"You keep this place really clean," says the hot chick from the Secret Service.
"Can't have dust," says Abby. "Screws with the machines."
"I wouldn't have thought…" Kate says, and then wanders over to the plasma screen and pretends to be fascinated by the cross section of fibula at 500x. "Never mind."
"Why, 'cause of the clothes and the tats?" Abby asks, grinning wickedly. "'Cause I'm not Marine issue?"
"I picture geniuses as spontaneous, irresponsible. I don't know," Kate says, and when she turns around she's blushing. "I pictured you more messy," she says.
"I can be," says Abby.
Tony gives honey dust to all his girlfriends, and also Abby, his second and third Christmases at NCIS. She makes him lick it off her sternum, right there in the lab past midnight.
"Honey…bergamot…Old Spice?" He licks his lower lip. "You use Old Spice?"
Abby grins. "Maybe."
Tony licks her chest again. "CK Obsession!"
Abby wraps her arms around Tony's shoulders and digs in her nails and behind him, tiny glass ampules rattle in their cardboard boxes on the lab counter. She lets her shirt fall from her shoulders.
"Kate wears CK Obsession," says Tony.
"Yeah, she does," Abby agrees.
"Abby, don't go. I apologize again for Chip."
Abby stands in the doorway in her favorite cargo pants and her striped hat. Director Shepard leans back at her desk.
"Tell Tony," Abby says. The director looks away. "He's the one whose life Chip almost ruined."
"I thought that was you," the director says, not unkindly. "I never wanted to see the day when you lost your faith in forensics."
"I didn't lose faith in forensics," Abby says, and her hands are stained with gunpowder residue and fingerprint dust. "Just management." She squeezes Bert.
"I'm so, so sorry, Abs," says Jenny.
Gibbs likes women who like the smell of sawdust and Abby likes the smell of sawdust mostly because it reminds her of Gibbs.
"I got lousy taste," she drawls, drunkenly, slumping against the frame of his boat. "In lovers. Stalkers. Whatever."
"Yeah," says Gibbs. "You do."
Abby lets her chin fall over the cedar beam and she stares at Gibbs. His eyes are crinkled into a smile and his hands are calloused and strong.
"I think about you and me sometimes, you know," she says. His Adam's apple bobs when he swallows. "I wish I liked sawdust more," she says.
Abby trails the feather across Ziva's chest, painting it with honey dust, and Ziva's skin glows gold in the dim light. "You are so beautiful," says Abby.
"Todah," says Ziva, and her dark eyes dip. "Last time someone told me that, I was in the Rub al-Khali," she says. "I was trapped in a dust storm. I took shelter with a Bedouin woman who later turned out to be a terrorist."
Abby touches her tongue to Ziva's breast and it tastes like honey and sand. "It's okay," she murmurs. "Nights are long in the desert," she says, because she knows.