Christmas fanfics seem to be the flavour of the week.
Let's join in, shall we?
This was just going to be a one-shot.
But it kept growing.
It's still a one-shot.
Just a really long one.
The NCIS team were all sitting around the two trestle tables set up by Abby and Ducky in the bullpen. They had both worked together to give the team their own mini Christmas party the night before the big day. Unlike last year, they were not planning on spending it together at work. There were remnants of food and alcohol on the table; torn wrapping paper from the exchanging of gifts surrounded them on the floor. Everyone had enjoyed their presents from one another. Tony's new DVD from Abby, replacing the one he had lost. Ducky's new bowtie with yellow ducks from Ziva. Gibbs' bottle of fine bourbon from Ducky – the same kind they had shared on one of their overseas assignments. McGee's new-release videogame from Tony (though the card was addressed to 'McXbox'). Ziva's new pocketknife from McGee, claiming to be 'the most functional knife the world has seen'. Despite the merriment, Ziva stood up and left her colleagues with a sour disposition.
No-one really noticed her get up and leave. They had all consumed considerable amounts of alcohol and were enthralled in one of Ducky's stories. That is, all but Tony. He watched her as she made her way to the elevator and punched the button with more force than necessary. Ziva stepped inside and Tony watched her intently; her face had a peculiar expression as the doors closed. He remained seated for a moment, but soon jumped up from the table. He grabbed his coat off the back of his chair and something from his desk drawer. He ran to the elevator and waited it to arrive at his level, hoping that it would still contain Ziva. When the doors opened to reveal an empty cab, he stopped inside and pressed the ground floor button as quickly as he could. He waited nervously for it to stop and ran out into the lobby before the doors were even half-open.
Tony ran through the floodlit Navy Yard, looking everywhere for Ziva. He followed a dark-haired woman at a jog as she walked into the multi-level carpark. As he grew closer, the woman turned around. To Tony's dismay, she revealed herself to be a woman that he did not know, but had seen around NCIS previously. Tony quickly diverted his attention, altered his route and changed his body language in an effort to make it appear as if he regularly went for jogs through the parking structure. Tony was about to give up and return to the festivities occurring in the bullpen when he saw Ziva's red Mini parked in a space on the level above him, and her approaching it.
"Ziva!" he called out and began to run up the ramp leading to the next level.
Tony was out of breath by the time he reached her. Ziva had noticed Tony and was leaning on the side of her car, her hand on the door handle.
"Where are you going, Zi?" he said between breaths
"I am going home. It is getting late." She replied
"You left the party without even saying goodbye."
"You all seemed to be interested in Ducky's story. I did not want to interrupt." There was emotion in Ziva's voice that Tony couldn't quite decipher.
"You alright, Ziva?" he asked
"Yes I am, Tony. Now, if you do not mind, I would like to go home."
She pulled on the handle and her car door opened. Tony stepped forward and placed his hand on her wrist, disabling her from opening the door any further. They looked at each other in the eye in silence.
"Let's go get coffee." Tony suggested
"I do not feel like a coffee." Neither of them broke their gaze
"You can get a tea then."
"I do not want a tea either."
"Well, you can come with me while I get a cappuccino."
"Tony-" Ziva began
"Great!" he cut her off.
Tony pulled Ziva away from her car and nudged the door closed with his backside. The two of them walked out of the carpark, Tony not releasing Ziva's wrist as they went.
Tony and Ziva walked through the park. Every other tree lining the path they were on had been decorated in metallic tinsel and glittery baubles. Fairy lights illuminated them in various colours as they passed.
"Mmm." Tony said, pulling his cup away from his lips, "Nothing beats a late-night coffee. You want some, Zi?"
He held the cup out in front of her, but she pushed it back into his body,
"What do you want, Tony?" Why have you insisted that I come with you?"
"Come on, let's sit."
Tony led her over to a park bench; he sat down, while Ziva remained standing in front of him.
"I do not have time for this. I want to go home."
Tony watched as she left. He drained the rest of his coffee in one gulp and threw the cup in a nearby bin.
Tony parked his car on the street and shut off the engine. As he stepped out, he thrust his hands into his coat pockets. One, to shield them from the cold December air surrounding him. And two, to ensure that their contents were still intact and safe. He locked his car as he walked through the entrance of the multi-level brick building in front of him. Tony walked up the flight of stairs that took him to the first level of the apartment complex. He walked down the corridor, passing five or so doors, and then stopped at one in particular. He knocked firmly on the door, which was quickly answered by Ziva. She was dressed in the clothes she had been wearing that day at work. However, she'd since removed her shoes and her hair was no longer up in a ponytail; instead it fell below her shoulders in soft, natural curls.
"Tony!" she said startled, "What are you doing here?"
"You didn't give me a chance to speak before. Can I come in?" he asked
"I was just getting ready to go to bed. I will see you at work tomorrow anyway, can it not wait 'til then?"
Ziva began to close the door on him. Tony pulled his hand out of his pocket and placed it on the doorframe to prevent her from doing so.
"It's Christmas tomorrow, Zi. The one day out of the entire year that we actually get off. And this can't wait."
Ziva sighed, opened the door and stepped back to allow a path for Tony.
"You may as well come inside then." She said
Tony smiled and stepped into her apartment.
As he looked around the room, Tony sensed that something was off about it. It wasn't until he saw the menorah in the cupboard that he remembered that Ziva was Jewish, and therefore had no Christmas decorations up in her apartment.
"Is this why you left? Because you don't celebrate Christmas?" He asked
"I may not celebrate Christmas, Tony. But I do know that this time of year is one of celebration, no matter what religion you are."
Tony nodded understandingly and the two returned to silence for a short while until Ziva spoke again.
"What is so important that you have racooned me at this late hour?" he asked, folding her arms in front of her chest.
"Badgered." Tony corrected, "And I wouldn't say I've done such things. Why did you really rush away from the party before? He asked
"I already told you. I was tired, I wanted to come home."
"I meant the real reason, Zi."
"That is none of your business. Now, if you are not going to say what you came here to say, I think it is time that you leave."
Ziva began to walk towards Tony in order to drive him out. He put his arms up to stop her.
"Okay, okay, hold up." He said, "It's obvious you're upset about something, and I won't push you or anything. I just came to give you this."
Tony pulled a small black box out of his coat pocket and held it out to Ziva. She hesitated before taking it from him. Tony watched her face as she slowly opened it. A smile came across it when she saw the gift, eliminating all negative feelings she may have had. Tears began to form at the edges of her eyes.
"You like it?" Tony asked,
Ziva nodded and held the Star of David necklace out to him in the palm of her hand,
"Would you mind?" she asked
"Not at all."
Tony picked it up out of her hand and walked behind Ziva. He unclipped the necklace and delicately placed it around his partner's neck.
"I didn't want to give it to you while everyone else was around." He said, "I wanted it to be just you and me."
Tony was sitting on Ziva's couch and she brought in two glasses of water for them both.
"How did you know?" she asked as she handed one to him and placed her own on the table
"I noticed it when we were in Somalia. When I first saw you I saw that you didn't have it on. I've never seen you without it before, it sorta stuck out."
Ziva leant down in front of him and kissed him on the cheek. She sat down on the couch next to him and they smiled at each other.
"Oh!" Tony said suddenly, "That reminds me!"
Ziva watched with confusion as he rummaged around in his coat pockets. Her puzzlement only grew when he pulled out a small, green, leafy object.
"It's mistletoe." He said and held it above them both, "If you and someone else are caught underneath it, you gotta kiss."
Ziva looked up at the mistletoe then back at a smiling Tony, and back up to the mistletoe again.
"According to whom?" she asked, still looking skywards
"You'll have to ask Ducky about the origins of it all. All I know is that it's tradition, and pretty much a rule."
Ziva looked back down at Tony as he finished speaking. She put her right hand around his neck, rested it on the back of his head and gently kissed him. Tony was surprised that his plan actually worked and was still shocked when Ziva broke the lip-lock between them. He looked over at the clock on her wall and watched the minute hand tick past midnight.
"Merry Christmas, Ziva." He said
"And to you too, Tony."
I know a lot of people have been making it that Tony gives Ziva a new Star of David necklace.
I haven't actually read any of them.
So I hope that mine doesn't imitate any of them too much.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FANFICCERS!