Title: A Chance Encounter
Author: Jo. R (driftingatdusk)
Rating: FR-18
Category: Alternate Universe, Romance, Drama
Pairing: Abby/Gibbs
For: Written for TaylorGibbs in the 2011 GAFicathon, who requested supernatural, smut, AU with maybe Gibbs (or Abby) as a superhero. This is my third attempt at this prompt, after abandoning the other two. Hope it's okay for you!

A sleepy smile caused the corners of her mouth to curl upwards as she stretched across the bed, reaching out. The smile faded into a frown when her fingers clutched at nothing but air and she opened her green eyes to stare in confusion at the empty bed beside her.

It wasn't that she was alone in bed that confused her; it was that, for a moment, she'd been so certain she shouldn't be.

Abby Sciuto rolled onto her back and blinked sleepily, staring up at the familiar ceiling. There was a new crack, she noticed, and made a mental note to mention it to her landlord when she saw him next.

Something felt off, she thought, frowning up at the ceiling. It had nothing to do with the cracks above her or the muffled music she could already hear through the wall separating her apartment from that of her noisy – and inconsiderate – neighbour. She just couldn't shake the feeling she was forgetting something important, that something was missing, something...

The alarm went off, putting an end to her ponderings. She glanced at the time and mentally calculated how long it would take her to shower and dress and catch the bus to the headquarters of NCIS. Her interview with the lesser acknowledged agency was at ten-thirty but if she hurried and caught an earlier bus, she'd have time to grab a quick coffee – maybe a Caf-Pow if the coffee shop sold it – to calm her nerves before going to meet the Director.

With that thought in mind, she pushed herself up from the pillows and swung her legs over the side of the bed, ready to start her day.

He didn't know why he chose to drink his first cup of coffee of the morning in the shop instead of taking it back to his desk. There was just something... something that wasn't right. Heidi, the blond barista who served him, smiled as normal, chatted a little about the weather and asked, not for the first time, if Tony was still single. Her boss, Rob, rolled his eyes and shot her a familiar look of resigned longing that his employee still didn't realise he had feelings for her. Two agents from NCIS nodded at him in greeting from their table in the corner, before going back to their conversation – either about a current case or the latest gossip, Gibbs wasn't sure he wanted to know.

If he had wanted to...

He worked carefully to tune out the conversations going on around him, the voices in his head that weren't in his own. It was one of his gifts – one of his curses – and while it came in handy in interrogation with the more difficult suspects, it was something he'd hated as a child.

Just as he'd hated most of the so-called gifts he'd inherited from his father's side of the family.

He liked to think that his infamous gut, the intuition that gave him a reputation around the Navy Yard was something of his own making and not due to his genetics but Gibbs could never be sure. It was something he didn't take for granted no matter what the reason and it was his gut that told him he had to stay in the coffee shop

He found himself looking up when the bell above the door jingled merrily, announcing someone new. His hand stopped halfway to his mouth, the cup of coffee in it momentarily forgotten as he watched the newcomer walk up to the counter.

He'd never met her before; he'd remember her if he had. But there was something familiar about her, something that gave him a jolt of awareness that he hadn't felt since... Not in years, he told himself silently. Not in a long, long time.

If he had a type, she wouldn't be it. He hadn't been involved with a woman in a long time, not since... But if he'd had a type, the woman with the black hair tied up in pigtails, make up dark and dramatic and the inked skin of her neck proudly on display wouldn't have been it.

Knowing that didn't stop his body from stirring at the sight of her. It didn't stop the surge of attraction, the desire to protect. It didn't make his mouth any less dry or his palms any less damp.

He watched her place her order and smile at something Heidi said before looking around the coffee shop as though she could sense someone watching her. Gibbs quickly looked away but not before he caught a glimpse of bright green eyes.

Almost as soon as her gaze fell on the silver-haired man sitting by himself in the corner, the door to the coffee shop burst open. Abby knew something was wrong before she turned and saw the masked men with their guns from the way the barista's face paled and the Caf-Pow she'd been carrying slipped from limp fingers and fell to the floor, the bright orange liquid spilling across the white tiles.

"Everyone down on the floor, now!" One of the men shouted, his voice muffled slightly by the ski mask he wore.

Abby froze, her heart pounding in her chest. She tried to get her body to obey his order and the commands her brain desperately sent but fear kept her paralysed.

Within seconds of the command being issued, she felt a hand slip into hers. The room blurred and she found herself not only on the ground but sitting behind the counter, her head spinning as she seemed to have moved without time to blink.

Looking up, she found herself staring into concerned blue eyes belonging to the man she'd spotted sitting on the other side of the shop and her brow furrowed, wondering how he'd gotten to her so fast, wondering how they'd come to be behind the counter instead of in front of it.

"Stay here," he told her, the authority in his tone unmistakable. Still, his eyes were soft, taking the edge off his words.

He left before her brain had a chance to catch up, before she could ask him where he was going – before she could ask him to stay.

"Hand over the money and no one needs to get hurt," she heard one of the men demand and found herself squeezing her eyes shut, wishing she could be anywhere else.

"I don't... We..." Heidi, the barista, stumbled over her words, her sentence ending in a wordless cry as a gun was pointed at her.

Gibbs watched as Rob took a step forward, ready to leap to Heidi's defence and braced himself as the masked man's finger inched closer to the trigger. "Hand over the money or she dies."

"I'll give you everything we have," Rob told them honestly. "Just don't hurt anyone."

From where he was crouched, Gibbs saw the two NCIS agents he'd recognised gesture to each other and bit back a groan. The moment they brought out their weapons, he knew, the gunmen would panic and people would get hurt.

People like Heidi and Rob, and the woman he'd moved behind the counter.

No one had seen him move; he was sure of that. People would forget that there'd been a woman being served because they wouldn't be able to understand how one second she'd been there and the next she'd gone. They would convince themselves that she'd been behind the counter the entire time, or that she'd been standing somewhere close by the hatch and had managed to drop behind it when the gunmen had first arrived.

People often made up excuses for what they'd seen or hadn't seen, explaining away the unexplainable in a way they were comfortable with.

It was a trait of human nature that had saved his skin and helped keep his secret more than once before.

He watched the second and, he suspected, younger gunman look around the coffee shop, his nerves clear to see, and knew the second he'd noticed the NCIS agents reaching for their guns. Gibbs barely heard the words of warning the young man called out as he left the safety of his hiding place, his movements only a mere blur that wouldn't register in most people's minds unless they'd been specifically watching.

What made her edge towards the side of the counter, Abby wasn't sure. She opened her eyes when she heard the second gunman call out a warning to the first, pulling herself along the floor to the edge of the counter so she could see what was going on.

When the first bullets started to fly, she wished she hadn't moved.

As concerned as she was for everyone else in the coffee shop, she couldn't stop her mind from turning to the man who'd pulled her to safety even if she still didn't understand how he'd done it so quickly. She searched the coffee shop for him, her eyes widening then growing narrow as she spotted an impossibly fast shape, a blur she somehow knew was him even as her mind screamed at her that it couldn't possibly be.

No human moved that fast. No normal human, anyway.

As she watched, a man and a woman opened fire on the two gunmen only to have them swing around and return fire. The blur she was sure was her rescuer moved between them, disabling the gunmen who'd been standing closest to the counter before moving to the second. Someone cried out – the woman, she realised, when she suddenly dropped to the floor, her hand pressed against her bleeding arm – and the man beside her continued to fire at the second gunman.

Abby wanted to scream at him to stop, to shout that he might hit the wrong person.

The words wouldn't leave her mouth.

She watched, horrified but unable to look away, as a bullet hit her blurred hero just as he reached the second gunman and pulled the weapon from the stunned man's hands.

It was all over seemingly seconds after it had begun. Abby tried to keep track of the man who'd saved her but in the whirlwind of cops arriving and her statement being taken over and over again, she lost sight of him in the crowd of suddenly animated people.

She called to cancel her interview and the Director, having heard about what had happened only a few minutes away from his office, had been understanding and agreed to postpone it for twenty four hours. He'd offered her a few days but Abby had insisted; her career was important to her, more so since it seemed to be the only thing that made sense.

She tried talking to Heidi and Rob, as she'd learned their names were, about the man who'd helped her hide but they'd just looked at her in confusion. Yes, they told her, a man matching the description she gave them had been in the coffee shop earlier but he must have left before it had all kicked off because they couldn't remember him being there afterwards.

No one could.

She declined the invitation of a lift home from one of the cops who'd come to take statements, deciding to catch the bus instead. As she walked to the bus stop, she found herself feeling as though she was being watched but couldn't see anyone when she stopped to look. Dismissing it as being her imagination, Abby continued on, wrapping her arms around her middle as she shivered.

After waiting for almost an hour, she began to wish she'd taken up the offer of a ride back to her apartment even if had meant sitting in the back of a cop car. With a sigh, she tightened her arms around her waist and turned away from the bus stop.

She couldn't afford a cab, not until she knew she had a job to cover her rent for the next month, and since a bus didn't seem to want to appear... Squaring her shoulders and straightening her back, Abby told herself that a little walking never killed anyone.

Ducky fixed him up with an arched eyebrow but no questions. The discretion of the NCIS ME was one of the many reasons he'd become a friend Gibbs could rely on and one of the few people he'd confided in as to his... abilities. He was the only person Gibbs worked with who knew, though Gibbs suspected his newest agent, Tony DiNozzo, might have an idea that there was something a little different about his new boss. The younger agent was sometimes too smart for his own good and saw a little too much – a trait that made him a damn good agent but something Gibbs couldn't help be a little wary about.

Making his excuses from the morgue when Ducky started to ask how he'd been hurt – it would only be a matter of time before the ME was told of the shooting at the coffee shop on the Navy Yard – Gibbs headed for his desk but found himself walking straight passed it after checking his gun and badge were in place. He wanted to check out the scene, he told himself, a perfectly normal reaction considering they'd just closed their active case and only had a little paperwork to catch up on.

He wanted to check on Heidi and Rob and the other customers.

He didn't just want to see *her*.

That's what he told himself as he went through security and took a left when he got outside, heading straight for the coffee shop where he'd seen her last – where it had all happened.

As he walked, he couldn't help but wondering what it was about her that made her so hard to forget. There'd been other women, attractive women, after the accident in Stillwater when his fiancé had died. Some were arguably more attractive than the black haired woman in the coffee shop – less tattoos, smart suits tailored to their forms... *That* was the type of woman he thought he'd go for, not the short skirt and tall, clunky boot combo of the woman he somehow couldn't get out of his mind.

She was different, and not just physically. Or at least his reaction to her was different and that, Gibbs thought, was something he wasn't used to.

Something he wasn't sure he wanted to get used to.

Fully intending on going to the coffee shop, he was distracted by the sight of a familiar form standing on the sidewalk on the other side of the road. He watched her glance down at her watch before looking up and down the street, saw her tighten her arms around her middle as she shivered in the cool breeze that was picking up. He listened intently and heard her sigh before she squared her shoulders and started to walk away.

Before he realised he'd made a conscious decision, Gibbs found himself turning around and heading back the way he'd come, his hand slipping into his pocket to check his car keys were there.

He just wanted to make sure she got home safely, he told himself firmly, quickening to his pace to a jog as soon as he saw the entrance to the parking lot.

There was nothing wrong with that, was there?

She didn't notice the car following her until it pulled over and the driver lowered the window as she passed. Curious, and more than a little apprehensive if she was honest with herself, Abby glanced into the car anxiously, trying to ignore the pounding of her heart.

Her pulse didn't calm any when she realised the man behind the wheel wasn't the creepy stranger she was imagining and was instead her silver-haired hero from the coffee shop. Still a stranger, she reminded herself, even if he was already familiar to her in ways her rational mind couldn't comprehend.

"Get in." Still carrying the note of authority she remembered from the cafe, his voice made her stomach flip over in a not-at-all-unpleasant way. "I'll take you where you need to be."

Abby chose to ignore the voice in her head that warned her she knew nothing about him and found herself reaching for the handle of the car door before she could second guess it. Sliding into the passenger's seat of the car, she closed the door behind her and instantly felt warmer, though whether that was from the warm air blowing in from the heaters or the intense way he looked at her, she wasn't one hundred percent sure.

"Where do you want to be?"

She gave him her address without hesitation, crossing her hands in her lap almost primly. With a nod, he pulled away from the curb, rejoining the traffic heading away from the Navy Yard. She studied him out of the corner of her eye, not wanting to be caught staring but needing to make sure he was okay. She was sure he'd taken a bullet but could see no visible sign of injury as she checked him over.

"What's your name?" The sound of his voice took her by surprise and she thought she saw him grin when she jumped, startled.

"Abby. My name's Abby." Twisting in her seat to see him better, Abby watched him stare at the road ahead. She rolled her eyes when the silence stretched on between them. "It would help if you told me yours, too."

"You didn't ask." He shrugged and glanced at her briefly, causing her breath to catch momentarily in her throat at the look in his blue eyes. "The name's Gibbs."

She waited a beat and arched an eyebrow. "Just Gibbs?" When he didn't answer, she rolled her eyes again. "So you're the strong, silent, superhero-type. I'll remember that."

"Superhero?" Her choice of words got a reaction, though underneath the forced amusement she was sure she saw something akin to panic in his eyes for a split-second. "I'm no superhero, Abby."

She shrugged a shoulder, tearing her gaze away from him to look out of the window. "Well, I can't judge if you've got a thing for wearing a costume under your clothes or underwear on top of tights but I know what I saw."

"And what was that?"

"You, moving faster than should be possible. You getting shot but you'd never guess that from the way you look now. You disappearing before anyone could ask you what happened, so quickly that everyone else forgot you were even there."

There was another moment of silence, broken only by Gibbs' frustrated sigh.

"Why didn't you?" He muttered, so quietly she was sure she wasn't supposed to have heard.

"Forget?" She bit her lip when he glanced at her again. "How could I forget you when I'm pretty sure you saved my life?"

He could think of nothing to say to her claim, not with so much certainty in her soft voice. Turning his attention back to the road, Gibbs tightened his hands on the wheel, wondering what he'd gotten himself into by offering to take her home.

The problem wasn't that he was driving in completely the opposite direction or that he'd told the Director he was catching up on some paperwork at home. The problem wasn't even that he'd ended up with a woman he didn't know at all in his car, a woman who knew his deepest secrets mere hours after they'd met.

The problem was that he didn't want to let her go when they reached their destination.

Biting back a sigh, he pulled over outside of the apartment block she motioned to as being her home. Glancing up and down the street, he felt the tension in his body double. It wasn't a safe area, he knew, wasn't a good neighbourhood.

It certainly wasn't good enough for her.

Abby reached for the door handle when he said nothing, turning back to him with what he decided was a hopeful look instead of letting herself out. "I've got coffee upstairs. If you want a cup to make up for the one you didn't get to finish..."

"Sure." He found himself agreeing even as a voice at the back of his mind told him to say no, to let her out of the car and drive out of her life for good. He'd been listening to that voice, and had been alone, for too long.

They walked in silence up the steps to her building and Gibbs found his hand straying to the small of her back as she unlocked the security door on ground level. He kept it there as she led the way up four flights of stairs, deftly avoiding the mysterious stains on the steps as they went.

He stood close to her when she stopped outside of an apartment door, his chest brushing against her back as he invaded her personal space without apology. While he hadn't exactly been celibate, it'd been a long time since he'd been so close to a woman he was attracted to and his body had no qualms about showing that. When he exhaled slowly, his breath hot against the back of her neck, he saw gooseflesh break out across her skin and felt her shiver, a surge of satisfaction going through him when he realised he wasn't the only one affected by... by whatever it was between them.

Her hand trembled a little as she put the key into the lock and he waited patiently behind her, reining in his impulses; she'd invited him up for coffee, he told himself, and while that sometimes meant more than it sounded, that wasn't always the case.

"How do you take your coffee?" She asked as she walked into the apartment, dropping her keys on a small table near the door.

Gibbs closed the door behind them, attaching the security chain after a moment's hesitation; while he was confident in his abilities to protect her from any of her less savoury neighbours, he didn't want to take the chance with her safety. "Just black."

"And strong, I bet," she added with a glance at him, a hint of a smile on her lips and a slight tinge of colour to her cheeks. "I won't be long. Make yourself comfortable."

He watched her disappear into the kitchen, his eyes tracking her movements until she was out of sight. When he was alone, he allowed himself a moment to glance around the apartment, seeing the still unopened boxes labelled neatly to say what was in them, the dark wood furniture and the stack of CDs and DVDs already lining the shelves of a case next to the television in the corner. Recently moved, he decided, wondering at the trace of an accent he'd detected in her voice.

After taking his fill of the room, he decided to follow the woman it belonged to, leaning against the doorway to watch her as she moved around the kitchen with ease. There were more unpacked boxes, he saw, but she'd unpacked the coffee maker, proving they had something in common at least.

Gibbs studied her movements, studied the almost graceful way in which she moved around the small space. She'd shrugged out of her coat at some point, leaving her in only the short skirt and tight blouse he'd caught glimpses of earlier through the unbuttoned outwear and he took a moment to admire the expanse of creamy flesh on display where her boots finished and the hem of her skirt began. He found himself swallowing reflexively when she reached up to a top shelf to reach the sugar – no doubt for her own drink – the action revealing a lot more smooth skin to his gaze.

She chose that moment to turn around to ask him something, her words dying on her lips and her eyes widening a little at whatever his expression showed. Gibbs took a step closer, his heart racing in his chest when she seemed to freeze, her tongue darting out to lick her dry lips. He took another step towards her, and another, and still she stood still, almost as if she was waiting for him.

When he stood in front of her, mere millimetres between them, he gazed at her intently, trying to read the expression on her face. She licked her lips again, her eyes dropping from his to his mouth then back up, the naked need in her eyes telling him everything he needed to know.

The coffee pot boiled but neither of them noticed.

It felt like an age had passed between him cornering her against the bench and his mouth pressing against hers. Abby exhaled slowly as he lowered his head, watching him get closer until she couldn't take it anymore, letting her eyes slide shut when she felt his breath against her lips. In less than a second, the warmth of his breath was replaced by the warmth of his lips, gentle at first but still sending a jolt of awareness through her.

She didn't protest when he sought to deepen the kiss, parting her lips willingly, lifting her hands to rest against his chest as she tilted her head, a sigh escaping her as one of his arms wrapped around her waist and drew her closer to his body. His other hand moved to the back of her head, holding her in place as he kissed her thoroughly.

How they made it through the apartment from the kitchen to her bedroom without falling over the various boxes stacked along the way was something Abby would accredit to his abilities. How she ended up in only her underwear, her skirt and blouse and boots and knee-high socks distributed throughout her apartment... Well, she'd blame that on him, too.

Still, she couldn't help but smile when he lowered her down onto her bed, his bare skin warm against her own. She ran her fingers over his back as he trailed kisses from her mouth, down her throat to her chest, crying out when his hot mouth closed around her nipple, his teeth grazing the sensitive nub. She arched into him, a soft moan escaping her when his other hand covered her other breast, his thumb rolling the nipple into a peak.

"Gibbs..." His name was a hiss, a prayer, a plea. He lifted his head to grin at her, evidently pleased with himself at being able to reduce her to writhing beneath him before returning his attention back to her breasts.

She threw her head back, moaning again as he moved lower, his hands and mouth leaving no inch of her unexplored, no patch of skin – tattooed or not – untasted. She was reduced to whimpers when he continued his journey, parting her thighs at his silent encouragement to do so. She gasped when his tongue tasted her, when he slid first one finger, then two into her, her body instinctively moving against him, needing more.


His fingers moved inside her, curling just so. He pressed his tongue against her clit, causing her to cry out as her body arched desperately, her blood pounding dizzily through her veins.

She trembled under the onslaught of sensations, her body soft and pliant as he kissed his way back up to her lips, smiling against her mouth in satisfaction at her response to him. She kissed him back, wrapping her arms and legs around him, feeling the hard heat of his erection against her stomach, a reminder that their encounter wasn't over.

After a short while, Abby pushed her hands against his chest and Gibbs rolled over, instinctively knowing what she wanted. As he settled onto his back against the blankets and pillows, she settled over him with a smirk, a mischievous glint in her darkened green eyes.

On impulse, Gibbs reached up, freeing her hair of the confinements of the two bands holding it back. He ran his fingers through the strands as it fell around her face, the silken black framing her pale features and bright eyes perfect. She was beautiful, he thought, breathtaking, but when she shifted atop of him, the heat of her so close to where he wanted her but still not close enough, he lost the ability to speak and tell her so.

Her attention was momentarily diverted by the patch of white gauze taped to his chest, covering the bullet wound he'd sustained in the coffee shop earlier. He held himself still as she eased the tape holding it in place away from her skin, watching her face for her reaction when she found the skin beneath to be almost completely healed.

Instead of being scared or disturbed by his ability to heal so quickly, Abby seemed fascinated. She ran her fingertips over the new, slightly reddened skin, her touch so gentle and tender it made him shiver in spite of his attempts at holding himself still. When she leaned in to kiss the area softly, he released the breath he'd been holding in a soft sigh of relief only to bite his lip in an unsuccessful attempt at holding back a groan when her heat pressed against him again.

He knew she was fully aware of what she was doing when she smirked at him again, flattening her body against his. Her hair was soft against his chest, ticking his sensitised skin as she mimicked his earlier behaviour and teased his nipples. She shifted against him against, her body sliding against his as she moved down him, nibbling, kissing, tasting her way down to his stomach, smiling against his skin when his muscles tensed involuntarily.

She smiled against when he parted his legs to make room for her but it was a wicked smile, one that told him exactly what she was – or wasn't – going to do as she showered attention and biting kisses on his inner thighs, ignoring the one place he wanted to feel her most.


The sound of her name being drawn out in such a way, as close to begging as she'd ever heard, caused her to relent. Quirking an eyebrow at him, she lowered her head again, swirling her tongue around the head of his cock, tasting the pre-cum beaded there before taking him deeper. He groaned her name, his hand moving to rest in her hair but not forcing her as lovers she'd had in the past would have done. She drew back only to take him in again, licking, tasting, humming lightly, her lips stretching around his cock in a smile as his groans grew more frequent.

She would have been happy to continue but his hand tightened in her hair and he tugged her away from her task, pulling her up and rolling her over, kissing away the pout that arranged her lips. He positioned himself over her, his hand slipping between their bodies to tease her once more before he pushed into her without preamble, drawing a sigh from her and a hiss from his own throat.

Gibbs held himself still as he gazed down at her flushed face and dazed eyes, needing to know she was okay before he started to move. When she smiled at him dreamily, her hands sliding down his sweat-slickened back to dig her nails into the flesh of his ass, he decided she was ready. He kept his movements gentle at first, rocking against her, letting her adjust to him before withdrawing almost completely only to thrust back into her, stealing the breath from her lungs.

Drawing her legs up towards her chest, Abby dug her nails into his back, meeting his thrusts, feeling the tension build inside her once more. She moaned, partly out of pleasure, partly out of frustration, almost there but not quite reaching the point she needed...

He slipped his hand between them again, his thumb finding her clit and pressing against it firmly. She cried out, her eyes widening and locking with his and her body clenched around him. Gibbs dropped his head to her shoulder, his tongue darting out to taste the salty skin there before he bit down, hard enough to leave a mark but not enough to break the skin. He heard her cry out again, her body shuddering beneath him and pushed into her again, twice, before the sensation of her climax triggered his own.

Panting, he collapsed over her, giving up on his attempts at propping himself up when her arms wrapped around him tightly, drawing him more firmly against her. The room was silent but for the sound of their heavy breathing slowly returning to normal. He listened to the pounding of her heart, his own beating in perfect unison.

It was a while later that they moved – just enough to pull the blankets beneath them over their bodies. Gibbs lay on his back and tugged her against him, wondering at how right she seemed curled up against him, at the perfect fit of her body against his. For several long, companionable minutes, they lay in silence, both of them staring up at the crack in her ceiling.

"You deserve better than this," he muttered, not sure if he was talking about the apartment or him.

Choosing to believe he was talking about the room they were in rather than himself, Abby pressed her face against his shoulder. "It's all I can afford at the moment." Lifting her head, she smiled slightly. "Seems my luck's changing, though..."

She propped herself up on an elbow when he didn't reply, looking at him curiously. He turned his head after a few seconds, arching an eyebrow in silent question.

"What are you? I mean," she blushed when she realised how the question sounded and he couldn't help but find the colour in her cheeks endearing. Her gaze fell on the almost healed wound before lifting to his eyes once more. "How is that possible...?"

He shrugged his shoulders but held her inquisitive gaze. "I was born with it," he told her quietly, only the third time he'd done so aloud. "My grandfather was... different. My Dad isn't. It's something that either skips a generation or just happens randomly..." He shrugged again. "It's a pain in the ass."

"Really?" She bit down on her bottom lip at the look on his face. "I just thought... I mean, you saved me. You... People could've died in the coffee shop this morning but you stopped that from happening. You saved all of us. I don't know how that can be anything but good."

"It's okay when it works in my favour," he agreed, pulling his eyes from her face to focus on the crack in the ceiling again. "When it doesn't..."

"It must be hard keeping it a secret," Abby mused when he let his voice trail off. "I don't imagine it's something you want everyone to know. Some people would try to exploit it, others would be afraid." She smiled when he looked at her, obviously surprised at her insight. "I know a little about how the world works, Gibbs, give me some credit. I know why you wouldn't want everyone to know." She waited a moment. "Have you ever told anyone, outside of your family I mean?"

The shadow that crossed over his face answered the question for her but she waited patiently for him to answer, anyway.

"One of the people I work with knows," Gibbs replied eventually. "Ducky. He's a doctor. Covers for me sometimes, patches me up if I need it without asking questions." He sighed when she continued to stare at him expectantly. "There was a woman," he admitted. "We were... I'd asked her to marry me. When she said yes, I told her the truth."

Abby waited for more but he kept quiet. She leaned in to kiss him, hating the sudden sorrow in his eyes. "You don't have to tell me..."

"She ran when I told her," he cut her off, holding her gaze, needing her to know, needing to see her reaction. "I think she'd have come back eventually but there was an accident. I decided not to follow her, to give her space... If I had, I could've saved her."

"You don't know that," she soothed automatically. "You don't know what would have happened..." She kissed him again, her tongue teasing his lips until he opened his mouth to her. "You can't blame yourself, can't live your life wondering about what ifs..."

There was part of him that wanted to believe her, part of him that recognised the truth in her words and rejoined in hearing someone else say them. He kissed her deeply and pulled her across him, on top of him, his body already responding to her proximity and the long-suppressed feelings she stirred inside him.

Abby smiled against his mouth, her lips curving up as she drew back enough to murmur. "Is that one of your gifts, too?" She wondered, snaking a hand between their bodies to stroke him teasingly. "Quick recovery time?"

"Only with you," Gibbs replied, sliding his hands down her back, cupping her ass to press her closer. "Only with you."

Morning came much sooner than either of them would have liked. Gibbs woke early as was his way but found he was reluctant to leave the woman sleeping soundly at his side. With a sigh, he eased her off him and slid out from between the sheets, scanning the room for his clothes.

He dressed quickly, glancing at his watching, knowing he'd have to leave soon if he planned on grabbing a shower and a change of clothes if he wanted to get to work on time and keep from attracting the unwanted attention of his agents. Even with his gifts, he hadn't mastered the ability to conquer rush hour traffic in Washington DC.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, he stroked her hair back from her face, regarding her tenderly as she stirred beneath his touch and rolled onto her back, taking his pillow with her. "Abby."

"Hmm?" A sleepy smile curled up the corners of her mouth and he watched as she reached a hand out across the bed, a frown marring her brow when she encountered nothing but air. He grabbed her hand just as she opened her eyes, bringing it to his lips as she focused on him and smiled again. "Hey."

"Hey." Unable to resist, he leaned in to kiss her, pulling away reluctantly after several moments. "As much as I'd like to spend the whole day here..."

"You have to go," she finished for him. She sat up, clutching the sheet to her chest, and gave him a soft smile of understanding. "I know."

"I want to see you again. Tonight," he added.

Her smile grew wider, pleasure lighting her face. "You know where to find me."

He nodded and leaned in to kiss her again, grinning sheepishly when it was her turn to push him away. "See you later."

"I can't wait."

Gibbs forced himself up from the bed and walked towards the door. He glanced over his shoulder at her one last time, unable to keep the grin from his face when he found her watching him. Shaking his head, he left the apartment, hoping the change he felt inside him wasn't as obvious on the outside.

Her interview went well – better than well. Abby wondered if it was because she was too distracted by the prospect of another night like the one she'd just had to be nervous or if the Director of NCIS was just really good at putting people at east. Either way, she was stunned and flattered when he offered her the position – but not so much that she forgot to accept.

Standing in the lab, in her new home away from home, she couldn't stop the grin that spread across her face or the squeal of excitement that escaped her.

The sound of the elevator arriving gave her just enough time to school her features into what she hoped was a calm expression and she turned expectantly towards the door as she heard Director Morrow's voice.

"And this is our new forensic specialist. Be nice to her, I'd like to keep this one longer than a month." Not sure she was supposed to her the last part, Abby arched an eyebrow as the Director walked into the lab, one of his agents only a few steps behind him. "Abigail Sciuto, meet Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. You'll probably be seeing him a lot. Agent Gibbs, this is Ms. Sciuto."

Gibbs recovered first, holding out a hand when Director Morrow glared at him expectantly. If the Director noticed the slight grin on his agent's face, he hid any confusion he felt well. "Ms. Sciuto."

"It's Abby," she corrected automatically, taking the hand he offered her, biting down on her lip to keep from smiling herself when he just held it. "So, do I call you Leroy or Jethro?"

"Just Gibbs'll do."

Director Morrow glanced between them but chose not to comment on the fact his senior agent was still holding his forensic specialist's hand. "Well, I'll leave you to get acquainted," the Director murmured, giving Gibbs a stern look when the NCIS agent looked at him. "I mean it, Gibbs. I'd like to keep this one."

Gibbs inclined his head but didn't answer aloud until the Director was safely out of earshot. "Me, too."

"You are a hero," Abby murmured, taking a step closer to him when she heard the elevator doors close behind her new boss. "You're an NCIS agent."

"I'm an agent," he agreed with a shrug, moving closer. "Still not sure I agree on the hero part."

"Guess I'll have to convince you." Her gaze dropped to their still-joined hands and she smiled brightly. "This is going to be so much fun..."

"Abby..." He glanced at the security camera in the corner of the room, the only thing keeping him from pulling her against him. "When I said no one knows..."

"I won't say anything," she reassured him quickly, her promise sincere. "But hey, you've got someone else watching your back now. If you need someone to cover for you and the doctor – Ducky, you said? – isn't available, you've got me."

"Do I?" He risked another half-step but no more, enjoying the sight of her eyes widening, the feel of her pulse quicken in the wrist of the hand he still held. "I've got you?"

"For as long as you'll have me."

The elevator bell rang out again, signalling a new arrival. Gibbs reluctantly dropped her hand and took a step back, watching as she put some distance between them, too. He recognised the smell of the aftershave even before he heard the familiar footsteps and braced himself for his agent's reaction to the pretty forensic specialist.

"Hey, Boss. The Director said you were down here. We got a break in the Taylor—woah. Hey. Hi, there." A charming grin broke out across Anthony DiNozzo's face as he caught sight of Abby for the first time. "I'm Anthony DiNozzo."

"Abby Sciuto." She took the hand he offered her, rolling her eyes when he lifted it to his lips. She arched an eyebrow when she caught sight of Gibbs lifting his arm...

"If you need anything, anything at all – ow. Right. Sorry, boss." With a bashful grin, Tony let go of her hand, lifting his own to rub the back of his head. "So the Taylor case..."

Gibbs steered his agent out of the lab, throwing a look over his shoulder at Abby that promised he'd be seeing her later. Giving him a wink and a wave, Abby waited until she heard the elevator leave once more before spinning around to take in her surroundings again, wrapping her arms around her middle.

There was no sense of missing something anymore, no feeling of forgetting something important.

Everything, she thought with a contented sigh, had fallen perfectly into place.