*OK after the season finale and after reading an article on what will happen between Tim and Abby next season I had to write an episode tag. So here it is. I hope you all enjoy it! Please read and review!*
The day passed slowly and silently as the remaining members of Gibbs' team mourned the loss of Ziva. It was just as traumatic as last year when Vance split them all up. McGee sat quietly taking orders from Gibbs and clicking away at his keyboard. Tony was in his own little world thinking about how he felt about Ziva and how much he missed her. Gibbs grieved over the loss of another agent, one who saved his life. It was her decision to stay in Mossad with her father. Why did she feel that she couldn't trust NCIS anymore? Because of Tony? Or was it because of something bigger? Whatever it was Gibbs knew she needed time. Gibbs looked at the clock on the screen in front of him.
"DiNozzo, McGee, Go home." He said gruffly.
"Boss?" Tony said. The last time they were told to go home early was when Ari was on the loose and they had both spent hours in the rain checking out his snipers nest. When they got back to NCIS Gibbs told them to go take a shower, put on some dry clothes, and then wanted to know if they needed coffee.
"Go home. It's been a long day." Gibbs reiterated.
"Um…" McGee stammered, not knowing what to say.
"McGee, tell Abby she can go home and then you go home yourself." Gibbs said, "That wasn't a suggestion. You all better be here tomorrow at 0600."
"It's just that…last time we were told to go home early…" DiNozzo started to say. Gibbs lifted his head and glared at him, "Going home, Boss." DiNozzo said, grabbing his things. McGee and DiNozzo quickly headed for the elevator. Gibbs leaned back in his chair and sipped at his coffee wondering just how long Ziva would take to come back, if she ever came back.
McGee entered quietly and watched Abby for a few minutes. She was sitting at her lab table, her music was slightly quieter than normal and she seemed to be flipping through a book. He knew she was upset. When they found out Ziva wasn't coming back Abby was stunned. Tears pricked her eyes but she wasn't about to lose it in front of Tony so she quickly left the bullpen and retreated to her lab.
"Are you going to stand there all night, McGee?" Abby said, without turning around.
"How'd you know it was me?" He smiled.
"I just knew. What's up? Do you have anything for me?" She asked wishing for anything to distract her from missing Ziva.
"Gibbs said we can all go home." McGee walked up and placed a hand on her shoulder. He looked down at the book she was looking at. He smiled when he realized it wasn't just any book, this was Abby's scrapbook. Since she started NCIS she had kept a scrapbook chronicling their lives.
"I'm going to miss her." She said, her voice catching in her throat.
"I know. Me too." McGee said, squeezing her shoulder gently, "Come on. Gibbs will kill me if I don't get you out of here soon."
"OK." Abby closed her scrapbook and sighed, "What are you doing tonight?" She asked getting up from her chair and walking to her inner lab. She placed the scrapbook in her drawer and locked it up for the night. Smiling slightly when she saw the scratch marks Tony had made trying to get into it a while ago.
"I think I'm going to call up Jules and see if she wants to go out." McGee said.
"Oh…That's…nice." Abby said, jealously dripping in her voice.
McGee looked at her confused, "Why?"
"I was just thinking I could come over. But you have…plans." Abby said her disgust for Tim's new girlfriend showing.
"What's wrong with Jules?" Tim asked wanting to know what Abby's problem was.
"She's not..." Abby started, "Nothing." Abby shook her head and continued around her lab turning off her machines and computers. She felt McGee's eyes following her every movement. She came to a stop in front of Tim, "It's just…we never seem to hang out anymore." She said sadly.
"We hang out all the time." He retorted.
"Not like we used to." She pouted.
"Ah." McGee said as the something clicked inside his head, "You are feeling neglected." He stated. Abby looked down at her feet. She couldn't bear to look Tim in the eyes, "Abby you can't have this both ways. You can't, not want to be in a serious relationship with me and at the same time not want me to date anyone. Do you just expect me to sit on the sidelines forever?" He asked, "That's not fair to me." He said getting angry with her.
"It's not like that." She said trying to figure out how to explain to Tim what she felt.
"Then what is it like, Abby?" Tim practically shouted, "You need to choose. I can't sit on the side because you are too afraid to let anyone in. I've done it for years and I'm not going to do it anymore. I love you. More than anyone I've ever loved before. I'd do anything for you, and I'm pretty sure I've done almost anything in the last few years. And I know that scares the hell out of you that I love you because you've never had anyone that cared before, but I can't sit back and wait for you anymore. You need to make a decision. You either want me or you don't." He said. All his pent up frustration with their 'relationship' came out in a rant.
"It's not that simple." Abby said.
"Yes it is! It's a yes or no question. Yes, you want me or no, you don't." McGee said, looking hurt that she couldn't answer a simple question.
"I can't…." Abby said, not wanting to lose him but fearing the prospect of a serious relationship.
"Fine." He said crossly. He shoved his hands in his pocket and stalked off to the elevator. Abby stood in her lab alone as a tear slipped out of her eye.
Abby sat in the dark in her living room with the light from the TV casting just enough light so she could see her pint of ice cream. She had gone home depressed, frustrated and irritated. McGee was out with Julia again. Abby couldn't believe that she was on the brink of loosing her Timmy. Wait, wait, wait…Her Timmy? He wasn't her Timmy anymore. She had made that painfully clear when she broke up with him after their first year of dating and again today when she couldn't simply answer a question. Why couldn't she just tell him that she loved him too? Why was she so jealous? McGee deserved to be happy and if dating Julia made him happy then why shouldn't he go out with her?
Tim was right, Abby was feeling neglected. She missed him. Yes he had gone out with her when he got back from LA, her lab was his first stop when his plane got in, but something was still hinky with them. She missed him and she wasn't sure why she missed him. She saw him all the time. She saw him at work, and when they off work. But they weren't the same as they were before. They weren't the same as they had always been. Lately there had been some distance between them and Abby knew it was her fault. It was her fault because during the last year, after Director Sheppard's death Abby had thought long and hard about what she would do if it was Tim in that body bag. What would she do if he died in the line of duty? The short answer: She would die without him. She loved him more than anyone she'd ever loved before, and he loved her just as much. But because she'd never had anyone that cared about her back it scared the hell out of her.
The longest relationship she ever had was just a few months, if you don't count the year her ex stalked her and then tried to kill her. Abby and Tim needed to be with each other because they completed each other. Julia wasn't anything like Abby. Yes, she was smart but she didn't understand Tim like Abby. Abby kept Tim from getting to serious and he kept her grounded to Earth. Tim knew how to read Abby's thoughts even when she didn't say anything. He knew what she was feeling by looking at her eyes. She knew more about Tim than she knew about anyone else. She had told him about her past relationships and why she was so scared of loving someone. He had told her about his childhood and how it wasn't the picture perfect childhood everyone thought he had.
She knew she could trust him with anything. She didn't know how she felt about Julia taking over her territory. Abby's eyes widened in revelation. It was a simple yes or no answer. It was an easy question. There was only one solution. She got up from the couch and grabbed her keys. She needed to talk to him and it needed to be now.
Abby rapidly knocked on the door hoping the McGee was home…alone.
"Abby?! Is everything OK?" He said his concern for her outweighing his earlier frustration.
"I'm fine." She stepped into his apartment, "I just needed to talk to you."
"Abby, I don't really want to talk right now." Tim closed his apartment door as he watched Abby pacing around his living room.
"I chose." She said, "I was sitting home and thinking about what you said in my lab and I realized that you were right. I am feeling neglected because things have changed between us. And it's not a good or bad change it's just a change and it started when Director Sheppard died because all I could think about was, what if had been you? Every time you guys go out there you run the risk of not coming back and I don't know what I would do if you never came back. Then Vance broke up the team and sent Ziva back to Israel, Tony on a boat, and you to the Sub-basement. And it changed everything. I didn't see you as often as I did and I only got a few Emails from Tony, and some postcards from Ziva. And now she's back in Israel and what if Vance splits you all up again? I don't think I could go through with that. Especially if Vance sends you away somewhere like back to Norfolk because I can't not be near you. It almost killed me when you were in the Sub-basement. And you went to Chicago on the mission with Ziva and Vance and you went to L.A. with Gibbs and it just seems like there's been so much separation lately that I feel like I'm losing you and I can't lose you. And now that you are dating someone I feel like someone is taking you away from me." Abby paused to take a breath and wipe the tears that were threatening to fall from her eyes, "I can't lose you. I can't sit back and watch someone take you away from me. So you told me to choose, so here I am. I'm choosing." Abby took Tim's hand and gently squeezed it, "I choose you. I mean if you still want me. Because I completely understand if you don't but I just thought you should know that I…I love you. I really, really love you. And it scares me because I've never felt the way I feel. I've never had anyone that cared about me as much as you do. And I'm afraid that one day you'll wake up and realize that I'm not what you want? I don't think I could stand that kind of rejection. You want the Gina-Marie, who bakes cookies, wears J-Lo Glo and stays home to raise the kids, and I can't bake and as much as I love kids I don't want a lot of them and I sure as hell don't want to stay home with them all day. You want the 'normal' American family with the kids, the house, the dog and the white picket fence and I'm as far from 'normal' as possible. You want…" McGee gently places his hand over her mouth to stop her from talking.
"I want you. I love you for who you are." He slid his arms around her waist and pulled her close, "You'll never lose me. Abby there isn't a day that goes by that you aren't the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep." Tim trailed his finger down the side of Abby's face, "I don't want the 'normal' Gina-Marie who bakes cookies and wears J-Lo Glo. I want you. I want this bubbly, eccentric, smart, intelligent, dark haired, gorgeous, tattooed Goth who I love more than anything and anyone in the world."
Abby tilted her head up and smiled, "Really? Promise?" She asked wanting to be sure before she jumped off this cliff she was teetering on.
"I promise." Tim bent down and gently kissed her lips, "Besides, we're off to a good start. We already have a dog." He smiled as he looked over and saw Jethro sleeping peacefully in his dog bed.
"I love you Timmy." Abby smiled.
"I love you Abs." McGee bent down and kissed her again. One arm snaked its way around her torso, the other slipped behind her knees and lifted her off the ground. Tim made his way into his bedroom, feeling elated. She chose. Finally, she chose him.