Chapter 2

Abby sat in the corner of a small, dusty room, her arms wrapped tight around her knees. A manacle gripped her ankle, chafing it raw; a 5 foot chain ran to a hasp bolted into the floor. She had tried to pull it out, to rock it loose, but it wouldn't budge. She had also tried kicking in the walls. She had made it through the sheetrock on two, but the jagged holes had revealed nothing but two more empty rooms. She couldn't reach the other walls with her feet. An older home, she guessed, well away from the noise and traffic of the city. She had been soaked with sweat, both from exertion and the heat. Wherever she was, it was hot as hell and there wasn't any air conditioning. Now, though… Now there was no sweat.

When she had awoken to the light in her eyes and then her hair being pulled, her only thoughts had been fight or flight. Get him away or incapacitated long enough to get out. Scream. Find help. But she hadn't stood a chance. Before she could even attempt to get away, he hit her and hit her and hit her. She tasted the copper of her blood, the duct tape over her mouth sealing it in. So glad that it was just a drop, not enough to choke on, to drown in. After her hands had been bound and she was hit in the face with the butt of the knife, she knew that struggling was useless. When she stopped fighting and her mind registered the mask, she hoped against hope that he would just get what he wanted and get the fuck out. She hadn't seen his face. She couldn't identify him.

She hurt like hell and knew that it was only going to get worse. She decided to just check out for a little bit, letting her body relax before attempting to find her happy place. When her head fell to the side and she saw her laptop open on the second bed, the blue webcam LED on and the screen full of her and, above her, the man removing his jeans, she knew that the mask wasn't for her benefit. That was when part of her gave up. There would be no happy place tonight. Or probably ever.

But she was still alive. She hurt pretty much all over and she had no idea where she was and she was hot and dying of thirst, but she was alive.

Dying of thirst. That hadn't even made her top three. Tony's either. She was pretty sure, though, that being eaten by a shark would be a lot quicker than this. Probably more pleasant, too.

She knew that Tim would have missed her when she didn't call after Tuesday's lectures, and McGee was a born worrier. She also knew that it wouldn't have taken much convincing to get Gibbs on board to help, too. Surely the Gibbs gut would lead them to her. So all she could do was wait. And pray. And hope like hell that the masked marvel didn't come back.

Unless he brought some water.

"I'd cut off my left foot for a Caf-Pow! Make that the right. Two birds with one stone, Sciuto! Cut off the foot, ditch the fucking bracelet, drink some Caf-Pow! and hop on out of here." Her dry lips split when she grinned, a small trail of blood running down from the corner of her mouth. She wasn't aware of her tongue darting out to catch it. Her body craved moisture and just about any would do at this point.

There was a smallish window high up on an opposite wall, boarded over. It let in enough light for her to know that she had been awake for two nights and three days, and it was starting to get dark again. There was a very tender bruise on her upper arm with a small red pinprick in the middle, and she wasn't sure exactly how long she'd been unconscious before she had woken up here, alone. Unfortunately, she remembered everything up to and including the injection with startling clarity. And, even worse, her mind wouldn't stop replaying it on a loop, like a catchy song she couldn't get out of her head. She refused to sleep, afraid she's miss a sound from outside. Afraid that the dreams would be even worse than the reality. Afraid she would be taken by surprise again.

She had walked the arc, back and forth, from one wall to another, as far from the corner as the chain would allow, over and over and over again. She alternated pacing and sitting, refusing to lie down lest she fall asleep. Whenever she started to drowse, she would get up and pace some more. She was still barefoot, again in her skeleton pajamas (he must have put them back on after he knocked me out). Her hair was loose around her shoulders, tangled and dirty.

There was no toilet. She had waited as long as she could on the first day before getting to the end of the chain on one wall and peeing as close to it as she could. Of course, she hadn't had to go at all in well over 24 hours. After almost 3 days without water, she wished she'd found a way to recycle.

"You're cracking up, Abbs." She licked her lips as she rocked, the rasping of her dry tongue doing nothing to ease the sting. She almost took pleasure from the sound. Talking to herself was nothing new for Abby, but she had been having whole conversations with everyone from Bert to Harry the janitor. And she was almost starting to believe that they were talking back. Growing up with two deaf parents, she had spent much of her youth in silence. Out on her own, she craved noise. She listened to her music at ear-shattering decibels; she talked almost incessantly to her friends, to her machines, to herself; she loved clubs and concerts and motorcycles and had even enjoyed the tractor pull that Billy Bob had dragged her to that time. She still enjoyed the quiet, but only on her terms.

These were about as far from her terms as she could get.

"Timmy, please. I don't… I can't… Find me, Timmy."