Sorry if I havent responded to your reviews. I'm having internet issues at home so I made a special stop at the library just to post for you! So feel special dammit! Thanks for all your reviews. Hope you guys can accept the ending!
Gibbs sat in his basement staring at the empty work table in front of him. Since his boat had been finished, he wasn't sure what to start next. He had been spending every day down there, staring at the empty space, waiting for inspiration to strike. And nothing came. Nothing inspired him. He felt empty. Listless. Lonely. Like a giant loser.
He let her get away. She was going to Louisiana and he doubted she would ever come back. Why would she? To visit him? Hardly. He had pushed her about as far away as he could. The worse part was, this wasn't going to affect just him. Because of him, everyone now had to live without her. He had essentially ruined it for everyone.
He started for a moment when he heard his door open and shut. For a brief second he thought it may be Abby, but soon realized otherwise when he heard the long, heavy stride heading straight for the basement. Tony soon emerged through the door carrying a big cardboard box that clanked with every step. He sat the box on the work table in front of the empty seat across from Gibbs. Tony sighed and looked at the tried looking man. "So, didn't go well, huh?"
Gibbs shook his head. He couldn't even bring himself to look at the man across from him. He was feeling guilty. Abby and Tony were close friends. Hell, she was close to everybody; she was a member of their team. They had already lost so many and now they were down one more. And it was all his fault. Tony said nothing while Gibbs sat in silence. He knew his boss was upset and just needed to think, but the last thing he needed was to be alone. So Tony sat and waited for Gibbs to be ready.
"So," he finally asked, "what's in the box?" Tony stood and opened the flaps. Gibbs couldn't see what was inside. He pulled out two six packs, handing one to Gibbs. "Aww. A whole one just for me."
"Figured you'd need it." Tony popped the top off of his and held it up to Gibbs who clanked the bottles together. After a long gulp Tony asked, "You wanna talk about it?"
"Maybe after the third beer." They both took another swig. "What else you got in there?" Gibbs asked indicating the box.
Tony shrugged. "Maybe after the third beer." Gibbs couldn't help but chuckle.
After the second ones were finished in silence, Gibbs asked "She tell you all about it?"
Tony shook his head. "Nope. She kind of ripped on me for telling you, but quickly forgave me being Abby and all."
"You were her ride then?"
"That I was, Boss man. That I was." Gibbs wanted to ask him about her. How she was, what she said, would she be back? He didn't think he could handle actually knowing. "She'll be okay, Gibbs."
He opened his third bottle and chugged half of it down. "Yeah," he said, voice rough and quiet. "Now, how about the box." Tony stood and opened the box once again, but hesitated once he looked inside. Gibbs watched his expression as he glanced over the items and he started to understand. He set his beer down. "Hell," he muttered. Despite his brain screaming at him to leave it be, he asked anyway. "What is it?"
Tony lifted out the first item. "One Marines t-shirt," he said handing it to Gibbs. He took it and held it in his hands. It was Abby's favorite of his. He hadn't even realized she had taken it. He knew it was missing but just figured it was stuffed in a corner somewhere. "One Top Gun DVD." Gibbs smiled as Tony handed it to him. It was his favorite movie despite it being about the Navy. Abby made fun of him having it on VHS and said she would look for it on DVD for him. Gibbs saw Tony smirk. "One ugly silk tie." Gibbs chuckled as he ran his hands over the tie handed to him. She once lost her belt in his place somewhere and was wearing a particularly baggy pair of pants that day so she picked out a tie she never wanted to see him wear and wore it as a belt. Tony's smile faded and a serious look overcame his face. Tony wordlessly handed him a note. Take good care of him, it said. "One farting hippo," Tony said and set Bert down on the table.
Gibbs stood and picked him up. Abby left Bert? He couldn't believe it. Bert was…Bert! She took him everywhere with her. She loved him. He was her safety net, her security blanket of sorts. How could she leave him behind? Why did she leave him behind. "I don't understand," he said to Tony. "Its…"
"I know." Tony reached out to pet the stuffed hippo. "She said squeeze him and you would understand." Gibbs didn't like the idea of making the hippo fart, but if Abby asked…
Bert made his infamous sound and something inside Gibbs snapped. He was betting that she thought Bert would make him feel safe, but it didn't. It made him feel lonely and long for her presence. What was he supposed to do with a hippo? He was too old to raise one on his own. How could she just abandon him like that? He hugged that damned stuffed animal again but it still didn't feel right. "He doesn't belong to me," he said, voice cracking. "I'll ruin him, just like I ruined her."
Tony said nothing. He wasn't sure what else to say. He was partially angry at Gibbs for driving Abby away, but also knew that it wasn't just him. Sometimes things happened and there's nothing anyone can do about it. "Better to have loved and lost they say."
Gibbs took another drink of his beer, but didn't set the animal down. "She was never mine to lose." For the first time since Tony got there, Gibbs looked him in the eye. He could now see that his eyes were brimmed with red. He knew Tony was taking Abby leaving hard, he just never realized it.
Tony could feel Gibbs searching him and he didn't want him to see what he felt. Looking away, he glanced out the small window. He thought he saw a shadow or something walk by, most likely a squirrel. Lucky fucking squirrel. Not a care in the damn world except wondering where he buried his nuts. "I want to be a squirrel," he muttered.
"What?" Gibbs asked, sure he hadn't heard him correctly. Tony was about to speak again when they heard the door open. Probably McGee, he thought.
"Gibbs?" The heavenly voice of an angel floated down to the basement, causing both men to look up at the top of the stairs before she even appeared. Tony was up and running up the steps at the first sight of her before Gibbs eyes even had time to register what he was seeing.
Tony ran up the steps two at a time and wrapped his arms around Abby, lifting her into a tight hug. She laughed as he spun her gently around. She was at the top of the stairs after all. Falling would be bad. "I'm so happy you're here," he said setting her down. "What happened?"
She glanced down at Gibbs who had managed to stand up. "I need to speak to Gibbs first, Tony. Please?"
"Oh course. I'll just find something else to do for a bit. You guys hungry?" he asked quickly looking between the two and talking much faster than normal. "I bet you are. I'll just look through the kitchen and see what there is." Gibbs didn't even have time to tell him not to bother before he disappeared through the door.
Abby looked down at Gibbs and he stared up at her. She slowly came down the steps and made her way in front of him. "You're here," he said gently.
She nodded. "I am."
She smiled. "You," she stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "I was at the airport, ready to step on my plane, and I just couldn't do it. There was something holding me in place and I wasn't able to move."
"Were you standing on your shoestring?"
Abby chuckled. "No, smart ass. It was you. I just wasn't able to leave you. I felt as if I was somehow betraying you and betraying the great Leroy Jethro Gibbs is not an option." She took a step closer to him. "So I just had to tell you that…I love you, too, Gibbs."
Gibbs was completely taken aback. How could this be happening? Was it true? He couldn't be completely imagining this, Tony had talked to her as well. Not believing his eyes, he reached out and touched her face. She hummed and closed her eyes as she leaned into his hand. He set his beer down and did the same with the other hand. "You're real?" he whispered.
She opened her eyes. "I am."
"You love me?"
He studied her face and watched her eyes as she watched his. He could feel them burning into his soul. "Did you come here just to say that?" he asked, dreading her answer.
"I did." His heart sank. "But I don't want to go."
"No." He closed his eyes letting her words, presence and the situation sink in. She wanted him She came back for him. But would she leave the minute it went bad again? "Ask me, Gibbs."
"Ask you what?"
She smiled, but halfheartedly, it not quite reaching her eyes as if she were also afraid of what he was going to say. "Ask me to stay. If you ask me to stay, Gibbs, I will. A thousand times yes, I will."
"I can't do that, Abbs. I can't take you from your family."
She looked down at the floor and his hands slipped from her face. "I didn't tell them I was coming," she mumbled.
"I didn't tell them I was coming," she said looking him in the face. "I wasn't sure if the job was going to work out or not yet, so I didn't tell them I was moving down there. I wanted to get settled and be sure before I got their hopes up, you know? I wasn't 100% secure in this being what I wanted to do yet."
"Now, I am sure. And I want to be here, Gibbs. With you. And Tony and McGee and Ducky and Palmer. All of them. I want to be with you. So please, Gibbs…ask me to stay."
He ran his hand over her hair and down her neck, following its movements with his eyes as he did so. "Abby, you know I love you, but I need to be sure this is what you want."
"It is, Gibbs. It truly is. But if you don't want me, if you can't accept me and my apology…I will leave you alone. I'll quit bugging you, I promise. Now tell me…what do you want?"
She looked up into his eyes hopefully and he couldn't resist her. "I want you to stay, Abby. Will you?" He started worrying about her not answering before the words even finished leaving his mouth. "Please?" he added in a desperate attempt to keep her here while gripping her arms.
She smiled brightly. "Of course, Gibbs. "I'd do anything for you."
"YES!" they heard Tony scream from the kitchen and they both looked up to the top of the stairs but couldn't see him. They both smiled as she shouted an apology for listening in. Gibbs pulled Abby as close as he could get her against him and kissed her full on the lips. She grasped the back of his shirt with her hands and tried to pull him closer, but he was already as close as possible. Their tongues met and started dueling for control. Soon Gibbs felt that familiar tightening in his lower abdomen and knew if things weren't put under control now, how they would end up. But he made no move to stop it. Neither did she. Both wanted this and needed this right now so they gave in. Gibbs spun Abby around and placed her on the work table, with himself right between her legs and she wrapped them around his middle.
Having not heard anything from either of them in a while, Tony decided to peek a glance downstairs. As he saw Abby pull Gibbs shirt over his head, he was reminded of the images flooding his mind the last time she had been at his house and told him of her and Gibbs relationship. He couldn't suppress the shudder from overcoming him and back out of the doorway. "Guess that's my cue to exit stage left."