A/N : One of the really great things about all Gabby lovers is we all have a picture of how things were the first time they finally became lovers. I never truly thought about writing mine down as I tend to like longer stories (not that I couldn't go on and on forever) but a suggestion made me think about it more. So here it goes, although it will probably be broken into at least 2 chapters I don't plan on it being longer. This is a little AU in that I have always seen them as being a couple much earlier in their relationship.

Chapter 1

Abby ran up the stairs to the bullpen. Her pigtails bobbed up and down as she dashed two at a time in her bare feet. She had decided the results from Major Mass Spec were too important for the elevator. She had already started to get ready to crash on her futon for the fourth night in a row, with her boots off when the Major had given his distinctive 'Bing'.

This case had been a real wringer in that there had been no way to connect their suspect to the victim in real time and evidence. Unfortunately you couldn't kill someone, or even send them to prison for life without some kind of evidence. Abby had often thought that quite unfair…usually after losing several nights sleep. She had even volunteered to do the shooting once which had made the Director look at her strangely.

She hit the bullpen door bar in stride and darted around Tim's divider and came to a screeching halt. No one was there. The cubicles were all dark, desk lights the only illumination. She glanced toward Gibbs desk and saw his beautiful maroon wool greatcoat flung over the bookcase behind his seat. She went over to his desk and pulling open his right hand drawer she saw his badge/ID and holster. So Gibbs was still here.

She stood uncertain wondering if her information was worth disturbing him in M-TAC. He had mentioned earlier this evening that there was a late operation he and the Director had to be at. Gibbs had looked weary and run his hand through his hair, a gesture that always made Abby want to kiss him. It was doubtful the Director would appreciate her pedicure no matter how cute the skulls were on each blood red toe. She stood uncertain chewing her lower lip with indecision.

On one hand, the results of the particulates under Seaman Gilbert's nails proved that he definitely had been in the storeroom at his neighbor George Hansen's house. On the other hand they didn't say how long they had been there. On another hand it was pretty well known that Hansen was a maniac when it came to his jealousy over his wife Anne. He had actually done time in jail nearly killing a guy who had given Anne a ride home in the midst of a bad storm. What if he had knocked poor Gilbert out and left him in the storeroom until he had time to take him to Veeder's Gorge and throw him in? Oh man, she had run out of hands and had used one twice. She was really tired.

In the meantime her feet were freezing! Perhaps her dash had been a little ill-advised. It was after all the end of January and she knew they always turned the heat down here at night after midnight. It was now 0200 hours. She moved over to Gibbs chair and in a graceful move she put herself into a lotus position and worried at a hangnail. A picture of poor Gilbert lying on the concrete floor of the storeroom struggling to get free for hours came to mind…no wait. Ducky's autopsy made note only of the particulates not that his fingertips or hands were torn up from struggle.

It had taken some on site work for her to gather material from different sites on the floor. She had tried to explain to Gibbs why it was important to search all those areas. When she had finished he had simply asked if the evidence would hurt or help the investigation. When she had said help he had sent Tim to drive and assist her with a warrant. The processing took another 24 hours. She found flour, fruit juices, Kool-Aid, pollen, fish guts, dog food, gun powder, oil both cooking and industrial, brick dust, sand and the concrete particles themselves. It was the pollen and sand that brought in the tie to Veeder's Gorge. But the other particulates under Gilbert's fingernails were in an almost exact percentage to the dirt on Hansen's storeroom floor. Got'cha ya bastard ya!

Abby nodded her head and felt a little dizzy. She was sooo tired and now she was freezing! Now she was gonna catch a chill. She might as well go back downstairs to sleep. She glanced over her shoulder at the stairs and saw the edge of Gibbs' greatcoat. She sighed; that lovely warm coat always made her want to crawl inside it with him. She turned in the chair.

Leaning forward, curious,she saw the photos tacked up on the divider. She'd never really paid attention to them before and of course Gibbs didn't volunteer. Some were obviously old, others were current. Her silver fox was in all of them. Some obviously unit pictures, others just different Marines and some Rangers clowning around and posing. Some with gear and weapons on, others not but all in uniform and all with her fox smiling or grinning. She counted slowly to herself and saw that in a lot of them his beloved sniper rifle was over his shoulder or in his arms.

"What are these all about Gibbs, Huh?" she murmured.

She reached out to touch his boyish grin in a most recent picture. This one was only a few months old. She could tell because of the large band aids covering stitches in the back of his right hand. She remembered how upset she had been when it had happened during a scuffle with a suspect. In the background was a mountain range. She felt like she should recognize it somehow.

With a sigh she picked up the heavy coat. As she drew it toward her she settled back in the chair and covered herself with it, her feet now drawn up tucked onto the edge of the chair. The coat smelled deliciously of Gibbs Polo cologne that she had given him for Christmas. He had worn it consistently ever since. Closing her eyes Abby could see his slow smile as he un-wrapped the bottle. He removed the top and sniffed. Raising a brow he had looked deeply into her eyes.

"Is this a hint Abb's? Seems pretty expensive and it smells good. You got some ideas about when I should wear this?" He drawled in a low baritone rumble to her.

Abby had been speechless with his fine azure eyes looking deeply into hers. The dance of intimacy between them had left her some ideas alright… most of them triple X rated and the active licking of his neck while she did other things to him. Moaning a little with the memory Abby settled the chair tipped back and snuggled deeper. It was almost like being held in his arms and felt safe and protected. Showering in the decom showers and sleeping on a futon was not like being at home. Thinking of her love she drifted into sleep. Her results from Major Mass Spec rested on Gibbs desk.

An hour later Gibbs came down the stairs from M-TAC. He was weary to the bone and his head ached. He needed to eat something, it happened when his blood sugar dipped low. As he hit the landing his steps slowed to a stop as he saw Abby cuddled up in his chair, head back fast asleep. He moved around the divider and putting his coffee down on the desk, quietly moved to stand next to her. He smiled as he saw she was completely covered in his greatcoat. All excepting her beautiful face.

Her porcelain skin glowed in the desk lamp light but to him she always glowed with an inner light. Her spirit was indomitable. Life was of constant interest to her. She made him see things in a less jaded light. He had been drifting back into that feeling of uselessness that he had had after the girls deaths when she had come bouncing into his life through Director Morrow.

Even in her sleep her lips seemed to smile gently. There was nothing about her he didn't love. Her quick intelligence, her driving need to know, the way she moved, her loving heart. She made him feel alive and he loved her passionately. If only…he wanted to turn away from such dangerous thoughts but could not. Instead he saw his hand reaching toward her and lightly brush the back of his fingers over her cheek.

He had to make himself happy with things as they were. They were good friends who were part of the best team NCIS had. His dreams would have to remain as they were. She certainly could not look at him in the same way. He kissed his finger tip and brushed it feather light over her full lower lip. He closed his eyes and lowered his head before slowly turning slowly away. He picked up his coffee and headed to the vending machines.

Abby's mind was racing. She had indeed been asleep but had somehow heard his step on the stairs, the slight hitch in his stride because of his damaged knee and thigh. A life time's worth of memories. Of losses, of Desert Storm, friends and his girls. He would never surrender to pain, or allow anyone to see him in discomfort at all, mental or physical. Her proud alpha male Marine. Her rock, her frriend and now finally... her lover? Her eyes now wide Abby tried to process what she had just discovered by feigning sleep.

She had been afraid he would be upset by her using his greatcoat for a cover! She hadn't expected to see him with his barriers down. The emotions on his face…if they were true she would be a fool not to move on them. The tenderness and desire she had seen there through her lashes, his gentle touch, he loved her! He felt the same things she did! Her heart was pounding. She had thought perhaps he might kiss her. When he had suddenly drawn back and turned away she had seen the naked pain and sadness in his face. It had frozen her and kept her from speaking. Now she felt herself stop reeling.

"Oh Jethro, why not? Why not us? Why the hell not! Damn it!"

Abby leapt to her feet and donned his coat. Carrying the extra length she ran toward the lunch room. As she neared it she could hear a muttered curse and a thud then the sound of dollars being fed into a machine. Letting the coat edges fall to the floor she hurried forward before she could change her mind.

Her silver fox looked very tired. Seeing her in his periphery he turned and straightened in surprise, a salad in his hand.

"Abb's! Thought you were sleepin'. You OK?"

"Oh yeah, I'm better than OK Gibbs. I am now one very certain Forensic Scientist! But I require quantitative and concrete evidence to complete my analysis. I will need assistance to finish my project and close the deal so to speak."

Abby rocked on her heels and clasped her hands in front of her beaming up at him. Her hands and arms were swamped in the sleeves of his coat making him smile. As he looked down he spotted her bare feet with their blood red nail paint. A jolt of desire went straight to his groin. His resistance was low, he was fatigued beyond belief. He blinked hard and cleared his throat.

"What's on your toes Abbs?" His voice a low growl.

"Skulls. My friend Joanna made them for me. You like 'em?"

"Oh yeah." he murmured.

He forced his gaze back up only to find her smiling widely at him. Their eyes locked.

"Ya need somethin' Abb's?" He gestured to the machine trying desperately to change his thoughts.

"Nope. Just you for my assistant. You shouldn't eat out of the machines Gibbs. Probably E coli growing amok in there. C'mon I have food downstairs. You'll be ready to eat something when we're done that's more substantial than that."

She held her hand out and he took it. She tugged him back out and toward the bullpen elevators.

"Aren't your feet cold Abb's?"

"Yup! I hope to remedy that in a minute or so."

Gibbs shook his head wearily. He had had only 2 or 3 hours of sleep in the last 3 days. Maybe he could crash on the couch in the lounge again tonight. His back hurt from trying to sleep in his chair.

Reaching her lab Gibbs was surprised to find himself being dragged toward her office. She took his coffee and salad away and put them on a counter as they went by. Reaching her office door she let go long enough to slam her hand on switches and closed and locked the lab door, turned all the lights out except her desk lamp and whirled to face him. Startled he looked around and back at her smiling face.

"What's goin' on Abby?"