Title: Spiderweb

Pairing: Abby/Ziva; Gibbs/Abby

Rating: FR18

Genre: Femmeslash, Het

Category: Angst, Romance, a bit of Fluff I guess (I'm never good at choosing these.)

Spoilers: None

Warnings: Just sex.

Summary: Taken from the prompt: Gibbs isn't speaking to Abby and it's frustrating her. She goes to Ziva to ask for help on how to talk to Gibbs. For Temerarious at NFA.

Thanks to taylorgibbs for the beta!!! *hugs*

Chapter 1

"Gibbs!" she called after him, running towards the elevator as he got on. "Gibbs wait! I'm sorry," she ended with a huff, her boot choice for that day making running almost impossible.

A stony face greeted her as the elevator doors started to close, ice blue eyes staring dead ahead, not meeting hers. "Don't apologize, Abby," he began. But the doors finished their closing before he finished speaking.

"It's a sign of weakness," she whispered, her body tensing with a mixture of sadness and guilt.

Turning her back to the elevator, the white lab coat sweeping out around her, Abby Sciuto, forensic specialist for NCIS, made her way to her lab, the whirls and beeps of her machines failing to comfort her. Sitting down on her spinning chair, she tugged Bert to her, a stuffed animal complete with whoopee cushion. As she hugged it tightly, the hippo let off a large fart noise that echoed through the room.

Slowly kicking out her leg to set the chair spinning, Abby rubbed her face on the soft fur as her mind ran through the events leading up to Gibbs walking out on her.

------------------------------------

An hour earlier, the team had been in the middle of a difficult case: a young Marine wife murdered, her young child, a girl, missing. Any time a case came across their desks that involved a child, Gibbs would always seem to push his agents to the breaking point, as they drove their minds and bodies towards a lead, towards the truth. This case, however, struck Gibbs too intensely, the memory of his own wife's and daughter's murders were too close to the surface.

Though he normally demanded completely competence from the people who worked for him or with him, he now demanded perfection. And for the first time in her career as a forensic specialist, for the first time in her history as Gibbs' favorite, she failed him. With most of the fingerprints coming back to their primary subject, Abby had hurried through the matching of the last remaining few, one being an anomaly. Unfortunately, that one had been the break they were looking for. The fingerprint matched the man eventually brought in as the woman's killer, the little girl later being found in the man's basement.

The Marine, Gunnery Sergeant Jack Dunn, had been known to have verbal altercations with his wife, screaming matches that could be heard down the block, had been missing for several hours after time of death, and wouldn't give the agents any sort of alibi. Combined with the fact that the wife had been cheating on him and his fingerprints had been all over the murder weapon, all evidence had pointed to the Gunny. And with Gibbs' gut raging, there had been nothing to really dissuade the agents and point them towards another suspect.

Nothing until Abby had found a small evidence bag tucked into the corner of one of the boxes Tony had brought down. Nothing to put off Gibbs' gut until she ran the fingerprint and found the second suspect, the real killer. After that, everything had fallen into place, but in a different way, the puzzle completed with no loose ends, nothing to question or doubt.

And because of her error, her rookie mistake, an innocent man, a man mourning the brutal murder of his wife and abduction of his daughter, had been accused and practically verbally brutalized by Gibbs in the agent's pursuit. And Abby didn't know if he'd forgive her for that.

The worst moment had come when she'd had to make the call to Gibbs.

------------------------------------

Her hand shaking, she moved her finger closer to pressing the speed dial that would ring Gibbs' cell. Looking at the man next to her, she whispered, "I don't know if I can do this. What if he…" She couldn't finish the sentence, her normally energized brain stunned into silence.

Coming up next to her, he placed his hand on her shoulder. Finished with the autopsy, he had shown up for a visit, not knowing his appearance would coincide with her panic. "You know you must, dear girl," Ducky began. "Abigail, you know he needs the truth. Otherwise, the information he has will only serve to distract him from the real perpetrator. You, as a scientist, cannot allow an innocent man to be persecuted for a crime he did not commit. Call him, my dear. Nothing is worse than keeping the truth from him."

But to Abby, Gibbs' reaction had been even worse than anyone could imagine.

"What'd you need, Abbs? I'm a little busy right now," Gibbs growled out. No one was supposed to interrupt him in the middle of an interrogation, but Tony had knocked on the door, breaking the flow of the interview. Standing up abruptly, knowing he'd have to restart the interrogation because of the interruption, Gibbs slammed his way out of the room.

Grabbing the phone, he glared at Tony, who slipped back into the observation room. Shutting the door to interrogation, he looked at the phone. Seeing the lab's number on the caller id, he felt his rage still and ease a bit. Abby would only have called if something had happened that needed his immediate attention.

"Abbs? You with me?" He bit out as he felt his patience draining. The case had taken an unexpected toll on him, both mentally and physically. And while normally talking to Abby relaxed and centered him, Gibbs had yet to break the guy in interrogation, and his tolerance was wearing thin. He wanted this man to break. He wanted to find the little girl who'd been ripped from her murdered mother's arms.

"Gibbs, I…I found something," she started, hesitating despite her resolve to stay strong and just come out with.

"Abbs, focus! What did you find? I'm in the middle of interrogating the bastard who murdered his wife." Gibbs gritted his teeth as he started to pace the halls, instantly impatient to get off the phone with her and back into that room.

"When I was closing up the evidence for the case, I was collapsing a box from the evidence Tony brought me. I had gone through all the evidence. Or at least, I thought I had. There was a fingerprint card sticking out a crack in the cardboard. I pulled it out. It was something that Ziva had collected. I ran the print. The results have only now just come in. I figured it would just match the man you have in there." Abby knew she was rambling, but she was trying to push away the moment she'd have to reveal her mistake.

"Abby! Get to the point!" Gibbs bellowed out.

"The print isn't his, Gibbs. The print doesn't belong to Dunn. It's a match to the neighbor. According to the evidence log, it came from the gun's holster. It's a match to the neighbor. Tony said…"

"He said he was having an affair with the victim," Gibbs finished for her. "Dammit, Abby! What in the hell were you thinking? Are you telling me that I'm interrogating the wrong goddamn man? And the right man, we've released hours ago? Dammit, Abby. That means he's got the girl. He's probably taking her somewhere now. How far does this put us back? How far has he gotten with her?" He asked rhetorically.

Slamming his fist into the wall, Gibbs grimaced. Rage poured through his veins as visions of the sick bastard with the little girl flashed through his head. Anger at Ziva for not double-checking her evidence. Disappointment and anger at Abby for missing the valuable clue.

"Do you have any idea what you've done? How bad you screwed up? You're supposed to be the best at that job, the best damn forensics scientist in the country. Obviously you haven't earned that title yet. Maybe someone else does need to be in that lab, someone you can be the assistant for. Maybe then you'd actually learn how to do a complete job."

Abby flinched as she heard the crash of his fist into a wall, tears running down her face as his words slammed into her. "Gibbs, I'm sorry. I can run a trace on his phone, see if I can get a location on him," she offered.

"Well, yeah, Abby. That might be a good idea. Why don't you do your actual job, instead of living in that damn fantasy world of yours?! Stop thinking about spiders and dreaming about being in a coffin. You're not paid to be a freak. Do your damn job." Slamming his phone into his pocket, he reached back to punch the wall again before seeing Ziva and Tony staring at him from the observation room door.

"What are you looking at?" He watched in frustration as his two agents scrambled around. "Go do your job and find the neighbor. He's our man. Not the husband. Abby found a print you took," he pointed at Ziva. "Ran it. Matched it to the neighbor. Now, go find the bastard!"

------------------------------------

Coming out of her memories, Abby squeezed Bert again. Taking some comfort in the loud fart, she continued to spin in her chair, her mind going down a more morose thought path of consequences. Tears ran unchecked into the soft fur she clung to as she tried to figure out a way to fix what she had broken. It had been almost a week since that fateful day when he'd stormed from her lab. But there had been no more confrontations, nothing more from him that indicated one way or another if he would forgive her or not.

He hadn't said anything. But Gibbs wouldn't, not to her. That first lashing out had been a fluke, nothing like his usual behavior. No, he'd just pretend nothing happened, but the connection, the light between them would be extinguished. He would come in, ask for evidence and leave. Maybe not even come in. He could call or just send one of the team down to find out what she had.

There had been no Caf-Pows, no stealthy entrances into her lab, no kisses on her cheek, or teasing, flirtatious glances. Nothing. And Abby didn't realize how much she'd come to expect him and their interplay, how much she depend on him to pop in on her. She'd joked about it, but she really did believe that theirs was a connection no one could explain, something in their minds that made them in tune with each other.

And she missed it. She missed him. Her life was empty, her days lacking color when he was no longer making sure she knew she was the favorite. And when her life lacked color, her days dragged on, no longer filled with the hope she always carried. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't drum up the energy to be the wild child of NCIS, the super-caffeinated, Energizer Abby.

------------------------------------

Watching from the doorway, Ziva thought, this is worse than when Abby gave up caffeine. Shaking her head, she walked into the forensics lab, calling out to break the other woman's reverie. "Abby? Abby!" Moving closer, she put her hand on her friend's shoulder.

"Abigail, are you with me?" She knelt down to put her face at Abby's eye level.

"Don't call me Abigail," she whispered. Blinking to clear her vision, Abby gave Ziva a smile, a smile with half her normal life and vibrancy. "Hey, Ziva. Sorry, I was…somewhere else, I guess. Something I can do for you?"

Though all her current evidence had been processed and wrapped up, Abby would welcome something to distract her. She didn't want to go home, didn't want to be alone. It'd be even worse then. But if Ziva had evidence, she'd be able to concentrate solely on her job.

Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she asked, a fake smile plastered onto her face, "Have anything for me?"

"No, Abby. We have no current case. After you ran that fingerprint, we were able to put the case together quite quickly, even catching the suspect trying to board a plane to Costa Rica. He had shorn the little girl's hair, dressed her as a boy. I was quite surprised to see he had passports issued for them both. False, of course. But it helped to prove premeditation on both the murder and the kidnapping."

Swiping at the black streaks she knew her makeup had left on her face, Abby looked up at Ziva. "What am I going to do, Ziva? I ruined it. I screwed up. I almost got the wrong man convicted. He was convicted in Gibbs' mind. And I ruined it. Whatever chance I may have had…God, Ziva. What am I going to do? He called me a freak!" The tears started again as she remembered his voice on the phone, telling her how she had failed him. She'd spent so many years harboring her feelings, hiding her heart from him, always half in love with Gibbs, but never being able to show it. And now…

Putting her arm around Abby's shoulders, Ziva spoke, almost reading her mind. "Now you are going to take a deep breath. Then you are going to grab your stuff and that bag you keep in the back with your spare clothes. You will spend the night at my place. I have chocolate and wine. We will talk. You will cry. And we will work this out…together, Abby. He does not hate you. How could he? You fixed your mistake, which was just as much my mistake as yours. We caught the bad guy. The little girl is safe, and he will heal. All is right. And he will see that, Abby. He just needs a little time. In fact, he is probably more upset at his gut failing him than you. He will see that."

Ziva seemed so confident, that Abby wanted desperately to believe her. But when he had yelled at her, the things he said had hurt so badly, she no longer knew what to think. Before, she would have never believed he thought those things. But now…Had he really said all that because he was striking out, upset at himself for almost a suspect get away? Or was it because he really did believe her to be a freak and a failure?

"All right, Ziva. Just…give me a moment." Grabbing another tissue, she blew her nose, not caring how loud or gross it was. She wasn't feeling very ladylike at the moment. Sliding off the chair, with Bert still tucked firmly under her arm, she gathered her bag of clothes and her shoulder bag. As she shut down her equipment, Abby looked around, a defeated set to her shoulders. Her confidence was shot, no matter what her friend had said.

She tried to put on a brave face. "All right, I'm ready." Normally, Bert stayed at NCIS, guarding her equipment and whatever evidence might still be there. But tonight, he was needed.

Nodding, Ziva held out her hand, knowing Abby needed the physical contact right now. Their friendship had been getting stronger since the day she offered to help put together an exploded case. Starting with movies and talking on the phone about what had happened at work; Gibbs called it scuttlebutt, Abby called it gossip. But it had expanded through to girls' nights and spa vacations to something closer to sisterhood than friendship. Sometimes she even imagined that her relationship with Tali would have turned out much like her friendship with Abby. She was grateful for the friend she found in Abby and would do anything to help her fix what had gone wrong.

Holding onto Ziva's hand, Abby turned out the lights to her lab, not looking back, not seeing the red light blinking on the intercom, indicating a call was in progress.

------------------------------------

Leaning back in his chair, Gibbs tried to mask the pain on his face. Several days had passed since his malicious treatment of Abby. Focusing on work, he tried to ignore what he had done, needing to concentrate on catching the murderer and putting him behind bars. But the case was over now, his team's part anyhow, and he had nothing to distract him. Deciding it was way past time to apologize to her, he'd gone to Abby's lab, only to find Ziva there instead. And though, he'd left before she'd started to close down her lab, he'd heard enough to break anyone's heart. Even his.

He wasn't ashamed for listening in. After all, he knew he'd hurt Abby when he called her a freak and told her she was no good at her job. But he didn't understand the level of that hurt until he heard the pain and hopelessness in his girl's voice. And she was his girl. Not that he'd done a real good job of showing it. Rubbing a hand over his chest, he tried to ease the ache that had come to rest there when he'd hurt Abby.

Stretching his arms over his head, Gibbs wondered how he was going to fix this. Normally a Caf-Pow and a kiss on her cheek would fix anything with Abby. But this time he'd deliberately tried to hurt her, striking out at the core of what would cause her the greatest anguish. Not try, did. He had succeeded in that mission spectacularly.

Frustrated at himself – no, pissed was a better description – he slammed his hands on the desk, startling the two agents who were working on cold cases. "I'm going home," he growled. Sweeping up his coat, he clipped on his gun and badge, taking long strides towards the elevator.

He needed peace and time on his boat to figure out what to do, to figure out how to fix her heart, a heart he was finding he cared way too much about.

------------------------------------

A bottle of red wine, newly uncorked, sat on the coffee table, an empty bottle toppled next to it. Next to the wine, a platter of broken pieces of chocolate sat next to an empty pizza box. Twirling the glass in her hand, Abby watched the crimson liquid move in her glass. Half drunk, she looked up at Ziva, a half-smile on her face. "I think I am a little more than buzzed, Ziva," she said. "But, it feels good. Good idea, the wine and chocolate. And the pizza. All of it was good."

Picking up a piece of chocolate from the table, Ziva placed it on her tongue, letting the piece melt. "Mmm…why is it, do you think, that chocolate and wine go so well together?" Holding up her hand, she stopped Abby from answering. "I know, I know. There is some scientific explanation why the bits of chocolate go well with the sips of wine, but I was only asking rhetorically. I do not wish to know every little reason, I only wish to enjoy."

Rolling her eyes, Abby took a healthy sip from her glass, her vision a little blurry at the edges. "If you don't want to know, don't ask. But you're right. Sometimes it is better to not know every detail of the things we love."

"Dammit." She'd almost gone a half an hour without thinking of Gibbs and what she'd done. Closing her eyes, the pain from earlier returning to clear her alcohol fogged mind, she asked, "What am I going to do, Ziva? How am I going to fix this?"

Sliding closer to her on the couch, she pulled Abby to her, resting her friend's head on her shoulder. "Easy, baby girl. You have cried enough this evening." After the wine had been opened and the chocolate had been broken up into tiny pieces, after the pizza had been ordered and eaten, Abby had cried her heart out to Ziva, spilling all she had about the conversation with Gibbs, her secret fantasies about him in her lab, on the elevator, in his basement. Everything that had been building up in her heart spilled out to her friend.

And she'd promised herself she wouldn't cry again. But the wine hadn't done its job. The memories came back, and the alcohol made the tears too close to the surface.

Having spent countless nights over pizza and Chinese, popcorn and a movie, ice cream sundaes and music, Ziva and Abby had shared much about their lives: their childhoods, what it was like for Abby to be raised by deaf parents, what it was like for Ziva to run the streets of Israel as a little girl; their dreams, both figurative and literal, and desires; relationships, past and present; experiences, life and sexual. Everything girlfriends share, the two of them had spilled; all, except for their darkest secrets. Ziva had not told Abby about her time as an assassin, not wanting to cast shadows over their friendship. Abby had not told Ziva about her secret fantasies of Gibbs. But tonight, everything had changed.

"I have no doubt," Ziva began, "that even now, Gibbs realizes how harshly he treated you. He loves you, Abby-girl. You are his favorite for a reason. And whether or not he has come to accept that love, it is in there, coloring his actions and every moment he has with you." She ran her hand over Abby's back, long, soothing strokes. "Give him a little time. Let him work on his boat. He will calm down, and he will remember. I promise."

Pulling out the bands from Abby's pigtails, Ziva started to run her fingers through the long black tresses, making comforting noises as she did. When Abby's hand came up to grasp her collar, her arm accidentally rubbed against Ziva's breast, causing Ziva's breath to catch in her throat as her nipple tightened. She knew it wasn't intentional, but a combination of the wine, the let down after the adrenaline high from the case, and the woman sitting next to her was setting Ziva's blood heating.

Mentally shaking her head to get rid of the explicit fantasies that were playing out in her head, she tried to concentrate on the steady rhythm of her hand through Abby's hair. Breath in, breath out, Ziva, she thought. Now is not the time to make a move on your friend. She is hurt, vulnerable, and a little drunk. We both are. Do not do anything that would hurt your friendship with her.

From their late nights together, bonding sessions, as Abby called them, Ziva knew that they both had experimented with women in the past, though neither one of them would consider themselves lesbian. Abby had had a need to explore and to find herself, while Ziva's passion had always ruled her decisions in that aspect of her life.

But now, faced with the realization that she was slowly becoming sexually aroused by her friend, Ziva was at a loss. Abby's heart was spoken for, out loud or silently, and Ziva had no desire to upset her friend any more. She was not in love with her, but Ziva had long ago conceded that Abby was a beautiful woman. The desire was there, just never the opportunity. Unexpectedly, she could smell her own aroused scent lightly on the air, and Ziva was afraid time was running out for her to hide her state from Abby.

"Abby, I…" but she stopped. She couldn't embarrass them by explaining that she had to pull away from comforting her friend because she couldn't contain her own reaction. Only then, Abby surprised her.

"Sshh…it's okay Ziva. I know. I understand." Sitting up, Abby cupped her friend's face, rubbing along her jaw line with her thumb. Leaning in, she hesitantly pressed her ruby lips to Ziva's naked ones, pressing in when the softness she felt made her moan.

Putting her hands on Abby's shoulders, Ziva pulled back. "Abby, wait. You have had a rough day and too much wine. You do not want this."

Brushing the hands on her shoulders aside, Abby pressed in. "I want this, Ziva. I want you. Maybe I'm not in love with you, not like I am with Gibbs, but I care for you, and I'm attracted to you. I always have been. I need this, Ziva. For tonight, I need you."

She desperately needed to feel the comfort, to feel the connection she would find in Ziva's arms. And she trusted Ziva, as much as she did Gibbs or anyone else. She knew that after tonight, the two of them would still be able to work together, that going to NCIS would still be fun, not awkward. And most importantly, the two of them would still be friends, as close as sisters. She could be as vulnerable as she was with Ziva, and not risk the manipulation or dread that came later. She was safe with Ziva.

"For tonight," Ziva echoed as Abby moved in again, their lips making soft contact with each other's. Taking control, Ziva took the glass from Abby's hand, setting it on the table, before pressing in on Abby's space, making her shift back into the couch. Raising her hand, she brushed it through the black hair that had fallen across the pale skin of Abby's face. "So soft," she whispered.

She kissed along her hairline, temple to temple. Breathing against her skin, Ziva whispered, "You are so soft and graceful, Abby. So beautiful."

Abby reached up, brushing her fingers along the edge of Ziva's blouse, feeling the skin that was exposed at the collar. Despite having the reputation as a warrior, her skin was as soft as the black roses Abby loved. Moving her head, she pressed her lips to the skin she felt, her tongue flicking out to taste. "You taste as soft as you feel, Ziva," she breathed, pushing the blouse aside as she continued to explore.

"Oh, no," Ziva corrected. Standing up, she held out her hand. "Tonight is about you. I will be the one exploring and discovering. You will be the one feeling and experiencing." When Abby placed her hand with its black nails into hers, Ziva pulled her up and swiftly against her. In her boots, Abby would have been much taller. But having taken them off, she only found herself a hair higher than the other woman.

When Abby came flush against her, Ziva cupped her skull in one hand, her other pressing low on Abby's lower back. Pulling her in closer, she kissed her deeply, taking control and demanding a response. Grinding their hips together, she didn't stop until Abby opened her legs underneath the assault, opened her mouth for Ziva's tongue to enter. Their tongues played and danced together as Ziva explored the dark recesses of Abby's mouth. Moaning, she thrust against Abby, knowing she had to get them to her bedroom before she took her on the floor or couch.

Grabbing her hand again, she ordered, "In my bedroom, Abby-girl. Now. You deserve more than a quick lay on a couch. On my bed, naked. You have two minutes." She was giving Abby a few minutes to compose herself, to get ready and let the alcohol clear. She wouldn't have this be a mistake, something to regret.