This storyline popped into my head and I couldn't get it out, so I wrote it down. Hope you like it. I'll update as I am able. A big thanks to Gottahavemyncis for previewing & editing this chapter.

Disclaimer: None of it is mine. Just shamlessly using the characters for my own amusement.


The elevator doors opened. A slight frown appeared on Gibbs' face as he realized he wasn't hit with the sound of the ear-splitting noise that Abby usually played. He refused to call it music. He held the usual morning Caf-Pow in hand. As he stepped through the Lab entrance he looked around and stopped. Abby's babies were up and running, the computers were on in the middle of a fingerprint search. Except for the missing music, all looked normal.

"Abs?" Gibbs called out as he stepped further into the lab, but had yet to spot Abby. Gibbs thought 'I wonder if she is wearing camouflage?' and smiled slightly at the thought of Abby wearing an outfit that blended with her lab. Suddenly he heard a small whimper coming from the inner lab.

He put the Caf-Pow on the lab bench and rushed toward the sound, "Abs!" Gibbs yelled with a slight hint of worry in his voice.

In the inner lab Abby was sitting on the floor in the far corner, knees pulled to her chest, arms wrapped around them, head bowed down. Abby suddenly realized Gibbs was there. She leaped up and yelled "Gibbs!" as she rushed toward him. Her makeup was smeared, she had a bruise forming under her right eye which was beginning to swell shut, her lower lip was swollen and bleeding, her hair was a mess, the right sleeve was torn and there was blood down the front of her t-shirt.

Gibbs rushed just as quickly toward Abby as soon as her appearance registered in his brain. "Abs! What happened?" he asked with a note of surprise and concern.

"Gibbs! Gibbs! Gibbs!" Abby exclaimed excitedly as she enveloped the agent in a huge bear hug. Where have you been! I've been waiting for you to arrive! Why'd you take so long? Don't ever leave me!" Abby kept repeating the same phrases over and over and over.

Gibbs just held her tightly. He wanted to check out her injuries, but knew it would be impossible while Abby was clinging to him so tightly. Gibbs kept Abby wrapped in his arm, responding with a whisper in her ear "I'm here Abs, I'll keep you safe." He kissed the top of her head and repeating the phrase again.

"I always feel safe with you, Gibbs" Abby finally said, stopping the mantra that had been pouring from her lips.


"I'll keep you safe."

That phrase came from his lips again just as he woke up.

"I know you will, Gibbs" the voice came from the other side of the bed as the sound of a body moving over, then the feel as that body snuggled up to him.

He was on his back, so he rolled onto his side, toward the snuggling body, said again "I'll keep you safe" as he wrapped his arms and pulled the women to his chest. He leaned into the hair that was cascading aroundher shoulders and deeply inhaled the scent that he always associated with her. He opened his eyes and saw the red hair, leaned down and smiled as his eyes locked with Shannon's. They shared a quick kiss. Gibbs pulled his wife in a bit tighter. She had a hand on his chest and was rubbing small circles.

"A nightmare?" Shannon asked.

"Something like that." Gibbs answered flatly then kissed his wife on the forehead.

"So, what are you going to keep me safe from?" Shannon smiled slyly, "'cause you know, I always feel safe with you Gibbs."

Gibbs pulled away slightly and looked at his wife with asad, hurt look. He heard a knock on the door. "I'll keep you safe" he said once more.


The knocking got louder. Gibbs sat up suddenly on his couch "I'll keep you safe" poured from his lips. He took a second to look around and realize he was at home, on his couch. Then he recognized the dryness in his mouth, too much bourbon in the basement last night. That might explain the weird dreams.

The knock came again, this time followed by "Gibbs! You in there?"

"Yeah.A minute." Gibbs groaned, not loud enough to be heard, as he got up and strained his stiff joints. He walked gingerly over to the door, giving his muscles and joints as well as his brain time to catch up with the morning.

He reached his front door and opened it. "Detective Sportelli! You're up and about early for a Saturday morning."

"Been up since last night, Gibbs. Can I come in?" the Metro detective asked.

"What's this about?" Gibbs asked, narrowing his eyes at the man standing in front of him, getting more suspicious by the second. If it was about a Metro case that involved Navy or Marine personnel, he would have been contacted through dispatch. Was one of his team injured? "Is everyone OK?"

"Can I come in?" Sportelli asserted again.

Gibbs stepped aside from the door so the detective could enter. He closed the door after him. "Who?" Gibbs asked behind Sportelli as the man walked into the living room looking around.

"Sit down."

Gibbs was getting really worried now, "no, give it to me straight." He was up in Sportelli's face now. "One of my team?"

"Abby Sciuto."

"What? How? How bad?" Gibbs heart sunk as he remembered his dream. Abby was all beat up. He told he would keep her safe. He didn't.

He couldn't keep Shannon safe, what made him think he couldn't keep Abby safe. "Is she alive? Where is she?" Gibbs started to spring into action. He went toward his gun safe.

Sportelli grabbed Gibbs arm. Gibbs turned and glared at him. "Please Agent Gibbs, sit down. She's alive, but there's more."

Gibbs stopped. 'More?' he thought and nearly shuddered. Then he thought 'had Abby been with the rest of the team last night? Sometimes they'd go to Happy Hour on Friday, were more of them hurt?' Gibbs glared at the detective again. "Tell me!"

"Abby is in a coma. She is in ICU at GWU hospital center. She took a harsh beating. Officers responding to a 911 call found her in her apartment." Sportellihesitated a split second before he continued. "Gibbs, where were you last night."

"What?" Gibbs glared at Sportelli for a third time in less than a minute. The man was going to spontaneous combust soon if any more glares came his way.

"A man fitting your description was seen by neighbors leaving Abby's apartment just after midnight; we found a bottle of bourbon and a glass on her kitchen table that had your fingerprints on it." Sportelli paused, "You know this is just a formality, Gibbs."

"I was at the Navy Yard until 22:30, came directly home and spent the evening in my basement." Gibbs said flatly. "Can I go see Abby now?"

"Not yet Gibbs. What happened to your hands?"

Gibbs looked at his hands; he had some cuts and scratches on his hands. Gibbs smiled wryly. "You ever tried to work with hand tools after a few glasses of bourbon? This is what happens." Gibbs held up his hands.

"And the scratches on your face?"Sportelli pointed to the left side of Gibbs face and he spoke.

"What?" Gibbs reached to his face and felt a sting as his fingers brushed against what he knew was a scrape or scratch. Gibbs face turned white, then red. "You think I…." Gibbs couldn't even finish the sentence; he was flabbergasted but also angry. He got toe to toe with Sportelli. "You are out of your mind, Sportelli!" He was clenching his fists, trying to restrain himself from launching at the detective for even suggesting that he might have hurt Abby.

Sportelli took out his cell phone and played a recording.

"911, what's your emergency" the Emergency dispatcher asked.

Abby's voice came next, "Gibbs. Gibbs! Gibbs!" a slight hesitation then a voice full of confusion, "Stop! Why're you attacking me?"

The sounds of a struggle came next. Abby screamed. "Gibbs!" then the sound of someone being beaten badly.

A few minutes later, a door slammed. Then a few moans and groans then a barely audible, "Gibbs, why?"

"Sounds like Abby was begging you to stop attacking her, but you kept it up until she was nearly unconscious. Then you left her for dead." Sportelli just looked at Gibbs waiting for him to say something.

Gibbs just glared back at Sportelli, "it wasn't me! Not sure why she was shouting my name, but it sure as hell wasn't me! I'd never hurt Abby."

"Yeah, you want to guess how many times a day I hear guilty people proclaim their innocence? Probably as often as you do, Gibbs. I need to take you downtown; we'll sort it out down there."

Gibbs was torn between resisting and going to see Abby and finding her attacker, or going with Sportelli. However, he knew the former would cause serious problems. He decided to go with Sportelli. "I'll go, but I am not happy about this! I need to see Abby." Gibbs growled.

"If we can clear you, you'll be on your way to see Abby in a little while."

"Have you contacted anyone else to let them know Abby is in ICU?" Gibbs suddenly stopped as the realization that Abby might be alone.

"Not yet."

"Lemme call someone to be with her." Gibbs half demanded, half pleaded.

"Sure. Who?"

"Gonna call Ducky. He can spread the word from there." Gibbs said, going over to grab his phone off the coffee table.

"Don't tell him about you going downtown. We need to question your team as well."

Gibbs turned and glared at Sportelli as he hit speed dial to call Ducky.

"Gibbs, I hope this is a social call, it is too beautiful a morning to be looking at death." Ducky said on the other end of the phone.

"Ducky! Abby is in a coma in ICU at GWU Hospital Center. Can you go over to be with her? I'm with Detective Sportelli right now; he's working on a lead. Call the rest of the team and let them know."

"Of course, Jethro!" Gibbs hung up before Ducky could finish.

Sportelli had been on the phone himself. A knock at the door. Sportelli yelled 'come in!'

Two detectives entered.

"Frisk him." Sportelli commanded.

"Ah, not necessary." Gibbs smiled a half-smile.

"Yes it is. Would you let your agents take someone into custody without frisking them? Especially someone known to carry a knife and a gun?"

"Gun is in the safe" Gibbs pointed to the safe on the bookshelf, then turned and pointed to the coffee table "and the knife is on the coffee table."

"Humor us!"

The younger detective frisked Gibbs. "He's clean. Cuff him?"

"You gonna play nice, Gibbs?"

"If I wasn't gonna play nice, I'd already be gone, Sportelli."

"No need to cuff him. Gibbs promises to play nice."

"You better apologize to me when this is over." Gibbs growled as he passed the detective while following the junior detective.

"I thought you didn't believe in apologies, Gibbs?" Sportelli smiled as he followed behind Gibbs out the door.