A/N: First of all, I know I said I'd start posting my new story a few days after I finished my other one, but this story has gotten out of hand and grown exponentially (I hope you stick with it until the end). I'm not quite finished with it, but figured I would start posting… I don't want to leave it hanging for a week while I'm on vacation next month.
It will reach rating M.... ye be warned.
Huge thanks-a-billion to my beta for this one, Beth. It's because of all her ideas/suggestions/etc that this went from 'a few chapters' to over 20….
As usual, I don't own Gibbs and co. and no money is being made.
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Gibbs dropped into his chair with a sigh. It had already been a busy day and it was just past lunch time. He and the team had been called out a mere ten minutes after they had arrived, at eight in the morning, and they hadn't had a break since.
Everyone froze when the phone at Gibbs desk rang. Even though they had only been out for a few hours, it had been a rough take-down of a psychotic man wielding a gun, and the idea of being sent out again was something they weren't sure they could handle. The rest of the team let out a collective breath as Gibbs sighed into the phone. "Hey Duck, what do you need?"
"I could use a little help down here, Jethro."
"Be right down."
"Uh, Jethro, I'm in Abby's lab, not in autopsy."
"Is everything ok?"
"Just hurry down. No need to bring your gun."
"On my way." Gibbs had the phone back in the cradle and was on his feet in one swift motion. He shook his head when the rest of the team reached for their gear. He was quick as he made his way down the back stairwell.
"Ducky?" Gibbs was acutely aware of the silence that came from the lab as he stepped inside. He listened briefly and heard Ducky's voice carry from Abby's office.
Gibbs rounded the corner to find Ducky crouched down over Abby as she lay on her futon.
"Just a few more minutes and I'll be ok…" She lay shivering under the thin sheet she used as a blanket.
"Our dear Abigail seems to have come down with a touch of the flu."
Gibbs knelt beside Ducky and placed the back of his hand on her forehead. She was sweaty and her forehead was burning up. "She's really hot."
"103.1 I've given her some extra-strength Tylenol which should help, but…"
"She needs someone to take care of her. Duck, I've got some stuff to finish up upstairs, can you take her to my place and stay with her until I get home?"
"I suppose Mr. Palmer can handle the rest of the day without me. Can you help me get her to my car?"
Gibbs nodded and carefully lifted Abby. Her head lolled against his chest and he heard her mutter his name, but the rest was undecipherable. "It's alright, Abbs. You'll feel better soon." Gibbs jerked his head towards her purse and Ducky picked it up. "Don't forget her hippo."
They stepped into the elevator and headed up to the squad room. The team jumped to their feet as Gibbs carried her through to the other set of elevators. "She's just got the flu, she'll be ok."
Ducky opened the passenger side door and Gibbs set Abby in the seat, gently pulling the seatbelt across her. Once she was settled, Gibbs shut the door and turned to his friend. "Call me if there is anything specific I need to pick up before I come home. I'll make a stop at the grocery store. I shouldn't be too long."
"I assume you've got Tylenol. I've got a thermometer with me. So some juice and crackers will be all she needs for a few days."
Gibbs gave Ducky a pat on the back and headed back towards the building.
"Boss? Will she be ok?" Tony stood as Gibbs passed his desk.
"She'll be fine, DiNozzo. A few days of rest, and she'll be back to herself." Gibbs sat back at his desk. He didn't feel like finishing the report he was working on, but he knew he needed to get it done. He allowed his thoughts to drift to Abby for a few minutes. He had never seen her so sick before, and it was worrying.
An hour later, he was signing off on the last line. "Finish your reports and get out of here. Tony, you're in charge for a few days. I'll keep you updated on Abby."
Gibbs grabbed his jacket and headed out. His first stop was the grocery store. He loaded up a cart with crackers, juice, popsicles, and few things substantial enough for him. His second stop was Abby's apartment. He had an extra key, so he let himself self in to pack up some clothes and some magazines he had pulled from her mailbox when he picked up her mail.
He stood in the center of Abby's tiny bedroom. He knew she had a duffle bag stored in the hall closet, so he had dug that out and set it on her bed. It wasn't the first time he had been in her bedroom. He had helped her put her bed together a few years back, but it was odd to be standing alone, about to go through her drawers.
He went to the long dresser along the wall. He closed his eyes and hoped that the first drawer he pulled out would have something he would need. He reddened slightly when he realized he had picked the drawer containing her socks and underwear. Grow up gunny, he told himself. He grabbed enough of both for a week, he didn't know how long she'd stay, but it would be a few days at least.
The next drawer contained t-shirts. He grabbed a few of those as well. He searched for some sweat pants or something similar that would be comfy for her to lie around in. Lastly he pulled open drawers in search of something for her to sleep in. He decided on her penguin pajamas, she had brought them over the last time she had stayed at his place, during her crazy-ex stalker period, and had gone on and on about how they were the most comfy in the world. They looked it, too. She obviously wore them often, the fabric was well worn. The first time he had seen them he swore they looked like children's wear, but she was adamant that they were not.
When he was finished he tossed the bag over his shoulder and left, locking the door behind him.
He carried the groceries into his kitchen, and put away the cold items before headed upstairs in search of Ducky and Abby. Ducky had set her up in the spare bedroom. She was under a thin blanket with a thick towel under her head as Ducky swept a cool, wet cloth across her brow.
"I've gotten her temp down to around 102. She can have Tylenol in another hour. Please call me if it gets up to 104. Anything much higher than that can get rather dangerous."
"Sure." Gibbs took the cloth from Ducky and dipped it back into the bowl of cool water before returning it to her face.
"I should probably make sure Mr. Palmer hasn't torn autopsy to pieces." Ducky placed his hat back on his head and headed out.
Gibbs wiped the wet cloth across her forehead and then moved to her neck, reaching around to get the back of her neck the best he could without moving her, and then dipped the cloth in the bowl again to repeat the process. He continued the movements for nearly an hour before he pulled out the thermometer to take her temperature once again.
Abby stirred as he coaxed the thermometer under her tongue. When it beeped he was please to find that her temperature was down to 101. "Abby." He ran his thumb back and forth across her cheek a few times.
"Gibbs…?"She blinked a few times and tried to sit up.
"Hey." Gibbs settled her back down. "Lay back. I'm going to get you some juice so you can take some more medicine. I've got apple, grape, cranberry, orange or…. Some multi-fruit mix."
"I'm not thirsty." Her voice was weak, and she closed her eyes.
Gibbs rolled his eyes and patted her cheek affectionately and stood. He picked apple juice for her and brought two popsicles. He set everything on the bedside table and went to the hall closet for an extra pillow. "Ok, Abbs. Let's get you sitting up a bit."
"I just want to sleep." Abby rolled away from him.
"I know, and you can in a bit. You need to drink this juice, and take some Tylenol. I brought a popsicle as well. You'll feel better with a little sugar in your system. Come on." Gibbs slid an arm under her shoulders and lifted her, sliding an extra pillow behind her.
He held out the pills and the glass of juice. Once she was finished he un-wrapped her popsicle and handed it to her.
"You got the super-hero kind." A small smile played on her lips. "Superman, my favorite."
"I know. I pay attention." Gibbs smiled and un-wrapped his own frozen treat.
I'm out the door in a bit, but I promise a second chapter this evening to get the story going…. Please let me know what you think!