I DO NOT OWN NCIS OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS!
Title: What's in a Gift
Genre: Some romance
Characters: Tony, Kate, Tim, Abby, Gibbs
Prompts: Tony draws Kate's name in the NCIS Secret Santa exchange. What will she find in her stocking?
WHAT'S IN A GIFT?
Written for 2014 SeSa for Proseac (aka Liz)
Abby entered the squad room, the sounds of jingling bells that she wore around her wrists and neck, as well as the giant bell hanging from the tip of her white-trimmed red velvet cap capturing the attention of the agents sitting at their desks. They smiled at the Santa-like outfit she wore that matched her cap which she donned for the occasion.
"That time of year, huh, Abs?" Tim said admiring the short dress that revealed much of her legs in black knit stockings which ended in feet clad in the most un-elfish style high-heeled boots that bore silver buckles up to her mid-calf.
"Yes it is Timmy," she replied swirling a large red bucket between her white gloved hands. "Time to pick Secret Santas," she beamed and offered Tim the first pick.
Tony quickly leapt from his chair and gripped Tim's wrist preventing him from putting his hand in the bucket.
"Not so fast. Probie's last," he smirked at his rhyme.
Tim shrugged and rolled his eyes, "Have it your way."
"Don't mind if I do McBurger King," Tony smirked as he pushed up his sleeve and stuck his hand in the bucket.
After a few moments of mixing the papers inside around Kate groaned, "Any day now DiNozzo."
"Searching for a good one Katie girl," he winked.
"As long as it's not me," she stepped around her desk and stood in front of Tim to await her turn. She turned back to smile at him and he smiled back.
"You'd be lucky to get a gift from me," Tony grinned.
"The last two gifts he got were sweaters two sizes too large," Abby whispered to Kate, but not quietly enough as Tony looked offended.
"They were great sweaters, Coogi originals," he retorted. "Now where was I?"
"Trying to find the next unlucky recipient," Kate said.
Frowning Tony pulled out a paper and pulled it to his chest, so no one else could read it. He peeked down to read the name and a smile spread across his face. He turned back toward his desk already trying to think of the perfect present.
Kate drew her name and smirked at the name she'd drawn, and then went quietly back to her desk.
Tim grinned at Abby who was still jingling with excitement. He drew his name, read the paper and folded it before sliding it into his wallet.
Abby drew a name and without looking put it on Gibbs' desk before moving on to the next group to draw names.
Tim look after her curiously. "Did she just put a name on Gibbs' desk?" he asked Tony.
Shaking himself from his gift thoughts Tony answered, "Sure the boss always buys a gift for the exchange."
"He ever buy anything for you DiNozzo?" Kate asked.
"As a matter of fact, I've yet to be so lucky," he replied. "The boss gives great gifts."
"He's not standing behind you Tony," Tim teased.
"No it's true. I've never heard one complaint from anyone who's gotten a gift from Gibbs."
"Nor will you," Gibbs strolled into the squad room. "Otherwise there'd be one less agent around here," he grinned behind his coffee. He walked to his desk and picked up the paper. He tucked it into his jacket pocket without reading it and looked expectantly at his team.
The three agents jumped from their seats and brought their boss up to speed on the evidence of their current case.
Kate entered Abby's lab, "Have you figured it out yet Abs?"
"It's got to be one of us," she said earnestly.
"What makes you think that?" Kate asked looking intently at the screen attached to Abby's computer.
Abby grabbed Kate's shoulders to make her look into her eyes. "It's obvious. He hasn't asked either of us to suggest a gift, so it's obviously someone he knows well. He's been even more secretive this year and practically jolly."
"Jolly?" Kate snickered. "I'd hardly call Tony jolly, but I guess he hasn't been impossible to be around either."
"I guess we'll find out soon enough. The exchange is less than a week away," Abby smiled. She clapped her hands together. "I'm so excited."
"I am too. I love to give gifts and see the expression on the faces of those who open them," Kate agreed.
"I like getting the gifts," Abby laughed, "and giving them, too."
Both laughed and turned when Tony entered.
"Did I miss the joke?" he asked knowing they'd been trying to guess who he'd picked for the gift exchange.
"You are the joke," Kate smiled to show she was just teasing.
Tony put his hand over his heart, "That hurts Kate. You'd better be nice or Santa won't be bringing you any gifts this year."
"I'm sorry Tony I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," she said.
"Never apologize," Tony teased back. "Now Abby," he said, "I need to have those results for Gibbs. He said you'd have them ready."
"He's better than Santa," Abby turned to her computer and tapped a few keys. "I sent them to your inbox."
"Thanks Abs. Kate, Gibbs also knows you're down here, so you'd better bring something back for him."
She turned to Abby pleading, "What do you have for me?"
"Never fear. I won't let you down."
"Thanks," Kate gave her friend a hug.
Tony sat across from his Kate at their favorite restaurant. A place no one else knew about, at least they'd never heard anyone mention it. It was the one place they could go and share time getting to know each other.
Kate had surprised herself when she agreed to have dinner with him. She'd needed someone to talk to and he seemed sincere about being a good ear for listening. True to his word he heard her let out her frustrations with her then current boyfriend.
She was even more surprised when the dinner ended, Tony offered her a ride home and didn't make any kind of pass as he said good night at her door. Even at work he never made any remarks about the things she told him, though he treated her the way he always he had before they'd gone out.
After a few days passed she asked him to join her for dinner. She asked him then why he hadn't said anything.
He told her that he learned that he liked that she had trusted him. He wouldn't betray that trust, but it didn't mean that at work he wouldn't still give her a hard time.
They had been meeting up as often as they could for the past six months. Knowing Gibbs' rule about coworkers dating, they decided to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
"So tomorrow's the big exchange," Kate said as nonchalantly as she could.
"Uh-huh," Tony answered as he cut up the food on his plate. "I wonder what I'll get."
"You aren't curious about who has you?" she asked.
"Oh, I already know who has me," he shrugged.
"How did you figure it out?" she asked.
"I'm a trained investigator," he smirked.
Kate rolled her eyes. "Okay who is your Secret Santa?"
"Gibbs," he grinned.
Tony nodded as he finished chewing the food in his mouth. "You got Abby,"
"Wait. How do you know? And does she know?" Kate interrupted.
"We'll never know if Abby knows. She loves presents so much she'll be excited no matter who gives it to her. As for how I know… I've seen your search history."
"TONY!" Kate admonished.
"I knew you didn't have me, so I figured it wasn't going to spoil a surprise. Abby will love it," he told her.
"So do you know who everyone has?" she asked.
"That is my secret," he winked.
"Well Abby swears you have one of us. And since, as you deduced I have Abby, that would mean you have me," she prodded.
"Not going to tell Katie," he shook his head. "How's your salad?" he asked changing the subject.
Kate watched as Abby opened her gift and smiled at Abby's joy when she held up tickets for the Mega-Death concert.
"How did you manage to get these Kate? It's been sold out forever. Even I couldn't dig any up."
"It's all about who you know Abby. I'm just glad I was able to come through for you. Merry Christmas," Kate said returning the enthusiastic hug from Abby.
"You next Gibbs," Abby instructed.
"No McGee's turn," he nodded towards Tim as he turned his package around in his hands.
Tim read his tag. "It's from Abby," he gave her a small smile as he began to unwrap it.
"Hurry Timmy," she jumped from foot to foot with excitement.
"Enjoying the moment," he said. He blushed slightly as he caught a glimpse under the wrapper.
"Oh it must be something good," Tony leaned forward watching his teammate's discomfort.
"Come on Tim. We're all adults here," Kate encouraged curious herself what had him looking so embarrassed.
Tim grimaced and pulled out a red velvet robe trimmed with white fur with matching boxer shorts.
Abby grinned. "You'll look so cute," she told him. When she noticed Gibbs' raised eyebrows she added, "Not that I'll see you in it."
Gibbs nodded and smiled as he lowered his face to look again at the present in his hands.
"Tony. You next," Abby pointed at the gift wrapped on his desk.
"You don't have to ask me twice Abs," he picked up the gift and quickly removed the wrapping to reveal a plain box. When he looked inside the box his eyes darted towards Gibbs. "Boss, I don't know what to say."
"You don't have to say anything," Gibbs shrugged with a small smile. He knew his agent well and had chosen a gift that would keep him busy for hours.
"It's a classic model car kit. Bond's original Sunbeam Alpine. Thanks Boss."
"Kate?" Abby grinned.
"Why don't you go first Gibbs?" she asked.
Unsure why she was hesitating opening her gift, but ready to put Abby at ease, Gibbs unwrapped his gift. He admired the thoughtfulness that went into picking his present.
"Tim," he paused, "This is better than the bottle of bourbon I get every year."
"Figured you had enough in your basement," he laughed. "I researched and found that was the best rated chisel set. I wasn't sure if you needed any, but thought you could always use a backup."
"It's a nice set. I'm sure I'll get lots of use out of it."
"Good one Tim," Tony congratulated.
Tim shrugged glad Gibbs was pleased.
"Okay Kate," Abby cheered.
Kate opened the gift bag and removed a pair of socks, gloves and a hat all in a cool blue shade. She looked across her desk and tilted her head. "Thanks Tony. I'll be sure to stay warm this winter."
Tony caught a hint of disappointment in her voice, but the others all clapped and began to make plans for meeting up for drinks after work. No one appeared to notice when she packed up her gifts and headed for the elevator.
Tony groaned grabbed his own gift and gear and followed her into the elevator.
She ignored him until he stopped the descent.
"What's wrong Kate?" Tony asked. "You're always complaining that you can't find things to keep you warm. Those are thermal insulated. You won't ever need to be cold again."
"Really Tony? You could only think of winter accessories for my present?"
"I couldn't exactly give you Victoria Secret without raising everyone's eyebrows now could I?" he asked.
"Still you've learned enough about me something a bit more personal would've been nice."
"Look you got socks to keep your feet warm. Gloves that will keep your hands from freezing and a hat to keep the winter chill from freezing your brain," he smiled.
"Guess I'm being a bit silly," she sighed as he ran his hand down her hair.
"There is something else inside," Tony pointed at the bag.
Kate looked at him quizzically as she put the bag on the floor and removed all the items. "I don't see anything else," she looked up at him.
"You didn't look inside," he took the gloves and shaking them over his hand caught the item before she saw it. "I got something else that I hope will keep your heart warm," he smiled as he knelt down beside her.
Taking her hand he slid the diamond ring on her finger. "I'm not going to ask you just yet, but consider this a promise that one day I will."
Kate looked at the round cut gem and back into Tony's face. She placed her hand on his cheek and smiled. "Thank you Tony," she said before moving closer to kiss him gently.
"Well, I'm sure a few more of those will help keep me warm tonight," he teased.
"Let's go back to my place and I'll show you just how warm," she stood and put her hand out to help him up.
"Sounds like a plan," he agreed and pushed the button to restart the elevator.