Thanks to my wonderful beta Kristen! The first of my two Halloween stories this year. I confess to writing this on painkillers... And "Lead on MacDuff" means "Lead the way". Honestly, I wrote this and Identity Crisis two months apart!
Angels, Vampires and Mistletoe
Abby Scuito barreled through the door as fast as she could, attempting to balance her precious Caf-Pow, a chocolate cake, a pumpkin and a huge bag of chips in her arms. Behind her, Timothy McGee staggered under the weight of the four crates of beer he was attempting to carry in at once.
"Stop wasting time, Tim," Abby ordered as she flung everything down on the kitchen table and promptly picked up her Caf-Pow again. "Gibbs will be here soon."
McGee rolled his eyes but managed to place the beer down carefully. "I'm more worried about what Gibbs will do when he figures out what's going on," he replied.
"Just because he didn't want to do anything for Halloween!" Abby protested. "If we have the party at his place, he can come too. He needs to get out more anyway."
"How is attending a party held in his own house 'getting out more'?"
"Well… you know..." Abby tried to think. "He's socializing. Which is really important for someone like Gibbs, because even if he tries to hide it most of the time, he needs to spend time with actual people and not just his boat."
"Who did you invite?" McGee questioned, suddenly very afraid for his life.
"Just… some people."
"Some people?" McGee's life began to flash before his eyes.
Abby moved to his side and kissed him. "Everything will be fine, Timmy. I promise. Now, go upstairs. I need to get changed."
"I'm not going upstairs! This is Gibbs' house."
"Go downstairs then. I don't want anyone seeing my outfit before the party."
"But I already know what your outfit is."
"Go!" she ordered.
Sighing softly, McGee decided to visit the boat. At least Abby would have the chance to explain why they left work early before Gibbs found him.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Tony asked his partner. "Gibbs is going to kill us when he works this out."
"Calm down, sweet cheeks," Ziva soothed. "I have always wanted to attend a Halloween party here."
"Abby holds one every year," he retorted. "You've been."
Ziva pushed open the front door to Gibbs' house. Peering carefully around the edge, she decided it was safe and entered. "A quiet Halloween," she amended. "With only a few people and no music."
"That's not Halloween," Tony pointed out. "Halloween is about dressing up, trick or treating, eating enough sweets to make you ill, throwing toilet paper around –"
"Mistletoe," Ziva added, walking into the kitchen and placing her plate of food down. "Not everyone is here yet I see."
"Mistletoe? I think you're confusing your customs, Zee-vah. Mistletoe is for Christmas."
Ziva snatched the other plate from Tony's hands and placed it on the table. "The buffet will be good," she noted. "I am sure Halloween involves mistletoe."
"I'm afraid not," Ducky announced as he entered.
The two agents froze.
"What do you think?" the doctor asked, twirling round.
"Very nice, Count Dracula," Tony grinned. "You got everything – the cape, the fangs, and the smart suit."
"I think your eyes are a little too kind for a vampire," Ziva pointed out. "But overall, you look lovely."
"A little fake blood wouldn't go amiss," Tony suggested.
"I could give you some real blood from DiNozzo," Ziva offered, her smile still in place.
Tony took several rapid steps to the other side of the kitchen.
"Now, now, children," Ducky soothed. "No fighting. Are Abigail and Timothy here yet?"
"Probably hiding in a dark corner," Ziva answered, her eyes now fixed on her partner. "I could look for them if you would like."
"I'll go and hunt for them," Ducky decided. "Remember Ziva, any blood on the floor and Jethro will make you clean it up."
"Thanks for the tip," she smirked as the doctor left the room. "So, why are you so sure mistletoe is not involved at Halloween?"
Tony pressed himself further into his corner. "Because I grew up in this country and you didn't?"
She pouted slightly. "So if I found any…"
"I would gladly kiss you under it."
Gibbs groaned when he noticed the time. He had wanted to get some work done on his boat tonight, but Jenny had insisted on being briefed on their latest investigation. It was a mundane case, but she had managed to stretch their meeting out into two hours without them ending up on the couch with the door locked. Her emerald eyes were twinkling as she talked, although he couldn't read them properly. She was definitely hiding something.
"Can I go now?" he asked, frustrated.
"I just need five minutes to grab my things and we can be gone," she replied, smiling.
He did not answer verbally, instead choosing to walk out and back to his desk. His team had vanished at some point, although it was not particularly late for them. Making a mental note to slap heads in the morning, he finished his coffee and waited for his lover.
She arrived promptly, and together they walked to his car.
"Your place or mine?" he checked. He was not making assumptions this time around.
"Yours," Jenny grinned.
"Going to tell me what's going on?" he queried as he started the engine.
He drove in relative silence, while she chatted about her day. When he pulled up on his drive, he was surprised to see some very familiar cars…
"This is why you kept me behind," he realized. "What's going on?"
"I won't spoil the surprise," she smiled, climbing out of the car and heading towards the door.
He followed her obediently, opening the door when she paused at it.
"SURPRISE!" Abby yelled as she popped up in the hallway. "Happy Halloween!"
Gibbs stared at her in shock.
"Like my outfit?" the Goth asked. "Please say yes because I've had this planned from last year, not the party but the outfit, although I did come up with the idea for a party at last year's party because I thought it would be nice to include you in some way, and I figured we could have two parties, one being a small thing at yours, that is here, and another one at my apartment with everyone invited as normal, and it's not too much more effort to run two parties than running just the one, especially as Ducky helped me get this together, and Ziva came up with the idea for the buffet and Jenny offered to keep you behind at the office so we could get set up and to make sure you didn't run, and please tell me you like the outfit?!"
He took in the white dress and the gold tinsel halo, and decided the outfit looked good on her. "Of course I like it, Abs," he soothed, pulling her into a hug.
"I thought angels were connected with Christmas?" Ziva commented from the kitchen.
"Hey boss, hi Jenny," Tony called. "Will someone please tell the crazy ninja chick that mistletoe is a Christmas custom, because she's got it confused with Halloween."
"It is you who is confused," the Israeli complained. "I am sure angels go with Christmas."
"That's right," McGee agreed. "But mistletoe goes with Christmas as well."
"Why does mistletoe go with Christmas?" she asked.
Everyone immediately started speaking to drown out Ducky's long and torturous explanation.
Jenny laughed as she tucked into the buffet. She couldn't remember the last time she had let her hair down like this. Her life seemed to revolve around paperwork, more paperwork, irritating politicians, and one Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
The silver-haired man in question was busy discussing something with Ducky. She watched from across the kitchen, admiring Ducky's vampire outfit. It suited him, she decided, although his eyes were too kind.
Abby extracted herself from McGee's clutches and came to her side. "We need your help," she proclaimed.
"Am I going to regret this?" Jenny checked.
The Goth considered for a minute. "All you have to do is keep el jefe occupied for thirty minutes, preferably somewhere he won't hear us."
"Don't worry, everything will be PG rated," the Goth confirmed. "I just don't think he'll want to see it."
Jenny thought for a few moments. "How noisy are you going to be?"
As Abby made her way back across the room a couple of minutes later, Jenny grinned. This would be fun, in more ways than one. She sidled over to Jethro and tugged gently on his arm.
"Bourbon?" she asked.
"You know where it is," he answered.
She raised her eyebrows.
He smirked. "Lead on, Macduff."
Counting slowly to ten as Gibbs and Jenny left the room, Ziva picked up some of the potato salad with a fork. Hearing the snick of the basement door, she took careful aim, and hit Tony's nose.
"Hey!" he complained.
Abby jerked her head towards the basement. "The Director is keeping Gibbs occupied for half an hour. Keep the noise down."
Within seconds, food was flying everywhere.
As time began to run out, Ducky, who had been staying out of the way, broke up the fight. After helping Tony to his feet, he handed out mops and brooms.
"Do we have to make this place more presentable?" Tony grumbled.
"It is not your fault you lost," Ziva pointed out.
"Three against one isn't fair," he muttered.
She kissed his cheek. "You need to wash," she noted. "And change."
"I never knew ketchup could be squirted like that," Abby grinned. "It looks like you've cut your head." She waved her hand over Tony's skull; he shied away.
"She is quite correct," Ducky added. "Head injuries bleed more than wounds from other parts of the body, although this does not mean they are any less serious. Great care must be taken –"
"Hurry up," McGee urged. "I'd like to live to see tomorrow, and at this rate, Gibbs'll kill us."
"He won't kill me," Abby smiled.
"Only because you're the favorite," Tony groaned. "The rest of us are dead."
Ducky smiled as he gazed around the room. McGee had fallen asleep in one of the chairs, with Abby sitting on his lap as she chattered away. Tony had managed to consume enough sugar to become extremely hyper, and was busy trying to bounce around the room. Gibbs and Jennifer were curled up on the couch, completely absorbed in each other. A nuclear bomb would not disturb them. Ziva had taken to prowling the house, searching for something.
Somehow, they had managed to conceal the food fight from Gibbs. Jennifer had been instrumental in their secrecy, keeping Gibbs down in the basement for a full hour, double the time she had been told to. Gibbs had been too wrapped up in the redhead to notice that everyone, with the exception of Ducky, had changed clothes and showered.
Tony finally stopped bouncing. "Do you think the Probie would notice if I drew on his face?" he questioned Abby.
Abby shielded McGee the best she could without waking him up. "No drawing," she insisted. "You can draw on Ziva."
"Where is our special little Mossad officer?" Tony wondered. "She was here at the beginning –" He froze as he noticed her standing right behind him.
"Mistletoe?" she asked, holding up a sprig.
"Where did you find that?" Abby squealed.
"In the attic," Ziva replied.
"Mistletoe goes with Christmas," Tony tried.
"Then why was I able to find some?"
"Ask the boss."
Everyone turned to look at Jenny and Gibbs.
"Or rather, don't ask the boss," Tony continued. "I'm going to have nightmares now. I really don't need to see the boss putting his tongue down the throat of the boss' boss."
"They're a little drunk," Abby noted.
Ziva held the mistletoe over Tony's head. "I think I understand this tradition," she told him.
"Wrong time of year," he attempted, for the last time.
"So, do you kiss me or do I kiss you?" she checked.
Rolling his eyes, he kissed her. "Happy now, sweet cheeks?"
"Only if you do that again," she smirked.