...my fascination with Gibbs seems to have gotten to me again. Oh well, I do hope you enjoy.

The ice behind the blue grey stare almost made his team wince. It never boded well for the person who was on the receiving end. Whilst they sympathised with his latest victim, they were simply glad that for a change it wasn't them.

"Leave," the tone of voice used, left no room for argument. Tony, Ziva and McGee left with more speed than dignity, pausing only to bid them both goodnight. There was silence in the bullpen until the sound of the elevator bell.

"Abby..." Gibbs began,

"Before you tell me off... can I just point out, I didn't do anything really dangerous, well not fatally dangerous... I mean, it could have been, but it wasn't, so really I don't think I should be yelled at." Abby only stopped because at that point she needed to take a breath. Gibbs cut in before she could continue her rambling defence.

"You scared the living daylights outta me." He growled softly, "don't do that again."

She smiled shakily at him, moving a piece of fringe out of her eyes.

"Don't plan to any time soon." Moving forward, he ran a hand down her face, relieved that she was alive. He wrapped his arms around her, comforted by her presence. He didn't know what he'd do if he lost her.

They were an odd pair, the stern, experienced special agent and the young bubbly Goth. Yet, she was one of very few who had his complete trust. If one was to describe the connection between the two, they would be hard pressed to find something in common between them.

She had the ability to make him smile, and he was fiercely protective of her. She was capable of protecting himself, but she indulged him - knowing that he always meant well and that protectiveness had in fact, saved her life more than once. It was her quick thinking that had helped him on numerous occasions.

She was extremely intelligent, he was ultimately practical, and had an unparalleled intuition. She was Goth, he was a marine, there being no such thing as a former marine! She had a love of and knack for technology, he couldn't even turn his computer on. To the logical mind, the connection between the pair is inexplicable. Yet it exists, unbreakable as ever. Never quite a daughter, but always unquestionably the favourite.

Reluctantly releasing her from his grip,

"Boat?" he asked, she nodded. She ran down to the lab to collect her belongings and met him at his car. The bright yellow car with black racing stripes always made her grin. It was his pride and joy. Jackson couldn't have gifted him with anything more special nor indeed more Gibbs. The trip to his place is filled with her inane chatter. His silence isn't one of long suffering, but rather of wry amusement.

As they step in his front door, in the bare hallway, Abby stops to remove her platform boots. He watches in almost painful fascination as she grunts and groans her way out of the painful looking shoes. He shakes his head, wondering why she wears them. Her glare warns that she know what he's thinking and not to bother asking.

The first place both of them head for is his basement, there was stored everything important, his boat and his bourbon. Clearing two jars of bolts, he poured a decent shot of bourbon in both. They would do well to forget today. But he was very watchful as she drank, never giving her more to drink than would simply allow her a dreamless sleep. As always, she would have just enough to make her drowsy. He watched her gently nod off, nestled in his old armchair and a blanket, book and bourbon in hand. He worked through the night, taking out his frustration at the case on his boat, using the restless energy he felt to sand it down.

When she woke the next morning, she slipped quietly upstairs into the kitchen, and set about making breakfast. Gibbs would be awake soon, he needed coffee or he would be a grouch. It was a routine they'd become used to, after especially hard cases. His presence around her was like a security blanket. Her presence was a distraction, and a blessing. It was something they both relied on, to stop the job from becoming too difficult. It was their time.