Title: Winter Hands

Author: Zabby

Rating: PG

Pairing: Abby/Gibbs

Category: Abby/Gibbs, Fluff

Spoilers: None

For: Written for the lovely calalily06 for the Secret Santa exchange on NFA.

Summary: Good plans don't always go the way Abby wants them. (Little bit of Christmas a little late, I know. Hope you like it!)

When a tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear, does it make a sound? What if the tree is actually a Christmas tree, and, instead of a forest, it's in someone's front yard…does it make a sound then? And if no one yells timber, how's a girl supposed to know when to get out of the way? Besides, the tree was already cut; it wasn't supposed to do that great creaking sound anyway. So, then how was I supposed to hear it was going to fall? I had no warning, didn't know I was going to be spending most of my morning trapped under a giant evergreen, snow making a perfect cave under me.

At first, I was scared. Who wouldn't be? No one knew I was coming. It was supposed to be a surprise, and now, no one knew where I was. Told some of the team I was going home. It sucks when you realize because of all your planning no one's going to miss you for a few days. Everyone was scattered all over the country, doing various holiday traditions. And I decided to try and sneak into one Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs' house to decorate. Instead, I'm under a tree.

Now, I'm not without some skill, and I always have my cell with me. But because of how I'm caught under the branches, I'm spread with my arms away from me, and nowhere near my pocket, since I can't seem to reach it. And whatever skill I may have is usually only used locked up in a lab somewhere.

So, I'm stuck here, under a tree, in Gibbs' front yard, with no way to get out, no way of getting help, and no one to miss me, at least not for awhile. At least, I'm not scared anymore. It's been a few hours, but the panic's gone, and I'm not really cold, so that's good.

And no, don't worry. I'm not getting frostbite or hypothermia, at least not yet. I bundled up really good before starting out on this little adventure of mine. Got my thick, trusty black boots, super thick socks (I hate it when my feet get cold), my black snowsuit, some red gloves and a big, poufy jacket. And I was lucky, when I fell, the hood of my jacket caught my head, so I don't have to worry about my neck getting cold or losing my ears. See? I'm all covered. I've even got a really thick scarf wrapped around my head a few times; something Gloria sent me. So, not going to get deadly cold anytime soon. Might die of boredom before that.

You'd think someone would have come by, and I could have yelled for them. But Gibbs doesn't live on a really busy street. And when it starts snowing, it's like a ghost town. Actually, it's kinda pretty. Except when you're trapped under a tree. All I can see is the tree limbs and a blue sky with really thick clouds. Did I mention the boredom?

Besides, even if someone did manage to come around, the scarf is kinda over my mouth. All they'd hear is mumbling. Won't even be able to yell out to get their attention. I tried that, when I first fell. But my voice sounded really far away, even to me.

I'm trying not to get too worried and scared again; the panic when I first fell under the giant Christmas tree was enough. But I can feel a little fear tickling in the back of my mind. Was the team going to find me when the snow melts? Dead under a bunch of dried up twigs? Would they know what happened? How would Gibbs handle it? Probably not very good.

You see, we're pretty close, Gibbs and me. Like family, but not really. Something different. I gave up trying to define what we are years ago. I mean, we flirt, and he likes to compliment me on some of my outfits (Like the Marilyn costume! You should have seen him when he saw me in it!), and he's my protector. And I usually get myself into situations where I need protecting; don't always make the best decisions. But Gibbs is always there with a kiss and a Caf-Pow!, and I know everything is going to be okay. Well…except maybe not now. And I like to tease him and push him with things he's not comfortable about (We always seem to skirt the kink conversation; wouldn't that be something to talk about?). And he makes me feel special, and I make him feel…well, I don't know what I make him feel. That's just another conversation we never had. And maybe never will.

Being trapped under this tree is making me depressed and thinking way too much about 'might-have-beens.' I hate regrets, try to live my life without them. But the one thing I will regret is not figuring out what's really between me and Gibbs. Because, if I'm honest with myself (and I usually am), I think I might love the growling bastard. (And that's his word for himself – via the ex-wives of course. He's not really a bastard. I've met his dad. Okay, I think the cold is starting to get to me more than I realized.)

He's nothing like the kind of guys I usually go out with, but I don't really have a type, so that might not make sense. But he's definitely not needy or psycho like a lot of my exs. He's fierce and strong and dangerously independent. Everything I'm not, and maybe that's why we work. We're polar opposites, and I'm not even talking the age thing. Then again, I'm not really talking. I'm thinking this to myself. So, I don't know who I'm trying to convince. Whom? Who? No, I think it's whom.

Now, instead of getting the chance to try and figure out if he might love me back, I'm trapped under a tree, maybe forever. And I don't want to be…

Sorry, think I drifted off just then. Why am I apologizing? Wait, is that Gibbs on the front porch? And Jackson? Crap, they can't hear me. The storm's picked up again, and my voice is really not going to be audible. I can see the white swirls dancing over my head, clogging the limbs of my tree more. Maybe if I try pushing the tree…ugh, nope. Now, I'm wedged into the snow even more. And they've gone inside. Oh, maybe Gibbs saw my car? I mean, the red hotrod is kinda obvious, though I did park it a few doors down. Do you think he saw it?

Should I be worried that I'm talking to myself? Or should I be more worried 'cause I'm waiting for an answer?

Wait! Gibbs is back again! He must have seen my car. Oh please, Gibbs! I'm right here.

Shifting under the tree isn't helping. Just keeps pushing me farther into the snow. Wrong direction!

Oh, he's got his phone! Maybe he's going to call me. Hey, that's my ring. He's gotta be calling my cell. Can't reach it, but does he hear it? I can hardly hear it. But he is looking over here now. If I could just wiggle…

There! He's seen my fingers! He's had to. I'm wearing bright red gloves, and they have to be sticking out! Look! He's running over here.

"Abby? Abbs! Are you under there?" He's calling to me, and it's the best sound ever! "Abby, can you answer me? Are you okay?"

I still can't talk through the scarf, but I still have to try. "Gibbs! I'm here!" My voice is just garbled mumbles, but it seems like enough for him.

He's starting to pull at the snow-covered tree. The limbs are poking me, scratching along my face, but I don't care. He's getting me free! Finally, with a groan of limbs, the evergreen shifts off of me, and I can scramble out.

I only manage to move a few feet away from my prison, but it's enough. I collapse back onto the ground, Gibbs falling alongside of me. We're both gasping for air, though mine sounds more like laughter.

He looks over at me, almost incredulous that I could be laughing after almost being killed by Christmas tree. "Care to tell me what that was all about?"

"Well, I knew you were out of the house, getting groceries since Jack was coming. So, I thought I'd surprise you by setting up a tree and decorations. I know, I know. You don't like Christmas, but I thought you might like it if everything was done. Just something to have for you and your father. But then the tree fell onto me. It didn't give me any warning; no creaking or even calling out 'timber.' Then it had me pinned in the snow, and I couldn't move." I know I sound pretty ridiculous, prattling on and out of breath, but I can't help it. I'm just thankful I'm alive!

"How long have you been under there?" He hasn't started lecturing me yet on why he doesn't want the decorations or why I was being foolish again, and I'm grateful. Maybe he really would have liked everything she had planned on doing.

"Just a few hours. And I wasn't cold!" Seeing his stern looking, I decided to change my tune. "I was only a little cold. But I was okay. You saved me!"

"Need to get you in and dried off, Abbs. Don't want you dying out here."

But before he can move away, I grab onto his arm unexpectedly. "Merry Christmas, Gibbs."

He leaned over to kiss my nose. "Merry Christmas, Abbs."