RECIPIENT’S NAME: Sage erehwon6
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Donald “Ducky” Mallard
SUMMARY: A party and a few surprises at Reston House.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Merry Christmas Sage! I think I hit all the prompts: established relationship, Mrs. Mallard, a dinner party, children, fluff.. I hope you like it!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters , nor am I making any money from them. I borrow them once in while, but put them away tidily.
You are cordially invited to a Christmas dinner at Reston house on Monday December 24, 2007,
at 6 P.M.
Please RSVP by December 15, 2007.
“Mother, are you certain that you want to go through with this? It will be quite a lot of work and quite tiring. ” Ducky said as he folded the invitations and inserted them into the envelopes.
“Donald, if I were uncertain, I would have told you. I have decided to forgo my annual Christmas trip to England and Scotland. Since Uncle Alexander’s passing, it is just not the same. So I will start a new tradition. You have spoken so often about the people at your place of work, I feel I know them. It would be appropriate to celebrate with them.”
“Oh, and Donald…I would like you to cook. I do not want any “catered food.”
Ducky sighed again, much more deeply this time.
Several days later Tony walked into the squad room holding an envelope.
“Did you all get your invites? Unfortunately, I have other plans. Do we tell Ducky face to face, or leave him an e-mail?”
McGee looked up. “ I was wondering that, too. I have plans with my troop.”
Gibbs strode into the squad-room, “You’re going.”
Tony turned and said, ‘But Boss, she is… I am..we…”
McGee looked up from the phone that he was rapidly dialing, “Changing plans as we speak, Boss.”
The gray-haired man turned and found himself face to face with the Mossad agent.
He looked at Ziva, his eyebrows raised slightly.
“I, of course have no plans for that evening and am looking forward to attending the party at the Mallard’s.” she said quickly.
“Good.” Gibbs said as he moved to his desk and sat down. He did not have to check with Abby and Jimmy Palmer. Nothing short of a cataclysmic event would keep them from attending a party at Ducky’s house.
Gibbs smiled as he punched the Autopsy number into his phone.
“Five for five, Duck”
On the Saturday before Christmas, Ducky enlisted Charlie Patterson to help decorate the house. The ME eschewed the young man’s suggestions to hang icicle lights from the eaves and out-line the house in blue and red LED lights. Opting for a more traditional look, they hung balsam and cedar roping along the railing of the porch. Each door received an evergreen wreath with a red velvet bow.
It was a bit of a struggled but they did get the 7 foot Scottish-pine tree grandly ensconced in the corner of the parlor.
On Sunday, Mrs. Mallard sent her son to the attic to find tree ornaments. “Strange,” Ducky thought, “ it appears as if someone has been up here recently.” However, after several trips up and down the stairs with boxes, all he could think about was a nice sit down in his favorite chair. His mother had different ideas. For the next two hours, she instructed Ducky in the placement of each ornament. Finally the tree was finished and his mother was asleep in her chair. Ducky had to admit the tree looked elegant.
Ducky took Christmas Eve day off. Mrs. Patterson came by to help set up the dining room. She then disappeared into the parlor with Mrs. Mallard. Ducky was grateful to have his mother occupied, as her help in the kitchen would be nebulous.
Around 5 PM dinner was nearly ready when he heard the scratch of a key in the front door.
“Hello, Jethro” he said as the gray-haired man wrapped his arms around the ME’s waist and gently kissed his ear.
“You look quite fetching in your scrubs and that apron, Duck.”
“I like to be comfortable when I cook. Jethro, I must get dressed. Could you do a few things here in the kitchen for me?”
“Thank you, my dear. And here, wear this. I would not want you to stain your best suit,” Ducky said as he draped the apron over Jethro’s head.
Gibbs opened wine bottles, and stirred all the pots on the stove. He was just getting ready to baste the turkey when the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it, Duck”
Holding a large spoon in right hand, he opened the door to find all the children standing there on the porch.
Tony’s eyes widened at the site of a domestic Gibbs
“Don’t even think about it, DiNozzo.”
“But Boss, I was just gonna say…ow’” the young agent said as Ziva smacked the back of his head.
“Mind your manners, Tony” she whispered
As Gibbs turned and walked down the hall he said. “Tony show them where to hang their coats and go sit in the parlor.”
A large bowl of mulled wine awaited them in the fire-place warmed room. Soon Mrs. Mallard and Ducky joined them. Introductions were made all around. Jethro began serving the wine as the ME left to tend to the feast.
Ducky reappeared a short time later stating “dinner is ready.”
He opened the doors to the dining room. A delicious aroma of turkey and other delicacies wafted through the air..
“Mother has assigned seating, so please look for your place card.”
Ducky was at the head of the table, and Jethro at the far end. Mrs. Mallard had placed Tony and Ziva next to each other, as well as McGee next to Abby. She had place herself next to her son, across from Jimmy Palmer.
“ Before I make the first incision into this delectable turkey,” Ducky said as he stood an the end of the table, “ I feel that we should spend just a brief moment to offers thanks for good friendship and good food.”
All at the table bowed their heads briefly, until Ducky said “Ah-men”
“Now,” he continued as he held the carving knife like a scalpel, “who wants pectoralis muscle?”
After dinner, they all made their way back into the parlor to “rest and digest”
Mrs. Mallard sat so quietly in her chair that they thought that she had dozed off, until she said, “Now I have a surprise for all of you. Young Jimmy, would you be so kind as to retrieve the bags from behind the divan?”
Palmer, who was quite used to following a Mallard’s orders obediently brought over the parcels.
“Mother. What…is going on?”
“Donald, I am old and in my dotage. I can do whatever I feel like. And I feel like giving out presents. Now,” she said as she pulled out a wrapped gift. "This is for Abigail.”
Abby sat down and opened the box. “Oh, thank you!” she exclaimed as she held up a vintage bridal veil.
“That was mine when I married. I had hoped that Donald’s bride would wear it and then his daughter. Since you are very much like a daughter to him, I thought it appropriate that you should have it. I hope you will use it soon, my dear.” Mrs. Mallard said as she looking pointedly at McGee.
“And this is for you, Timothy,”
McGee opened the flat package. “It is a first edition of The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett.” he exclaimed.
“Read the inscription,” the old woman said.
“To V, thanks for all the help, love Dash.”
“How? When? .Thanks! ” was about all McGee could sputter .
“Now, for Ziva,” Mrs. Mallard said as she handed her a package.
The Mossad agent opened it to find a beautiful antique necklace and earrings.
“You should dress up more. You will find that you attract more bees with honey than vinegar,” the old woman said as she glanced at DiNozzo.
“This is for Anthony. Young man, I do not know why you have to move furniture. You seem to have a nice job with these people.”
Tony opened the small but very heavy box. “Hey, do you know what this is? It is the black bird...… the Maltese Falcon. How did you ever get this?” he exclaimed.
“Well, It is a long story and I do not recall al the details. But one day at our summer house a nice man named Humphrey said I could use it as a doorstop.” the old woman said cryptically.
Tony just shook his head. Apparently both the Mallards were full of eccentric stories.
“For young Jimmy.” she said as she handed him a small box.
Palmer opened the box and beamed, “ Thank you Mrs. Mallard. It is a pen.”
“Yes that belonged to an uncle of Donald‘s. He was a doctor. I understand that you plan to become a doctor also? Well, I thought you would need it to do all that writing that they do.”
Mrs. Mallard sat back in her chair for several moments. “For Donald and Jethro ’s gifts I have an odd request. I expect them to give them way in the near future.” she said as she handed small boxes to each of the men. “I had several old pieces of mine melted down and re-cast”
Ducky opened his gift. It was a gleaming gold band. Jethro’s box held the same.
“Now in the very near future, I expect you to give them to each other…”
“Mother!!” Ducky exclaimed with alarm.
“Oh Donald, don’t be such a prude. I have known about you and Jethro for a long time. And I believe from the looks on their faces, so have the children. I just wanted you both to know that you have my blessing. And now, if someone will escort me upstairs, I am ready to retire.”
Both Gibbs and Ducky rose to help Mrs. Mallard to her room. The rest of the team talked animatedly among themselves.
“Told you so” Abby said happily.
By the time the two men returned, the children had on their coats and were preparing to leave.
“We car-pooled in Palmer’s Mother’s mini-van and apparently it has a curfew.” Tony explained. “ And Boss, Ducky..er…congratulations.”
Then came a flurry of hugs, handshakes and congratulations from the rest of the team.
Abby gathered both Gibbs and Ducky in a tremendous bear hug, and bounced out the door chanting, “ It’s true...it’s true..”
Finally alone, Gibbs and Ducky sat next to each other watching the fire.
“That was a nice party, Duck. Your Mother was something with those presents.”
“Yes she was. Apparently she does listen to me when I tell about people at work.”
Ducky said as he snuggled closer to the gray-haired man..
“How long do you think she has known about us?” Gibbs said as he brushed his lips across the silky wheaten hair.
“Ahh, a long time,” Ducky sighed, “Mothers always seem to know these things. Seriously Jethro, are you ready for this? I know how you feel about ceremonies …and rings”
“Yes, Duck. I think I am finally ready to settle down. You?”
The older man sat up and gazed at Gibbs. “I have been ready since the day that I met you.”
Gibbs took the ring from the velvet box. Looking deeply into his lover’s beautiful blue eyes he kissed the ring and slipped it on to his finger and said “Ducky with this ring, I give you my only-ness.”
The older man touched the other gold band briefly to his heart and then slipped onto Gibbs’ finger said, “And my love, I give you all my tomorrows.”
They kissed slowly and sweetly.
Outside a Christmas snow began to fall softly over Reston House.