A/N: I just hated how "Borderland" ended, that they froze it before Gibbs gave Abby the answer to her question. This is how I wanted it to end.

"What I really need to know Gibbs, is if you're going to love me, no matter what."

It was the longest second of time that Abby had ever endured; looking into Gibbs eyes, begging him to say yes. She did not want to lose his love. Gibbs loved her as much as her own father had and she knew she would be completely lost without him.

Finally Gibbs sighed and laid down his tools. He looked over at Abby, this wonderful girl he'd loved and protected these last ten years, just as he would have loved and protected his own daughter, Kelly, if she'd lived to grow up.

"Abs," he said quietly, "you should know better than to ask." He closed the distance separating them and took her face in his hands as two tears leaked down her cheeks. "I will always love you Abby." Gibbs brushed the tears away with his thumbs and leaned forward to kiss her forehead. "Now, you go do your job Abby. Make me proud."

"Gibbs." Abby's voice was almost a whimper, the same way it sounded when he'd left for Mexico. She threw her arms around his neck, chest heaving, knowing that what came next might ruin the life of this good man she loved so dearly.

Gibbs let go and leaned down to kiss Abby's cheek. "See you tomorrow Abs."

Abby backed away slowly, her eyes never leaving his. Then she grabbed her bag off the workbench and ran up the basement steps. She had work to do.

Gibbs watched her go and picked up his tools again. He'd always known this day could come and still he could not regret tracking down and dealing with his wife and daughter's killer. Maybe someday Kelly and Shannon would forgive him, for not being there to save them. He poured himself a glass of bourbon. It was going to be a long night.