Rating: T

Disclaimer: The characters of NCIS are not mine; I merely borrow them from time to time. Nor do I make any money from these stories. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: Okay so was it just me or did anyone else think that Gibbs was way out of line with his remark about Tony in Silent Night S6 E11 when Abby asked him what he was getting for Tony ofr Christmas and he replied, "An attitude adjustment."

A.N. This is a short tag to the episode Silent Night because the abject cruelty of that remark has always stuck in my craw majorly. For those of you rolling your eyes that I am posting another FF while I have two WIP pending that have been and fear it will interfere with them – fear not. This tag has been written and redrafted and has been sitting on my computer for nearly six months. The redoubtable Arress is beta'ing this one, thanks muchly ;) and it is quite short, consisting of 5 chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue which is deliberately ambiguous.. Also I need to warn everyone up front there will not be a sequel, it is sad – well Arress sad it was and I think so too so you might want to have Kleenex for the last couple. As always don't be a stranger – let me know what you think.

Be Careful What You Wish For


Abby grabbed him in a fierce hug. Yeah, sure, she was a hugger of epic proportions, but this was more than a little OTT. Tony felt as if his intestines were in danger of being squeezed out of his mouth and he couldn't say that the experience was one that he was enjoying. Much as he hated to hurt his friend's feelings, he was beginning to feel rather woozy and he knew she would feel crap if he… um, took a short nap (since DiNozzo's didn't pass out). Time to speak up, Anthony!

"Um, Abs, need to breathe please." He winced in spite of himself

"Ohmygosh, Tony. I'm so sorry," she apologised and it occurred to him somewhat idly that Gibbs never dared to tell the Goth that apologies were a sign of weakness. He guessed that he couldn't bring himself to be a bastard to their favourite lab rat. Seeing her continued distress after releasing him, he put his arms around her comfortingly.

"Hey, hey, what 'sup, Sweet Cheeks?" He asked confused. Surely he hadn't upset her that much, had he?

"He didn't mean it, Tony, because you know that he loves us all… right? You know that dontcha… sure you do. Cuz we're his Gibblettes, the Bombe to his Alaska, the yin to his yang, the mozzarella to his pizza, the banana to his split…"

Knowing that Abby could potentially keep this up til he was old and grey, he gently placed his hand over her mouth to stem the flow of verbal diarrhoea that was in full flow. He gathered that his mentor had said or done something to upset Abby and if that was the case he would personally tear him a new one. What the Hell had he thinking? Maybe on second thought, he would just make him put the Goth back together and in her 'happy space'.

"What did Gibbs do to you?" He asked her, feeling his blood pressure rise.

Looking at her biting her lower lip, he decided that perhaps he needed to sabotage Gibbs' caffeine intake to teach him not to hurt Abby as he took his hand away from her mouth.

"He's just being a grouch, I'm sure he didn't mean it," she averred, tears threatening to overflow her pale green eyes.

Privately, Tony thought that Gibbs seldom said anything he didn't mean. The man was a functional mute after all, so when he said something it was usually a pretty accurate representation of what he was thinking or feeling, but he kept that belief to himself right now. "It's okay, Abbs, just tell me what he did to you."

"Um, not me… I asked him what he thought you wanted for Christmas and he said an attitude adjustment… but, Tony, you know he didn't mean it, right? He was just in a bad mood. I love your attitude… you're the glue that holds us together, you're the heart and soul of the team. If it weren't for you, the Boss-man and Maddie wouldn't still be with us anymore. Can I give you a hug again, Tony? Please?"

He opened his arms and she flew into them, proceeding to hug him almost as tight as before as he kissed her hair and murmured a litany of comforting nonsense in her ear and she quietened. Sighing, she finally let him go and he heaved a silent sigh of relief to be able to breathe normally again… well, for him anyway. Catching her hand he dragged her towards the elevator.

"C'mon, Abbs, let's power down your babies and I'll drive you home," he instructed her in a tone that brooked no objections. Pushing aside his own feelings of hurt about Gibbs' comment, he resolved not to think about it until after he'd settled down his high-strung friend. As Gibbs' undisputed favourite on his team, on the odd occasion when he was short with her, Abby totally fell apart. It brought back some dark memories of when he'd gone off to Mexico with barely a kiss my ass and Abby hadn't dealt with Gibbs abandoning her well at all. None of them had, but Abby in particular was inconsolable. He knew because it had been his job to try and console her, and like everything else during the four months before his Lordship final deigned to come home, Tony had failed miserably.