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Title: Hink-free Days
Pairing: Abby Sciuto/Anthony DiNozzo
Prompt: 082. If
Word Count: 3,706
Summary: There's an agent that follows her home like a puppy and she thinks she might want to keep him.
Author's Notes: My sincere apologies to my fellow Billy Joel fans.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
***"Yeah, but do you really think Ziva would—oh! That's the food," Abby springs up from the couch, grabbing her wallet from the coffee table. She opens the door and her grin just grows when she sees the delivery guy. "Hey, Mike."
"Hey, Abby. I've got everything you ordered plus a few things Ana threw in. I think she misses you," he returns her grin with a slightly lopsided one of his own.
"I'm sure she does. I'm sorry I've not actually gotten down there, but you know how it goes," Abby shrugs, digging out a wrinkled set of tens. Somewhere behind her, Tony starts tinkering with the piano, playing a song that sounds familiar but that she can't quite place.
"Yeah, she's wondering when you're gonna bring the new boy-toy by to meet her," Mike hands her the two bags and tucks the bills into his pocket.
"Who says there's a boy?"
"Somebody's playing that piano, Abs, and I'd bet five bucks he's the reason you've been ordering enough take out lately to put Sarah through grad school."
"He's not a toy, Mike, honest, but he does have a thing for your sweet and sour chicken," she peeks into the bigger bag. "Tony's just a friend. Well, maybe not just, but not a toy."
"Right," Mike smirks and Abby rolls her eyes. "Come by soon, hon. We miss you around the place."
"I will, promise," she says and closes the door. Tony starts to sing as she sets the bags on the table, pulling out a variety of boxes and plastic bowls. Abby laughs as she realizes he's riffing on Billy Joel's "Piano Man," and quite badly.
"Now Tim at the desk is a friend of mine, he stole a date away from me. And he's quick with a Mac or to look up your skirt and there's no place he'd rather be as the boss smacks the back of his head. Well I'm sure he could be an elfin lord if he could just get out of this world," Tony sings with exaggerated flourishes on the keys and a deadpan expression on his face. Abby watches him from the doorway between the dining room and living room, shaking her head.
"No, just no," she giggles as she crosses the room.
"You didn't like it? I was thinking back up career, you know, if this whole government agent thing gets boring," he looks up at her, eyes sparkling.
"Ah, Tony, I know Billy Joel, and you, my friend, are no Billy Joel," Abby slides her hands down his arms, leaning against his back. She presses a noisy kiss against the side of his neck and whispers in his ear, "Come on, dinner's waiting."
"What?" Tony finally says, laying down his fork and looking at Abby over the containers of sweet and sour chicken and beef and broccoli.
"Nothing," she shakes her head, hiding behind her hair.
"I know that look, and you're either plotting against me or picturing me in compromising positions. So which is it?"
"It's nothing, really," she knows she's blushing as she meets his eyes. "I'm just glad that you're here. I'm glad we're here, together, and I... it's been a crazy year, Tony, with Kate, and Ziva showing up, Chip and Tim and all of it. This is the first day in a long time that's just been, you know, not hinky."
"Well, I think we're due for some hink-free days," he leans back in his chair, stretching his hands against the table. "And dessert."
Abby reaches into the bag and pulled out two fortune cookies. "You ready for this?"
"Always," he peels back the plastic, and across the table, she does the same. "Count of three?"
"Yi, er, san," she counts, exhausting her knowledge of Mandarin. Two slips of paper are withdrawn and exchanged. "Ohhh, Tony. Yours is good. I wanna hear mine first, though."
"Big surprise," he rolls his eyes then clears his throat dramatically. "Your fortune, Ms. Sciuto, if you choose to accept it, says 'Even lies sound true from pretty lips...' in bed."
"Huh. I'll take it," Abby shrugs. "Now, Mr. DiNozzo, your fortune says 'Secret talents will make them look twice...' in bed."
"You think?" he snorts, reaching into the bag. "I want another one. Something prophetic, illuminating, insightful."
"It's just a cookie. It can't work miracles," she watches him open the second one, and holds her hand out for the fortune. "Can I have a drum roll, please?" she asks and he obliges. "Thank you, thank you. 'The heart is also an instrument. Be gentle in plucking its strings...' in bed."
"There's one more cookie, Abs. You sure you want to take your first fortune?" Tony toys with the wrapper on the last cookie, looking at her from beneath his eyelashes.
"Eh, give it," she pops the wrapper and pulls out the fortune. Tony closes his fingers over hers a second longer than necessary as he takes it from her.
"Abby's fortune, take two," he grins. "Huh. 'If you have to ask, you'll never know...' in bed."
"Bullshit," she laughs. "When did fortune cookies start quoting the Red Hot Chili Peppers?"
"Beats me," he shrugs, glancing at his watch. "It's nearly ten, Abs. When did it get so late?"
"While you were busy being the 'Piano Man,'" she begins gathering the empty boxes and piling them back in the bag. "You got plans?"
"Nah, I was just gonna go home and watch a movie or something," he carries the leftovers to the fridge. "Are you going out?"
"Not tonight. Reading, I think," she refills her glass and stands in the doorway watching him. "You want to stay and keep me company for a while? I'm sure there's something on cable."
"As long as nothing blows up and no one dies, I don't care what it is," he follows her back to the living room and sinks into the couch. Abby hands him the remote and picks up one of her forensics journals.
"Hey, isn't that Labyrinth?" she glances up from reading to find David Bowie in white spandex on the screen. "I love this movie."
"Yeah?" Tony lays the remote on the cushion between them. "I'm not so into the whole puppet thing, but Jennifer Connoly's hot."
"And fourteen when she filmed this, perv," she nudges Tony with her foot. "Bowie, on the other hand, is pretty and legal."
"And wearing more make up than you own," Tony points out, pulling her feet across his lap. "I can't believe this was a kids' movie."
"What are you doing?" Abby asks as he tugs at her socks. "Are you rubbing my feet, Tony?"
"I was going to, but if you've got better ideas," he winks at her, praying she doesn't kick him.
"You don't have a girlfriend right now, do you?"
"No. Why?" he presses just under the ball of her foot and she moans. "That's hot, Abs."
"Oh, shut up," she says, swatting his shoulder. "You only spoil me when you're not getting any, you know that?"
"Hadn't really thought about it, actually," he shrugs.
"Seriously, when was your last date?"
"Three weeks," he admits.
"Wow," Abby's jaw drops. "That's a record for you, Tony. No wonder you're all foot fetishy."
"You wear those boots, I thought..." he pauses, realizing he sounds lame. "I'm just trying to be nice."
"Of course you are. If you wanted to get in my pants, all this wouldn't be necessary. You'd just have to ask," she says, loving the double-take as he realizes she really did say what he thought she said. "And why haven't you ever asked? I am pretty hot, you know."
"Never said you weren't," Tony recovers well, moving his hand up to trace the lines of the tattoo that wraps around her ankle. "Besides, I thought I wasn't your type. No tats, no leather, no look?"
"You know I never follow the rules, even the ones I make," she grins.
"Well, if that's the case, why haven't you made a move?" he asks, examining the chipped red paint on her toenails. "And when was your last date?"
"Dates? I don't have time for dates. I've been in the lab until at least midnight for the last two weeks, and I have this Special Agent who follows me home a few nights a week," she reaches over and scratches the back of his neck lightly. "He's cute, I think I might keep him."
"You think he wants to be kept?" Tony looks at her, a half-smile on his lips. Abby swings her feet to the floor and slides closer.
"I think he's looking for a good home, someone to take care of him for a change," she says softly, covering his hand with her own. "I think he knows it, and I think he might be afraid to ask for what he needs."
"Abs, can we not do this?" he closes his eyes, leaning his head against the back of the couch.
"Am I wrong?" she asks, feeling the way his fingers tighten around hers, the way he tenses just a little. Tony shakes his head, letting out the breath he's been holding.
"You're not wrong," he says. "I think we should talk about something else. I know you're just... being you, and I appreciate it, but I can't take the teasing."
"No teasing, not about this," she shifts to face him, taking a deep breath that doesn't calm the butterflies in her stomach. "If I, um, I don't know how to say this which is dumb because it's not like I've never done it, but we're friends and we work together so it's more complicated. I don't know, Tony. Do I really have to say this? I guess I do," she can feel her face getting hot, and it's been a long time since she's blushed this much in one night.
"I think I know what you're trying to say, but if you say it then we'll both know for sure that you're saying what I think you're saying," Tony cringes. "And now I sound like you. Please, just say whatever it is before this gets really awkward."
"Okay, so," Abby takes another big breath, shaking her hands out in front of her. The movement makes Tony think of when she's preparing to present a major find in the lab. "I like you, I mean, really like you, not just for the potential of fun naked times but in an 'I might want you around everyday because you're my friend and I kinda love you' way. So, um, can I keep you? Do you want to stay? And if I shouldn't be saying any of this, if I read it wrong, could you just tell me to shut up now, please?"
"Abby?" Tony says after a moment. "I think I should go. It's late and we've got work tomorrow," he stands and picks up his jacket. Abby stares at him, lips just parted, words frozen.
"You're..." she blinks, pushing herself up from the couch. "Fine. Go home, get some sleep. Just forget I
said anything. Forget this happened. In fact, forget the whole evening, okay?"
Tony reaches for his keys, sighing heavily at her tone. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Fuck," Abby swears, flinging her soda across the room when she hears the door slam shut. The plastic tumbler bounces off the wall, as useless as she feels.
Abby's reaching for her collar, the heavy one with four inch spikes, when the phone rings. The caller ID. display flashes 'DiNozzo, A.' and she lets it ring. The mirror confirms that she's pale, eyes still a little red, but it works for her. The latex dress was a bitch to get on, and she's still not sure about it, even though it hugs every curve. She doesn't plan to wear it for long anyway.
She fastens her collar, picks up her bag and heads toward the door. This time her cell phone rings as her hand's on the knob. She sighs, digging it out of her purse. Tony again.
"Oh, it's the bolting Tony," she says in lieu of hello. "I'm not talking to you. Stop calling me," she hangs up before he can respond. She knows he'll call back, it's how he's built. The phone rings again before she can stand up. "What?"
"Please don't hang up, Abby. I screwed up," Tony says in a rush.
"Big time, mister," Abby snaps, flipping the phone closed again. She tosses it on the couch on her way out and grabs her red silk cape.
"Fuck me," she mutters, stopping short just inside the garage. Tony's Mustang is parked across the back of her space and he's leaning against the side of her Neon. Abby crosses the space and stands directly in front of him. "What are you doing, DiNozzo?"
"You didn't leave me a choice. Call it drastic measures," he grins sheepishly. Abby's hands curl at her sides and she takes a deep breath.
"This isn't drastic. This is stupid. You don't want me, fine. I got the message. Sorry I said anything, sorry it freaked you out," she says, reaching past him to place her key in the door.
"I thought you weren't going out," he frowns, taking in the nearly indecent dress.
"Changed my mind. Got a few things I need to work out. Humiliation does that to me," she smiles at him with all the sarcasm she can muster. "Wanna get out of my way?"
"No," he shakes his head, sliding his hand over hers against the door handle. Abby's eyes narrow, and she considers the best way out of this. She settles for the fastest and kicks his right shin, then his left.
"Now, would you like to go move your car or should I just back into it? Dancing or property destruction, Tony, it's your call," she yanks her door open, and jams her key in the ignition. When she looks up at her mirror, she sees he's standing between the two cars. She puts the car in gear and lets it roll back a few inches, watching his face in the rearview mirror. He just shakes his head. Abby sighs and pulls the key out, leaning her forehead against the steering wheel.
She doesn't bother to look up when Tony knocks on the passenger window. She does, however, swear with a passion that even Gibbs would admire. Hell, he'd been the one to teach her some of the more creative, yet strangely fitting, phrases. Tony knocks again and she reaches across to unlock the door.
"Thanks," Tony slides into the seat and Abby slides out of hers. She hits the lock button on her keychain and watches him struggle with the handle for a moment before she walks back toward the elevator. She hears his car start as the doors hiss closed and she leans against the back wall of the compartment.
"What the fuck am I going to do with him?" she asks the air. "And what am I going to do with me?"
It takes longer than it should to get back upstairs. Crying kids, up way past their bedtimes, get off on six. That irritating newlywed couple from twelve gets on at ten. Abby finally steps out into the hall on thirteen and pauses, trying to figure out her next move. Mostly, she's trying not to cry again—she does not cry—and her hands shake as she turns the corner. She finds herself halting again when her door comes into view.
"Jesus, Tony. I admire your persistence but this is insane. Why are you still here?" she asks. Tony's sitting with his back against the door, knees drawn up.
"Gibbs called me a stupid bastard," he holds up his cell phone with one hand, running the other through his hair. Abby thinks that one day she's going to count how many times he does that, chart it against the relative stress factors. Could be a fun study.
She smiles wryly as she touches the top of his head with her fingertips. "Well, he's right. And you use way too much hair product for a straight boy, even if you are metrosexual. And stop looking up my skirt."
"What? I'm not and what did you call me?" he looks startled as Abby offers him her hand and helps him to his feet.
"Metrosexual. You know, urban pretty boys?" she says, shoving down the urge to hug him. "I'm still... whatever I am, but you might as well come in before my neighbors decide you're a stalker."
"Nah, I'm just the dog that followed you home," he gives her a faint smile, eyes lowered. Abby reaches past him to close the door.
"I am going to change, you are going to make hot chocolate," she says, disappearing down the hallway. In her bedroom, she picks the phone up from the dresser, intending to return it to the base. There are six new calls displayed, five of them Tony, and the last is from Gibbs' home number. She dials him back as she removes the jewelry she just put on.
"I'm not a damned guidance counselor," comes the familiar growl. Abby can hear the scrape of his tools over the phone.
"A stupid bastard, huh? I bet that's all you said before you hung up on him," she sits on the edge of the bed, reaching down to unzip her boots.
"Don't know why he called me," Gibbs says and the tool sounds stop. Instead she can hear liquid being poured. She's willing to bet it's coffee, even at this hour, and probably with an extra splash of bourbon in her honor.
"You've got three ex-wives, and he's a stupid bastard?" she ventures a guess.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but go easy on him," he says and she can hear his smile just before the line dies. Abby takes her time peeling off her dress, careful not to snag it on her nails. It goes back into the garment bag, and she digs pajamas out of the bottom of her dresser.
She finds Tony in the kitchen, heating milk on the stove. She leans against the counter beside him, not quite touching. He doesn't look at her, just pulls down two mugs from cabinet and reaches past her for the canister of powdered chocolate.
"How long before you get scared and run again, Tony?" she asks. "How far did you get before you turned around and came back?"
"You kicked me and it hurt," he moves the pan to a cold burner and whisks the chocolate into the milk. "Didn't hurt as much as the look on your face when I left, or when you saw me in the garage. I deserved it, I... can we just say that leaving wasn't my best idea?"
"If you'd been moving any faster, you'd have set a new record for the ten foot dash," she says. "I haven't had a guy sprint out of here like that since, well, ever."
"How many of them have you kept?" he moves to open the fridge. "Do you have—never mind, got it."
"None of them, Tony. Haven't wanted to," she watches him spray the fake whipped cream over each of the mugs. The one he hands her has a heart floating on top of the hot chocolate.
"So why me, Abs? Why now?" he stands in front of her, not quite toe to loafer.
"Because you make up silly songs and read my fortunes, and you rub my feet just the way I like it," she says with a wink. He starts to take a step back and she grabs his hand. "Uh-uh, you're not running again. There's only so much I can take in one night."
"I wasn't," he's not looking at her again, and Abby brings her hands up to cup his face.
"Sorry. I'm just a little jumpy," she says. "You want to know why, and I'm trying to tell you. Tony, you get it right, even when you're wrong. You make me laugh and you... you turn me on, and I get flustered and I blush and I babble and I like it. I like the way you make me feel. I like who you are, even when you're being pig headed and immature and running out the door."
"I'm never going to live that down, am I?" he chuckles.
"You don't get to laugh at that yet. I'm still cranky," she scowls briefly, sliding her hand to the back his neck. "I like being able to come home and have dinner with someone and not having to explain what it is I do for a living. More than any of that, though, I just... I want to be able to hold you. And I know how that sounds, 'cause here I am, queen of the kink, but I look at you and I want to hold onto you. I want to keep you safe, and I know that I can't, not really because there's work and work means not safe but I look at you and I want to try. So that's why."
Tony closes his eyes again and Abby holds her breath, trying to forget exactly where the knife block is located. He pulls her to him, his arms around her waist, and he leans his face into her shoulder.
"Tony?" she whispers, hearing his breath hitch.
"Oh, god," he says, lifting his head. She catches herself before the gasp forms, but she's still thrown by his reaction. She touches his cheek gently, wiping away the tears. "I'm sorry, Abs."
"It's okay, hon," she traces the curve of his jaw, holding his gaze. "I've got a question for you now."
"Well, actually I've got lots of questions, but only one that matters," she bites her lower lip as she looks up at him. "Why the heck did you call Gibbs?"
"Yes—wait, what? That's what you want to know?" his eyebrows rise dangerously to his hairline. Abby laughs, pulling him down for a kiss, the important question answered as his lips meet hers.
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