A/N: This is my debut fic in the NCIS fandom. It is a humorous Christmas oneshot, bordering on parody. The inspiration came from watching the preview for 6x11, Silent Night. I hope you all enjoy this little fic!
It was Leon Vance's first Christmas as Director of NCIS and the way this one was turning out, he was unsure he ever wanted to repeat the honor. It had seemed normal enough when he came to work this morning at 0700, just as he had for the past several months. It was Christmas Eve and his kids had still been in bed when he left, enjoying the break from school, but other than that, it had seemed like most other work days. He had hoped to wrap up their most pressing current case and to finish up some paperwork in plenty of time to take his family to the Christmas Eve Service at their church. His hopes had been dashed. However, as if there was not enough trouble with this case as it was, he had another problem. His agents were beginning to look like marked men. It had started off with Gibbs sauntering into his office to discuss the case. Leon had tried very hard not to choke on his coffee when he saw the bright magenta lipstick kiss print on his agent's cheek. He avoided his agents' personal lives as much as possible, but as far as he knew, Gibbs was too professional to be having a clandestine affair while at work. And he certainly was too clever to walk around with lipstick kisses on his face. Leon had been too flabbergasted to mention it and Gibbs had walked right back out of the office again without it wiping it off.
That would have been bad enough, but a trip to the squad room proved Gibbs was not the only person devoid entirely of either sense or a mirror. McGee was typing away on his computer at the speed of light. He appeared to be completely oblivious of the deep purple-red kiss on his right cheek. Leon stood staring for a whole sixty seconds, wondering whether he should point this out to the usually competent agent or wait for him to figure it out. He had just settled on gently hinting, when Special Agent DiNozzo waltzed by. Of all people, Vance thought he could expect the magenta kiss adorning Tony's cheek, so no surprise there. Still, it did add to the mystery of it all. He gazed from Tony to McGee to Agent Gibbs, trying to figure out where his usually discreet agents had been that morning to acquire their new facial décor.
Director Vance was still lost for ideas when Ziva strode past him, rattling some papers.
"Gibbs, Tucker's alibi checks out."
"I thought it might," Gibbs reached for the papers and then caught Leon's eyes. "Can I help you, Director?" He looked annoyed.
"Ziva!" Of course... He tried to get a look at the color of her lipstick. It would make sense. So far, the three marked men came from the same unit, and that unit also boasted Ziva David.
Ziva's and Gibbs' eyebrows went up as they stared back at him.
"Yes?" Gibbs still sounded annoyed, and Leon quickly reminded himself that it was unwise to tick off an assassin and her boss.
"Oh, er, yes. What were those papers Ziva handed you?"
Gibbs frowned. "Pay slips from the Pottery Factory where Gene Tucker worked for the past three months. You came all the way down here just to ask that?"
Leon didn't get to be Director by not being able to think quick on his feet. "Just following the case, Agent Gibbs. The sooner we wrap this up, the sooner we all get to go home. Call me with any developments."
He turned quickly on his heel. Ziva's lipstick didn't match the prints. He absentmindedly stepped onto the elevator and got a bit of a jolt when he saw Doctor Mallard. The ME, too, was adorned with a magenta-colored kiss on his cheek. This was beginning to get serious...
"Oh, hello, Director. I was just stepping out to find us all some dinner. It is beginning to look like a late night and I believe in being prepared. This isn't the first case we've worked over Christmas Eve and on into Christmas morning. And if I can at all get away, I always go and find what can pass for a Christmas feast, albeit, a very measly one. Director, is something wrong? You look a bit sickly. You could step on down to the Morgue and I could take a look at you."
"No, thanks, Doctor. I'm on a mission." The idea of visiting the Morgue simply made him feel sicker. And he was on a mission. A mission to find out who was marking his agents.
"Very well. Let me know if you change your mind."
Leon nodded distractedly. And it was then that he had a brilliant brainwave.
"Doctor Mallard, wait. You have something on your cheek." Leon fished out his handkerchief and swiped the kiss off.
"Oh, thank you. I had quite forgotten that," he smiled, "Did you know the trad--"
"Later, please, Doctor Mallard. I am in a bit of a hurry."
Ducky shook his head with a smile and watched Leon disappear. "That man is always in a hurry. Ah, well."
Leon silently congratulated himself on the brilliance of his plan as he headed for Abby's lab. He would have her take a sample of the lipstick! He wondered why he had not thought of it before. There was no doubt in his mind that she would be able to get him the brand and name of the lipstick. She might even be able to get the DNA of the woman who was going around kissing his agents—and his medical examiner. There were certainly a great many perks in his job. Using forensic evidence to solve pesky little mysteries was just one of them.
Director Vance nearly missed it. It was a very narrow escape, he told himself later. A very narrow escape. He had been holding the handkerchief out in front of him, trying to figure the stories this little bit of lipstick would tell, and admiring the science of forensics. He had stopped just before the door to Abby's lab, and that it when he saw it.
Mistletoe. Abby had decorated her lab for Christmas and that included mistletoe hanging above the door. He backed away. Abby came bouncing over. Her lipstick was as magenta as any magenta he'd ever seen. Mystery solved.
"Leon! Whatcha got for me?"
"Er, nothing," he hid the handkerchief behind his back and thought fast, "I just came down to wish you Merry Christmas."
"Leon, that's so sweet!" Abby launched herself at him and for one terrified moment he thought she was going to kiss him. She didn't. She hugged him and he awkwardly—and quickly—hugged her back.
"Well, I was headed out for the day, and thought I'd better make the rounds first."
"Thank you." Abby smiled. "I hope you and your family have a great Christmas."
He smiled, thanked her, and hightailed it. Leon didn't think he even planned on stopping by his office before he left. It was time to escape the clutches of NCIS. He had enough mysteries for one day.