Summary: After an undercover operation in which Tony is injured, he and Abby end up at Gibbs' house on Christmas Eve. First time Gibbs/Abby/Tony threesome and really just an excuse for some smut and a bit of fun
A/N: Apologies for taking so long to post more chapters on this one. LJ has been driving me crazy - either it won't let me post at all or the LJ Cut won't work *glares*
Chapter 5 – Walls Crumbling
Rapidly breaking off their conversation when they heard footsteps on the stairs, Tony and Abby moved apart, Tony heading for the living room as Gibbs reappeared.
Abby watched Gibbs entering the kitchen, wondering if the evening could get any more distracting.
Oh great... another orgasm inducing outfit... just what she needed.
He'd changed into snug fitting sweatpants and that damn red hoodie... the one that made her want to crawl up his front and attack his neck.
Before he could catch her drooling or read something in her face left over from the swirling emotions just now with Tony, Abby turned to busy herself with laying the table.
She was conscious of Gibbs watching her as she worked but deliberately avoided eye contact. When she was done, Abby gave him a quick smile and nipped up to quickly take a shower while Gibbs finished off dinner.
Besides, she needed time to herself to think about what she'd learned. She and Tony needed to talk more about what they'd just discussed but that was unlikely to happen this evening with an audience... even if the audience was who they needed to talk about.
Was Tony right?
Did Gibbs want her?
But then she'd been so certain that Gibbs wanted Tony and vice versa...
And more to the point, was she willing to start something with Tony if she was really sure he and Gibbs should be together? It wouldn't be fair on either of them.
And what would Tony want to do?
The bottom line was they didn't know really how Gibbs felt and if he'd want a relationship with either of them... never mind both of them.
And how the hell was she supposed to start that conversation?
God, could this get any more messy?
By the time she came downstairs again, dressed in her comfy sweatpants and another of Gibbs USMC sweatshirts, she'd decided not to torture herself any more tonight but just try and relax and enjoy time with... her?... guys.
As she crossed the hallway, Gibbs watched her from the kitchen, running his eyes over the sweatshirt she was wearing, thinking it looked a hell of a lot better on her than it ever did on him, even if it did swamp her slender figure.
Her dark hair was still damp and she'd left it loose to brush her shoulders and his fingers itched to comb through it.
She'd scrubbed her make-up off in the shower and while he loved seeing her in full war-paint, he always thought she looked at her most breathtakingly beautiful like this with her face at its most natural... her creamy skin flawless.
Shaking himself out of his daydream, Gibbs turned his attention back to dinner. He needed time to process what he'd heard and decide what to do about it, if anything.
He felt slightly guilty about eavesdropping.
He'd heard them talking as he came out of his bedroom and was about to descend the stairs when he heard Abby admitting to Tony that she loved them both. That had frozen him in place and he'd listened with a pounding heart to the rest of their conversation.
But he couldn't think about the implications of that at the moment and what it could mean for the three of them. Tony's pain over what had happened today had to come first.
As Abby entered the living room, Tony was ensconced on the couch and greeted her with a smile when she settled next to him, whispering, "Hey... You okay?"
She returned his smile, seeing for only the second time his unguarded expression when he looked at her, and wondered if she'd ever seen him looking so beautiful, despite the strain and tired lines on his face. "Yeah... I'm good. It's a lot to take in."
"Tell me about it," he glanced warily in the direction of the kitchen. "He's quiet..." When she raised an amused eyebrow at him, as that was hardly an unusual description of Gibbs, Tony rolled his eyes and clarified, "I mean really quiet."
When they were ready to eat, Gibbs called them through so he could dish up dinner. She mustered up a bright smile as they sat at his kitchen table, not missing that the relaxed expression Gibbs had sported from earlier had gone and that his face was now unreadable.
He'd retreated behind his own mask... for whatever reason.
They didn't talk much while they tackled dinner, both Gibbs and Abby watching Tony push his food round his plate rather than devouring everything in sight like he normally did, although he eventually ate enough to stave off Abby's fussing.
Abby was conscious of a certain strain in the atmosphere... both men preoccupied. Tony she could understand but Gibbs had only seemed tired earlier, not this distracted.
Retiring to the living room with coffee, Abby settled onto the couch next to Tony while Gibbs took the armchair. Producing a bottle of bourbon, he poured shots for them all, ignoring Abby's comments about the effects of painkillers with alcohol.
If he kept an eye that Tony didn't drink too much, it was worth it if it loosened the younger man's tongue enough to get him talking about what had happened earlier today.
As the evening wore on, they eased into chatting about everything and nothing... and gradually the atmosphere lightened, three friends at ease with one another.
They kept the subjects light... Jackson, Mike Franks and his girls, and Abby's family. They all studiously avoided mentioning Tony's father as DiNozzo Sr had once again not arranged to see his son over Christmas and Abby knew Tony doubted that he'd even call.
Finally, the conversation trailed off and they sat in companionable silence for a while.
Tony eventually started shifting restlessly, not comfortable with the quiet, as Gibbs suspected he wouldn't be. Tony never did well with silences, nearly always feeling the need to fill them.
Abby visibly jumped when Tony's voice broke the quiet.
"Okay, I give in. I'll say it. Are we gonna ignore the elephant in the room or get it out of the way so we can shove it out the door?"
Gibbs looked up, startled, for a brief moment wondering which elephant Tony was referring to – the shooting, or what he'd overheard the two of them talking about?
And from the expression on Abby's face for a split second, it looked like she might have been wondering the same thing.
But it was obvious from his first words that Tony's dark mood about the day's events hadn't lifted.
"Look, I know you both mean well but I really, really don't wanna talk about the shooting."
Gibbs' response was short. "Not asking you to, Tony."
"Then what do you want from me, Gibbs?" Tony knew Gibbs silent interrogation technique and resented being on the end of it.
Gibbs shrugged, taking another swig of his drink. "Nothin'."
Abby looked between the two of them, exasperated, "Well, I do. Someone should tell you and you should believe it that it's not your fault that woman is dead."
"Isn't it?" Tony's tone was curt. "There's a young boy who's now an orphan coz of me."
"But you defended yourself... you saved McGee," Abby pointed out.
"Maybe so, but it doesn't change the fact that there's a kid out there who no longer has a mother. I know what that's like. One minute your mother's there, the next... not." Tony broke off, his voice hoarse with strain. "How do you explain that to a little boy?"
Abby glanced at Gibbs, seeing by his face that he was echoing her thought. For someone who didn't want to talk about it, Tony was doing a very good job of actually... talking about it.
"No one forced her to do what she did... no one forced her to open fire. She made that choice, Tony, not you," Abby told him, frowning,
"Would it have made a difference if you hadn't met the kid?" Gibbs' voice was calm as he interjected.
Tony shrugged, staring into his glass, "I dunno, Gibbs."
"Even if she hadn't died," Abby persisted, "her son would still be an orphan coz she'd be spending the rest of her life in jail."
"It's a big difference being six feet under rather than in jail." Tony glanced over at Gibbs but his eyes were cool, face unreadable... his 'interrogation listening' face.
"Yeah, but her son would still have lost her... would still have grown up without a mother."
When Tony didn't answer her, Abby's shoulders slumped, reaching for her glass and throwing the shot back in one go, welcoming the familiar burn slide down her throat.
"You two are frighteningly similar at times, you know that. You both drive me crazy."
Tony rubbed a hand over his face, sighing tiredly, "I'm sorry, Abbs. Don't be mad."
Abby threw her hands up, "I'm not mad, Tony. I'm just worried about you and I hate to see you blame yourself. I know you're hurting and feeling guilty and anything I say or Gibbs says won't make any difference but I gotta get this out. You can't blame yourself for what happened."
Gibbs chose that moment to pitch in, leaning forward in his chair as if to emphasise his words, his blue eyes intense, "Abby's right, Tony, and you know it. It's not your fault. You're not responsible for the choices she made. She chose to open fire first, knowing what would happen. You had no choice. Believe me, I know."
None of them needed to voice it to hear the name Agent Michelle Lee hovering in the air.
None of them needed the reminder of how Gibbs had been forced to shoot Lee to save his own life and those of innocent bystanders from the guy holding Lee in front of him as a human shield, but Gibbs' actions had left her young sister, Amanda, an orphan.
If anyone could understand how Tony was feeling, it was Gibbs.
Seeing a glimpse of the lingering pain in Gibbs' eyes, Tony sighed, his voice softening, "I know... really I do. Sorry, Gibbs..."
He saw the look the older man gave him at hearing the apology but couldn't bring himself to care. "I didn't mean to rake it up again and remind you. I just gotta... think about it some more, get it right in my head."
"I know you do," Gibbs sat back, satisfied for now.
"Don't worry, I'll be..."
"Fine." Abby rolled her eyes as she finished his sentence. "Yeah, I guessed as much."
She knew there was only so much straight talking Tony would accept from her, and if he wanted to start rebuilding those walls he kept around himself, then she wasn't going to stop him.
"Take as much time as you need, just... just don't shut us out." Abby reached out to squeeze his hand, heart aching for him.
"Okay, Abbs... I promise." Tony gave her a small smile as he tightened his grip around her fingers.
Sensing they'd done as much as they could to help for now, Gibbs went to make hot chocolate for the two of them, while Abby fetched Tony a glass of water and the bottle of prescription pain pills.
Tony took the pills with a grimace, dreading his inevitable reaction to the painkillers.
He called out so Gibbs could hear him in the kitchen, "Can I just say in advance, and in my own defence, that I'm not to be held responsible for anything and everything loopy and goofy I might say and do when these things hit the fan. You both know what they do to me."
He exchanged a glance with Abby, hoping that didn't include letting slip anything he and Abby had been discussing earlier.
She smiled tenderly at him, trying to keep the atmosphere light, which at least earned her a chuckle, "Don't worry, Tony. I promise not to capture it on my phone and show McGee if you do anything goofy... goofier."
Outside the window, the snow was falling thickly and Gibbs banked the fire up after he delivered the mugs to them with a small smile, before insisting on dealing with the dishes, rolling his eyes when Abby teased him about going all domestic on them.
The two of them relaxed on the couch, sipping their hot chocolate... although Tony complained bitterly that there were no marshmallows cut up in it which earned him a giggle from Abby and a mock glare from Gibbs.
When the lights flickered several times and finally went out and stayed out, Abby helped Gibbs grab the extra flashlights and light candles round the room. The fire provided enough light and heat in the living room but the candles added to the warm glow.
Abby moved over to the window, watching the snow laying thickly outside and still falling. She glanced at Gibbs as he joined her. He still seemed somewhat distant but had relaxed a bit since earlier.
"No one's going anywhere in that tomorrow," she commented ruefully. "Don't think I'm gonna make it to church after all."
"Nope," he shook his head. "Though you might get your snowman wish after all, Abbs."
A smile curved her lips, "Gonna let me whoop your ass in a snowball fight?"
He tilted his head, his full lop-sided grin breaking out for the first time since dinner, "Might do."
Abby curled up next to Tony on the couch, who appeared to be dozing, his head tilted back against the couch, while Abby sat staring into the fire, seemingly miles away.
Gibbs watched them, preoccupied with his own thoughts...