Title: Human
: M (for what may come)
: Early mention of some events from first few episodes of Season 4

Author's Note: Have to apologize to bloodywolf7 for the amount of time it's taken to get this started. Sorry, updates will come faster. Story was written on request from bloodywolf7 who heard the song "Human" by The Human League and thought of Gabby. Hope you enjoy! Reviews are great; love to hear your reactions.

Abby knew why the last six months have been hell for her, yet failed to find any comfort in the knowledge. She knew that watching her best friend voluntarily walk away from her without her even saying a word was the hardest thing she'd done, but was fully aware that there was nothing she could do about it.

It was his choice to go, he needed time to heal, and she needed to give that to him. It took him leaving for her to realize just how much a part of her life he was, and that she wanted him to be.

It wasn't until a few weeks after he'd left for Mexico that she realized that he was more than a friend to her; that somewhere along the line she'd actually fallen in love with him.

She never saw it coming, and struggled to find some way to deal with it. She had no doubt that he would eventually come back, but feared that him finding out just how much she loved him would push him right back across the border.

Her solution was to try and drown it out with casual dates and one night stands with men that held little appeal towards an auspicious future. The empty promises and meaningless sex turned her into exactly what she thought she needed to be; cold, callous, and most of all, numb.

It'd become second nature to her over the months, she'd convinced herself that she was strong enough now. She only teetered at the mention of his name, and only stumbled after his monthly sit-rep call. She told herself it was just nervousness; that it too would pass with time. She was wrong.


Gibbs' time in Mexico was nothing short of emotional devastation. Initially it was all about putting the past in the past for him. He was reliving his memories of his first wife and daughter, hoping to find a way to let them go; to move on.

He'd expected to feel the pain and heartache associated with the deaths of Shannon and Kelly; he knew he had to let them go, and accepted that it was going to hurt like hell to do so.

He didn't expect to be processing his memories of Abby at the same time. They began to invade his thoughts. They set up residence with time, taking up more and more space and overshadowing what he came here to do.

It pissed him off. He had come to Mexico to get a handle on things, to sort things out, but most importantly he'd come to say goodbye. Goodbye to the two people who had meant everything to him, provided him with his life's mission, and taken such a big part of him with them when they left. The same two people he failed to protect.

He needed to find a way to rid Abby from his mind, to prevent the images he had of her from interfering with his current mission. Images that in no way represented the platonic relationship they had always had.

He found his answer in the local cantinas; he'd drink her off of his mind. He'd drink enough bourbon that he'd have a hard time remembering his own name, let alone the names of the various women he'd taken into a backroom or the backseat.

It'd become second nature to him over the months, he'd convinced himself that he was strong enough now. He only teetered at the mention of her name, and only stumbled after his monthly sit-rep call. He told himself it was just nervousness; that it too would pass with time. He was wrong.