AN: This is a bit AU for Ziva's character, but with all the cruel things she's going through in canon, I wanted to make her a bit girly here.

Chapter 4

"No case as of yet Abbs, don't worry. Only a flower... Actually I was just dropping by" he closed in on her personal space and handed her the rose, at which she squeeled in delight, crushing Gibbs into one of her trademark hugs, only to be thrown off guard by Gibbs' slight wince. "Oh, I'm sorry.... It's just... I mean, it didn't look at all like you were unwell... not that you are, I mean, you've been shot, it's only normal that you are not totally recovered yet and it's only because it's you that Vance knew he had no chance of ever keeping you at home, otherwise you would...." she grinned... "I'm rambling again, ain't I ?" Gibbs nodded and smiled at her.

He was happy to have his girl back. "Actually Abbs, I was wondering if you have a plan for Friday. I'd like to take you out" The goth scientist turned around, positively preening. "To what do I owe the honour, bossman ? Wait no, before you say anything... of course I am free. I didn't really want it to come across as though you need an actual reason to take me for dinner... Oh, I am assuming here, you meant dinner, right ?"

He couldn't do anything but smile at her innocent, childish ways. "I'll pick you up at your home, 1900 on Friday then". With that, he left Abby to her thoughts, now racing.

*****

"I can't believe he finally did it" Ziva was excited for her friend. "I'm telling you, this is the time, you should tell him. After almost losing him, you can't risk it anymore". Abby sighed "I know, I know , but what if he'll be totally disgusted, saying something along the lines of *Oh Abby, I didn't know, I'm sorry I gave you hopes, you're like a daughter to me* I couldn't pretend as if nothing had happened. This is not McGee, he might as well be "the" love of my life."

Ziva didn't know why Abby wouldn't simply go and stand up for her emotions. Everyone knew Gibbs cared for her, loved her. It was plain to see in his eyes, the way he always protected her, or at least wanted to protect her. (But then again, having the same problem with Tony, she wouldn't go and rub it into her friend's face)

Abby and Ziva spent the rest of their lunchbreak discussing any possible plan Gibbs might have for that particular evening, until they were interrupted by Tony and McGee, bickering like young children about something the other had said.

Abby got up and went back down to her lab, deciding to work in a relative silence today, and rather than powering her stereo to an ear-crushing volume, chose a slow, sensual song to which she slowly swayed, dancing with Bert, imagining she'd dance with Gibbs 3 days from now, and hoping she'd gather up enough courage to finally admit her feelings to him.

**** Friday 0700 ****

Abby was already standing in her lab, slowly waking her babies from well deserved slumber when a delivery man came in, carrying a quite large box in.

"Mrs. Abby Sciuto ?" Abby nodded and signed the receipt, dismissing the delivery person. *I wonder what that could be, and more importantly from whom* She took her mystery gift to the back of her lab, where she unpacked the most gorgeous deep red and black dress she'd ever seen. Along with it a simple card : "Wear this. J"

She wasted no time in running upstairs, expecting to find Gibbs at his desk, only to be standing in front of an empty desk. "What's the matter Abby?" McGee walked over to her, concerned. "Where's Gibbs ?" Tim frowned "Did he not tell you ? He took the day off, mentioning something about something to do, to prepare."

"Oh" Abby was disappointed, and yet absolutely thrilled. The day started out great already, and she was sure the evening would be nothing less. "I guess I'll just go back downstairs and get to work on some.... paperwork then" "But you don't have ...." her mischevious smile as she sauntered back to the elevator was not lost to McGee, who was once again confused.

Back in her lab, Abby carefully put the dress back into its box, her mind already planning out the evening.

The rest of the day passed by fairly quickly, and as no urgent case came up, Abby was able to leave at 1730 like planned.

Back at home, Abby headed straight for the shower. She had been all tingly the whole day and Gibbs' absence only served to fuel her expectancy more. Standing under the spray of the shower, she let her hands slide through her now silky hair. Towelling herself dry, Abby stepped out of the shower.

At 1858, Gibbs' car pulled up in front of Abby's building and a very nervous Gibbs got out and walked to her door. At exactly 1900, like it was in his habit, he rang the bell. *Will she be wearing the dress you brought her Jethro?* He didn't have time to think anymore about what she would or would not be wearing as the door opened, and his breath caught in his throat.

In the doorway stood his raven haired beauty, wearing the dress he had chosen, her hair pulled out of her face, but left open in the back. Her black locks softly curled at the curve of her ivory neck, and it took all his resolve to not react, lest the elaborate dinner invitation he had planned give way to a not-so-elegant, frantic making-out session in her very hallway.

"You look stunning" Abby noticed Gibbs' gulp and smiled inwardly, glad to provoke such a reaction *This is going to be a great evening* "I was going to say the same thing about you Gibbs, I can't wait to see where you are taking me" she chewed on her bottom lip in anticipation, knowing what effect it would have on her date.

Being the gentleman, Gibbs offered Abby his arm, walking her back to the car. He held open her door and made sure to close it after her. They were looking quite stunning together, her dress complimenting his suit in the best possible way.

"I don't think I can possibly get to know where we are going, is it ?" Abby tried to cover her nervousness by even more chatter. "Nope" Gibbs' nervousness showed by his short replies. Anyone else would have been taken aback by this, not Abby, she knew him better than anyone *Better than even Shannon* he mused. Although his first love, he did not spend as much time with her and Kelly, compared to the time he already had with Abby. It was time to let go of his past, To fully concentrate on what life had in store for him... *and Abby* And Abby, if she would want to be a part of his life.

What do you think of it ?