TITLE: Tis The Season
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Christmas is fast approaching and plans are made for the festive day.
RATING: NC17 (Overall)
WARNINGS: There will be a few parts that have very brief homophobia. These parts will have the warnings labelled
WORD COUNT: 1729
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3
Christmas arrived after what felt like barely a few months since the last one, and the offices were decked with a tree and festive ornaments once again. In its usual reserved spot by the window, a pile of toys and games for the local children's hospital was piling up and when the big screens were not being used for any case details, all of them displayed their usual festive message.
In Abby's lab, which was also now adorned in Christmas cheer, she and Ducky were cooking a Christmas pudding with the traditional Mallard sixpence lost somewhere within.
"This is nice, Ducky. I promised we would do this and I'm glad we did."
"I quite agree, and of course, appreciate you taking the time out to do this."
"Well it's not like we have a case to work on."
"Hush, my dear, please don't jinx it."
"Sorry. So have you decided what plans you have for Christmas day?"
"I haven't to be honest. Jethro never did seem one for the festivities, and I don't want to force him into doing anything."
"Aww, Ducky, that's sweet, but surely he must make some exception for you."
"I'm sure he will, but in his own Gibbs-esque way."
"Is that what you call it, Duck?"
"Ah, Jethro. We were just making a Christmas pudding."
"Next up is decorating the gingerbread men. Gibbs, you wanna join in?"
"No thanks, Abs."
Ducky wordlessly looked up at Gibbs, putting on a small pleading look. For a moment, Gibbs implied he was not falling for it before playfully rolling his eyes.
"I'll decorate one."
"Great." Abby smiled, guiding Gibbs over to one of the empty side benches where a row of freshly baked gingerbread men sat, "I've got twelve different colours to choose from so go nuts and enjoy yourself."
Sitting down at a bench, he looked at the blank biscuit before him unsure of what to do. An idea struck him, and he reached for the blue and dotted the eyes, using the black he attempted as thinly as possible to add glasses. With the brown he added hair, looking over his shoulder briefly to see Ducky's current hairstyle. Last off, the red, making a bow tie and a smile, and with a moments consideration, used to white to at least give it a lab coat.
Looking at his creation, he let out a small laugh.
"I'm done" he said, resting back with a smile.
Abby looked over and let out a squeal of delight.
"Oh my god, Ducky, you gotta see this! Gibbs turned him into a little you!"
"Oh it's wonderful, Jethro."
Grabbing her phone, Abby took a photo of it.
"Okay, that one's definitely yours then, Ducky. Maybe you should do one of Gibbs."
"Well my artistic hand isn't much to be desired."
"Neither is mine, but I managed that."
"Do you wanna do another one, Gibbs?"
"No, I'm good. Said I was only gonna do the one. I should probably get back to my desk." he stopped and kissed Ducky on the top of his head before gently ruffling his hair, "See you later, Duck."
In the corner of Ducky's eye, he could see Abby grinning.
"You two are so cute together!" she said, making Ducky blush.
A few hours later in the bullpen, Gibbs let out an angry growl and banged his hand on top of the computer monitor.
"McGee, this stupid thing isn't working!"
"I'll deal with it, boss."
Taking a deep breath, Gibbs stepped away from his desk so that Tim could take control and fix the problem. He looked at his watch and decided it would just be better if he went home. All his paperwork was up to date for now so he didn't really have any reason to stick around.
The anger quickly drained from him.
"Thanks Tim. Don't stay too late trying to fix it."
Picking up his stuff, he first drove home to quickly showered and changed his clothes. As he was about the step out the front door, he stopped in his tracks a moment before changing direction and heading instead towards the basement.
He pulled away at a secret panel in the wooden slats and pulled out a small shoebox. For a few moments, he sat staring at it, unsure whether he was going to take it to with him. Eventually, he decided it was worth a chance. Returning the slat to its place and making sure it was secure, he left for Ducky's house.
Arriving in good time, he rang the doorbell and waited. The air had turned much colder than it had been a few days ago, and he was sure he could sense snow in the air. Ducky appeared within moments, his hair was all askew, a few dirt patches on his face, bowtie undone and shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows.
"Jethro, come in. I apologize for my appearance, I've just been getting the decorations from the loft. Much to my delight, not long after I arrived back here, the fellows with my Christmas tree arrived."
Gibbs entered, thankful to now be in the warmth.
"Do you need any help?" he asked, looking around at the boxes that sat around the living room.
"If you want to, it would be most welcome."
It was then Ducky noticed Gibbs had a small box under his arm. Gibbs saw the confused look that spread over his lover's face. Taking a deep breath, he held it properly with both hands.
"Duck...I was wondering..."
Gibbs faltered, feeling tears prickle in his eyes.
"Jethro? What is it?"
He asked, taking the box from him and opening the lid to reveal a fairy tree topper made of paper and cardboard. Its hair was made of yellow wool, golden tinsel decorated its dress, and its smiling face slightly crude as if drawn by a small child.
"Kelly...made that when she was four." he paused, trying to hold back a small sob. "I've not had a tree since...I lost them. Since I won't be again this year either. I was wondering if..."
"I would put Kelly's angel on my tree?"
Gibbs couldn't speak and now had his hands covering his face as tears started to fall.
"Oh, Jethro, I would be delighted to. I'm sure Kelly would be happy with that as well.
This time, Gibbs' sob was clearly audible as he sank down onto the floor. Panicking, Ducky put the box carefully on the side table and knelt down beside the younger man.
"Oh Jethro." he said again, wrapping his arms around Gibbs' shaking form. "Come here, sweetheart."
They didn't often use such endearments on each other, but every now and then, Ducky couldn't help but do so. It was also not often that he saw his lover express such emotions like this, especially when it had to do with Shannon and Kelly. After all, it was no secret between them as to how much guilt the man had been carrying around with him all those years.
They stayed on the floor for a few minutes until the sobs gradually subsided. Gently, Ducky turned Gibbs' head towards him, kissing where the tear streaks were.
"Kelly's angel will have pride of place at the top of the tree. It will from this Christmas onwards, I promise."
"You're so good to me."
"Two way street, Jethro. Although could we possibly move to somewhere a bit more comfortable?"
Getting up off the floor first, Gibbs helped his lover to his feet.
"Sorry, Duck, I wasn't-"
"It's alright. Come on. I'll pour us some whiskey."
Pouring them both a generous glass each, he sat down beside Gibbs on the sofa and passed one glass over. For a while they sat in silence. Gibbs stared at the tree that stood in the corner of the room. It was very big, and just having it moved around had resulted in needles dropping off. This though he already knew was a regular occurrence at Christmas anyway since Ducky always favoured a proper tree.
"Jethro, if this isn't a good time to ask then just say so, but what should we do about Christmas day?"
Taking a large swig, Gibbs shrugged.
"Dunno. What did you wanna do? I know you and Abby made that Christmas pudding."
"I was thinking maybe bring the rest of the team over here for the day. It would be nice all
of us spending Christmas together."
"If that's what you want."
"But I want you to want it too."
"I told you, Duck, I don't mind. I'm leaving it up to you."
Putting his glass down on the table, Ducky lay against Gibbs and put his arm across his lover's stomach.
"I just want our first Christmas together to be memorable."
"I'm sure it will be."
The rest of his words were cut off as Gibbs pulled him in for a deep kiss.
"Ducky, I want this, okay? Send the invites out when you get the time and we'll have a great day."
The invitation to join Ducky and Gibbs for Christmas day was a welcome surprise for all. Tim immediately confirmed his attendance, and Ziva and Tony promised to get back to him as soon as possible.
Next stop on the invitation route was down to see Abby, even though Ducky had a good idea as to what her answer was going to already be.
"Abigail, my dear."
"I have here an invitation to the Mallard and Gibbs Christmas day dinner." he said proudly, brandishing the invitation with a flourish.
Abby took it, an ever present large smile on her face.
"Gibbs agreed to this?"
"He said he was okay with it, but I sometimes wonder if he does these things just to appease me. A part of me doesn't want to go ahead with it though if he's not actually happy about it."
"But you and I both know what Gibbs is like when he disagrees with something. Maybe this is truly what he wants, but wants to be all nonchalant about it?"
"I don't really know."
"Well, see how it goes. Maybe this could now become a regular thing depending on how Gibbs reacts on the day. So our mission is to make this the best Christmas Gibbs has ever had!"
"So that's a yes to the invitation?"
"Like you had to ask?" Abby pulled Ducky into a hug, "Do you think you could get Gibbs into a Christmas jumper?"