Series: All These Lives #1
Nothing Like You and I
01. Naive Orleans
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**Chapter One -- Naive Orleans Part One**

**May 22, 2009 -- NCIS Headquarters **

Tony sat at his desk in the quiet office, the dim lamp lighting the small area around him. He rubbed his left shoulder absently, relieving the pain in his arm momentarily. Staring at the phone he had sitting open on his desk, he reached up with his right hand and slapped the back of his head.

"What the hell are you doing, DiNozzo?" Contemplating his own question, he leaned back in the chair and scrubbed his hand over his face. He sighed as the elevator bell dinged, depositing someone on the third floor.


He heard the familiar voice and closed his eyes, cursing himself internally. He had promised Abby a movie night when he got back from Israel, and here he was, at 2 A.M., waiting for a call that wasn't going to come. Abby made her way over to him and perched herself on the corner of his desk, looking at him with a knowing smile.

She glanced down at the phone that sat in the center of his uncluttered workspace, propped open with his eyes glued to it.


Tony growled under his breath, looking away from her as he picked up the phone and snapped it shut before shoving it in his pocket.

The forensic specialist chuckled. "Don't be angry, T. I know you better than you know yourself, remember?" She placed her hand on his shoulder and leaned in to kiss him lightly on the cheek. "That's what happens when you have a history with someone."

**10 Years Earlier -- New Orleans, LA -- Mardi Gras 1999**

He woke slowly, the pain he felt in his back only matched by the pain in his head the sunlight streaming through the windows met his eyes.

"Are you okay?" He closed his eyes again, turning his head slowly to meet the voice he had heard. He opened his eyes to find a pair of bright green ones staring back at him.

"Do you know your name?" The woman with the green eyes asked. Reaching behind her to grab a bottle of water off the table, she knelt next to his prone body and tipped the bottle to his lips.

"Tony." the dark-haired man said, taking a small sip of the water. He put his hand flat on the ground in a feeble attempt to push himself up when the woman put her hand on his shoulder and eased him back down.

"Don't move yet. Just relax."

"What happened?" Tony groaned, trying to relax unsuccessfully against the hard ground.

The woman chuckled. It was a pleasant sound that brought a small smile to Tony's lips. "You were on the stage doing an extremely drunk rendition of 'Young Frankenstein' with your friends when you decided to pass out."

Tony groaned again, this time from equal parts embarrassment and pain.

"How long have I been here?" He glanced around the room, looking for something that would remind him of where he had been the night before.

"Only a few hours. Your friends moved you back here and took off. I found you about an hour ago." She smiled, standing up and offering her hand to Tony. "I'm Abby."

"Nice to meet you, Abby." Tony took her hand and let her help him move from the floor to a chair. "You work here?"

"My uncle owns it." She sat in the chair next to him and handed him the bottle of water. "I help out as a bartender on weekends and during Mardi Gras." Abby smiled and handed him a couple of aspirin. "Here, I came prepared."

Tony swallowed the pills with a gulp of the water and almost immediately felt better. "So, what do you do when you're not tending bar and taking care of drunken strangers?" He flashed a smile at her.

Abby chuckled again. "I'm going to school right now. Getting my Master's in Forensics. Hoping to work in a crazy state-of-the-art lab when I graduate."

Tony nodded. "That sounds pretty cool. I graduated from Ohio State a few years ago. Majored in Physical Education." He paused, slightly embarrassed. "I work as a cop in Philadelphia now."

"I take it you don't like your job very much, huh?"

Tony flashed his million-dollar smile again and took another sip of the water. "Am I that transparent?"

She giggled and punched his shoulder lightly. "Just easy to read. I've always been good at that though, don't feel bad. Come on, I’ll take you to go get some breakfast. I know this great place."

They made small talk as they walked down the street to the small bistro on the corner. Entering the restaurant, she led him toward the back, slipping onto stools at the counter. As they looked over the menu, she could feel Tony's eyes on her, drinking in every bit of her lithe figure.

"See something you like?" She smiled, not taking her eyes off of the menu in front of her. His cheeks flushed slightly as he looked her over once more, her black pigtailed hair to her black corset-style dress and the calf-high combat boots that went perfectly with her long pale legs.

"I can never get enough of a beautiful woman." He smiled, looking back at his menu.

Abby leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, leaving a lip print behind from her dark red lipstick. "You're quite the charmer, aren't you?"

Tony ordered his meal before answering. "I'd like to think so."

Abby ordered her breakfast and set her menu aside, turning to look him in the eye. "Let me guess. You tend to go through women like water; nice, short-term 'relationships'?" When he looked away from her uncomfortably, she touched his face, making eye contact with him. "I'm the same way. I understand how men think."

“Are you this friendly with everyone that passes through your bar?” He grinned, silently thanking the waitress as she brought their food to them.

The Goth smiled deviously. “Only the cute ones, much to the irritation of my family.” She leaned over and whispered in his ear. “Being the baby sucks sometimes, you know? Everyone’s overprotective.”

He forced a small smile, shaking his head. “Wouldn’t know much about that myself, I’m an only child.” He took another bite, effectively dropping the subject of his family.

“So…” Abby could tell that he wanted to change the topic, so she indulged him. “How long are you in town?”

“Just for the weekend. I have to be back in Philly on Monday morning.”

She grinned up at him again before eating her omelet. They chatted more about everything from their ‘flings’ to movies, and two hours had passed before Abby realized that she had missed her class.

“Crap. Well, now I’ve got nothing to do!” Abby pouted, drinking the last bit of her soda before pushing the glass away.

"Hang out with me." Tony offered, taking her hand in his. "I'm sober now, and I have no idea where my friends took off to."

Abby hesitated before conceding. "Alright. But I told Uncle Charlie I'd be at work by 8 o'clock, and I need to go back to my apartment and change, I stink like stale alcohol."

After paying the bill, they walked back down the street to the bar where her car was parked. Climbing into the black hearse, Abby started it up and drove to her apartment building.

"So..." Tony looked around the inside of the car. "You drive a hearse all the time? Or just when you wanna try to scare a guy?"

Abby smirked. "All the time. I got it cheap from a friend who worked at one of the local mortuaries after the engine went out. Built the engine again from the ground up."

"Handy, are we?"

"Just a little." They pulled up outside of the small apartment building that looked to be something straight out of 'Interview with the Vampire’. "We're here! Come on upstairs."

Tony followed her as she walked into the one-bedroom apartment. She paused at the door to take off her boots, and then led him over to the couch.

"Sit." Her blood red lips formed a small grin as she pushed him back onto the couch gently. "Make yourself comfortable. I'm gonna go hop into the shower." Turning on her heel, she padded across the small living room and into the bathroom, partially closing the door behind her.

He grinned and watched her walk away before standing. Crossing the few steps to the large bookshelf on the wall next to the TV, he examined the items that sat on it, hoping to gain some insight into Abby’s personality.

"Voodoo dolls?" He raised an eyebrow as he picked one of the smaller dolls off the shelf and looked it over. Tony set the doll back where he found it, glancing over the rest of the shelves. "A shrunken head...handcuffs… Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, she does drive a hearse after all."

Grinning, he scanned the rest of the room, noticing the dog collars and various other studded accessories that were scattered around. "Definitely not like any girl I've ever met before."

He turned around to face the fireplace, studying the pictures that were hanging above the mantle. He couldn't tell what they were, but they looked interesting and surprisingly colorful, considering the amount of black that covered the rest of the room.

Abby stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in her silky black robe, tying the belt before walking out of the bathroom, towel drying her hair. "Pretty cool, huh?" She grinned, seeing Tony inspecting the picture above her fireplace.

He spun around quickly, not expecting her to sneak up on him. "I...uh..." He stuttered, looking her up and down quickly. “Yeah, it is. What’s it supposed to be, exactly?”

“It’s a MRI of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” She grinned at him. “I’m into the way things look from the inside. Used to sneak down to the dump when I was younger and look at the demolished cars, take pictures of them.”

He tried not to stare as she stood there, barely covered by the short robe she was wearing, instead focusing on the dog collars that were sitting on the table behind her. "You...uh, wear those collars?"

"Huh?" She tossed the towel on the back of the chair and saw the collars he was talking about. "Oh! These?" She picked one up and approached him, grinning. "Yeah. You should try one on! I bet you'd look good."

Tony raised his hands in protest as she started getting closer to him. "Nah...really, I don't think they would suit me very well."

"Come on! Don't be so tame!" Abby grinned, slipping behind him quickly and standing on her tiptoes, snapping the collar around his neck before he could stop her.

"Hey!" Tony spun around to face her, knocking her off balance slightly. He wrapped his arms around her as she stumbled, preventing her from falling against the fireplace. "Oops. You okay?"

Abby laughed. "I'm fine." She looked up at him, reaching to straighten the collar around his neck. "It looks good on you."

Tony cocked an eyebrow at her, his arms still wrapped around her waist. "I bet you say that to all the guys."

"Noo…" Grinning, she leaned up and pecked him on the nose before pulling away. "Not everyone can pull off a collar. You can." She turned around and headed for the bedroom to get dressed.

His hand went immediately to the collar around his neck as soon as she was out of view. He smiled, reaching around to the back and unclasping it, setting it down on the coffee table. *Maybe later tonight.* Tony smiled as he watched her walk into the bedroom, her hips swaying slightly. *Mmhmm.* He made his way toward the partially closed door slowly, not wanting to spook her when she walked out of the room.

Discreetly peeking through the door, he watched as Abby reached her arms above her head, pulling the tight black and red tank top down, covering the large tattoo of a cross that took up the majority of her back.

"Staring at me again, Tony?" She turned around, grinning at him as she walked over and pulled the door the rest of the way open.

Tony nodded, smirking. "What can I say? You're quite the temptress."

"I try." Abby smirked, poking her hip out and leaning against the doorframe.

"You do a good job. I bet you could tempt an angel into sinning." He licked his lips as he scanned her body, taking in every bit of her outfit. "The naughty schoolgirl. I like it."

She laughed, pushing herself away from the doorframe and stepping closer to Tony. "Most guys do." Reaching out, she took his hand in hers and turned it over, looking at his watch. "It's almost 3. I have an errand to run before heading back to the bar, you wanna come with me?"

"Sure." He flashed a charming grin as she dropped his hand lightly and walked over to the door, retrieving her boots.

Abby pulled them on and zipped them up quickly before grabbing her purse and the keys that she had left laying on the table near the door. "Let's go then."

Heading out the door, she made sure it was locked before walking down the staircase with Tony and across the courtyard to her car. "I'm glad you're coming, I like having someone there for an opinion when I buy lingerie."

Tony hesitated momentarily before sliding into the passenger seat of the hearse. *No way.* He shook his head, smiling. Abby put the car into gear and headed back in the direction they had come from earlier, pulling up to a small shop a few blocks away from the bar. “Lingerie, huh?”

"Yeah.“ She looked over at him as she parked the car. “Come on, I saw you checking me out earlier, you're not gonna get shy on me now, are you?" She walked over and met him on the passenger side of the car, grabbing his hand and pulling him closer to the boutique.

Tony started to protest, but Abby caught his eye and smiled brightly. "You really thought I was joking, didn't you?"

"Um, yeah..." He laughed. "Can't say I've had the pleasure of helping someone I've just met pick out lingerie."

She cocked an eyebrow at him, shrugging her shoulders. "Oh. Well, if you don't want to..."

Tony watched as she started to walk away, shaking his head. *She is a temptress.* He jogged the few steps to catch up with her, grabbing her arm gently and turning her to face him. "I didn't say I didn't want to." He flashed his million-dollar grin. "I only meant it was unexpected. But there’s a first time for everything, right?"