I do not own NCIS; no infringement is intended.

Apparently, writing seriousness isn't happening right now. The only thing willing to come out is fluff. So there you have it.

Thank you for reading. As always, I can not thank you enough for taking the time to review. Please leave me your notes! They're always welcome.

It'd always been hers. Ever since the day he had bought it, years ago. On a random day, he'd seen it and wondered how anyone could have created something that was just so completely a person. Mcgee had bought it, and taken it home with no expectations. They weren't even together at the time.

But, that ring was so Abby that he couldn't imagine another person owning it. He'd had to protect it, for its rightful owner. It wasn't an engagement ring, it was never meant to be. However, it was an unspoken promise.

When she was ready. If she was ever ready. Then she could have it. But she had to be serious. That was his only requirement and she only got one chance. So she'd better be really, really sure. There was even a clause in his will, if anything horrible ever happened, if she was never ready, Abby would get it anyway. It would become a memento mori to add to her collection. The ring was hers. Forever. No matter what.

Abby had seen it, and she'd maybe never wanted any possession more. It was beautiful and her most favorite piece of jewelry in existence. But she never dared to take it. Still, she did like knowing it was safe from the prowling of other people, kept away from other eyes. It didn't get safer than with Mcgee. It popped into her mind every once in a while. Sitting, locked up tight in his apartment. He knew she had seen it before. But they never talked about it.

Abby knew the rules without even having to ask. She couldn't have it. It would only be in her possession if she wanted everything. Mcgee would never bend on that. The ring was icing and she had to want the cake. It was fair she supposed. But she knew that they both thought of it as hers. That ring was hers and she'd never even worn it.

She had never even dared touch it, somehow she knew that she'd never be able to make herself put it back, the box that stored it was hard enough. That, plus, Mcgee probably checked for her fingerprints or something every once in awhile just to make sure she was keeping up her half of the bargain.

Awhile back, she had found it by accident; couldn't have been long after he had bought it. She'd been looking for an escaped earring. It had been a shock, which had led to confusion. Mcgee knew how she felt about marriage, he had accepted her decisions. He was not delusional enough buy a ring for that purpose. Furthermore, he would never want to give her a chance to say no. She had been momentarily frozen, until she figured it out. The ring was proof of his inability to let her go. His constant hope that she would return.

She could look but not touch, because that ring was what she had given up. Not marriage, but all the rest. The parts she actually liked. However, if she wanted to change things then she could. After he knew she knew about it, Mcgee had moved it to his safe. Like that would stop her, it wasn't even hard to crack. Mcgee's passcodes were plenty secure but he was a creature of habit. It had been the second combination she tried.

So, Abby had broken into his safe again. It wasn't like he didn't trust her. He would give her the combination if she asked, but that would require her actually saying what she wanted. Instead, he let her believe that he had no idea that she occasionally sat on his bedroom floor with the ring box propped open, staring for as long as she thought she had before he'd come looking for her. He gave her the time. It was a game, one they had played for a very long time. Honestly, it didn't take that long to do dishes.

Once Abby had finally come around to letting him back into her life, the ring had stayed unmentioned. Eventually, he would give it to her. However, there was no way she was getting it anywhere near day one. In the months that followed, the "secret" meetings with his safe continued, with growing frequency. In tandem, he continued to pretend he didn't notice that his girlfriend liked to spend time sitting in front of a metal box.

Patience was a virtue. One that Abby didn't usually possess, which was why half of him wanted to wait it out and see how long it took for her to march up and demand it. Sadly, he wasn't that mean. Although, he was evil enough to mess with her. He had cleared out his safe and waited. It was many days before he gave her an opportunity to sneak off into his bedroom.

He was in the kitchen when she disappeared beyond the limits of his room. He started counting down from one hundred and had hit twenty seven before she reappeared in the doorway. Abby looked like she was literally biting her tongue. Mix that with the murderous glare and it was actually one of the most amusing things he'd ever seen. Trying not to laugh was excruciating. "Need something Abs?" His question was met with silence as she turned on her heel and returned back into the bedroom.

Mcgee made the short trip to follow her. When he had claimed her previous position as his own, he found her in her customary post before the open yet empty safe. For some reason, Mcgee felt he might soon be finding out exactly how easily she could kill him and dispose of the evidence.

Apparently, she still wasn't going to speak what she wanted but the look on her face said enough that he conceded his answer. "Turns out, I have a security problem. Guess my system wasn't secure enough. Thought it would be best to move things to the bank."

"Everything?" One word and he could tell how tightly she was controlling her tone. He really shouldn't be getting any glee from this. She obviously wasn't happy, more along the lines of outraged with a hint of genuine sadness. "Almost everything." His correction drew her attention, which she promptly assigned to the little black box in his hand. Abby had only known about it's supposed disappearance for minutes yet you would have thought she had just been reunited with a long lost friend. Relief washed over her. She leapt up and crossed the area between them before he could blink.

Mcgee tried to ignore her expectant bobbing and held the jewelry box well out of her reach. "Something you want?" Her pigtails whipped back and forth as her head nodded furiously. Unfortunately for her, he wasn't done yet. "You want everything?" The nodding continued.

His final question dropped the frivolity of the first two. "Abby, are you sure?" Her energy level managed to drop a notch or two, enough for the constant movement to stop. "Of course, Timmy." He moved the ring box barely into her reach but clasped his fingers around it before she could properly attempt to remove it from his hand.

"Wait." Abby stopped and watched him eagerly. He could probably get her to agree to anything as badly as he could tell she wanted him to shut up, and hurry up in giving her what was hers. "I'm adding a new rule. I get to be the one who puts it on you." Her smile told him everything. And then it was there, her ring, on her hand. As everything slid into place, it turned out, years was an awfully long time to wait.