A/N – this story picks up immediately after The Prank finishes, it will make a bit more sense if you've read that but I think it can be read on it's own. It goes off in a direction I hadn't anticipated when starting out – let me know what you think as it goes on.


Abby was the last to leave Autopsy, almost as if she couldn't bear to leave Palmer.

Ducky finally said "Abigail, Mr Palmer isn't going anywhere and I'm sure you have work to do"

She turned to leave and saw Gibbs was still standing in the doorway. "you can go back home now Abs" an amused look flickering over his face. Abby gave him a glare worthy of any Gibbs have ever given out "Abs?" he reached out to catch hold of her arm.

She twisted out of his grasp "don't touch me!" the venom in her voice made Gibbs step back. He watched her walk off, his amusement replaced by concern. He hadn't noticed Ducky was behind him until he spoke "I think you may have pushed her a little too far Jethro"

Gibbs walked off without replying, leaving Ducky standing shaking his head.

He decided that as much as he wanted to go to the lab, he had to give Abby some time to get to grips with the fact that Palmer was ok and that the torture of the last week was over. He went back to his desk, wondering what the rest of the teams' reaction would be.

DiNozzo, greeted him with a huge grin "Boss, that was just brilliant, awful to live through but, seriously, respect!"

Gibbs shook his head and sat down, "McGee, got anything to add?" McGee shook his head in the negative, he was extremely pissed at his boss and din't trust himself to speak just yet. Gibbs turned to Ziva "David, what about you?" "Cruel, I am not sure Abby will forgive you".

The next morning Gibbs went down to the lab with an extra large Caf Pow. Abby completely ignored him, didn't even acknowledge his presence. He tried to move closer to her, but every time he moved so did she maintaining the distance between them. He gave up and left, leaving the Caf Pow on her desk.

On his way home he went back to the lab, Abby was gone and the Caf Pow was exactly where he had left it, untouched.