The Twelve Days of Christmas
Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine; I've just borrowed the characters.
Genres: AU, Drama, Suspense, Angst, Family
Warnings: Spoilers for season six's 'Heartland' and any other episodes that mention Shannon or Kelly, also some mild course language
Summary: It is twelve days before Christmas and somebody kidnaps Kelly Gibbs.
A/N Written as part of NFA's 2008 Secret Santa for KGibbs (Keri).
"McGee! Have you gotten the coordinates for Lazar's property yet?" Tony asked McGee as he strolled into the bullpen. He stopped in front of McGee's desk.
"Yes, b . . ." McGee started, but trailed off as he looked up and saw that the newcomer was his senior field agent and not his boss.
"Yes, Tony," McGee amended, faintly blushing pink. "Lazar has a property five miles west of DC. I've managed to get some satellite images." McGee pushed a few buttons on his keyboard, and grainy pictures popped up onto the flat screen.
"Good job, McGee." Tony looked pleased. "Gibbs has been breathing down my neck about it."
"Down your neck? What about mine?" McGee grumbled, remembering the glare he'd received when his search results hadn't turned up anything after five minutes.
Tony shrugged. "Same difference." He paused. "What is it about this case that has gotten under Gibbs' skin?"
This time, it was McGee's turn to shrug. "Honestly, no idea. I guess it could have something to do with the victim."
Tony nodded. "Ah, yes. Miss Elizabeth Carey, our dead redhead. I bet she reminds Gibbs of – "
"– Shannon," McGee finished, referring to his boss' wife.
"Yeah," Tony agreed and sighed. "I really hope it doesn't screw up his judgment."
"It won't," McGee replied, confident. "You know Gibbs, ever the professional."
"Most of the time," Tony amended quietly and McGee indicated with his head that he was inclined to agree with Tony.
McGee had just opened his mouth to reply, when the elevator bell chimed and the doors opened widely. McGee and Tony turned to look at the lift, and at first, could not see who had stepped out of its carriage. Then . . .
"Tony!" a little voice squealed as a tiny blur of blue and brown darted around the bullpen divider and latched itself on to Tony's legs. "Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?"
Tony was momentarily shocked, and then, "Hey, Kiddo."
Tony looked down at the eight-year-old wearing a blue top, white tights accompanied by brown riding boots attached to his legs. He grinned widely at Kelly Gibbs' toothless smile.
"You aren't going to make poor uncle Tony guess, are you?" He feigned a look of horror.
Kelly nodded enthusiastically. "You have to guess," she pouted, smiling sweetly and batting her large doe eyes.
"Do I have to," Tony whined as McGee rolled his eyes.
"Just guess, DiNozzo," McGee sighed, looking bored.
"Yeah, DiNozzo, just guess," Kelly repeated, trying badly to imitate McGee. She unhooked herself from Tony's legs, took a step back and put her hands on her hips. "Like Timmy said, guess!"
McGee winced at Kelly's favoured name for him.
"Kelly," McGee asked slowly, "where's your mum?"
The little girl shrugged. "Coming. She said I could ride the elevator myself." Kelly grinned at being allowed to do such a grown up thing by herself.
Kelly turned her attention back to Tony. "You have to guess, Tony."
Tony sighed, but did not look putout. He loved Kelly, almost as if she were his own. He had joined NCIS when Kelly was just a newborn, so really, he had pretty much grown up with the little girl, just as she had grown up with him, much to Gibbs' displeasure some days.
"Okay, fine," he said, sounding like he should be one of Kelly's peers and not an adult. "You passed a test?"
Kelly shook her head. "Nah. That's boring. Think of something fun."
"Yeah, Tony, think of something fun," McGee smirked from his desk.
"I don't see you trying, McGeekster," Tony grumbled, shooting him an annoyed look.
McGee looked thoughtful. "A new toy?"
"Kinda," Kelly grinned, looking excited.
"A book, then," Tony offered.
"That's not a toy," Kelly replied, frowning as if it was the most common piece of knowledge in the universe.
"Then I give up," Tony retorted.
Kelly pouted. "You can't give up. That's no fun."
"Oh, I assure you it's very fun," Tony mused as Kelly glared at him.
"I think she's perfected her Gibbs, Tony," McGee laughed from his desk, watching as Gibbs' daughter glared at Tony in the same manner as her father did.
The elevator chimed again and a few moments later, a lilting female voice wafted through, saying, "Kelly Ann Gibbs, I hope you aren't disturbing the agents."
"They won't guess, mum," Kelly complained.
"What did I tell you, Kel," Shannon Gibbs laughed, walking gracefully into the bullpen. She smiled at the two agents. "She's not disrupting you, then."
Tony shook his head. "Not at all. I always welcome visits from my favourite little girl."
"I'm not little," Kelly announced, annoyed. "I'm eight and four months."
"I stand corrected," Tony announced with a grin and Kelly replied with another toothless smile.
"But you still have to . . ."
Shannon cut off Kelly. "You wouldn't happen to know where Jethro is, would you?" she asked, flicking her eyes back and forth between the two agents. She looked slightly irritated.
Tony nodded. "He's down in Abby's lab with Ziva . . . something about ketchup on this case we're working."
"Oh." Shannon's look of irritation grew. "Do you know how long he'll be?"
McGee shrugged. "He should be back soon, Mrs. Gibbs."
Shannon looked slightly less irritated as she heard McGee's comment. "How many times have I told you that you to call me Shannon, Tim?" she asked, looking amused. "Mrs. Gibbs makes me feel, well, old."
"But you are old, mum," Kelly stated.
"If you want McDonald's for dinner tonight, Miss Kelly, I'd watch what you say," Shannon countered, looking sternly at her daughter, but not really meaning it.
Kelly frowned. "But you . . ."
"So, anyway, Gibbs," Tony cut Kelly off by clamping a hand over the girl's mouth. "I am sure he'll be back soon, just as Probie said."
"Who will be back soon?" Gibbs asked, strolling into the bullpen. Ziva followed him. He looked over at Tony. "And why are you manhandling my daughter, DiNozzo?"
Tony's eyes grew wide and he uncovered Kelly's mouth. Immediately, she exclaimed, "Daddy!" She pulled away from Tony and rushed into her father's embrace.
"Hey, Kelly-Belle," Gibbs said, using his special nickname for his daughter; courtesy of Kelly's favourite movie "The Beauty and the Beast". He bent down to hug her.
"Daddy!" Kelly repeated and flung her arms around his neck. "Tell mummy she's old."
Gibbs smirked. "Mummy's old, is she?"
"Don't you dare, Jethro," Shannon warned, good-natured.
"Never with you, Shan." Gibbs stood up and made a move to kiss Shannon briefly on the lips. "You're not old."
"I should hope not," Shannon said firmly, "or you'll be sleeping on the couch."
"Can't have that, can we?" Gibbs smiled, looking at Kelly. She giggled.
Gibbs turned to McGee. "You got the location of Lazar's property." He failed to notice Shannon's immediate and obvious annoyance.
"Yes, boss," McGee confirmed, "five miles west of DC."
Gibbs nodded. "Good. Grab your gear; we'll hit it this evening." He turned back to his family. "Did you need something?"
Shannon looked furious. "You've forgotten, haven't you," she burst out.
"It's parent-teacher interview night," Kelly supplied innocently.
A look of recognition passed across Gibbs' faces. "That's . . ."
"This evening, yes," Shannon finished, coolly.
Gibbs looked slightly upset. "Shannon . . ."
"Don't, Jethro, just don't," she sighed, looking weary. "Just go."
"Shannon . . ." Gibbs tried again. "I'm . . ."
"No, Jethro. No," Shannon said bitterly. "How many times did I remind you? I reminded you this morning, for God's sake."
"This case . . ." Gibbs tried to explain. "It's our chance to finally catching this guy."
"Good on you," Shannon said sarcastically, and then added, "It's always about the cases," Shannon snapped. She turned abruptly to her daughter.
"Kel, we're going," she ordered sharply.
"But daddy . . ."
"We are going, Kelly," Shannon repeated firmly. "Now."
"No," Kelly refused stubbornly.
"Yes, you are coming with me," Shannon said firmly, taking Kelly's arm.
"I want daddy!" Kelly shrieked and pouted, on the verge of a temper tantrum. "Daddy's meant to come."
"Your father is busy," Shannon said bitterly, making a move to leave the bullpen and dragging an uncooperative Kelly with her.
"Shan . . ."
"Go raid your house, Jethro," Shannon sighed, turning back to her husband and his team.
"We can go ourselves," Ziva supplied, hoping to defuse the awkward situation. "I am sure we are capable of conducting the raid ourselves." Tony and McGee nodded enthusiastically.
"No need," Shannon answered for Gibbs. "Go with your team, Jethro," she added softly.
"But . . ."
"Just go," Shannon said curtly. She turned and pulled Kelly over to the elevator.
"Mummy . . ."
"Be quiet, Kel," Shannon snapped and then noticed her daughter's face. "Sorry, baby. I'm not angry with you."
"Why does daddy always work?" Kelly asked tearfully as the doors to the elevator opened.
"It's his job, sweetheart," Shannon replied softly, pushing Kelly into the elevator.
"That's sucks," Kelly announced, hands on her hips.
"Language, Kelly Ann," Shannon chided lightly, "but yes, it does suck sometimes."
As the elevator doors closed, Shannon shot Gibbs one last look and saw that he was ordering his team, ever the professional agent.