Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Characters: Abby; Tony
Word Count: 6x100
Written For: donutsweeper from prompt here.
Written For: ncis_drabble; Current Challenge #136; Past Challenges #41, #69, #70, #111, #129
Crossposted: ncis_drabble; ncisfanfic; ncis_fic; ncis_haven
Summary: It took her five attempts before success was achieved.
Tony had been not-Tony all week and it was starting to irritate Abby and, if she wasn't mistaken, the team as a whole. Tim seemed to be walking on eggshells, Ziva was casting glances at Tony every other minute and Gibbs, well Gibbs was downright surly. He hadn't even brought her a Caf!Pow. Abby knew she needed drastic action to get things right in Tony's world. He needed to be cheered up and she was the perfect person for the job. However, she didn't realize just how far 'down' Tony really was when she started in with her usual tactics.
Abby started out with a hug. In her mind, hugs were the cure for many states of unnatural behavior. A well-timed hug could make even the grouchiest person give a smile. Gibbs was a prime example for the Abby Sciuto Cure-All Hug. If Gibbs caved, then Tony surely would. Abby soon found it wasn't that easy. It took her the better part of a day to maneuver Tony into a situation where she could hug him. It was like he was intentionally avoiding her. When she finally flung her arms around him, he carefully extracted himself and walked away silently.
Abby was hurting after Tony walked away. She found herself snapping at the people around her, Gibbs included. He didn't say much, just turned on his heel and left the lab. Abby knew that Tony's mood was hurting everyone and she just needed to try harder to cheer him up. Decision made, she dialed a number from memory and waited for an answer. Forty minutes later, Abby bounced into the bullpen with a pizza; pepperoni, sausage, extra cheese. She was just in time to hear Gibbs bark the order to gear-up and off they went with Tony on Gibbs' six.
It was two days before Abby was able to attempt her next method of attack for Operation Buck Up DiNozzo. Once the latest case was solved, she put her plan in motion. She knew that Tony would be tied up on the case reports, so she let herself into Tony's apartment with the spare key he had given her for emergencies and when he went undercover. This was definitely an emergency. She sat out popcorn and James Bond and waited for him to arrive. She blinked her eyes open at six in the morning and realized he never came home.
Abby smiled. Tony couldn't say no to Sister Rosita asking him to join them for a night of bowling. He was too nice for that. The Sisters would be able to wear him down and then Abby could figure out what was really bothering him. It had to work, because she was running out of ideas for a successful resolution to the problem with Tony. They had just started and she had actually seen a real smile grace his face when Sister Rosita slipped and fell. The rest of the night was a blur of EMTs and the emergency room.
Abby realized the only way to 'cure' Tony was to find the source. She made notes on everything leading to the change and came to a startling conclusion. Tony hadn't been head slapped by Gibbs in weeks. Abby knew that Tony saw the head slaps as a sign of affection and if Tony felt Gibbs didn't want to give him one, then it was like Gibbs didn't love him. It was not acceptable. Abby worked hard to arrange a reason for Gibbs to slap Tony and when Tony's mouth morphed into an irrepressible smile, she knew she had finally succeeded.