Written for: clare_dragonfly in the NCIS ficathon
Archive: By all means, please remember to ask however, I’d like to know where it ends up. Mostly so I can giggle inanely and offer copious amounts of e-cookies and hugs and adoration etc.
Pairings: Gibbs/Abby. Gibbs/Abby friendship. Gibbs/Shannon. Brief mentions of Gibb’s other wives.
Rating: M 15+
Warnings: Death of Gibb’s family, angst, romance, gen, comfort, UST
Word Count: 1800 ish
Summary: How did Gibbs and Abby actually meet anyway, this is my take. It takes place over several years and is somewhat fragmented, though I assure you it was intended to be this way.
Author’s Notes: This is my first NCIS story, and even though I am an avid supporter of Gibbs/Abby I’ve never had the courage to write a fic in this fandom before. It’s hard it seems-to make the transition to writing for a new fandom. Clare_dragonfly, my dear, I hope you like this, and that this meets your requirements of a good fic. ;)
I understand that there is a bit of a problem with my time differences. Gibb’s daughter would be about 22 if she’d been born in 1984, so, I figure, Abby was a gifted child, and it would explain why she’s been able to obtain her degree and work at NCIS for the length of time we know she has. And I’m stretching time a little ;).
Thanks also to my beta Mealz, who, not knowing anything about this fandom still managed to point out what was odd about the writing and the phrasing. Thanks also to Lady Neets who offered support and cups of coffee in bed, while I was struggling with the muses.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Le premier:The First
Leroy Jethro Gibbs hadn’t always been the hard nosed bastard that everyone at NCIS knew-or at least thought they knew him to be. Once, years before, he had been a husband and father. He had been a king at tea parties, held at a table that was much too small for him. Allowing a small, beloved girl with red hair and brown eyes to doctor imaginary wounds and make his face up with garish make up bought from the dollar store down the road. He’d made love to his wife on the grass in their garden and he had slept well at night.
(But the fates are a fickle lover. They give, and take at whim.)
Abigail M Scuito hadn’t always been the eclectically dressed, gothic lab technician that everyone at NCIS knew-or at least thought they knew her to be. Once-years before, she had been a small girl, who sat quietly in the back of the classroom with her best friend, a little girl who was the love of her gruff ex-marine father’s life. She had played at the Gibbs’ house, and had found a love of music, and easy hugs that her own home, almost unnaturally quiet with deaf parents couldn’t provide. She had played dress up, and laughed freely, as only children can assured of the love of those around them. She had slept well at night.
(But the fates don’t take pity on children. Nor do they actively work to keep them from harm, or from sorrow.)
When his wife and daughter had died, Gibbs retreated into himself. Chain smoked, and drunk far too much. He threw himself into his work, and would get through the day by drinking copious amounts of black, bitter coffee, barking harshly at his subordinates. He'd always drunk his coffee with milk and sugar before his family died.) He was promoted, and took to taking more and more field missions, taking more and more risks. He tried to forget, through alcohol and long hours and women with red hair and bright eyes. (He never took any of the women he slept with back to his house until he married them.)
En second lieu: Second
She was at school when they told her. Told by a principal at school, who had barely known the little red headed girl, Abby had nodded, walked back to class without a word and had promptly gathered her things and run away. She was missing for six days. Her friend had already been dead for weeks. And no one had thought to tell her. (Murdered by a Mexican drug dealer while Gibbs was serving in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.)
She’d known which steps to avoid in the Gibbs house, knew she could still just wiggle through the doggy door, even if the house was locked up tight and empty and little Abby Scuito knew the only place she would feel safe was in her best friends bedroom, surrounded by the cool lilac of the walls, which she had helped paint.
Abby had curled into a ball at the base of the unmade bed, surrounded by a protective wall of teddy bears and dolls. (Because Gibbs had always said that you must be on your guard, even at home.) And she had slept, fitfully and uneasy, raiding the stash of junk food that she and her friend had kept in the wooden box in her closet, hidden under her paint kit. She never heard Gibbs come home.
Gibbs pretended that he hadn’t heard the hesitant footsteps up the hall, as he lay in bed that night after he had returned from who knows where. (Footsteps that sounded too familiar) He tried to pretend that he hadn’t heard the muffled sobs of a little girl in Kelly’s bedroom. He did ring her parents however, to let them know Abby was safe.
He told himself it was because he didn’t want to get arrested for kidnapping, and gave up any attempt at sleep, pouring himself another drink. (She was welcome for as long as she wanted to stay there.) And her parents never offered to come pick her up. Gibbs didn’t bother to thank the operator who was translating their conversation to the deaf Scuito mother and father before he hung up the telephone.
Gibbs made breakfast for her in the morning, and said nothing of her breaking into his house. He requested Abby’s clothes from her, and ordered her to have a shower and get changed into clothes she’d left here on one of her previous visits.
He hadn’t washed children’s clothes in a long time.
Abby ended up staying a month, or near to it, and Gibbs found himself refusing assignments away. (He told himself that he needed to stay to monitor the case the police were working on.) She’d go to school, and then come in via the doggy door, give Gibbs a brief hug, and retreat to Kelly’s room. Gibbs never asked why she was there, and she never expressed any interest in going home. (He was glad to do the extra washing and cooking.)
She’d helped Gibbs sand the boat that was in the basement, as Kelly had helped. (She knew more about boat building then she cared to admit)
But eventually, Abby’s mother knocked on the door, and via sign language (and eventually a note) informed Gibbs that the family thought that Abby should come home. Abby ran away from home that night, and slipped back into Gibb’s house skipping the third and eighth step. Gibbs had breakfast prepared for her the next morning. Her nocturnal breaking and entering petered down eventually, still, Gibbs would always have breakfast ready for her if he was home, and if not, there was always food kept in the refrigerator and cupboard that a child of eight would enjoy.
On Abby’s tenth birthday, Gibbs took her away for the weekend. (There was never any question of her staying with her family for that weekend) And the two had camped out, and Gibbs had offered Abby the first smile he’d offered anyone since his family’s death. Abby had grinned back, and had gotten a kiss to the cheek that night, when Gibbs tucked her into her small, one woman tent. Abby had spoken for the first time in a long time that night and Gibbs had found himself relieved that the small child still remembered how.
Years pass, as they are wont to do, and Gibbs would be, on occasion, woken by footsteps on the hall outside his bedroom. Abby couldn’t fit through the doggy door now, and he’d taken to leaving the window to Kelly’s room (Abby’s room) open. She’d climb up using the lattice and deliberately stomp up the hallway to the bathroom so Gibbs would know she was there. He would sigh a quiet sigh of relief, and return to sleep. (He slept better on the nights that the lilac bedroom wasn’t empty) He married eventually, and his new wife had expressed her concern that a strange child was asleep in Gibbs dead daughters bedroom. (A room that remained unchanged, except for new sheets on occasion.) His third wife had threatened to call the police upon finding Abby in the shower one morning, and Gibbs had thrown her out before making Abby breakfast.
Abby entered high school, years early and Gibbs got used to attending school functions for a child that wasn’t his. (Abby’s parents were rarely invited.) The two became friends in their own right, and Gibbs had barely lifted an eyebrow when Abby had returned to his house one night after a fight with her parents over a tattoo. Gibbs taught Abby to cook, and she taught him to smile again, though, at work, none would ever have suggested that Gibbs was a kind or even friendly man, Abby saw the other side to her gruff friend. (The way he had been before their deaths)
She expressed an interest in forensics one night. She’d been on one of her walks to the nearby wrecking yard, where she’d examine the cars and try to imagine how the accidents had happened. Gibbs had smiled faintly and she’d grinned. Knowing that the news pleased Gibbs. She’d gotten a job at the local mortuary and Gibbs had said nothing. But in her senior year she’d found pamphlets for degrees in forensics in her school bag, from a University far away. (Her parents had given Gibbs a cordial nod at her graduation)
Gibbs ordered her to meet her at his work one day. And she had complied. At the gate, she’d been met by her gruff friend, who had handed her a folder containing job information and an id badge. (She never asked how he’d gotten her photograph.) She never thought to refuse the job offer. Gibbs had helped her find a new apartment, and she’d shown him her new tattoos. He’d questioned her about the coffin but she merely shrugged, and flashed him a charming smile. She’d kissed him that night. (His wife left him the next morning).
Abby had brought him pain killers and a bottle of scotch that night. (She told him he didn’t have a concussion) The two had eaten ice cream and drunk scotch on the back patio until Gibbs had eventually dragged her off to bed. She’d refused to sleep in the Lilac coloured bedroom that night. (Gibbs gave good hugs.)
Gibbs watched on, as Abby dated men, often older then himself. He watched as she dated McGee and he’d held her as she cried in her lab after Chip had attacked her. He’d held her she’d cried after Kate’s death, and she’d held him when he’d told her he was leaving. He’d put his finger over her lips and kissed her on the cheek. (It felt like an ending) When Shannon and Kelly had died, Gibbs had gone to
He bantered with Abby, was freer with her then the rest of his staff. He’d bring her drinks and she’d bring him dinner at home. (Nope, don't use cologne. Women I date think the smell of sawdust is sexy. That's probably why I don't... date many women.) They didn’t date, but their relationship was anything but normal. And that suited them both just fine. Besides, Abby was exceedingly patient (despite appearances) when it came to something she really really wanted. And, she really wanted Gibbs. He worried that to take their relationship to the next level was a sin or something. (Abby didn’t believe in God anymore) And he wasn't her father. He was just Gibbs. Her silver headed fox. She’d even let Gibbs think it was his idea. She was nice like that.
Septième: SeventhGibbs thought that perhaps, when he got back, he might never date another red headed woman again. Brunettes and raven headed beauties were looking more and more appealing. And made the decision, to repaint the lilac coloured bedroom that had remained untouched for fifteen years. But first, Baja Mexico was calling for him