(post-Reveille , pre-Twilight)

Abby kept up a constant stream of noise as she opened the door to her apartment. It was not as Kate feared. The color scheme was red and black, but it was tasteful. The bookcases, plush dolls, and crucifix gave the living room a homey feel.

"Abby," Kate interrupted. "What's with the cross?"

"I'm Catholic, like you." The goth poked her friend's gold necklace, then showed off the large, detailed cross tattoo on her back. She then showed her around, pausing before her own bedroom.

"I should warn you, Kate. The rumors are true, I sleep in a coffin." Kate thought it was a bit cute, in an Abby kind of way. The coffin was black with red lining, and a red blanket attached to the top. That was likely the cover, leaning against the wall.

"Abby, is the guest room the, um, same?"

"It's a coffin, if that's what you mean. But don't worry, it's a double wide, so you shouldn't be cramped. But if you don't want to sleep in a coffin, I can make up the couch, it's no big deal…"

"You have a double-wide coffin?" Kate asked, astounded.

"Yup! I couldn't find an affordable one online, so my then-girlfriend made me one, so we could, you know." She winked.

"Girlfriend? You said you were Catholic, Abs." Everyone had heard the rumors that the forensic scientist swung both ways, but no-one was brave enough to ask her.

"I am Catholic, I go bowling with the nuns a lot. The Bible doesn't really say anything about homosexuals, and even if it did, it also says disobedient children should be stoned. And, I mean, God loves everyone, even the rapists and murderers, and I think He'd be more concerned about the rapists and murderers than who I love." She shrugged.

"That… makes sense, Abby." Kate replied, nodding to the younger woman.

The night passed in easy companionship. They took turns in the bathroom, and when Abby emerged, Kate thought she looked adorable. She was wearing a black nightgown with white lace, it looked as if it was modeled after the middle ages. Her black hair was down from pigtails, and all her makeup was off. As Kate walked by to change into her own pajamas, she pecked the Goth on the cheek. Neither woman mentioned it, but Kate was willing to bet Abby thought about it nearly as much as she did. They ordered a half-and-half pizza to be delivered, and played board games.

"I realize working with Tony has probably put you off movies forever, but I'm gonna pop one in for some background noise, k?"

"Sure, just make sure it's a 'background noise' kind of movie. No screaming, please." Kate nearly laughed when the woman took out a VHS tape, but stifled it with her hands. They played Boggle and Scrabble to the sounds of Pocahontas, Abby singing along to every song with Kate jumping in when she remembered the words. When 11 o'clock rolled around, Kate went to try to sleep in the double-wide coffin. It was surprisingly easy.

A few hours later, Kate woke in a cold sweat. Disoriented, it took her a few minutes to get her bearings and get out of the coffin.

"Kate, you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, Abby. Just a bad dream."

"Bête noire? You wanna tell me?"

"Sure, could you get the light?"

"Shield your eyes." Kate clapped her hands to face, but it was too late. She was momentarily blinded, and stood, blinking like an idiot, until called back to Earth.

"Kate? Your nightmare?"

"It was nothing really." Abby frowned. "Just that stupid terrorist, Ari."

"Aw, Kate. You have nothing to worry about. Gibbs is obsessed with this guy, he won't get near you again." Kate sighed and sat in the large coffin, Abby following.

"That's not what I'm scared of, Abby. Gibbs is so focused on him, I just- I dreamt Ari killed Gibbs…" She furiously wiped at her face until her arms were pinned by a warm hug. This wasn't one of Abby's 'I'm so glad you're not dead' vice-tight hugs, this was the comfort and acceptance of a lover. Kate didn't care, she needed this. She sobbed into the other girl's shoulder, and must've fallen asleep. When she awoke, she was holding a pale forearm and the goth was curled against her back.

"Go back to sleep, Kate. It's Saturday. Your phone hasn't rang. I'm right here."

"I don't want to sleep. What time is it?"

"I'd guess about 9."

"Wow. Wonder how long Gibbs has been working on his boat for…"

"Hours, probably. He only needs a little more sleep than me."

"Abby, how much sleep did you get?" She turned to glare at her unrepentant hostess.

"Well, I was playing an MMORPG when I heard you moving around, that was about 1. I stayed in here with you, falling asleep at 3-ish. Woke up an hour and a half ago at 7:30."

"Abby! That's barely half of what you need!"

"I get that much sleep every night, Kate. It's no big deal."

"It is so a big deal! I ought to kill Gibbs for always bringing you that caffeine crap!"

"Aw, but I love the caffeine crap, Kate!" She whined, grinning. After a little chaste snuggling, the women got up to get breakfast. As Abby listed choices, Kate hit the 'rewind' button on the movie player.

"French toast sounds good, Abs." She called, waiting for the video to finish. A few minutes later, a plate was placed in front of her. She looked down at 2 pieces of French toast, some scrambled eggs, and a glass of milk.

"Mmm, this is good Abby!" They finished and Kate showered and dressed as Abby did the dishes. When Abby went take her turn in the bathroom, Kate, unthinkingly, pecked her cheek again.

"You sure you're a good little Catholic girl, Kate?" The goth giggled, shutting the door before her companion could respond. Not wanting to invade Abby's privacy, Kate spent the time looking at her movies. She had all the Disney Classics, a lot of chick-flicks, and more horror films than Kate wanted to think about. Kate chuckled as she thought that the movie rack looked like one a single mother of 2 might have. Disney for the young daughter, horror for the teenage boy, with generic feel-good movies mom would watch.

Kate couldn't help thinking of Abby's comment. Was she really a good Catholic girl? Did loving someone of the same sex make her not a good Catholic girl? Not according to Abby's logic.

Abby. Did she like Abby that way? They were definitely friends, but more? Kate wasn't sure. She had kissed the woman, twice, but that didn't necessarily mean something. Girls kissed each other on the cheek all the time, and Gibbs kissing Abby's cheek didn't even bother McGee. Then there was the problem of Gibbs, and Rule 12. She hadn't forgotten his warning when she resigned from the Secret Service, and he was incredibly protective of his Abby.

"Pull that crap at NCIS, I won't give you a chance to resign."

Plus, her boss was an old, hard-assed bastard, and she was pretty sure a dismissal wouldn't be the only thing he gave her. She sighed. Why was she even thinking this way? She wasn't even sure if she loved Abby, and she was considering the consequences of getting caught with her.

Abby came out of the bathroom then, wearing a tight-fitting band tee, plaid mini-skirt, and black and red striped toe socks.

"Find something you want to watch, Kate?" She asked, pulling her damp hair into her customary pigtails.

"No, today doesn't feel like a movie day, you know?"

"I totally hear you. I've been thinking of getting my eyebrow pierced, we could do that."

"Oh, no, Abby. I already have a tat."

"Exactly! Piercings are so less permanent!"

"I'll watch you, but I'm not getting anything, ok?"

"Aw, thank you, Kate!" For a second she couldn't breathe, then a many-ringed hand has pulling her to the door. Laughing, she tugged her shoes on and followed her excited friend to the hearse in the garage.

"Abby! Quit playing with it or you'll get infected!" The were strolling hand-in-hand on The National Mall, but her friend's free hand kept going to her forehead. Kate imagined they looked like a very odd couple. Not only were they both women, but the taller was the happiest goth you'd ever meet, and she herself was an ex-Secret Service agent, dressed casually.

Dammit, Kate! Why are you thinking like that? Do you love her? I don't know. Exactly, so focus on where you're going!

She stopped a foot away from walking into a parked bicycle. Abby was looking upward.

"You're gonna go blind, Abbs."

"No, I won't."

"Yes, you will. Your eyesight will be as bad as Gibbs's." She teased, and Abby immediately stopped her staring contest with the sun. Wondering about the time, Kate checked her cell phone.

"Abby, it's about 1. Lunch?"

"Sure! We could go to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, they have a food-court."

"Sounds great." They waited in the line outside the museum, then Kate waited patiently and Abby rolled her eyes at all the extra security she garnered. When the buckles and studs on her platform boots set off the metal detectors, they brought over the metal-detecting wand. After assuring it was only her boots, the women waited while a security team checked the offending shoes over. Kate was slightly embarrassed to be stuck in this kind of scene, but her friend seemed incredibly nonchalant about it. She wiggled her toes and sighed loudly. Once, she had called over to the security squad.

"Hey! Sorry about the smell!" She had proceeded to lift a leg and wiggle her red and black toes, laughing and hanging on a furiously blushing Kate for balance.

"Abby! You're going to get us kicked out before we get in!"

"Kate, we are in! Look!" They then waited for the boots while looking and pointing at all the displays around. When Abby was finally able to retrieve her boots, they made their way to the food.

While eating, they looked at the map in the pamphlet, plotting their course for the afternoon. They watched a movie in the IMAX theatre to let their stomachs settle and feet rest, before wandering around, looking at all the airplanes and spaceships. Abby was interested in the science of it, reading all the plaques and descriptions. Kate just looked at everything, slightly in awe of how far the human race had come. They made their way to the gift shop, where they cooed over the stuffed animals, and kept calling one another to the opposite end of the store. Eventually, Kate got a keychain and Abby got a space blanket and a small teddy bear with a 'Smithsonian Air and Space' T-Shirt on.

"I understand the bear, but a space blanket, Abbs?"

"I can use it in my lab, or keep it my hearse for emergencies." Doubtful of its size while tucked in the small box, she tried to persuade Abby to open it up.

"I just don't think it'll be big enough, we should check and make sure. Better safe than sorry."

"No, Kate, once we open it we'll never be able to get it back in the box." They quickly let the matter drop, wandering around the crowded museum. They managed to find a quieter, secluded exhibit that only had a few other people in it. They sat down gratefully on a provided bench and rested. Kate checked her phone and was amazed when it read 6 PM.

"Oh, wow."

"What's 'oh, wow'?" Kate showed Abby the time.

"Oh, wow." They ambled back to the hearse and stopped at Abby's before dropping Kate at her place. As she made to get out of the car, she leaned in and kissed Abby's cheek just as hers was kissed. Feeling the heat rush to her face, Kate bid her friend goodnight and exited the macabre vehicle.