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With Your Shield, Or On It

by: Vivian Bloodmark (Send Feedback)

Series: Hero Worship #3
Chapters: 007 Word Count: 10240
Rating: MATURE
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Abby Sciuto, Mike Franks
Category(ies): Action/Adventure, Angst/Drama, Established Relationship, First Time, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/Abby
Summary: SEQUEL to "Byronic." While Gibbs works under the radar to protect Mike Franks, Abby tries to figure out where she fits in to Gibbs' troubled and extensive set of broken families.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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Underwhelmed

Chapter One - Underwhelmed

Monday morning was about as anticlimactic as could possibly have been. Abby went in early, to make sure that she got to her office before anybody else had a chance to get to theirs. Her theory was that if she came in early and didn’t have to walk by Ziva and Tony, she wouldn’t trigger their memories of any questions they wanted to ask her or jokes they wanted to make at her expense. She was glad to avoid McGee for totally different, and decidedly guiltier reasons. From him, there wasn’t anything she had to hide…except for her own embarrassment at having involved him in making a choice that went against his own good.

Director Vance would certainly want to talk to her, and maybe if he didn’t have a chance to see her and Gibbs together, it wouldn’t occur to him that any of the rumors circulating through NCIS had a grain of truth in them. After all, he hadn’t bothered to look into any of the allegations made against Julie from legal and her unfortunately and inappropriately voracious sexual appetite.

The hours ticked by uneventfully, but Abby was still fidgety. Every time she thought she heard the elevator, she jumped up and spun around to see, only to discover that the noise had been a figment of her imagination, or had actually been one of the various beeping noises made by her well-loved technology. The fact that she was confusing the communicative noises of her computer for the totally dissimilar dinging of the elevator proved that she wasn’t very focused. Everyone continued to stay out of her way, and she had no excuses to make for herself.

By the time 3 o’clock rolled around, Abby was started to get a bit resentful. Why, exactly, was it that nobody was interested in how she’d spent her weekend? Why was nobody asking questions? After all, McGee had certainly made them all aware that he and Abby had not gone on that date after all, and the look on Gibbs’ face when he came into work…

Then again, realized Abby, maybe Gibbs hadn’t looked any different when he’d come into work. The idea of him being stoically silent in the face of the passionately romantic interlude they’d had, even if only briefly, at Ducky’s home, was a little bit sickening. She was all giddy about it, and she was delighted to be giddy. How could Gibbs be so closed-lipped?

When the elevator arrived a few minutes later, Abby didn’t even look up. She had so firmly decided that it was all in her head that, when a hand came down on her shoulder, she shrieked and spun around in her chair to find Gibbs standing just behind her. She hadn’t seen him since Friday, and the anticipation of getting the chance to see him again was probably the factor that was making him look so very attractive to her at that moment. Abby could recognize anew the intense masculinity in his presence, the layers of expression and placidity in his eyes and the way he relaxed his features and his posture just a little bit in her presence, enough to indicate the comfort he felt more around her than around anyone else. He’d probably always exhibited those things, she thought. It was only now, when she looked at him with an eye for and an interest in the most flattering details, that she picked up on those little things that spoke to her about Gibbs as a man, rather than Gibbs as an agent.

“Hey,” she said, the words coming out more quietly and a little more hesitantly than she’d expected them to. Gibbs nodded at her, gave her shoulder a quick squeeze, and asked, in his man-on-a-mission voice, “Got a minute, Abs? Just got back from picking up a dead marine. Ducky could use some help.”

“Oh.” Abby bit her lip. Somehow, she hadn’t expected those to the first words out of his mouth upon seeing her again. “Um, sure. Do…do we have a name?”

Gibbs shook his head. “Not yet. Ducky’s got a watch and a a pair of boots that you can start getting prints off of. Call me when you know.”

He turned and started to leave, but stopped halfway to the doorway and raised an eyebrow at her when he saw that she hadn’t gotten up to follow him “Well? The sooner the better, Abs, we don’t have all day.”

“Right, I’m on it.” Abby hopped out of her chair and went over to join Gibbs at the elevator. While waiting for it to arrive, she asked, “So…how was your weekend?”

“Same as always.” Gibbs shrugged. “You know how it goes.”

“No.” Abby shook her head. “Actually, I…really don’t know how it goes. The secret life of Special Agent Gibbs has always been a tantalizing mystery.” She smiled, trying to make sure that he knew that she was teasing him, and Gibbs couldn’t help but smile back, even if he did direct that answering smile at the floor, rather than at Abby herself.

“I don’t live a very exciting life,” he tried to say, but Abby shook her head vigorously. Reaching over, she pressed the button to stop the elevator, and the lights shut off as it ground to a halt.

“Not exciting?” she asked indignantly. “What about being a field agent solving murder mysteries and hunting down bad guy is ‘not exciting,’ exactly? Besides, you get to spend your time with the most incredibly awesome people…like Ziva! And McGee! That’s totally more exciting than anybody else’s day job.”

“Okay.” Gibbs was being patient. “That’s my day job. My weekends are pretty slow.”

“Great.” Abby thought she was going to sidle seductively over to his side of the elevator, but stopped herself at the last second, intimidated by the no-nonsense, disinterested look on his face. “Then, if you’re not busy, maybe I could…come over this weekend. We could get dinner. We could, uh…work on your boat. I’ve already taken a boat of yours apart, once, maybe this time I can put it back together. Sounds like a fun challenge. I love challenges!”

“I can’t, Abs. Not this weekend.” Abby thought that Gibbs looked legitimately apologetic. “Got houseguests coming on Saturday. Mike Franks and his family were looking for a place to stay while they’re in the area.”

“And you’re really a big enough softie to let them crash at your place, even though you don’t have a guest room,” said Abby, getting that warm and fuzzy feeling as she considered the last time she’d seen Gibbs around his goddaughter. He was really wonderful with children, and seemed almost to turn into a different person when he got to play with kids. “I’d love to see them. I’ll come and say hello. It’s been ages since Franks has been back from Mexico. I have to tell him about Sister Rosita’s big success last week, he’s always asking me about-!”

“Not this time, Abs.” Now less apologetic, Gibbs was being firm. The look on his face said very clearly that he was done with the conversation, and Abby decided to let the matter go. Gibbs started the elevator again, and as it rose to its destination, Abby stared ahead of her at the closed doors, avoiding her boss’ eyes. When the elevator stopped and the doors opened, Gibbs paused before stepping out, and, reaching over to put an arm around Abby’s waist, turned her gently around and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead. “I’ll call you,” he told her.

Watching him walk away, Abby couldn’t decide whether or not to be frustrated. After all, it was the first time they’d been back to work together since Ducky’s, and she really ought to cut him some slack for being careful to continue acting like her boss.

Then again, he wasn’t just acting like her boss, he really was her boss. That morning, she’d been terrified that he might be put in a position where he could no longer be her boss, and that he’d be asked to leave in order to avoid complications. Now it seemed to her like there was very little likelihood of Gibbs letting his personal relationships get in the way of his workplace relationships…even if they did involve the same people.

It was clearly her job to make sure that the personal relationships stayed on track. It would only be a quick visit, she decided, but it wasn’t fair for him to totally deny her the opportunity. Franks would, at any rate, be happy to see her, It would be refreshingly wonderful to tell someone all about what was going on between the two of them, both for herself, and maybe even for Gibbs. Abby knew Franks liked her, and he’d be delighted to hear that his former partner was…involved. In the meantime, she would work on sorting out exactly how “involved” she really was.

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Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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