Title: A Christmas Wish
Genre: NCIS – Romance/General clumsiness/Fluff
Pairing: Abby and Gibbs
Rating: M.
Timeline: Season 10, Christmas, A/U.
Spoilers: 10X8 and 10X9, vaguely
Summary: Abby faces the dilemma of finding alternative accommodations after her building's furnace packs up, the day before Xmas.
Disclaimer: I asked Santa, really nicely, if I could have them for Xmas… just the characters – not the actors though… I'm not even gonna tell you what his reply was.
A/N: Okay so I had a bit of free time, and a reluctant muse, so I played around a bit…. Pity the to-go coffee cups for the header did not pass the multiple font test… So you have stars and shields instead.
Written: December 2012 – February 2013.
Final Proof: September 2013
Language: International English.
Word Count: 13,037

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. GABBY .·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·.·*

Abby woke, shivering. She could not remember the last it had been as cold, only that it was bitterly so. She peeked out over her covers, somehow expecting to find herself in a fridge… but, no, she was definitely still in her bedroom, in her coffin, wrapped under the blankets that used to keep her nice and toasty. She had during the night pulled the blankets over her head, possibly her subconscious mind's attempt to keep warm as the temperature in her bedroom had plummeted. Her ears and nose were cold to touch – near frozen, and she turned her head to look at her phone, reaching to turn it so she could see the display: noting that it was almost an hour before her alarm was due to go off. She edged her one foot out from under the blankets, only to quickly pull it back, hissing in response.

Gathering the blankets closer she made to sit up, and then drew the blankets firmly around her as she got out of her coffin. She pulled up her stripy socks before she made her way to her front door, where she checked on the gauge…groaning when she read it. She rested her head against the wall before grumbling, "Stupid furnace; it's the third time this month."

She returned to her bedroom and made for her closet, where she selected a change of clothes, before making for the bathroom and closing the door. She dropped the lid of the toilet and placed the pile of clothing on top of it, before turning on the shower and allowing it to run for a while, allowing the room to fill up with steam. She pulled on her shower cap while the room warmed, and once it was more to her liking, she dropped the blankets and quickly shimmied out of her pyjamas. She stepped under the warm spray, thankful that at least the water heater still seemed to be working properly. She quickly washed herself, before shutting off the water and exiting the cubicle. She dried and dressed in record time, seeing as the air quickly cooled once the water stopped running. She again wrapped herself in her blankets and exited the bathroom, making directly for her closet and rummaging through her shoes in search of her warmest pair of boots, before her toes froze.

Once she had finished lacing her boots, she looked through her closet and selected her warmest jacket before closing the door. She unceremoniously dumped her blankets in her coffin and pulled on her jacket, pulling it closer to her as she as she walked over to her vanity stand, simply grabbing her makeup kit and a collar before heading for the door: she would do her makeup at work – where it was warmer.

She arrived at work, much earlier than usual, and noticed that for the first time in a while Gibbs's car was not in its usual parking spot. She swallowed against the tightening sensation in her chest. Ever since Diane's return, and her having mentioned that she was thinking of leaving her husband, Abby had been on edge. She had seen how the woman had looked at Gibbs, and Abby actually thought her a fool… I mean how could you just let Gibbs go? You'd have to be crazy to do something like that.

She made her way down to her lab and started up all her equipment, before staring on her makeup. She had just finished applying the last coat of mascara, when a familiar voice called, "Abbs, Abby!"

"Over here, Gibbs," she replied, moving from her office into the main lab.

Gibbs quickly looked her over before demanding, "You okay?"

Abby nodded her head, before replying, "My building's stupid furnace is giving trouble again, so I came here, because it's warm and safe…" and caught herself when he looked at her in question.

"You wanna get coffee?" Gibbs asked.

"I'm not really in the mood for coffee, but hot coco would be nice," Abby quickly replied.

"They serve both," Gibbs deadpanned, indicating for her to precede him.

"Just a second, I need to get my phone, I still have to call the super," Abby replied, before shuffling to her office and grabbing her phone.

The rest of the day progressed without mishap: even the criminals seemed to share in the Christmas cheer: in that there were no new cases.

It was only on her return to her apartment that she saw the note pasted to her door, stating that the furnace was beyond repair and that a new one would be installed after Christmas. Groaning, Abby opened he apartment door not even bothering to take off her coat. The place was like an icebox, and she quickly hustled over to her closet. She started pulling at some clothes. Drawing a bag closer, she dumped her stuff into it, all the while thinking as to who she could ask to crash on their couch. Tony was out: it was no secret that he and Ziva were spending Christmas together. A smile crossed her face at that: it was about time they saw the obvious. McGee was out, for several reasons, one of them being that he was spending the time with his sister and grandmother, and she definitely did not want to impose. She also did not want to impose on either Palmer or Ducky. Kyle was away with his family, and most of her friends were either with their families or out of town. The nuns had to contend with the orphans and homeless as well as Christmas Mass, so she could not impose there.

Then there was Gibbs…but then again, he slept on his couch, and his bedroom's heating was not much better than her apartment's. She sometimes wondered if he ever spent anytime upstairs. She knew she would always be welcome, having over the years spent many evenings there. He was her first choice: he always was, because she felt safe in his house – even after the incident a few weeks ago. Her only problem was that she would much rather share a bed with him than just stay over: and that was unlikely to happen any time soon, if ever.

She turned down the thermostat before exiting her apartment. She would go to Gibbs first, and then, depending on whether or not he had company - Diane once again came to mind - she would then go and see if Ducky was home.

She arrived at Gibbs's house a short while later, and gathered up her overnight bag before getting out of her car. She was half way up the walkway when his front door opened. A tightening sensation settled over her heart when she noticed that he was warmly dressed, and obviously on his way out.

He halted in his tracks the moment he saw her. "Abbs?" he warily questioned, before continuing, uncertainly, "What are you doing here?"

Abby looked at him for a moment, uncertainly, thinking he obviously had plans for the evening, but finally blurted it out when he cocked his head sideways at her. "The furnace in my building is broken, and they can't fix it until after Christmas, so I was hoping that it would be okay for me to stay here for a few days, until they've fixed it, but I see you have plans, so I'll just go."

Abby made to turn when Gibbs spoke up, "Ya can stay Abbs, and you're always welcome." His voice was soft, gentle, the one she was so used to hearing when it was only them.

She turned back towards him, and replied, "But you obviously have plans, and I don't want to be in your way, or cramp your style." A familiar tightening sensation wrapped around her heart, as it always did at the thought of him with another woman: and it seemed worse this time, because she had an inkling of just who he would be meeting up with.

Gibbs just shook his head, a boyish smile tugging at his lips, the one that made her heart beat just that little bit quicker. "You're not Abbs. I was just going to deliver the toys to the hospital," he replied, and pulled the large fabric bag from just inside the door.

"Oh! Okay, I forgot that you're still doing that," Abby replied, somewhat relieved.

"Go on in," Gibbs said as he stepped through the doorway, pulling the bag up onto his shoulder. "You know your way around. I'll see you in a while." Gibbs said as he started down the steps turning for his truck. "Oh and Abbs," he said turning to look at her, "Pull your car into the drive, some drunk idiot may just slam into it if you leave it parked in the street."

"Okay, Gibbs," Abby replied, smiling as he placed the toys in the truck. She had originally talked him into participating in the making of toys for the hospital the one year, the sisters had mentioned to her that some of the children were unlikely to receive gifts, she had however not realized that he still made toys. Gibbs has always loved kids, and it was the cases that involved kids that got to him the most. Especially that last one. It had touched on something that he had had, but never got the chance to experience. She had seen his double take on seeing the girl on his couch… And Abby could only imagine what had gone through his head, but she had noticed the sudden shift in his demeanour – he had seemed sad. She wished that he would sometimes just talk to her; really talk, because she knew it would help him. She was worried about him, because he always seemed so alone, so on his own against the world.

She entered his house and made her way up to the bedroom, his bedroom. The guest room had long since been used for storage space, and barely offered enough room to move in, comfortably. There was a bunk downstairs, but she was not certain how comfortable it was, besides she liked the idea of sleeping in his bed – not that it really was his bed par-say. She dropped her bag on the bed and checked the sheets, only because she was meticulous when it came to things like dust and mites, and was surprised to find them freshly laundered. Her heart contracted for a moment at the thought that he may have intended to pick someone up. She knew he was a man, with a man's needs and desires, and that women found him appealing – of that she was definitely no stranger. She just never wanted to acknowledge that he would take care of his urges in that way, she has always hoped that he was past it. It was more Tony's style anyway, and not something she really wanted to ponder on.

Happy with the condition of the room, she returned downstairs and went to move her car into the drive, before making her way back into the house. She shed her coat on entry and moved into the kitchen to make herself some hot chocolate. Gibbs always seemed to keep some about for when she visited, and everything was still in their usual places.

Once done, she unlaced and pulled off her boots and settled on the couch, before pulling his blanket from the backrest and swathing herself in it. Once done, she settled back with her hands wrapped around her mug, and sighed in content as his scent wafted from the blanket. Her eyes fluttered as she took a deep breath, releasing an even longer sigh as she exhaled. Her heart warmed, and a smile tugged at her lips: it was a good Christmas as far as she was concerned – the best.

She reached for the remote, which was surprisingly close at hand. The TV was where they had left it the last time. She turned it on and flipped through the channels until she found something suitable, festive, to watch.

Gibbs arrived home some time later. His heart pounded in his chest as he cut the engine of his truck, his gaze remained firmly fixed on the little red ford in his driveway. As it was, he had needed to exert every possible shed of self-control in his possession not to simply dump the toys at the hospital and rush back to her. Just the thought of having her at his house over Christmas did numerous strange and wonderful things to him. Especially since he had originally thought that she had made plans with Kyle for Christmas. Her arrival on his doorstep had been like a Christmas wish come true - not that he actually believed in such things.

He got out of his truck and made for the front door, kicking off his boots the moment the door had swung shut. The sound from the lounge was indication enough as to where he would find her. He hung up his coat, next to hers, smiling at the arrangement. He turned and entered the lounge, his heart beating a little faster at the sight of her snuggled up on the couch, looking for all like she belonged there. Her mug was already empty and she seemed engrossed in a Christmas themed movie. An ache settled around his hear when she did not move to great him, but it did little to damper down his spirits at the fact that she was there.

"Heya Abbs," he genially greeted, and watched as she lazily moved her head in his direction. Smiling warmly before gruffly replying, in a sleepy voice, "Hey, you're back." and then rubbed her eyes.

Her voice sent tingles down his spine, and he willingly forgave her for not leaping up to greet him. That sleepy voice was enough to feed another thousand fantasies….

"You look comfortable," he huskily replied, moving closer to the couch.

"Uh-mmm, nice and comfy," she mumbled in reply, her voice still sleepy, making him want to crawl in under the blankets with her and share in her contentment.

"Space on there for me?" he asked, indicating to the couch, immediately chiding himself for the words.

Abby lazily nodded her head and sat up, lazily answering, "Always."

Gibbs moved to sit down and Abby gave him a part of the blanker, brushing her hand over his leg as she did so, "You're cold," she murmured then readjusted herself and settled against him, adding, "That's okay, I'll warm you up. It's the least I could do for letting me stay."

Gibbs's heart pounded in his chest as a warm and content Abby settled against him. As always, his arms moved around her of their own accord, while he settled into a more comfortable position.

"You gonna watch the rest of the movie with me?" Abby asked turning her attention back to the screen.

Gibbs smiled, he would watch the world come to an end the way they were, and not make a single effort to move: especially with her hand resting over his heart like that. He quickly became caught up in the sensations of having her so close, without needing to let go.

"So, what ya want for dinner, Abbs?" he asked some time later, not really having registered what was happening on the screen, but knowing he would at some stage have to feed her.

"I'm not hungry," she murmured in reply, which had him once again settle.

It was a while later that he felt her grow heavy against him. And as much as he liked their position he knew he would not be able to maintain it all night, no matter how much he wanted to hold her whist she slept. "Come on Abbs, time to go to bed."

"Umm, okay," she murmured, and he closed his eyes in an attempt to fight his body's response as she moved against him.

He stood with her just in case she stumbled. Abby handed him the blanket, saying, "Good night, Gibbs."

"Night, Abbs."

He watched her accent the stairs, and then closed his eyes when a tightening sensation wrapped around his heart, his side suddenly felt derelict with her no longer pressed up against it. His hand tightened its hold on the blanket, his knuckles turning white as he scolded himself, affirming that it was better this way.

He moved around the house, ensuring that everything was closed up properly. Normally it did not matter to him, he could keep himself safe, but with her there it was important, he had to keep her safe.

Once done, he settled on the couch and cast the blanket over him, before reaching for the remote to turn off the TV. Then lay looking at the ceiling, his body tingling where she had pressed against him: causing a heavy, longing, sigh to escape him.

Some time later, he was still gazing up at the ceiling and wondered if she was asleep. He knew that it was going to be one of those evenings: where sleep eluded him in entirety. A sense of irritation took hold of him as he fought his desire to go check up on her, to see if she was okay. It was irrational, but he could not stop it, and it eventually drove him from the couch and up the stairs.

He shuddered as he reached the top, having forgotten how cold it could get upstairs, and moved along the corridor to his room. He stopped in the doorway and watched as she slept, her legs slightly tugged up in an attempt to remain warm. He watched as her legs drew progressively higher and knew it would not be long before she woke from the cold.

He turned from the door and made his way downstairs, grabbing the blanket that was there, and returned to his room, casting the blanket over the bed. He then took a deep breath to quell his thumping heart… and then gave in to his desire, to the one thing he has wanted for so long already, and moved to the opposite side of the bed, lifting the blankets before slipping under them. He knew he would be awake before her in the morning, so there would be no need for awkwardness, he would be gone by the time she woke. He settled next to her, already feeling more at ease, and allowed his mind to drift to the only two Christmas wishes he made every year. The first; was that his team would pull through the year, intact. The second; was more selfish, and a lot to ask over and above the first. But for several years he had wished to wake up next to Abby on Christmas morning. He smiled at the thought, for it seemed likely that this year he could have both, causing his heart to fill with joy, before turning towards her, lining his body up with hers. It may not be in the context he had wished for, but this Christmas he would wake with her in bed next to him. It was that simple thought that sent him to sleep with a happy smile on his face, as the clock struck twelve.

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. TWO . ·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·.·*

Gibbs drifted from his slumberous haze. The sensation of being wrapped in a warm cocoon surrounded him, with none of the all too familiar aches and pains assaulting his body. He moved slightly, shifting against the soft body he was wrapped around. A smile formed on his lips as he breathed in her scent, one he was so familiar with – he has had this dream before, often.

His arm instinctively closed around her, his nose burrowing deeper into her neck as he took a deep breath, allowing his lungs to fill, before releasing a content sigh – Abby.

She shifted against him, pushing back against him more, muttering in her sleep, "Ugh-uh don't wanna get up."

His lips brushed against the soft skin of her neck, his hot breath caressing the inked spider web as he huskily replied, "Sleep Abbs."

She moved slightly against him, before murmuring, "Gibbs?"

Her disbelieving tone caused his eyes to shoot open: taking in his own room in the early morning light… sending his heart pounding at the reality of the situation.

He cast his mind back, trying to remember how it was that he had ended up in bed with her. What had happened the night before, what he might have done, and the possible implications it could hold for their friendship. He could remember getting into bed with her. The familiarity of her scent having lulled him to sleep, only to be woken in the earlier hours of the morning by her twitches and moans: indicative that she was having a nightmare. He had merely wrapped his arms around her, having gently soothed her until she quietened…only to find that he was unwilling to relent his hold once she had settled, for once intent on savouring the sensation of holding her. He had drifted off not long after that, his body instinctively remaining close to hers.

His lips brushed against her neck, again, before he gruffly replied, "Sleep Abbs, no need to get up." His heart swelled at the words, because for the first time in years they were true, they felt right. Same as he had no desire to get up, there was no reason necessitating it. Remaining there, snuggled up to her, was just so much more appealing.

His hands itched with the desire to caress her body, to familiarise himself with it like he has in his dreams. To discover what she would do if he touched her, how she would respond to him. His body was quick to respond to his thoughts, causing him to move slightly from her.

Abby moved with him, pushing back against him, finally muttering, "Ugh-ugh, warm."

He fought his desire to grip her hip and to push firmly against her, to let her know what her presence was doing to him. To push for more, when he knew it was not a good idea… Setting his resolve, he finally pulled from her, explaining, "Bathroom," when she mumbled in objection.

"Oh," she murmured in reply, and moaned in objection to the cold when he moved from her. The sound travelled up his spine, once again testing his resolve.

He got out of the bed, and the early morning chill hit him head on, causing him to shudder in response and look back at the bed. The warm body there drawing him, tempting him, necessitating another battle of wills. His desire to slip between the covers and share their combined body heat was immensely inviting. But he fought it, knowing that he should not, could not give into it.

He had gotten his wish, he should not want for more, because he knew he would never be willing to settle for less than everything with her. Reaffirming his resolve, he moved from the bedroom and down the passage to the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

With his forehead resting against the wood, as he once again fought against the sensations taking hold of him. His desire to return to her, to pursue his desires, to discover what it would take to make her scream his name in pleasure. But he could not, their friendship meant too much to him; even the pleasure to be gained was not worth sacrificing that, he could not afford to complicate things between them, especially with his track record. Yet, the distance separating them seemed too much, especially after having held her for the better part of the evening.

He finished in the bathroom and then returned to his room, extracting some clothes from his closet. He turned to gaze at the figure still lying in his bed and drew in a deep breath, closing his eyes as he again fought his desire to join her, and eventually moved from the room, tossing a gruff, "I'll see you downstairs," over his shoulder.

He was busy scouting through the contents of his refrigerator, trying to come up with something for lunch, when he heard her footfalls come into the kitchen.

He righted himself and turned towards her, and instantly found himself enveloped in a hug. "Merry Christmas," she enthused, and his arms instinctively closed around her, leaving him once again thankful of her ability to diffuse awkward situations.

"Same to you, Abbs," he replied when her hug loosened, before continuing, "Trying to figure out lunch."

Abby looked past him and into the fridge, before replying, "Didn't plan on any company…"

"Wasn't expecting any," he sincerely replied, causing her to look at him, tilting her head slightly. Her concerned look nearly drew from him the admission that deep down he had hoped, fantasized that she would be the one to spend the day with him. But, he had not wanted to get his hopes up, only to once again end up being disappointed, depressed and probably inebriated in his basement.

She smiled at him, as always drawing an answering smile, before looking past him again, replying, "So, let's see what we can do with what you have." Her proximity to him, alone, tempted him to wrap his arm around her, to draw her closer and relish in the novelty of the moment, while she continued to peruse the contents of his fridge.

"Let's see, steak, beer, milk and; I don't even want to know what that used to be," she said turning her attention back to him, "I guess we're having cereal for breakfast."

"That's the plan."

She turned from him to the cupboard, drawing the bowls from it before replying, "I'll go round to my place after breakfast and pick up some stuff for lunch.

"It's not needed Abbs, we can order in," he said as she pulled the spoons from the cutlery drawer.

"Hey!" she exclaimed, "I'm the one who should be thankful to you for putting me up on such short notice."

At her mention of it, he suddenly became broody, eventually stating, "Okay."

Abby just looked at him before nodding her head, chirping "Breakfast first," indicating for him to get the milk and cereal.

Abby cleared up after breakfast, and Gibbs moved his truck to allow her to pull out her little Ford. His heart felt heavy as he watched the little red car progress down the road.

He had barely settled in the basement to work on his boat, when an intense sense of irritation overcame him, urging him to call her, to check up on her and find out when she would be back. He suppressed the desire, not wanting his doubts to get the better of him. After all, it was Abby. If she had decided against staying with him, she would have taken her bag with her.

That realization had him settle at his workbench instead, reaching for the gift he had made her. His hands caressed the wooden inlays on it. He had spent hours finishing it off, wanting it to be perfect, but not certain whether he should give it to her, or if it would be considered appropriate.

The sound of his front door closing and the fall of her heavy boots saw him return it to its hidey-hole. He turned towards the stairs just as she appeared in the doorway.

"Hey, Gibbs, I'm back," she announced at the top of the stairs.

"Heyja Abbs, everything okay at home?" he asked looking towards her.

"It's like an ice box," she grumbled in reply. "I'm gonna start on lunch so long, I'll call you when it is ready."

"Okay," he replied, breathing a sigh of relief as she retreated out the door, leaving him more willing to continue his work on his boat. Comforted by the fact that she was upstairs, and close by.

They sat down to a simple meal of roasted chicken, cornbread and trimmings, and jostled each other throughout the meal. Then together did the dishes before settling on the couch to watch the football match. Gibbs enjoyed the informality of their interactions, and the ease of things between them. He has never felt guarded around her, as he usually did with other women. It was only his attraction to her he needed to keep in check, to ensure that he gave nothing away. However, the temptation to imagine that this was how it could be, every day, was too appealing at times.

It was not long after the game that Gibbs gathered up the courage, and told her, "Wait here, I have something for you."

He got up from the couch and disappeared into the basement, reappearing a few moments later. "I didn't wrap it," he said as he handed her the small wooden coffin.

Abby's eyes enlarged when she saw it. "You made this?" she asked as she took it from him, her hands running over the glossy wood before opening it to check inside.

"You surprised?" Gibbs gruffly asked, uncertain of whether he should take her response as a compliment, or not.

"No," she replied shaking her head, "it's just, it's beautiful." she professed closing it again and running her hands over it. "Especially with the wooden inlays and side carvings."

"It's meant to be a jewellery box," he sheepishly replied.

"It's perfect," Abby announced, looking up at him with a bright smile, her eyes gleaming, before putting it aside and launching herself at him, enveloping him in one of her body slam hugs, "Thank you. I actually feel bad that I didn't get you anything."

"Don't," he replied as his arms wrapped around her, tightly holding her to him, adding, "You're here and you cooked us lunch, that's enough."

"Gibbs," she warmly replied, holding him closer.

"Don't need more than that," he reticently murmured. His body stiffening once he realized that he had said the words aloud, and awaited for her response.

Abby loosened her hold and stepped back slightly, before turning to pick up her gift, stating, "I'm gonna go put this upstairs."

Gibbs nodded before indicating towards the basement, "I'm gonna go work on the boat."

It was well into the evening, when Gibbs finally put down the sanding block. He had been hiding in his basement for the most of the evening, knowing that the temptation was just too great to push for more. His need to be close to her, kept increasing in relation to the amount of time they spent together: it having come to the point where it was almost overwhelmingly so. Whenever they were in the same room, he needed to be right next to her, possibly touching her.

He was worn out, the day with its conflicting emotions had taken its toll, and he needed to prepare for bed. He looked at his watch, surprised at the time, knowing that in all probability she has long since gone to bed.

He packed away his equipment and made his way upstairs, moving to the bathroom to have a quick shower before settling for the night. He snagged a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt from the clean laundry basket and made his way to the couch, only to realize that his favourite blanket was still upstairs. Taking a deep breath, he turned and made his way upstairs, intent on collecting one of the blankets from the spare room.

His steps slowed as he approached his bedroom, the light there drawing him. He glanced in as he came to the door, silently hoping she was still awake but thankful when he found her asleep. The bedside lamp was still on. The book she had been reading had fallen by the wayside, and his favourite blanket was cast over the bed. It's presence there acted as an invitation alone. He also knew that it was as open an invitation as Abby would ever send him to join her.

He stepped into the room, drawing her book from her lax grasp, shaking his head when he read the title. Thinking that only Abby would read a scientific journal before going to bed. He placed the bookmark at the page and closed it, placing it on the bedside table. Smiling when he noticed she'd also placed the wooden coffin there. He righted the blankets, covering her one shoulder, suppressing a groan when she lowly moaned and snuggled into the blankets.

Reaffirming his resolve, he reached and turned out the light, knowing that the longer he spent there with her, the more difficult it would be to resist the temptation, and turned from the bed.

He returned downstairs and started to close up for the evening, turning out all the lights. It was only once he got to the couch that he remembered why he had gone upstairs in the first place. He grunted in frustration, knowing that only Abby who could derail his thoughts as easily and turned around to once again go upstairs.

His steps faltered as he approached his bedroom door, the temptation to again experience the warmth and comfort, the elation he had felt when he had woken next to her that morning: was so tempting. He halted at the door, glancing into the room, knowing that it would get colder tonight, that there had been warning of snow - not that they expected snow until at least the twenty eighth.

He looked at the bed, yearning to be next to the woman sleeping there… He would wake before her, he could get out of bed before she had even realized he was there… relenting to his desire, he approached the bed, again lifting the sheets and slipping between the covers to settle behind her. The welcoming warmth from her body, and her scent, filled his senses, drawing him closer to her as he settled behind her. His arm automatically slipped around her waist, as his head cane to rest on the pillow next to hers. He felt his entire body relax, and allowed her breathing to once again lull him to sleep.

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. THREE . ·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·.·*

Abby drifted from sleep the following morning. The comforting warmth and familiar scent surrounding her caused her to smile. She was not certain if he was awake yet: but his body was, pressing insistently against hers. She knew she should not make too much of it, because any man's body responded in such a way, especially one that has been deprived of physical contact for as long as his had. Yet she wished that it was her, that her presence did that to him, that it could stir him like that. She wanted to ignite his passions – she longed to discover that side of him. She had seen all the others: frustration, anger, aloofness, concern and she could handle them all. Okay maybe not all: his flirty was difficult – especially if it involved another woman. And his aloofness only served as a mask to cover up his pain, unhappiness, unease or any of the emotions he so often felt the need to suppress.

She wanted to discover what really lay behind that aloof façade he portrayed to the world. If he indeed felt the intense passion she sensed in him. A passion that always seemed to elude her. She wanted to feel it, have it scorch her, and brand her as his…

Few men could sleep with a woman in their arms, and not attempt to push for more at some stage: but not Gibbs. Gibbs could quietly hold her for the entire night, whilst she slept, and not be tempted, even stirred to doing more than chastely holding her. Okay maybe he could not but his body could: if his arousal nudging against her buttocks was anything to go by.

She just knew he would not do it, would not take that next step. And with time, she had come to accept that he was not interested in her in such a way: possibly never was, and that they were destined to remain friends – close friends. People could say what they liked of Gibbs; but she knew him to be an extremely affectionate person, under the right circumstances. He has always been that with her: Affectionate, gentle and caring. In a way she was content with it, but there were always those moments…where she wanted more, craved it, would trade her soul for it.

Like right then.

She felt well-rested, and happy that he had decided to join her. Especially since she had purposely laid his favourite blanket on the bed, knowing he would not take it from her. He would rather freeze than do that. So, instead, he had wrapped her in a cocoon of warmth, enveloped her in his scent, and collectively lulled her into a blissful state of sleep.

Simply waking up next to him was enough to send her mood soaring. Yet, she knew that they would have to get up soon, that they had errands to run, responsibilities to fulfil, but she just wanted to bask in his presence for a bit longer. Also knowing that many of their interactions the previous day had alarmed him; and if she had not known him better, she would have mistaken some of his behaviours as rejection. But she knew him, and was willing to will give him the time and space he needed. She would allow for him feel his way through this: until he figured out what he wanted.

She felt him stir, and remained still. Her heart thumping as his hand moved up over her abdomen. Her breath hitched in anticipation of his touch, of his fingers caressing her breast… and nearly groaned her dissatisfaction when he suddenly stopped. His entire body stiffened as he carefully withdrew his arm from her. A heavy sensation settled around her heart as he pulled away from her. Once again confirming that she had hoped for too much: because there was definitely nothing wrong with his body's response to her… and that it was just her he did not want.

Her back instantly chilled as he moved from her. She swallowed against the sudden stabbing pain in her heart: only allowing a dejected whimper to escape her lips when she heard his footsteps move down the passage, then pursed her lips to try and contain the remainder of it. She swallowed several more times, in an attempt to contain her anguish, knowing it was futile to hope for more, to want more. However, there was just that little part of her that wanted more, that has always wanted him. She would remain reticent about it: let him think it's nothing, like the previous morning. They were on standby for the next few days, so he would call her if they needed to go in. She would go shopping, see to some stuff, and possibly go round to the sisters. She would give him his space… would not intrude on his hospitality any more than was absolutely necessary.

She rose from his bed, shivering slightly as the cooler air hit her body, and dragged her clothing from her bag: checking its contents and confirming that she would need to go home to collect change of clothes, especially if they still have not yet finished the necessary repairs.

She waited for him to finish in the bathroom then got dressed, throwing all her clothes into her bag on her return to the bedroom. She would do her laundry while she was home, no need in letting it pile up. She remade his bed and swung her overnight bag over her shoulder, before making her way downstairs: halting dead in her tracks when Gibbs looked at her in surprise, before asking, "Ya going home?" his voice gave credence to his alarm at the matter.

Abby took a deep breath, not wanting to make too much of his response, before replying, "I need to do some laundry, and find out how far they are with the furnace. I also have some shopping to do and I want to check in with the sisters to see if they…" she allowed her voice to trail off, watching as he nodded his head, before turning from her and making for the kitchen.

"Breakfast?" he enquired as she followed him; somewhat confused by his behaviour.

"Sure," she replied, not liking the sudden shift in his demeanour.

It was already well after dark, and Gibbs was starting to worry. Abby had not contacted him, and he was uncertain whether he should call her. It was possible that they could have fixed the furnace in her building, but she would have let him know. He did not want to allow his thoughts to reason to the possibility that she could have asked one of team members if she could stay with them, instead. And the most likely only reason for that would be that he had nearly crossed the line, had nearly given in to his desire to explore her body. It was the only reason he could think why she would pack up like that. Releasing a dejected sigh, he made his way upstairs.

He entered his bedroom and turned on the light. Smiling when he saw his blanket neatly folded at the base of the bed, only for it to drop from his lips, replaced by a tightening sensation around his heart, when he noticed her Christmas gift still next to the bed, thinking she possibly did not want it. He moved to her side, his feet dragging. Just the concept that she had a side of the bed, after having only spent two consecutive nights, stunned him.

He noticed that the journal she had been reading was still where he had placed it, and reached to pick it up. He read the cover, not having taken much interest in it the night before, and was just about to flip it open when he heard the front door open: followed by the clonking sound of her heavy boots, and a flash of relief coursed through him. Feeling like a sudden weight has been lifted from his chest, he quickly returned the journal to the nightstand and turned for the door.

He had just made it to the doorway, when she appeared at the top of the stairs.

"Gibbs," she cheerfully greeted, obviously having had a good day. He envied her that, having spent most of the day down in the basement, beset by thoughts of her sleeping in his arms, while deriding himself for not taking the opportunity to familiarize himself with her body. Regretting that which he had not done… but he knew why he hadn't, he could never live with her rejection. Yes, he could see her admiration for him, he has always seen it. But relationships were different, complicated, and he did not want to see the glimmer in her eyes fade when he was around, possibly to be replaced with regret… he could live with anything but that. Yet, relief coursed through him when he noticed her bag, knowing he would have her in his bed for another night.

"Still not sorted?" he asked indicating to her bag.

"No, so you're stuck with me for another night. My super said they'll come out and finish in the morning, they were working on it today but it was too much to finish in one day."

"You're always welcome, Abbs." he replied indicating to the room.

"I did some shopping," she said as she stepped past him, adding, "I put the bags in the kitchen," as she placed her bag on the floor.

"Thanks," Gibbs replied, as she moved towards him. "I'll help you unpack them. Have you eaten yet?"

"I picked up some Chinese, I got enough for both of us. I didn't know if you've eaten yet," she replied as she moved down the passage again, with Gibbs trailing.

"Chinese is good," Gibbs replied, once again thankful of her capability to smooth things over, and not asking awkward questions.

They had a pleasant dinner, and Gibbs felt calmed by her presence there, and was more settled when he returned to the basement to work on his boat. Leaving her to her forensics journal, knowing his resolve would be crushed if he spent too much time in her presence.

Abby brought him coffee some time later, having already gotten ready for bed, and calmly asked, "You coming up later?" whilst handing him the mug.

His entire body stilled at her question. His heart shouted for him to say yes! However, his mind contested the gumption of such an action, and pushed for him to decline it outright. In a way, he was both petrified and relieved that she had the guts to address the issue, and to get it out of the way.

He looked at her, and thought about it, then smiled before answering, "I'll be up in a bit." He saw no reason to deny himself the opportunity to hold her again. It would, in all likelihood, be the last evening they spent together like that.

Abby nodded her head, before replying, "I'll leave the light on your side on," and retreated up the stairs, leaving him stunned at the simplicity of it. There was no need for conflicting emotions, it was settled. He was sharing his bed with her, preferably with her in his arms...

He found himself becoming impatient, agitated. The temptation to pack up and join her was overwhelming. He wanted to give her enough time to settle, so that he did not seem too eager…however quickly relented to his desire, and found himself closing up and switching off the lights as he made his way upstairs.

He stepped into his room and felt his heart quicken at the sight of her seated in his bed, reading. She looked up from her journal, smiling warmly at him, causing his heart to flip in his chest. He swallowed against the lump that had suddenly lodged in his throat at the simplicity of it, how it represented everything he desired with her…

He gathered up his boxers and a sweatshirt, and retreated to the bathroom, later returning to his bedroom and moving to his side of the bed, before lifting the blankets to settle between the sheets. Again, she did not ask questions, although he had prepared answers, just in case. She book-marked the page and closed the journal, placing it on the nightstand before reaching to switch off her lamp, while he settled. She then settled into position as he reached to switch off his lamp.

He settled on his back gazing up at the ceiling, his entire right side tingling with awareness, his body becoming restless with its desire to be closer to her. He turned his head towards her, swallowing at the lump in his throat before reaching out to touch her, whispering, "Abbs,"

"Hmm," she replied.

He thought of the best way to ask her what he wanted, but every angle sounded stupid to him. She finally turned more towards him, softly asking, "What is it, Gibbs?"

Eventually, he blurted out the next thought, "Wanna cuddle?" and immediately admonished himself for it.

"Always," Abby cheerfully answered, willingly moving towards him and settling her head on his shoulder. His arm came around her as her hand settled over his pounding heart. His other hand instinctively settled over hers, feeling content for the first time again since waking that morning.

"I sleep better with you here," Abby mumbled, and his arm instinctively closed around her. Her leg moved slightly over his as she settled against him.

"So do I, Abbs," he replied, before burrowing his nose in her hair and taking a deep breath, allowing the serenity of the moment to take him, huskily whispering, "Could get used to it."

He felt the urge to grip her hand as it moved from his, but relented when her felt it slink around him, closing slightly before her whisper of, "Night, Gibbs," reached his ear.

His arm instinctively closed around her, before softly replying, "Night, Abbs,"

It was her restless twitching against him sometime later that woke him. His arm instinctively drew her closer to him as his other hand moved her hair from her face. He started soothing her, expecting it to be a nightmare and was about to wake her, wanting to ease her anguish, when a low moan escaped her lips. Her body heated as it pressed against him, while low grunts slipped from her lips.

The sounds sent a tremor down his spine, his manhood responding to the sounds any male past puberty could instinctively identify. His entire body stiffened in response to the situation, because he knew he could not do anything about it. If he woke her she would be embarrassed, and if he gave in to his desire, he would be taking advantage of the situation: and God knew how badly he wanted to be that intimate with her, how many times he had dreamed of it, imagined it.

Within moments she became even more restless, eventually kicking at the blankets and pushing them from her rapidly heating flesh. His hands clasped into fists in an attempt to restrain himself. He did not even bother reaching for the blankets, for his own body was heating in response, his manhood already pulsing as it rose in anticipation.

She finally rolled away from him and onto her back, kicking her legs free of the blankets, and he closed his eyes at the slight reprieve, his heart thudding in his chest. However, his head snapped in her direction when a pleasurable squeak escaped her lips. He looked her over, as best he could in the dark, and groaned when he finally noticed that her hand had slipped under her pyjama pants, indication enough that she was touching herself in a way he wanted to.

His jaw clenched as he turned towards her. He knew it would be awkward if she woke and found him watching her, but he just could not help it, could not pull away from her. He wanted to know what she sounded like, wanted to know how her body responded to stimulation. He wanted to learn what she liked.

He swallowed with difficultly as he watched her hand move. Whatever she was doing, he was not sure, but she found it immensely pleasurable. His heart sped up even more when an excited moan escaped her lips. He clenched his jaw as he felt his manhood harden further, pushing against the soft fabric of his boxers. He reached down to quell it, applying pressure in the hope of it dissipating some, but it pushed up against his hand as another moan escaped her lips, causing him to gasp. He set his jaw as he pulled his hand away, he could not afford to become fully aroused, because he knew there would be no way of tending to it without somehow waking or alerting her as to what he was doing – it possibly even involving her.

His hands itched to touch her, to discover how she would respond to his touch. He wanted to make her moan and grunt like that. Her body stiffened next to him, her breaths coming in short gasps. He could smell her arousal: the scent overwhelming. It drew him closer. The slight moans from her lips fed his need. He looked to see if she was awake, not wanting to chance her waking yet. Her eyes were still shut, and a slight sense of relief rushed over him.

He swallowed at the lump that had lodged in his throat as he reached out a trembling hand towards her. His fingers grazed along her top, his touch caressing, as his hand moved lower, towards that place he wanted to explore, concur, loose himself in, and ultimately stake his claim of.

His hand slipped under her pyjama bottoms, inching lower still. His breath hitched in anticipation, expecting to brush against the courser hair protecting her sex, and nearly moaned when he only felt smooth skin. It was a discovery he was not certain he should have made, because he knew there was no way he was likely to ever forget it.

His fingers brushed against hers, as he shifted closer and huskily whispered, "Let me, Abbs."

Her body stiffened slightly, and he waited for her to wake, to bring it all to an awkward end, however her hand moved, allowing him access. His fingers brushed over her, immediately registering her heat and the moisture there. He stifled a grunt as the limitations imposed by her clothing frustrated him, he wanted to be able to explore her, freely.

He drew back his hand and she moaned in objection, her hips rising in search of his touch as his hand moved towards her far hip, pushing the offending fabric down, then quickly moving to repeat the movement over her other hip. Her body responded by lifting and allowing him to push her pants down, until her legs moved to kick them off. His hand ghosted over her smooth skin, his work-roughened fingers drew intricate patterns as they traced along it. His hands caressed up her thighs and her legs wantonly parted for him, her moans increasing in pitch as his fingers neared her sex. His mind focused on her skin. The texture of it, and how warm it felt under his touch. His hand brushed past her womanhood, eliciting a frustrated moan from her. His hands traced back down before returning and caressing up her inner thigh. Her legs parted even farther for him, her hips rising as he neared her apex. He lightly brushed his fingers over her, and the slight whimper she made had his manhood once again pulse in his shorts. His fingers brushed, over her lips, teasing them apart, gathering some of the moisture there and brushing it up and over the sensitive nub. Her body jolted in response as an impatient grunt escaped her lips. Her body lifted towards his hands, seeking more contact as he teased her. His fingers finally dipped down and into her. The heat and moisture there caused him to moan as he slowly withdrew his fingers before plunging them back in, listening to her gasps.

His manhood was achingly hard, yearning to fill the space his fingers were occupying. His body stiffened, with his hips instinctively flexing as her pelvis twisted beneath his hand, causing his fingers to slip deeper still. An excited grunt escaped her lips as her body picked up the pace. He held his hand still, allowing her to set the pace, to establish how fast she liked it. His mind focused on the rhythm.

He chanced a glance to see if she had woken, and startled when he noticed her eyes were open, heavy lidded but open. He instinctively pulled back in expectation of her rebuke. However his sense of self-awareness immediately dissipated when her hand settled over his, her body once again rose against it as she shamelessly moaned, "Don't stop."

He immediately moved closer to her, huskily replying, "Couldn't if I wanted to."

"Gibbs," she gasped, as her hips started moving faster, her body heating even more.

He merely grunted in reply, as his own hips started undulating. For all his self-control, he was, after all, only human, and the sounds she was making would inevitably stir him, but he could not push for more, however much he wished he could – he would let her finish. Things would inevitably be awkward afterwards, but it would not cost him her friendship.

He closed his eyes in order to restrain himself. No matter how much he tried to distance himself from the act, his body demanded attention. It wanted a reprieve, and he vowed that as soon as she was done he would go tend to himself…

"Oh God! More," she moaned.

Gibbs clenched his jaw even tighter in an attempt to restrain his body's response, finally grunting, "Let go, Abbs, wanna see."

"Want. More," she gasped, suddenly turning, moving her one leg over his. His hand somehow managed to maintain its position as her hips continued to undulate against his hand. Her hand brushed down his torso, causing his breath to hitch, knowing he should stop her, that there was no way of telling what would happen if she touched him. His body jerked against her touch, his hips thrusting into her touch as a sharp hiss left his lips.

"Want more. Want you," she huskily whispered as her hand brushed more firmly against his steely manhood.

The fabric of his boxers lessened the sensation as her hand closed around what it could. It was almost too much for him as his hips jerked towards her touch. He grunted her name, not certain if he wanted her to stop or to continue anymore: almost moaning in objection when she did move her hand from him…only to hitch when he felt her fingers slip under the elastic of his boxers, moments before wrapping around him.

"Abbs," he sighed. He had meant for it to come out as a warning, that she should know that he was very close to losing it, but instead it fell from his lips as a sigh, almost a plea for her to continue her delightful torture.

"Need this," she moaned as her hand moved over him, squeezing him gently, adding, "Inside."

"Abby," he moaned as the restraints on his resolve started snapping, desire coursed through his body, setting it alight in response to her invitation.

Her body again pushed closer to his, and a grunt escaped her lips as their bodies almost met, conveying her need, her desire for him.

She started tugging at his shorts, and he wanted to resist, but his body became unwilling to listen to his mind, and responded to her actions by shifting and lifting. The pleasurable sensation it experienced far outweighed the logic behind stopping. She only pushed his boxers down far enough to free his straining manhood, before her hand once again wrapped around it, moaning, "It will feel so good inside me. Hard, strong."

His hand moved from her, and she grunted in objection, her hips undulating in search of his touch, allowing their lower bodies to finally connect.

The contact saw the last of his restraints shatter as his arm went round her to hold her close, and her leg pulled up more. Both gasped for air, as their lower bodies strained together.

It was impossible to resist such temptation, to resist taking what was so openly, willingly offered. He needed it, she wanted it, and he was not about to resist any longer and rolled them, coming to rest over her, hoarsely grunting, "You want it, Abbs?"

"Yes, Gibbs," she moaned in reply, her body pushing up against his.

Her response sent a jolt of relief through him, for he doubted that he would have been able to proceed if she had spoken another's name. He moved, reaching down to line them up and swiftly drove into her.

The heat that instantly surrounded him caused his breath to hitch. Their bodies merged in one smooth movement, hers closing around his in welcome as she moaned her approval. He had barely settled within her when her arms and leg wrapped round him, clinging to him like he knew only Abby could, the way he had always thought she would.

He pushed down deeply, before pulling back. Her arms instinctively tightened further in response. However, his forward plunge drew an encouraging grunt from her. A low, "Yes," escaped her lips, and by the third thrust they synchronised, like they had done it a hundred times before. He set a steady pace, basking in the sensations that coursed over him as he moved within her, memorising every sound she made as their bodies strained together.

His hands tightened into fists as he fought his desire to simply ram into her as hard and fast as he possibly could. He knew he should think of it as simply sex, as the fulfilment of both of their needs. But sex has always been something profoundly intimate to him, and he knew he could never deem it casual with her, she was too important.

Her body pushed up against his, her hands reaching for his shoulders as he continued to thrust into her, wanting it to last forever. Her body rose against his, and before he had time to realize what was happening her lips pushed against his, causing his entire body to jolt to a halt: his whole focus shifting to where their lips met. His hands intuitively treaded through her dark hair as he took control of the kiss, plundering her lips, his entire being focused on their softness, her taste and response, while at the same time decanting his desire for her, for it to be more than a fleeting encounter between them.

He felt his resolve crumble, felt the walls come down, and it scared him. He did not want to allow someone in again, would not live through the pain if she was ever taken from him. Yet he could not help it, she had been such a substantial part of his life over the past few years, but he knew it was inevitable – as much as he had fought against it.

His hands reverently, possessively moved over her, before his hips pushed against hers. Breaking their kiss he rasped, "This is it, Abbs. This is us," as he plunged into her, lowering his head, grunting in her ear, "Take what I've got. Wanted this for so long."

"No," she gasped, "you never wanted me, not like this."

His arms closed around her, as he pushed into her more fervently, grunting "Always wanted you, never could have you, too many things prevented it."

"Gibbs," she grunted, and he felt her slight resistance, causing him to alter his strokes until she was grunting her approval, before husking, "Feel that Abbs. Feel us."

"Yes," she husked in reply.

His head pushed into her neck, as he possessively growled, "Mine, all mine. No other."

"More, Gibbs," she moaned as her body started bracing against his, tightening in response, "Need all of you."

"Always had it, Abbs," he husked and started thrusting into her without restraint. Unexplainable sounds fell from her hips as her body pulled taught below him.

"So close," she moaned. Gasping, "Take me there. Gibbs!"

"That's it, Abbs. Feel it. Let go," he gasped between thrusts, his body lifting slightly from hers as his hand moved down between them, applying pressure at just the right moment to have her jerk hard against him, her body closing around him as she screamed his name.

"Yes, Abbs," he enthused as he lunged against her. "Take what I got." It only took a few more strokes before his body stiffened over her. A strangled "Abbs," escaped his lips as his body pulsed within hers, marking her as his.

He came to rest over her, his heart pounding and his breathing laboured. Her arms closed round him as her legs slid back down to the mattress. He braced on his arms, not yet ready to pull away from her. Yet, the enormity of what they had done quickly infringed on the moment, and he moved to kiss her along her neck, not wanting to allow any awkwardness to set in between them. He knew it was inevitable, but he just wanted to keep it at bay for a while longer as he claimed her lips.

Abby lazily responded, her hands moving down and eventually slipping under his sweatshirt, which clung to his heated skin.

He helped her draw it off, allowing only moments before tugging at her top, growing in frustration when it defied him. Together they finally managed to get it off her, and he stifled a moan as their upper bodies came together, skin brushing skin as his chest pressed against her breasts.

His hands once again started tracing over her, his one hand cupping her breast as he closed the distance between them, his lips once again plundering hers, nipping, tugging in an attempt to make her forget what they were doing, and just to let go, to let him continue.

His manhood started swelling not long after that, his need for her almost overwhelming. He moved slowly, his one hand drawing the sweat soaked tendrils from her forehead as he gazed down at her in the dark. For a moment wishing he had thought to turn on a light, so that he could watch her, could know what she looked like when he moved within her.

"Need you, Abbs," he gruffly professed, as he started to steadily thrust into her, gasping, "Need this."

"Need. It. Too," she gasped, her arms tightened around him, encouraging him to drop his head next to hers.

"Abbs," he gasped as he moved.

"Gibbs," she gasped in response.

"Oh god Abbs, you feel so good," he gasped.

"You too," she replied her hands moving to his hips, moments before her inner muscles closed around him, tightly.

His response was instant as he jerked against her, gasping, "Abbs! You're gonna kill me doing that."

"Can't die yet, Gibbs. Have to make me cum first," she moaned in response.

"That a challenge, Abbs?" he asked, slowing his thrusts.

"Heard Marines make the best lovers," she gasped in response.

"You're comparing?" he asked, his body jolting to a stop, as if someone had emptied a bucket of ice water over him.

"Only one Marine I want," she professed when her lower muscles again closed around him, adding, "A silver haired one."

He simply groaned, "Good, I don't share," before once again moving over her, gasping, "Gonna make you scream, Abbs."

His hands moved over her. Low grunts came from him with every thrust he made into her. Her body rose to meet him, stroke for stroke. It was not as frenzied as the first, yet it held all of the emotion he had been too scared let out before.

It was more than he had ever hoped for, to have her, to be deep inside her, with her holding onto him and begging him for more. She was softer, warmer than he had even chanced to imagine, her body responsive to his every move. The second time she tipped over, calling to him, his heart swelled even more. His body's response to hers was almost instant, as he pushed down once more to release his essence into her, gruffly growling his pleasure.

He finally dropped to the side. Both of them were hot and sticky, their bodies rapidly cooling. His skin started itching, and he moved to get up from the bed, disappearing down the passage and into the bathroom. He turned on the shower and returned to the bedroom, drawing her with him to the bathroom and into the shower. It was under the bathroom light that he for the first time took in her flushed appearance. His hands moved over her as the water cascaded over her body, intent on clearing the sweat from her skin. Its texture once again enthralled him, rendering him unable to come to terms with the fact that she had actually allowed him to make love to her, and that her flushed state was from his loving.

She rested her head against his chest, and he held her to him, his hands smoothing the water over her skin, before reaching for the soap and a sponge. He washed her body and allowed her to return the favour, before shutting off the water and encouraging her to step from the cubicle. He allowed her to dry herself and led her back to bed, tugging the sheets back into position, halting her when she reached for her clothes and indicated for her to slip naked between the sheets. He settled behind her and pulled her closer to him, stroking her damp hair from her face, whispering, "Sleep, Abbs."

"You too, Gibbs," she whispered in reply.

"I'm right behind you, Abbs,"

He felt her grow heavy, her body relaxing against his as sleep claimed her. His hands traced down her sides, memorizing her skin, ant the way it felt beneath his touch. Whatever the morning brought it could not take from him the elation he felt, having her this close.

He again allowed her breathing to lull him to sleep. This time his body was replete, and his soul happy for the first time in years. He felt complete, as if he had everything he needed.

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. FOUR .·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·.·*

Abby woke the following morning just as the mattress next to her dipped. The cool air from the room hit her naked back as Gibbs moved from her, slipping out of bed before replacing the covers.

Her body felt wonderfully languid, like it could only feel after a thorough loving, a reminder that in itself caused her heart to ache in her chest. Not that she regretted it, never that, just that the man in question felt the need to sneak out of his own bed.

She could forgive Gibbs a lot of things, but not that… not after what they had shared the night before. But she also knew she could never challenge him about it, because Gibbs will always be Gibbs. And if he does not like something, he just simply shuts himself off. A restricting sensation closed around her heart as he moved from the room. An almost whimper-like sound escaped her lips, which she quickly pinched together to still. Her eyes burnt from the tears that threatened to spill, and she blinked in order to keep them at bay as the sensation around her heart increased, squeezing it tightly, rendering breathing difficult. She listened as the toilet flushed and the water in the bathroom ran.

She pinched her eyes and held her breath when she heard him return to the room. She waited for the sound of the wardrobe opening, like it had the mornings before… she would wait for him to finish before also getting out of bed.

A tear slipped unchecked from her eye and she knew she could not dash it, for he would notice, and probably think she regretted last night. She did not, could not: it was just that it was nowhere near enough. She doubted a lifetime with him would ever be enough.

She heard him move about the room, and then moments later felt the sheets being lifted as the bed once again dipped behind her. She swallowed, with difficultly, against the whimper that wanted to escape her: moments before his arm once again slipped round her and he moved to spoon behind her.

His skin was cooler as it pressed against her back, causing gooseflesh to rise to the surface. And within moments, the bonds that had tightened around her heart loosened, easing her breathing. She felt his lips press against her shoulder. The utter gentleness and simplicity of the action caused another tear to escape. And she rubbed her head against the pillow to capture it before he realized.

Her movement caused him to tighten his embrace before again kissing her shoulder, this time closer to her neck, murmuring a husky, "Morning, Abbs," into her ear.

In all the years he had greeted her, using those exact same words, they had never felt as intimate. Just the gravely tone of his voice sent tingles down her spine, causing the lower muscles in her abdomen to contract in anticipation of the promise it held.

She did not trust herself to speak, her throat still too raw and scratchy from the emotion, but mumbled a low, "ugh-uh," in response.

She felt him push against her, his arousal obvious as it nudged her. He faintly grunted as he gripped her hip, gruffly murmuring, "Need you, Abbs."

Abby's heart rate immediately doubled, her body instantly warming in response. She did not care what his intentions or motivations were, simply happy that he had not refuted what had happened between them, and appeared willing to even pursue it.

His nose was buried in her hair, and she could hear him take a deep breath, sighing slightly as his arms pulled her even closer to him. "Not enough," he mumbled as he kissed along her neckline, encouraging her to turn towards him. The moment she did, his lips latched on to hers and all coherent thought halted.

His passion was hot, instant, like she has always suspected it would be. It stole her breath and turned her to putty within seconds flat. His hands tugged at her, turning her more towards him so that their fronts aligned. He reached down and pulled her leg over his hip allowing his manhood to brush against her apex as he stole kisses from her, finally gasping between breaths, "Need to be inside."

Abby response to his unspoken question was instant, knowing that this time it was up to her to confirm that she felt the same way. She instinctively followed him as he moved onto his back, her body moving over his, rubbing against it as he settled. Her body swallowed his length as she moved to sit up on his hips. And He grunted his encouragement in response, his hands gripping her hips as his shaft disappeared into her warm depths. She moaned in approval as her body stretched to accommodate him until she sat upright on his hips, with his swollen sex deeply embedded within her. Her breath caught at the sensation, at the fullness of it. His hips rolled under her, drawing a gasp from her as he seemed to nudge deeper still. The action caused tingles to erupt over her body, intensifying at her nipples as they tautened in the cool morning air.

Another roll had her head loll back and her body arch as she welcomed the sensations with a guttural moan. His fingers bit into her hips, shifting her to move with him.

She shifted and hissed with pleasure as he moved in her. She chanced a look at him, however her own eyes could not focus properly. His head was pushed back, straining against the pillows. The sinews in his neck corded as his body strained up against her. His movements intimately connecting them before lowering down, easing the intensity.

It was slow, almost tortuous in its speed. But heavenly. As every flush of sensations created by their movements pulled her further away from the world, drawing her to a place where only the two of them, and the pleasure their movements created, existed. Her hands braced on his chest, playing slightly with the hair there. His eyes opened and captured her own in a bottomless stare: one that bore his soul to her. It revealed to her the extent of pleasure he was experiencing: and although loaded, she could not pull away from it, had no desire to.

His hands reached for hers, lacing their fingers together. And without a word, their movements increased. Her head fell back as the sensations began to intensify, to expand. His hands tightened their grip on hers; forcing her attention back to him as he gasped, "Show me, Abbs."

His body rose up under hers, encouraging her, pushing her on, as everything within her tightened, sharpened… and then with one more pulse from him released.

Her eyes rolled back in her head as it rolled back, her back arching as pleasure pulses rocked her body. His name escaped her lips as she jolted against him in pleasure.

"Jesus, Abbs!" He called out as his own body stiffened below hers, his hands gripping her hips holding her in place as his hips jounced against her.

The pulses had barely died down when she dropped onto his chest. Her body tingling as his arms came around, her firmly holding her in place. She nuzzled her nose into her neck and breathed in the musky scent of him as their heart rates settled. His hands stroked over her back, caressing her heated skin. The action soothing her further into a blissful daze as she felt him soften and slip from her: her boneless body too languid to even move off him.

"Ya know what this means," he husked some time later, kissing the top of her head.

"We broke rule twelve," Abby lethargically murmured into his neck.

"No," he affirmed, shifting some before rolling them so that they were once again facing one another.

She looked into his eyes: they were a bright blue, brighter than she had ever seen them. A strong jolt of happiness shot through her, before she gently asked, "What then?"

"You're my girl," he lowly growled before moving to capture her lips. His words had her gasp and he took full advantage thereof, deepening their kiss, once again pulling her flush with him.

Both were once again panting when they parted, with Gibbs drawing her with him as he settled onto his back.

Abby moved into his embrace, settling her head on his shoulder and basked in the simplicity of it all.

Some time later, he released a grouchy grunt, which sent her heart racing and caused her to lift her head almost immediately. "What's wrong?"

His fingers once again laced with hers and he sighed before answering, "I have to leave for Stillwater tonight. I promised my dad I'd visit over New Year."

Relief flushed over her, in that his sudden mood shift it had nothing to do with them, she replied, "That's good, you should spend some time with him, you already spent Christmas here, well almost alone."

Gibbs looked at her for a while, his hand moving over her back, rubbing it while holding her close to him at the same time, before grinning, "Wanted to spend it with you. But wasn't sure if you had plans. Didn't want you to change them either."

Abby just looked at him in surprise, her heart pounding in her chest as a strong sense of elation took hold of her, causing her to grin at him. "Did your plans include this?" she playfully challenged him, then pressed her body firmly against his.

Gibbs grunted in response. His hand moving down to the curvature of her buttocks, splaying there before he replied, "Hoped."

Abby's heart swelled at that, and she dropped her voice, "Took you long enough Gunny. I always thought Marines were proactive."

She giggled when he took the bait and rolled over her, warningly growling, "Might not let you up again, Abbs."

"Then sleeping in your bed could become my newest, worsteds habit ever."

Gibbs groaned at that, before resting his forehead against hers, stating, "One I'd like best."

"Then rush back, I don't want to warm the sheets without you."

He simply closed the distance between them, pressing his lips against hers.

When they parted, she pushed against his chest. He instinctively resisted, causing her to proclaim, "Time to move Marine, nature's calling."

He reluctantly moved from her to let her go, and she smiled at him as she slipped from the sheets, teasing, "I'm not about to disappear, Gibbs."

"Hope not, Abbs. Turn the world over looking for ya."

Abby pulled his shirt over her head, then moved to peck him on the cheek, "Be right back, unless you wanna join me in the shower."

Gibbs tilted his head, and smirked.

Abby left the bedroom, suppressing her desire to skip along the passage, thinking that a naked Gibbs very quickly becoming her favourite Gibbs.

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. GABBY .·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·.·*