Disclaimer: I own nothing. NCIS is not mine, nor any of it's characters (sadly).
A/N: Just a bit of cute, harmless holiday fluff that's been bouncing around in my mind :D
(No Place Like) NCIS for the Holidays
"Come on Ziva." Tony implored.
He caught sight of Abby and McGee entering the bullpen. "Abbs, Probie, get over here and help me talk Ziva into coming to the office party tonight."
Ziva held up her arms defensively as the team gathered around her desk. "I just do not feel like going."
"How come?" McGee asked.
"Well," Ziva considered it. "I guess I am a little, how do you say it? Home-ill? I have always spent the holidays with family, but this year I am unable to travel to Tel Aviv."
"Aw, Ziva, I'm sorry. That sucks." Abby gave her a short hug. "But the party'll be fun."
"Yeah. And you shouldn't be down, Ziva. It's the most wonderful time of the year." Tony raised his eyebrows teasingly when the Israeli didn't respond. "Are you gonna make me sing it? Because I will."
Ziva looked at him doubtfully. "I thought you hated holidays, Tony."
Tony gave a mock gasp, seeming appalled at the thought. "No, no, no, no, no Ziva. I only hate Halloween. I love Christmas."
She shrugged. "So why should I go to this party? I do not even celebrate Christmas."
"Well, that's fine, Ziva, because it's a holiday party." Abby stressed.
"Right," McGee put in. "Whether your holiday be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza -"
"Yule, Solstice-" Abby continued.
"Or even Festivus." added Tony.
Ziva was puzzled. "What is this 'Festivus'?"
"Well, surely you've heard of 'Festivus for the rest of us.' No? Well, it's actually a pretty funny-" Tony broke off. "You're missing the point, Ziva. The point of the holiday party is to come and have a good time with your friends and coworkers."
"Everyone's gonna be there, Ziva." McGee said.
"Yeah. Even Gibbs comes every year. Boss humbug himself." Tony chuckled at his joke and then suddenly cringed. "He's standing right behind me, isn't he?"
"Well it's not the Ghost of Christmas Past, DiNozzo."
Tony let out a yelp as Gibbs' hand connected with the back of his head.
He turned to face the team leader with a sheepish grin. "Of course I meant that in the most respectful, non-Scrooge-like, holiday-cheer-filled way possible, Boss."
Abby was still working on Ziva. "Oh please come, Ziva. You have to. It won't be as much fun without you. Pretty please?" She wheedled.
Ziva huffed. "Fine. I will come to the party."
Abby squealed happily. "Yay!" She flung her arms around her friend before skipping off back to her lab.
"She gets really excited about Christmas." McGee explained.
Ziva nodded. "I see."
"You know what would make me excited? If you would all get to work." Gibbs growled.
The team scurried to obey him.
That evening at the party, Abby and McGee were deep in a discussion of how Santa could deliver presents all over the world in one night, as Tony, Ziva, and Palmer looked on amused, sipping eggnog.
"It would have to be time travel Abby." McGee argued. "That's the only thing that would make sense. Theoretically, someone could-"
Abby sighed, exasperated. "Timmy, you don't understand. It's just magic, that's all. The elves are magic. The reindeer are magic. Santa is magic."
"But-" McGee objected.
Tony snickered. "Give it up McFly. You'll never win this argument."
Abby looked thoughtful. "Speaking of Santa, have you guys ever noticed that Gibbs is a lot like him?"
"What do you mean?" Jimmy asked.
"Well, they both have twinkling blue eyes and they both know if you're naughty or nice." Abby grinned mischievously. "And then there's the fact that Director Shepherd got Gibbs to wear a Santa hat tonight."
The group looked over and began laughing at the sight. They quickly stopped as Gibbs shot them a glare.
"Speaking of naughty or nice…" Tony's eyes roamed over a petite blond as she walked past. "Mmm, Chloe from HR. I'm thinking naughty. Maybe she's in the mood for some 'reindeer games', if you know what I mean." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at the others before calling out. "Hey Chloe, wait up."
Ziva shook her head as she watched Tony dash over to Chloe's side. He whispered something in her ear and then grinned roguishly as she blushed and the two strolled off.
Abby giggled. "He always does this."
McGee held up his empty glass. "Well, I'm gonna go get a refill. Anyone else want one?"
The others assured him that they were fine.
"Ok, be back in a minute." McGee left the group.
Jimmy looked over at the door and then seemed distracted. "Guys, I have to go, um, check on something. Uh, down in autopsy."
"Ok. Do you want us to come with you?" Abby asked.
"No!" Abby and Ziva stared at him, surprised at his vehement protest.
He chuckled a little nervously. "I mean, uh, no, that's ok. I'll see you guys later."
As they watched him walk off, the music suddenly changed.
"Oh, I love this song." Abby exclaimed. "McGee!"
McGee was just coming back from the refreshment table. Abby grabbed him by the arm.
"McGee, let's go dance. Come on!"
"Um, ok." McGee set down his drink before being swiftly dragged out onto the floor.
Ziva, left alone, sighed. This party wasn't turning out to be as much fun as she'd been promised. She spotted Ducky and walked over to him.
Ducky turned to her. "Why hello, my dear. Are you enjoying the festivities?"
Ziva shrugged. "They are all right, I suppose."
Ducky smiled kindly. "A little homesick, are we?"
Home-sick, that was the word. "A little." She admitted.
He patted her arm. "Oh, I quite understand. I remember the first holiday season I spent away from my native Scotland. I was absolutely despondent until-" There suddenly came a loud crash from across the room.
Ducky looked worried. "Oh dear. I'd better go and see what Mother has done now. It was nice chatting with you, Ziva." He waved as he hurried off.
Ziva frowned. She was alone once again. Perhaps it would be better if she just went home. She hadn't wanted to come anyway.
As she turned to go, she accidentally knocked over McGee's full glass of eggnog. She stared at the mess for a moment, contemplating leaving it, before heading into the hallway toward a broom closet.
Hoping to find something to mop up with, she opened the door and switched on the light. Then she blinked. Palmer and Agent Lee were inside, wrapped in a very passionate embrace. They hadn't yet noticed Ziva standing there so she quickly shut the door.
She smirked briefly, amused. But she still had that mess to take care of. There would at least be napkins back at the party.
Ziva threw the last eggnog-soaked napkin in the garbage and straightened up with a sigh. The party was beginning to die down, and she was sure no one at all would notice if she just left. She went to the bullpen to get her coat, and began heading to the elevator.
"Hey Ziva, wait up!"
She looked over her shoulder. Tony jogged toward her and caught the elevator door before it closed.
"You're not leaving already, are you?" he asked.
She simply nodded.
Tony looked dejected. "But I haven't given you your present yet."
"You got me something?" Ziva asked, surprised.
He grinned. "Of course I did. You may not celebrate Christmas, but I do, and on Christmas, friends give friends gifts."
"I thought you'd be busy with… Claire." Ziva raised her eyebrows.
"You mean Chloe?" Tony shook his head. "Nah. Turns out, she's on the nice list."
He pulled a small bag from behind his back. "I saw this, and I just knew it would look good on you."
Ziva stared guardedly at the bag. If it contained something inappropriate she was going to hurt him.
He held out the bag to her. "Go on, open it. Consider it a Hanukkah present if that makes you feel better."
She opened the bag and pulled out a soft, cream-colored cashmere scarf.
"It is beautiful, Tony." Then, suddenly suspicious, she questioned him. "This was not supposed to be for Chloe, was it?"
He looked wounded. "Of course not. Check in the bottom of the bag."
Ziva peered in to see a package of foil-wrapped chocolate gelt. She looked up at him, smiling.
"Thank you Tony. This was… sweet."
Tony ducked his head, looking a bit embarrassed. "Well, I do know a little about Hanukkah, you know."
"I didn't get you anything."
"Oh, that's all right. I didn't expect you to."
They stood in silence for a moment, not making eye contact.
Tony looked up. "Huh. Mistletoe. I wonder who would've dared put that in front of Gibbs' office."
Ziva glanced at the ceiling and then met his eyes. For an instant he looked almost… shy. But the next second, whatever she had seen was gone. She mentally scoffed. Tony, shy? Perhaps it had been a trick of the light. Or maybe-
That rambling train of thought quit on her as he slowly moved his face nearer to hers. Then she stopped thinking altogether as their lips met.
Tony drew her close.
He was warm and strong as he held her with one hand at her back and one in her hair and she leaned into his soft kiss with a barely audible sigh.
Then, all too soon, he drew back. They were both a little breathless.
Tony cupped her face for a moment then gave a wide grin, tousling her hair casually. Ziva felt oddly disappointed. She wondered if she had imagined that brief slip of his mask that had shown her a more vulnerable side.
"Happy Hanukkah, my ninja." Tony called as he walked back down the hallway, whistling a tune.
Ziva smiled, a little wistful, as she watched him go. "Merry Christmas, my little hairy butt."
A/N: Yay! I really wanted to get this out by Christmas and I got it done with two days to spare!
And to everyone who is waiting for an update on How To Relate, I want to assure you that it now has my full attention and you should expect the next chapter within a week.
I hope you all enjoy this story, and please review!