Title: Twenty-Four Hours
Author: Jo. R (driftingatdusk)
Category: Romance, Smut
Summary: They made a deal: 24 hours, no rules or restrictions. Will 24 hours be enough to get each other out of their system or are they taking a bigger leap than they thought?
It started off as a normal Friday night. Abby Sciuto decided to work a little overtime, knowing the backlog of evidence to be catalogued from their last case would prey on her mind over the weekend if she didn't get it done. So she turned her music up extra loud, broke out the secret supply of Caf-Pow she kept in the cooler in her office and metaphorically rolled her sleeves up, letting the task at hand distract her from the real world once more.
Because of that, because of her determination to get it all done, it took her a little longer than normal to realise she was no longer alone.
He'd slipped into the lab unnoticed and wondered, briefly, how long he could keep it that way. Sitting on a discarded stool near the corner of her lab, Leroy Jethro Gibbs watched his forensic specialist, opening admiring the smooth fluidity of her movements as she danced around her lab since there was no one else there to see.
It was his admiration of her that was the problem, Gibbs mused. Well, not the admiration as much as the attraction.
It was mutual; they both felt it and acknowledged it but neither had chosen to act on it. He'd gone so long thinking maybe he'd imagined the look in her eye or the flirtatious tone of her voice but he was sure now that he hadn't and that certainty was what was slowly driving him to distraction.
He couldn't focus on the job at hand fully anymore; neither could she.
That much had been obvious in MTAC earlier on when the NCIS LA team had called to debrief the Director on a case they'd been working on and asked for Abby's expert opinion. They'd been standing side by side, doing a good job of making it look like they were listening intently to what was being said. But they'd been moving closer the whole time though neither had been conscious of it. It was only when Director Vance had taken him aside later and made a sharp comment about the pair of them 'needing a room' that Gibbs realised something must've been said that they'd missed.
Gibbs stifled a sigh and took a step forward into the room. He cleared his throat when Abby remained oblivious to his presence, telling himself he was doing the right thing, that his suggestion was the only way they could continue working together.
"Gibbs, hey!" Her face brightened when she turned to find him watching her, her green eyes lighting up in a way he'd come to realise only happened when he was in the room. "What are you doing here so late?"
He ran a hand through his hair, watching her as she noticed the tension in his stance, her own smile fading under the heavy weight of his gaze. "We have a problem, Abs."
One and a half drinks later at the bar around the corner from the Navy Yard and his proposition was starting to make a little bit of sense to her.
Twenty-four hours to do what they wanted, no rules, no restrictions. Twenty-four hours to try and get all of their wants and needs out of their system so they could go back to the status quo and get on with their jobs as though nothing had happened.
It sounded so easy, the perfect solution. She just wasn't so sure that it would work.
"You're really suggesting this." It was a statement, not a question, as Abby toyed with her wine glass, staring down into the clear liquid as she twirled the stem of the glass in her hands. "You haven't been drinking, you haven't experienced a hard blow to the head that I can see..." She tilted her head to the side, studying him intently. "What changed?" She wondered aloud. "You were quite happy living in denial. I mean, I thought I'd been imaging it all, that there was a snowball's chance in hell you could feel the same way I do but you're really suggesting this. Really."
Gibbs swirled the amber alcohol in his glass for a moment before downing the remainder of its contents. "And I'm starting to regret it, Abs."
"You're not taking it back." Her hand shot out to grab his arm as though she expected him to leave her sitting at the bar alone. "No way can you make me an offer like that and take it back." She lifted her glass to her lips, taking a measured sip from it before setting it down on the table with a decisive air. "Twenty-four hours starting from when?"
"From whenever we make it back to my place," he responded, his voice low and husky. "If you're sure it's what you want to do. There's no pressure, Abby. You don't have to..."
She leaned across and silenced him with a gentle kiss, her eyes open and locked with his the whole time. "That wasn't to start the countdown," she murmured, drawing away with a small smile and faintly flushed cheeks. "That was to show you I'm in, no pressure, no regrets. On the condition that whatever happens between us isn't allowed to affect our friendship. You're too important to me to lose."
"As are you." He caught her hand before she could withdraw it and lifted it to his lips. "You okay leaving your car at the Navy Yard this weekend?"
"I don't think I'll want to waste time fetching it tomorrow morning if that's what you mean." Her smile was full of innuendo, the quirk of her eyebrow causing his stomach to flip. "Let's go home. Twenty-four hours doesn't seem like anywhere near long enough so I'm not willing to waste a single second."
He ushered her out of the bar with a hand to the small of her back, ignoring the smirk from the bartender who'd been watching them with undisguised interest just out of earshot.
Twenty-four hours and counting.