thehappyfangirl: (gibbs/abby)
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Title: Worthy (Chapter 1/2)
Rating: PG-13, with NC-17 to follow in part 2
Category: Angst, romance
Genre: Het
Pairing: Gibbs/Abby
Summary: A coda to "Cover Story" - Gibbs takes Abby home after the end of the episode, and tension ensues as Abby has a mini-epiphany
Spoilers: References to Kill Ari, Blood Bath, Frame-Up, Driven, and (of course) Cover Story
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] chirugal for beta-ing the first draft and [livejournal.com profile] believeitup for the delicious inspiration after reading the same draft. What follows is what resulted from said inspiration. I get way too impatient for these things, but I'm so excited to be inspired to write again that I can't wait to post.

Enjoy! Feedback craved and loved like cookies warm from the oven.

Abby barely remembered the ride back to Gibbs' house.

Her hands had only just stopped shaking when she told McGee that they had to talk about Amy and McGregor. She would have continued if Gibbs hadn't touched her shoulder and suggested it could wait until morning; it was a testament to the shock they'd all been through that she hadn't outlined the myriad ways that Miss Sutton and Agent McGregor were incompatible, but instead had followed Gibbs to his car.

Somewhere on the way she'd left a voice mail for the nuns that she'd found another place to stay. For the rest of the ride, however, her mind was a mess of disjointed thoughts and feelings. Post-trauma adrenaline's probably still fizzing in there. It's just chemistry, Abbs. She looked over at Gibbs with narrowed eyes. Did he say something?

"You okay?" His gaze was gentle, but curious. She could have sworn that she'd heard him reassure her.

"I'm fine." She settled back into the passenger seat, the cotton on her pajamas once again comforting now that the sweat had dried. The roulette wheel of her thoughts continued to whirl as she turned her own gaze back to the road and the tail-lights in front of them. She tried to focus them and frowned as they stubbornly refused to organize themselves into something she could analyze and break down, like her own mental Major Mass Spec.

"You're gonna think yourself crazy in there if you're not careful." He signaled the turn onto his street.

"You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?" She bit her lip the second the words left her mouth, regretful heat rising in her cheeks. Why am I snapping at him? She glanced over to see if her words had stung, but she knew better than to think Gibbs would let it show if they had. Calm down, Abbs. Think about something else. As if her own regret had snapped her mind back into focus, she started analyzing, breaking things down and making sense from the components.

The process carried her up the driveway and into his living room, and when the answer came to her, she turned so quickly that she nearly bumped into Gibbs behind her. "I want to get a conceal-carry permit."

He was already shaking his head at 'I want'. "Not gonna happen."

"Gibbs, have you even kept count of all the times I could have defended myself, or not even have been a target?" Now she had the bit in her teeth. She was going to prove her case.

"Abby--"

"Don't 'Abby' me! If I'm going to be in the crosshairs, it's going to be because I'm worth killing."

"What?" She'd seen that incredulous look before, but she knew what she was saying made sense.

"Nobody's wanted to kill me, Gibbs. Not one! Look!"

She ticked them off on her fingers.

Index. "Ari wanted to hurt you when he took a shot at me. It could have been anyone on the team, but I was the most vulnerable."

Middle. "Mikel wanted to prove some twisted ideal when he came after me. It could have been anyone that flipped his switch, but I was in the right place at the right time when he went to Crazytown."

Thumb. "That hitman wanted to kill the woman who was going to testify against his client. It would have been anyone else if they'd had the same evidence!"

Tucked her thumb and held up four fingers. "Even Otto would have killed the person who sat in that seat and tried to unbuckle the seat belt. It could have been anyone, but I was just the first one to try it!"

Five. "And tonight this overcaffeinated fanboy wanted to kill the character that threatened his precious Agent McGregor. McGee could have based that character off of anyone, and they'd probably be dead by now!"

Had it really been five people? Five times she'd been in danger and nobody'd even wanted to...

"You think having a gun on your hip's gonna make you any safer, Abby? Think it'll make you look like more of a threat?"

She met his Interrogating-Room glare with one of her own. "At least then it'd look like I'm worth killing!"

He closed the distance she'd made, his gaze going from icy to burning as he stared down at her. "How about we ask Kate if packing heat kept her any safer, or was she just anyone too?"

The pain in his voice and the long moment she spent in the heat of his anger was enough to make her regret every single word that she'd said, and she hugged her arms around herself as he turned away and headed up the stairs.

Oh Gibbs... How could she have said those things to him when she knew, she'd seen how personally he'd taken every time that she or Kate or anyone on the team had been in danger? What could she possibly say to him after that?

She chewed her lip as she looked at the foot of the stairs. She couldn't go home, and for as much as she wanted to crawl into a hole and not come out for a year for the things she'd said, she didn't want to leave.

She wanted to feel safe, and nobody made her feel safer than Gibbs.

Even when you've pissed him off?

She padded upstairs to the master bedroom. Pissed off or not, he wasn't going to kick her out of the bed, and she definitely didn't want to sleep alone tonight, not when the memory of waking up to Landon's gun in her face was still so sharp in her mind.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] gibbs_abby and [livejournal.com profile] ncisfanfic
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