Prologue: Don't Slip a Stitch

"Tim, you are misconstruing my words." She leaned her aching head onto the back of the well-worn couch in her apartment.

"How the hell do you misconstrue the words 'I told her to do it'!" he barked in return. Her head shot off the back of the couch and she glared at him.

"You don't Timmy, but you do misconstrue me!"

"Abby don't you pull this shit right now. You have no idea…"

"I have no idea what," she hissed through her teeth. Her tone gave him pause and he looked into her eyes. Surprise smacked him in Gibbs' absence when he saw the unshed tears glistening.

"Abs," he attempted, his tone softer, regret washing his words with a calm he didn't feel.

"I have no idea, what," she ground out louder. He'd rarely heard her voice drop to such depths and wondered if there was a way to keep this from really blowing up in his face.

"I'm sor…"

"No you don't get to make yourself feel better by saying sorry! I haven't done anything wrong! She came to me and I tried to help her! Have you ever talked to your sister like a human? She's scared and she's hurt Timmy, not that you understand these things…"

"Abs that is not fair!"

"Fair! What the fuck in life is fair?" He had never seen her this upset before. The unshed tears were glistening even brighter and her emotions seemed completely out of control. Her volume rose again.

"No answer? C'mon Timmy, surely there is an answer in one of your manuals somewhere!" He blushed crimson. This was not Abby. His Abby would never say those things to him, would not judge his character so harshly; condemn him to a simple category of human.

"I never said you didn't try…" he started again, much quieter and on his guard. There was no way that this argument could end well.

"I know you didn't because you couldn't! You couldn't say it because you are not a liar and you know that that would have been one big fugly lie!" she stood from the couch and kicked the coffee table over, her half consumed Caf-Pow leaking gently onto the wooden floor. Tim stopped moving.

"Abby," he whispered, his voice low to match hers, "please sit down, you're going to…"

"You know you are some kind of investigator. Did you even think to ask any of the important questions? You should have said, 'Abs why is my kid sister calling you at all these weird hours?' 'Hey Abby, why do you keep coming into work looking like shit?' How about the big, 'Abs why is my sister calling you at all!' I will not sit down Timmy until you at least look at me and stop co…" she caught her breath. She knew it would only be so long before she ripped a stitch. Her pride allowed her to make no real sounds for the pain only to grab the area and apply pressure while she bit her lip. McGee was off the couch and at her side in an instant.

"Abby…"

"It's all right I'll take care of it," she muttered as she stormed angrily into the bathroom. He heard every bottle that she picked up fall into the sink and knew that her hands were shaking out of rage and exhaustion. When he hadn't heard anything in the bathroom for a few moments he chanced a knock on the door. No sooner had his knuckles brushed the surface did the door open and Abby tumble out into his waiting arms. He sighed heavily as he heaved her up and carried her to bed. To his dismay he saw the trail her tears had used when she'd retreated into solitude. McGee mentally smacked himself and prayed that he could start that whole conversation over in the morning. For the time being he tucked her in and went to wait in her living room. His socked feet found the mess from earlier on his way back to the couch, so he righted the living room with the previous conversation swirling around in his head. Mess cleaned, he took out his cell and dialed his sister to start another conversation he had been dreading.

"Hello?" came over the line, slightly jumbled. He realized it was 2 in the morning and though that shouldn't have been a problem for a college student, he knew that it was a time when normal people slept and mentally cursed himself for his bad timing…again.

"I'm sorry, I should've…" he stuttered wanting to hang up the phone; already regretting his bravery.

"Timmy? No, don't hang up!" she almost pleaded with him over the phone. Instantly he held the phone tighter.

"What's wrong?" She could hear the panic in his voice and she felt stupid for putting it there.

"No it's not like that I just, don't hang up. Is Abby…is she..."

"She's all right, nothing we can't handle. What were you…"

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry Tim. I just couldn't deal with anything and I needed something…"

"Where are you?"

"In my dorm. Can I come and see you?"

"Of course, I'm…"

"You better end that with Abby's apartment."

"…in Abby's apartment," he conceded, a small smile playing around on his lips.

"Good. I will meet you there."

"Wait!"

"Yea?"

"I'll come get you."

"Tim, I am…" she began.

"Sarah, please." Sarah was once again ashamed that she was putting this kind of strain on her relationship with her brother and bowed her head over the phone.

"I'll be waiting by the door." He heard the click of the phone and slowly placed his own phone down by his side. This was going to be a long night.

This is my first attempt at NCIS fanfiction. I'm really not sure if I'll continue this, but this little plot bunny wouldn't stop harassing me! Let me know if it keeps the attention!