ncis; abby and kate, gen
1405 words, g
In our weariness, tears cannot find their way out of us. Abby mourns.
Also: Written for philosophy_20, prompt #2 - 'loss'. For Rory, because I promised him NCIS girlfic ages ago. Obligatory disclaimer: NCIS is not mine and never ever ever will be, despite how much I want Gibbs. In my PANTS.
With a flick of the main lightswitch in her lab, Abby officially finished work at 2300 hours on a Thursday night. Sliding the door shut on not only the now-quiet laboratory, but also a long and arduous week, she went to check the bullpen a final time to make sure Kate had left, as she promised she would. Poor Kate, she thought. The last week has been really hard on her especially. What with DiNozzo being infected with pneumonic plague and all, and Kate deciding that two years of being tortured by the senior field agent, not to mention the threat of contracting the disease herself, didn't matter - not in the face of true love, anyway.
It was definitely cute, Abby thought. Especially considering how far in denial Kate was about it. And so was Tony, really. They'd always had that "we're-eventually-going-to-sleep-togethe
And there Kate was, looking deathly pale bathed in the glow of her computer's flickering screen, tapping away slowly at the keyboard, looking utterly miserable.
"Kate!" Abby called across the bullpen. Kate was startled by the sudden noise, but her face relaxed into a tired smile on seeing Abby. "I thought I told you that you had to be outta here by nine!"
"Hey, it's not as if I want to be here," Kate said. Abby's expression changed to one of pity. "I hate paperwork. I hate NCIS, and I hate everything it stands for," she mumbled.
Abby laughed, and pulled out a chair from the desk nearest to Kate's, and wheeled herself back next to Kate. "So, what's so incredibly important that you can't possibly leave?"
"I need to submit this to the director by 0900 tomorrow morning," Kate yawned.
"What, and it can't wait a day?"
"No, and apparently I'm the only one who can get it done. DiNozzo's sick, Gibbs is, well, Gibbs, and McGee's too junior to be dealing with this. Like a monkey wouldn't be able to fill out all these stupid reports," she complained.
"Poor Kate," sighed Abby, putting an arm around Kate's shoulder and planting a kiss on her temple. Kate smiled. "This week's been really bad for all of us, hasn't it?"
"Especially you and DiNozzo," Abby said, sneakily, remembering her previous ruminations on the subject. "All locked up in isolation together."
"We have to put our lives on the line as part of this job," Kate replied, concentrating entirely on the keyboard in front of her, not betraying anything. "Tony knew that."
Abby decided to get straight to the point. "Did you guys share germs? 'Cause, you know, you and Tony would make a really—"
"Abby!" Kate stretched out the last part of her name, sounding even more tired than she looked. "Don't! That's just. . ." She looked utterly lost, as if she couldn't find the words to truly describe how she felt about DiNozzo.
"What!?" she exclaimed. "You really need a nap. Here, have some," Abby told her, sliding her half-full cup of soda towards Kate, who shook her head.
"Kate! You need to keep up your strength," she reprimanded.
"Caffeine hardly counts as keeping up my strength. If I drink that, I'll probably end up as dependent on it as you are and Gibbs is to coffee, and then where will I be?"
Abby grinned. "Oh, come on. How else do you think I manage to look so damn great after all the horror and stress you guys put me through?" she asked playfully.
"Good point," Kate said, as she looked longingly at the cup. Suddenly, she reached out, grabbed it, popped off the plastic top, and chugged its contents in one fluid motion. Abby felt immensely proud, watching her friend succumb to the wonders of caffeine. She patted her on the shoulder.
"Thanks," Kate said. "I'm going to need that." Turning back to her laptop, Kate continued to plough on through her paperwork, and Abby settled in beside her, readying herself for the long night ahead.
When Gibbs strode in at 0800 the next morning, a Caf-Pow! in one hand and an industrial-sized cup of coffee in the other, he was greeted by the sight of his two girls asleep at Kate's desk - Abby snoring quietly, Kate looking as if she was on the verge of falling off her chair. His thoughts of the past week, Gibbs smiled as quietly, as unnoticeably as he could, deposited the Caf-Pow next to Abby's head, and continuted on to Autopsy, leaving the girls behind in their dreamlands for now.
And it was only a week later, just after she'd gotten off the flight from Louisiana that Abby found herself back at the NCIS office building, alone. She knew there was no hope of being able to sleep at home, so she decided to go back to the lab, and at least use the time to do something productive. But she'd passed the desks where DiNozzo, McGee and Kate all sat, and she couldn't help but sit down and take some time to think.
Sad: that just seven days before, Abby had been sitting here with Kate by her side, talking about DiNozzo's near-death experience - and now, here she was, Kate's cold body locked away in a cabinet in Autopsy, and Abby alone in the bullpen, with nothing but the hush and solace of an almost funereal silence. Strange how things worked out. The quiet stretched out before her, like the ghostly and vague landscapes of dreams. Abby felt lost, as if she were marooned at sea, all alone with nobody to show her the way back home.
She opened the drawers in Kate's desk, took out everything they contained, handling them with the same gentle care she used daily with the evidence she was dealt. In a way, they were the same thing, Kate's belongings - the remnants that people left behind, left for her to pick up and pull every single detail from.
There was a coat in the bottom drawer - stationary, gum, a set of keys, her spare weapon, and inexplicably, a copy of A Midsummer-Night's Dream in the second drawer - and in the top, a sketchbook and a set of grey lead pencils. Marking her desk were faint shadows of graphite - as Abby spotted them, she was reminded painfully of the moments she saw Kate, with nothing else to do, sitting at her desk, watching something (or somebody, as it usually happened) intently, with a pencil in her hand and a sketchbook on her lap. She picked up the book, and began to leaf through the pages.
The drawings were all only half-complete, but it felt deliberate - as if Kate had decided they were all complete in themselves, just the way they were. Abby felt as if she was intruding on something private. There was DiNozzo, leaning back casually in his seat, caught in a moment of laughter; Ducky, staring off intently into the distance; McGee leaning over a keyboard; there was Gibbs with a rare glimmer of something she couldn't quite name flashing in his eyes; and Abby herself, wearing one of those ridiculous hats she'd made, perched on her head, a wide grin plastered across her face.
All these sketches, all those stories and moments in time they had shared, and now that was all she'd been left with. Abby had no tears left, or so it felt - she was a vessel run dry, and had nothing to fill the dull, aching gap left behind. Oh, Kate, she thought inadequately, not having any words to properly encapsulate just how much she was going to miss having her around in her life.
As Abby fell asleep at her friend's desk, her pigtails brushing over the pages of an abandoned sketchbook and graphite dust sticking to her pale cheeks, her dreams were all of an NCIS agent, fingers curled around her gun like ivy around the oldest of walls and columns and the wind toying gently with her hair. She was saying something to Abby, laughing; and even though Abby had no idea what her friend was saying - all she could concentate on was the image of Kate, just a shadow of herself in the bright bright sunlight and still very much alive. It was all she needed.
a/n: Yeah, I know - it's just that Abby and I miss Kate very very muchly. Concrit would be very much appreciated if anybody has the time; I don't know how good my characterisation (and other stuff like that) is and holy shitting God I have nineteen fics left, the horror! THE HORROR!