Gibbs was on the next to the last step leading down to the basement when he heard the elevator ding. He thought he was, as usual, the first one in the office this morning. He didn't expect Abby to be in her lab yet, but he knew the door code and was hoping to get in, deliver her morning Caf-Pow! as a surprise, and get out before she got in. If that was her on the elevator, he'd not been quick enough. Oh well, he could certainly do with a little morning affection from "his girl."
He stepped around the corner, without making a sound, and was shocked to see Abby with her arms thrown around Harry the Janitor's neck. After the initial shock wore off, he realized it was completely innocent, as he heard her ask him about how his parents and his puppy were doing as she keyed in the entry code to her lab. Once they were finished with their morning pleasantries, she headed into her domain and Harry moved on to mop the floor around the far corner. But Gibbs noticed that he did so with a big smile on his face. He understood the sentiment—a hug from Abby could keep a man going for the rest of the day.
Gibbs shook his head slightly. But the pang in his chest that he'd felt when he'd saw Abby with her arms around the other man persisted.
What's the big deal, Gunny?
Oh, he'd seen her hug DiNozzo, Palmer, Ducky, and of course McGee, plenty of times. And, he had to admit, he didn't especially like it. What the hell was his problem?
A little voice in the back of his head whispered, "You're jealous."
Gibbs was shocked. Jealous? Me? About Abby? Why?
"Because, you crave those hugs and you want them all for yourself," the little voice whispered again.
He was getting annoyed with the little voice. He gave it his best interrogation room stare and sent it packing back to the deep recesses of his mind, reminded himself of Rule #12, and made his way into Abby's lab.
Abby was in her inner-office at her desk with her computer already on and checking her email by the time Gibbs made it into the lab. She looked up as the sliding glass doors opened and smiled at him.
God, he loved that smile.
She jumped up, took the Caf-Pow! from his hand as well as his own coffee, sat them on the corner of her desk, and proceeded to wrap him up in a big, smothering hug!
When the little voice poked its head out of its hiding place and whispered to him that this hug was much more intense than the one that Harry had received, he mentally growled at it.
"Thank you so much for the Caf-Pow!, Gibbs! You made my day! Of course, just seeing that gorgeous silver-hair of yours makes it a great day..." she said with a wink as she let him go.
Gibbs tried to hide the blush he felt rising in his cheeks and with a crooked half-smile said, "Well, if I'd known that, I wouldn't have bothered with the Caf-Pow! I can always take it back..." He moved to grab the bright red cup.
"No, no, no, no, no! I didn't mean it like that!" She reached the cup before he did, scooped it up in both hands, brought the straw to her lips and took a long, deep suck of the fruity, red drink, as she gazed up at him through her lashes.
Gibbs felt himself twitch at the site. Down, Gunny!
"So," Abby asked after she swallowed her first caffeine hit of the morning, "I didn't hear the elevator. Where'd you come from?"
"Took the stairs this morning, Abbs." And, before he could stop, he heard himself continue: "You hug everyone you see, don't you?"
Abby didn't miss the slightly petulant tone in his voice, cocked her head to the side and gave him a questioning look.
"Saw you hugging the life outta Harry. Didn't want to interrupt anything, so I waited till you were done."
"Oh my God, Gibbs! Are you jealous?" she said with her hands on her hips and a big smile on her face.
Gibbs winced. "Who me? Jealous? Of course not, Abbs," he said as he moved to leave the lab.
Abby was quicker and stepped around him to block his path.
"You are! You're jealous! I can't believe it."
Gibbs made to move past her as he muttered, "Am not."
She watched him until he almost made it to the outer door and said, "You know, you don't have any reason to be."
He stopped in his tracks but didn't turn to face her. "What?"
"I said, you don't have any reason to be. Not that I don't understand jealousy, though. I get jealous about you all the time," she said matter-of-factly.
Now, he did turn around. "Huh?"
She started to move around her outer lab, turning on her machines as she talked, hoping he wouldn't hear the slight waver in her voice or see the blush that was threatening to rise.
"I mean, take Director Sheppard for instance. When she got here and I realized that you two had been, well... intimate... Yeah, the big green monster really gripped me hard! Then I realized that I didn't even know you at the time I really would have had a reason to be jealous of her, and that whatever you two had had was in the past and now you were just really good friends. Then she and I became good friends too, and I realized that I was just happy that you had someone else around to watch your back, you know? And then she died. And I really, really miss her, Gibbs." She paused to look at him with sadness in her eyes.
Gibbs looked back at her steadily and said very softly, "I miss her too, Abbs."
She nodded and bit her lip as she looked out the window for a moment. Then he saw the sadness lift from her features.
She started to move around the room again, readying it for whatever forensics goodies she might get that day. "Of course, don't even get me started on the subject of Hollis Mann. I've never gotten over my jealousy of her. Hell, I still turn green whenever I even think of her name!" she said as she shook her head.
Gibbs chuckled. "You have no reason to be jealous, Abbs."
"Well, maybe not of her anymore. But, you may not realize just how women look at you Gibbs. Like you're a piece of meat they can't wait to sink their teeth into." By now she was gesturing with her hands and her voice started to get higher.
"I mean, I can't blame them and all, you are incredibly hot. I look at you that way too. I just don't have to like it when I see another woman throw herself all over you." Then she pointer her finger at him and said, "And you know, you're not exactly oblivious. Hell, you can flirt with the best of them!"
Gibbs was mildly shocked to see that she was starting to really work herself up about this. He set his coffee down on one of her steel tables, walked over to her and put his hands on her forearms.
"Abby, trust me, you don't have any reason to be jealous. Of Hollis, Jenny, any of the ex-wives, or any women who may or may not look at me like I'm a piece of meat. Seriously, ok?" he said as he reached out and drew his thumb down the side of her cheek, making the sign for "my girl."
She smiled and launched herself at him with another hug.
He gave himself a moment to enjoy the feeling of her in his arms again and then said, "Hey, we got off the subject here. I thought this was about me being jealous over you, not the other way around."
Abby pulled back to look at him with surprise, but kept her arms around his neck. So, he kept his around her waist.
"You are jealous! I knew it! I can't believe you just admitted it!"
Gibbs looked down at the floor as he couldn't stop the blush this time. He knew he was caught.
Abby's voice softened. "Hey," she said as she lifted his chin to look him in the eyes. "I told you all of that to make you realize that you don't have to be jealous. Don't you know I'd give up ever hugging anyone else, if I just had enough Gibbs hugs and cheek-kisses to meet my affection quota?"
Gibbs' heart swelled. "Affection quota, huh?" he said with the smile that made her knees week.
"Well, yeah. I'm an affectionate person, Gibbs. I need lots of love. But trust me, Gibbs love is the best."
"Yeah? Well, how many hugs and cheek-kisses are we talking here?"
She pretended to ponder for a moment. "Oh, I'd say at least 10 a day on average. On top of what I already get for a forensics job well-done. Maybe 15 on a bad day."
"That's a lot of love, Abbs. When, exactly, am I supposed to get any work done, if I'm down here seeing to your...needs... all the time?" he said with a smirk and a raised brow.
Abby nearly swooned when he said "needs." It put her in mind of several needs she wouldn't mind him seeing to for her. Which gave her an idea. It would be pushing her luck, but then again, she'd been pushing it all morning, hadn't she?
"Perhaps we could work out a more...intense...way for you to...see to my needs...you know, that would hold me over for longer periods of time, while you get your work done."
Gibbs swallowed hard. The little voice in his mind had taken the form of a little Goth devil. It pulled Rule #12 out of its place, and was about to set it on fire. Gibbs didn't even try to stop it.
"Oh yeah? What might that be?" he said very softly, as he looked directly into her beautiful green eyes.
She stared back into fields of blue and said just as softly, "How 'bout a real kiss, on the lips, instead of cheek kisses."
"How many of those do you think you might need to meet your daily affection quota?"
"Well, that would depend on their intensity...and duration. If done right, I'd think three: one in the morning, one after lunch, and one at the end of the day."
"Hmmm. And, what if you have...needs...when we're not at work?"
"Well, I don't know, Gibbs. Would you be available...if I was in need?"
"Yeah, Abbs, I think I would." He noticed that their heads had moved closer together as they had been negotiating.
"That's good to know... So, I think we've worked out a pretty good deal here. But, I'm gonna need a show of good faith before I can sign on the bottom line."
"A show of good faith, huh? I think I can manage that," he said and closed the small distance between their lips, giving her a show of affection that promised a lifetime of more to come.