There's a reason Abby works best alone. That reason comes back to haunt her.

Gibbs drew his gun cautiously. He sidled into the lab, checking each area before moving onto the next. He finally found her. He returned the gun to the holster at his side. Abby sat in the corner of her lab shaking. Her arms were wrapped tightly around her knees and her head was bowed. She heard footsteps and shied away,

"Abbs," Gibbs called softly, "Abby?" She didn't look up but at the sound of his voice, her whole body seemed to become less tense. He moved towards her, his hand resting on his gun.

"What's wrong?" he asked as he knelt next to her, "speak to me Abby, I can't help you otherwise."

She lifted her head to look at him. That was all it took to make him see red. If you ever asked Abby later, she would say the air around them seemed to chill.

Her eyes were swollen and bruised, with a trickle of blood from a cut on the corner of her lip. She had several scratches running across her neck. He held out his arms, and she fell into them sobbing. He let her quiet down for several minutes before leaning back and grasping her chin firmly, but softly enough not to hurt her and forced her to look him in the eye.

"What happened?" he asked, "and don't tell me it's nothing."

"... I'm sorry Gibbs, he shouldn't have caught me off guard like that..." Abby began, "I should have known better..." her voice faded away.

"Should have fought better..."

"Who did this to you Abby?" Gibbs asked again, when she didn't answer him, he let out a frustrated sigh,

"It was the same guy, wasn't it?" he said, "How did he get in here?..." Abby shook her head in confusion, instantly regretting the action as it set of fireworks behind her eyes.

"I don't know, I was just in here. The camera in my lab has been on the blink for a couple of days, but I didn't think anything of it. Then he was here, and I didn't have time to react, and... Gibbs, not again... Please, not again."

"No, he won't get away with it this time." Gibbs assured her, "not again. I'm going to finish it, one way or another." She leaned against him, allowing his warmth to soothe her.

"You need to go see Ducky, and then you're going to stay at my place. McGee will be watching over you." Abby shook her head,

"Gibbs, I can't! There's too much work to do... I need to process the evidence before tonight, I need to map the trajectory of the bullet..." her voice faded into nothingness at the stern look on Gibbs' face.

"Don't argue with me Abby, not this time."

Allowing her to lean on his stronger frame, they went to the elevator where Tony waited, SIG drawn.

"Abby, what..." He began, but Gibbs shook his head, his eyes spoke volumes. He would explain everything later. As the door shut on the two figures in the elevator, Tony wondered who would be stupid enough to harm Abby.

There was no doubt in his mind that there would be a body in Ducky's morgue before this was be over. The only question that remained was who would put it there.