NCIS and all of its wonderful characters – no they don't belong to me. Sigh, they never will. Some of them do belong to each other, though, don't you agree?

Gunpowder and Sawdust – Abby and Gibbs draw closer and the lines begin to blur, moment by moment, day by day, crisis by crisis. Some of those moments follow:

Rating – T at this time, may change in later chapters.

FWandFS (Fair Winds and Following Seas): First Fanfic in this Fandom. Have written others as FeliciaMaplewood for Scarecrow and Mrs. King…Yes, I am dating myself by admitting that.

Chapter One-

My time of night

Gibbs awoke with a start as the doors of Autopsy hissed shut. The lights were dim and he was alone. Ducky must have just left.

He rose and swung his legs over the edge of the stainless steel autopsy table as his back and neck protested. He might well be able to fall asleep anywhere, as he had learned in the Marines, but his body forgave him slowly on arising. He picked up the yellow sticky note Ducky had left on the table by his head and squinted in the dim light.

Huh…Ducky earned his right to that M.D. The note was virtually illegible. 'Rabbit weighs ton', 'Rabid wars stun,'…no...'Report is done.' That made more sense. He crossed the room and flipped on all the lights, then picked up the file next to Ducky's computer. He scanned it holding it at arm's length. Never had the damn glasses when he needed them – they must be upstairs on his desk.

Got the gist – though. Two needle marks in the petty officer's neck. Nothing else remarkable – the rest would depend on toxicology. He tapped the file against his hand thoughtfully. Knowing Abby, she hadn't left. His mouth quirked up in a faint smile as he headed down to the lab.

The building was quietly deserted as he made his way down the hall. The others he had all let go for the night – there wasn't anything more they could do until they had more information. They'd all function better with at least a few scant hours sleep. Not Abby, though. She never seemed to leave her post when an investigation was open.

Sure enough, he found her sleeping at her desk, her head lying on her folded arms as images rapidly shuttled across the computer screen above her. She must be exhausted, he thought, since she didn't sense his arrival. He shook her cup of Caf-Pow gently and let the rattle of the ice cubes alert her to his presence.

Abby yawned and her green cat's eyes gazed at him sleepily. "Hey, Gibbs," she rasped in a morning voice. She stretched and flexed her fingers. "What time is it?" she asked.

"Early. Or late, depending on your point of view. Don't ask."

"Ah, your time of night," she retorted.

"My time of night?" Gibbs raised his eyebrows.

She chuckled. "You have potential, Gibbs. A creature of the night in the making."

He lifted an eyebrow at her and ignored the jibe. He leaned over her shoulder to look at her computer screen even though what was there never made much sense to him, until Abby clarified it.

"There's nothing there yet, I keep telling you – you can't rush science." She gently chided.

He stood straight again and winced, rolling his shoulder.

"You slept in autopsy again, didn't you?" She accused.

He gave her a sardonic look. "Yeah, all the master suites at the Ritz here were taken."

Abby scooted back in her rolling chair and stood, before taking him by the shoulders and pushing him in a no-nonsense manner into the chair.

"Those tables are meant for dead people, Gibbs. I mean, not all dead people have to be uncomfortable…my coffin is well padded for a good night's sleep now and in the afterlife, but seriously, those are just like large metal cafeteria trays." Her hands worked purposefully against the knots in his shoulders. "No support, no satin covered padding….even the floor down here with Bert as a pillow would be more comfortable….Ooh, you are all knots."

Rather than his routine protests, Gibbs let his head fall forward with an exhalation that split the difference between a groan and a sigh. It felt too good to stop – and in the quiet of the night the rules and boundaries that he would set in the workplace felt a little more flexible. Aah…right there. Her fingers were firm and ministering, confident in their ability to read the map of pain across drawn muscle and tension.

Abby leant over him as she put her weight into her palm and rotated it against the knot above his shoulder blade. Quietly, she marveled that he was letting her touch him this way. Even if he had given her shoulder rubs and massaged away her charley horses, kissed her brow and held her when she cried; he had never accepted more than hugs from her in return. He was self-reliant to the point of aloofness. His skin was so warm under the cotton. She felt daring as she let her hand slide up the back of his neck to the bare skin above his shirt collar, rubbing small circles on either side of his vertebrae. Her fingers sank into the finely cropped silver hair as she slowly massaged the base of his scalp. She thought she heard a quiet moan and she bit her lip in suspense. How long would he let her touch him like this?

He couldn't let her continue, he knew better. The quiet of the lab and the darkness outside had lulled him into relaxing his boundaries. But this was dangerous territory. Abby and he had a special trust, one he couldn't afford to jeopardize. Oh, but her hands felt so good on his bare neck. He felt an involuntary shiver, too good. He forced himself to wrap her wrist in his hand to stop her. "Thanks." His voice cracked. He placed a gentle kiss in the palm of her hand, caught her green eyes with his own and his heart stuttered. He wasn't sure what he read there, but it sure wasn't how a woman looked at a father figure.

Abby felt the kiss on her palm all the way to her core and the moment was more intimate than many she had had in the bedroom. His eyes had an undefinable intensity she had never seen before and her breath became shallow.

Beep-the insistent sound from her computer interrupted them, as both turned their gaze to the screen with dissonant feelings of both annoyance and relief. Seamlessly, they switched places as he leaned over her, gripping the back of her chair with his right and leaning his left palm on her desk. Her fingers began to fly across the keyboard.

"Um….so…yeah…definitely something hinky going on there." Abby nattered, dragging her thoughts back to her work. She could feel the warmth of Gibbs breath on the back of her neck and shivered. 'Focus Abby, focus,' she thought willfully.

Was it his imagination or was her voice breathy? He bit into his cheek and focused on the momentary pain to distract him. Anything, not to notice her hand lightly tremble on the computer mouse. "Hinky, Abbs? I can't arrest anyone on 'hinky'."

A small smile stole across her face. For a non-scientist he was sure hung up on technical terms. "OK – we got sodium thiopental and a benzodiazepine. Not nice, Gibbs, Not nice at all." She looked back over her shoulder at him.

He lifted an eyebrow at her and waited. He knew translation would be forthcoming if he could be patient.

"Yeah, well you'd know sodium thiopental as sodium pentothal – you know, truth serum. They must have given him that first and then followed up with a chaser of Rohypnol. Rohypnol causes amnesia – a date rape drug." She began speeding up her delivery as her thoughts came flying fast upon one another. "Z-drugs are being used a lot more for date rapes now 'cause they're so much easier to get by prescription. Not as powerful, but easy to get. But a benzodiazepine like flunitrazepam- that means they're traditionalists, Gibbs – and they got access – major access. But that wouldn't have killed him, something else did."

"Bottom line – we still don't know how he died, but truth serum and amnesia?" Gibbs summed up.

She nodded once. "And they're pros. They've done this before," She cautioned.

"But what are they after?" he murmured drumming his fingers on her desk. "Thanks, Abbs." He pressed a kiss against her temple and then stood.

"For finding the drugs?" she scoffed looking up at him. All in a day's work, she thought – no challenge there.

"Yeah, well for that too," he quipped with a brief broad smile before departing.

Her face lit up as she spun in her chair and watched him leave with his customary ground-breaking stride. Gibb's smiles were like all valuables – precious for their rarity. She gave a quick sigh before turning back to her keyboard. She had so much to mull over, but it would have to wait. Right now, there was work to do.

TBC