A/N: Okay, so…I may regret posting this because I wrote it while suffering from insomnia. I probably should wait until I'm more fully awake and can tell for sure it makes sense, but hey. I apologize if it doesn't! (I do want to note that the style is a bit...choppy. That was actually on purpose, but well...again we'll see if I regret that when I'm fully awake and reread this later! =) )

Honey and Almonds

He wasn't sure why he went to her apartment.

He shouldn't have been driving; he knew that. But since he was doing it anyway, he should have just driven home. Yes, that's what he should have done, but instead he found himself standing in the hall outside her door.

Suddenly unsure of his decision--hell, he didn't even remember making it, it was as if he was functioning on autopilot and hadn't made the conscious decision at all--he hesitated. It was late. Rather it was early, a little after 2:00 a.m.

He raised his hand to knock but couldn't bring himself to do it. He shouldn't be here. But now he wasn't sure he'd be able to get home even if he wanted to. He shouldn't be driving.

Once again he raised his hand, but he still couldn't bring himself to knock. She was probably asleep. She should be. It was late. No, early, he reminded himself. After 2:00 a.m.

He closed his eyes for just a moment and found himself leaning against her door, his forehead pressed to the wood. It felt good. Cold against his overheated skin. He needed...he wanted…no. He shouldn't have come. But now he'd never make it home. Shouldn't have driven at all.

The answer came to him. She always left a key. So incredibly dangerous and unsecure, but she never listened to him. Such an obvious place. Under the welcome mat. Rather the "Nice Underwear" mat that usually made him smile. Not tonight, though. Tonight, he just wanted the key that he prayed was underneath it.

He nearly fell over as he tried to retrieve it, almost cried when it was actually there. He had trouble picking it up, and even more trouble guiding it into the lock. He turned it slowly, not wanting to wake her.

He silently slipped into the apartment and closed the door. Carefully locked it. Shouldn't leave it unlocked. Dangerous. Unsecure. She shouldn't leave her key like that. Should chain the door. He reached up and did it for her. Safer that way. Safe.

He wanted to go straight to bed, but shouldn't. He was gross. Needed a shower. So he'd do that first, and then crawl into bed. Sleep it off. He'd be good in the morning. Except it was already morning. After 2:00 a.m. He'd be good by tomorrow morning, then. The world wouldn't still be spinning. He wouldn't feel so nauseous.

He was almost to the master bedroom when he realized that he should wake her. As careful as he'd been not to, he needed to. It might scare her if he didn't and she woke up while he was showering. Or if she wandered into the bedroom without knowing he was sleeping there. He needed to wake her at least long enough to let her know he was there. Besides, he wanted…he needed…

"Abby?" he whispered, moving carefully toward her coffin. When she didn't stir, he stepped a little bit closer, averting his eyes in case she wasn't wearing her gown. "Abby?" he tried again. This time she stirred, but he wasn't certain she was awake just yet. "Abs?"

"Hmm?" she sleepily murmured and he saw her body shift, raising slightly. It was enough to let him know she was at least somewhat conscious.

"It's Tony," he whispered. "Go back to sleep; I just wanted to let you know I'm here. Didn't want to scare you."


He smiled weakly as her head dropped back out of view.

One more stop to make before the shower, he decided, stepping into her laundry room. He was gross. He couldn't wear these clothes again until they were washed. Didn't have anything else with him. Would put them in the wash and then go shower.

He carefully stripped out of his clothes, trying not to wake Abby again. Hoped that the washer wouldn't be too loud as he dropped each article in. Shouldn't put it all in the same load. Dark suit. Dark socks. White shirt. Silk boxers. Didn't matter. Just needed to get clean enough to get him home and then he'd throw them out. Burn them maybe. He stared at all the washer's buttons and dials, having trouble concentrating enough to figure out which ones to press. Silk needed cold. The suit was probably dry clean only. Didn't care. Just needed clean enough to get home.

He poured in the soap and started the washer before he made his way to the master bath, unabashed in his nakedness. He didn't care if she saw him, he just wanted to shower. Just wanted to go to bed, really, but was gross, needed to shower first.

As he stepped into her tub, he considered just taking a bath. He was so tired, it was tempting. Except that he was also so tired that he'd probably end up accidentally drowning himself. So he flipped the lever to turn on the showerhead. He had trouble keeping his balance as he stood under the spray, but it felt good to have the water cooling his skin. Maybe too cool, he decided as the first tremor hit. Yes. Too cold. He needed hot water to clean away the grime. He rested his head against the tile wall as he adjusted to the temperature change. The water began to sting, but he needed it to wash him clean.

Honey and almonds body wash. He'd always wondered what her scent was. Honey and almonds. He poured a handful of the body wash into his palm, inhaling the scent that was pure Abby. Comforting. He began carefully scrubbing. Needed to get clean. Grabbed the toothbrush from its perch. Knew he shouldn't use it but needed to. He'd buy her a new one. Scrubbed his teeth, his gums, his tongue. Rinsed. Scrubbed again. Followed with some of her mouthwash. Poured more of the body wash into his palm. Honey and almonds. He'd buy her another bottle. He'd buy her a hundred bottles. Smelled good. Like Abby. Comfort.

He stayed under the spray far longer than he meant to. Stayed until the hot water began turning tepid. He shouldn't have done that. He hadn't meant to. Now she wouldn't be able to take a hot shower when she got up. He guiltily turned off the water and stepped from the shower. There was only the one towel hanging on the rack. Abby's. He dripped for a few moments before he pulled it from the stand and began drying himself. Shouldn't use it. Smelled like Abby. Honey and almonds. He'd wash it for her. He was so tired, but he'd stay awake. Or he'd get up early to wash it.

Except it was early. After 2:00 a.m.

He hung the towel, once again feeling guilty at having used it. Now she'd have to have a cold shower and use a damp towel that he'd already used. Ruined. He should really wash it. But, God, he was so tired. He'd make it up to her.

He shuffled into the bedroom and slid beneath the covers before he even realized that she was there waiting for him. She must have been worried, come in to find out why he was taking so long, fallen asleep waiting for him.

His heart beat faster as he inched toward her. Despite his exhaustion, he wanted…he needed…he shouldn't be here. Should have gone home. But he wanted.

"Abby?" he whispered, his voice husky and his heart pounding as he moved closer still. He hesitated for a moment before reaching toward her. His hand trembled slightly as it hovered just over her cheek. He wanted. He licked his lips as he let his hand close in the final inch, gently caressing her soft skin before stroking her hair. God, how he wanted.

Knowing it was wrong, but needing, he moved closer yet, burying his face against her neck and wrapping his arm around her waist as he settled against her.


His mouth suddenly dry, he couldn't make himself speak, so he just nodded, nuzzling against her cheek.


He made a soft guttural sound deep in his throat, but again could not make himself speak.

She began to wriggle her body a little bit and pulled away. He whimpered a little at the loss of contact. A moment later she was facing him, pushing him away. Oh God. What…was he…? His eyes widened and he started to pull away. He wasn't thinking straight. He shouldn't be here. He should have gone home. Shouldn't drive, but couldn't stay here. He didn't mean it. Didn't--

But then she was there, pressing him onto his back, leaning over him, and peering into his face, her expression not angry but concerned. He licked his lips as he stared up at her, his heart racing faster. He swallowed hard. Tried to find the words to apologize, but could only soundlessly move his mouth, his breath suddenly coming in short, shallow bursts. He shook his head, trying to convey how sorry he was. He closed his eyes and turned his face away, ashamed.

"Shhh. Tony. It's okay," she whispered, peering down at him, her eyes fearful, but not of him. For him. She stroked his shower dampened hair. Tried to soothe him, became more anxious as her efforts failed. "Tony, what's wrong?" Her hand caressed his cheek before gently cupping his face and turning it back toward her.

He shivered slightly as he felt her breath against his lips. He inhaled deeply. Honey and almonds. Hint of mint. He pressed his face into her hand, nuzzling. His eyes opened, his eyes dilated as he stared up at her, silently pleading.

She hesitated. His need was so overwhelming, it was palpable. She didn't understand it, but she could feel it. This wasn't them. They weren't lovers. But she loved him. And he needed. She lurched forward, pressing her lips to his. Pressing her breasts against his bared chest, only the thin material of her gown separating them.

He raised his upper body, leaning into her kiss, his hands reaching up; fingertips barely grazing the sides of her neck before gently cupping her face.

She melted into the kiss, parting her lips and inviting him to deepen it. She was surprised when he didn't; opting instead to keep it soft, almost chaste. She'd often wondered what sort of lover he'd be, but never once had she considered he'd be this gentle.

She gasped as his face moved back to her neck, his breath hot against the hollow of her throat as his hands slid slowly down her back, tenderly caressing. Seeking the familiar comforts of the flesh. Driving her wild. It was so unexpected. Something she'd never known she wanted. Not with him. But his need had become hers. She loved that he was being so sweet, but she was ready for more. She wanted.

He froze as she suddenly became the aggressor. Pressing him back down as she straddled him. Her hands covered his a few moments before she pulled them to the bottom of her gown. Inviting him to take it off her. When he didn't, she continued to direct his hands up, under her gown, dragging it up as she guided his hands to her breasts.

This wasn't what he wanted. Wait. He began to pull his hands back, but she held them in place. No. This wasn't what he wanted. Didn't want. Stop.

Her eyes widened as she felt his body trembling beneath hers. Something was wrong. She released his hands and let him take the lead. Her brow furrowed as his hands slid to her waist, pulling her gown back down as he slowly sat up. Thinking that he wanted her off of him, she rose to her knees and started to pull away, but his hands held her firmly in place. Unsure of what he wanted, she let him guide her. Soon she was in his lap, facing him, her legs wrapped around him as his arms wrapped around her; a full body embrace as his head rested against her breasts. Once again she became aware of his trembling.

Something was wrong.


He clutched her tighter, but didn't speak.

She stroked his hair soothingly, unsure what else to do. She tensed as she realized that her gown was becoming damp. She could hear his breath hitching and realized.

He was crying.

Her eyes widened. "Tony?!" Her voice louder, tense with fear. She struggled to free herself from his embrace, but he wasn't ready to let go. "Shhh. Tony, it's okay. Whatever it is…it's okay." She ran her hand down his back, wanting to soothe him but stopped abruptly. Something was very wrong. His skin…felt wrong. Too hot. Sticky. Raised and bumpy where it shouldn't be. "Tony?" her voice quivered as she tried to free herself from his grip. She felt her eyes welling with helpless tears as she ran her hand down his back again, hoping that she'd just imagined the damage she'd felt. She definitely hadn't. "Oh, Tony, what happened…?"

He didn't answer. Clutched her tighter, instead.

She kissed the top of his head, returning his embrace with the intensity he was silently requesting. "I've got you. You're okay," she assured him, though she knew now that it was a lie. She didn't know what had happened, but he was far from being okay. She needed to get help, but it was clear that he wasn't about to let her go. So she held him.

As long as he needed.


Soothing until at last he grew still and silent. And then she held him, a few minutes more, until she was certain that he was sleeping.

As careful as she could, as not to wake him, she extracted herself from the bed.

Now her body wouldn't stop trembling. Her hand shook as she reached to turn on her bedside lamp, needing to see the damage.

As soon as she did, she wished she hadn't. She stumbled into the bathroom, afraid she was going to be sick. She froze, her eyes widening in horror as she saw the streaks of blood on her shower tiles. His blood on her towel.

Her brow furrowed as she noticed her bottle of body wash. It had been almost full earlier but now lay emptied in the bottom of the porcelain tub.

She didn't have time to be sick. She had to get help. Now.

She didn't remember dialing. She didn't remember talking. Didn't remember crawling back into bed. All she knew was that a few minutes later someone--Gibbs--was pounding on her door, yelling for her to let him in.

But she couldn't. Not with Tony once again wrapped around her, clinging to her as though his life depended on it. In his current state, she wasn't entirely sure that it didn't. Her door could be replaced after Gibbs broke it down. So she stayed where she was, offering the only thing she could.

Honey and almonds.

A/N: I think this is a one-shot, but honestly I'm not sure. See what I get for writing when I should be sleeping?

Updated: If I do extend this fic to answer the questions I've left hanging, it will be in either a prequel or sequel fic rather than adding to this one; I think this one is best left standing alone. Thanks!

Thank you for whoever nominated this story for the NCISFanfictionAwards (see the awards by going to the profile for NCISFanfictionAwards here on fanfiction net!)