Rating: FRC (I know. Can you believe that from me? lol. S'true, tho...)
Summary: Abby has an amazing idea to raise money for one of Gibbs' favorite charities. Now she just has to convince him to go along with it...
Disclaimer: Don't own them or Christmas or any other iconic childhood figures you may recognize.
AN: Merry and Happy and all that jazz, ya'll. Here's hoping for a wonderful New Year, peace on earth and all our military in danger coming home safe and whole, in body, mind and spirit. Prayers are sent up daily from my locale for all those who have loved ones serving or are serving themselves. May God and your guardian angels watch over you...
"But, Tony! You know it's a really good idea..."
"Sure it is. You have a lot of good ideas, Abs, and half of them are crazier than this. Doesn't mean you'll be able to talk him into it, no matter how much he adores you."
"It's for charity... *his* practically one and only charity. It'll raise so much money and so many donations. He has to do it."
"Has to? Have we forgotten who we're discussing?"
"Okay, okay... but he will. Once smile, one cuddle, one kiss on the cheek... he'll be mine."
"Have to admit, he usually is. You're the only one he wouldn't swat across the county for trying it, though..."
"You'd be surprised." Abby responded cryptically while she studied a piece of paper. Frowning, now, she held it out to Tony. "Here. You check the rest of the list and see what you think "
Tony read the paper over two or three times just as intently as Abby had, then pointed to two names at the bottom.
"Two things. First, switch these two."
"Which one still stutters when Gibbs makes him nervous and which one still does the happy, innocent, childlike thing without even trying?"
"Ohhhh... okay. I get that. You're so right..." she acknowledged, scratching out and rewriting.
"Second, you first option on this one won't work in a million years. You'd have to either steam clean the outfit a dozen times or buy it brand new and let her open the package herself. Even then..."
"Wow. I didn't think about that. She'd be perfect, but the hassle... Ziva it is."
"You may have to explain the whole concept and all the characters."
"Nah, only hers. And trust me, she'll get it pretty fast. I mean... it's her."
"It really is. This is gonna be a blast. Especially seeing you getting around on a..." Tony broke up laughing, the mental image too much for him to finish the sentence. " I so hope you pull this off, Abby."
"If anyone can... it's me." she replied, allowing a proud smile, with just the barest hint of smug, to blossom on her lips.
"Abby, no. C'mon... me playing... that? I get enough teasing from DiNozzo already about my waistline. He call me this in public, you just watch..."
"He promised me he wouldn't, and I believe him. It's for charity, Tim... and such a good one. Please, Timmykins?"
McGee swiftly looked around them, breathing a sigh of relief when nobody seemed to be in hearing distance.
"Abby... okay, I'll do it. But does it have to be pink?"
"Ummm... I don't know. I've never been very good at... this kind of thing. I get nervous, I sweat buckets, my memory goes out like a match in a tornado..."
"It's for the kids, Jimmy. You can do it for them. Besides I'll coach you."
"As will I, dear boy."
"Indeed. I've trod the boards many a time over the course of my life and so has Abigail. If you require teachers, you couldn't do much better than the two of us. She's assigned the roles very well. I'm looking forward to mine immensely. It won't be the same without you. Do say you'll join us."
"Well... I guess if you guys are willing to try and help me... I'll do it."
Abby squealed and hugged him fiercely. Jimmy grinned and blushed, but his stomach was already knotting up.
"No need to explain. I have seen the... cartoon a few times since arriving in the U.S. I have a feeling I know which animal you chose for me."
"And you're okay with it?"
"Why would I have a problem with being placed in the role of such a logical, careful, organized character? I have not done much of this kind of thing, but I have an excellent memory. And for such a worthy cause... I will be happy to help. I am curious..."
"I thought about her, but we'll probably have to rent or borrow costumes..."
"... and she would break out in hives merely contemplating that. You made the right choice."
"I know. Thanks." Abby told her, hugging Ziva gently and receiving a slightly awkward, but sincere attempt at one in return.
Tony breathed deep and slow, preparing himself for the battle he was sure he was about to walk into. It was his last shot at being brave, however, as the list had to be set and certain in order to be sent to the printer the next day, so that flyers and programs could be ready for the event a week away.
"I, um... I have to ask you something. A big favor."
Gibbs sighed, put aside his work and turned to stare up at Tony.
"And I won't like it."
"I don't know... you might, I mean... even with you, I can't always tell..."
"No. You probably won't, but it's important."
"Okay, a while back Abby started working up this fundraiser for Toys For Tots.... a play. Me, Abby, Palmer... we're all gonna be part of it. You're the last one to rope... we're asking, I mean. The last one we're asking."
"This is the part I'm not gonna like."
"Yeahhhhh. See, the play's about Winnie the Pooh... about all the characters giving up one thing so the needy little guys in the forest all have something for Christmas."
To Tony's utter shock, Gibbs grinned slightly.
"Ducky's Owl, no question there... and Abby's Tigger. Though I can't see how..."
"Neither did I until she told me she's a master on a pogo stick."
Now Gibbs chuckled and Tony took another mental step back, even as his hope began to gain strength.
"Of course, what else? Yeah. So keep going."
"Ziva's playing Rabbit..."
"Jimmy is Roo. McGee fought playing Piglet, but Abby convinced him."
"By swearing he won't hear the name again once he gets off stage, no doubt. And he better not."
"No, Boss. Solemn vow. So, I'm Pooh. That leaves... one major character... "
"Eyore. The grouchy, pessimistic donkey."
"Who likes to build things. He's always building his house back up... and... and..."
"It's for charity, Boss, for the kids, please don't shoot me or hit me so hard I get a concussion..."
"Shut it, DiNozzo. Just tell me one thing."
"Uh-huh." Tony offered cautiously, slowly pulling out of the defensive position he'd curled into.
"When and where?" Gibbs asked as he gathered his coat and stood, preparing to leave for the day.
"You're serious? You'll do it?"
"I always liked Eyore and Rabbit the best. Only sensible ones in the whole bunch. Leave the details on my desk." He ordered as he punched the button to call the elevator. Tony held it in until he was certain Gibbs was well on his way down. Only then did he surrender to a well-earned bout of laughter. Once it subsided, he picked up his desk phone.
"Abby? You'll never believe it. Not in a million years..."