Title: Four Times Gibbs saved Abby, and the One Time He Didn't
Author: Zabby
Pairing: Gibbs/Abby
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: 9x04
Author's Note: For Bluefirebird on the Gabby Forum! Sorry if this fic took a side street from the original prompt. Whumping and Gibbs led to other avenues. ;)

With a moan, Abby opened her eyes to look at the man beneath her. The shaft of moonlight sliding across his eyes showed her he was asleep again, his shallow and deep breaths confirming her suspicion. He looked peaceful like that, the lines of a hard driven life smoothed out as he dreamed. Did Gibbs dream, she wondered. Well, logically she knew that everyone dreamed, but Gibbs was different. Stubborn. Maybe he willed his dreams away. If anyone could intimidate his subconscious into not producing dreams, it'd be him.

Abby sighed as she stretched her back, trying to ease the tension on her body. She was pressed up against a wall. Gibbs' headed nestled in her lap. Though her muscles screamed for relief, Abby couldn't comply. He was sleeping so deeply, she didn't want to wake him. Her fingers itched to smooth back the hair that had fallen across his forehead, but they were bound behind her back, unusable.

The ropes binding her wrists and ankles were cutting into skin from her struggles hours earlier. And even without the ability to see them looking, she knew blood had seeped into the rough material. The situation was meant to be hopeless, but she wasn't going to give up. Not yet. She'd keep struggling into she was free. Until they both were free.

But hours, maybe days, had passed without escape or rescue, and hope was starting to dim. No one was coming to their rescue. No one even knew where they were or who had taken them.

Gibbs wasn't going to save her this time.

She looked at him again, as he lay with his head on her lap, blood streaking from cuts on his mouth and over his eyes. The left eye was beginning to swell, turning black from being hit, and his lower lip was split from the impact of a fist. From watching the attack, Abby guessed that there were bruises blooming over his chest and sides and a few ribs were either cracked or broken. Gibbs had to be in excruciating pain, though he refused to show it, refused to give anything the kidnapper wanted.

In the beginning, after hours of confusion and determination to escape, their abductor had finally come into their prison, and Abby had felt a glimmer of hope that maybe she could talk her way around him. After all, he had loved her once, albeit in an insane way. Maybe she could convince him to at least let Gibbs go. Abby would stay with him as long as the older man could go free.

But Mikel quickly freed her of that hope.

There'd be no leaving for either of them. Once the man started talking, he couldn't seem to stop. He talked about how he'd become better at stalking his prey (the gleam in his eyes at the word 'prey' made Abby shiver in fear), while in jail how he could never get her out of his mind. He spoke for what seemed like hours of all the fantasies he had, ones he was intent on fulfilling now that he was free and she was under his control. Even Gibbs had found a place in his twisted desires, a new objective to punish the man who tried to keep Abby from him.

And while he talked and talked, Mikel beat Gibbs, whose own hands and feet were bound like Abby's were, only tighter to prevent any movement at all. Abby cried as punch after punch was delivered to his face and kidneys, kicks striking the sides of his torso to break bones and crack ribs. Though her brain screamed at her to turn away in terror, Abby forced her eyes to stay locked on Gibbs, watching every hit, every kick, trying to send whatever strength she could to the man being tortured for her sake.

But watching Gibbs slip in and out of consciousness even as the beatings continued was the hardest thing Abby'd ever had to endure. He was the strongest man she'd ever known; but even he had his limits. How much more could he take before his body simply gave up? She pleaded and screamed at Mikel to let Gibbs go, crying for him to hit her instead, trying to get his anger to turn on her. But the maniacal laugh forced her protests to silence since they seemed to only encourage the crazed man more.

Only when the maniac tired himself out, they were left alone. Abby dragged and pulled herself across the room, pushing herself to a seated position against the wall next to Gibbs. Wiggling underneath his head, she finally settled when her legs cradled him.

Knowing that Gibbs had been beaten, knowing it was her fault, Abby couldn't help the tears from slipping down her cheeks. She tried to wipe the wetness free from her cheeks, but she couldn't stop one tear from falling onto his face. His eyes opened, and her heart broke at the dim focus he turned onto her.

"Oh Gibbs. I'm so sorry." She blinked back the tears, trying to show some strength in the face of her fear and his pain. The urge to touch him was so great she pulled again on the rope, desperate for freedom. For a hopeful moment, Abby thought she felt a give in the tie on her wrists. But a second tug gave her nothing more, and she fell back against the wall.

"Not your…fault, Abb…" Below her, Gibbs was struggling to speak. "Psycho…path."

"Easy, Gibbs. Please. Don't speak. Save your strength. He may come back." Her voice was choked up and was almost as halting, as his own. "He will come back. Gibbs, I don't think you can survive another beating like that. Gibbs…"

"After…all this…time…after you…and me…when…call me Jethro." Even bleeding and broken, he was trying to flirt with her. They'd only just started a relationship. Kisses and conversations being their only venture along that path. Abby had hoped to explore what 'Abby and Jethro' meant when Mikel had broken into Gibbs' house and used a high voltage stungun on both of them (first on Gibbs, then on Abby as she had surged to attack him), knocking them unconscious.

And now, in the middle of torture and fear, he was still holding her attention. "Jethro," she said through a watery smile. "After everything…" In an uncharacteristic move, Abby growled in an almost perfect imitation of Gibbs, pulling even harder at her bonds.

With a surprised gasp, Abby felt the rope loosen slightly. She struggled harder, careful to not jostle the man resting against her. Bit by bit the binding relaxed its hold on her, allowing more movement. Finally, her arms extend fully, the rope falling to the ground.

Abby fought the instinct to kick her legs out, and instead, gently lifted Gibbs to set his head on the ground. Reaching for her ankles, she untied the knot before moving to him. She carefully lifted him, trying not to jostle his injuries as she sought to release him from his bonds. With a minimal amount of groaning from Gibbs, she had him free.

Kneeling next to his head, she lightly laid her hands on either side of his head. "I'm going to get us out of here, Gibbs. When he comes back…" She shook her head, unsure of what she was really going to do when Mikel reappeared. "I'll figure something out."

She lowered her head to his, their foreheads touching. "Just so you know...in case we don't get out of here…"

Gibbs shook his head slowly. "No…we are getting…out…No goodbyes."

Their lips met, Abby being careful of the cut he'd received from an earlier punch. She pulled away slowly, knowing that time was speeding towards Mikel's re-entrance. "Okay…time to find a plan." Before moving away, she shrugged out of her jacket, thankful she still had it on, before putting it under Gibbs' head.

"Now, if I was a weapon, where would I be?"

Not a lot was left behind in the concrete hole in which they were being imprisoned. A few cardboard boxes that did not look hopeful were shoved into a corner, but Abby attacked them in her quest. She didn't care about being quiet, though she tried not to make too much noise. In the last box, she found a broken lamp. Abby laughed out loud in victory. It was at least something she could use against Mikel.

Careful to detach the shattered bulb, she crawled back over to Gibbs, displaying her weapon proudly. "I'm going to get us out of here, Jethro. Just hold on for me, okay?" Abby watched as his lip twitched in a smirk so typical of Gibbs. She could tell he was barely holding onto consciousness as it was. So, she kissed his forehead softly before grabbing three lengths of rope. Abby would use the same bindings Mikel had used on Gibbs, but to tie her attacker instead.

Thankfully, she could hear movement over the floorboards above her head and knew she wouldn't have to wait long. He was coming back for another round. Abby moved to stand beneath the stairs, her shiny weapon clutched tightly in her hands. Memories of self-defense training with Ziva flashed through her brain, and Abby searched for the most vulnerable places she could hit. The nose and groin would be her two best options, depending on where he was when she attacked. She just needed to get him incapacitated to have the opportunity to tie him up. Then freedom for her and Gibbs.

Abby fought to keep her breathing quiet and even as the basement door creaked open. Drips of sweat slid between her breasts and down her back from the stress of the wait, her body demanding to attack, but patience winning out. He had to be in the right place before she could move. Abby was afraid she would only have one chance.

Each stair groaned as weight was put onto it, the sound getting louder with every movement from her abductor. Finally, she could see his feet through the slabs of wood. It was almost time to move. Suddenly, the noise grew quicker. He must have noticed Abby was no longer in sight.

The instant one foot touched the concrete ground Abby attacked, swinging her heavy lamppost at his head. The impact of metal against cheekbone made a sickening sound that almost stopped her actions. But she had to keep going. Peaceful, gentle Abby Sciuto had to save Gibbs. A second swing hit him in the groin, forcing Mikel to double over. With one final strike, she got him in the back of the neck, his body crashing to the ground.

Through her peripheral vision, she could see Gibbs struggling to sit up, but she forced her attention fully on disabling her abductor. Couldn't be distracted, not yet, not even by him. She put her weapon down and picked up the rope, her eyes flinching at the sight of blood on the twine. With moves her pig-farming relatives would be proud of, Abby hogtied Mikel, twisting and knotting one rope around his ankles and another around his wrist. The third rope she used to tie each knot together, effectually arching his back and making it nearly impossible for him to escape.

She leaned back to rest a moment on her heels, the trauma and shock of what she had just done threatening to make her go numb even as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. But she didn't pause for long. Instead, she forced herself to her feet, propelling her shaking body toward her man.

Her knees hit the ground when she reached Gibbs, and her hands came to rest at his shoulders. During her struggle with Mikel, he had pushed himself up into a seated position.

Abby could see the struggle he was having at keeping his eyes open, and she feared the concussion he was sure to have received from the bastard's boot. With thumbs gently pressed on both temples, she forced him to look at her.

"Jethro, stay with me. We're almost there. We're almost free. We just have to get you up those stairs. I'm not going to leave you down here with that…thing." She couldn't even call her ex a man anymore; his obsession driving away any semblance of humanity. "I need you to help, okay. I can't do this without you. You're the hero, remember? My hero. Please, Jethro."

It was a struggle to get him on his feet. With a little physics (with the right angle and fulcrum, Abby could move mountains) and help from Gibbs, Abby was able to get him up and moving. The stairs proved another challenge with the slow speed of their progress. But step-by-step, the two moved away from their prison and towards freedom.

And as it turned out, Gibbs didn't always have to do all the saving. Abby was pretty good at it herself.

A week back to work, and Abby was still flinching at sudden sounds and slamming doors. But nothing could keep her from her lab. She needed her babies surrounding her, protecting her with their mechanical beeps and whirs. The elevator doors dinged open, and she walked towards her lab, surprised to see shadows moving inside.

Despite knowing she was safe, that Mikel was in prison for a long time and Gibbs was healing, Abby couldn't help clutching her Caf-Pow! slightly tighter in reflex from panic. She knew fear would be her constant companion for awhile; she just hated the pounding heart that came with the jump.

Peeking her head into her lab, her eyebrows raised at whom she saw inside. "What're you guys doing in here?"

Tony, Tim and Ziva all turned at once at her voice. Words tumbled out as they tried to find a viable excuse. Looking to each other, Tony tried to take the lead.

"We're…um…it's just…well…"

"You're hiding, aren't you?" Abby shook her head in amusement as she moved to her desk. Putting her drink down, she turned back to them. "And you're hiding from…?"

Sheepishly, Tim bowed his head. "Gibbs. We're hiding from Gibbs."

Ziva stepped closer, drawing Abby's attention. "He is being especially…grumpy this morning. He is biting out at everyone. Made a new intern cry when he stepped off the elevator. Yes, Gibbs is normally a grumpy personality. But lately he has been remarkably growly since he came back to work, and he is even worse today. We were hoping…"

Tony put his arm around Abby in his warm, brotherly way. "We were hoping you could maybe talk to him. Since you both came back, he seems to be more…patient with you. Could you?"

Shaking her head, Abby let out a long-suffering sigh. "For you guys, I'll brave the lion in his den." She kissed Tony on the cheek before leaving her lab.

The elevator button pushed, she rocked back on her heels as she waited, wondering what it was that put Gibbs in an exceptionally bad mood. Abby didn't have to search long for him. When the doors opened for her, the man in question was about to step off, presumably to look for his wayward agents.

The frown on his face was quickly replaced by a smile at the sight of her. "Abby."

"Hey, Gibbs." Even though she'd agreed in their dungeon to call him by his first name, by an unspoken agreement, she still called him by his surname at work. Stepping onto the elevator, Abby prevented him from exiting. The doors slid behind her before she pressed the stop button.

"What is it, Abbs? I'm looking for my team. Pretty sure they're hiding in your lab." The growl was starting to creep back into his voice, and Abby could only roll her eyes at him.

"Yeah, they are. They're hiding from you 'cause apparently you're on a rampage lately. Care to talk about it?"

"Abbs…" The warning was low in his throat. And with anyone else, the threat would have worked.

"Don't you 'Abbs' me. Something's wrong, Gibbs. So, spill it. Does it have something to do with…" She couldn't finish the sentence, not ready to face the nightmare again. He looked away from her then, and she knew she'd figured him out. "Come on, Gibbs. It's me. We've been through so much, already. Don't shut me out now."

He moved to the wall of the elevator, leaning against the metal as he considered how to answer her. Abby moved next to him, giving him the time he needed though maybe not the space. Abby wasn't that kind of girl.

"I can't get passed that basement, Abbs. You shouldn't have had to rescue me. You shouldn't have had to tear at your skin or bash him over the head. It should have been me. I should have protected you. If I had been alert, more on my guard like I usually am, he wouldn't have been able to get that close to you. He wouldn't have been able to put his hands on you."

Putting her Caf-Pow!, in the corner of the elevator, Abby faced him, still leaning her side on the door. She reached up, her hand brushing through his silver hair, moving it down to cup his face. Her thumb caressed his skin as his blue eyes met her green ones.

"It's not your fault, Jethro. It wasn't your crazy that put us in that cellar. And you saved me. You always save me. If you weren't the strong, wonderful man you are, I wouldn't have been able to find the power to free us. You would have died down there. Probably me right along with you. But I couldn't let that happen to you. Not when we've finally found each other. You're my hero, Leroy Jethro Gibbs."

She shifted closer to him, her lips a mere breath from his. And before they kissed, she whispered, "And you can save me. Anytime."