Dreams Come True
Spoilers: Season 2, Twilight
Summary: Episode tag to Twilight, originally written for the Gabby Collaboration Project and posted over there too.
A/N: Big hugs to Gibbsredhoodie for her help and head slaps.
Abby wasn't sure what woke her from a fitful sleep.
Maybe he wasn't his usual stealthy self if his knee was still bothering him, or perhaps Gibbs was more tired than he would admit and had made more noise? Or maybe that feather light touch she'd thought she felt on her hair just now wasn't her imagination?
Whatever the reason, as some sixth sense or her Gibbs-o-meter brought her awake, Abby heard the soft rustle of someone carefully shifting position nearby. The distinctive smell of coffee overlaid with sawdust told her who it was before she became alarmed and she turned over slowly on her futon, eyes widening as she registered the presence of a large hand resting on a meaty thigh close to her head.
Her eyes ran up the shirt-sleeved figure, over the corded forearms, broad shoulders and strong neck to his face, which looked drawn and tired, his silver hair gleaming in the soft light seeping in from her lab. Gibbs was sitting on the floor next to her futon, his head resting back against the cabinet by her desk.
His eyes were closed but she could sense he wasn't asleep.
His eyes opened and she could make out their gleam as he looked down at her. "Hey."
"What are you doing here, Gibbs? I mean I know what you're doing here as in here in the building but why are you here in my lab?"
Why wasn't he upstairs in the bullpen with the rest of the team?
But it gave her a warm fuzzy feeling to think that he'd sought out her lab, had chosen to sit down here with her for whatever rest he'd planned on getting tonight instead of at his desk.
Typically, Gibbs chose not to answer her question. "Didn't mean to wake you. Could ask you the same thing. Why you still here?"
Abby struggled to sit up, shifting to sit back against the filing cabinet next to him, feeling his hand on her arm as he helped her up. She scrubbed her hands over her face and through her hair, loose from its pigtails, and massaged her scalp. "It's okay... I was only dozing."
"You shoulda gone home."
"Uh-huh. You mean like everyone else has done?" She turned her head to look at him, suddenly conscious how close they were. "Last time I looked, the bullpen was full of snoring agents."
Gibbs rolled his eyes, his mouth quirking. "Told 'em to go home too... does no one follow orders anymore?"
"Not when they're worried about their Boss, no," she countered.
He ignored that too and repeated his question. "Why ya still here?"
Abby looked away from his piercing gaze, afraid of what he might see in her eyes. "I'm worried about my Boss too... and my friend. That gives me an even better excuse to be here."
"Nothing you can do."
Her head snapped round at his almost dismissive tone. "That's not true, Gibbs... I'm here where I'm needed most. Who knows what evidence may come through that door any moment? So you need me here, Gibbs, not at my apartment. Besides, what would I do at home? Wear a groove in my floor, worrying about you... about all of you. You're gonna have to throw me out of the building if you wanna get rid of me tonight."
And I don't wanna leave in case I never see you again.
Abby remembered all too vividly how Gibbs behaved the last time Ari was in town; how his obsession had driven him and them to the point of exhaustion.
This time he seemed almost eerily calm about the whole thing.
She thought Tony had a point that Gibbs was like this because he was looking forward to getting a chance to finally kill Ari. But given what had happened today, attempts by the two men to finish this, whatever it was between them were currently running at two nil in Ari's favour.
They were dangerously into 'three strikes and you're out' territory.
And that scared the crap out of her.
Abby felt Gibbs take her hand and looked down as he rubbed a thumb across her knuckles, distracted by the feel of his skin. "Not gonna throw ya out, Abbs."
"And no more sneaking out, you hear me? If necessary, I can drug your coffee so you don't go off again without the team on your six," she mustered a small smile but she was only half joking.
Gibbs huffed a soft laugh. "Oh, don't think Kate'd let me sneak out now."
"And nor should she." Abby twisted sideways to face him, hanging onto his hand, watching his gaze drop to their joined hands where they rested on her knees. "We nearly lost everyone today and if Tony hadn't seen that bomb, McGee and Kate would be dead right now... and Tony, Tony shouldn't even be here, he's still sick... and then you had to go and get yourself nearly blown up this evening. So that's twice... in one day, which is a record even for you."
Her voice cracked and she broke off, almost choking with emotion as the thought of nearly losing him again washed over her. She accepted his job was dangerous and she lived with that every day. He'd come close to being killed more times than she cared to count, but it didn't make it any easier to cope with every time it happened.
One day his luck was going to run out, or he was going to throw his life away… and it was an evens bet which one would come first.
"But we weren't."
Now he had his 'you're overreacting, calm down Abbs' voice on and if anything, it made her angrier.
"But you could have been. And then… then you go and break Rule 3." She held up her finger as Gibbs made to speak. "And yes, I know your ringer thingy got turned off but if one of us had done that, you'd have head slapped us into next week. We're worried about you, Gibbs. You've got that look in your eye."
Gibbs raised his eyebrow. "What look?"
"That look." Abby pointed, narrowing her eyes. "That, I'm going off grid the first chance I get and I'm really looking forward to finally killing Ari and to hell with the consequences, look."
"Maybe I am." She saw his jaw tighten and his eyes harden. "That bastard's played us enough."
"That doesn't mean it's worth your life, Gibbs," she told him softly.
Gibbs shrugged. "Sounds like a fair exchange."
His words were like a physical blow that knocked the wind out of her and she swallowed hard before she could trust her voice again. "Gibbs, I...I can't believe you just said that."
That is what scared her more than anything this time round; his almost cavalier attitude to sacrificing himself if it meant he took Ari with him.
When Gibbs remained silent, just staring at her with an unreadable expression, Abby went on, wondering how best to get him to see how scared she was, what it meant to her to have him safe.
How she couldn't live without him in her life.
She gripped his hand tightly and was momentarily heartened to feel him squeeze back. "You keep everyone else safe, but you always put yourself last on that list of people to protect. And you talk as if your life means nothing, Gibbs, as if it wouldn't matter if you weren't here."
He averted his gaze, staring off into the middle distance for long moments before she saw him nod slightly, almost to himself, before turning back to her. "If it means I take Ari out..."
Abby interrupted, dropping his hand and rearing back, shaking her head. "No! No, Gibbs. Don't say that. That makes it sounds like you've already resigned yourself to dying... as if it's okay to just throw your life away."
"Abby. Let me finish. Was gonna say if it means I take Ari out, I could live with that," Gibbs pressed a finger to her lips to shush her as she opened her mouth to rush in again. "But I'm not planning on throwing my life away, 'kay?"
Abby examined his eyes seriously, trying to read his face and eventually nodded. "Okay. But remember we need you to stay safe, Gibbs... I need you to stay safe."
Gibbs stared at her for a moment. "I'll do my best."
She held his gaze, figuring it was all she'd get from this stubborn man for now. "Okay then."
Gibbs sat back and she wasn't surprised when he changed the subject. "You need to rest, Abbs. You're no good to me if you're so tired you can't think straight."
"Hey pot, meet kettle." She waved her hand and was rewarded with a slight smile. "Not even you can keep going on just coffee and willpower forever. You need sleep as much as I do... more if you're going after Ari."
As Gibbs nodded and went to lean his head back against the cabinet, Abby nudged his leg, wondering if she was about to make things more awkward. "C'mon, we can share... or were you planning on sitting on your butt all night? Your back's gonna love you by morning if you do that. This futon's big enough for both of us and we're adults."
She couldn't decipher the look on his face for a moment before it was gone behind a smirk as he tilted his head. "Okay, okay... stop nagging, woman."
"Oh, I haven't even started yet. Okay then... I'll take this side, if that's okay? Which side do you normally take, Gibbs? Although I guess you prefer the one nearest the door, right?"
Abby heard herself babbling as she shuffled over to one side of the futon. Gibbs shifted to unclip his holster and place it next to his folded jacket on the floor, but within reach. She lay there watching, hyper aware of his every movement, tensing as his arm brushed hers when he settled on his back beside her, using his jacket as a pillow.
Physical contact between them wasn't unusual but they were both usually upright at the time. This felt far more intimate in the quiet darkness of her lab and she had to curb the immediate urge to curl into his side and throw her arms round him.
"I could always lend you Bert as a pillow?"
"Nah, I'm good." Gibbs chuckled and turned his head and she found herself staring into mesmerising blue eyes, his mouth mere inches away. She almost felt his eyes roam over her face and something in his expression made her heart pound, his nearness as intoxicating as his scent.
He was so close... too close for her to think straight. Too close for anything other than feeling an aching need to be held.
Gibbs turned on his side and his hand came over to brush a strand of hair off her face and she shivered at the tender touch as his fingers lingered to sign 'my girl' on her cheek. "Go to sleep, Abbs."
Gibbs rolled onto his back and Abby watched his profile for a moment before stretching her own hand out to rest on the arm nearest her, feeling the rough hairs and warm skin of his forearm underneath her fingers. She took a deep shaky breath, wondering if she was about to screw up big time. "Can I… can I use you as a pillow?"
"You abandoning Bert?" She saw his eyes gleaming with amusement as his head turned towards her.
Abby chuckled, grateful for him trying to defuse the tension which virtually vibrated in the air. "He can take it. I just… I think I just need a hug."
Gibbs stared at her for a moment before holding out his arms. "C'mere," he murmured, his voice so low and gravely it made her toes curl.
She needed no further urging and shuffled closer to burrow into his arms, resting her head on his chest, feeling his own arms come round to wrap her up tightly and a gentle kiss was pressed to her hair.
Abby felt herself relaxing, almost sinking into him as she slid an arm round his waist, the calming thud of his heartbeat and the rhythm of his breathing under her ear almost lulling her to sleep.
"You make a good pillow," she murmured drowsily after a few minutes, and his husky chuckle made her shiver as much from the tone as the arrogant confidence behind his next words.
"So I've been told."
Abby shot bolt upright, wrenching herself out of his arms and waking herself with her own cry, shocked out of sleep by the images from her nightmare. Startled as he must have been, Gibbs was quickly beside her, his gun in his hand as he rolled to his knees.
As she became aware of her surroundings again, Abby wrapped her arms round her knees, her face buried in them and shoulders hunched as she tried to control her breathing and banish the pictures in her head.
She felt a hand on her back and gasped, her breathing harsh and she heard his concerned voice and the sound of him putting his gun down. "Abbs... you okay?"
Abby focused on the sound of his voice and the warmth of his hand and gradually her breathing slowed. She turned to him, virtually throwing herself at him and Gibbs grunted as they tumbled back onto the futon. "Oh my god, Gibbs, Gibbs... are you okay?" She grabbed his face, frantic to see him more clearly in the dim light.
"Hey... I'm fine, Abbs... where's the fire?" He grabbed her hands, stilling her movements. "Hey... just breathe."
Her heart was still pounding and she shuddered on her next breath as she buried her head against his chest, pulling her hands free to clutch at him tightly. "I just... I'm okay... I'm sorry I woke you. Did you sleep okay? Well, at least till I did the whole wrenching you from the depths of sleep bit, I'll grant you that one."
It must have been near dawn as the darkness outside wasn't quite so absolute, so they must have slept for a while.
"Slept fine, Abbs." He was silent for a long moment but she knew he wouldn't leave it alone. "Wanna tell me about it?"
She shrugged, trying to burrow closer. "It's just... it was just a nightmare, Gibbs."
"Yeah, I got that part. What about? Your autopsy dream again?" His hand stroked through her hair slowly, almost cradling her head to his chest, his other hand rubbing her back gently.
Abby swiped roughly at her eyes, trying to clear her blurred vision, momentarily distracted. "I'm crying... Why am I crying? I never cry." She shook herself, fisting a hand in his shirt front as she raised her head to look at him. "I saw Tony... and his face was covered in blood and I... I couldn't see anyone else but I thought it was your blood, Gibbs."
Gibbs frowned. "Why mine?"
"Because, Gibbs, Tony's always got your back. So if Tony's somewhere out in the field, then it usually means you're not far away... so I guess my brain made the jump that it could have been yourblood." She pressed her face into his chest again. "I hate dreams like that."
His hands slid down her back and she felt his arms tighten round her. "Hey, I'm fine. I'm right here."
"I know." Abby squeezed him tightly, feeling slightly foolish for making a fuss.
But there was no reproach in his voice as he pressed his nose into her hair. "It's just a dream. Dreams don't come true. With Ari on your mind, you've worried yourself into it when there's no need."
Now her initial panic had subsided, she was becoming acutely aware of the feel of the hard body underneath her, the strong arms holding her, aware of every breath he took.
"No need, huh? Well, too late, Gibbs. Bad dreams or not, I am worried, you know that. That ship has sailed and is already halfway across the ocean." She raised her head again to meet his gaze, unable to stop herself placing her palm on his cheek and her stomach flip-flopped as he leaned into her touch. "I can't lose you. I just can't... it would kill me," she whispered softly.
She felt pinned in place by the intensity of his stare. And she was so tired of denying her feelings for this man, of trying to pretend she felt nothing beyond friendship. Of ignoring the crackle of attraction that had been there between them from the beginning.
She knew he was aware of it too, she'd seen it in his eyes but didn't know if he felt something stronger. But if she was about to lose him, she wanted Gibbs to know how she felt about him.
"Promise me you'll be careful, Gibbs, and come back safe. You must..." Her voice faltered as another tear spilled over and he wiped it gently away with his thumb, his hand lingering to stroke her cheek.
"No, don't you Abbs me... promise me, Gibbs, please. Pinky promise." She held up her hand.
His mouth quirked in a half smile and Abby saw his eyes soften and her heart raced at the look on his eyes, aching to lean in and taste him. When Gibbs hooked his finger around hers and solemnly 'shook' on it, she took her courage in both hands and tugged slightly on his hand, bending forward at the same time.
A split second before she kissed him, Abby saw his surprise but then her mouth brushed his lightly and all she could think about was how soft his lips were.
She concentrated on the feel of his mouth and not on the possible ruin of their friendship from her actions. But before she could start to panic, Abby felt him respond, his lips moving under hers, kissing her back with a tender, almost feather light touch as his hand slid into her hair.
The kiss lingered, lips tugging, clinging, neither going too far, just discovering and savouring the taste and feel of each other.
When Abby pulled back reluctantly, she gazed down at him, tracing her fingers along his jawline. His blue eyes were warm and a smile was beginning to tug at the corner of his lips and she saw his gaze drop to her own mouth.
She couldn't help smiling back in relief, lowering herself back onto his front to press her face into his neck, inhaling deeply as she felt his arms anchor round her back. Abby heard his breathing hitch as she kissed his neck softly, nuzzling into him and smiled to herself.
She'd done that... turned his breathing shallow and unsteady.
Abby pressed light kisses along his jawline, whispering against his warm skin, "Promise me you'll try to stay alive… try to stay with me. Say the words, Gibbs. I need to hear it."
She felt Gibbs cup her cheek and tilt her face up, and saw the heat in his eyes just before his mouth was on hers again, teasing her lips apart, tasting, claiming, possessing as he took control of the kiss.
Abby moaned into his mouth, lost in the sensual dance of wet tongues and warm, nibbling lips as he made her head spin. She speared her fingers into his hair, registering the softness of the silver strands as she scraped her nails lightly over his scalp, smiling into his mouth at the low growl in his throat her actions provoked.
They were both breathing heavily by the time the kiss ended and Gibbs rested his forehead against hers as he murmured. "I'll be careful, Abbs. Got a reason to be now."