The Morning After

Abby wasn't sure if it was the gentle caresses or the rumbling stomach behind her that woke her. It was only a little after 5am, but they'd missed dinner and had a pretty early night, so she'd had a good night's sleep already.

"Mornin'," said the man in whose warm embrace she lay snuggled, and he leaned over to give her the sort of soft cheek kiss that usually went with a 'Good job, Abs'. She marvelled at how gentle he could be, compared to the fierceness she was accustomed to at work. He shifted a little behind her and she could feel his morning erection nestled against her buttocks. She briefly entertained the idea of a morning bout of sex, but then both their stomach's rumbled and he kissed her again and said:

"How 'bout I buy us breakfast? Seem to recollect missing dinner. There a diner nearby?"

"Yeah, I know a good place." Abby said quietly moving to get out of bed, but Gibbs' arms tightened around her, stopping her.

"Mine," he growled again.

"Possesive, much," Abby grinned at him.

He squeezed her gently again. "You've known me long enough..."

"...to think that this would never happen." she finished the sentence for him. "What about rule 12, huh? This better be more than a DiNozzo-style apology, Mister." She was beginning to get angry again, there was so much going on here that she didn't understand - and while Gibbs was pretty eloquent *without* words when he was ordering people around, relationships required a whole lot more finesse than even he could manage with an expression or gesture.

"I look like DiNozzo?" He frowned at her.

"No"

He rolled over onto his back on the mattress, his chest bare where Abby had pulled away from him and wrapped herself in the sheet at the edge of the bed, turning on the light as she did so. Running a hand over his forehead and sighing he said wearily: "Guess I need to revise rule 12 now."

There was a pause, Abby still couldn't read exactly what he meant and was torn between hope that this was the beginning of something and fear that it wasn't. He didn't exactly sound happy at the idea of revising rule 12. He leaned on an elbow and looked at her.

"I... The other night... when I saw you with Fornell. Don't know what came over me..." She wasn't used to Gibbs sounding so unsure of himself. There was another pause as he grasped for words to explain but then he got completely side-tracked.

"DiNozzo-style apology? You been on the receiving end?

Now she could clearly read jealousy in his voice, which at least made her feel better.

"No. I've seen it work for Tony, but he knows I don't consider seduction to be an apology." She looked pointedly at Gibbs. "You still owe me an apology for your behaviour at the restaurant. I thought you knew both of us well enough to know that I *like* Fornell but nothing more. And anyway what about your date, shouldn't you have been paying attention to her, not me?"

Gibbs looked down at the covers almost - almost - as if he was hanging his head in shame. Quietly he said, "Amanda's the widow of one of my Marine buddies, she... and Shannon were good friends. Haven't seen her in years."

"Oh." was all Abby could manage in response, and then the moment was broken as Gibbs' stomach rumbled loudly again.

"Breakfast," he said firmly. Then we've got the whole weekend to figure out how you'd like me to apologize - if you'll let me." Abby's heart soared.


Epilogue

Christmas Eve saw them snuggled together on the sofa at Gibbs' place in front of a roaring fire, making out like a couple of teenagers until a knock at the door broke them apart. Gibbs stood up to open the door finding his father, Jackson, standing on the porch. The older man stepped in and they embraced briefly, then Jack studied Gibbs' rumpled appearance before turning his attention to where Abby sat watching on the sofa.

"You know, Son," he said thoughtfully, turning back to Gibbs. "When I met this delightful young woman, I thought she might be the one to tame you..."