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: Abby bumps into someone memorable in the days before starting a new job. Written for the Gibbs / Abby Shipper Forum Hiatus Creative Drive weekly prompt 'Hello Again.'
A/N: A bit of pure fluff for how Gibbs and Abby could have met. This one from Abby's POV.
Absorbed in searching through the titles on the shelves in front of her, Abby didn't realize there was anyone else in the same aisle of the used bookstore until she backed into them.
Startled, she spun round, an apology dying on her lips as she looked into a pair of piercing blue eyes.
Stepping back, Abby registered further details... salt and pepper hair in a cut that was as military as the man's bearing... a tall, broad shouldered frame under a red sweatshirt... and a strong, handsome face wearing a lop-sided half smile... oh, and those eyes... light blue, vivid and now showing an expression of cool, amused assessment.
The low gravelly voice completed a smokin' hot package that was making her hormones sit up and say hello.
"That's okay. No one's fault. These aisles are too narrow to see anything easily that isn't just at eye level. I nearly played leapfrog the other day with somebody crouched down to look on the bottom shelf. You can't avoid getting really friendly with your fellow customers in here."
Conscious she was babbling, but oh boy, that half smirk was breaking out again and she was finding it... and him... very distracting.
She saw his eyes rove over her face and pause at the collar... one of her favourite black spiked ones... and the tattoo on her neck before giving the rest of her outfit the once over. It was fairly restrained for her, a black jumper with a skull and crossbones motif, dark pants with only a few chains for once, and chunky boots that helped her nudge six foot. The thick dark coat slung over her arm was another layer against a DC chill she hadn't yet gotten used to.
She waited for the change in expression which usually occurred when people realized she dressed and looked different but didn't find it. If anything, he looked intrigued and when he met her gaze again, she felt a spark of awareness and attraction zing through her.
"Never yet managed to see the top shelves."
She smiled and glanced up to where he gestured, "Well, without any steps, you could always get someone to sit on your shoulders and shout the titles down."
Now the smile was a brief but startling grin that transformed his face, "Good plan. Gonna be nearby if I try it out?"
The thought of getting her hands or any part of her anatomy in contact with any part of his was starting to look like a very good idea.
"I'll try and make sure I am," she returned his grin and gestured at the books he was holding... military history, something on sailing and a crossword book. "That's quite an eclectic mixture you've got there."
He didn't elaborate but pointed at her own bundle of books... one on the history of Japanese tattooing and a guidebook to DC. "Could say the same about those."
As well as the equally engrossing sight of his large hands and... oh my... long fingers, Abby noticed a pale band marring the tan on his left hand where a wedding ring had been worn not too long ago. Recently separated or divorced then.
"I've not been in the city long..." Abby explained, dragging her eyes back up to his. "Thought I'd play tourist for a bit, get my bearings and get to know the place a bit more. I mean I know DC as in know the place from school, who doesn't, but this is the first time I've been here."
"Ya just moved here?"
"Yeah, I start my new job next week," she said, a smile curving her lips, seeing his eyes drop to her mouth. "Just moved up last week."
"From the accent I'm guessin'… Louisiana?" he asked, an eyebrow quirked.
"Then you'd be guessing correctly. And the other book... " she said, gesturing to the book on tattoos and then to her neck, "Well, pretty self explanatory I'd have thought. I'm trying to decide on another design and I also collect books on the history of tattooing and this one's kinda rare."
His hand came up to move her pigtail out of the way, and she held her breath as she felt his eyes on her neck almost as a caress, before he murmured. "Nice tat. Got many more?"
She met his gaze, seeing the teasing, amused glint before deciding to up the stakes a bit. "Plenty."
The suddenly charged atmosphere was interrupted by another customer moving into the aisle. The older guy in a business suit paused as he passed Abby and she saw a familiar look of disgust pass across his face before hearing a muttered "Freak."
The suit didn't get very far before an arm across the aisle barred his way.
Abby looked on as the fox she'd been talking to didn't say a word but merely stared at the suit. Not being on the receiving end, Abby couldn't see what the glare was like but it must have been fairly impressive as it made the suit suddenly go pale and back away.
Abby reached out to touch her 'protector's' arm, feeling the tension in the way he held his shoulders, "Thanks but it's okay, really. There's no need."
She saw him take a deep breath as if to calm himself, muscles clenching in his jaw as he watched the suit walk away. "That happen a lot?"
She shrugged, "I'm used to it."
As he turned back to her, she saw the concern amid the simmering anger in those expressive blue eyes. "Shouldn't have to be."
She gave him a smile, not in the mood to explain or discuss the kind of prejudice she encountered regularly. Abby moved towards the desk to pay, conscious of his eyes on her as he stood in the queue behind her.
Outside, Abby waited for him on the sidewalk as she shrugged into her coat, annoyed that the suit had broken the moment. When he joined her, he seemed to have shaken off his anger and she was grateful for the change in subject when he asked, "Where's your new job?"
"At the Navy Yard. I'm the new forensic scientist at NCIS which is..."
The look he gave her this time was a mixture of surprise and speculation, "Yeah, I know what it stands for."
"Oh, well, not many do. I've always had to explain what it means before now but I guess you could be military… with that bearing, you look like it. So... let me see if I can guess. Navy guy?"
He nodded, "Marine."
Oh boy... bet those dress blues are quite something on this one.
"Nope," he shook his head, looking amused. "Gunnery Sergeant."
"But not serving currently, am I right, even though there's no such thing as an ex-Marine? That may be a high and tight you've got there but I'd bet it still classes as too long and shaggy for the Corps?" Abby chuckled as he ran his hand over his cropped hair, dipping his head in acknowledgement.
"You sayin' I need a haircut?"
"Nope, I like it. Okay, let me see if I can guess some more." Using the excuse to continue checking him out, she went on, "You're not carrying a piece now… unless it's a back-up? But I'd still guess law enforcement maybe? You've got 'I'm the boss' written all over you. So… maybe a cop or a fed?"
She'd have put money on it. The exaggerated protectiveness she'd witnessed just now, plus the air of natural command and arrogant confidence he had was startling. It all added up to one helluva an alpha male.
"Good eye." That intrigued look was back again, even if his statement did little more than confirm her guess without elaborating further.
She held out her hand, smiling, "Abby Sciuto."
"Jethro Gibbs." His handshake was strong and firm.
Just like the rest of him looked... steady girl.
She tried to ignore the feeling of her smaller hand being swamped by his large, calloused one, but without much success.
Before she could gather her wits, he'd turned and moved away, proving that the back view in the blue jeans was just as good as the front. "Let me know if you need a tour guide."
Wait… was he volunteering?
"How will I find you?" she called after him.
He spun round, still backing away and gave her a broad grin, "You'll see."
The following week, Abby was midway through acquainting herself with her new lab, her new 'babies' and trying to absorb all the faces and names she'd so far met on her first day... feeling like a bundle of excitement and nerves.
She heard the familiar deep voice of Director Morrow approaching, and turned to face her new boss with a genuine smile.
He'd treated her with courtesy and respect from the minute he'd interviewed her last month, seeing beyond her admittedly toned down interview appearance and taking note only of her experience and enthusiasm. Director Morrow seemed to take a genuine interest in her, commenting that he'd been more than persuaded by her qualifications and glowing references from her previous job to offer her the position here.
"Abby, at the risk of adding yet another new face to the ones you'll be meeting today, I'd like to introduce my senior agent, Special Agent Gibbs, of the MCRT."
She barely heard the latter half of the Director's words, having already looked past Morrow's shoulder to meet a familiar pair of clear blue eyes.
"Hello, Director." Abby held out her hand, seeing a spark of amusement break out as she greeted the 'fox', "Hello again."
He shook her hand again. She flashed back to the bookstore and their teasing first meeting and that sizzle of attraction she hadn't been able to get out of her mind since, seeing by his expression that he was doing the same, "Abby."
Morrow looked between the two of them. "You two know each other?"
She tore her eyes away from the intense gaze with difficulty. "Not exactly. We bumped into each other in a bookstore last week."
Gibbs was now dressed more formally in a black jacket and polo shirt topping smart pants and looked, if possible, even hotter than she'd remembered.
"Well, I've leave you to it Abby. You said you'd have the first results on the tox screen by now on the MCRT's current open case."
"I do, Director. They're right here." She slipped a sheet of paper off her crowded workbench.
"Good, you can give them to Gibbs. Let me know if you need anything... " Morrow held up a finger as Abby made to speak, sounding amused. "Anything that's in the budget of course."
Abby waited until Director Morrow had left the lab before turning to... Gibbs.
She leaned back against her workbench, arms crossed and he mirrored her pose. She met his gaze steadily, "That explains how you knew what NCIS meant... "
Oh boy, she was going to have real trouble with that smirk... torn between kissing it off his face or trying to provoke the full blown grin to break out.
"You could have told me, y'know... instead of leaving me puzzling how I was gonna find my tour guide again," she teased.
She'd spent half the weekend being alternately annoyed and intrigued by his 'you'll see' and trying to puzzle out how she was going to track him down again, short of staking out the bookstore in the hopes of bumping into him again.
"Where's the fun in that?" he asked, chuckling.
Strike that... she was gonna have real trouble with this one, full stop.
She grinned at him, "So do I call you Special Agent Gibbs… or Sir… or Jethro… or Gibbs? Although I guess I should save Jethro for my tour guide."
"Yeah, maybe you should. Just Gibbs is fine." He straightened up, gesturing at the paper in her hands, and she saw the air of command he seemed to carry around with him settle more firmly over him, almost like a visible cloak. The nickname he added to his next words should have annoyed her coming so soon but strangely didn't. He could call her anything he damn well pleased.
"What d'ya got for me... Abbs?"
A/N: chocolate and ice cream might persuade me to write this from Gibbs' POV!