Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 3092
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto
Category(ies): Established Relationship, Fluff, Friendship
Summary: Tony gets an emergency text from Abby and heads down to her lab, where something hinky is going on.
Tony walked into Abby's lab and frowned; where was the music? For that matter, where were the lights?
The lab was dark, save for a few candles in Abby's office that managed to create a meager, dimly lit path of light for him to stumble through to get to her. She'd sent him a text that she needed his help urgently, and so he'd hightailed it down to her lab. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the dim, quiet lab as he slowly felt his way to her office, careful not to run into any stray lab equipment.
His brows rose when he got to the door. Abby was sitting cross-legged on the floor of her office with a small, cloth-wrapped bundle in her hands, her head bowed, and her face pressed into the soft material. She was surrounded by candles, some on her desk and some on the floor.
Tony opened the door slowly and hesitantly stepped inside. He wished Gibbs were there; Gibbs was always good at dealing with Abby when things were hinky. Tony felt like he always said the wrong thing, and this was definitely looking like a hinky situation.
"Um, hey Abs," Tony said.
"Hi Tony, please sit," Abby said without looking up. Her voice was choked and Tony sat slowly, wishing he were about twenty years younger so that he could sit on the floor and not feel an uncomfortable twinge in his knees.
"Whatcha got there, Abs?" Tony asked, keeping his voice as light as he could.
Abby looked up and peeked at him. She looked like she'd been crying, and he winced internally while doing his best to keep his face calm.
"Tony," she said, her voice scratchy. "He's the most beautiful thing in the world."
Tony blinked suddenly and leaned back in shock, his mind suddenly spinning a million miles an hour as his eyes looked suspiciously at the cloth bundle in Abby's arms. "Oh my God," he said, "Did you have a baby? Is this-McGee? I mean, I saw that show, the one about not knowing you're pregnant-I mean you didn't look-"
"Tony!" Abby interrupted, causing him to stop abruptly and catch his breath and stare at her in shock. "I didn't have a baby!"
Tony's shoulders relaxed as her words sunk in. "Oh," he said after a pause. "Oh, okay." He regarded her for a moment, relieved that she wasn't about to show him a baby because he was horrible with children and everyone knew it, and then he realized he still had no idea what the hell was going on.
"So what is that?" Tony asked, glancing at the bundle of cloth and leaning forward a bit when he saw it twitch, the soft light of the candles shifting on the fabric.
"It's the most beautiful kitten in the world," Abby said. "You can see him in a minute, but he's still so young I want to keep him nice and warm."
"Okay," Tony said slowly, wondering if he would ever figure Abby out, "so why are we sitting in the dark with him?"
"Because he's the most amazing little kitten I've ever met, and I just feel like he has such a....such a personality!" she said, talking fast. Tony had a feeling if her hands weren't full of what was apparently kitten, she'd be gesticulating rapidly as she spoke.
"Okay, but, I have a lot of personality, too," Tony reasoned, "and I only hang out in dark, candlelit rooms when I'm about to let personality take the backseat while the physical takes over the reins, you know what I'm talking-"
"Tony!" Abby interrupted. "We're having a sťance!"
Tony's brows rose and he stared at her in horror. "A sťance?" he repeated. "Why are we having a sťance? Can't you do that, you know, with just you and whisker face there? Am I really necessary for this? You know how I get with creepy ghost things-"
Tony winced and stopped talking when Abby just stared at him with dull, expressionless eyes, eyes which seemed much more somber than usual without their typical dark make-up, and he found himself nodding, her blank stare much more effective than any rant, rave, or smack could be.
"Yeah, okay, a sťance," he said, unable to resist such a gloomy Abby. "A sťance. Who exactly are we sťance-ing? Or is that sť-ing? What-"
"We can't start yet," Abby said. "We have to wait for Gibbs."
"Gibbs is coming?" Tony asked, equal parts relieved and horrified. "Does he know he's about to come to a sťance? Somebody might have to sťance us because Gibbs is gonna kill-"
"I'm not killing anybody, DiNozzo."
Tony winced and looked up from his spot on the floor. Gibbs looked imposing in the doorway, the candles casting strange patterns of light on his body and creating eerie shadows on his face.
"Hey, Boss," Tony said, thinking to himself that finally Gibbs got an accurately dramatic and imposing entrance and he, Abby, and whisker face were the only ones to see it. Actually, he wasn't sure if whisker face would be able to see it anyway, since he was wrapped up in cloth.
Tony watched Gibbs sit on the floor, moving surprisingly gracefully for someone of his age. Luckily, Tony had the forethought to not say that out loud, and he merely bit his lip and watched as Gibbs sat beside Abby and leaned forward to give her a brief kiss on the cheek.
"That him?" Gibbs asked, gesturing towards the bundle in Abby's hands. Abby nodded quietly.
"How come everybody knows about him except me?" Tony asked, doing his best not to pout.
In the shadows of Abby's office, Tony could make out a quirked grin on Gibbs' face; Gibbs thought this was all a bit much too, then.
"I haven't named him yet," Abby said, "but Sister Rosita just got him from the Bengal Rescue Network. She said he was special and that something told her that I was supposed to have him."
"But you can't have pets in your apartment," Tony said in confusion.
"I know!" Abby said. She sounded desperate and on the verge of tears, and Tony winced; good thing Gibbs was there. Gibbs patted Abby's shoulder and Abby sniffed in his direction in a way that Tony could only call grateful. "I can't have pets and Sister Rosita knows that, but she said that I would figure it out."
"So we're having a sťance?" Tony asked in confusion.
"Yes!" Abby replied, nodding enthusiastically. "This little guy has such a strong personality, and I just get this feeling I can't explain that this isn't his first life, you know? I mean, reincarnation is no joke, Tony. And this little guy has been around a while, you know?"
Tony nodded slowly, and was grateful for the dark lighting because he was sure that Abby wouldn't like the expression on his face.
"Come on, we have to get closer together!" Abby said. "Sneak in, boys," she added, and Tony scooted forward at the same time as Gibbs until their knees were touching.
Suddenly a little meow came from inside the bundle of cloth, and Abby pressed a kiss on the little kitten's head. "Hi baby," she cooed. "We're gonna figure out what to do with you, I promise, yes, I promise," she said, and Tony wrinkled his nose at her baby speak.
Suddenly a pointy ear followed by the tiniest head Tony had ever seen poked out of the blankets, eyes shining in the darkness. From what Tony could make out, the kitten was dark and stripey, but the insides of his ears were bright white, and he had a little white patch under his tiny little mouth, which Tony had to admit, was really, really, really adorable, not that he would ever say that out loud.
As he watched, the little head turned in his direction and meowed again, and Tony would definitely never admit, even under duress, that he felt a little fluttery happy feeling in his stomach when the kitten's little neck turned in his direction and a perfectly round paw stuck out of the blanket and stretched towards him.
"He wants to see you, Tony!" Abby said. She sounded exciting, and Tony suddenly felt nervous.
"Oh, I'm no good with cats," Tony said, holding his hands in front of him defensively and leaning away from her.
Gibbs reached out and grabbed his wrist, tugging him forward again and holding him in place. "Hold the cat, DiNozzo," he said, and Tony gave him a dirty look since the room was dark enough he could probably get away with it - only apparently he couldn't because Gibbs' hand left his wrist and smacked the back of his head instead.
And then, before he could protest, Abby was gently handing off a bundle of cloth that was strangely wiggly and he was holding onto the damned kitten - and when he reached out to gently touch its head, it tilted its little nose up and sniffed his fingers, then reached out and licked them.
Tony jumped in surprise at how rough the kitten's tongue was, and he did not giggle at the tickling sensation. The kitten leisurely licked him for a moment, and then rubbed its little striped head against his hand and bumped it a bit. Tony bit his lip and gently pet the kitten, touching it so lightly that he barely even felt the downy soft fur beneath his fingertips.
The kitten meowed at him again, the sound plaintive and needy, and Tony felt that little something in his stomach flutter again. He couldn't help but smile at the little ball in his hands, and he held it carefully, feeling suddenly protective.
"Tony, he loves you!" Abby said in excitement. "Maybe this is why Sister Rosita wanted me to take him - so he could meet you!"
"I don't-I don't know," Tony said, "I mean, are you trying to say I should adopt this cat? I'm not Probie, Abby, you can't just look at me and expect-"
Gibbs leaned forward suddenly, gently reaching out a hand and smoothing the fur on top of the kitten's head, his fingers brushing against Tony's. The cat sniffed at Gibbs' fingers and gave them a few licks, and then it brushed its head against both Tony's and Gibbs' hands and purred.
"He loves you guys!" Abby said, clapping her hands together in excitement. "I mean, he loves you, Tony, but he really loves the two of you together! I mean, he loves GibbNozzo! He loves DiGibbs! He loves To-thro! He loves-"
"Tibbs?" Gibbs suggested dryly, glancing at Tony. They shared a slightly amused look and then refocused their attention on the kitten, which was purring even louder and rubbing his head against Tony and Gibbs' hands in rapid succession.
"Yes! Tibbs! You two can adopt him together!" Abby said, her hands in tightly balled fists now. "This is so cute! You three are the perfect little family and you can all live together at Gibbs' house!"
Tony looked up at Gibbs and the look they shared that time was barely concealed shock, and they slowly turned to look at Abby. Tony's heart was pounding hard and he tried not to let his panic show; Abby could just be rambling, after all.
"Oh don't give me that look!" Abby said. "I'm a forensic scientist! And I'm not just a forensic scientist. I'm the forensic scientist! I'm amazing at what I do, so don't you even think for a second I wouldn't notice that Tony smells more like Old Spice these days and takes his coffee stronger than before. And let's not forget that you had sawdust in your hair, Tony! On its own, that might not be a giveaway, but combined with everything else-"
Gibbs gave Tony a look, and Abby turned to glare at him.
"And you, Mister, you aren't exactly subtle yourself! Well, maybe to someone who's not an amazing forensic scientist you are, but I notice when your breath smells like hazelnut, and I notice when you smell like expensive body wash!" Abby said.
Tony felt a bit numb because Abby was the first person who knew about them, and the only reaction she seemed to have was that they should adopt this stupid ≠cat - and he blinked in surprise when the cat suddenly nudged his hand again, licking his palm and purring and wriggling closer to his chest.
"He likes you," Gibbs commented, suddenly a bit closer than before. Tony glanced at Abby, who was watching them in barely concealed glee, and then at Gibbs, who was close to him, and they were in front of Abby-
"I don't want a cat," he protested, even though as he spoke, the tip of his pinky finger was inside the kitten's mouth and the kitten was wrapping its front paws around his hand.
"Don't think your landlord would mind," Gibbs said with a grin, and Tony rolled his eyes.
"Think my landlord would mind cat scratches in his hand carved wooden furniture?" he countered easily, looking at Gibbs in annoyance.
"You guys are cute," Abby said, scooting forward and putting an arm around each of their shoulders. "You're meant to have this kitten. Sister Rosita gave him to me so that he could meet you. And-and I think-I think I know what you should name him."
"This cat have his shots?" Gibbs interrupted abruptly, turning to look at Abby.
Tony looked at him in surprise; even if he had wanted the cat a tiny little bit, he didn't think that Gibbs would want it at all, but it seemed like he was wrong.
Abby nodded. "All of his shots. He just needs a lot of attention right now since he's so little."
"We'll take him," Gibbs said firmly.
"We will?" Tony asked, hushing the cat when it mewled at him in annoyance for taking his hand away. Resigned, he brought his hand close again, letting the kitten chew on his pinky finger.
Gibbs merely nodded firmly at Tony, ignoring Abby's squeal of happiness.
"Why do you want the cat?" Tony asked Gibbs curiously, gently rubbing the side of the kitten's cheek.
Gibbs shrugged. "You're kind of cute with a cat. And you like it," he said.
"What? I'm not cute, Gibbs! You don't even know that word! And for the record, I do not like this cat!" Tony said.
"Tony!" Abby said with a gasp. "How dare you! He can hear you, you know!"
Tony pouted and went back to petting the cat. "I don't like cats," he muttered. "They're just...fluff balls, that's all."
Gibbs smacked the back of his head, and Tony scowled at him, but then found himself giggling when the kitten pulled its back legs out of the bundle of cloth and began to kick at his wrist.
"Yeah, I can see how much you hate it," Gibbs said, but he was smiling, and Tony couldn't help but smile back as he watched the little kitten, not much bigger than his hand, kick at him.
"He's your little baby!" Abby cooed, reaching out to pet the kitten's head.
"He's not a baby," Tony said, "He's a kitten."
Abby rolled her eyes. "But he's your baby."
"What'd you want to name him, Abs?" Gibbs asked abruptly, ending the potentially endless argument before it really began.
"Well, I just think maybe something to do with coffee," she said hesitantly.
Tony snorted. "Gibbs might drink him if we do that," he said.
Abby giggled for a moment. "That's true," she said. "But I just think...something tells me his name should be something about coffee. It has to do with his past lives."
Tony sighed. "Okay, so, what, he used to be a coffee bean and Gibbs drank him and now he's connected to us?"
"No!" Abby said, but Tony heard Gibbs snort so he smiled. Abby continued, ignoring their exchange. "He's always been a cat," she said, "I just think that maybe his name should have something to do with coffee."
Tony sighed. "Okay, all hail clairvoyant Abby. So, we call him Starbucks?" he asked, and winced when Abby hit him on the arm. "Ouch, Abby, careful when I'm holding whisker face."
"How 'bout coffee," Gibbs said dryly.
"No," Abby said, "of course not."
"Espresso? Double shot? Americano? Frappucino?" Tony suggested.
"No way in hell I'm calling a goddamn cat a frappucino," Gibbs growled, which made Tony smile.
"Well what would you call him, Gibbs?" Abby asked curiously.
"Cat," Gibbs said immediately, and Tony snorted while Abby protested loudly.
"Look," Tony said, "how about we call him...Java? He is brown like coffee, and java's not so....specific like frappucino, you know? And Java's not so bad, right?"
Gibbs was quiet for a moment, considering the cat with a tilted head, and then he shrugged. "Okay," he said.
"I mean, really, Java would actually be-"
"Hey!" Gibbs interrupted. "I said yes, Tony."
"Wha-oh! Okay," Tony said, "Java. Hey little guy, your name is Java, how's that?" Tony prided himself that he kept his voice at manly pitch when he spoke to the kitten, and grinned when the cat purred against his chest.
"He likes it!" Abby said.
Tony resisted the urge to puff up his chest in pride, and instead tugged Java closer to himself. Gibbs leaned forward and chuffed Java under the chin, quirking a grin when the little kitten tilted its head and gave him better access to his neck as he purred loudly.
"He's kinda like you," Gibbs said to Tony. Tony rolled his eyes and ignored Abby's giggle.
"He's gonna be so happy with you two," Abby gushed. "Just look at him - he's so happy already!"
Tony looked up and smiled at Gibbs because Java did look immensely content, and Gibbs had a look of warmth on his face that Tony only saw when they were alone. Gibbs leaned forward, the candlelight flickering over his cheekbones, and kissed him, soft and gentle, and Tony felt his stomach flutter again as Java purred between them.
Java, while he missed his mom and all the cats he grew to love when he lived with her in his last life, thought she'd be happy to see him there, squished in a loving embrace with these two men that he knew she'd approve of, and he purred and purred and purred, ready to start his next adventure.