Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters that appear in the TV show, they belong to Belisarius Productions and CBS. I would ask Santa, but since I don't believe that he's real…a little to expect to be given them.
A/N: Okay so I decided to get off my backside and type a Christmas story. This is as much for me as anyone on NFA or . I dedicate it to my friends, because without them I wouldn't have written much NCIS and I would have fewer people to share this common bond with, especially Emy. Kandon.
Tony DiNozzo shivered from the cold even in the half-light of the early winter dawn. He knew that his wife had awoken and was downstairs on the running machine. Shivering again even in his winter pyjamas bottoms without a shirt, Tony swung himself out of bed. He walked quickly into the bathroom. Seconds later he re-emerged from the bathroom and padded slowly and quietly down the hallway. He passed Rachel's room. His baby girl had finally started to sleep longer and deeply now that she was ten months old. He knew that it was wise to keep quiet because as soon as she was awake it would be last time he would spend time with his wife until later. He trod warily down the stairs trying to keep as quiet as he could. He walked slowly over the tiled floor; they felt cool though the temperature downstairs was a lot warmer.
Walking into the lounge room, he took in the sight as his wife as she was stretching out which meant that she was finishing up her morning exercise. He leant against the doorframe watching her as she bent forward.
Tony grinned to himself as he remembered the first time he'd spent time watching that butt of hers. It had been in the bullpen, he'd been eating while she had been stretching and using the plasma TV remote. They'd been discussing a missing Lieutenant who had been looking for the perfect man to marry. She'd been caught up in a coin heist, and it had been just before he had to make a decision about whether he was staying with his current team or whether he was going to US Naval Base Rota to command a NCIS team himself. That time he'd checked out his wife's butt it had almost gotten him caught.
"That's a hell of a Christmas present, sweetcheeks," Tony stated, grinning from ear to ear as his wife reacted suddenly by standing up and glaring at him for a second. It was a game, one they enjoyed playing. It added spice to their much faceted relationship.
Ziva David-DiNozzo hid the smile that was forcing itself onto her face. "Well, perhaps that is going to be the only present that you get, my little hairy butt."
"Ouch, that hurt." Tony feigned injured pride. Then he grinned as he walked into the lounge room. He wrapped his arms around Ziva. "Good thing I don't hold grudges." Tony kissed her neck slowly and languidly, his hands moving over his wife's curvy body.
"Stop it," Ziva scolded with a smile as she fought to gain some seriousness, trying to pull away from Tony. "She'll be awake soon."
Tony sighed before letting her go. He smiled. "I guess that's it then for another year." Ziva eyed him. "Okay, okay, Hanukah…wait, wait our family time." Tony grinned at her; she was still Jewish, that would never change, but they had come to an agreement. Anything that had to do with public holidays was now called family days, and family days included everyone, whether related or not.
Tony headed for the large kitchen. "You want pancakes?"
"After I feed Rachel," Ziva replied, heading for the stairs.
"Can I watch?" The reply was cheeky and mischievous.
"Tony!" Ziva's voice sounded outraged. Tony grinned as he walked into the large kitchen. She knew he wouldn't, he was teasing her as usually did, but he always managed to get a reaction.
A hand slid around him, running over his chest. "Well, if I said yes would you." Tony turned his head ninety degrees to find Ziva pressed up behind him, her lips wet against his bare shoulder as she kissed him.
He grinned. "You better go feed her before we become more entangled and start shouting too loudly for the neighbours."
"Maybe some other time, my little hairy butt." Ziva pulled away slowly as Tony allowed her hand to slid along his arm before she drifted toward the stairs and the direction of Rachel's room.
"Don't take too long. I'll have breakfast waiting," Tony grinned before heading deeper into the kitchen to make pancakes and pull the frozen wild forest berries he was going to make into a sauce along with maple syrup and whipped cream to the renditions of the Frank Sinatra Luck be a Lady.
The creak of the floorboards on the stairs even under the carpet informed Tony that Ziva was finished feeding Rachel. Ziva was now wearing slippers instead of the slip-on shoes she used when she did her morning exercise downstairs. Rachel sat on her hip, her slobbery fingers in her mouth.
Tony laughed playfully as he rushed round the bench in the centre of the kitchen toward Ziva and Rachel. "There's my girls." His daughter gigged as Tony plucked her out of Ziva's arms before he lent in close, his arms around Ziva's waist He kissed her longingly. "We made a great kid, Mrs DiNozzo."
"That's David-DiNozzo," Ziva corrected as she eyed the plate of pancakes on the bench along with the sauce, maple syrup and whipped cream. "And you made a wonderful breakfast."
Tony smirked as he watched his wife from behind. Ziva half turned around, knowing he was looking. "Do you have her bottle?
"Bench," Tony nodded to a bottle on the bench next to the fridge. "Not to hot I hope."
Ziva tested it as she scooped it up. "A little warm," she replied as she shook her arm as if the milk were hot. "You think of everything." Ziva looked at him. "You have changed."
"Had too," Tony grinned before kissing Rachel on the forehead.
"Want some breakfast?" Ziva asked as she picked up the plate.
"You eat. Rach and I have something we have to go find," Tony replied cheekily. Ziva watched as he left the kitchen, shaking her head. He was amazing.
Climbing the stairs, he turned to Rachel. "Let's find Mummy's present." Rachel giggled unknowingly at the words. Tony was spending less and less time at work now because he was finding that he wanted to spend time with Ziva and Rachel as much as he could. Gibbs had even suggested it a long with a slap to the back of the head.'Use every second you have with them…cause you never know when it's gone.' They were too important to him now.
Tony reached the top of the stairs and walked directly down the hallway to Rachel's room. Tony hoped that Ziva hadn't discovered the small package at the back of their daughter's closet. "Here it is," Tony smiled as he pulled it from the closet.
"Bububub," Rachel cooed happily to him as he kissed her on the cheek before he slipped the present into his pocket. He and Rachel left the room and headed back downstairs.
Tony walked back into the kitchen to find Ziva sitting with one of her imported Hebrew magazines at the breakfast bar. She looked up when she heard his footsteps; it was hard to forget one of their first conversations as team members of Gibbs' team.
"Find what you needed?" Ziva asked teasingly.
"Nope," Tony replied in mock annoyance. He gauged his wife's reaction. Ziva's eyebrow rose in her typical not amused Tony look. Tony couldn't holdout before breaking into a laugh.
"Yeah, I found it." Coming round behind Ziva, he bent in and kissed her neck while with his free hand he placed the gift on the table in front of her. "That's from me and Rachel," he whispered sweetly to her as he stood and walked around the bench to face her in order to gauge her reaction even more now. "For being the perfect wife any man could ask for!"
Ziva lowered her cutlery before picking up the package. Slowly she unwrapped the present covered in gold and white paper with the words 'Merry Christmas' printed all over. Slowly she removed the black velvet box from the paper. Ziva opened the box to reveal the contents. On a simple yet elegant chain sat a perfect white pearl.
"Tony…I," Ziva fought for words.
Tony and Ziva had spent the majority of the morning tidying up the house awaiting the arrival of the guests that would be turning up for Christmas dinner. While they tidied the house, Rachel sat in her playpen watching her mother getting the vegetables and turkey ready. Tony walked into the kitchen, coming up behind Ziva with his hands encircling her waist. "How are you going?"
"I would be better if I did not have an immature man hanging off me," Ziva teased before kissing his cheek. She grinned at Rachel as she bounced up and down in her playpen.
Tony laughed as he let go of Ziva's waist, walking over to the playpen and scooping Rachel up and into his arms. Ziva smiled as Tony kissed their daughter softly on the cheek. "Can you…" she started to ask as the doorbell rang.
"Get the door," Tony finished the sentence as he and Rachel disappeared out of the kitchen and down the hallway toward the door. Tony swung the door open to reveal Ducky Mallard on the doorstep along with Jimmy Palmer who seemed to be standing and clutching a large cardboard box.
Tony shivered, clutching Rachel tightly as the icy wind blew snowflakes over the threshold. "You might want to step in before we all freeze, Ducky," Tony teased the old man before adding, "And I'm not about to stand here and wait for a story about a frozen popsicle."
"Ah, Anthony," Ducky smiled up at Tony, "I was just saying to Mr Palmer here…"
"Ducky," Tony interrupted, stepping back to allow the elder man to step inside the warm house. Ducky walked into the hallway and removed his hat and coat, hanging them up. He was quickly followed by Jimmy Palmer, whom Tony had become good friends since his arrival at NCIS.
"Hey, Jimmy, I see you got here early in order not to get lost."
"Would you believe the only time we turn up somewhere correctly," Jimmy muttered as he placed the box down in the corner under the coat hooks, "we turn up early."
"How's our little DiNozzo?" Ducky turned to Tony and Rachel, who giggled excitedly at Grandpa Ducky. Before Tony realised it, she was trying to leap out of his arms; Rachel was halfway into Ducky's arms,
"My, well my dear you're getting much heavier now. Come let me tell you a story. It might not be what your father wants to hear, but you'll not care."
"You want a beer, Jimmy?" Tony asked as he watched Ducky sit down on the lounge with Rachel on his knee as he began to narrate to her.
"That would be great."
Both men headed toward the garage and the small fridge that held all sorts of drinks - beer, soda and even some eggnog that Tony had managed to make, not that Tony thought anyone would try any of it. "Well, I have some Bud or there Coors or even some imported Aussie beer here."
Jimmy was about to answer when the doorbell rang again. Tony suddenly disappeared down the hallway again. "Sorry, Jimmy, just pick whatever you want," he called.
Tony reached the door and no sooner had he opened it someone was lunging at him and he was struggling to breathe as the person's arms wrapped around his neck. "Okay, Abs, I beginning to lose feeling in my arms."
"Tony…oh sorry," Abby started out excited then realised and loosened her grip.
Tony looked past Abby to the empty snow. "Where's McLover? I expected him to be following you like a lovesick puppy." Tony eyed the Goth forensic scientist in her blood red and snow white Christmas jumpsuit with skeletal reindeer and skull and crossbones Santa Claus.
"He's parking the Porsche," Abby replied, undeterred by the teasing. "He's got the pudding and custard as well as the presents." Then Abby was no longer standing there and was rushing quickly down the hallway to the kitchen where Tony heard her greet Ziva and guessed that his wife was having the air forced out of her lungs too.
Tony turned to see Timothy McGee walking overladen down the path that lead from Tony's front door to the street forty yards away. "You want a hand, McBuffboy?" Tony called from the doorway.
"Yeah. That would be great, Tony," McGee shouted back from behind the stack of things obscuring his vision. "So if you don't mind…"
"I do mind, actually," Tony replied, closing the door and turning to find both Ziva and Abby standing there. Ziva's eyebrow was raised and her arms were folded across her chest while Abby looked at him with that pouty annoyed look that she got.
"Alright, alright, I'll go help. I was just playing with him."
"Just wait," Abby pointed at him, "you're gonna get slapped so hard."
"Thanks," Tony sighed before he grabbed his coat then stepped out into the cold to help McGee.
Tony stood watching Rachel being bounced on Ducky's knee while Jimmy, McGee and himself all watched. For the last half an hour Tony had been looking at his watch, after helping McGee bring the Christmas pudding into the kitchen. He'd helped stack all the presents so far that had arrived under the tree. Tony walked out of the lounge room, happy in the knowledge that McGee and Jimmy would be company enough for the time being. He walked quickly back to the kitchen and into the wafting smells that met his nose.
"Wow, that smells good." Tony sounded impressed as he walked over to the bench. "Ahhhh." Tony winced as Ziva's hand latched onto his fingers as he tried to sneak a piece of carrot from the bowl on the bench.
"Did anyone tell you it's bad manner to eat before everyone else," Ziva cooed at him sweetly as she released his fingers.
"I guess I've learned that now, sweetcheeks." Tony shook his fingers, trying to get circulation back into them. "You could have dislocated them."
"Don't be a big baby, Tony," Ziva grinned at him, then looked at Abby who was trying not to giggle at the two of them. "Next thing you'll know, he will be teaching Rachel bad manners and then where will I be."
"As long as it isn't an example of fatherhood to Tim," Abby walked over and lovingly hugged Tony, "Then he'll disappear forever with no forensic evidence."
"Well, I think that's my cue to leave." Tony grinned worriedly at Ziva before walking back out of the kitchen and heading for the fridge in the garage. Opening the fridge, he pulled out one of the cans of Budweiser. He cracked the top off the bottle and headed for the lounge room again. He found McGee on his hands and knees playing with Rachel while Jimmy was bent down talking to her incoherently. Tony sat down next to Ducky.
"So, Ducky, what's it like to be a grandpa?"
"I would have thought that would be a question for Jethro." Ducky looked at him; his face betrayed no emotion but his eyes were bright and mischievous.
"Haha." Tony tried to relieve his face of shock and fear. "That's a good one, Ducky."
Tony would have said more, but the doorbell rang again. Rising from the seat, Tony moved into the hallway and down to the door. Swinging the door open, he revealed Gibbs carrying a baby capsule in each hands while Jenny brought up the rear with the nappy bag along with her handbag.
"Hey Boss," Tony grinned at Gibbs as he walked in carrying his twin boys. "Director," Tony smiled as he kissed her cheek and closed the door behind her. "How are they doing?"
"They cry a lot," Jenny whispered. "That's why we were so late."
"That and the fact that Sean needed his diaper changed," Gibbs whispered as he placed both baby capsules on the ground in the hallway, "Mark spent most of his time crying all the way down in the car. We've only just got both of them asleep."
"Thanks to Jethro," Jenny added, beaming at her husband. Then she turned her attention to Tony. "Can we put the boys somewhere for the time being so they can sleep in peace?"
"Uh well, we have the baby phone in Rachel's room so you'll know if they're crying up there," Tony suggested. "The receiver's down here in the lounge room but we can move it into the dining room if you need it there."
Jenny looked at Gibbs who nodded. Tony took a hold of Sean's baby capsule, and then lead the way up to Rachel's room with Gibbs following along behind. "Nice to have you here, Boss," Tony whispered as they reached the room.
Gibbs grinned. "Nice to be here, DiNozzo."
"You didn't forget you're playing Santa Claus this year did you?" Tony whispered teasingly to Gibbs. Seconds later he grimaced as Gibbs, free hand connected with the back of his head. "Sorry, Boss."
"Just keep your mouth shut when I walk in okay, DiNozzo," Gibbs whispered close to his ear. "Or you won't have a mouth too shut!"
Now that everyone had arrived, Tony and Ziva were busily getting the last of the turkey and vegetables done. McGee was busy in the dining room as he filled all the glasses with the Moet champagne that Tony had bought cheaply in a carton of twelve bottles. Jenny and Abby took turns entertaining Rachel, who was squirming a little now that she was free of the playpen. Gibbs was watching them while Ducky had decided to tell Palmer of an incident that had happened in his younger life on one fortunate Christmas day in Singapore so long ago.
"We ready?" Tony asked as he picked up the plate of cut turkey.
"I think so, Tony. Yes," Ziva smiled at him. She could tell he was nervous. This was their first Christmas together as husband and wife and he wanted to make a good impression on everybody. Not that she could tell him that he didn't need too, she was feeling just as nervous but it was always easier to hide it from the outside world. Both she and Tony walked out into the dining room, and placed the plates of vegetables and turkey on the table.
"Everybody," Tony interrupted the 'family' that he and Ziva were part of, "dinner is on the table."
Everybody started moving. Tony scooped up Rachel from Jenny's arms, giving her a smile before he made his way into the dining with Rachel who was thoroughly excited and gibbering in her baby language. He slid her into her high chair next to Ziva's spot at the table.
"Now you be good for mummy, Rachel."
"Dadadadadad," Rachel giggled back at him before she landed her soft open palm on his nose. Tony laughed and rolled his eyes at Ziva as he sat down next to her.
"Well, thanks everybody for being here." Tony looked at everyone seated there in front of him: Gibbs, Jenny, Ducky, McGee, Abby and Jimmy. "So let's eat!" he grinned and squeezed Ziva hand before leaning in and kissing her slowly. "I can't wait for desert!"
Christmas dinner had been wonderful. Ziva had done a good job with the main course of turkey, while Abby's Christmas pudding had been to die for, not that that had been the only pudding she'd made. She'd been a busy girl, making a wild berry and slivered almond jelly pudding. That had been a hit with Ducky and Gibbs. Now everybody was sitting in the lounge save for Gibbs and Jenny who had both disappeared apparently to check up on Sean and Mark. Tony had brewed up some coffee and had distributed it to anyone who wanted one.
"How are they?" Ziva asked Jenny as she walked back into the lounge room.
Jenny smiled as she ran her hand over Rachel's hair. "They're fine. But I don't think that will stay like that for too long."
"Where's Gibbs?" Ziva looked around.
Jenny stifled a laugh. "He's dressing up as Santa."
"Tony's idea?" Ziva asked her as she looked at Tony suspiciously.
"I don't know." Jenny was still trying not to laugh. "I could be…"
"Ho Ho Ho." Gibbs sounded like he was being strangled. As he trudged into the living room from the direction of the kitchen, he pulled the beard down to show his face.
"Anyone laughs, makes a comment or so much as sneezes…they're fired," Gibbs threatened. But the threat become little more than words when Rachel, who happened to be sitting on Ziva's lap, giggled and clapped her hands excitedly at him. Gibbs sauntered over.
"Ho ho ho, and what have we got for you?" He pulled out a large present and gave it to Rachel and Ziva together. Rachel grasped the paper in her little hands. She grinned at Ziva who took the present from her daughter and helped the baby unwrap it, revealing a big fluffy teddy bear.
"She seems more interested in the Christmas paper," McGee teased a little. Rachel was now on the floor and was attacking the paper.
"It's cute," Abby replied, defending Rachel as McGee squeezed her.
"Yes, it reminds me of the time…" Ducky began.
"Ducky!" a chorus of voice interrupted him mid-sentence.
"Ah…another time then," Ducky amended quickly.
"I have a present for Jenny here." Gibbs walked over and pulled her in close, kissing her for a long time before Tony coughed. "Merry Christmas Jen."
Jenny smiled as she unwrapped the long rectangular package. The look on her face said it all. "Pilates…for beginners. Why does that not surprise me Anthony DiNozzo?!"
Gibbs continued onto the next person. "Abby Sciuto." Gibbs handed her a small present wrapped in black paper. Abby wrapped her arms around Gibbs.
"Thank you, Gibbs…I mean Santa," Abby said, letting go and unwrapping the present. "Your own little vampire diary." Abby looked surprised, then her faced changed. "Tony, that's so sweet."
"Ziva," Gibbs said, pulling a weird shaped present out of his bag. Ziva hugged him and then opened it.
"A Menorah?" Ziva looked at Tony, her eyebrow raised in slight confusion.
"Happy Hanukah." Tony smiled lovingly at her. "I thought we could sit it on the dining room table."
"Why?" Ziva still looked puzzled.
"It was something appropriate." Tony walked over, bent in and kissed her cheek. "Besides I already gave you the pearl."
"This is true," Ziva nodded.
"Ducky." Gibbs went on with the presents. He handed the Medical Examiner a long rectangular box.
"Thank you, Jethro." Ducky unwrapped the paper and opened the box. He pulled the stethoscope from the box along with a note: 'For when you want to listen to the living.'
"Thank you, Tony," Ducky smiled. "I forgot where I left the last one I had. Did you have anything to do with this, Mr Palmer?"
Before Jimmy could answer, Gibbs interrupted, "Jimmy." Gibbs walked over to Jimmy with a soft looking present.
Jimmy unwrapped it and something tumbled out as he let it fall open. It was a dull grey shirt the words 'Harvard Crimson Football Class of 03'.On the back of the shirt it was written 'No wonder we lost to Ohio State'. Jimmy laughed. "Thanks, Tony."
"McGee," Gibbs said, walking over and handing McGee a fairly chunky gift.
"Thanks, Boss." McGee nodded to his boss in the Santa suit. He began to unwrap the present. "Okay, what have we got here? David Hasselhoff revisited, Super Glue solvent, a copy of 'You're a geek deal with it' and an itty-bitty coffee cup. Gee thanks, Tony."
"Anything for you, Probie," Tony grinned at his friend's gifts which he had handpicked himself. Then Tony pulled a wrapped present from behind his back and walked over to Gibbs. "Enjoy, Boss."
"That's what I'm worried about, DiNozzo," Gibbs muttered as he pulled the beard he'd been wearing off his face. Gibbs slowly unwrapped the present to reveal a framed photo.
"I managed to find that in one of the case files for a crime back in '07," Tony started as Gibbs looked at it. "I had it blown up and had the grain look removed and I figured that it could sit on your desk."
"What is it?" Abby asked, walking over to Gibbs and Tony.
"A photo, of course," Tony replied proudly, "of all of us. Just one big happy family. Slightly Brady Bunch-ish, though. But I thought it was nice." Tony shrugged.
"I am actually touched, DiNozzo," Gibbs replied with a grin. "I'm surprised."
Tony shrugged again, and glanced over at Ziva and then at Rachel. "Well, I guess becoming a husband and a father had to be good for something," he remarked.
"Amen to that," Ducky toasted.
"Do you want a coffee?" Tony asked as Ziva began to ascend the stairs with a sleepy Rachel in her arms. It had been a long afternoon. Gibbs and Jenny had left first as the twins got hungry and wanted attention. Ducky and Jimmy had helped with the washing up while Abby and McGee had helped out by keeping Rachel entertained.
They had all left twenty minutes ago. It had been enough time for Tony to tidy up the remaining mess in the lounge room while Ziva fed Rachel her bottle. Now he and Ziva were tired and Rachel had already started to fall asleep in her father's arms; he'd just handed her over to Ziva to put their daughter to bed.
"No," Ziva whispered back at him.
"I'll wait here till you've got her asleep," Tony whispered back to his wife. He pulled off his boots as quietly as he could. Tony walked into the kitchen and began to wrap up the vegetables and turkey that had been left on the bench. Once he was done, he washed his hands, left the kitchen and tidied up the lounge room. When he was satisfied, he began to climb the stairs.
"Is she asleep?"
"No, not quite," Ziva's whisper travelled down to him.
"How long do you think?" Tony asked as he began to yawn.
"Give me ten minutes," Ziva whispered back.
Tony returned to the lounge room as he slowly whistled another Frank Sinatra song that he had forgotten the words too. He browsed the books that happened to be on the shelf. Finally, unable to stay away from his bed and his wife any longer, Tony made his way to the stairs. He undid his shirt and climbed the stairs, half expecting to see Ziva come walking out of Rachel's bedroom with a scowl on her face for him for being so noisy. But she didn't appear, so Tony shrugged and continued on to the bedroom. He opened the door, pulling the shirt off as he did so.
Tony stopped dead at the sight that he beheld. Ziva stood in the light of half a dozen fragrant candles. Her dark brown hair fell loosely around her shoulders, with a stray ringlet falling across her left eye making her even more beautiful. She stood there sensually wearing a see-through black silk gown. A Black lace bra and g-string drew out her natural curves, making her even more sexy even after a baby. She looked absolutely stunning and Tony was lost for words.
"Wow!" was all Tony could breathe.
Ziva walked slowly over to him, pressing her lithe figure against him with her sultry voice and intoxicating smile. "Are your ready to unwrap your Christmas present, my love?"
Up until that point he'd all but forgotten. Now he would have a long time to enjoy it as he unwrapped his present. "I love you," he whispered, kissing her neck lovingly.
"I know," Ziva whispered back as Tony's hand ran slowly over her stomach and rubbed against her thigh.
A/N: Okay, so that was really fast way of telling a story but I needed something. I apologise if these characters are out of character. It's hard to write them when you feel pressure.