I don't own NCIS, not making any money, etc etc. Don't sue. Feedback is lovely, and much appreciated. This fic is not finished yet, though I have a decent chunk finished (30+ pages so far).



Chapter One

(Thursday Night)

Ashley Miller waited thirty minutes and three drinks for her best friend to arrive at their agreed meeting place at Curb, the hottest new hangout in town.

When she didn't show, Ashley figured that she must have met a guy and changed her plans. They had always had an agreement that if something of that nature came up, they would send a quick text and then agree to talk the next morning.

It was unusual for her friend to meet someone that way, she'd been hung up on her boss for far too long, but Ashley had sent her fair share of text over the years. If her friend had finally found someone, Ashley wasn't about to reprimand her over a failed text.

I just better get the juicy details tomorrow, Ashley thought to herself as she ordered another beer. Beer in hand she went in search of someone else to hang-out with.

By the end of the night, she gave one last phone call to her friend, but then headed home to fall into bed weary of having to be up in a few short hours for work. Her alarm sounded all too quickly and Ashley forced herself through her morning routine and then out the door to work. Her route brought her back by Curb and she smiled remembering the hot guy she'd met the night before. They didn't exchange numbers, but it had been fun to dance and flirt. She couldn't wait to dish the details with her friend.

Stopped at a red light, she caught sight of her friends' car parked towards the back of the building. She flipped a U-turn and ignored the car horns that blasted at her for blocking traffic. She parked alongside her friend's car and wondered if she had just gotten lucky and headed home with the mystery man. It wasn't until she got out of her car and circled around to peek inside the driver's side window that her foot connected with a discarded necklace on the ground.

Her insides flopped when she realized what it was. There was no way her friend would have dropped this and gone anywhere without it. It had been a gift and she wore it always, as she claimed it provided comfort and reassurance whenever she needed it.

Picking it up, Ashley raced back around and practically threw herself back into the driver's seat of her car. She wasn't sure what to do, who to call, so she drove to the one place she hoped could help. She had met Agent Gibbs a few years back, and hoped that he would know what to do.

She was met in the lobby by Agent Tony DiNozzo, who looked her over and offered a flirtatious smile.

"I need to speak to Agent Gibbs, it's urgent."

Tony's smile faded. "Yeah, that's what security said when they called up. Gibbs is with the director at the moment, but he said he'd meet you in conference room one."

Ashley followed Tony past the other agents and up the stairs as he led her to the conference room, her friends choker clutched tightly in her hand.

Tony waited just outside until Gibbs dismissed him and headed in. Gibbs vaguely recognized the woman waiting for him, having seen her once, maybe twice in passing. "How can I help you, Miss Miller?"

Ashley set the choker on the table and pushed it towards him. "She's missing."


Back down in the squad room, Tony leaned back into his chair and looked over at McGee. "She didn't even smile at me. I put a lot of effort into flirting with her, but I got nothing!"

"Relax Tony," McGee rolled his eyes. "She looked upset. You can't win them all."

"Perhaps I would have better luck," Ziva interrupted. "Maybe she is into women."

Tony thought for a moment. "You know, if she picked you over me, I really wouldn't mind. That'd be pretty hot, actually. You could invite us both over, and-" Tony's thoughts started to run wild.

"Oh Tony," Ziva laughed. "Leave little DiNozzo at home tomorrow, would you?"

Tony had his smart-ass reply ready, but just as he opened his mouth to speak, he noticed Ziva look up sharply. Tony turned to see Gibbs headed down the stairs, taking them two at a time. "McGee," Gibbs barked. "I need you to put out a BOLO."

"Sure boss, but um, for who?" McGee scrambled to pull up the correct program.

"Abby. Abby's missing."


-The night before-

Abby bounced happily as she dug through her cosmetic bag in search of the perfect shade of red lipstick. A quick glance at the clock told her she still had fifteen minutes before she needed to leave.

She carefully covered her lips in crimson and then leaned in to check that her black eye-liner hadn't smudged more than she wanted. Then, dampening the tips of her fingers with water, she smoothed out the last little flyaways from her raven hair that she had pulled into a high ponytail.

Stepping a foot back, she straightened the red satin blouse she wore and then picked a piece of lint from her black trousers. She smiled at herself in the mirror and then, thinking back to her day at work, her smile turned into a wide grin.


"Abb's?" Gibbs glanced around her lab, the music was loud but not earth shattering.

"Ow!" There was a loud thump and then Abby appeared from beneath her desk. "Oh, hey Gibbs."

Kneeling beside her, ignoring the protest of his knees, he glanced under her desk. "Everything okay down here?"

"Oh, yeah." She held up a roll of duct tape. "I'm taping the computer wires up off the floor to make it easier for the janitorial crew." She brushed the dust from her knees. "It's not getting completely clean under here and the dust makes me sneeze." As if to prove her point, she sneezed.

"Ah," Gibbs pushed back up to his feet and then gave Abby a hand up. "I'll let the cleaning crew know, make sure they vacuum well."

"Much appreciated. Anyway, what can I do for you, Special Agent Gibbs?" She drew out his name playfully.

"Caf-Pow!" Gibbs nodded to her work table."DiNozzo said he forgot to bring you one when I sent him for the DNA results on the Meadows' case. Didn't want you to think you weren't appreciated."

Abby rolled her eyes, but a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she picked up the drink, swirling it once before taking a long sip. "Mm, would hate to have to start looking at all those job offers I've been getting. Those dinners are really hard to get through."

Gibbs feigned insult and gave a small tug to one of her pigtails. "Guess I should try harder. Dinner at my place tonight? It's not the Ritz, but I don't think I could get reservations with only a few hours to spare."

"You gonna cook me steak like you did for Tony? Over your fireplace?"

"I was going to put in a little more effort than that, but if steak over a fire in my living room is what you want…" Gibbs gave a little shrug. "I think I could pull it off."

"I would love to, but can I get a rain-check? I'm meeting my friend Ashley tonight. I hate to cancel, but…" Saying no to dinner with Gibbs wasn't a decision she took lightly; Ashley would understand.

"No don't, how about this weekend? We're off rotation so we won't get called in mid-steak."

"It's a date!" Abby wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug and then pulled back with a sheepish grin. "I mean, that would be great."

He touched his fingers to her cheek in lieu of a 'see you later' and then headed for the door. He had just rounded the corner when suddenly he peeked back in. "Oh, Abbs?"

Abby looked up from the Caf-Pow! he had brought her.



Abby smoother her shirt one last time in the mirror before going in search of shoes. Only two more sleeps, she told herself, until dinner with Gibbs!

Briefly considering her court shoes, black heels, she pushed the aside in favor of a pair of we well-worn boots. They would mostly be covered by her pants and she preferred the comfort that came along with her favorite footwear.

The last thing before grabbing her coat and purse was fasten her favorite choker around her neck. It was a birthday present from Gibbs a few years back. He had seen her looking at it online at work one day. It cost a little more than she had been willing to spend, so when she opened the box he had left on her desk, she was sure he'd heard her squeal all the way up in the squad room.

The lights were already flashing through the door when Abby pulled into the parking lot at Curb, the newest dance club and live music venue in town. It was opening week, and a friend of Ashley was singing tonight and had been able to get the girls on the guest list.

The main parking lot was packed, so Abby pulled around back and was able to find a free spot. She checked her reflection one last time in the rear-view mirror and then stuck out her tongue at herself. There was no one she was interested in impressing tonight, at least not here. She was fairly certain that her person of interest would choose the trio of B's (Basement, Bourbon and Boat) over music venues with flashing lights.

She was just getting out of her car when someone got out of the car beside hers. "Excuse me, miss?"

Abby startled and pressed her back to the car. Ever since her last run-in with her crazy ex Mikel, being approached outside at night put her on edge.

"Sorry to startle you, but I'm having car trouble. Can you help me?"

"I'm not good with cars," Abby lied. "I can get one of the guys inside to take a look."

"Oh, I just need a jump. I can do it myself, I just need another car to get me going."

"Oh, um." Abby hesitated. "Well…"

"Please? I'm supposed to meet my girlfriend in fifteen minutes across town, and she's not answering when I call to tell her I'm a bit late."

Abby glanced at her watch; she still had six minutes until she was supposed to meet Ashley at the bar. "You have jumper cables?"

"Think so." He popped his trunk while Abby waited. She couldn't see completely in his trunk, but it looked pretty empty. Her gut started screaming when he took just a little too long looking when there was nothing to look under or behind. If he had jumper cables, he would've seen them by now.

"Look, I've got to meet my friend, but I'll ask-"

"Oh no you don't!" He spun around and grabbed her arm as she started to back away.

"HELP!" Abby screamed and tried to lash out with her foot. The man jumped aside, and at the same time managed to pull her in closer. She managed to connect her elbow to his nose, and although he cried out, his grip didn't loosen. When she tried to kick him again, her plan backfired and suddenly she found herself face-down on the cold asphalt. She struggled when she felt him lean over her, and she cried out when he hastily removed her choker for better access.

It didn't take long for her world to fade to black when his fingers tightened around her neck. The last thing she saw before her eyes drifted shut was the present from Gibbs, tossed carelessly on the ground beside her car.