I've been up and down the interwebs asking for angsty/romance plot ideas for the lovely duo, but nothing has grabbed my attention, so… a bored evil hat is a bad evil hat… (see fic). This is what happens when evil hat is not properly fed/boozed/supplied with fic to read.
Hope you stick with it to the end, it's not *that* long, and I might add a second chapter, we shall see.
Gibbs tried to ignore Tony as he shifted restlessly in his seat. They had worked late into the night to wrap up their latest case, and now they were stuck writing their reports and it was obvious his senior agent was getting restless.
It had been a long case, a young petty officer had caught his girlfriend cheating while he was away on leave, and rather than dump her and move on, he had killed her and left her on a street corner with the word whore scribbled across her forehead. They had chased him all over Rock Creek park and then 30 miles to Manassas park before Ziva tackled him to the ground, keeping him down until Tony and McGee were there to cuff him and haul him to his feet.
The details were fuzzy, but Gibbs had him crying in interrogation within minutes –sobbing over the loss of his girlfriend, the fact that she cheated and how he would never live it down, not manly enough to keep a woman. Gibbs stormed out of interrogation, angry at the waste of an innocent life because this loser couldn't handle being cheated on.
Now, after four hours at home, tossing and turning, they were all back at their desks, writing up a lengthy report over an open and shut case that had nothing to do with the Navy other than the petty officer that had cracked.
Gibbs glanced at Ziva, she was reading over her report, her chin resting on her hands, her eyes semi-glazed over. McGee was sitting up straight, a large coffee on either side of his keyboard, his fingers typing as fast as Gibbs had ever seen. Gibbs refocused on his own screen until the ding of the elevator had him glancing up.
"Hey Gibbs!" Abby bounced from elevator, her arm linked with Ducky.
Ducky could hardly keep hold of the younger woman. "Hello everyone," he smiled. "I thought you guys might be hungry, so I picked up muffins on the way." He dropped his hold on Abby and went desk to desk passing out muffins.
"Thanks Duck," Gibbs nodded. He hadn't had time for more than a cup of coffee. He smiled up at Abby as she rocked back and forth on her heels in front of his desk.
"Did you guys leave at all?"
"I'm not sure," Tony interrupted.
Gibbs nodded. "We left around three."
"It's just after eight, you guys need more sleep than that," she frowned and moved over to Tony, perching on the corner of his desk. "Poor Tony needs his beauty sleep."
"Hey," Tony's forehead crinkled, but he couldn't help but smile when Abby patted his cheek affectionately. "I guess I am rather beautiful."
Ziva snorted and McGee rolled his eyes. "Isn't it the old that need their beauty sleep?"
"Just because you aren't McPretty…" Tony grumbled.
"Enough," Gibbs' voice was sharp and all three agents refocused on their screens. If they behaved Gibbs was likely to send them home early.
"C'mon, Duck-man. We've done our good deed by providing breakfast, let's leave them to it." Abby hopped off the desk and wrapped her arm around Ducky's shoulders. "I wanted to show you that new blood splatter image I was thinking of ordering for my lab."
"Yeah, from the same series as the ones I have…"
Their voices faded and Gibbs managed to refocus on his screen after a hearty bite of his muffin. Both Ducky and Abby seemed to have sixth sense as to when he and his team were in need, always getting them a bite to eat, bringing a change of clothes if they'd been stuck out in the field or making sure the coffee in the break room was hot under the rare circumstances where Gibbs couldn't get to his favorite coffee shop on the yard.
Gibbs knew he should do more for his team and he wanted to. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate them, and deep down he knew they were well aware of how much they all meant to him. But he knew it would go a long way to show is appreciation to more than just Abby. He smiled inwardly at the thought. Out of everyone, Abby was the one he showed the most appreciation for, but at the same time, she was probably the one who least understood how much she meant to him.
He wasn't sure just how to explain what he felt for her – simply saying that he loved her wasn't enough. There was this primal need to protect her, to keep her as far away from anyone or anything that might harm her, a need to wrap her up and put her up on a shelf where no one, including himself, could touch her. In the beginning he had told himself it was because she was like the grown daughter he would never again see. The reason he didn't like her dating was because he didn't have the right to get to know her dates and decide if they were worthy of her time. But then he realized that when he did know the guy she was dating (i.e. McGee) he still didn't like to see her dating. If she had been like a daughter, he would have wanted to see her find her soul-mate, settle down, have a family… if she had been his daughter, he would have eventually wanted grandchildren. But she wasn't his daughter, and he didn't want to see her with anyone but himself. Even if he couldn't admit that last bit quite yet.
It was almost lunch time by the time they had all finished. He promised Vance to keep everyone around until 3, but after that he was sending them home. He at 11:30 he allowed Tony to go on a lunch run to pick up food for the others, but he decided that taking Abby to the deli on the yard would be a good way to speed up the rest of the day, and half an hour with his favorite person was always something that put a smile on his face.
As soon as Tony returned, Gibbs left him in charge and headed down to the lab. Abby was spinning circles in her chair, singing along to the noise she considered music. "Abbs… Abbs!"
"Gibbs!" She startled and scrambled for the remote, cutting the music. "You shouldn't scare me! I might fall out of my chair and hurt myself." She gave a cheeky grin as she stood, using the desk to steady herself. "Whew, I made myself dizzy."
Gibbs reached out to grip her elbow, keeping her on her feet. He ignored all her comments and waited quietly until she was done. "Wanted to see if you wanted to grab lunch at the café?"
"With you?" Her smile grew and he was amazed at how an offer so simple made her whole face light up. He just stared at her, watching with a hint of a smirk as her smile grew impossibly bigger before she raced to hang up her lab coat and grab her wallet (which he made her lock back in her office – he was paying after-all).
Abby was quiet as they went through the building, but as soon as they were outside, she slipped her arm through his and leaned against his shoulder. "Such a beautiful day, isn't it?"
Nearly everyone they passed knew Abby and said hello. He recognized a few, and gave a friendly nod, but Abby called out to almost everyone by name, smiling and waving, but never letting go of his arm. The café was full, but they managed to snag a table near the window. Gibbs took her sandwich order and headed to the counter while Abby save their seats. It took a good chunk of time, but soon he was back with a tray; two sandwiches, a black coffee and a Caf-Pow!
"Welcome," he smiled. It wasn't an ideal date, not that it was even a date, but he'd prefer somewhere quieter and without the distraction of Abby knowing almost everyone, but it was good enough for now. Conversation between them was easy and they talked about everything from work, his boat, what Mike was up to in Mexico and the latest with the nuns.
He wasn't thrilled that Abby was in contact with Franks more than he was, but he was fairly certain that Franks wasn't interested in her – though he didn't think Mike would turn her down if she offered. He didn't think anyone would turn her down if she offered. The thought brought a frown to his face.
Gibbs tilted his head slightly in question.
"You just… it looked like you didn't like what I said… was it Franks or about the nuns?"
Gibbs shook his head, "no, just thinking." He was thinking about asking her to dinner at some point over the weekend. Or maybe he would cook for her, that would be nice, and it would be just the two of them. Then he could hold her close and tell her how he really felt about her, kiss her senseless and… he could dream about it all he wanted, he knew he would never go through with it. Dinner, maybe, but the rest… he needed to keep her safe from him as much as keep himself safe from the rest of the world. Though he often found himself wondering what her response would be. He knew she cared about him, she had told him more than once. But just when he thought she might feel something more, that dreaded 'd-word' was said and he wasn't quite sure.
Gibbs shook the thoughts from his mind and refocused himself on what she was saying about her morning chat with Ducky. Ducky was the lone person he wasn't jealous of when it came to whom Abby spent time with. She had outright called him a father-figure long ago, and with no living parents, Ducky fit that role for her nicely.
Suddenly Gibbs felt his gut tighten. He tried to focus on what she was saying, but he kept glancing around, looking for what had set him on high alert.
"Sorry… I just…"
"Are you feeling okay?" She leaned across the table to feel his forehead.
"I feel fine, my gut…" He glanced around again but saw nothing suspicious. "Maybe we should get back to NCIS."
Abby shrugged and downed the last of her Caf-Pow! "Maybe Tony has McGee super-glued to his keyboard again."
Despite the warning bells going off in his head, Gibbs flashed a smile. It had been awhile since Tony had pulled that prank, so it was certainly over-due. "Maybe." They stood and Gibbs helped her into her jacket. "Was thinking, you want to have dinner this weekend? My place?"
"Cowboy-style steak?" Her smile grew noticeably larger and he didn't quite get the excitement his team felt for steak cooked over his fire place. It was easy, but nothing to write home about. "If that's what you want, sure."
"I'll bring a salad." It wasn't a question, but rather a statement.
The café quieted suddenly, and Gibbs glanced toward the door. A man in a dark jacket and jeans stood with a gun in his hand. Gibbs didn't know his name, but he knew he had seen him before during their latest case – a friend of the man Gibbs had put behind bars only 12 hours earlier. Their eyes locked and Gibbs knew he was the one the man was after. "Back away from me, Abbs," he said, his voice low and steady. If he was lucky, he could talk this guy into settling things between them alone. His first concern was getting Abby out of range.
"Gibbs..." he suddenly felt his hand in hers. "What does he want?"
"Don't know. Back away, Abbs, please…"
"No." Her voice was a whisper.
The man came closer, motioning for people to move out of his way. He was halfway across the café when he suddenly raised his gun and pulled the trigger. As soon as the gun went off, two agents from Johnson's team tackled him from behind.
Gibbs' eyes had slammed shut as the gun went off, but he soon breathed a sigh of relief, the shot had been off and he wasn't hit. "Ab…" he turned to her, wanting to hug her and get her back to the safety of her lab to grab her things and take her home. It had been a close call and she would no doubt need some time, but as he turned to her, she was looking down at her hands clasped against her stomach. She looked up at him with a horrified expression as blood started seeping through her fingers. "Abby!"
He caught her before she hit the ground and he moved with her, cradling her in his arms the whole time. She looked scared as she stared up at him, unable to speak. "It'll be okay, Abbs. Someone call 911," he turned to shout. "Get doctor Mallard." He grabbed a handful of napkins off of a nearby table and pressed it to her stomach to stop the bleeding the best he could. "Hang on, please hang on… please."
Someone was shaking him, calling his name, trying to move him away from her, but he refused to let go, holding her across his lap.
She blinked several times as she tried to suck in a raggedy breath and then went limp in his arms. He pulled her closer and kissed her cheeks. "No Abby… open your eyes. C'mon. Please, Abby… don't do this to me. You can't… I can't lose you."
He heard sirens in the background and yelled for someone to make them hurry. "Come on Abbs, medics are here. Wake up…"
Suddenly the medics were at his side, feeling for a pulse. "Sorry sir, there is nothing we can do. She's lost too much blood. She's gone, sir."
Gibbs looked at the large puddle of her blood that he was sitting in and shook his head. "No… do something. DO SOMETHING!"
The one of the medics left and returned moments later with a stretcher. "Sorry, sir. She's gone." They tried to move him away, but this time instead of trying to get them to help her, Gibbs cradled her tighter to his chest, pressing his face into her raven hair that smelled like the gun shot that killed her.
The rest of the café was cleared, and Gibbs rocked her quietly, telling her all the things he had wanted to, but never had the chance. "I can't do this…. I can't be here without you."
The medics gave him a few minutes, but then stepped forward. "I'm sorry sir, but we need…"
Gibbs shifted and then stood, lifting her with him. He lay her gently on the stretcher and brushed her hair from her face before pulling the sheet up over her. As the medics rolled her away, Gibbs looked down at the deep red stains of her blood covering his lower half and the world crashed around him.
Suddenly Gibbs startled awake. His covers had been kicked away and he was clutching his pillow tightly to his chest. He lay still for a moment before sitting up and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. "It was just a dream…." He pulled on a pair of jeans and grabbed a shirt as he rushed down the stairs. He had to find her, quick. If that was a wakeup call, he was going to take it.
He was almost to the door when Tony's voice startled him. "Boss?"
"DiNozzo? What are you doing…" He trailed off at the sight of his senior agent. He took in his crumpled clothes and red-rimmed eyes. "Tony?"
"I found you under your boat last night, I helped you to bed, don't you remember?"
Gibbs shook his head… what had he been doing? "I don't have time Tony, I need to talk to Abby."
Gibbs felt his heart seize.
"She's gone, boss… the café, the shooter… don't you remember? I came to find you after I went to the hospital. They said you…" Tony's voice waivered, "you didn't go with her body, so… I came here and you were drunk, under your boat. Covered in her blood and…" Tony shook his head, he couldn't continue.
"No… no, it was a dream Tony. It was a dream."
"But it wasn't a dream, Gibbs." Tony pointed to a black garbage bag by the door. "Your bloody clothes are in there. She's gone. Abby is gone."
Gibbs didn't need to look in the bag, Tony's face said it all. He took one step toward the door and then turned to his gun safe.
"It's not there," Tony said calmly.
"Where-" Gibbs turned to see Tony hold up his gun. "DiNozzo…"
Tony held it out for him. "I'm not going to stop you, hell, I've thought about doing it myself. But I know it's not what Abby would want. I just want you to think about it before you go through with it."
Gibbs stared at the gun.
"She's with them now, Gibbs. And I'm pretty sure she'd want you to keep going, spend time with your dad…"
"I don't want her with them, I want her with me! They can't have her." Gibbs lunged forward and flipped the coffee table against the fireplace. "I want her with ME!" He turned back to DiNozzo and grabbed the gun from his hand. He pocketed it, slipped into his shoes and a jacket on and was out the door. This time he didn't even care about getting revenge. The last time, he had put revenge before taking his own life, but this time he didn't care. The last time, something had made him hesitate and eventually put down the gun. Something in his gut had told him he still had something or someone to live for, but now he had nothing. He went to the beach, and the tension in his chest eased. He was doing the right thing this time. He sat down and turned the gun in his hands and ignored the soft murmur of voices nearby. The sun was shining and warm on his face like a soft caress, and when he glanced up he thought he could see Abby's face in the bright sunlight. She was smiling at him, and he took it as a sign that she was waiting for him, just on the other side. All he had to do was point and shoot.
"Hey there… how's your head?" Her soft fingers caressed his face gently.
He stared up at her and watched as the light faded.
"Gibbs? Are you okay?"
"What…?" His gut tightened as she backed away and the light started taking over his vision.
This time the voices he heard were clearer. "… a nasty knock to the head…. Okay… keep an eye…"
"I'm right here, Gibbs." Abby was back in his line of sight. "I'm really sorry."
"What's… what's going on?" A flashlight clicked off and after blinking a few times, his vision cleared completely.
Abby frowned down at him. "That guy came in and tried to shoot you, but I pushed you. I guess I pushed you a little too hard because you hit your head on the table when you fell and it knocked you out cold. Sorry about that."
Gibbs struggled to sit up and saw two of Johnson's agents giving statements to Tony and Ziva. He was sitting on the café floor with Abby kneeling beside him, her fingers twisting nervously in her lap.
"You've only been out five, maybe ten minutes. The medic says you'll be okay, but that you should see a doctor if you feel sick, or anything like that. Think you can stand up?"
"Five or ten minutes, but you…" he looked her over, and besides the worried look on her face, not a hair seemed out of place, no blood, no bullets.
"He wasn't a very good shot, and he probably would've missed you even if I hadn't pushed you, but better safe than sorry. And again, I'm sorry for pushing you into the table like that."
Gibbs looked over at Tony just as the younger man looked to him with a smile. "Can't believe Abby knocked you off your feet, boss. Maybe we should give her a desk upstairs instead of keeping her in the lab."
Gibbs just nodded, still confused over the whole thing.
"Don't worry, boss. I'll give you a ride home so you can rest or relax or whatever it is that you do when you're injured. Magic potion in the basement is my guess." He reached out his hand and pulled Gibbs to his feet. "There you go, boss. Dizzy at all?"
Gibbs shook his head and then reached out to grab Abby's hand. She gave him a funny look, but took his hand and didn't comment on how tightly he held on. They followed Tony back to the parking garage and when Tony reached for the front passenger door, Gibbs shook his head and opened the back, climbing in without releasing Abby's hand. Instead, he climbed in and moved to the opposite side, pulling Abby in to sit beside him, never releasing his hold on her hand. She sent a confused look toward Tony and then shrugged and got in the car.
"I'm just gonna run to your desk and grab your gun. We don't think this guy had anyone else in on his plan, but I don't want you home without it, just in case. I'll do a quick sweep when we get there. Need anything else?"
"No." Gibbs had made it clear that Abby was staying with him.
It was a struggle for them both to clip their seatbelts in, but Gibbs refused to give up his hold on her and Abby didn't dare pull away. "Gibbs?" She finally said, once Tony was out of sight.
All he did was shake his head, he didn't want – he couldn't talk about it. Not yet.
She looked out the window for the majority of the ride, but she could feel Gibbs' gaze on her the entire time. When they were almost to his house, she glanced over at him with a soft smile. "Do you have a headache?"
There was a tender lump where he had hit, but as long as he didn't touch, he couldn't feel it. "No."
"Good." She looked up at Tony through the rear-view mirror and then out the window – the intensity of Gibbs' gaze overwhelming.
Tony pulled up outside Gibbs' house and turned in his seat. "Maybe you should wait here while I check your house? I'm going to park an agent out here while I have a chat with the gunman, just to make sure you aren't in any danger."
Gibbs refused to wait in the car, just as he refused to give up his hold on Abby, following her out her side of the car. In the house, Tony handed him his gun and Gibbs looked down at it with a frown. For a split second he was back at the beach and all he had to do was point and shoot, but the familiar feel of Abby's hand in his had him pointing it at the ground instead.
It took Tony five minutes to clear all the rooms, closets and the basement and then he joined them in the entry way as he tucked his gun away. "All clear, boss. Director said to take tomorrow off, and Ducky will come by to take a look at your head."
Gibbs nodded, there was no way he would escape a visit from Ducky, and that was okay considering they weren't making him go to the hospital. "She won't be in tomorrow either."
"Director didn't say anything about Abby, boss…" Tony trailed off at the look on Gibbs' face. "But I'm sure Abby could use the time and Vance will understand. Call if you need anything."
"Bye Tony." Abby gave a little wave. The shooting had been scary enough for her, but she couldn't understand how Gibbs could be so shook up. It certainly wasn't the first time either of them had been shot at, and every other time he'd been angry, but never this… un-Gibbs-like.
Gibbs stood staring straight ahead and when Abby tried to pull her hand from his to lock up behind Tony, he still didn't let go. "Gibbs, what's going on…?"
"He shot you… I watched you die in my arms and I couldn't… I didn't. I thought it was a dream, but then Tony told me it was true," his voice was quiet and full of emotion, almost as if he still believed it.
"I saw them take you away; I was covered in your blood-"
Abby had heard enough. The way he was talking, the way he sounded as if he believed it. She slapped him hard across the face and then gasped, bringing her hands up to cover her mouth. "Your head, oh God, Gibbs…"
"Do it again."
"No, Gibbs, I'm so sorry… I don't know what I was thinking, but I… I'm right here, nothing happened. No one was hurt except for you when I pushed you into that table, and… Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I never should have hit you." She stepped closer so she could cup his face in her hands when he shook his head. "Really Gibbs, everyone is okay. The guy shot out a ceiling tile and Johnson's agents tackled him. That's all."
Gibbs nuzzled against her hand and pressed a kiss to her palm. "I lost you."
"No you didn't," she smiled. "I'm right here and I'm just fine. Hell… I just slapped you. If it was a dream or whatever, either you would've woken up, or it wouldn't have hurt, and I slapped you pretty hard, so I'm fairly certain it hurt, even to a tough guy like you."
"Felt real." Gibbs pulled her into a hug and buried his nose in her hair. He flashed back to holding her in the café and his grip on her tightened. When he pulled away again, he still kept hold of her hand.
"You going to hold my hand all afternoon and evening?"
Abby laughed, making her pigtails swing and Gibbs smile, and then started to pull away. "How about a two minute break? You go start your coffee maker and I'm going to run to the bathroom."
He gave her hand a squeeze and then let go. "Sure." Gibbs turned toward the kitchen and listened to her footsteps on the floor as she walked away. He started the coffee and then rested his palms on the edge of the counter and leaned against it, his head dropping forward. Losing her had been so real and hurt so bad. All the things that had raced through his mind, the things he'd wanted to say, but had never actually said… it played a continuous loop in his mind.
She startled him by wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing her cheek against his shoulder blade. "I'm sorry that you went through that, thinking that I died and stuff. But at the same time, I'm glad that you care so much about me."
Gibbs tensed and then turned around – he didn't understand how she didn't realize how much he cared about her. Granted, he hadn't exactly told her, and that's what he had been berating himself over, but at the same time, had she really just thought he would've moved on, gotten over her like she was just some… coworker? "Abby…" He leaned in and kissed her, bringing his hands up to cradle her face as soon as she responded. "How could you not know?" He asked when they finally parted for.
"Well, I know you care, but I didn't know, you know?" She leaned in for another kiss, and sighed happily against his lips. The coffee beeped so she pulled away and grabbed two mugs from the cabinet. She sidestepped around him and poured them coffee. She knew he was watching her, a soft smile on his face, but she didn't know what to say or do, so she put all of her focus on the coffee.
They migrated to the couch and Abby grabbed a deck of cards from the bookshelf. Gibbs wasn't interested in playing, so Abby sat forward to play a game of solitaire. She knew Gibbs was again watching her, but he seemed content to sit back and watch, his hand resting on her lower back. Eventually she couldn't go any further and gave up, calling the game done. Gibbs was happy to welcome her into his arms when she leaned against him.
They were just getting comfortable, snuggled up on the couch, when there was a knock at the door. "I'll get it," Abby said as she untangled herself from Gibbs. She wasn't surprised to see Ducky on the front step and waived him in. "Hey Ducky," she nodded at Gibbs, "he's got a bit of a lump, but…"
Ducky smiled. "So I heard you got a bit pushy."
Abby rolled her eyes. "Well, better that than anything worse."
"Oh of course, my dear. How are you feeling, Jethro?" Ducky sat beside his friend and gently felt his head. He nodded to himself and then dug out a flashlight to check Gibbs pupils. "Looks like you'll be ok. Much of a headache?"
"Nah, Duck. I'm fine."
"That's good. Some simple over-the-counter pain meds will help if it starts to bother you – not that you'd take it. But please do call me if you start to feel sick."
"He will," Abby interrupted before Gibbs could answer. "I'll keep an eye on him."
"Quite the nurse you've got, Jethro. I'm sure you're in capable hands and if she offers to make you pancakes, don't say no. She stayed with me after my mother died and I don't think I'd ever had such a lovely breakfast until then."
Abby blushed. "Aww, Ducky… we'll do it again sometime."
"That would be wonderful. But in any case, I must be off. It's dinner time and I left the crockpot on all day."
"Bye Duck." As soon as the door was closed, Gibbs waved Abby back over and pulled her onto the couch so they could stretch out, side by side.
"Gibbs… Ducky is right, it's almost dinner. And I'm getting hungry again."
"Pizza? Chinese? That Italian place that delivers?"
"I can cook, you know."
Gibbs pulled his cellphone from his pocket. "Yeah, but I can call from here and then we don't have to get up."
Abby shrugged and snuggled in close, pressing a kiss to his jaw. "Pick whatever." Gibbs dialed his favorite Chinese place and ordered delivery. They knew his standard order and he added extras of Abby's favorites. Then he hung up, tucked his phone away and leaned in to kiss Abby. "Dinner will be here in 30-40 minutes."
"So now what, we spend that time here on the couch making out like teenagers?"
Gibbs decided against answering and kissed her again. Abby had been teasing, but to him, every second he had his lips against hers, it was either a reminder as to what he could have lost or the best, most realistic dream that he was having on the worst day of his life. He was hoping it was the first of the two, but if it was the second, he was going to make every moment count and hope to never wake up.
Abby seemed content with his choice and relaxed against him, wrapping an arm around him, her fingers brushing back and forth, gently over the back of his neck. He could feel his body respond against hers, but he never pushed for more – not wanting to get further and then be interrupted by dinner. So he kissed her and held her tight, pulling away occasionally to catch his breath and gaze at her.
When he heard a car pull up outside his house he pulled away and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Dinner."
"I suppose so," she agreed, though she kept an arm around him.
He waited and listened, giving his body the chance to relax before the doorbell rang. He got up and fished his wallet out and when he finally returned with food, Abby was just coming from the kitchen with extra napkins. They sat close and shared their cartons of Chinese food and talked about work, Jack, the nuns… everything except for what had happened earlier.
Eventually they moved up to bed.
"If I wake up and you're gone-"
"It means I'm in the bathroom, not dead," she cut him off. "I'm okay, I promise."
"I won't survive losing you, Abbs."
"Well, it doesn't matter, because you won't."
"You don't know that. Look how close things were today. Today could have ended very differently."
Abby rolled over and sat up and move to straddle his waist. When his hands moved to her hips, she took them in hers and moved them up to rest on the bed on either side of his head. "You know I believe everything happens for a reason, right? So maybe today was just a wake-up call. Maybe you needed that scare so that you'd finally kiss me, or maybe this wasn't even about us, it was a wake-up call for someone else in that café and we just happened to be there, I don't know. But we're both okay, maybe a little banged up," she let go of one of his hands and brushed her fingers gently over the bump on his forehead. "But okay."
With the hand she had released, Gibbs reached to switch off the bedside lamp and then pulled her down to curl up by his side. He smiled in the darkness when she snuggled in close, resting her head on his chest. He was torn between wanting more and just wanting to sleep - get a good night of rest with her by his side.
"Go to sleep, Gibbs. I'll be here when you wake up."
Gibbs turned his head to kiss her forehead and then hesitated before whispering an I love you against her skin.
"Love you more."
Gibbs huffed but let her get away with it. Abby was asleep within minutes, but for Gibbs it was a struggle to close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.
Gibbs startled awake to find the covers had been kicked away. He was sprawled out across his bed, a pillow under his chest. There was no sign of Abby anywhere in the room or in the attached bathroom. He took a few slow, deep breaths and went over the past 24 hours – the end of the case, a shooting, Abby dying, waking up to think she was alive only to find out she was dead, then waking again to see Abby staring down at him, bringing her home, kissing her, curling up in bed… He shook his head.
His heart was pounding as he headed toward the kitchen. Either Abby was waiting for him or it had all been a dream. He hoped she was there, but so long as she was alive, he would be happy. The living room and kitchen were dark and there was no sign of her anywhere. He checked the basement and then glanced out the window. It was still dark and nothing looked out of order.
He dropped onto the sofa with a sigh. He hated waking up alone in bed, it only served to remind him of what he wanted but didn't have. He itched to pick up the phone and call Abby, to make sure it had all been a dream, but it was Saturday he thought and she needed sleep. He got up and paced, glancing at his watch, it was only just three in the morning. It would be hours before he could call without fear of waking her up. He decided on the basement to keep busy and was halfway down the stairs when his phone rang. He pulled his cell from his pocket, tensing when he saw Abby's name on the screen.
"Hey Gibbs, did I wake you?"
Gibbs let out a big sigh of relief at hearing her voice. "Nah, you okay?"
"I…" Abby sighed heavily. "I guess I was having a dream and I… it was really real, and I was worried and I… sorry, it's silly."
Gibbs was silent a moment. If he had learned anything from his series of dreams within dreams, it was that he needed to be more open with her. "I'm coming over."
"I'll be there in 15." It was a ten minute drive, but he wanted to grab something to change into later from the sweats he was wearing.
"Will you stay on the phone?"
"Yeah," He headed upstairs and grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and shoved them in a bag. "Tell me about your dream." He headed out to his car and held his phone between his shoulder and his ear as he buckled his seatbelt.
"I don't really remember," she lied. "I just woke up feeling really nervous, like I should call you."
"I'm glad you did."
He could hear her moving around, and then a soft click. "What're you doing?"
"I just went to unlock my door and now I'm back to bed. You remember the code to get it downstairs, right?"
"You can let yourself in."
"I'm almost there."
They were silent until Gibbs pulled into the parking lot at her building. "I'm going to hang up now, I'll be up in a few." He closed his phone and grabbed his overnight bag. He typed in the code and headed up to the third floor. As promised, her front door was unlocked, so he let himself in and locked up again. Leaving his bag by the door, he made his way through the dark apartment to her bedroom and pushed the door open. "Abbs?"
"Mmm…" She was already half asleep again, so Gibbs walked around to the other side of the bed and pulled off his sweatshirt. As soon as he was in bed beside her, Abby snuggled into his side. "Glad you're here."
"I need to talk to you tomorrow, but for now… sleep."
Abby hugged herself closer. "Talk about what?"
"You, me… "
She slipped her hand under his shirt and pressed her palm to the skin above his heart. "I love you, you love me. Not much left to say," she whispered. When Gibbs froze she lifted her head to look at him. "I called you at 3am and you came over with no hesitation because I had a dream. You climbed right into bed with me, didn't hesitate when I snuggled up to you and then told me we had to talk about us."
"And since I know for a fact how I feel about you, I'm going out on a limb to say that all of the evidence points to you feeling similarly about me."
Gibbs wrapped an arm around her and pulled her into a hug. "Just want to do things right, can't lose you."
"Trust me, Gibbs. You won't."
I tried to keep the whole thing vague (because it was a dream), but not sure it really worked the way I had it in my head.
Anyway, I'm still looking for angsty plot ideas – the evil hat is clearly bored and in need of some ideas to play around with. Feel free to share in a review or a pm. Or email me at ncis_love(at)Hotmail(dot)com