Introductions – Chapter 2
A/N: Well, I should really do this more often... holding chapters to ransom for some gooey goodies. I'm anyone's for chocolate! This one from Gibbs' POV.
Gibbs had seen the tall dark haired woman browsing in the same aisle of the bookstore as he flicked through a book, but hadn't paid too much attention until she backed into him. Turning, the first thing he noticed was startlingly bright green eyes, which widened as they met his gaze.
Bit by bit, the picture was fleshed out even more.
Tall and slender with a curvy figure that filled her sweater and dark pants in all the right places... thick long hair held in pigtails which brushed her shoulders as she moved... pale skin and make-up that was darkly dramatic, only serving to emphasize those cat-like green eyes which were now looking him over with an intrigued assessment. The richly painted red lips were curved in a smile that was as tantalising as the rest of her.
Shaking himself mentally, he told her, half smiling, "My bad."
"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."
The sultry, husky voice which sounded as if it had been soaked in bourbon suited her... and went straight to his dick.
He couldn't help his eyes drifting down over the rest of her outfit. The spiked collar and spider web tattoo on her neck were... intriguing. The black jumper with a skull and crossbones motif followed the swell of her breasts, the figure hugging dark pants were adorned with metal chains, and the platform boots had heels that added inches to her already statuesque height, putting them almost at eye level.
She was sexy as hell... and so not his usual type.
So why was she instantly fascinating? And where did the overwhelming urge to pin her against the nearest bookshelf and kiss her senseless come from?
Dragging his eyes back up her body, he met her emerald eyes again, feeling a jolt go through him as he saw this instant attraction mirrored right back at him. Trying to ignore his suddenly too tight jeans, he cleared his throat, "Never yet managed to see the top shelves."
He was instantly taken with her smile, the wide generous mouth spreading in a contagious grin. "Well, without any steps, you could always get someone to sit on your shoulders and shout the titles down."
Grinning at the flash of mischief dancing in her eyes, he said, "Good plan. Gonna be nearby if I try it out?"
"I'll try and make sure I am," came the quick retort as she returned his grin, gesturing at the books he held. "That's quite an eclectic mixture you've got there."
Gesturing at her own bundle of books held in slender hands... one on the history of Japanese tattooing and a guidebook to DC, he countered, "Could say the same about those."
"I've not been in the city long..." she explained. Words she didn't seem short of but he surprised himself by finding the fast paced babble not irritating but endearing. "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?" he asked, curious and keen to keep the conversation going until he could find out who this intriguing woman was.
"Yeah, I start my new job next week. Just moved up last week," she confirmed and this time that smile just barely curved her mouth. He couldn't stop staring at her full lips, which just looked made to be nibbled on… or wrapped round his cock.
"From the accent I'm guessin'… Louisiana?" he surmised. The more he heard that voice, the more the slight accent revealed itself... and the more he wanted to hear it.
"Then you'd be guessing correctly. And the other book... " He saw her gesture 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."
The book wasn't the only thing that was rare, as far as he was concerned.
Rare and unique.
He couldn't recall meeting a woman like her... or remember when someone had affected him so much at first sight.
Unable to resist, he reached up to move a pigtail out of the way, enjoying the feel of the silky hair on his fingertips, hearing a slight hitch in her breathing as he did so. The spider's web tattoo was beautiful and he wondered what it would feel like to run his tongue and fingers over every line. "Nice tat. Got many more?"
The look she threw back was flirtatious and full of promise. "Plenty."
The atmosphere became suddenly electric until another customer blundered into their aisle. Initially annoyed at the interruption, it was nothing to the anger he felt when he saw the look on the guy's face and heard his muttered, "Freak."
Pushing down the urge to batter the bastard's face to a bloody pulp with difficulty, Gibbs settled for barring his way and glaring. It was the kind of bigotry he hated and even if it hadn't been directed at this particular woman, he'd still have made it plain that it was out of line. He had to be satisfied with the suit's face going pale and backing off.
He continued glaring at the guy's retreating form and barely felt her touch his arm gently, finally registering her soft voice, "Thanks but it's okay, really. There's no need."
He breathed deeply, trying to calm down. "That happen a lot?"
He saw her shrug as if it was no big deal but saw the hurt she couldn't quite hide. "I'm used to it."
"Shouldn't have to be."
He wasn't sure why he felt an instant need to protect her.
There was an air of vulnerability underneath that sassy, feisty exterior and it had triggered a surge of protectiveness that startled him. It was all he could do not to reach out and pull her into a hug, anything to take away the distress glimmering in her eyes.
She gave him a smile which this time didn't quite reach her eyes and moved towards the desk to pay. He kept a close eye on her as he followed, wanting to say something else to reassure her but as usual, not able to quickly find the right words.
Standing behind her, he became acutely aware of how flawless that porcelain skin was and how close he was to that tattoo. Mere inches from his mouth, it was partially hidden by soft tendrils of hair which curled into the nape of her neck.
Out on the sidewalk, Gibbs was relieved she hadn't left already. Wanting to find out how he could contact her, he asked, "Where's your new job?"
Her next words surprised him. "At the Navy Yard. I'm the new forensic scientist at NCIS which is..."
"Yeah, I know what it stands for."
He marvelled at the stroke of luck... not that it could be a coincidence of course.
"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, amused at her deductions, "Marine."
"Nope, Gunnery Sergeant."
"But not serving currently, am I right, even though there's no such thing as an ex-Marine?" He bit back a smile at her going into 'lecturing' mode. He could almost imagine her starting to pace. "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?"
He heard that throaty chuckle break out again as he ran his hand over his cropped hair, and teased, "You sayin' I need a haircut?"
"Nope, I like it. Okay, let me see if I can guess some more. 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?"
Her quick assessment and observational skills were impressive. "Good eye."
She held out her hand, that tempting smile curving her wide mouth again, "Abby Sciuto."
"Jethro Gibbs." He returned her handshake, holding her slender hand within his, enjoying the first feeling of her warm skin.
He had to go but now didn't mind so much, knowing he'd see her again. He called over his shoulder as he moved away, "Let me know if you need a tour guide."
"How will I find you?" he heard her strong voice behind him and grinned as he heard a note of exasperation in her tone.
He spun round, still backing away and gave her a broad grin, unable to resist teasing her, "You'll see."
"I hope you're not going to either terrify or hound this one out of the lab after five minutes by pushing her too hard, like the last one. Her experience , references and qualifications are impressive and this agency needs her."
Gibbs glanced across at his boss, Director Morrow, as they shared an elevator down to the forensics lab, "I'll do my best, Director."
Although pushing hard in another context had crossed his mind more than once since the weekend… pushing her against a wall… into a bed… into her…
Morrow gave him a sceptical look. "That's what I'm afraid of, Jethro. My gut tells me this one's gonna be worth her weight in gold."
"That doesn't mean I won't expect her to work as hard as everyone else." As intrigued as he was by this woman, he'd never let his dick dictate his work yet... not even with Jenny, although that was a close run thing.
"Didn't expect anything else from you, Jethro. Although from what I can gather from her previous boss, she used to work everyone else into the ground so I don't think her work ethic is in doubt. And from what I've seen so far, I doubt she'll be so easily pushed around or bullied by you or anyone."
Morrow's assessment so far seemed spot on. Abby Sciuto certainly hadn't given the impression of being easily intimidated.
"Her dress sense is a trifle… unconventional but I don't expect anyone to hold that against her," mused the Director.
Gibbs bit his lip to keep from laughing at Morrow's attempts to describe such a unique style. The Director went on, "You know that judging solely by appearances is not something I tolerate round here, and I know you feel the same way. So I rely on you to keep ears and eyes open for anything that could be described as prejudice towards our new forensic scientist."
"Goes without saying, sir." Gibbs was a little surprised Morrow was defending a new employee so vigorously already.
"Don't look at me like that, Jethro. She's young enough to be my daughter but I like her. She's a breath of fresh air, although it's odd… she brings out this urge to protect her which is slightly disconcerting."
Exiting the elevator in his Director's wake, Gibbs shook his head in mild amusement at his Director's puzzled chivalry, but sympathized with the sentiment. It had only taken him a few minutes before the urge to shield her had surfaced.
He took in the sight of her again when they entered the lab, surprised at how at home she looked already.
She turned to them both with a wide smile on her lovely face and he allowed himself a few seconds while Morrow introduced him to take in her outfit today. Under the lab coat, she was wearing a short dark skirt which displayed an enticing length of shapely leg till it met knee-high white socks which led to flat shoes this time. The white blouse which topped off the outfit sported a mini-tie tucked into the top pocket. The collar this time was understated when compared to the spikes he'd seen before but the pigtails still brushed against that tantalising neck tattoo.
All made up a picture that looked like a schoolgirl gone very bad... until you looked at the lovely face with its teasing grin and sparkling eyes that seemed to promise so much, and then you realized that bad didn't even begin to describe it.
"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 was meeting his gaze now and he was impressed that she barely missed a beat when it must have been a surprise to see him. She held out her hand, eyes twinkling, "Hello, Director. Hello again."
He shook her hand again, remembering the instant attraction that had sizzled between them, wondering if by her grin she was doing the same. "Abby."
He could tell the look of intrigue his boss wore as Morrow looked between the two of them. "You two know each other?"
Abby answered, turning her gaze to the Director as she explained, "Not exactly. We bumped into each other in a bookstore last week."
"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." Gibbs watched as she unerringly grabbed a sheet of paper out of a pile of others on her crowded workbench.
"Good, you can give them to Gibbs. Let me know if you need anything... " He saw Abby poised to speak and Morrow forestalled it by holding up a finger but his voice held nothing but amusement. Oh yeah, his Director definitely liked this one... not that he could blame him. "Anything that's in the budget of course."
They both waited until Director Morrow had left the lab and he copied her pose as she leaned back against her workbench, arms crossed. Meeting her amused gaze, he waited for the inevitable comment, "That explains how you knew what NCIS meant... "
"You could have told me, y'know... instead of leaving me puzzling how I was gonna find my tour guide again." He could tell she was struggling between amusement and a slight annoyance that he'd left her hanging.
"Where's the fun in that?" he couldn't resist teasing her again.
The grin she gave him was infectious, "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 wanted to take this connection they seemed to have further, but it would have to wait until after the case was wrapped up. He straightened up and gestured at the paper in her hands. Now was the time to see if she could live up to the promise of her resume... "What d'ya got for me... Abbs?"
He wasn't sure where the sudden nickname had come from but it seemed... appropriate somehow, and judging by the smile she gave him, she didn't seem to mind it either.