was used to this game they would play.
Already he was in a slightly better mood than he had been just minutes before, her presence had a calming effect on him. How he had ended up with this book in his hands he wasn't sure but it was a safe bet the bourbon had a bit to do with it. Breaking the eye contact he looked down at the image of his late wife and daughter; they were laying on a picnic blanket staring up at him with large grins.
Without hesitation his thumb gently ran over the red hair of Shannon and he recalled what her laugh sounded like. It was like a mix of the most soulful jazz singer and an angel, like Abby's if he really would allow himself to admit it. But he wouldn't, he had spent years not acknowledging that little voice in the back of his head that would whisper the similarities in the two women. Just the thought turned on his taste buds and sent out the need for the amber drink, subconsciously he reached over his shoulder for his coffee mug.
Abby watched the man she admired so struggle with his thoughts and emotions, she couldn't tell what exactly was going on in the head of his and it scared her. Normally he was a pretty good read for her, always kept her attention and wanting to figure out any little mystery. The movement of his hand caught her eye and she saw its intended destination. With a push she stepped away from the wooden structure and reached out her hand to catch his.
"Dance with me." Maybe she couldn't tell what he was thinking but from the slight glaze over his eyes she could tell he was more than a little tipsy. He would hate himself in the morning if he had hangover so she wanted to spare him the self inflicted anger. With a small tug she took the photo album from this other hand, closed it, and gently sat it inside the tin box.
The sensation of skin on skin took him by surprise and his head whipped up to meet her green orbs, they held concern and care that paralleled Shannon's whenever he left for duty. Again he bit back the need to compare Abby to Shannon, she was worth more than a simple comparison. Abby had been his one constant in the last few years, always there at his side and always believing in him.
Before he could register exactly what she had said he felt her placing his hands on her waist and her winding her own around his neck. Automatically they both began to sway to the soft melody that filled the small basement, in a moment he felt her cheek press against the fabric of his shirt, out of instinct his chin rested upon her head, and closed his eyes to drown out everything but them and the music.
As the current song faded out another quickly took its place and as soon as the piano melody began he felt the smile form on Abby's lips and a slight chuckle escape her. Pulling back he looked down at her as she repeated the action, her smile created curiosity in his gut and he couldn't fight his own grin. "What's so funny Abbs?"
She shook her head slightly, "Just this song, I remember it being played at my junior prom." Her eyes took on a look of nostalgia and far off memories of a time long gone. Gibbs tried to envision her a young woman, surely dressed in a black lace dress that rivaled Madonna herself. Prom may not have been Abby's scene but she went for the chance to dance, she would never refuse an excuse for that.
"Didn't peg you for a Debbie Gibson fan."
"Oh I wasn't, I mean there was something about this song. I would never admit it but I loved it." She paused in her speech and gave him a stern glare, "Repeat that to anyone and I will have to hurt you."
His turn to let out a laugh, "Your secret is safe with me, any reason you liked it?"
White teeth peaked out and bit on the scarlet red bottom lip while she thought of the right way to explain herself, "There was this guy, Robert was his name, he had the most intense and gorgeous blue eyes I had ever seen, I got lost in them and I just kinda identified I guess."
Blue eyes. Gibbs let that slip as he listened to her, just because she loved this Robert's blue eyes didn't mean she felt the same way about his own. "Oh and how did that work out?"
More laughter and she hid her face in his chest for a brief moment. "It didn't, he had a thing for blonde cheerleaders and not dark haired, science, rocker chicks."
Another mental image attacked his thoughts; this time of a young Abby in a high school lab with large headphones on as she danced to her loud music, pigtails still intact of course. "His loss." He whispered the words into her hair and pulled her close to him again. "This was one of Kelly's favorites. She used to blast it all through the house."
It wasn't the first time he had shared a memory with her, but she never took his trust to do so for granted. Abby realized how little he told and to how feel people, she felt very fortunate to be a part of the select club. "So you've been in training for me for quite some time?"
Gibbs couldn't suppress the laugh, and he didn't want to. Looking over his shoulder he saw the still open lunch box staring at him, as well as the open bourbon bottle. He had planned on getting drunk and just staring at the album all night, something he had grown used to doing every so often over the years and none of the women in his life had understood. Say for Abby, she always understood, which made him all the more thankful to be holding her in his arms at that moment.
Reaching over he shut the metal lid over its larger body and placed the cap on the glass neck, no need for that stuff anymore tonight. He would never forget his past but right now he couldn't complain about his present. Again he felt Abby smile into his chest, right over his heart, and he couldn't fight back his own grin. With one last effort he turned up the music, which had now changed to another love ballad from the eighties, hugged Abby flush against his body, and placed a kiss on her head before getting back into the smooth groove.