Just a little two-part bit that I wrote. I needed a little happy in my life (some of you know what's been going on in my life) so I wrote some happy times. Enjoy.
"No, you can forget about it." Gibbs narrowed his eyes to focus on his computer screen.
"But Gibbs, it's already all planned out. The Director gave us this Friday and Monday off, the sites have been reserved, and between McGee, Palmer and Tony, we've got all the supplies." She waved her hand back over her shoulder towards Tony's desk.
"It's true, boss. McScout has everything we could ever need." Tony added.
"Gibbs." Abby dipped her head lower to try and catch his gaze.
She had perched on the edge of his desk giving him no way to get away without looking at her and he knew it. He also knew that one look, one little pout, and he would crack. He had long known about having Friday and Monday off, and he had planned to utilize that extra time on his boat. He had figured that if he had kept quiet about the extra time off, which was well deserved and needed for his team, that nothing major would be planned.
Maybe an evening of poker, maybe a movie, but that was it.
He'd never agree to go camping.
Then he looked up.
Damn Abby and her green eyes. One glance into her pleading eyes and he was a wreck of emotion and couldn't say no. "Fine."
"Yay!" Abby jumped off the edge of the desk and clicked her heels together. "It's going to be great, Gibbs. And don't worry. It's a nice campground, flush toilets, and hot showers. There is a big lake for swimming, boating, fishing, all sorts of fun to be had."
"I'm sure. But Abby, I've agreed to go so will you please…" The look he gave her told her she needed to get back to work.
Abby spun around on her toes before she rounded the corner. "Oh, and I'm tenting with you."
"Abby..?" The question he wove around her name never reached her ears. Abby was already at the back elevator, headed down to her lab.
Abby's excitement for the trip spread like wildfire. By Tuesday morning, everything had been planned out. McGee and Tony had secured tents, managed to round up enough air-mattresses and sleeping bags, and even a few extra large turquoise tarps, just in case they were hit with a summer rain storm.
The week went by excruciatingly slow for Abby, and Thursday afternoon she watched the clock tick down the minutes until she could leave. She had already packed her clothes, but she wanted to run down the list of what she was planning to bring – just in case she had forgotten something.
Friday morning Abby was up before the sun. They were taking two cars to the campground. She was to be picked up by Ducky and driven over to Gibbs' where she would ride with him and Ducky. McGee, Palmer, Tony and Ziva would ride in the second car and pull a small trailer with their supplies.
It took three hours for the group to drive to Otter Creek Campground. Before they arrived at the campground they stopped off at a local grocery store to load up their coolers with food for the next few days. Abby and Tony skittered around the store, loading up on marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Then with an evil glint in their eyes, they found the cold section.
"Let's see… Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night… and we're how many people? Seven. How much beer do we need?"
Before Tony could answer, he felt Gibbs' hand collide with the back of his head. "I don't know how to answer that, boss."
"I'm not sure the grocery store has enough beer to get me through this long weekend, DiNozzo."
"Right, boss." Tony started lifting cases of beer into the cart.
Abby linked her arm through Gibbs. "Don't worry, I packed you bottle of bourbon in my bag."
Gibbs pulled his arm away from Abby and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her into to brush a kiss to the top of her head. "Thanks, Abbs. I packed a bottle, too."
"Course you did, bossman. Rule number whatever, always be prepared." Abby nudged him with her elbow and then pulled away and skipped down the aisle to grab a few bags of chips.
It was lunch time when they arrived at Otter Creek Campground. Tony checked them in; they had two adjacent campsites along the far side of the lake, and returned to the cars with a map of the campground.
They drove to their sites and scoped out where to place their tents. Gibbs laid out his tent as far as possible from where Tony was setting up his tent. He watched at Palmer and McGee set out to set up their tent as well. He watched Ziva and Tony bicker about which pole was the main support, and he couldn't help but smile when Ziva finally threatened to use the pole against him. Tony backed off and let Ziva give the directions.
Gibbs thought for a moment. "Wait a minute. Only three tents?"
Tony straightened and looked at him. "Well, yeah. Abby said she was sleeping in your tent. Ziva and I are sharing and McGee and Palmer are McCuddling in the third tent."
"… And Ducky?"
"Oh heavens no, Jethro. My back can't handle an air mattress. I'm booked in a nearby hotel five miles from here."
"Oh, you need to stay here with your team. I promise I'll be here first thing in the morning and I'll stay for the campfire in the evening."
Gibbs shook his head and returned his attention to setting up the tent. While everyone else worked on securing the tents, Ducky and Abby started lunch. They had picked up chicken and potato salad from the grocery store deli. Abby dug out paper plates and napkins for everyone and popped open the cooler containing the soda. She figured they could save the beer for later. With a little help, they managed to push the two picnic tables together to form one long table.
"Ohh, what are we going to do first?"
"Do? Abby, we're camping. This is relaxing, we're not doing anything."
"But we can borrow canoes, we can go fishing, we could go swimming…"
"Does sound like fun."Tony added.
"Do whatever you feel like, but I brought a book."
"Gibbs reads?" It was out of Palmer's mouth before he could rethink it. Abby couldn't suppress a laugh, even when Gibbs shot them both a look.
After lunch Ziva decided on hike with McGee through the trails around the campground. Palmer pulled out a lawn chair and settled down with a book.
Tony and Abby started playing speed, but the game soon changed to gin rummy with the addition of both Gibbs and Ducky. They remained busy until early evening. Tony offered to make a fire in the fire pit so they could roast hotdogs for dinner.
He gathered wood, newspaper and a box of matches and set to work. Fifteen minutes later, Tony was no closer to building a fire than when he started - he was just short several matches. Ducky and Gibbs watched as Tony fought to catch the wood on fire. McGee and Ziva were headed back towards the site when McGee caught sight of what Tony was doing.
"Need a little help?"
"Go away, McGoo. I can do it."
"Come on, Tony. We won't have any matches left for the next two days if you keep at it like that. Hand 'em over." McGee knelt down next to Tony and took the matches that were reluctantly handed over.
McGee had a roaring fire within minutes.
Ziva didn't quite understand the idea of cooking hotdogs on a stick over a fire. She thought it to be rather primitive and something done for survival. She knew how to make many things over a fire, but as everyone else seemed to be excited she went along with it.
The sky slowly darkened and they all retreated to their tents for warmer clothes. A cool breeze came in from the mountains. They all gathered again around the fire to make s'mores.
This was a tradition Ziva could get used to.
"So, who has a good ghost story?" Palmer asked between sucking the melted marshmallow off his fingers.
"Aw, man. I got a good one, I'd just hate to give you all nightmares." Tony boasted.
"Ooh, tell it, Tony." Abby raised her eyebrows in excitement.
The others nodded and Tony began. "Sarah had always been the 'black sheep' of her family. She came from a rural and very conservative…." Tony continued with his story. He used his best story-telling technique, different voices, pausing for dramatic effect. "…Get out of the house, Sarah! For God's sake, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!!! Then, the phone line went dead."
Tony looked around at everyone, awaiting their reactions.
"Really, Tony, was that it?" Ziva asked through her yawn.
"What do you mean, was that it? Come on, that was creepy."
"No, those were the stories we heard in like 5th grade. I've got one for you guys." Abby drew her hands into the sleeves of her sweatshirt.
"Sure, it cannot be worse than Tony's story." Ziva smiled across the fire.
"It wasn't that bad." Tony defended.
"Zip it, McGoo."
"You put Palmer to sleep…" McGee pointed at Palmer, his head dipping to his chest.
Abby made herself comfortable in her seat and started. "Back where I grew up in central Louisiana, there's an old rock quarry deep in the piney woods, abandoned long ago by a mining company…" Abby's husky voice was low as she told the story. They sky grew dark and it seemed like the wind stilled as she told her tale. Even Gibbs found himself sitting up a little straighter as she spoke. "…When the moon is full, they swear that they see a reflection in that still, black water below - in the shape of a skull, near the spot where Logan died."
As if on cue, when Abby finished her story they heard a small splash in the lake.
"What was that?" Tony gripped the arms of his chair tightly.
"Probably a fish, Tony." Abby's eyes sparkled.
"Yeah, I knew that…"
"Well, I better get going. I look forward to a nice warm hotel room and a real bed. I'll be back by 9am tomorrow." Ducky stood and double checked that he still had the car keys in his pocket.
"Good story, Abbs, any of it real?"
Abby looked over at Gibbs. She sent him a playful smile, her lower lip caught between her teeth. "Need me to hold your hand tonight, Gibbs?"
"It wasn't that scary." Gibbs chuckled, his lop-sided grin setting Abby's heart on fire.
Abby rolled her eyes and pulled her arm further up the sleeve of her sweatshirt and then swatted the fabric at Gibbs face.
Abby yawned and then stretched. "Alright, I'm off to bed. Tony, you can crawl in the tent with me and Gibbs if you get scared."
Before Tony could speak, Gibbs spoke up. "DiNozzo, someone better be in the process of sawing off your arm if you so much as look towards my tent."
"Careful what you say, Gibbs. Ziva just might try it." Abby flicked at Gibbs ear after she stood. She headed towards the tent and gathered her toothbrush and toothpaste.
"I will go with you." Ziva hurried to get her toothbrush and toothpaste and the two women followed a path towards the bathroom.
When they got back, the guys were just getting their things and then headed towards the bathroom. Abby wish Ziva a pleasant night, and laughed at the look she received. Ziva was hoping to be asleep before Tony returned; she didn't need to hear him complain about the possibility of her snoring – which she completely denied.
Abby changed into a pair of flannel pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt. It wasn't the sexiest of the nightwear she owned, but nights in a tent were often chilly, even if it was summer. She set to work inflating the air mattress, the loud hum of the air pump masked the sound of the men returning to the camp site.
"There is only one?"
Abby turned to look at Gibbs, unsure of what he was referring to.
"Ah, yeah. We were only able to get two singles and two doubles. We figured that the singles should be for McGee and Jimmy. Imagine them cuddling." Abby's eyes lit up at the thought. "Hand me a sleeping bag?" Abby pointed to the corner of the tent where two fluffy sleeping bags were rolled.
Gibbs tossed it to the far side of the air mattress. "You sleep on that side. I'll sleep closest to the door."
"What if I have to get up and pee in the middle of the night?"
"Step over me."
"Will you get up and walk me to the bathroom? There are all sorts of wild animals out there."
"Abby… do you need to go again before you lay down?"
"Nah, I'm just kidding." Abby unrolled her sleeping bag and motioned for Gibbs to toss her pillow to her. She snuggled down in her sleeping bag and watched as Gibbs unrolled his sleeping bag.
"Roll over, I need to change."
Abby did as she was told and listened carefully to the sound of his belt buckle, the zipper on his pants… She tried to think of other things. Major mass spec, electrophoresis, painting her nails… It didn't work. After a few minutes she felt the air mattress lift her further as Gibbs settled beside her. She turned slightly when he gave her shoulder soft squeeze. "Night Abbs."
She heard the click of the small lantern and the tent was drenched in darkness. Abby didn't realize how tired she was and within moments she found herself drifting off to sleep.
Gibbs lay silently beside her, aware of every small movement she made. The slight shift of her hips sent a wave across the air mattress and reminded him just how close she was. It was a constant reminder of what he wanted and what he was certain he couldn't have.
Abby woke to the sounds of birds chirping outside and Gibbs' empty sleeping bag. Everyone except for Jimmy was already up and breakfast had been started. Tony stood at the cook-top he'd set up on one of the picnic tables frying eggs and bacon while Ducky stirred the oatmeal. Gibbs was already on his second pot of coffee made in the French press Abby had packed for him.
The team sat around, silently eating their breakfast and drinking coffee, enjoying the fresh air, the silence of the woods, and the lapping of the water at the edge of the lake. Once breakfast was over, they all took turns heading to the showers and dressing for the day.
The day was warm and they spent the rest of the morning relaxing around their campsites.
After lunch Tony was able to convince Abby, Ziva and McGee to go for a swim in the lake. Gibbs declined, said he was going to paddle out in a canoe, while Ducky and Jimmy were deep in conversation over the latest medical journal.
Abby returned from the tent in her swimsuit. It was black with red polka dots. While Ziva wore a bikini, Abby's was a regular swimsuit; she wasn't out for a tan. She caught Gibbs eyeing her over the newspaper he had in his hand, so she made her way over, pressed the SPF 50 into his hand, turned her back to him and lifted her hair off her neck.
Gibbs hesitated briefly before he began to apply the sunscreen to the back of her neck, her shoulders and the small cutouts on the back of her swimsuit. Chatting happily with him, Abby was focused on not reacting to the firm touch of his rough hands. Her conversation led her to miss the look between Tony and Ziva. When he was done, Abby took the bottle and continued applying the lotion to her arms, legs, face.
Tony grabbed a Frisbee and the four headed out to the water. Gibbs gathered the newspaper he planned to read out on the canoe and followed them down to the lake. Abby watched his arms tense and then relax as he paddled to the center of the lake.
Tony, Abby, Ziva and McGee splashed into the water. Eventually they settled into a game of keep-away with the Frisbee, the guys' verses girls. Abby and Ziva, both powerful swimmers had no problem keeping the Frisbee away from the guys. Just as Tony was about to reach Ziva she flung the Frisbee towards Abby as hard as she could. The Frisbee flew through the air, just above Abby's fingertips.
Abby swam out further in the lake to retrieve it and then turned to throw it back. She threw it and watched as it sailed easily to land in the water just feet from where Ziva was treading water. Moments before she was about to swim back Abby screamed and her arms thrashed wildly in the water. Gibbs, hearing her scream paddled quickly towards where Abby was still thrashing about. "Abby!"
When his boat was in reach Abby tried to pull herself up into the boat. Gibbs leaned over and grabbed the back of her suit to pull her in. In an attempt to balance out the weight, Gibbs shifted backwards. As Abby was pulled into the boat, Gibbs wasn't able to balance the canoe. With a big splash, they both toppled over the opposite side of the canoe.
Gibbs shook the water from his eyes and looked for Abby. He found her clinging to the side of the canoe laughing.
"Abby, what the hell happened?"
"I… fish… you… fell…" Abby couldn't control her laughter.
By now Tony and Ziva had swam out to where Abby and Gibbs were clutching to the side of the boat. "What happened?"
Abby inhaled deeply to calm her laughter. "A fish nibbled my toe!"
Part two will be up soon.