Well, this is it and I hope you enjoyed my little tale. Thanks soooooo much to everyone who left me wonderful reviews, they meant the world to me :)

Epilogue

After an enforced trip to Bethesda hospital to patch up their various, but luckily, mostly minor ailments, Gibbs and Abby were finally on their way home. There was no question as to which home they were going to, and as Tony pulled up outside Gibbs' home, they all piled out of the car, one by one.

Gibbs reached into take Abby's hand to help her out, not releasing her fingers as they all shut the doors quietly. It was 5.00 in the morning and the neighbourhood was in darkness, save a lone dog that had been alerted by their presence.

They were all silent as they slowly made their way up Gibbs' driveway, their footsteps echoing in the quietness of dawn. Reaching the door, Gibbs turned the handle, pushing it open wide so that he could gently usher Abby inside. Once she was in, he turned to face the rest of his team who were coming up behind him, each one them assuming they were going inside for a nightcap. But Gibbs had other ideas.

"Okay, team, this is where we say goodnight. Go home and get some rest. I expect to see you at your desks at 0 ten hundred tomorrow morning. Don't be late." And with that he stepped inside and firmly closed the door on his comrade's surprised faces.

Tony, Ziva and Tim stared with disbelief at the closed white door, not quite believing what Gibbs had just done to them after everything that had happened. But eventually, realising that their boss had indeed shut them out, one by one, they spoke, disappointment making their voices sulky.

"Goodnight,"

"Boss,"

"Abby."

Disgruntled, the three waited long enough to realise that they were really being shut out and then slowly, disappointedly turned and walked back towards the car, Tony's murmur loud in the quietness. "Well, I guess that answers the question as to whether they are an item or not."

Ziva pulled open the driver's door as she added her own observation to the barrage of thoughts that bounced between the three of them. "They could be just friends, Tony. I did not see anything that might indicate that they were more."

As Tim climbed into the back seat, he too, had his own theory. "Maybe Abby is just scared and doesn't want to be left on her own tonight."

Tony simply smirked at the pair of them as Ziva started the engine and roared away from the kerb. "Nah. Didn't you two see their shirt buttons?"

They both chorused with confusion. "Shirt buttons?"

Tony just smiled secretively out of the window into the darkness, murmuring knowingly as he watched the world fly by at break neck speed, "Yeah, shirt buttons."

"Come here."

Abby didn't need another invitation when she slid into Gibbs' arms as he braced himself against his front door as he'd waited for the Three Musketeers to go home and leave them in peace. The last three hours had been a trial, to say the least, more so than their twenty odd hours of incarceration. There had been the gruelling questions, the poking and prodding from both the hospital staff and the director. And then the tense drive home as the silence within the car's confines threatened to strangle them all with even more questions, questions that they all knew would never be answered. At least, not with the words.

But, at last, they were home and now he had Abby right where he wanted her; in his arms, in his home. He nuzzled against her throat deftly ignoring the smell of disinfectant that thenurses had used on her various abrasions. To him, she'd always smell of heaven.

He lifted his arms to her shoulders and pulled her in tighter against him, squeezing her tight, suddenly enormously grateful that he hadn't lost her. To not have had the chance to be with her was more than he could bare and he felt himself shudder as images that he no longer wanted to recall rippled through his exhausted body.

Abby felt the shudder against her own trembling. As much as she wanted to go to bed - his bed, she did not want this moment to end. At last it was just him and her, safe together, alone and home. She gently eased away from his neck to look at his face. What she saw would be etched in her heart forever. It was all there; love, desire, relief, and hope.

Abby slowly moved forward to settle her lips upon his, her battered and torn hands rising to tenderly cup his face. The kisses started light; testing, teasing until by mutual consent they opened their mouths and finally let each other in. Tongue's clashed and danced, sucked and tormented for more than their mouths could offer. Moans became groans and hands became scrambling fists seeking a place to touch and soar somewhere magical, hindered only by the barrier of unwanted clothes.

Moments later, Abby felt herself being lifted and she automatically shifted her legs to cross over at his back as he started to move away from the door. As they continued to devour each other's mouths, Gibbs carefully sidestepped his furniture on his way to the stairs. But he hadn't got very far when he came to a halt in the middle of his lounge.

Puzzlement creased his features as he reluctantly left Abby's mouth and sniffed the air. "Do you smell that, Abs?"

Abby sniffed the air and wrinkled her nose in distaste. "Cigarette smoke."

And as Gibbs started to move again, he gave her a sharp peck before speaking again. "Yeah, and I know who it belongs to, too."

But as he began to mount the stairs, one by one, the owner of the cigarette smoke was forgotten, until tomorrow when he found out just why Mike Franks was in his house while he and Abby were locked away – apparently harmlessly – in a lock-up, miles away from home.

The bedroom door slammed shut on the world as Gibbs took Abby into his domain to finish what never had gotten started. He had finally got the chance to go after tomorrow with the woman he loved, and for so very long, at last, Abby was going with him, all the way.

End

August 2010