Disclaimer: The usual stuff applies, don't own them, don't make any money from them etc etc. You know the score.

A/N: This isn't slash, more like a father/son thing. And I know certain people are slightly OOC but hey, in my world this kind of stuff happens. If you want this fic to continue, let me know...I have a few ideas where it could go next. Un-bets'd, all mistakes are mine holds hands up

It was a crisp December night and snow was falling as Director Sheppard pulled onto the driveway of the house. Fairy lights were twinkling with military precision and behind tightly drawn curtains, lights glowed invitingly. As she exited the car and made her way onto the porch she was tantalised by the aroma of the promised meal. Her reverie was interrupted by a sudden squeal followed by a cacophony of shrieks and giggles coming from inside the house. With Special Agent senses on full alert, Jen knocked cautiously on the door. No answer, so she tried again with a little more force. Luckily this knock coincided with a break in the squealing and was followed by a rather gruff "I'm coming, I'm coming" before a decidedly louder "will you lot pipe down in there, I can't hear the damned door" was directed presumably towards the origin of the shrieks.

This time the door was opened, revealing Gibbs barefoot and wearing an apron, brandishing a whisk as if it was a lethal weapon.

"Jen, welcome to the mad house"

Gibbs stepped back, allowing her to enter the hallway.

"Good evening Jethro"

Jen was a little stunned to see her former partner and hard-nosed ex-Gunny in the throes of such apparent domesticity so didn't drop her guard as she allowed Gibbs to take her coat.

"Come on through"

Gibbs led her towards the kitchen where he stuck the whisk back in a mixing bowl and rummaged in a cupboard hunting for a wineglass.

"You want red or white?"

Gibbs turned with triumph, holding the now-located wineglass.

"White will be fine thank you"

Jen accepted the glass and got part way through thanking him again when an almighty crash resounded from somewhere in the house. Gibbs rolled his eyes before marching off in the direction of the noise. Jen followed cautiously, not entirely sure of what she'd discover.

As they entered the living room they were greeted with the sight of Tony, Abby and McGee in a heap on the floor desperately trying to untangle themselves, and Ziva holding two pieces of a broken mug.

"What the –"

"Sorry Boss"

"It wasn't me"

"Hi Director"

"You're sitting on my foot"

Everybody spoke at once whilst the tangled ones managed to reclaim their own body parts and stand up in some sort of order.

"Someone mind telling me what's going on here?"

Some not-so-discreet pushing and shoving found Abby elected as spokesperson.

"We were playing Twister and Ziva was spinning and she said left hand yellow so we all tried to left hand yellow but got tangled up and fell over and broke a coffee mug…we're sorry about the mug…um, hi Director."

All eyes were on Gibbs, expecting the worst.

"Just be careful huh? Causes too much hassle if one of you gets damaged. Ziva, pass me the mug."

"OK, who are you and what did you do with Gibbs?"

Gibbs shot one of his patented glares towards his Senior Field Agent.

"Funny guy. Go get cleaned up, dinners almost ready."

Dinner passed in companionable chatter and laughter. Throughout Jen was amazed at the feeling of family that surrounded her – Tony and Abby fitting into the roles of siblings bickering good-naturedly over everything, McGee the bookish younger brother fair game for teasing and Ziva alternating between antagonising and calming the conversations and arguments going on around the table. Watching over the whole thing was Gibbs, relishing in his paternal role. Jen couldn't remember ever seeing him so relaxed, and she was sure that in all the years they had worked together she had never seen him smile so much. Her silent contemplation was interrupted by a particularly indignant squeak emitted, oddly, by DiNozzo.

"Boss, tell her!"

Gibbs responded without heat.

"Ziva be nice. You break him; you do my paperwork explaining why I need a replacement."

Ziva rolled her eyes at Tony and began to clear the table with Abby and McGee. Tony stuck out his tongue in response and turned his attention to Jen.

"Hey Director, you a movie fan?"


"Cause you see, I've been trying to get Gibbs to watch Muppets Christmas Carol for like, ever and he won't, so I was kinda hoping you'd seen it and could persuade him."


"Tony don't badger her, go check the fire."

"On it Boss."

"Well Jethro, it really is a cute movie."

"Do I look like a guy who watches cute movies?"

"Ah come on Boss…"

"I thought I'd told you to drop it. Why are you still here?"

"I'm not."

Twenty minutes later the kitchen was tidy, and, after being badgered from every angle, Gibbs finally allowed Tony to put the Muppets DVD into the player. Abby and McGee stretched out on the floor with a bowl of popcorn between them, Ziva and Jen took armchairs, leaving the sofa to Tony and Gibbs. The only light came from the TV screen and the fireplace making the room feel warm and cosy. As the movie played on the combination of good food, warmth and good company began to take its toll on the occupants of the room.

Abby was the first to fall asleep curled against McGee, who quickly followed her into the Land of Nod. Ziva and Gibbs were apparently engrossed in the movie, but Jen was captivated watching Tony. He was inching closer and closer along the sofa towards Gibbs so that an hour into the movie found him slouched next to his boss with little space between them. What surprised Jen the most however was Gibbs' reaction. Rather than pushing Tony away as he completed the manoeuvre to lean against his side, Gibbs raised an arm to allow the younger agent to snuggle against him before wrapping his arm around Tony. Gibbs must have felt her eyes on him and glanced over, treating her raised eyebrows to a single shoulder shrug before turning his attention back to a rapidly snuggling Tony. That was certainly a sight Jen never expected to see.

As the credits rolled, Ziva hit the 'stop' button and ejected the DVD before standing and spreading a throw over Abby and McGee where they lay in front of the dying fire. Jen followed suit, raising a questioning brow at the throw she held before laying it over Gibbs and Tony at his acquiescing nod.

"We'll lock up on our way out Jethro."

"See you Monday Gibbs."

"Yeah, night."