Sapphires & Emeralds
Copyright© 2009 by Taylor Gibbs
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 16 - NCIS fanfiction.An undercover assignment leads to an entanglement for NCIS. Will Abby get trapped in a web of lies? Who IS that blue-eyed stranger who sets her on fire with his touch? Gibbs and Abby pairing. Alt. Universe. Co-written with Zabby.
Mike waited a full five minutes before he returned to the conference room. None of his searches had turned up much on Gibbs but he had a few calls out. The FBI was protective of their man and had hidden his true occupation from anyone who might be poking around. A desk job in human resources for the FBI was a joke; anyone who saw the man would know that. Mike sat down a few seats away from the FBI agents, determined to be only as polite as he had to be to keep the peace.
Shutting off his phone, Fornell said, "Sorry about that. Wanted to say goodnight to my daughter and we ended up having a full conversation on what she did in school today." He always missed his little girl. But sometimes, it was a pain in his heart to be away from her.
"How is she?" Gibbs asked with a small smile. "Emily is my goddaughter, closest thing I have..." He trailed off, knowing everyone at the table knew his history. "She's a great kid."
Somehow he and Tobias had made their friendship work and Diane had grudgingly accepted her ex-fiancée as godfather to Emily. He had a close relationship with the little girl and they all managed to coexist well. It was the part of being undercover that had cut the deepest. He hadn't been able to see her in a long time. He'd been able to do an encrypted videoconference every so often, but he didn't dare do much more. He wouldn't put that little girl in danger.
Beaming at being able to talk about the only true light in his life, Tobias replied. "She's doing wonderfully. Gets more and more beautiful every time I see her, which is never often enough. Smart too; excelling in all of her classes. But she misses her uncle Jet. You'll have to promise and come over when this is all done, spend some time with her. You did promise to take her horseback riding again. She hasn't stopped talking about the last time you did."
Gibbs swallowed hard at the unexpected rush of emotion. "You should have put me on with her, Toby. Miss her too. A lot. I promised her a couple of late birthday presents. Maybe you, me, Emily, and Abby can..." He froze, fork halfway to his mouth.
Had he just added Abby to the equation? He looked at Toby, wide-eyed, not entirely sure how to proceed without causing World War Three.
Abby turned in her seat to look at him, shocked by his statement and confused by his expression. Trying to smooth over the awkwardness, unsure if his expression meant he regretted including her in that grouping, she turned back around and said, "How old is your little girl, Special Agent Fornell? Do you get to see her often?"
"She's ... uh ... sorry, she's ten. And no, I don't get to see her nearly enough." Tobias was so confused at the undercurrents. Was Jethro that far gone that he was already including this woman in personal outings? Interesting.
"That's a great age!" Abby exclaimed, smiling over her insecurities. "And I'm so sorry you don't get to see her enough. That has to be hard." Taking a sip of the wine, she added on the spur of the moment, "I was so curious at that age. If she'd ever be interested, I could show her around my lab, show her how all the gadgets work. She might get a kick out of it. And then it'd give you two an excuse to have more time together, like a fieldtrip!"
"She's beautiful," Jet added, regaining his equilibrium. "I don't have a picture of her ... can't ... But Toby carries one around. Show her, Tobias." Jethro blinked rapidly, trying to settle himself down. Usually for a week or more after an op he was in the basement with his boat and his bourbon and his family pictures. This was a shock to the system and had to be why he was acting this way and letting his guard down so thoroughly.
"She's brilliant too..." he said before trailing off. But something Abby said had him speaking up again. "She won't be able to see the lab for a long while. Undercover means no work environment. No home either." He wasn't sure she knew what it was like to be that deep under and what the consequences would be.
Looking at the picture Fornell had proudly produced, Abby commented, "She's beautiful, Agent Fornell. And I can see from her eyes that's she's intelligent. I cannot wait to meet her." Passing the photo carefully back, she said, "I know, Jet. I meant for after ... for when the op is over. I'd like to show her around when the op is over, if Agent Fornell is alright with that."
"Of course, Abby. I'm sure she'll be excited to meet you and explore the lab. She's always taking things apart and asking questions. Too many questions," he said, in mock exasperation, though everyone could tell he loved the questions almost as much as he loved his daughter.
"Not too many questions. What is it I always tell her, Toby? You can't learn unless you question." Gibbs leaned his head against Abby's, the ease and comfort he was taking from her warmth relaxing him as much as thinking about Emily. "She helps me do projects around the house. I build, like to work with my hands." It was one of the many things he'd had to give up when going undercover. Something he missed.
"Simple guy. All of this is a new world to me." What was unsaid was that it was one he wasn't entirely comfortable with.
"You may enjoy simple things, Jet, but you are anything but a simple guy. Dangerous, remember?" she said, quietly. "And I've had some experience with you liking to work with your hands."
Louder, she addressed the FBI agent. "Toby? That's cute. Do you let people call you that? Or only close people or people who wanna tease you?" Abby smiled at him, softly. "You can probably tell I like asking questions to," she said, winking at him.
"Yeah, Jethro, you keep saying that the next time she bombards you with a hundred 'why's', ' one right after the other." In truth, he loved his daughter's inquisitive nature. He just wished she'd ask a question other than just 'why' sometimes.
"Wish she would. I miss that. Was worse when she was five or six though. 'Uncle Jethro, why is there air', 'Uncle Jethro, why is the sky blue'., 'Uncle Jethro, why does my bunny twitch her nose'. The whys are cute because she wants to know the answers and you can see her learn almost by the minute." Gibbs gave Abby an indulgent smile before he continued since Tobias had conveniently not answered Abby's question...
"I call him Toby because we've been through wars together, both literal and figurative. I don't know, he might kick your ass if you call him it."
"Then you need to come over. I'm sure she's got a head full of whys just waiting for you. And when she gets hold of Abby ... watch out!" He growled good naturedly at Abby for being called 'Toby.' "When we're at the office, Abby, it's Fornell. But if you're at my house, Toby will be fine." Normally, he hated that nickname, usually made him wince, even coming from Jethro.
But even he was starting to notice the changes in his friend. How, even though he was jerked out of his undercover assignment with no time to come down to the real world, Jethro was still able to handle himself fairly well, except for his fixation on Abby. And for that, for her positive influence on his friend, Tobias was willing to do pretty much whatever the girl wanted.
"Soon as this mess is over, Toby ... Soon..." Jet swallowed hard and nodded. "Maybe we can take her to the zoo. She loves the zoo, swears she wants to be an astronaut veterinarian..." Gibbs trailed off, looking at Toby. "Unless that has changed?" He hated asking that like a question, but the fact was that he didn't know their girl any more.
He jiggled his leg up and down, wondering when they were going to get on with it. He still wanted to crawl out of his skin, despite Abby's presence here.
"The only thing that's changed is she's taken the astronaut part off, deciding to focus just of being a vet," Fornell said, proudly. Seeing the look on his friend's face, he added, "Don't worry, Jethro. The kid loves you, even if you've been gone awhile. You should put in a request when this is over, get some time off. Emily would love to see her uncle."
Seeing how keyed up Jet was becoming, Abby tried to soothe him by putting her hand on his bouncing knee, circling patterns on his pants with her thumb.
"Gonna be owed," Gibbs replied quietly. He nodded as Toby suggested some time with Emily. "Maybe I can convince you and the redhead not to send her to camp this summer." Provided the op was over by then. He tried to breathe evenly, focusing on the way Abby's hand was dancing over his leg, but he couldn't stop his restless movements.
Jet Brooks and Jethro Gibbs had collided and he couldn't figure out where he began and his created identity ended.
"Yeah, you thinking you'd like to take her for a few weeks during the summer? As long as she gets that horse riding in that she's been bugging me about, I don't have a problem with it. It'll be cheaper anyhow. Damn support," he grumbled, though in truth, he didn't begrudge his daughter a penny. He'd give more if he could be sure that his ex wouldn't take the money and spend it elsewhere. So, instead, he paid for things, trips, clothes, anything his baby girl needed, making sure his money went to good use.
Abby saw Jet start coming apart at the seams. This whole situation was wearing on him, and she could see it come off of him in waves. If they didn't start this debriefing soon, she was afraid of what may happen.
"Yeah," Gibbs said in a soft voice that he knew was oozing tenderness. "I told her I wanted her to see the Pacific. Any chance you'd let me take her that far, Toby. Or maybe we could make a joint trip of it, you, me ... us."
Gibbs breathed in deeply, trying to take it all in and stave off the nervousness running through him. This wasn't him; he was usually so cool under pressure. He hated this feeling and didn't know how to control it. All he could do was pull in deep breaths, trying like heck to settle himself down. But none of his normal methods worked.
"Think you could stand being on a small boat with me for several weeks at a time. You might want to think about bringing that one," Fornell suggested, gesturing to Abby, "along with us if I decide to come. Might help to stop you from pushing me overboard. But I'll talk with Diane. See what I can arrange."
Softly, into Jet's ear, Abby asked, "Are you okay, Jet? What can I do? Can I do anything for you? And that sounds wonderful. You must be a great uncle."
Gibbs gave her a small smile. " Thanks. I have ways of shutting you up, Toby. Always have." Usually involved feeding Emily lines to ask her father so she could drive him crazy instead of Gibbs. "Didn't say we'd sail it. The Kelly won't be ready to go for a while, and you know my plans for the Diane."
"Burn, baby, burn. I'd love to be there for that, but I don't recommend Emily though. She actually still loves her mother," Tobias joked.
Gibbs smiled briefly before turning to Abby. "Cathartic moments. I build boats for fun, sailboats, usually sixteen to twenty two foot. Some of them get broken down to ashes when I'm done."
"You make them yourself? That sounds fascinating," she said, sincerely. "I've never sailed before. How long have you been making boats? What do you do when you're done? Do you ever take them out on the water? Or do they just burn?" Though she knew she should tamp down her curiosity, Abby found his hobby fascinating.
"Hand tools," he clarified. "Cheaper than getting my head shrunk." It had become his version of therapy and when he didn't have it, he missed it. But Jet Brooks was not a hand tools/carpentry kind of guy. He was a professional manicure kind of guy. And that sometimes chafed.
"I have a boat," he said quietly. "I go out on the Chesapeake and Potomac." But he'd never sail the Diane, he was completely uninterested in relying on it to be seaworthy. "When I'm done, I start over."
It wasn't about the final product, it was about the process. Somehow he knew that she would understand that.
"So, you really do like working with your hands, Jet. Hands on in undercover ops. Hands on with building boats. Hands on with all ... aspects in your life..." She let the comment drift off, knowing he'd understand the meaning behind her words. "Must be very relaxing ... working on your boat that is. Does it take you awhile, using hand tools?"
"Thousands of hours per, yeah." He gave her a smirk and a wink. "You have no idea how hands on." He extended his hands, the nails perfectly clipped, the calluses buffed away. "These aren't my hands. These aren't who I am." He leaned in very close. "But I'm inside, always watching, always ... hands on."
Reaching for his hands, she brushed her own across them, feeling the softness. But her imagination provided the difference in her mind, the difference calluses would make across her own skin. "Will you show me someday, when this is all over? Will you show me how ... hands on you really are with your boat? Unless that's too personal. I don't want to push myself into your life more than I already have."
"I'd like that," Gibbs surprised himself by saying. It was very soon—too soon—but he'd lived and loved long enough to know when something was special and this woman was. "It'll be a date," he said quietly, intimately.
Knowing the gift he was offering, Abby could only hope that she could find something just as special to return the favor. "Thank you, Jet. I'd really like that too."
Martin leaned over to Tom. "Builds boats in his basement. Names them after his ex- fiancée. She married Fornell after dumping Gibbs. He burns 'em."
"I'm going to assume you mean he burns the boats and not the ex-fiancée?" Morrow asked, amused.
"Just the boats. Think he'd gladly burn the ex fiancée if she wasn't Emily's mother."
Though she could still sense Jet's tension, Abby couldn't help but laugh at the joke about the ex.
Gibbs arched an eyebrow and looked over at Martin. "Thanks for having my six, Martin. Really appreciate it." He lessened his sarcasm with a small smile, which faded as his body started twitching again.
As close as she was sitting, Abby had no problems feeling the sudden change in mood. And in all honesty, she could probably be sitting across the room and still feel him change. Turning to Jet, she asked again, her concern for him overflowing, "Jet, are you sure there's nothing I can do to help you?"
Gibbs shrugged, aware that she could read his discomfort and unsettled by that. "Nothing. Nothing anyone can do. Just have to come down from all of it." And then dive right back in.
Trying not to be hurt by his slight rejection, Abby leaned back, giving him the space he needed. She had no way of knowing how the coming down from something so deep as he had done was affecting him, having never done it herself. She just wanted to help him, as ineffectually as that seemed to be. Giving it one more shot, she gestured to his cup, asking. "Do you want some more coffee? I can get up and grab you some."
He looked at her and nodded. "You sure you want to do that?" His lips twitched a little and then he smiled. "That'd be great." As he watched her walk away, he looked over the rest of gathered federal agents, very aware that they needed all their attention and concentration. Even Franks was behaving, though he glowered a lot of the time.
"Of course I do," she smiled back, glad for the smile from him. Grabbing his cup, she got up and poured him some fresh coffee from the pot. Turning back, she walked up to him, holding it out. "I assume you take it black, right?"
"There any other way to drink coffee?" he asked, watching her. He took the mug and sipped lightly. "Lightweight. I usually do double strength Jamaican blend, but it'll do."
"There are many ways to drink coffee. Like Tony for instance. Lots of sugar, hazelnut cream," she joked, settling back in the chair next to him, unconsciously leaning towards him, closing the distance between their bodies.
Gibbs winced and made a face. "Which one was Tony? Baby Face or the one with you? The only way to drink coffee, Abby, is with coffee in the cup. Nothing else needed. Just hot steaming coffee."
"Tony is the other one, the cockier one who drove me back," she clarified. "You like things simplified, don't you? Boat. Hand tools. Black coffee. Sure you're interested in me? I'm pretty much the exact opposite of that. Not simple at all. Not my clothes or my makeup. Not even my shoes."
"I like a challenge too," Gibbs shot back. But at heart he was a simple uncomplicated guy. Complications were for the workplace and for his personal relationships. Challenges weren't for home and hearth or his wind down hobbies. "You're perfect," he whispered without really meaning to and when he did, he stiffened, wondering if he'd screwed everything up with his intensity.
"So, I'm a perfect challenge, huh? Intriguing enough for you to want to figure out, but not too overly complicated as to be uninteresting and not worth the time?" she offered, teasing. "But in all honesty, I guess I'm not really as complicated as I seem. What you see is probably the most complicated part of me. Otherwise, I'm just Abby."
He cocked his head, shrugging a little. He liked the way she put that. "You intrigue me. You're a puzzle I want to figure out, Just Abby." He tried to keep his voice calmer and more even keeled, less intense. He didn't want to scare her off.
"How do I intrigue you, Jet?" she asked, smiling when he called her 'Just Abby.' "Was it the stun gun? I bet getting that electric shock really made you want to figure me out." She shot him a smirk and a wink.
"You got the upper hand on me. That says something right there, Abby. Very few can. But you sauntered in and took my defenses right down. Didn't think any woman could do that. I thought I was saving you, Abby. And you ... knocked me over and took me right out."
"But I didn't mean to take your defenses down, Jet. That was an accident. I didn't do it on purpose. You'd taken my senses down long before you led me into that room," she admitted, shamefully. "You thought you were saving me? Saving me from what?"
"A jewel thief," he admitted. "You fit the profile tonight. Your jewels were the best by far. I figured I'd lure you away, he'd strike, I'd have my collar and you'd be okay. When I was touching your necklace, I was testing the clasp to see how strong it was. Then you hit me."
He motioned to the area she'd zapped him. "Feels like I imagine a vampire bite would. Have I been bitten by a vampire?"
He couldn't quite figure her out. "What do you look like normally? I know the clothes but what about the makeup, jewelry. I don't think I'm getting the complete picture of who you are even now."
"So, I was your bait then, right?" she teased, winking at him. "Well, I'm glad I fit at least someone's profile. Didn't seem to help the op I was supposed to be on."
Leaning down, she gently prodded the area surrounding his injury, "Does it hurt a lot still?" she asked. Still looking at the area, she said, "I've been called a vampire before. Black hair, pale skin, black clothes, collars, high clunky boots. The jewelry ... skulls, chains, handcuffs, dog collars with spikes or leash rings. Makeup ... just pale skin, red or pink lips, and dark eyes, black mostly, though sometimes I've experimented with colors too."
He hissed a little but tried to not react other than that when she touched him. "It's sore but I'll be fine. You don't need to worry about me." He was getting a more complete picture of her now. "Gothic, right?"
They couldn't be more different and yet he was compelled to know more. In his everyday life he might have been mildly fascinated but not more than that. "We have so little in common," he remarked quietly. "And yet I'm so drawn."
"Sorry," she said quickly, pulling away abruptly. "I'm just making it worse. I don't know if I'd categorize myself as Goth. I don't really believe in that kind of stuff, you know like vampires and voodoo and zombies. I'm just curious about it all."
The way he spoke ... Abby was worried that he was starting to figure out just how different she really was. Probably wouldn't be interested in her then. "Like I said, I'm just me."
"I know," he assured with a quiet smile. "And you're going to be mine for a good long time. We have plans. A lot of plans."
Mike gave Abby a long look, telling her with eyes not words that she'd better not be making any plans with that dirtbag. He hated the way they were sitting so close as it was.
Martin had been eating quietly, sitting next to Tom at the head of the table a couple of seats away from the agents and Abby. When he heard that casually tossed off phrase, he nudged Tom's leg under the table. "I think she's hooked herself a silver haired fish," he said so low that the rest of the table wouldn't be able to hear.
Answering in a like volume, Morrow asked, "You think so? Is he good enough for my Abby? She's a special girl, Martin. Deserves someone that will treat her beyond good. I would hate to have to threaten an agent of yours," he teased. Morrow could tell that Gibbs was an honorable man, a good agent. But when it came to Abby, all bets were off.
"He's a hell of a man," Martin said quietly. "If Tania was old enough to date him and wanted to, I'd approve. He gets too deep into his head sometimes but is a genuinely good man, though he's a bit abrupt and doesn't suffer fools lightly. He's good for your girl." He knew Tom would understand that Martin wouldn't want his daughter to date just anyone.
"Well, Abby lives quite a bit out of her head. They'll probably be opposite enough to compliment their strengths and overcome any weaknesses. We'll see how this plays out. Hopefully for the best."
"Look at them," Martin pointed out. "Sometimes chemistry wins out, Tom."
When Morrow saw his favorite forensic scientist cuddled up with the FBI agent, he felt a pang in his heart, remembering how it used to be with his own wife. "Sometimes, Marty, chemistry just isn't enough."