Disclaimer: No profit is intended. If you feel like suing me, please consult column O-1 under military pay tables.

Summary: Gibbs has always been there for Abby.

Author's note: This story comes with a big very big WARNING. It deals with the subject of sexual assault and its aftermath. If that is going to cause you any discomfort, bring up bad memories, or squik you out in any way, please do not read.

Acts of Hubris

by: Tamisn Bailey

It's late.

There has been a lot alcohol between now and the wayback beginning of the night, but things are good. Things are rolling. The music and the adrenaline are twining low down in her belly, the quicksilver fingers running the column of her neck giving it a living pulse. So she pushes her head back in laughter that she can feel but not hear, baring her throat, because the night is crystalline perfection and the beauty of the man in front of her means that she herself is beautiful.

The fingers drop down her arm to circle her wrist, she follows the tugging through the crowd and the heavy smell of smoke and sex. Outside. She should come down now, away from the people, out where the music is a dull thumping, but the angle of his shoulder blades under the shimmer of his shirt keeps everything buzzing.

His mouth is a crescendo, so loud she doesn't know about the knife until it's already against her skin.

"Relax." His smile reassures. "It feels good." Seduction laces his voice and the slim blade he holds so expertly, and she feels curiosity stir. Medial cubital vein, inside of the elbow. Safe.

But no. No. She might let the party pull against the edges of her discrete consciousness, might follow a stranger into an ally, but this is too deep. Go too far into the dark and there is no light to show the path back. She holds herself carefully, shakes her head.

But his hand is hard against her throat, holding without apparent effort. His free hand folds around the scalpel handle and she knows a deep terror of having the blade near her eyes as his fist crashes into the side of her face.