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Pigtails and Tweed

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Pigtails and Tweed". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Abigail Sciuto meets the most fascinating people at clubs...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > GeneralSamarkandFR181519,8862421679,51913 Sep 096 Nov 09Yes

Chapter One

Illustration

Banner provided by the very talented Methos

Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Mutant Enemy and the fertile mind of the Joss (ALL HAIL!. NCIS is the creation of Donald Bellisario and C.F Jackson. All settings and characters are borrowed without claim of the author to any intellectual property

Having the best time of your life upright with your clothes on could be exactly like the best time of your life sideways with your clothes off, Abby Sciuto thought.

She danced liked a dream. The kind of dream that leaves you hot, sweaty, a little scared, and a damp spot under the covers. Dark brown hair that flashed through the air like a bullwhip, dark eyes that smoldered like a fire right before the backdraft erupts, an athletic body in a harlot's red tank-t and tight leather pants that left her more naked than naked below the waist. The number pumping out of the club's sound system was an Android Lust piece with a beats per minute usually associated with cardiac arrythmia; the girl blurred through moves that left the music in the dust. Abby had decided to stay on the het side of things after the obligatory experimental phase at LSU. This girl revived thoughts of further extensive clinical trials in a dark corner. Without the control group.

Abby shivered when her dance partner finished with a whole-body press, with one leather-clad thigh doing wild things beneath her schoolgirl kilt. Then dammit, she was gone with a wave and a smirk into the press of the crowd. Meep. Gathering jet-black hair that had escaped her pigtails, Abby tottered over to the bar for alcoholic reinforcements. The chrome-and-resin bar was a Gigeresque confection of alien jaws and vertebrae. Honestly, she thought it was trying a bit too hard. Like the rest of the club and its customers: young staffers who had burst out of their offices in the District to howl at the moon on a Saturday night. Abby didn't mind. The DJ played the music she liked--what Tim called "rabid weasels tossed into a jet turbine"--at a volume that rivaled meteor impacts. All good!

The tattooed-and-pierced bartender recognized her from other clubs Abby had frequented. Without prompting, he served up her traditional drink: "Spanking the Green Fairy", Caf-Pow with a generous measure of absinthe. All FDA legal, of course. Abby's personal politics trended towards the libertarian, but the courage of her convictions wasn't worth the loss of her security clearance or job at NCIS. The intense mixture of caffeine, high alcohol content, and trace elements of wormwood pushed her brain chemistry into a sparkly place. She swayed to the music, an old-school Cure number meant to cool down the crowd. A smirk played over her black-glossed lips when she spotted her nameless partner slow-dancing with a pasty gothboy in a way that could have had her arrested in several Southern states. Yum. Gothboy looked almost hungry as the young woman lead him under stairs formed of entwined biomechanical monstrosities.

Two minutes later, there was a flash of red as she stalked out from the shadows. Fingers brushed at her clothing as if flicking away dust. Huh. Talk about wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Oooof. Abby wavered. She was just aroused enough that the idea of looking up Miss Thing or substituting her with one of the corpse-painted male hopefuls seemed like a good idea. Considering that she was also more than a little twisted and tired? Not a good sign for an evening of safe, sane, and consensual. Still, the night was young enough that dragging herself back to Ye Olde Coffin was a waste. Raising her drink high, Abby stalked in impossibly-chunky boots to black velveteen curtains at the back of the club. Clever design in the alcove leading up to it and the thick draped blocked out the blast from the club's sound system. The amber light from the faux electric candles in frosted glass shone on low divans and stuccoed walls.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything
what have I become?


Everyone thought Abby liked her music loud and dark. The earsplitting volume was from a childhood in a loving home that had yet been shadowed by silence. Goth and industrial spoke to her of the grim reality beneath the surface of things, truths she'd discovered listening to the crushers in the junkyard nearby working while puzzling out what had happened to the still-bloodstained wrecks towed in for disposal. But you couldn't live in New Orleans without loving the other styles that were always the background. Jazz, from the bland stuff in the French Quarter tourist clubs to the exuberant playing of the bands that lead funeral processions through the streets. The wild Cajun swirls of zydeco born in the bayous. Even the odd Jimmy Buffet numbers Abby secretly sang, which Tim had promised on pain of severely-gruesome death never to reveal. Music was music. Beauty was beauty.

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here


Johnny Cash's cover of Reznor's "Hurt". Cliche, the kind of thing a poser would put on to impress you with his idea of hip. Yet she couldn't deny that the late Man in Black's version had a fragile, haunting beauty. The man lounging on the worn violet cushions of a couch in the back plucking the strings of a Gibson acoustic guitar was easily in Cash's league. Silently, Abby slipped onto a nearby loveseat with her legs curled up beneath her. His voice had a soft English accent that was a cousin to Ducky's posh Edinburgh lilt; the words drifted through the air with a gentle clarity. More than a little resemblance to Ducky: intelligent scholar's features lost in the moment, dark hair tinged with distinguished silver. His fingers--

Abby had a reputation for noticing tiny details. You'd expect an obvious intellectual to have hands marked only by the odd pencil or guitarist's callus. His were roughened like a working man's. No, more like a martial artist's. Like Ziva's or Gibbs', marked by years of hand-to-hand practice. A strange detail, a contrast like a man right out of Oxford wearing a leather jacket and a vintage "Dark Side of the Moon" t-shirt.

I will let you down
I will make you hurt
if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way


Abby shut up what she called her inner Velma and just listened.

"Oh, dear, it seems I have an audience." The man slipped on a pair of gold-rimmed glasses.

"Don't mind me." Abby beamed. "That was amazing!"

"One of the few welcome relics of my dissipated youth." The man cased his instrument with a precision and care Abby has seen Gibbs put away his guns after a range session. "Much as it is satisfying to watch the youth of today and make annoyed clucking sounds, I found the need for respite."

"Android Lust not your speed?" Abby asked.

"I find music best used to accompany trepanation," he admitted, "something of a trial. A co-worker of mine dragged me out by my ear to, how shall I put it?"

"Get the knots outta your tweed undershorts, Giles." Leather and sweat, a hint of cigarette smoke. A husky voice straight out of South Boston. Her dance partner was just there with a sneakiness that would have rivaled Ziva's shinobi powers. "Hey, Pippi. In here to listen to the G-Man?"

"Faith." All of a sudden there was a flash of Jethro in this tall British man. Stern humour and amusement mixed with a soldier's discipline in his bearing. "Any, ah, problems?"

"Nah, just a few--" Faith flicked her gaze to Abby. "Gave 'em the eye, they moved along. No troubles. City's pretty dead, and gotta love the irony there."

"And a good night's work done." Giles stretched. "If you'll excuse me, I believe my underthings have been sufficiently untangled."

"Got to work on your stamina, G." Faith stalked across the carpet with a sensual grace that sent squirmy feelings through Abby's tummy. "'Course, after talking with 'Livia--"

"Save me from gossips." Giles inclined his head. "I am glad you enjoyed my amateur theatrics."

"Don't be a douche." Faith snorted. "You ever check out the Nervosa in G-town on Friday nights, there'll be girls line up ten deep with damp panties when Rupe's on the mike. Like I said way back in the when, if I'd've known they came this young and cute, woulda joined up a long time before I did."

Huh. Military? Law enforcement. Curiouser and curiouser.

"Faith, please." Giles extended a hand. "I hope you enjoy your evening."

"Think I hit the high point," Abby said. "I'm Abbs--I mean Abigail, although my friends call me Abby--"

"Charmed."

Oh, was she!

Faith swaggered out with swaying hips that Abby was pretty sure was exactly for her benefit. Mr. Giles--something about him just screamed "Mister"--followed with the amused exasperation seen so often on a certain former Marine gunnery sergeant. Not lovers. Something else. Abby idly wondered what. Mysteries, always fun. Draining the last of her drink, NCIS's top forensics diva self-checked before heading out for a cab back to her apartment. Night might be young, but she figured the high point had passed. Besides, much to her annoyance, Vance had asked her to come in Sunday to take care of the forensics on that high-profile case with the Admiral's daughter--

Soft yet powerful hands dragged her into an alley.

The brick of the alley wall rough against her back through her T shirt.

Faith grinned with a feral intensity that made Abby's inner switch flop over, bare its throat, and whimper.

"So yeah, kinda wound up and way I see it," she drawled, "you were pretty up for it back there. Not usually into the chicks, but gotta say? Make an exception for you. Mind if I slam you up against the wall and play your clit like a marimba?"

Meep.
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