DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for Shatterstorm Production's Femslash Advent Calendar: Dog Days of Summer 2010. NCIS is a new fandom for me and this is my first time writing this pair. Thank you as always ladies for all your hard work on the calendar and for letting me play again this year.
SPOILERS: Up to and including Season 7, Episode 3, The Inside Man.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Geekgrrl.lurking[at]gmail.com

Free to Be
By Geekgrrllurking


I have survived many things.

Torture, beatings, being shot, stakeouts trapped in a small vehicle with Tony DiNozzo for long periods of time. Some would say that last one was torture as well. Regardless, even that did not prepare me for this.

Nothing could prepare me for this.

I don't know how I would possibly survive the touch of those lips on my skin. How could one truly prepare for the reality of her suddenly shy mouth, smiling knowingly, silently begging you to kiss them, to truly claim them and yet maddeningly continue to stay just out of reach? My imagination, even at its most vivid, could not compare to the flesh and blood woman here in front of me, tempting me to just take the next step.

It is cruel and unusual punishment.

And despite my best efforts to refrain, I am only human after all. So I make my first tentative movement towards her as she waits patiently for me to catch up. I wonder if she will always be one step ahead of me. God, I hope so.

I stare into her caring eyes, eyes that seem to be trying to figure out what is going on inside my head. Eyes I am afraid will see my black soul if given half the chance. And while the warrior inside of me shivers with fear, the woman inside melts, ready to be set free.

It had all started out innocently enough. Girls night out she had said, her eyes overflowing with emotion as she stood by my desk. Since my return to America everything seems so overwhelming, so precious. New. Life is a gift I have been given to make the most of. And she was as always, so open and easy to read, hope and good intentions pouring from her. But I am still raw and unsure, not trusting this new me.

It was easier to fall back into old habits and I hardened my heart like usual, turning her down. It was not safe for her. I needed to protect her from myself, from my enemies. From my father.

My father.

How can I even call him that any longer? The man who had sent me into a suicide mission and left me there to die. It is a bitter pill to swallow, yet the rational warrior inside of me completely understands. The woman inside however is outraged, hurt and in pain. It is so clearly time for me to change or I will forever be trapped in my father's world.

I heard the elevator chime, the doors slide open and closed and knew she was gone. I had pushed her away like I had always done before. I calmly tell myself that it's for her safety but who am I kidding? I am scared, terrified, of revealing the monster I am inside to anyone.

Especially to her.

Funny what almost dying does to a girl. It makes you realize that time is precious. Life is precious. Too precious to wait, to only do your duty, to be afraid. It is time for a change. I need to learn to love and trust. I need to live. I quickly typed my email message to my father, pausing a moment before hitting the send button.

This was it. I would be severing myself from that world and everything I had known, from my homeland. From my father.

I glanced over to Gibb's desk.

A father protects and guides, lets you make mistakes and then picks you up and gets you back out there again, smacks you on the head when you need it. Tears prick at the back of my eyes and I realize that I haven't lost my father at all. Sometimes you chose your family.

I hit send.

It was like a weight had been lifted. It was time for me to make a new life now. My life. How I want to live it. And with whomever I want to live it with. I was free to be me, who ever that is. And I knew just who I wanted to figure that out with.

"I got your text." Abby Scuito blinks and smiles again, pulling me from my thoughts as she leans against her Volvo. She waits for me, adorable in her nervousness and my heart seems to beat again. "I'm glad you changed your mind about going out."

"I thought maybe I had missed my chance." I take a step forward. Who would have thought I'd be doing this in the NCIS parking garage? "I'm sorry about upstairs. I had something to take care of with my father and…"

"No. That's cool Zee…" Abby grins at me as she fidgets with the little skull dangling off her key chain, dragging it across her fingers. I wonder what other mischief those talented fingers could get into and my eyes snap back to meet her curious green ones.

"No, it is not." My mind flashes back to my tiny cell, barely able to breathe from the beating I had just endured, eyes swollen shut, certain in the knowledge that I was going to be killed imminently. The mental anguish was almost worse than the physical pain. I'll never forget the thoughts that ran through my mind, the regrets in my life, the consuming anger with my father, the sadness of losing my NCIS family. And those amazing eyes, staring at me.

Kind of like they were now.

"I…" I glanced down to my hands. This is harder than I thought it would be. Damn it I am Mossad…

No. I am NCIS and it's time I start acting like it. It is time to trust and take a chance.

"I just bit the bull and sent my father a message resigning from Mossad." It feels good to tell her. Hell, it just feels good to be with her. I am beginning to think I made the right decision, about a lot of things.

"Oh my God." Abby's eyes grow large. "Can you even do that?"

Good question and one I don't know the answer to for sure. So I just shrug and look away, afraid of what my eyes will reveal to her. I hear her footsteps as she comes towards me, meeting me halfway.

"Hey, we're your family now anyway." I meet Abby's eyes, so tender and caring. She makes me feel safe, even if it's only for a moment lost in her eyes. "Screw those bozos. Well, not your dad, but you know what I mean."

She glances away, then looks at me again, searching my eyes. I think she is looking for the truth and I pray that she sees it in me. And then I see it in her eyes, a spark, a fire, desire burning bright. Only a glimpse, but it ignites something inside me. She stares at me, looking at my lips, a question clear in eyes, the hint of a possibility. Her eyes narrow and I know she's about to spring something on me.

"Why don't we skip the club and just go out for dinner? Or better yet, come over to my place and we'll order in and watch a movie or something."

My heart starts to thunder at the offer and I want to say yes. Desperately. I can't stop the grin as I once again realize I no longer need to worry about what my father would think or do. He no longer has the control, the power over me.

I am finally free to be me.

"I would like that, Abby."

Her hand stretches out, so sure and calm. I wrap my hand with hers, her fingers entwining with mine, squeezing them tight. I feel the strength in her touch, a strength that I will need and she is freely offering. Love and family is clearly what we make it.

"Come on David. I don't bite." Abby smiles mischievously and nudges me playfully with her elbow, before pulling me towards her car. "Well, not on the first date anyway…"

The End

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