Back on shore, Abby continued to laugh. The nip to her toes had scared her, but it was more because she hadn't expected it, rather than being scared of what it was. The look of worry and concern on Gibbs' face had been priceless, but she felt bad for him. "Oh Gibbs," Abby tried to stop laughing. "I didn't mean to scare you. I just…" She gave him a big, wet, hug.
Abby wrapped a towel around her waist and out of the corner of her eye watched as Gibbs pulled off his wet shirt and toweled his hair and then dried his arms and chest with the towel Ducky offered.
Gibbs stayed quiet and after toweling off went to the tent to find dry clothes before heading off to the showers. Abby watched him walk away with a pout.
"Cheer up, my dear. He was just frightened that you were in serious danger. He just needs a bit to brood and he'll be fine." Ducky gave her shoulder a soft squeeze. "He'll be back to his… not-so-chatty self by the time he comes back."
Abby nodded and draped her towel over the back of a chair and then splashed back out to where Ziva, McGee and Tony continued toss the Frisbee through the air.
By the time they got started on dinner, those who had been playing in the water had showered and dressed and were back hanging around the campsite. Gibbs was back to his normal self, though Abby was certain that he seemed to be keeping an eye on her every move.
With dinner over, the group settled into a relaxed silence, listing to the crackle of the fire as the sun dipped below the horizon. Abby and Ziva exchanged smiles when Tony was the first to break the silence. "Who wants another scary ghost story?"
The group groaned.
"Oh come on," Tony said as he finished the last of his s'more. "You guys enjoyed the one I told last night."
"I do believe that is my cue to head to my hotel." Ducky stood and folded his chair leaning it against the picnic table. "I wish you all a pleasant evening."
"Night Duck." Gibbs nodded. Everyone followed with their own goodbyes. The group chatted on, and slowly people began drifting towards the bathroom to brush their teeth and then head to bed. Abby and Ziva were the last to grab their toiletries and head to the bathroom. They parted ways, heading towards their tents. Gibbs was already tucked into his sleeping bag, his eyes closed.
Abby zipped up the tent and then dug through her bag for her pajamas. She didn't say anything; not really caring if Gibbs watched her change, though she suspected that the gentleman in him had him keeping his eyes closed until she finished changing. She was careful as she stepped over him and settled over her sleeping bag, unzipping it and then slipping inside. She lay looking at him, waiting for him to open his eyes and say something, but he kept his eyes shut.
She knew he wasn't asleep, but she kept her voice at a whisper. "I'm sorry Gibbs."
"For what?" He opened his eyes briefly to glance at her, but didn't move.
"I didn't mean to scare you out on the water. I… I wasn't scared, I just… I wasn't expecting it, and it caught me by surprise."
"I know." Gibbs rolled to face her. "I'm not mad at you. Is that what you were thinking?"
"Well, yeah, I guess. You've been really quiet, well quieter than normal and you just… you walked away afterwards."
"Just an overload of adrenaline, that's all." Gibbs rolled back onto his back.
"But thank you. You thought I was in danger and you came to save me. Very prince charming."
"Been awhile since I've been called prince charming, Abbs." The amusement unmistakable in his voice.
"It's a well deserved title. You're always coming to my rescue." Abby took a chance and reached out to rest her hand over his heart. "It means a lot Gibbs. It really does."
Gibbs was unsure of what to say so he smiled and covered her hand with his own.
"Open up your sleeping bag, Gibbs."
"What?" Gibbs turned to look at her.
"I'm freezing. I never warmed up after the swim this afternoon. Let me in."
For some reason, Gibbs found himself unzipping his sleeping bag. He knew he shouldn't, but it was like he just couldn't stop himself.
He could see Abby's eyes sparkling through the dark, only the dim glow of the fire dying outside giving them a little light. He held open the side of his sleeping bag, expecting her to curl up to his side. Instead, Abby lay over him, and pulled the zipper back up the side, securing them both tightly inside the sleeping bag.
"Uh, Abby…?" Gibbs willed his body into submission, holding his breath so he didn't smell the mix of her shampoo and body wash.
"What are you doing?"
"We're cuddling, Gibbs."
"I… I see."
Abby propped herself up on her elbows on his chest. "Oh Gibbs, relax. I won't do anything you don't want me to do."
"That isn't what I'm worried about, Abbs."
Abby frowned. "What is?"
Gibbs knew he was losing the battle of self control and tried to shift his hips out from under her. In order to distract her from his movements, Gibbs ran the back of a finger along her cheek. "Nothing."
"Nice try. I was going to move back to my own sleeping bag, but if you aren't going to answer, I'm not moving."
"Don't Abby me." Abby made sure to keep her voice at a whisper, she was sure Tony would enjoy their conversation. She dropped her head so that her lips weren't far from his ear. "What's your problem? Am I too close, Gibbs?"
"Abby." He warned.
"Do I make you uncomfortable?"
"Abby." His voice softened.
"Do you want to kiss me?"
"Abby." It was a quiet plead.
"Do you want-"
"What, Gibbs? I can't read your mind? I don't know what's bothering you. And I certainly don't know what you want."
"You, Abby, I want you." Gibbs hissed.
Abby smiled at the irritation in his voice. She knew that if she had gotten him irritated enough he just might blurt it out. With anyone else, he would just hide away rather than blurt out his feelings, but she knew she had a special effect on him. "Was that so hard to say, Gibbs?"
"I'm starting to think that's all you know how to say." Abby leaned down to kiss him softly. Gibbs didn't press into the kiss; he just took what she offered. "Does this mean I can sleep in your sleeping bag tonight?"
Gibbs lifted his head to kiss her again. Once he had a taste of her lips, he wasn't quite ready to give it up. "Isn't it a little tight?"
"It's keeping me tight against you. I have no complaints."
"Kiss me again."
"Oh… I see how it is. I practically have to force you to say that you want me, but now that you've said it, you want all the benefits…" Abby would've kept talking, but Gibbs pulled her down into a kiss. Once he felt her relax against him, he kissed her forehead and then reached for the zipper.
"Kicking me out already?"
"Nah, you'll see."
Abby pouted briefly as Gibbs unzipped them from the tight confines of his sleeping bag, but soon realized that he was unzipping hers as well. He pushed her, playfully, off the air mattress and spread out her sleeping bag for them both to lie on, and then spread his over it for a comforter. He reached for Abby and pulled her back onto the mattress, pulling his sleeping bag over the both of them. She snuggled into his arms eagerly. "Hold me," She molded her body to his. "Hold me tightly."
Gibbs pressed a tender kiss to her hair and tightened his grip. "Don't wanna let you go."
"Huh?" Gibbs shifted a bit, and tilted her chin up to face him.
"How long have you wanted me?"
Her honest question made him smile. "A while."
"How come you never said anything?" Again, her question was honest. "I mean, I knew you cared about me, but… I sort of just took a flying leap here by zipping myself in your sleeping bag. That could've taken a very wrong turn."
"How could I say something? I'm your boss. And look at me, I'm…"
The fire had died, leaving them in complete darkness, but Abby didn't need to look at him. "You're my silver-haired fox, and I know how old you are." She knew he was about to protest so she pressed a finger to his lips. "You aren't that old, Gibbs. And as for being my boss, that's the dumbest excuse ever."
Gibbs kissed the finger she placed on his lips. "What about you? How long, Abbs?"
Abby was quiet for some time before she finally spoke. "Day one."
"Day one?" Gibbs lifted his head to look at her through the darkness.
"Yeah, day one. I mean, I didn't really think anything of it, because, well, you were married, but yeah. Day one."
It was said so nonchalantly that Gibbs couldn't help but chuckle.
"What's so funny, Gibbs?"
"Nothing." He pressed a second kiss to her hair and tightened his grip on her. "Let's get some sleep, Abby. We can talk more tomorrow."
"M'kay. Night Gibbs." Abby tilted her face to kiss his jaw before settling her head on his chest and closing her eyes. Sleep came quickly in the warmth of his arms.
Tony rubbed the sleep from his eyes when he stepped out of the tent Sunday morning. He expected the fire to be started and hot coffee in the French press. Instead the fire was cold, and the coffee still packed away in the cooler. Hmm, Tony thought. Gibbs never sleeps in.
He set to work stacking the wood and news paper the way he'd seen McGee do it the day before. It took a few extra matches, but he soon had a roaring fire. Once that was squared away he started on coffee. As the water began to boil Tony paused at was sounded like giggles coming from Abby and Gibbs' tent. A few minutes later, Gibbs unzipped the tent and stepped out, a small grin on his face as her glanced one last time into the tent.
Gibbs woke with his arms wrapped securely around Abby, her head tucked under his chin, the heat from her breath seeping through his shirt to warm his chest. He blinked a few times, wanting to be sure that she was actually there. It wasn't the first time he'd woken to find Abby in his arms, though she usually faded into the second pillow he kept on his bed.
When she snuggled closer, tightening her fingers in his shirt, he allowed himself to relax and enjoy the feeling of her body settled against his. He wondered if this would happen again, if he would be lucky enough to wake up with the woman he'd loved for so long by his side.
"You think too much."Abby's sleepy voice broke through the silence. "It's ruining my morning cuddles."
"Sorry," Gibbs chuckled and then pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
Abby lay quietly for a while and then lifted her head to face Gibbs. "What were you thinking about?"
"What about me?"
Gibbs stroked a finger along her cheek. "Just thinkin'."
"Gibbs," Abby warned. "You have to talk to me, or else this won't work."
"You want this, us, to work?"
Abby's eyes darkened and her voice lowered to a raspy whisper as she sat up. "Do I want this to work? Of course I want this to work. I want you, Gibbs."
"Relax Abbs, I want this too. I just need to be sure that you want this." Gibbs sat up and pulled Abby back into his arms. Their movement on the air mattress caught Gibbs off balance and they rolled backwards, Abby ending up sprawled over Gibbs.
Abby giggled and buried her face against Gibbs neck. "I want this Gibbs. I really do."
"Good." Gibbs lifted his head to kiss her. "But Abby…"
"I know." She returned the kiss. "I won't say anything." They both knew it'd come out eventually, but they needed to figure things out before everyone else at NCIS started talking about it. Abby rolled off his chest and watched as Gibbs grabbed his toiletries, a towel and clean clothes for the day. When he faced away from her, Abby couldn't help but smile at the sight of his ass in the sweatpants he'd used to sleep in. She couldn't wait for their relationship to take a turn, and for things to get physical. She'd always imagined that he had a tight ass, and if she let herself think about it, that he was well hung. The thought made her blush.
"What are you giggling about, Abbs?" Gibbs stood by the door, ready to unzip.
"That this is going to be so much fun."
Gibbs unzipped the tent and then sent one last smile in Abby's direction before stepping out.
Besides the odd look he'd received from Tony first thing in the morning, nothing seemed to change. Breakfast was easy going, and Abby had been distracted by a conversation with McGee on what exactly the marshmallows in Lucky Charms were made of.
By the time lunch wrapped up, Gibbs was ready to spend some quality time with his girl. "Abbs?"
"Yeah?" Abby looked up with a smile from the journal she was flipping through.
"Wanna go fishing?" Gibbs nodded to the boat tied to the small dock.
Abby's eyes lit up at the suggestion. "I'd love too!" She was up and digging through the cooler with their food supply before he could register her answer.
"What is all that?" Gibbs asked as he helped Abby into the boat.
"Food. Fish like people food too, you know. We use to fish with mini-marshmallows when I was a kid."
Gibbs settled in behind Abby and paddled them towards the middle of the lake. The rest of the team could still see them, but they couldn't be heard. Once the paddles had been pulled into the boat, Abby moved so that she was sitting directly in front of Gibbs, her back resting against his chest. With the bait on the hook, Abby tossed the line and then settled back against Gibbs.
As Abby pulled on the line ever so often, they alternated between chatting and sitting quietly, enjoying each other's presence. Gibbs was just leaning forward to press a kiss to the spider web tattoo on Abby's neck when the line jerked and Abby jumped.
"Whoa there, Abbs. It's just a fish. It can't get your toes in here." He nipped at her earlobe and then helped her to reel in the fish she'd caught. The trout they reeled in was small, but enough for two people. "Dinner for you and I."
"No, Gibbs!" Abby unhooked the fish and then held it away from Gibbs, struggling to keep hold of its slippery body. "George still has a life to live. He's not full grown. We can drive into town and get enough fish for everyone." And with that, Abby put the fish back in the water and watched as it splashed below the surface and was gone.
They relaxed out in the middle of the lake for another hour, just talking with the occasional soft kiss. Gibbs traced his fingers up and down the sides of Abby's arms, his rough fingers a stark contrast to her soft skin. Abby was careful not to rock the boat after what had happened the day before, and after a while they paddled back to shore.
With the boat tied back to the dock, Abby skipped ahead to tell the story of the fish that she caught. "…and it was THIS big!" She held out her hands in gross over-exaggeration.
"C'mon, Abbs. Let's go get some fish from the store." Gibbs nodded towards the car.
Abby started towards the car, but walked backwards so that she was still facing Tony. "I swear, it was huuuuge!"
"In the car, Abby." Gibbs opened the door and waited until she was in before shutting it again.
Gibbs and Abby strolled though the small town grocery store hand-in-hand. They eventually split up and while Gibbs went in search of fresh fish to cook over the fire, Abby cruised through the souvenir section, giggling at all the kitschy picture frames and wall-hangings.
They took their time exploring the small store, gathering everything they needed for their last dinner at the campground. At the store they were free to act like a normal couple, though Abby's outfit causes a few heads to turn. Gibbs paused for a kiss before opening the car door for Abby – Abby smiled and leaned into it.
"You gonna do this back at the campsite?"
Abby grinned and kissed him one last time. "I can be very tempting."
"That I know, Abbs."Gibbs shut the door for her and walked around to the driver's side and got in.
The evening around the camp ground was relaxed. They sipped beers as they cooked the fish they bought over the fire.
Tony was the first to notice that Gibbs was in a particularly good mood. He was playful, more so than usual with Abby, and he put up with Tony's jokes and childish behavior without so much as an irritated sigh.
"See boss, this was a good idea, wasn't it?"
Gibbs sighed. "Yeah, DiNozzo. Not bad."
Tony flashed the biggest smile he could. Though he would never admit it, he looked up to Gibbs. He was like the father that Tony never had, a mentor and a friend all rolled into one. He didn't know much of Gibbs past, but he'd been able to pick up bits and pieces here and there from Jack and from what he'd read in his file. So in the rare moments when Gibbs looked genuinely happy, it made Tony happy.
"It's like we're one large, highly dysfunctional family." Tony smiled and braced for the head slap he knew he'd receive for the comment, but was shocked when Gibbs just gave his shoulder a squeeze.
Gibbs fought a yawn. Normally he'd just head off to bed, but he didn't want to go lie down without Abby, and he couldn't exactly as her to join him – not in front of everyone else. Abby was busy comparing camping stories with Ziva, even if Tony had decided that Ziva and her siblings being left alone in the woods to defend for themselves did not count as camping.
Abby could tell that Gibbs was eyeing her. After spending most of the day in front of the others, she knew he was waiting as patiently as possible to be alone with her again, but she wasn't ready to go to bed. Instead she went to the cooler and grabbed another beer. She held it up and grabbed a few more when McGee, Ziva, Tony and Palmer nodded.
When Ducky announced that he was headed back to his hotel, Gibbs gave up on waiting for Abby and excused himself. Abby was torn, but the cold beer in her hand had her tilting her cheek towards him, as he pressed a quick kiss to her cheek much like he often did in the lab.
By the time Abby was ready for bed, she'd consumed a few more beers and was feeling rather giggly. She wasn't quite intoxicated, but she was past the point of being capable of driving. She tried to be quiet as she went to grab her toothbrush and pajamas.
When she made it back to the tent Gibbs had pulled back her side of the covers so that she could settle down on the air mattress. "Keeping my spot warm?" Abby purred as she snuggled up to him.
Gibbs tried to keep from smiling, so he kept his eyes closed. He could tell she was under the influence. "Sure, Abbs." He wrapped an arm around her and kissed her forehead. "Get some sleep. Night."
"But I'm not sleepy yet, Gibbs," she mumbled as her lips found his throat.
"Abby," he warned. He warning was short lived as he melted under Abby's kisses. "God Abbs, you will be the death of me."
"Not a bad way to go." Abby worked her hand under his shirt and traced his stomach muscles.
Gibbs tensed under her touch; this wasn't what he had planned for them. He was too old to make love to her on thin air mattress, and he certainly wasn't looking for a quick fuck – although his body was certainly telling him otherwise. "Abby, stop… we aren't doing this here."
"Doing what, Gibbs?" Abby's hand ghosted over his arousal and she smiled at his sharp intake of breath.
"I want nothing more than to make love to you," Gibbs kept his voice quiet. "But, Abbs, not here. Stay with me tomorrow when we get back to DC."
"Sure," Abby nuzzled against his cheek. "But want me to take care of this for you?" She continued to palm his erection gently through his sweats.
His body screamed yes, but his mind said no. "I… no, Abbs." A quick trip to the bathroom might be in order though.
"Alright." Abby turned his face towards hers to kiss him soundly before settling her head on his chest. "Night Gibbs."
Gibbs woke before Abby, but again he stayed in bed beside her, soaking in her warmth, his fingers sliding through her hair. He had enjoyed himself this weekend, but with the idea of Abby spending the evening with him at his place had him ready to pack up and return to DC.
He wanted to take her to dinner, somewhere nice, but nothing too fancy. He knew Abby preferred the laid back, casual places where she could relax and be herself. He let his mind wander to the night ahead, letting himself ask the questions he'd forced out of his mind for several years; what did she look like sans clothing? What did she taste like? How many tattoos did she really have?
"I could get used to this." Abby tapped her fingers lightly on his chest. She felt his lips curl into a smile against her forehead.
"So could I."
As much fun as they'd all been having, they were ready to head back home and sleep in real beds. It didn't take long for the campsite to be taken apart and repacked into the vehicles. Abby climbed into the backseat of Gibbs car, despite Ducky's offer to let her sit up front.
Abby and Ducky chatted the entire ride back to DC, talking about music and forensics and other medical things that Gibbs didn't quite understand.
Tony tossed the keys to Ziva, shrugging at the look of fear that flashed between McGee and Palmer. They pulled up to Gibbs house, shortly behind Gibbs. Everyone had parked at his house so they needed to get their cars.
"I'll give you a ride home, if you want? I'm dropping Ziva off, but will drive by your place on the way." Tony wrapped his arm around Abby's shoulders. He didn't miss the quick glance between Abby and Gibbs.
"Uh, no. It's okay, Gibbs will give me a ride home."
"Alright." Tony tried to fight the obvious grin. "I'll see you tomorrow at work."
Gibbs and Abby stood awkwardly on the front lawn watching as everyone got in their cars and drove off. As the last car rounded the corner, Gibbs stepped up behind Abby, wrapping his arms tightly around her waist. "Let me take you out for dinner?"
"If by dinner, you mean 'take you inside and get to know you better', then sure."
Gibbs watched with a smirk as Abby untangled herself from his arms, slapped him lightly on the ass and then raced up to the front door.
At the first stop light, Tony turned to Ziva with a grin. "Wanna bet Abby is camping at Gibbs' tonight?"