A/N: this is the last chapter, guys. Thanks for reading!

Chapter 6

McGee slowly walked up the stairs to his apartment. It had been a long day; after Gibbs had released them for the night, McGee had gone back to the sauna for a while, then stopped and got a few groceries on his way home. Juggling keys and the sack of groceries, he opened the door and went inside. Not bothering to turn on a light, he stashed the cold foods in the refrigerator. The rest could wait til morning. He just wanted a shower and some sleep.

Turning to walk down the hall to his bedroom, he stopped in his tracks.

There was someone curled up, asleep, on his couch.

He shook his head and closed his eyes, sure his mind was playing tricks with him.

Nope, they were still there.

Quietly, unwilling to disturb them, he took a few steps closer. It was Abby. Even in the dim light, she was beautiful. His face softened at the sight of her, even while he wondered what she was doing there- and how she'd gotten inside.

Making sure she was definitely asleep, he relaxed and smiled at the sight of her. So peaceful. It wasn't the smile he usually allowed himself to use around her; all the pent up love he felt for her was evident in this smile. Unable to stop himself, he reached out and smoothed away one of her pigtails where it had fallen across her face.

"Mm, Tim..." she muttered in her sleep, a small smile on her face

He froze; had he heard her right? As quietly as he could, he moved away from her. What was she doing asleep on his couch?

She was stirring now; her eyes fluttered open. Her head turned, looking for something. She spotted him leaning against the wall watching her, and smiled sleepily


"Abby, what are you doing here?" The words slipped out of his mouth before he could stop them, and silently he cursed himself as he saw her draw back.

"I-I wanted to see you" she stammered, her smile faltering

He took two steps towards her and squatted on his heels next o the couch

'I'm sorry Abs, that was snappy. You just took me by surprise is all"

That was better; she was smiling again. He loved to see her smile

"Why did you want to see me, Abs?" he kept his voice gentle this time. Something was obviously going on with her, otherwise why had she been asleep on his couch?

"I wanted to see if you were ok"

He half smiled at that

"I'm just fine Abs, getting better every day" He let himself reach up and kiss her on the cheek as extra reassurance that he was indeed ok

As he pulled away, he saw a light in her big green eyes that he'd never seen there before. What was really bothering her?

She started fidgeting with the edge of one of the cushions, sure sign that she was nervous. Trying to relax her, he slowly moved so that he was sitting down, at an angle to her. She needed to get something off her chest; he knew that it was easier for her if he wasn't directly in her line of sight.

'Tim, can I ask you something?"

"You can ask me anything, Abs" he responded, but his eyes were wary

"Are- are you still in love with me?"

Taken aback, he closed his eyes as pain washed over him

"Why?" his voice shook

Head down, her fingers still plucking nervously at the cushion, she responded

"I've been thinking a lot since the crash, Tim. I thought you'd been killed and I'd never see you again... I was terrified that I'd lost you. I need you in my life, Tim... Is there any hope for us?"

"I can't..." he swallowed. "I can't do this again, Abby. Not if you're not serious" The anguish he felt was evident in his voice, despite his best efforts at control

"I am serious, Timothy. I've never been this serious in my life"

He half smiled at the use of his full first name. She only used it if she was deadly serious about something. He turned so he was facing her fully, kneeling so they were on the same level

"If you're sure, Abs..." his voice shook so much it didn't even sound like his

"I'm sure, Tim. I love you"

He leaned closer to her and lightly touched his lips to hers, cupping his hand along her jaw. He felt her melt into him and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer to her, running one hand up under his shirt. He shuddered at the touch of her hand on his bare skin, moving her as close to him as he could. Somehow he ended up leaning against the couch cushions with her straddling him. Breathless, he pulled his head away for a moment


"Bedroom" she agreed. He picked her up and carried her with him to his room, both of them shedding clothes along the short hallway

Afterwards, both tired and satisfied, she lay with her head on his chest, idly drawing small circles on him with one fingertip. He held her tightly to him, afraid to let her go

He was the first one to break the cosy silence

"I keep thinking this is a dream"

She raised her head to look at him. He smiled reassuringly.

"If it's a dream, I don't ever want to wake up"

She kissed his lips lightly, making him smile even wider

"I love you, Abs. I never stopped loving you. You know that, right?"

She snuggled closer into his embrace

"I love you too, Tim"

On the edge of sleep, he chuckled and said

"I'll tell Tony and Ziva if you'll tell Gibbs"

"It's a deal" she said, grinning at the thought of those conversations.

Wrapping her free arm across his chest, she faded off to sleep.