Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any of the charcters from it. I do however own the crazy mind that puts these concoctions (what you're about to read) together. I'm not making any money from this. It's all purely for fun. No Copyright Infringement Intended. I'm just a heathily addicted, loyal fan of the show!. =D


Ending the Game
by NCISFF Special Agent Starr

Pushing open the door to the men's room, he was momentarily surprised to see Abby standing there with her back facing the mirror, leaning against the countertop. Only the side of her face could be seen for now, but the watery, black, trail of liquid staining her cheek was unmistakable.

This must be why Gibbs had advised me to come in here. He was sitting at his desk, completely unaware of anyone or anything leaving, entering, or moving the bullpen, as he typed up the report that would stick with him for quite some time on autopilot. Until the eldest agent and leader of the team upped a hand on his shoulder.

"Almost done, boss" He said not stopping his busy fingers from their apparent focus even though his mind was miles away.

"Why don't you go take a break, Tim? Go splash some water on your face. Then you can go home."

Eyes leaving the screen, the use of his first name from the man calling him to attention, "But boss, the report-"

"Is not going anywhere," Gibbs interjected. "Go on. If Vance has a problem I'll… deal with it."

Adding together his mentor's subtle encouragement, he saved his work and closed the window. Nodding his understanding, he stood and made his way to the head. He couldn't see the three pairs of eyes watching him with concern but he could certainly feel them.

A tiny part of him didn't feel like dealing with whatever Jethro had lead him in here to get to the bottom of, but most of him welcomed the distraction from one of the most horrible days not only of his career but of his life.

"Hey Abs, what's wrong?" he questioned quietly as he walked in. The ponytails raised and turned toward the voice, eyes surprised at his arrival though the body remained still.

"Hi, McGee, what makes you think something's wrong?" she asked, looking at him in slight confusion.

Had she not noticed? "You're crying." He pointed out gently, not to mention she was standing in the opposite genders restroom. Getting a weird look from the Goth, she then turned and looked in the mirror.

"Oh…" she whispered before stepping closer to the sink and turning on the faucet. "It's nothing." She explained before bending down, cupping her hands, and bringing the water against her face.

Casually walking to her side, he grabbed a length of paper towel and extended it to her as she shut off the tap. Viewing the offer out of the corner of her eye, she looked over, still hunched and droplets of the fresh H2O falling into the basin, "How are you doing?" she wondered before accepting. Watching as she straightened her posture and began dabbing her skin dry, he decided how to respond.

"Not good," he replied honestly. The whole situation with Amanda had really taken a toll on him and continued. "But I will be," he assured his longtime friend who he knew was worried. "Especially, when I join the monastery," he joked but by her expression she didn't find it amusing, but a little shocking.

"You're not serious about that are you?" she wondered.

"Why not," he shrugged, "do you have a problem with monks or something?"

"No, of course not," she said. "I just know that doing something like that wouldn't make you happy."

Taking his attention away from her, he stared at his reflection, "Yeah, well, it beats opening up my heart only to have it ripped out, trampled on, and shoved back in my chest by some redheaded killer or having my mind manipulated by someone I like who turns out to be a murderer or growing close to someone that usually ends up dead, half the time at my expense…" Frustration leaking out with his words.

"I'm sorry, Tim."

Returning his vision to her, he saw her staring at the floor, arms wrapped around herself, looking heartrendingly sad. He felt bad for using the angry tone. Not meaning to take this out on her, he sighed. "It's not you I'm upset with Abs, I'm s-"

"No," she cut him off, "that's not what I'm apologizing for," she lifted her gaze to his then. "I'm apologizing… for being one of those women."

The absurdity of that hit him and he almost busted out laughing but he swallowed it, "Abby, I can hardly compare you to the other "relationships" I've been in."

"But I still hurt you, didn't I?" The pain in her voice was audible but she said it strong, her look warning him that he dare not lie to her about it either.

He hesitantly agreed, "Yeah… but I thought we came to terms that neither of us was really in love with each other? You had the sense to break it off before it got too serious. To the point where it would have affected our relationship as a whole greater than what it did if it would have went on, protecting us from further damage down the road. That just shows how much you care. The only part that really hurt me and that I never understood is why you just gave up so easily?" he paused and then went on, "I mean at first I thought it was because of Rule 12 but as time went on I just kind of figured it was me… Abs that was a long time ago, you know I don't hold any sort of resentment towards you. In fact, I'm starting to think perhaps I could learn a thing or two from you. "

Waiting for him to go silent so she knew he was done speaking, she carefully traveled to him. Stopping in front of him, she pleaded. "Please don't hate me for this."

Softly pulling his lips to hers, keeping them there for a few seconds, allowing him time to adjust. Finally, their lips separated slowly like they were lightly glued to one another. Instantly, his thoughts flashed to the kiss in the elevator that day, and he tensed. Upon opening his lids though, it melted away as he realized Abby was the one with him right now and not Amanda. She had inched back, giving him some space, before making another request.

"Timothy McGee," she stated formally, "I need you to look in my eyes and tell me that I'm not in love with you."

The pair of orbs connected to each other in such an intense manner that, had anyone been in the room with them, they would have felt very uncomfortable by the lock between the two.

And Tim searched. He had looked into these eyes millions of times before. They had always been beautiful, pure, and kind but never had they seemed so unguarded, so exposed as if she weren't holding back, not hiding a thing. The deeper in he went the more he felt that he was staring directly into her heart and soul. Along the way he never found what he was hunting for.

"Why didn't you ever admit it?" Not sure if he meant to say that out loud, he felt his heart beginning to stir with the past despite its present state.

"Because I didn't want to admit it, nor do I really want to now, because I'm terrified." She confessed and he observed the green circles fill with fear. "But with everything that has happened recently and over the years, it's built up so much that I can't take it anymore. I don't care how scared I am. So I talked to Gibbs about it because I had no clue what to do. And he pretty much said that I needed to tell you how I feel and be prepared for any response. Even if it's not what I'm hoping for, because this most likely is going to blow up in my face and-"

"Gibbs doesn't think we could make it together?" he questioned.

"Oh no, Gibbs supports us either way this turns out. Not that he actually said that but you know how he is…" she corrected. "The only one who has doubts is me. And that's only because I know that you don't feel as strongly about me as you once did. Not that-"

"What makes you say that?" he wondered how she had come to that conclusion, neither denying nor confirming it.

"Have you not noticed?" her voice was tight and filled with emotion like it had been earlier in the lab which, no, he hadn't recognized until now. "Today you weren't even going to tell me about her. I'm not saying that you have to report to me every time you start dating someone, especially here lately because you'd be talking to me a lot, or that it's any of my business… but you always used to tell me about everything, Tim. Now, we barely hang out and it seems like we're at each others throats or getting on one another's nerves all the time. It's like the distance is growing in our friendship by the day."

A visible shiver passed throughout her body and she tried to control it. Upon seeing this, he closed the space keeping them apart and wrapped his arms around her. "Abby, I will always be your friend. If nothing else, you can be certain of that." Trying to comfort her but she continued to shake.

"I almost lost you today completely." She spoke weakly. "I know your job is dangerous and unpredictable but it doesn't make it any easier when something happens…"

"I know…" he understood. It was never any less difficult for him either.

"Gibbs made a good point too. I can't keep waiting until the next disaster occurs to decide to attempt to show you how much I care because eventually there isn't going to be a next time. I have no way of knowing how much time I have left with you."

"Same goes for me. Just because I'm out in the field doesn't mean you're entirely safe back here. Or that something couldn't happen in everyday life." Trying to point out she wasn't the only one pressured by the unavoidable thought that was usually tucked away and ignored.

"Yeah…"

Wanting to get of the rather depressing subject of death, she tried a little humor. "If you're willing to give me another chance I can help ensure that the reason for your demise won't be because of a having a psychotic girlfriend."

Chuckling he relaxed the embrace, "I guess that would depend on how others viewed your mental stability."

After receiving a slap on the shoulder for that comment, suggesting that she may seem a bit batty to other people. "Did you really think I that I, Abigail Sciuto, Ms. 'Dances to the Beat of Her Own Drum', would be bothered about following some silly rule?"

"It's Gibbs' rule." Was all that needed to be said.

"And what is Gibbs' infamous rule 12, Timmy?" her mouth curled, crossing her arms behind his neck.

"Never date a coworker." He recited.

"Hmm… and what is one of the most important things in constructing a relationship?" she eyed him expectantly. Feeling put on the spot and not having any idea where this was going,

"Uh…"

The return of the younger Probie only made her smile stretch more.

"Well…" her sparkly orbs danced with revelation, "isn't it all about working… with… someone, more or less the definition of coworker? I know our Silver-Haired Fox hasn't had the best of luck with that due to his divorce rate but you can't tell me that he expects anyone employed with him to never fall in love."

Quite filled the space as she waited and he made sense of what she had explained. After a while, she gave a second factor.

"Plus, it's no secret who he favors out of us all." She grinned like a little girl knowing that daddy would let her get away with anything.

Rolling his eyes, he couldn't hold back smiling at her adorableness. Soon he found himself leaning forward, only to have a pale digit pressed against his lips before they could reach hers. Putting her forehead to his so he didn't get the wrong idea, closing her eyelids, the atmosphere changed from playful back to serious.

"No. You need time… to heal… to think" She intertwined their hands between them and squeezed, sighing. "I just wanted you to know that I'm ready to put stern effort into this… into us." She admitted quietly. Then, as if she had forgotten something, "That being said, if we do decide to pursue this and you don't feel like it's right and that it's not something you're interested in anymore, you have to tell me. And no guilt or anything on your part, it's not your fault it has taken me so long. Promise me, Tim. "

Sensing her stiffness lingering prior to her remembrance, "You're not alone," he assured. Not necessarily referring to wanting a second shot but about the apprehension tied with it.

Tightening their grip, she opened her lids; black bangs the only separation of the two. "Neither are you," said certainly, more to do with the happenings of the day and his recovery.

The passionate connection began again. Minutes passed until she spoke, "Promise me."

He did, seeing the need for her to know that he wouldn't feel any remorse if she wasn't the one he desired any longer. Frankly, he found it pointless because he still felt that Abby was a woman with whom he could achieve true happiness.

"Are you sure I can't kiss you again?" he asked, sporting a sly smirk bringing back the flirtation and taking a break from the serious.

"Don't tempt me, Timmy! I'm trying to make changes here. And you know I never had a problem expressing my love for you physically..." Backing up but not too far, she winked sexily.

McGee's chuckle and further persuasion was cut off when someone burst through the door and ran over to the urinal. The zipper and sigh of relief filled the silence from the unexpected presence.

"Hello, Tony." Abs greeted with a smirk getting a nudge from Tim who suspected her checking out the senior agent, to which she linked their hands once again.

"I don't care if Boss slaps me so many times I go into a coma… I had to pee!"

"Why would Gibbs do that because of that?"

"Because Abs, he's had this place off limits since Tim disappeared in here."

"Oh, sorry," mainly her doing, "why didn't you just go into the ladies room?"

Finishing up his business, he walked toward the sink. "Well, seeing as the women around here don't value the other sex's privacy, I should have. But, then again, Ziva might have ripped my arm off if I forgot to put the seat back down… or worse." He cringed, stepping up to the counter, not missing his partners hand holding. "So, how are you guys?"

Abby looked to Tim, who they had all been worried about after everything that had happened, unsure.

"We're going to be just fine." He answered.

Watching the two leave together, Anthony grinned, chuckling to himself as he tossed the paper towel into the trashcan on his way out. Yes, they would be.

----- x ----- x ----- x -----


{It's almost 3 AM and I have to get up at 5:30 AM. LOL! So, please take that into consideration. I thought that the scene in Abby's lab between them and then the whole McGee/Amanda thing was just heartbreaking. I am a bit upset at the lack of McAbby this season so far. But maybe that's just me. =P Anyway, hope you enjoyed. And thanks for everyone who read The Polygraph Test. I definitely wasn't expecting so many to favorite it. It's good to know I'm still wanted around here too. ^__^}