Chapter 8 – Waking Up

The first thing Abby became aware of as she broke through the haziness of sleep was the solid arms wrapped around her and the warmth that enveloped her. Taking slow steady breaths she kept her eyes closed, savoring the way his body was molded to hers and sighing contentedly when she heard his deep breathing coming from behind her.

Abby wanted to roll over and watch Gibbs as he slept, but with him barely sleeping the night before and the proceeding days, the last thing she wanted to do was wake him.

Neither of them had moved from when they'd fallen asleep, Gibbs' heavy hands resting on her abdomen and his legs entwined with hers. In all the times they'd been together, there was only a few occasions that she'd awoken to find him next to her.

Even though she was unable to see his face, Abby could sense the calmness radiating off him and it soothed her, just as his presence always did. She was all too aware of the pull he had over her, how with a look or a touch he could bring everything in her world to a complete standstill. And Abby didn't want it any other way; she wanted to immerse herself in everything about him.

It was the peaceful moments like these that had been so rare since their relationship had first changed. The intimacy, along with the comfort Abby found in just being with him, had been absent the last few weeks, so she was going to cherish every minute.

During the last few months, when they were at her apartment he'd be gone before she woke up, and if they'd been at his place Gibbs would either retreat to his basement or to sleep on the couch. Every time she woke to find him gone it tore at her heart, and even though she knew it wasn't in his nature to use her and then leave her...that was how it felt.

She hoped with the developments in their relationship that sharing the same bed all night would become a regular occurrence. Abby wanted to wake up with him like this every morning, and to not have to worry about whether he'd done a runner on her during the night.

It had become normal behavior for them that whoever was the last to wake up, always woke alone. And she was just as guilty as Gibbs was, because she'd assumed it was what he wanted Abby had left him in the middle of the night even though she wanted to stay.

Opening her eyes slightly, Abby tried to gauge what time it was since there was no clock on the bedside table. Sunlight still shone in through the curtains so she guessed it was probably the afternoon by now. Realizing it didn't matter what time it was because she had no intention of moving, she closed her eyes again.

She let her mind wander to the conversation she'd had with Gibbs. Considering how much trouble he'd always had expressing his feelings, especially since they'd started sleeping together, it filled her with hope to remember what he had shared.

Abby knew getting Gibbs to open up to her even more would be a challenge, but she was willing to help him any way he needed. If he wanted to talk she would listen, or if he needed longer to work things out in his head she would wait...if she knew they were together, waiting until he was ready would be much easier.

Feeling Gibbs stir behind her, she smiled when he nuzzled his face into her neck. He tried to shuffle closer, his fingers drawing lazy circles across her stomach and his feet sliding over hers.

"Think waking up next to you could become my favorite part of the day." His voice was husky from sleep and Abby found herself tingling with the sensations of his warm breath flowing across her skin and his gentle kisses skimming up and down her neck.

"I know it's mine," she sighed, allowing herself to give into the urge to turn over.

Settling in front of him, she moved one of her feet up between his calf muscles, her hands running over the contours of his chest. Abby's breath caught in her throat when Gibbs opened his eyes to reveal the purest slivers of blue she'd ever seen. They seemed endless, and at that moment Abby didn't think she'd ever seen him more unguarded.

"Feel any better?" she asked, inspecting the bruise on his head again with soft touches. It had darkened a bit more, the bump slightly larger, but knowing Gibbs he'd just try and pretend it wasn't there.

"A little, might take a few nights to catch up on sleep. How about you?"

"Same." She paused for a moment, wondering whether or not she should bring up the thoughts she'd been having before he woke, eventually deciding that since this had been part of their problem in the first place that she needed to be honest with him now. "I want this every day Gibbs...or at least to know if you leave me alone in bed you'll be coming back."

The palm of his hand covered her cheek, and Abby briefly let her eyes drift shut, savoring the feel of his rough skin on hers. "I always wanted to stay with you Abbs, just didn't want you to feel like I was smothering you, or to make you uncomfortable."

"Never been more comfortable than when you're holding me."

Kissing along his bottom lip, Abby heard the subtle groan that rumbled through him, her heart beat racing when Gibbs increased the pressure of his lips against hers. As he deepened the kiss Abby threaded her fingers through his hair, their tongues teasingly brushing together, slowly stroking and sliding.

When the need for oxygen became too great Abby pulled back from him, gently sucking on his tongue when he withdrew it from her mouth.

"You been awake long?" Gibbs asked, trying to catch his breath.

"Nope, only a few minutes."

"Are you gonna stay?"

His question took her by surprise, even though Abby had expected it would come up eventually. She'd only booked a one way ticket to get here, unsure of exactly what would happen once she was face to face with Gibbs.

While she'd been hopeful of spending some time with him, she'd known there was every chance she would have to turn around not long after she arrived and go home...which she almost had done.

"I want to," she answered shyly, "but if you still need some space to work through everything that's happened, I understand."

If Gibbs asked her to leave it would upset her, but at least this time she'd have some reassurance that things were changing between them.

"Don't need space Abbs, want you to'll give us some time together before we have to go back to work. When do you have to go back?"

"I told the director I'd be home when you were..."

Gibbs' eyebrow rose. "You tell her, about us?"

"No, but I think maybe she guessed something was going on," she nervously chewed on her bottom lip before continuing. "I might have been a little frantic when no-one could tell me where you were."

Gibbs closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to hers. "Didn't mean to worry you," he said through clenched teeth.

Suddenly all of the worries Abby had about him leaving were spilling out, her ability to hold them in gone as fear tightened its grip on her. She couldn't bear the thought that she could lose him; that her own behavior may contribute to her pushing away the one man she'd only ever really loved. Abby had to make Gibbs understand he was the reason for everything she did, and how she would live with the regret for the rest of her life if she lost him.

"It was like your last trip to Mexico was happening all over again. I didn't know if you were ever coming back then, and I couldn't go through that again...I couldn't take the chance you would never come home. I miss you Gibbs, when I'm not with you, I miss you. I did then and I still do now, that won't ever change."

When his arms surrounded her, his embrace so tight Abby could feel his heart pounding next to hers, she buried her face in his neck and gripped onto him just as forcefully.

"Miss you too," he whispered. "Not gonna run from you anymore."

Abby let out a deep sigh at his words, her fingers clinging onto the fabric of his t-shirt against his back. "All I want is to be with you, everything else we can work on as we go."

"Want that too Abby, but I've got a lot of baggage...some things are gonna take longer than others."

"I know, but you've seen so much evil and been through so much Gibbs, you deserve to be happy...we both do. There has to be some light in among all the darkness and you're it for me. We'll get through whatever we need to as long as we talk."

Being able to tell one another anything had once been the strongest part of their relationship, and Abby knew that both of them putting up walls to protect themselves, and each other, had severely damaged that. It would take time to get things back to the way they were, but she couldn't deny that the progress they'd made since Gibbs had returned to the cabin was a good sign.

Gibbs released his hold on her slightly so he could pull back and look at her, kissing the tip of her nose before he spoke. "You sure you can put up with me?"

"I'm sure," she smiled, "and you know I'm no angel right?"

Gibbs grinned at her, his hand moving down to settle on her hip. "Oh, I know you're no angel...not with the things you do with your mouth and hands..."

Easing her grip on his t-shirt, Abby smoothed her hands down to his lower back, her fingers slipping just under the waistband of the cargo shorts he still wore.

Her smile widened as her lips teased his with a series of quick kisses, Gibbs' intense stare sending a raging surge of desire through her.

"Where's Mike?" She asked, her teeth gently tugging on his bottom lip.

"Not here. It's just you and me."

Pushing Gibbs over onto his back, Abby straddled his hips and sat back to look down on him. She took in the rapid rise and fall of his chest, his eyes unblinking and completely focused on her, and a subtle gasp escaping him when she circled her hips.

"I want you, Gibbs..." she trailed off, unsure of how to tell him she needed this time between them to be different.

Gibbs sat up, forcing their upper bodies to touch just as closely as their groins were. One of his hands slid around the back of her neck to hold her still while he kissed her, the other fumbling with her t-shirt to slip underneath and glide over her back.

"It's okay Abbs...gonna take it slow, not rushing this time, need to show you how much I love you."