Tony walked quickly down the hospital hall, his eyes searching for any sign of the little black-haired woman who usually occupied the lab at NCIS.
The team had come to pick Abby up, and suddenly no one could find her. How typical.
He walked by a line of patient rooms, then something black in one of the caught his eye. He backed up, and saw Abby sitting on an empty patient bed, looking upset.
She turned all the way to him, and he could see that she really was distraught.
"You okay?" There was no mistaking the concern in his eyes.
"No Tony, i'm not okay" She replied, her voice cracking. There was the unmistakable glimmer of unshed tears waiting to fall in her soft brown eyes.
Slowly, Tony came forwards and took her hands, pulling her to her feet and straight into a hug. She was so small, his arms wrapped all the way around her.
He said nothing, only let her sob quietly as her grief overcame her.
Ziva ran in, but Abby didn't notice. Tony shook his head, and Ziva backed out, shutting the door behind her.
Out in the hall, he could hear muffled voices, and started counting the seconds until Gibbs burst in.
He didn't even get to 1 and a half before the door flew open and Gibbs was there, gently trying to take Abby into his own arms.
Then, she did something that completely blew away everyone who knew her well.
Abby made a small noise of protest and pulled herself closer to Tony. Gibbs flushed slightly, but stepped back.
"DiNozzo, take Abby home"
Tony avoided his bosses gaze and picked Abby up bridal style. He was embarrassed that Abby had picked him over Gibbs, not that he didn't love Abby, he just didn't want his boss to be shamed in front of the others.
Once out to the car, He gently set Abby in the passenger's seat and moved to buckle her in, but she stopped him.
"I can do it"
Tony turned and got into the driver's side to see Abby asleep, buckle undone.
"You're a handful" He whispered as he buckled her seatbelt.
He clicked his own seatbelt, then backed out of the lot, heading for Abby's apartment.
Once there, he carried her up the steps and opened the door using the key she kept in the flowerpot.
Tony placed Abby in her coffin, pulling a blanket over her.
He sat at the edge of her eccentric bed, watching Abby sleep, her eyes dancing gently beneath her charcoal-rimmed eyes.
"You are one crazy girl, Abby" With that, he kissed her forehead and left, shutting the coffin lid gently behind him.
Things would get better with Abby, they always did.