Rating: T (for now)
Pairing: Gibbs/Abby (Gabby!)
Summary: Abby's involvement in a recent case leaves Gibbs stuck between his head and his gut. It's hard to be cleared innocent when you've been caught red-handed...literally. Gabby. Mostly.
Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS; otherwise, this wouldn't be a fanfic ;D
A/N: Transferring this to LJ for gibbs_abby Guest starring two Gabby enthusiasts from FF.net! A lot of people apparently liked the beginning, with Tony and Ziva, and McGee caught in the middle of their...verbal bout, hehe. Sadistic? Maybe. This is a fanfic after all - toying the characters is inevitable. Let the maniacal laughter ensue :D
"Um, yes, Agent Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS speaking......oh. So you did receive our email about the black Chevy Neon, ma'am - er, Ms. Griffin - Anita. Okay then... Well, Anita." Tony looked up at Ziva with a wily grin on his face. "Find anything that...stuck out to you?"
Ziva became distracted from her computer screen and instinctively grabbed her emergency paper clip from the edge of her desk. She kept Tony under her watchful eye while she continued her research.
McGee sat in his desk and stared at his screen pensively. He tapped his pen to a beat no one else heard and rested his chin on his palm. Nearly all the pictures from the crime scene were spread out across his desktop. He tried to piece his rendition of the events together...
The seemingly innocent Abby Sciuto walks with Seaman Jason Knight after a romantic night on the town. The seaman is having trouble finding his car, and on their merry way they walk into an argument.
Abby may have had one too many drinks...they fight, struggle. She doesn't know what she's doing.
Filled with rage, she takes out the box-cutter from her purse -
"No, no, no," McGee shakes his head furiously and mentally crumples the idea like a bad plot for his novel.
Neither Ducky nor the temporary replacement forensic specialist (chosen by Director Vance, much to Abby's dismay, McGee could imagine) had reported anything new yet. Ziva had returned five minutes ago from accompanying Gibbs’ visit with the ME. Her silence spread to everyone else in the bullpen, but Tony-baloney always found some way to fill the empty airwaves. DiNozzo’s antics aside, McGee knew he and everyone else was trying to cope with how their boss was dealing with this case.
The young agent peered at the plasma. Abby’s database picture remained next to Seaman Knight’s. He quickly looked away. As a friend, he knew working on this case would be difficult. It was obviously sending a rift through the team; earlier, he’d witnessed a Ziva-Tony battle come to a draw. McGee glanced over to the female agent’s desk. She still held her paper clip in one hand while scrolling through a page on her computer with another.
The agent knew he was supposed to be helping his mossad partner with finding out anything else about Seaman Knight, through bank records, emails, the works - but something from the crime scene kept coming back to him. He cleared out the victim's recent monetary transactions and messages as clean and confirmed that the car was indeed his before he opened the photographs from that morning. He was drawn to one of Ziva's clicker-happy photographs; she'd shot as many pictures as she would shoot enemies with a machine gun. It was a picture of the backseat of the sedan. There was nothing special about it - fabric seats, crumbs and a few dust bunnies on the floor, and unused seatbelts – but McGee lingered on that photo the longest.
There were only so many possibilities as to what could happen in the backseat of a car.
McGee jammed the key to switch to the next picture.
“Ah ha ha, I promise you, where I’m going with this is absolutely pertinent to our case, Anita – Ms.
“Ha.” Ziva twirled her paper clip in her fingers.
Tony puckered his brow. “In all seriousness, miss,” he stuck his neck out at Ziva but continued speaking on the phone, “you did receive our email, as your business establishment is within the 10 to 20 block area we’re focusing on, since our suspect black sedan couldn’t have gone very far before crashing into half-oblivion. What is the name of your…” Tony’s face lit up in pleasant surprise as he grabbed his pad and pen. “Really. I go there every other weekend. Ah – yes. Yes, that was me…” Tony dropped his pen. “That was you?” His jaw dropped this time. “That was your best friend?”
Ziva gripped her paper clip and could no longer concentrate. McGee stared.
The senior field agent straightened his collar and pointed at an imaginary person. “Let’s forget that New Year’s Eve party ever happened and get back to business. We are dealing with a dead Navy sailor – yes, a real one, or we wouldn’t be speaking, Ms. Griffin. Tell me what ya know, or I will take my business elsewhere.” Tony drummed his fingers on his desk as he listened rather attentively.
Gibbs’ desk phone suddenly rang.
All eyes rested on it.
The three exchanged glances before Ziva and Tony voted McGee off the island. Young Timothy unwillingly got up from his desk and checked the caller ID.
It was Abby’s lab. McGee grabbed the receiver.
“Squad room,” he answered.
The field agent gulped. “Boss?”
“Never answer my phone,” Gibbs said on the line.
McGee nodded. “I will remember that….Boss.” Why are you in Abby’s lab?
“Yes, Boss?” the agent was back on his toes.
Gibbs paused. “Get back to work.” He hung up.
McGee put the phone back in its cradle. His expression must have been another spectacle, since Ziva was analyzing him from her desk. It seemed that after working with Gibbs, one learned how to communicate without speaking a word.
“It was Gibbs,” said McGee.
“And?” Ziva, still playing with her paper clip, sat at the edge of her chair.
McGee shrugged. “He was checking on us, I guess.” He thought about his wild guess of Gibbs’ intentions as he sat back down at his desk. “Surprised he didn’t call Tony.”
Ziva exhaled in amusement. “Gibbs’ senior field agent is busy at the moment,” she commented. Then she tilted her head meditatively and pursed her lips. “Hmm. I did not know there was a telephone in the showers.”
McGee blinked. “There isn’t.”
Realizing her mistake, Ziva was back to her research, sans paper clip, before McGee could look at her with suspicion.
“What’s this foolishness about phones and showers, Zee-vah?” Tony inquired once he finished his call. His notepad was full of shorthand notes that looked promising.
The woman wore a
Tony squinted at her. “Oriented,” he corrected.
“What difference does it make?” Ziva started undoing the thin metal wire.
“Gibbs was calling from Abby’s lab,” McGee broke in, annoyed. “Why would Gibbs be in the company shower room?”
Ziva’s eyes briefly searched through her thoughts in front of her before the
“Th-They?” McGee sputtered.
Tony’s face dawned with realization. “No way,” he gawked. He spun in his chair and pointed at his partner. “You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’, McGeek?” he smiled.
McGee scrunched his face and set his fingers on his temples. “I’m not sure if I want to, Tony.”
“Abby. Gibbs. Come on, McProbie-Pants.”
McGee shut his eyes to block out the incoming disturbing images in his head.
“He’s taking her interrogation to the next level,” Tony slinked toward McGee suggestively. “When the stare doesn’t work, Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ hands do the talkin’ – “
“Ah-ha!” Ziva held the paper-clip-turned-weapon at Tony. “I told you! I suggested nothing!” she guffawed. “Sexually. Ornamented.”
“ORIENTED!” Tony smacked his desk. “God, Ziva, you make my brain sound like it’s a kinky Christmas tree!!”
“Only because it’s true...”
“That I would hang you by a hook, like an ornament, if I could?”
“If you could, Tony?”
“Only a matter of when, Zee-vah.”
“Are we forgetting who has the right hook here?” She held up her half-undone paper clip.
“Yes, I think we are…” Tony held up his fists.
And Round 2 of David vs. DiNozzo has commenced… McGee sank lower and lower into his chair.
*** *** *** ***
Gibbs hung up Abby’s phone and grinned, pleased. He had a feeling McGee would be the unfortunate soul that dared to venture to his desk and answer his phone. He trusted that his team was working hard on this case, but he had another feeling that there would be some head-slapping involved when he got back to the squad room.
A feminine laugh jingled from the main lab room. “Your McGee character doesn’t sound like the sharpest tool.”
Gibbs raised a brow. Picking up Abby’s spare overnight bag (for those special cases that needed more of her special attention), he stepped out of the office portion of the lab to investigate.
A petite woman, maybe in her late-twenties or early-thirties, with a strawberry blonde pixie haircut and dangling earrings, walked over to one of the computers and started typing away. The choker around her neck reminded Gibbs of Abby’s array of chokers and collars, but her overall attire seemed conservative compared to Abby’s Gothic wear. She was actually wearing a light and airy dress under her white lab coat and ballerina-inspired slippers. Her features were very feline, down to her yellow eyes and rosy little nose. The woman looked even more catlike when she peered at the data on her computer and pursed her red lips.
“Replacement?” Gibbs asked. He wondered how he didn’t notice her when he came in; it must have been her catlike stealth as well.
The woman stopped typing. He heard her giggle; her laugh resembled windchimes caught in a breeze. It was both pleasant and eerie to hear.
“Jamie Leigh,” she introduced herself and held out her hand. Her hazel eyes widened, as did her smile, before he could reach her. “The Leroy Jethro Gibbs?” she asked in awe. “The Director told me all about you.”
“Special Agent Gibbs,” he half-smiled and shook her dainty hand. “Did he now?”
Jamie just chimed melodically. She returned to her computer work. “It will be a pleasure working with you, sir.”
Gibbs nodded and started to leave. A flash of red in the corner of his eye made him turn right back around. The agent saw Abby’s tainted shirt spread out on the evidence table.
“Anything I should know about, Ms. Leigh?” Gibbs brusquely questioned.
Jamie spun around and looked at Gibbs alertly. “It’s Jamie, sir,” she answered, “and….yes and no.” She tilted her head side to side, truly unsure.
Gibbs stared at her.
Jamie’s happy-go-lucky façade wavered a tad under Gibbs’ powerful gaze. She looked at the shirt on the table then back at him. “If that’s what you’re wondering about – “ She absentmindedly reached for something behind her while pointing at Abby’s shirt. Her hand produced a black baseball cap, and she placed it snuggly on her head.
The white letters on her hat distracted Gibbs briefly. S – T – L – F – A – N? he thought. There was also a red feather perched on top of the letters that was part of the whole embroidered design.
The new forensic specialist paused, her cat eyes catching his curious ones. She simpered, “It’s my thinking cap. My boyfriend’s a Cardinals fan – once a cardinal, always a cardinal, y’know?“ She chimed again.
“Uh huh.” Now that that was demystified, Gibbs continued to look at her expectantly, but he knew how it would come off on her.
Jamie immediately stopped giggling and continued where she left. ”I, um, ran a test for human blood, and the blood on the shirt is indeed human.” She hesitated. “But I’m running another test to see if it’s either Scuito’s or – “
A printer sitting next to one of Abby’s machines spewed out a piece of paper. Jamie leapt to it and brought the paper over to another computer. Gibbs watched as her fingers dance across the keyboard. Her hand reached for the mouse and clicked it, only to have her face pale in fright. Jamie stepped away and kept looking back and forth between the paper and the computer.
“Y’know,” she finally spoke, “I haven’t met your Abby Scuito, she seems real snazzy and all, but – “ Her voice broke.
Gibbs’ brow furrowed. He dropped Abby’s bag and strode toward the strawberry blonde. He never fully understood how his presence made people around him buckle to their knees, but the agent used that to his advantage whenever the opportunity arose. Standing but a foot away from Ms. Leigh, Gibbs watched her turn from a cat to a mouse.
“Spit it out, Leigh,” he hissed.
“You kinda have to wonder how a man’s blood gets on a girl like her,” she squeaked.
Seaman Knight’s picture appeared next to a window containing his blood type.
Gibbs leaned closer to her, “Ya think?”
“Have a better picture for me when I get back. Ms. Leigh.”
The new forensic specialist squinted into space, befuddled, before saluting quickly, “Yes, sir.”
Gibbs shook his head and headed out. It was only one piece of evidence – the one piece of the puzzle he thought would make a picture of Abby’s innocence. There was still hope in his team’s diligent investigative skills and Ducky’s insight. He would have to rely on those things in reverse order, as Gibbs had trusted Abby to return to the morgue and wait for him patiently, when he promised to retrieve her spare set of clothes (she was just about to rip up another perfectly good body suit). Being a “key witness” (as he refused to see her as a killer, despite his visit with Ms. Leigh), Abby was technically still under NCIS’s custody. And with the position she was in now, Gibbs couldn’t see her trying to escape against his wishes.
He entered Ducky’s domain a little too confidently.
The room was void of life. Seaman Knight remained lying on the table. Not a set of scrubs or a body suit in sight.
Gibbs flung Abby’s bag onto the same table that held the bloody evidence earlier and searched the room. He was looking under all the tables in the room when the sliding double doors opened and let the ME inside.
Ducky ambled in, rambling about a past lover with a vendetta, when he stopped in his tracks and exclaimed, “I say, Gibbs, the last time I had to scour the undersides of the tables was when Palmer’s friends paid a visit and then lost ‘a little something,’ as they so described and giggled for no good reason.”
“Where were you?” Gibbs snapped.
Ducky was taken aback somewhat. “I had to use the facilities. Mr. Palmer and I were virtually done with your dead seaman, when I had to…” He eyes wandered around the room. “Where is Mr. Palmer anyhow?”
“Abigail? I thought she was still in the showers with you…”
Gibbs glared at him at first, but then both men looked at each other with the same perplexed expression.
“I found those blindfolds you wanted – Dr. Mallard!?”
Jimmy Palmer, holding a pair of cheetah–printed sleeping masks, entered the room from the giant closet door next to Ducky’s desk.
Ducky wagged his finger at his medical assistant and approached him. “Mr. Palmer, how could you have not told me that you at least saw Abby?”
Palmer stammered, “But, Doctor, I –“
“And what, pray tell, were you two secretly planning on doing with those blindfolds?”
Palmer held up his hands in surrender. “I – I – they were her idea, Doctor, let me explain!”
Gibbs took a step toward Palmer, while the young man took a step back.
“Oh, no, please, Agent Gibbs, we weren’t – “ Palmer choked. “ – at least, I think we weren’t going to – I don’t know what she had in mind, sir, I just – “
“Talk,” Gibbs said plainly.
“You’re awfully close to my face, Agent Gibbs.”
“I’ll get closer if you don’t start talking, Palmer.”
Gibbs’, Ducky’s, and Palmer’s heads all looked in different directions. The clunking, knocking sound came from somewhere in the room. It sounded like someone knocking on one of the examination tables, but Seaman Knight was the only occupant of any of the tables. They all heard the clunking sound again; Palmer started tip–toeing away from Gibbs in search of the source of the sound.
“We’re not done, Palmer,” Gibbs grabbed his scrubs’ sleeve.
“I might know where Abby is, Agent Gibbs,” Palmer said rather calmly. “405…305…?”
“What do those numbers mean?” Gibbs let go of Palmer and turned to Ducky.
Ducky just looked at his assistant, thus making Gibbs try to see what Ducky was trying to read from Palmer’s actions. The young man was stepping cautiously closer and closer to the wall where they temporarily stored the dead…
“Maybe 203?” Palmer rubbed his chin.
CLUNK! Clunk! Clunk!
“This would be so much easier and a lot less smellier if I had my phone, Gibbs,” a muffled voice called.
All three raced to the same wall, with Gibbs and Ducky mostly following Palmer. Gibbs made a note to choose his method of disciplining Palmer later, seeing as one head-slap didn’t seem to suffice. At the same time, though, he felt like smacking himself upside the head for leaving Abby alone.
They all stood inches from the wall of doors, with Palmer leading the way, followed by Gibbs and then Ducky.
“Why on earth would Abby want to hide in one of these?” Ducky pondered.
“Gibbs, if you can hear me, don’t hurt Palmer, it’s not his fault.”
The agent moved a smiling Palmer aside and started knocking on door 203.
“Uh, two to your…left, and one down.”
Gibbs sighed. Hiding in the very bottom corner drawer of a morgue seemed very much like Abby. Ignoring her fascination with death, he never wanted to see Abby lying in one of these drawers. Without hesitation, he opened door 101 and pulled out the silver bed his lab rat lay upon.
Abby lay on her back, her long black hair a little wavier from air-drying. She kept her eyes shut and her hands folded against her chest, as if she were awaiting punishment or silently begging to stop it. Without her makeup, she did look dead, much to Gibbs’ chagrin; and the wincing expression only added lines to her face that he wanted to erase.
“Abigail, are you in such a hurry to die that you had to bury yourself in my morgue?” Ducky, completely flabbergasted, dropped the question on her.
Abby opened one of her eyes. “No,” she laughed, but her laughter disappeared when she rested her eye on Gibbs. Both of her eyes opened. “I…I just couldn’t look at Jas – the body, Gibbs,” her tone as well as her face turned grave. “So I was hiding behind the doorframe over there.” She pointed accordingly. “And Jimmy saw me, but I told him to shut up. Once Ducky left, I came in but kept Jimmy quiet. I kept telling him to cover Jas – the body, or fetch me some blindfolds so I wouldn’t have to see it. When he was gone, I had nothing else to look at except Jas – the damn body. And I didn’t know what to do with myself because for all I know maybe you are right and I killed him – I didn’t leave, but I didn’t want to stand over him anymore so I – “
“Hid yourself among other dead people?” Gibbs finished and gestured the rest of the drawers. “Because that makes so much sense.”
Abby tilted her head and failed at concealing her hurt expression. “In a way…” She looked down and muttered bitterly under her breath, “I wish I was dead right about now.”
Gibbs moved in so that they were almost nose to nose. “What did just you say, Abbs?” It was a silly question, he knew, and surely she knew that, too.
Abby peered at him through squinted eyes. “Nothing,” she retorted. Her hot breath blew in his face. It was an even sillier answer.
“I’m digging you up then.”
He took Abby’s hand and pulled her up from her death bed. Ducky and Palmer silently made way for Gibbs and Abby. He kept his hand firmly around hers and led her to the double doors. Abby yanked his arm when they passed up her bag neatly thrown aside on one of the tables. She hurried to pick it up herself before Gibbs returned the favor and pulled her to the doors.
“Why are they holding hands, Dr. Mallard?” Palmer inquired quietly.
Ducky sighed and waved his question away with his hand while he walked back to Seaman Knight. “Why are you whispering, Palmer, it’s not a secret.”
Outside the morgue, Gibbs punched the elevator button and dropped Abby’s hand. A mist of disappointment showered over Abby, wishing he could’ve held her hand maybe a second longer. They didn’t speak until they stepped inside the elevator car. Abby already saw what was coming.
Gibbs pressed an upper button and waited for the doors to close. Then after a few good seconds, her boss switched the emergency stop. Abby stumbled a bit and lost her balance from the abrupt stop, but Gibbs caught her arm before she could do any more damage to her head. Abby surprised herself when she shook his hand away.
“What are you doing – stop it!”
“You lying son of a bitch!”
“To hell with both of you!”
“Abbs!” Gibbs shouted. He gently shook her shoulders.
Abby shook her head, shaking out of her reverie, shaking everywhere. She held onto Gibbs for support for a moment, then stepped away from him. Abby hugged herself and winced. The snippet of a memory faded away, but the feeling remained so clear. She held her head in her hands.
“What the hell happened to me?” she whispered.
“Abby. Listen to me.” Gibbs turned her around and kept his hands on her tense shoulders. “I want you to stay and wait for me in the interrogation room. One of the team is going to be there to watch you.”
Abby looked up at Gibbs incredulously. “I’m not a child, Gibbs, and I can’t believe you. Jason’s killer could still be out there, and you’re worried about me of all people?” She’d given up on trying not to say his name.
“The blood on your shirt was Seaman Knight’s,” Gibbs said.
The words hit Abby like a slap in the face. They stung and paralyzed her, and she couldn’t say anything for a minute. Gibbs could see her eyes darting and searching for an answer. He didn’t know what else to do other than to watch and hold her. But even then, Abby eventually slipped away from him, walked over to the back corner of the car, and sat down.
“Abby,” Gibbs stepped toward her.
Abby hid her face behind her hair. She hugged her knees. “I should’ve stayed in that stupid car,” she mumbled.
The last thing he wanted to hear was his cell phone ringing; the annoying piece of technology rang and filled the silence. Gibbs turned away from Abby and answered it.
The agent heaved a sigh. “McGee, this better be damn important.”
His field agent relayed the information Tony was able to get from his mysterious caller and everything McGee and Ziva had gathered. “But, really, Boss, that’s not the important part.”
Gibbs made a face. “Then what is it, McGee?”
“I’m calling from the men’s bathroom.”
“That’s nice to know.”
“Uh, no, Boss, you don’t understand – “
“Make me, McGee.”
“Tony and Ziva have turned the bullpen into a ring – it’s getting pretty ugly.”