A BETRAYAL... OR ONE MISSED OPPORTUNITY TOO MANY?
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. NCIS and its characters are the property of DPB and CBS. If I had a silver-haired, blue-eyed Marine to play with, do you think I'd have time for writing?
Summary: What if Abby had been arriving at Gibbs' house at the end of Masquerade? Would seeing Gibbs and M. Allison Hart together make her think she'd left it too late?
A/N: Written for the Gibbs/Abby Shipper Forum weekly Creative Drive for the prompt 'Betrayal' and inspired by Jo_R's terrific 'Close and Closer.' Written from Abby's POV.
She'd waited until she was sure Gibbs was inside his house and McGee had left before pulling her distinctive car up outside.
Abby Scuito gathered her courage in both hands and set off up the drive, determined not to let this situation drift any longer. If she was about to ruin the best friendship of her life, so be it. She couldn't live in this limbo any more.
She needed to know if Gibbs reciprocated her feelings.
They'd been drifting closer together for months, or so she'd thought.
They'd spent even more time together outside of work than they normally did. Dinners had become more frequent and their flirting had taken on an extra edge. Abby was beginning to hope that Gibbs might be ready to develop their relationship further...
... for she was in love with the man.
Sure, it had started off as instant lust years ago but it had gradually morphed into something much more, at least on her part. She couldn't pinpoint the exact moment she'd fallen for him, it was more of a gradual realization.
There were moments recently when she'd let herself believe that Gibbs felt something for her in return. There was a heat sometimes in his look which had her nerves tingling every time she intercepted it.
Then all of a sudden he'd pulled back and she still wasn't sure why.
Their dinners had stopped. They barely saw each other outside of work any more and it all seemed to be after that lawyer had arrived.
Abby had seen how Ms M. Allison Hart seemed to fascinate and irritate Gibbs in equal measure. She watched as the woman just seemingly crooked her little finger and Leroy Jethro Gibbs had come running.
Abby wasn't sure why it should hurt more this time than with all the other women he'd been involved with over the years. Perhaps it was the speed and ease with which 'MAllison' had appeared to seduce him, or perhaps it was because they looked so alike. If a BOLO went out on either of them, the description would be fairly similar, green eyes, long dark hair, both slender and roughly the same age; the only significant difference being their height.
Abby used to think that Gibbs wasn't interested in her because she didn't match his redhead fetish. But then Ms Hart arrived and had blown that theory out of the water.
So it must be something to do with her... that Gibbs simply didn't find Abby Scuito attractive. Perhaps he was now regretting letting them drift too close over the past few months, and that's why he'd withdrawn from her, trying not to hurt her with an outright rejection.
But she had to know if she was wasting her time hoping and dreaming. She had to risk telling him how she felt, if only to move on with her life. If Gibbs really didn't want her, then she needed to know. She couldn't keep pining for a man who just didn't see her that way.
And if he was attracted to her, why had he pulled away?
There had to be a reason. She didn't think Gibbs was the sort to string a woman along, to cruelly tantalize.
This latest incident where Gibbs and McGee had nearly been blown up by the faux dirty bomb had been the final straw. She'd nearly lost him today... again, and he'd have died without knowing how she felt about him.
The recent shoulder injury was also another factor. It was by no means his most serious injury in the line of duty, but it was one more reminder of how precarious their lives were. She'd be a fool to waste any more time.
So here she was outside his house... about to make either the biggest mistake of her life or to change it for the rest of her life, and for the better.
As Abby approached his front door, she heard raised voices coming from the living room. With a sinking feeling, she recognized Allison's voice along with Gibbs', even though she couldn't make out the words.
With the curtains open, she could see easily into the room and was dismayed to see Gibbs and Allison edging nearer one another until they were well inside each other's personal space, lips a mere hairsbreadth apart, staring at each other, both holding still for what seemed like ages.
Frozen to the spot, feeling like an intruder but unable to move, Abby saw Gibbs suddenly lower his head to take Allison's mouth in a hard and demanding kiss, his good hand coming up to grab the back of her head to hold her in place. At the same time, Abby watched the lawyer's arms come up to wind round his neck and return his kiss with a fierce eagerness.
It was the kind of kiss Abby had dreamed of being on the receiving end of for years. Seeing it being bestowed on another woman was like a punch to the gut.
It felt like a betrayal... and yet she had no right to think or feel like that.
Gibbs wasn't hers. That much was obvious now.
She had no claim on him, that much was now clear.
Before she could be seen, Abby turned and fled down the drive. She fumbled her way into her car and drove off. She had to stop partway home as her tears blurred her vision. Pulling over, she hunched over the wheel and gave in to her misery.
She eventually pulled herself together and completed her journey, dragging herself into her apartment. Changing into sweatpants and a sweatshirt and untangling her pigtails, she slumped on her couch with the only comfort she could find... ice cream. She followed the cold with the burn of neat bourbon, somehow seeing an irony in drowning her sorrows for a certain Special Agent with his favourite liquor.
Well, Scuito, you've got your answer now and it hurts like hell.
She'd obviously missed her opportunity and she had no one to blame but herself.
There'd been numerous times over the years, and especially lately, when either of them might have made a move, but both had held back.
Times when their gazes had locked for longer than normal, or when his eyes had flicked between her eyes and lips as if he wanted to kiss her.
Or when she thought she'd read something more than affection in his gaze.
When they'd been close enough that it would only have taken a small move by either of them to close the distance.
Abby wasn't sure if it was better or worse finding out this way that he was interested in someone else. At least she'd saved herself the embarrassment of confronting him. He'd have been polite... of course he would. He was Gibbs and he at least cared for her as a friend. But it would only have increased the distance between them in the future as he sought not to make things any more uncomfortable for her.
So perhaps it was better this way? At least she could continue to cling onto their friendship.
Yeah, right. That's going to be a whole lot easier, isn't it, now you can imagine him in all too vivid detail in HER bed.
It looked like she'd be continuing to go through enough batteries for the many toys in her bedside drawer that she'd be able to start a recycling centre soon. She'd lost count of the number of fantasies she'd accumulated of Gibbs over the years but they'd kept her company on many a lonely night.
So what if she had to continue with just her fantasies? She'd be no worse off than before.
But perhaps she could now move on and respond the next time some attractive man paid her some attention. It was ages since she'd had anything more than a one night stand picked up in her favourite clubs, or a short term fling with a warm body just to relieve an itch she really only wanted one man to scratch.
Her musings were interrupted by her cell ringing.
Oh, great. Just what she needed, a conversation with Gibbs when she could imagine him lying in bed, post-fuck, with M. Allison Hart wrapped around him.
She let voicemail take it but wasn't totally surprised when he didn't leave a message. Her peace was shattered again almost immediately when her home phone rang.
Full marks for persistence at least. Well, he could damn well leave a message this time.
"Abbs, if you're there, pick up. Need to talk." Far from a voice full of masculine smug satisfaction and post-coital languor, Gibbs sounded mighty pissed off.
Well, she didn't want to talk to him, not tonight.
To hell with rule three, 'never be unreachable'. If he could break rule 13, 'never involve a lawyer', then she could sure as hell ignore rule three for once. If it was a case, he'd have said so in his message.
So she ignored this phone call as well and poured herself another bourbon, snuggling into the blanket she'd dragged from the back of the couch.
But she might have known Gibbs wouldn't give up that easily, as evidenced by the forceful hammering on her door not five minutes later. He must have been outside her apartment when he rang. Given that he couldn't drive at the moment, she figured he'd taken a cab.
Perhaps if she ignored it, he would go away?
"Know you're in there, Abbs. Your car's outside. I'll use my key if I have to."
Or perhaps not.
Oh, hell. Damn the man. Okay, let's get this over with. She could always lock herself in the bathroom to avoid him if necessary, if he wouldn't leave.
She opened the door, not bothering to hide her annoyance. "What do you want, Gibbs? Unless it's a case, I'm really not in the mood for company tonight."
Gibbs pushed passed her into the living room, shoulder still strapped and arm in a sling. He paused and she could see him taking in the bottle of bourbon and empty ice cream container before he turned back to her, looking suddenly unsure of himself. "I... I wanted to see how you are."
"Well, now you've seen you can go. I'm fine. I'll see you Monday." If he was going to come up with an excuse for being here, he'd have to do better than that. She turned away to go into the kitchen.
"Why did you leave?" he asked quietly.
Oh shit, he must have seen her on his driveway. Busted.
She kept her back turned to him, not wanting him to see her face. "I didn't want to interrupt. You er... looked like you were busy."
"How much did you see?" He sounded pained and she turned to face him, surprised at his question.
It was on the tip of her tongue to say she'd seen as far as the part where his tongue was halfway down the lawyer's throat but restrained herself.
Instead, she settled for asking a question in return, the bourbon adding anger to her tone. "Why the hell should it matter what I saw, Gibbs? It's your life, it's none of my business who you're seeing."
"Didn't want you to see that." He started to pace, running his hand through his hair.
Abby huffed an ironic laugh, folding her arms around herself. "Yeah, I bet."
"It's not what you think." Gibbs turned to her, his tone almost pleading.
She'd hadn't seen him so worked up for a long time and was unsettled as to where this was coming from. It wasn't the reaction she was expecting to having been caught on his driveway, but she was damned if she was going to apologize.
She was hardly in the wrong for accidentally seeing an intimate moment, especially since she'd done the decent thing by leaving immediately. So he had no cause to be annoyed with her... except annoyed wouldn't be the term she'd choose to describe how Gibbs was behaving now. He seemed more upset, and that threw her completely.
"It doesn't matter what I think, Gibbs." Trying to work out what was going on in his head at the best of times was sometimes too much and she was just too tired and upset tonight to even try.
"Yeah, it does." He took a closer look at her face, taking a pace nearer before continuing in a softer voice. "You've been crying."
"It's nothing. I'm fine. Please... just leave." She couldn't explain why she was upset without giving herself away entirely.
"Not leaving till I've explained." Now his own voice started to rise in frustration.
Abby wasn't sure where he was going with this but she was beginning to get really angry with him. "I don't need explanations, Gibbs. Who you see is your business."
"It's complicated..." Gibbs began but she cut him off.
"Huh, it always is with you. Not sure why it should be though. It's your life, so why should you need to explain anything to me about who you're seeing?"
She was building up a fine head of steam when he suddenly stepped up close and cupped her cheek in his hand. As always, the sudden touch of his warm skin on hers sent her nerve endings zinging and it was all she could do to suppress a gasp.
His voice was gentle again and his eyes almost pleading. "Abbs, tell me... Why are you upset? Why were you there?... Please."
Please? What was wrong with him tonight? And more importantly, why wasn't he still in bed driving M. Allison Hart out of her tiny mind?
All her anger suddenly drained away and tiredness came flooding in. "Look, I've no right to be upset and it doesn't matter why I was there. If you must know, I was there because you nearly got blown up today... again. I just wanted to see if you were okay and I'm sorry if my arrival was bad timing." She was struggling to continue. "I wasn't... I'm sorry, Gibbs. I can't... just go, please." If he didn't go soon, she was going to dissolve in tears again.
"Abbs..." His thumb starting stroking her cheek, tracing the tracks of her dried tears.
She couldn't take it any more and twisted away from him, beginning to pace. "Look, what do you want from me, Gibbs? Encouragement? Approval? It's your life dammit. I'll try and be happy for you whoever you choose to be with, you know that. I can't tell you why I'm upset without..." She broke off, sadness almost overwhelming her and wrapped her arms round herself as she faced away from him.
It was quiet for several heartbeats and she jumped as she realized he'd snuck up on her yet again when his low voice sounded almost at her ear, "Without what, Abbs?"
"Oh for god's sake, what do you want me to say? If you want her, you don't need my permission." She made to move passed him, anxious to get away from his distracting closeness.
"Don't want her." Gibbs grabbed her as she tried to move away and growled, ""Want you." He pulled her towards him with a hand hooked round the back of her neck and crashed his mouth down over hers.
Abby froze, taken completely by surprise, even as her nerve endings sat up and took notice. His kiss was passionate and possessive and she felt her knees buckling as he demanded a response from her. His hand tangled in her hair as he explored her mouth almost roughly... just as he'd done with 'MAllison'.
It was that similarity that helped her listen to the little voice at the back of her head which was muttering, 'hold on, what is this? Bed hopping? The man must have some stamina to want round two already... and with another woman.'
Before she could give in to what her body was demanding, she gathered her willpower and pushed against his chest to put some distance between them, breaking the kiss.
Chest heaving for breath, she stared at him, recognizing but hardly believing the lust she could see in his eyes. "Are you sure Allison would approve?"
"Don't care what she thinks, Abbs." His voice was husky and he reached for her again. She snagged his hand to stop him from distracting her.
"You were kissing her, Gibbs," she protested. "It hardly looked like she was forcing you."
"Told you, it's complicated." He laced his fingers through hers and squeezed, the heat still in his gaze but something else too... something almost tortured.
Senses still humming from the sensations he provoked in her, she stepped closer and searched his eyes. "Tell me, coz I gotta tell you, Gibbs, I don't share."
"Don't want you to," he released her hand and brushed his fingers gently over her cheek, the very opposite of the roughness he'd displayed just now. In what seemed another bewildering change of subject, he sighed and asked, "Do you trust me?"
"You know I do. Look, what is this, Gibbs? Twenty questions?" She was so exasperated with him, she felt tears welling up again. "I just... I can't cope with all these mixed signals you throw out any more."
"It's not what it looks like, Abbs." His voice was strained. "She's up to something and I need to find out what. I'm sure Bell's at the bottom of it somewhere. The two together are a dangerous combination."
A glimmer of understanding was beginning to break through the fog at last. "So you're getting close to her... deliberately?"
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, I'm using her... just as she's using me to get information. Need to get close to find out what's going on... to try and turn her if I need to."
"So that's the reason you're sleeping with her?" Abby asked, beginning to see finally what had been happening and where this was going.
She knew Ziva had spoken of using this technique before in her time at Mossad and she'd always suspected Gibbs would have done the same thing while under cover. The way he looked and the charm he could exude when he made the effort meant that she found it all too easy to believe how good he could be at this type of ruse if he had to be.
"Haven't..." Gibbs shook his head and hesitated before adding, "not yet."
"Well, that looked pretty convincing tonight." If Abby had been kissed as she saw him kiss 'MAllison' earlier, she'd have responded by dragging him off to bed. She doubted that the formidable Ms Hart would be any different.
"Intended to..." he admitted, almost reluctantly. "Couldn't go through with it, not tonight."
"Why not?" wondered Abby, puzzled at his hesitation.
His reply startled her and gave her hope in equal measure. "Saw you running away."
"You didn't need to stop just because of me." Abby didn't want to be responsible for ruining whatever plan he was working on, however hard it might be to watch him put it into action.
"It was more important to find you... "sighed Gibbs, smiling gently at her, "explain before you took it the wrong way."
"Won't rejecting her tonight have ruined your plans?" Abby thought how she might have reacted in Hart's shoes.
He huffed a rueful laugh and gestured to his shoulder. "Pleaded this... gave me a good excuse without sounding suspicious."
"But you will do... sleep with her I mean." Abby thought she knew the answer but wanted him to be completely honest with her. It was the only way she was going to be able to cope with the situation and come out the other end with something to cling onto.
"Yeah, if I have to..." he confirmed, "not because I want to."
She paused and searched his face before making a decision. "Okay," Abby gave a determined nod before reaching for his hand again, sensing his need for both her approval and support. "Then you must do what you need to, Gibbs."
He sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against hers before asking almost tentatively. "Will you wait for me?"
Abby reached up to kiss him softly, a promise. "I've waited years for you, Gibbs. I've... I've loved you for years. I can wait a bit longer." He met her eyes, and she caught her breath at his unguarded expression. "Is that why you've been pulling away from me?"
"Yeah, not proud of it, Abbs. If Bell's up to something, then everyone close to me could be in danger. Can't let anything happen to you." Gibbs gathered her close with his one good arm and she snuggled into him willingly. "Can't let him see how much you mean to me."
"Then you must do what you need to." She felt her heart soar even in the midst of her worry over what Bell might be planning. "I won't like it but at least I know why now. I can't say it'll make it any easier to watch it happening, but if I know how you feel about me now, then I think I can cope."
She felt his lips brush against her temple and his arm tightened around her in a silent thank you.
Abby enjoyed the feeling of being held, relaxing for what felt like the first time in weeks. She didn't know how she was going to cope with seeing them together, with the thought of Gibbs taking that lawyer to bed, but if it kept everyone safe, she would put up with anything... especially if Gibbs came back to her when it was all over.
A cheeky thought struck her out of the blue. "I'm curious, Mr Gibbs, how were you going to take Ms Hart to bed with a dodgy shoulder?"
He considered for a moment before answering, "Carefully." They stared at each other for a moment before Abby started giggling as she saw his lips twitch in a half smile. That effectively broke the tension and they both started laughing, letting the laughter bubble up almost with relief.
Abby slid her arms around Gibbs' waist and snuggled back in as she tried to control her mirth, recognizing it as a release of tension for them both. He pressed her close and she felt her breath hitch as he nuzzled into her neck, pressing a kiss over her spider web tattoo.
They stood like that for some time, Abby enjoying the close contact, intoxicated by his nearness and scent. Nose pressed into his neck, she couldn't help her lips moving over the warm skin, kissing her way to his ear, hearing him moan softly into her neck.
She felt him pull back slightly and slant his mouth over hers. This time his kiss was slow and gentle and teasing. The effect on her was still the same and she kissed him back just as thoroughly, feeling an intense need building.
They broke apart when the need for air became too great and smiled shakily at each other. Gibbs stepped back, sinking onto her couch and pulling her gently down with him.
Abby straddled his legs, sliding her hands into his hair, finally able to feel those silky strands. She went back to kissing him again, not able to get enough of his mouth. She could take more control of the kiss from this angle and poured everything she felt for him into it.
As the kiss became more passionate and needy, she pressed closer, grinding down on the erection she could feel growing beneath her.
Moaning into his mouth as one kiss led to another, she felt her clit throbbing like a pulse. She had to get them both out of their clothes or she'd explode. Tearing her mouth away, her chest heaving, Abby matched his seductive grin.
Trying to get herself under some kind of control or she would hurt him when she got his jacket and shirt off, she looked for the fastening on the shoulder sling, unable to resist murmuring, "Carefully," with a mischievous grin. She heard him snort with amusement and tried not to get too distracted as his hand roamed over her sweatshirt, ghosting his fingers over her breasts, teasing her already hardened nipples.
Easing him out of his jacket and shirt, she tried to be gentle as she saw him attempt to hide his wince. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you." She ran her hands over his shoulders and chest, lingering gently over his muscles. She'd have to be careful later not to grab his bad shoulder when she got carried away...
"Sh, it's alright, Abbs." Gibbs pulled her head down into another toe-curling kiss. She let her hands creep down over his stomach muscles to unbuckle his belt, feeling his hips buck up towards her as her hand rubbed his hardness through his pants.
Breaking the kiss, she concentrated on lowering his zipper and as he levered himself up, she pulled both his pants and boxers partway down his legs. Standing in front of him, she let her eyes roam over his body as he sat there, feeling her heart rate speed up as the reality more than met her imagination.
As she raked her eyes back up his body, she met his amused gaze and his voice came throaty and even deeper than usual. "You're a little overdressed, Abbs. Wish I could use both hands to help."
"Soon. Meanwhile, let me do all the heavy lifting this time." She smiled at him and reached for the hem of her sweatshirt, lifting it up slowly, seeing his eyes darken as he watched her movements. Tantalising them both, she lingered over removing her shirt and pants, leaving herself in dark green lace bra and thong.
"C'mere," his voice was husky with need. He reached out his one good arm to pull her close before skimming his hand over the edges of her bra and down over her stomach to the waistband of her thong.
She shimmied out of her thong and reached behind her to unsnap her bra as she slid down onto his lap again, both groaning at the sensation as skin met skin for the first time.
Abby let a gasp escape as his mouth latched onto her breast, his tongue and lips tormenting first one aching nipple and then moved across to lavish equal attention on the other. She arched her back to press herself nearer as she felt his teeth biting gently, the move making her wet heat brush against his length. She felt a jolt go through her at the contact and hissed his name.
Abby heard Gibbs groan her name into her breast and it was the hottest thing she'd ever heard. She suddenly needed him inside her... now.
She was aware she was rushing both of them but they could go slow next time, when she could explore every glorious inch... everywhere she'd longed to touch for years.
Reaching down between them while he steadied her with a hand against her back, she trailed her fingers along his cock, feeling it thicken and swell even further in her hand. Lining him up against her entrance, she locked eyes with him, the unconcealed intense lust in his blue gaze racheting up her own desire unbearably.
She slid slowly, inch by inch, down over him until he was fully seated, feeling him throbbing inside her. She knew she wasn't going to last long. The feel of him naked beneath her and his hardness inside her was demolishing any self control she was clinging to.
Catching her mouth again in a bruising, desperate kiss, she felt his hand move to her hip before skimming down to brush against her clit, causing her to gasp into his mouth and arch her hips, sending a thrill skittering through her at the sensation.
Unable to hold back any longer, Abby began to move, setting a slow but steady rhythm at first. She felt him thrust up to meet every arch of her hips and this angle ensured that he was hitting exactly where she needed him to so desperately with every undulation.
Surging together now, they rocked in tandem, the rhythm becoming harder and faster. Abby clung to his neck, hearing herself whimpering with need and felt the first internal contractions ripple through her.
Shaking and trembling, she hurtled over the edge, crying out his name as an intense release tore through her, vaguely aware of him thrusting up several more times, hand gripping her hip hard, fingers digging in as his own orgasm hit.
Still rocking slowly, riding out the aftershocks, Abby let her breathing gradually return to normal. Hazily opening her eyes, she saw a lazy grin curve his lips and bent to give him a teasing, slow kiss. He pushed his hand into her hair, massaging her scalp gently in a motion that felt incredibly erotic.
Drawing back, she buried her face in his neck, savouring his nearness, unwilling to break the connection just yet.
"Can you stay?" Her voice sounded husky to her own ears. "My bed's more comfy than this couch,"
She felt him nuzzle her neck as a low chuckle broke out. "I'd like that."
She drew back to look at his blue eyes, drinking in the lines of his strong face, still finding it hard to believe he was here. "I'd like to wake up next to you... at least for tomorrow morning."
Gibbs smiled and brushed her hair off her forehead. "Wanna wake up next to you from now on." He leaned in to kiss her softly before sighing. "Not sure when that'll be... as soon as we're through this mess. Don't know how much time we can spend together in the next few weeks but promise we'll try. But I won't put you in harm's way, Abbs."
"I know. Don't worry, Gibbs." She realized how much this was all costing him, how much strain he was going through and the least she could do was support him however she could. "It's enough to know that you want me, really it is. I'll wait for you however long it takes."
His look was so tender it took her breath away. "It's more than I deserve."
"You're stuck with me, if that's what you want," she promised him, feeling his hand begin to trace circles over her back.
"Can live with that," he murmured, pulling her as close as possible.
Abby knew that the next few weeks, or even months, wouldn't be easy but she had the answer to her question now. Whatever the outcome of what Hart or Bell were planning, she could cope because when it was all over, it would be her bed Gibbs would be coming back to.
She could endure anything if Gibbs was the prize at the end of it.
A/N: have resisting listing this as complete for the moment coz a sort of idea occurred to me earlier and not sure whether I'll pursue it yet. Thought of weaving this through the rest of the end of Season 7 arc, , seeing how Gibbs / Abby cope with him screwing Hart... coz IMO he does. I think it's the only explanation for why Hart risks so much at the end of Rule 51 by suppressing that report, including her life if you think who she's messing with in the form of a drug cartel. As much as I disliked her, she did save him. No woman would do that if she just LIKED him... there's got to be more to it than that. So I thought I might play with that a bit... possibly... maybe... (OMG what am I saying? Like I need something else to write like a hole in the head!)