Ha! it's finally finished! My excuse is that my computer crashed again and I rewrote this chaper about three times until I liked it so here. I still don't own it.
"Who?" McGee asks with his voice as hard as nails, Abby feels her gut wrench. She knew. It had to be her. She wasn't mentioned at all in the exchange between Ducky and Gibbs. It had to be her.
"Jenny" It escaped Ducky's lips. When her name met Abby's ears, confirming her suspicions, it was over.
Abby spun on her heel as fast as she could and bolted down to her lab. It was the only place at NCIS where she felt like she could be alone right now. She shut and locked the door to forensics, kept the music off, grabbed Bert and curled up under her desk where she cried.
She knew it wouldn't be long until someone came down, and soon she heard the light tapings on her steel door.
"Abigail…" She heard the good doctors voice from the other side. "Please let me in." Abby hesitated, clutching Bert closer. "It's only me. Abigail, please" Ducky pleaded with her. She heard the pain from his voice and stood up to open the door.
She knew she looked like a mess. Her eyeliner was in streaks down her face, she was in her knee-high socks, her boots discarded, her pigtails sagged in a way that matched her mood and she clutched Bert close to her.
"May I come in?" He asked, still being polite. Abby nodded, not trusting her voice at the moment and stepped aside to let Ducky in. He sets his hat and jacket on the evidence table. He turns and looks at her, the pain in his eyes and she hugs him hard, she let the tears flow onto his shirt and he didn't care. He let her cry.
Abby cried for what seemed like forever and they held each other in solace before her sobs became sniffles. "There was so much I didn't tell her…" Abby's voice was hoarse and cracked as the words came out.
"Like what Abigail?" Ducky held her at arms length, without her boots and in this condition; she seemed so small, so fragile.
"That I knew…" She started to say before fresh tears found their way down her cheeks. "That I knew who she was…" Abby started to sob again.
"Your mother." He filled in for her, she looked at him with a confused stupor that could not rival the sadness she felt, she slid to the floor of the lab, sobbing into her hands. Ducky knelt down. "You knew Jen was ill." He stated. Abby nods. "A brain tumor I'm afraid, she knew she was dieing and it was only a matter of time. I'm sure she would have told you." Ducky states.
"But that's not the point!" Abby was frustrated, more with herself than with Ducky. "I could've said something. I could've been the one to tell her I knew."
"I was able to get Director Sheppard's X-ray and she volunteered her blood samples I gave to you in order to test." Ducky continues with his story.
"And you marked them "John Doe"." Abby fills in. Ducky smiles a little. Abby looks up at Ducky, a slight smile approaches his features. "But I ran a DNA test Ducky!" Abby bit her bottom lip because she believed there were no more tears left to shed. "And I got a match, and another similar one."
"You saw who the DNA belonged too." He fills in. "And the similar one?" He asks, knowing the answer.
"Mine, that Gibbs made me put on the system since Mikel tried to kill me" Abby says. "I couldn't believe it, I mean, I always wondered why both of my parents were born deaf and I wasn't…but I didn't know…"She trailed off, letting go another sob, she collected her composure long enough to finish her story. "I did some research on medical records and came across my birth certificate. There it had written: biological mother, Jennifer Sheppard. I knew it was her. I knew it." Abby broke down anew and Ducky cradled her head in his lap as she sprawled out on the floor of the lab.
"I see." He nods in understanding and strokes her raven locks, twisting his finger in her ponytail and watching it uncurl.
"You knew?" She choked out between sobs.
"Yes." Ducky nods. "She told me after I had diagnosed her with the tumor. She was heartbroken to know that after all of these years she ends up working so close to you and never having the strength to tell you."
"But she was strong Ducky…" Abby interrupts, her voice still wavering.
"That's how she would want to be remembered." Ducky smiles and continues stroking her hair.
"Did she tell…?" Abby started to ask but her voice betrayed her and she was racked with another sobbing fit. Ducky understood her question.
"She told Gibbs awhile ago I do believe." Ducky states. "Which was why I would rather him tell you than I about her passing." Ducky lifts her chin up. "Which was why I bartered for him to break the news to you. But circumstances have decided otherwise." He looks into her turmoil-mixed, naïve and free-spirited green eyes. She stares back into his secure, wise, and comforting brown ones.
"I should've told her Ducky. I wanted to tell her…" Abby sobs into his shirt. Ducky just cradles her head and rocks back and forth on the floor. They remain like that for what feels like eternity before Abby's sobs fade into sniffles.
"Up now." Ducky shifts position and Abby slowly rises to a standing position, she helps Ducky up. With her platform boots abandoned she seemed much shorter to him. "The Director wouldn't want us moping about in her absence. We have a case to solve my dear" Ducky smiles, grabbing his hat and coat from off of the steel table they were crouched by. Abby sniffles.
"Thanks Duck-man." She says, her voice hoarse and cracked.
"Anytime Abigail." Ducky hugs her; she hugs him back, a hug of reassurance that she is not alone. "If you need anything just let me know." He smiles after the hug broke.
"I will." Abby states, wiping the mascara off of her cheeks with her sleeve. Ducky heads for the door before he turns around.
"I will send Timothy down as well." He says as more of a statement than a inquiry. She nods and the good doctor disappears down the hallway and into the elevator.
Abby turns around to her computer. She goes through her files and finds a picture from the annual staff picnic from last year. It was of her and the director, sitting there on the lawn oblivious to the picture-taker. (Though Abby was sure it was Tony who took the snapshot). They were in the midst of a conversation that had them laughing. Abby stares at the picture through tear-blurred eyes she saw something on Jen's expression. Something she had never noticed before when looking at the picture. It looked a lot like