A/N: This is it, the last part...sorry it's taken me so long to post, real life and all that. Thanks for all the reviews, alerts and adding to favs for this story, and thanks heaps for reading. Massive hugs to Gosgirl who has helped me so much along the way, couldn't have finished it without ya! :)
Epilogue part 3
Once they had taken a quick shower and dressed in minimal clothing, Gibbs collapsed on the couch while Abby made them a sandwich and some coffee.
"Sure you don't want me to help, Abbs?" Gibbs asked, twisting sideways so his back was against the arm of the couch, giving him a better angle to watch her. His gaze travelled down her smooth creamy legs, his hormones beginning to stir again at the recollection of having them wrapped so tightly around him barely an hour ago.
"You did everything last time we were here and you've had a rough week...just relax, I can manage." She grinned sweetly at him and brought over a cup of coffee, pressing a quick kiss to his lips as he took it. "And besides that," she whispered into his mouth, "those muscles of yours just had a workout and you'll need to let them recover before we give this baby thing another try."
"That gonna be your excuse for us to have sex at the drop of a hat now?" Gibbs smirked against her lips, deepening the kiss as she leaned down and placed both her hands around the back of his neck to take control. He reached out to pull her waist closer to the back of the couch, licking along her bottom lip as he ended the kiss.
"We've never needed an excuse for that," Abby purred, brushing her lips teasingly against his once more before taking a step back and leaving him there wanting more.
Gibbs eyed her swaying hips as she returned to the kitchen, the long USMC t-shirt of his that she wore showing off the slight curve of her bottom, clad only with the thin material of her underwear. Even a year on, he still found it difficult to believe that he and Abby were together, that she only wanted him. Her acknowledgement that she wanted to have a family with him had been something he'd never thought he'd get the chance at again.
Since he'd lost Shannon and Kelly, Gibbs had never really been certain whether he was ready to have kids again, but now it almost felt as if it was meant to be. He loved Abby on a completely different level to what he'd loved any of his ex-wives. The yearning he had for her, for them to be together and have this opportunity for a family was something that had not only become more evident in the last year, it had slowly been building over time.
Knowing that Abby would be there at the end of each day and that she had become part of his life in every way was Gibbs' way of keeping himself grounded. She gave him the emotional support he needed and the physical comfort he craved, and he did everything he could to ensure she felt the same way. After Shannon had died he'd always believed he'd never needed anyone; that he could get by on his own. But that was all he was ever really doing, getting by, he was never happy and never content. Even during his three other marriages he wasn't living, he was merely surviving. Abby had changed all that, and now he realized just how miserable his life had been without her.
Watching her as she moved around the kitchen, the bounce in her step unmistakable, a grin tugged at the corner of his lips as he imagined what she'd be like while she was carrying their child. Abby had always been beautiful to him, but the thought of seeing her glowing with the life that they created growing inside her filled him with a sense of contentment and excitement he'd only experienced once before in his life.
Moving his thoughts back to the present and the woman in front of him Gibbs looked on as she took a sip of her coffee, then continued making their sandwiches. "You realize you're gonna have to give up caf-pow when you're pregnant," he teased, trying to keep a straight face.
Abby's head swung around to face him, her eyes wide with shock. "What? No...I can't..."
"Better for the baby, Abbs...and you'll need more rest, gotta cut out caffeine."
They'd both been sleeping better since Abby had moved in, even though both their caffeine intakes had remained the same. Gibbs put it down to a combination of their need for physical contact and sex being just as intense as it had been on their first weekend together, as well as the comfort and serenity from being able to fall asleep in each other's arms.
A couple of nights over the last year, Abby had been forced to stay at the lab and work through the night. Gibbs had offered to stay with her, but she'd sent him home, knowing that having him so close would be a distraction. He'd also told her he'd come and pick her up no matter what time she was finished, but Abby had made him promise he'd stay home and get some sleep. On each occasion Gibbs had stayed down in the basement until late and had downed a few bourbons in the hope it would help him sleep; he'd known it would be difficult to fall asleep without her body next to him.
The first time Abby had stayed back they'd only been together a couple of weeks and Gibbs had stood at the door to their bedroom trying to decide whether he should attempt to sleep there or just bunk on the couch for the night. In the end he'd settled on the couch, the stiffness in his back and neck alerting Abby the following morning to the fact that he hadn't slept in the bed. The next time, it had been several months later and he'd called Abby from their bed to reassure her that he wasn't on the couch. With his head on her pillow, he'd eventually drifted off, Abby's scent surrounding and soothing him to sleep.
Some things had taken longer than others to adapt to but between them they had found a routine that not only suited them both but was a new way of life that they'd yearned for...together. They also had a reason to go home now. In the past it hadn't worried either of them working long hours, and avoiding being forced to think about what they didn't have in the solitude of their own homes. Now, as soon as the work day was over they looked forward to being in each other's company. They were also eating better now that they cooked for two instead of one, and Gibbs found himself enjoying his life away from work more than he had in a long time.
"If I cut out caf-pow, you've gotta stop the coffee," she challenged, sitting down next to him and passing him a plate with a sandwich on.
Gibbs choked on his mouthful of coffee. "Not giving up coffee, Abby, I'll end up killing someone."
"Maybe you could cut down then?" she asked hopefully. "Might help me, if I know I have you there...supporting me in every way."
She looked at him expectantly, her poor attempt at subtle persuasion not wasted on him. Gibbs was all too aware that he could rarely refuse her anything. He only had one real weakness in life, and it was Abby. It had always been Abby.
Sighing loudly, he rolled his eyes. "I'll try and cut down...no promises. And you might need to warn the rest of the team, can guarantee they won't be as eager as you for me to give it up."
Taking a bite of his sandwich, Gibbs hadn't realized how hungry he was until he'd swallowed several more mouthfuls. They sat in silence for several moments, both of them eating and trying to replenish their energy, until Abby's voice eventually broke through the quiet.
"They'll want to know why," she said, watching him intently. "You ready for them to know we're trying to have a baby?"
"Everyone will find out eventually, Abbs." Gibbs swallowed the last bite of his sandwich, putting the plate down on his leg so he could reach out and place his hand over her flat stomach. "That weight you're gonna gain right here is kinda gonna give us away."
Placing both their plates on the coffee table, Abby scooted closer to sit with her backside between his parted legs, lifting her thighs to sit on top of his as she took Gibbs' large hands in hers. Her fingers traced over his knuckles and along the long digits down to his fingernails. She'd always had a thing for his hands, the contrast of power and firmness mixed with tenderness and sensual heat.
"I've been thinking...maybe we could ask Ray and Margie to be Godparents?"
Gibbs smiled, looking down at their hands as Abby entwined their fingers together. "Think they'd love that."
He knew how close Abby had gotten to his friends, the four of them had dinner together regularly and Gibbs was aware of how much Abby thought of Margie, and that the feeling was mutual. He also didn't doubt that Margie had been someone Abby could confide in, and that at times their conversations might be about him. And Gibbs was okay with that. He trusted Abby and he had faith in their relationship.
"We'll have to ask Tony, Ziva and Tim as well...and what about Ducky and Jimmy?"
"Abbs," Gibbs pulled her towards his chest as they slid down further on the couch. "We can't ask everyone."
"Course we can, they're family."
Gibbs grinned and shook his head at her. Abby shifted her weight on top of him so she was lying with her stomach against his. She shuffled between his legs and he groaned at the friction her movement caused until she finally settled. With her hips nestled into his and her arms across his chest, she placed her chin just below his collarbone and Gibbs looked down into the emerald eyes that shone with nothing but love and hope.
"So should I start buying baby things?" Abby asked, taking one of his hands from where it rested on her hip and bringing it up to link with hers on Gibbs' chest.
"Depends...was thinking I could build some stuff..." He paused briefly and Abby could tell he was weighing up whether to say what was going through his mind, his mouth opening as if to speak several times before he finally got the words out. "Maybe bring Kelly's crib down from the attic."
Abby's eyes widened in surprise. "You still have it?"
"Yeah...might need a bit of work but should still be in pretty good condition..."
Gibbs didn't know how Abby would feel about using things that once belonged to Kelly. She'd been accepting of everything to do with his first wife and daughter and they had both gotten to the stage where they felt comfortable talking about them, but as accepting as Abby was he didn't want her to feel awkward, or like she was being forced into something. When he saw a moment of hesitation flash in her eyes he couldn't help but wonder if he'd made a mistake in bringing it up, but her next words caught him more off guard than he expected.
"Which room will we put it in?" she asked quietly.
While they'd talked about having a baby, the question of what room would be set up as a nursery had never been discussed. There was the guest room, which could easily be transformed...and then there was Kelly's room. Gibbs had kept a lot of her stuff in there, wanting to maintain the contact with his daughter. Not to dwell on her death but to keep her memory alive.
Since moving in with Gibbs, Abby had been into Kelly's room numerous times, and the door which at first had remained closed was now always open. Over the last year Gibbs had talked more about losing Kelly than he ever had. He and Abby had taken the time to remember her, and he'd done everything he could to share his little girl with the woman who had become his reason for living.
From the day that Abby had asked if they could leave the bedroom door open, their home had changed. It was no longer just the walls of a house filled with lost dreams and boxed up memories. There was life everywhere, not just from the present, but also the past.
Not once had Abby asked Gibbs to change Kelly's room, nor had she told him that moving on in their life together meant moving on without his other two girls. She'd done the exact opposite, and had been far more accepting than any other woman he'd had a relationship with, but that was Abby, she was different in every way that mattered.
"Did you wanna set everything up in Kelly's room?" Gibbs could feel his heart racing as he made the suggestion.
He would never let go of his memories, but he wanted to welcome his and Abby's child into their lives with open arms. To shed any remaining burdens, and love his new family in the same way he continued to love his first family; with everything he was.
"You don't want to keep it the way it is?" Abby questioned, her fingers tightening around his and offering him encouragement.
"It's not that...it's just..." he trailed off, struggling for the right words.
Abby reached up to place her free hand over his cheek and Gibbs closed his eyes for a moment, accepting the comfort and reassurance she offered in the touch.
"We could always make it both Kelly's and the baby's room..." she suggested, moving further up his chest so she could lean her forehead against his. "I love the idea of putting Kelly's crib in there...I want our child to know they had a big sister, to learn all about her just like I am."
Gibbs suddenly felt as if he couldn't get enough air into his lungs, his chest tightening with an immense sense of love for the woman who every day continued to change his life for the better.
"I'd like that, Abbs," he answered, his voice strained.
"Maybe we could go through some of Kelly's thing together...decide what you want to leave in there...put up some photos of her or frame some drawings she did?"
Gibbs took her face in his hands, kissing her gently since he couldn't think of any other way to make her understand how much she meant to him. How she was always thinking of him and ways to help him deal with his past. Just when he thought Abby had given everything she could of herself, she gave more.
"You're okay with that?" he asked, wanting to make sure she was certain.
"Want to celebrate Kelly's life, Jethro, she's a part of you...I feel like she's a part of me too now."
Abby laid her head down on his shoulder and Gibbs settled his hands on her waist, enjoying the light pressure of her body on top of his. He thought back to all the things he'd missed out on with Shannon and Kelly while he'd been on active duty. Gibbs didn't want the same to happen with Abby and their family; he wouldn't take anything for granted, he wanted to cherish every single moment they had together.
Gibbs wrapped his arms around her tighter, pulling her close so he could kiss her forehead. "Gonna do my best to look after you, Abby...be there when you need me."
"You always do...it's never been otherwise." Abby nuzzled her face into his neck, kissing him softly as her hand smoothed across the muscles of his chest. "Just hope I don't get too moody. That you'll still think I'm beautiful, even when I'm so big I can barely get in the front door."
She clutched her fingers in the front of his t-shirt and Gibbs moved his head back to try and look into her eyes, sensing her trepidation had nothing to do with the weight she would put on.
"Nothin' will change that, always gonna think you're beautiful, Abbs." He lifted her chin up so she couldn't look away from him, pressing his lips gently against hers to offer reassurance. "You'll be a great mom...got so much love in you. There's no one else I want to do this with...to spend the rest of my life with."
Abby's face lit up at his words and Gibbs could almost see the relief flood through her features. "Me either."
With each brush of her lips against his, they reaffirmed their bond, a renewed sense of longing surging through them as their kisses deepened. Gibbs felt his body start to reawaken underneath her and Abby wasted no time in sneaking her hand into his boxers to stroke him.
"Think it's time to practice our technique again," she murmured, continuing to tease his lips.
Moving her legs to rest either side of his waist, Gibbs helped Abby straddle him, looking up to see the desire and need in her darkening green eyes. Just as he had done 12 months ago, he surrendered to her, returning her love and trust equally. Except this time, there were no doubts and no fears. Gibbs knew their future was so tightly interwoven that they'd never be without each other. He also knew his fight to find happiness...to do anything other than just survive, was over.
A/N: There may at some stage in the future by a sequel, though I can't say when or if it will happen for sure...I have other bunnies bursting to get out first.