Notes: Thanks so much for reading! This will be the last chapter of "Rule 12." I hope everyone has enjoyed, and visit me again soon! I'm still working on "Unreachable," and I'll be working on a few oneshots in the near future. Thanks again for your continued support!

As soon as the elevator doors closed, Gibbs flipped the emergency switch, and turned on Tim.

"What in the hell do you think you're doing, McGee!"

"I can't work here anymore, Boss."


"You're not going to quit your job because you had a fight with Abby. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, McGee."

Tim leaned against the wall, dropping his eyes.

"I screwed everything up. You think I'm incompetent, and Abby hates me. I'm better off quitting and going to work at some computer company or something…where I can't screw everything up."

"How many years have you worked for me, McGee?" Gibbs asked. Tim remained silent. Gibbs head slapped him. Tim's head snapped up and he locked eyes with Gibbs. "I asked you a question. How long have you worked for me?"

"Six years."

"How many mistakes have you made in those six years?"

"I, um, a lot?"

"Have you been fired yet?"

"Well, no, but—"

"Exactly. We all make mistakes, McGee. We get over them, and we move on."

"I did more than just piss you off this time, Boss. I ruined a friendship and I compromised a case."

"You did not compromise the case by not seeing anything, McGee. You can relax."

"That doesn't make me feel any better."

"About the case? Or about Abby?"

Tim was silent. He knew the answer to that question, and he was sure Gibbs could see right through him.

"All right, listen. Go back up to the squad room and help Tony track our suspect. I'm going to see if Ducky has anything new from his autopsy."

Tim knew Gibbs had an ulterior motive, but he didn't question it.

"Yes, Boss."

Gibbs unlocked the elevator, and they rode up to the squad room. Tim got off, and Gibbs hung back in the elevator as a couple of other agents boarded with him.


Gibbs entered Abby's lab, Caf Pow in hand. He never thought he'd be the one to play matchmaker in the office, but there was a first time for everything, he guessed. He couldn't have this kind of drama disrupting the workplace. Abby was sitting in front of Major Mass Spec, staring as he ran a fingerprint scan. Her music was off, which was never a good sign.

"Anything new for me, Abbs?" he asked as he set down the Caf Pow next to her.

"I'm still running the same fingerprints from the body. Major Mass Spec is taking much too long today." She picked up the Caf Pow and took a big slurp. Gibbs noticed a bit of mascara had run down her cheek.

"Are you all right, Abby?" He asked gently.

"It was my idea," she said, sniffing. "Tim didn't want to do it. I'm s-sorry if we caused any trouble!" She threw herself into Gibbs' arms, crying.

"It's all right, Abbs. I'm not mad."

"You're mad at Tim!"

"Not as mad as you."

"He doesn't get why I'm upset, Gibbs."

Gibbs kissed her gently on the forehead.

"He might understand more than you realize." He turned to leave, and suddenly stopped. "Try not to douse him in Caf Pow anymore, will you?"

Abby giggled.

"As long as he doesn't make me upset again."


"All right, all right, I promise not to throw liquid at Tim anymore."

"Good." Gibbs smiled as he turned and left.


Tim was having no luck tracking down their suspect. He'd been running searches and rewriting things all afternoon, with no success. He was adamant about making Gibbs less upset at him than was possible. He'd only hoped his antics hadn't caught the Director's attention. He'd rather be head slapped by Gibbs than have to sit in Director Vance's office and explain why his love life has caused so much trouble.

As he waited for his latest search to complete itself, an instant message popped up on his screen.

AbbySciuto – Come down here.

TimMcGee – Are you going to throw your Caf Pow at me again?

AbbySciuto – No. Just come down here.

TimMcGee – What'll I tell Gibbs? He's been glaring at me all afternoon.

AbbySciuto – Tell him I need your help with something. Now get your butt down here!

TimMcGee – All right, I'm on my way.

Tim got up from his desk and started toward the elevator. He'd hoped Gibbs wouldn't notice.

"Where are you going, McGee?"

Gibbs noticed.

"Abby needs my help. The Mass Spectrometer is acting up."

"Make it quick, then."

"Yes, Boss."

As Tim waited for the elevator to come up to the squad room, he felt someone fall into step behind him. He turned around, and was surprised to see Gibbs.

"Boss… what are you—"

"Need to see Ducky, McGee. That okay with you?"

"I uh, yeah, sorry."


Gibbs followed him out of the elevator when it opened at the lab level.

"What are you doing, Boss?" Tim asked.

"Making sure you actually go in there."

"Why wouldn't I?"

Gibbs glared at Tim, and he flushed and kept walking. Tim hesitated at the lab doors. He'd never been so nervous to enter that lab before. Gibbs head slapped him from behind.

"Get in there, McGee."

Tim took a breath and stepped toward the doors. They swooshed open. He winced a bit. Gibbs gave him a shove. Tim turned around to look at Gibbs, but the doors closed in between them, and Gibbs walked away.

Great, he just had to leave, didn't he? I can't expect him to play matchmaker for me and Abby, though. He's got more important things to do.

He expected to find Abby by Major Mass Spec, but she wasn't there. He looked around the lab for her, and spotted her through the window of her office. She was sitting dejectedly at her desk. He could see makeup streaking her face.

Oh no, no no no, I made her cry. I'm an idiot!

He walked over to her office, and opened the door slowly. She was slumped in her chair, clutching Bert the Hippo in her arms.


She didn't move as he stepped in and shut the door behind him.

"I brought you a Caf Pow." He set it on the desk.

"You're a jerk."

"I know, and I'm sorry, Abbs." He squatted to be at eye level with her. "I was obsessed with Gibbs not catching us, and I didn't see how it was making you feel." She looked away from him, and his heart sank. "Abby, I'm so, so sorry. Please don't cry." He dropped to his knees and took her hands in his. "Let me make this up to you."

Abby sniffed and looked at Tim, kneeling in front of her. Unconsciously she gave Bert a squeeze. The noise he made caused both of them to giggle. Tim took a chance and went in for a smooch. He was pleasantly surprised when she pulled him back in and kissed him passionately.

"You can make it up to me tonight," she said seductively. "At my place."

"Wait – wouldn't you rather—"

"What's wrong with my coffin?" she said.

"Your place is great," he said, leaning in for another smooch. She stopped him.

"Don't make me throw my Caf Pow at you again, Tim McGee."

"Wouldn't dream of it." He smiled, leaning in to try again for a smooch. This time, she pulled him in willingly, and they shared a passionate kiss. Major Mass Spec went off in the lab, and Abby broke the kiss.

"What are you doing?"

"Gibbs usually comes in when Major Mass Spec beeps."

"Who cares?" Tim answered. He smiled and kissed her again, pulling her onto the floor with him.

"My heart's never smiled so hard, baby, lovin' you is fun…" – Easton Corbin, "Lovin' You is Fun."