-1Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine yadda, yadda, yadda.


Following the events of "Bloodbath" Gibbs finds himself fighting unwanted feelings for Abby.

This is the prologue to "Never Again" and in theory there will be more to that story as well. I will not deny the world (or myself) a happy ending!

Chapter 1

Gibbs walked out of the interrogation room satisfied Abby would have no more trouble from Mower. He would be in jail for the next year at least; they could worry about him then. Satisfaction that Abby was safe warred with confusion over the night before. Visions of Abby drunk and in his shirt still haunted him.

"With the grain." It had been innocent, natural, just like all the other times they had touched. But this time had been nothing like the other times. Her smell, mixed with his own from his shirt, assaulted him and he had practically dropped her hand. His body's reaction-he had never reacted that way to Abby. He would never react that way to Abby-at least, never again. He refused to evaluate the emotions spawned by his unexpected reaction to her closeness.

She had been oblivious thankfully. If he had sat too still or spoken too harshly she hadn't noticed. Gibbs had been angry a himself for his…feelings. He may not be that old, but he was way too old for her.

When he walked into her lab she was sitting still holding Bert. The look in her eyes held no part of the silly woman he'd come to love.

"Is it over?" she asked him quietly.

"It's over," Gibbs replied, drawing her into a hug.

"Can I stay with you again tonight?" Abby asked him quietly, her face buried in his neck.

Gibbs held onto her for a moment and said nothing. His body was achingly aware of how hers was pressed up against him. He was embarrassed with himself for noticing and furious he couldn't control it better.

"Gibbs?" Abby asked when he stayed silent.

"Yeah Abbs," he said hoarsely. "You can stay."

He let go and walked out leaving a confused Abby behind. He couldn't stay any longer without running the risk of discovery.

When had he become so aware of Abby's scent? When had her husky voice started provoking him into grabbing her and-and nothing. Silently, he yelled at himself. A sure way to make this worse was to fantasize about it. Gibbs shook his head then gave himself a slap to the back of the head as the elevator doors opened.

"Hey Boss, we done for the night?" Tony asked him as he approached.

"Yeah DiNozzo," Gibbs told him. "Go home. You too," he finished gesturing to Ziva and McGee.

"Well Boss I had some paperwork-" McGee started but Gibbs cut him off.

"Go home McGee. Paperwork will be here tomorrow." McGee gave him an odd look but didn't argue further. Being a hardass had its perks.

When everyone finally left Gibbs allowed himself to sit back and begin working through whatever this thing with Abby was. He threw his glasses on the desk and rubbed his eyes; he could feel the beginnings of a headache creeping up behind his ears.

Abby would be up here any moment and then she would expect him to take her back to his place. She would expect him to hold her and talk to her like he always did. She would expect to be safe with him like she always was.

The self-loathing overwhelmed Gibbs as he thought of Abby in his shirt, hugging him, smelling like him. Papers flew across the room as he exploded, knocking his desk empty. Still the visions dominated his senses.

Abby drunk in his shirt.

Abby in his arms clinging to him.

Abby's scent crawling down his spine, boiling his blood.

"Gibbs!" Abby's voice was like a bucket of cold water. She stood back, a look of shocked concern overtaking her face as she examined the mess and Gibbs' own expression. Gibbs stood still, his every muscle tense. What was wrong with him? When had harmless flirting turned in to actual yearning?

"Gibbs?" Abby asked again after awhile. "Gibbs what's wrong?"

He couldn't look at her; he absolutely could not touch her. But how was he supposed to tell Abby, his Abby, that she couldn't stay with him? That he wouldn't keep her safe?

"They took Mower into custody Abbs," he finally ground out. "You're safe."

"Thank you," Abby said approaching him hesitantly. "Is that your way of telling me I can't stay with you tonight?'

"I'm just not good company tonight Abbs," he told her. She was right next to him now. He could feel her body heat against his right side. It hadn't been that long. He shouldn't be this out of control. Unable to bear being so close Gibbs moved away, putting distance between them.

Following, Abby put her hand on his shoulder. "Gibbs tell me-"

"Don't touch me!" he snarled spinning away from her. "Why do you always have to touch everybody?"

Abby sprang away from him, hurt turning her eyes bright green.

"I-I'm sorry Gibbs," she stammered. "I'll go." Turning on her heel, Abby bolted out of the room ignoring Gibbs apologies. She'd never seen Gibbs like that with her. What had she done? Had she said something last night when she was too drunk to stop herself? Sweet Jesus had she told him how she felt? Had she tried to sleep with him? Mortification swept through her body as the consequences of what must have been a failed seduction slammed into her understanding. As the elevator doors closed a sob tore through Abby's throat.