Title: 5 Ways… Gibbs and Abby Met
Author: Jo. R (driftingatdusk)
Rating: FR-7
Pairing/Characters: Abby, Gibbs
Category: Friendship, Pre-NCIS
Spoilers: None
Summary: 5 possible ways Gibbs and Abby met.

He drove past the old, Gothic-style church every day both on his way to work and on his way home. Leroy Jethro Gibbs had never paid it much attention before, having left his faith behind him a long time ago following the senseless deaths of his first wife, Shannon, and their daughter, Kelly.

Why he found himself pulling into the parking lot and staring up at the imposing building one cold January evening, he didn't know.

He supposed it was due to the case he'd just closed, one with startling similarities to the incident that had changed his personal life forever. Either that or he was looking for an excuse not to return home where his soon-to-be third ex-wife would be packing her belongings (and most of his) in preparation for their upcoming divorce.

Shutting his car door with a little more force than necessary, Gibbs strode towards the double doors of the church, wondering idly if he was about to be struck down by lightening for even daring to cross the sacred threshold.

He even paused, two steps inside, as if waiting for it to happen.

When it didn't, he continued on, his normally quiet footsteps echoing in the large building. He looked around with narrowed blue eyes, instinctively searching each and every corner, checking the exits, looking for some kind of danger that didn't exist within the church's four walls.

It was almost empty but, glancing at his watch, Gibbs noted that it shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the lateness of the hour. If anything should, it would be the fact that the doors were still open to the public and that he wasn't alone in his visit.

Other than the Nuns speaking softly to the Priest at the back of the church, all of whom looked up at him with welcoming nods and smiles, the church had one other occupant, a woman who stood as he watched and walked towards the candles he himself felt drawn to.

He slowed his pace, not wanting to disturb the raven-haired woman, but she seemed in no rush so he ended up standing beside her, reaching for one of the splints of wood he could use to light two candles in memory of Shannon and Kelly and one for his mother.

He watched out of the corner of his eye as she lit a candle of her own, her pale hand trembling slightly.

Curious, Gibbs turned his head to glance at her, surprised at what he saw. The black clothes she wore, an old fashioned Victorian-Gothic black dress with matching dark shawl, had originally made him think that she was in mourning but he found himself wondering if there was more to it than that when he took in the rest of her appearance. She wore dark make-up around her eyes, her lips were painted in a rich, dark red in comparison to the paleness of her cheeks and he could see the beginnings of a tattoo on the side of her neck, the majority of which was covered by her loose, black hair.

She turned her head and caught his eye, striking green meeting cool blue, and her lips parted as if to speak – probably to ask why he was staring, Gibbs thought with a flush of embarrassment – but a voice from behind them interrupted before she could.

"Are you still here, Abigail?" It was one of the Nun's who spoke, addressing the young Goth with a familiarity and a fondness that for some reason surprised him. "Don't you have a home to go to?"

It was asked in jest but there was a note in the Nun's voice, and a glimmer of something on the young woman face that made him wonder.

"I've got a home but I don't know how much longer I'll have it if I don't find a job soon. And it's Abby, Sister Rosita. I don't answer to Abigail anymore." Abigail – Abby – turned away from the candles to face the Nun.

Gibbs lit his first candle, one for his mother, and tried not to listen to their conversation.

"I thought you were being headhunted?" The Nun sounded both surprised and sympathetic. "Why would they bring you all the way here if not to offer you the job?"

"Guess they didn't think I looked the part," Abby said somewhat sadly. "I don't suppose I look like most people's idea of a forensic specialist."

His ears pricked up; she certainly didn't look like his idea of a forensic scientist. He thought of the old man rapidly approaching retirement who worked on the cases at NCIS and compared the cynical man with a clear attitude of 'I'm leaving in a few months and don't want to be here' attitude with the young woman a few feet away who seemed so disheartened at not having a job and found himself wondering if she was any good at what she did despite her appearances.

Maybe, if she'd been headhunted…

The Nun and Abby walked off, their conversation growing too quiet for him to hear, and he lit two more candles, one each for the woman and child he'd lost and still mourned for, too preoccupied by his thoughts of them to notice when Abby slipped out of the church.

Before he left, he spotted the Nun – Sister Rosita – the woman had been speaking to and found himself walking towards her on impulse.

"Excuse me, Sister?" Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew a business card as she turned to face him, a polite smile on her face. "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation with the woman who was here…?"

"Abby?" Sister Rosita looked at him curiously. "Yes?"

"If you see her again, will you pass on my card? There's a position coming up with my agency I think she might be interested in." Gibbs handed her the card and watched as her eyes scanned the details quickly.

Sister Rosita looked up, a wide, warm smile on her face. "I'll pass it onto her when I get see her, Mr… Agent Gibbs."

He returned her smile with a small nod, putting his hands in his pockets awkwardly. "Thanks."

Her soft goodbye and knowing eyes followed him out into the night.