A/N: A SeSa2009 fic written for Addicted2Me.
Thank you, Lizzie (Augery07) for betaing and giving me a little nudge when I got a wee bit stuck!
Oh, the First kiss of Christmas Abby gave to McGee…
Ziva David couldn't help but notice as forensic scientist Abby Sciuto streaked across the bullpen and practically pounced on Tim McGee, planting her lips squarely on his before the startled man had a chance to realize what was happening. Not that he seemed to mind, once he figured out what she was up to. He simply took measures to balance them before her surprise assault knocked them to the floor.
The Mossad liaison's eyebrow rose as she watched the small debacle that seemed a pigeon…no, that wasn't quite right. Smidgeon…? Yes, a smidgeon out of place for the bullpen. Or any place of work for that matter. She was rather surprised that her new boss, Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs had not yet put a stop to their unprofessional behavior. Then again, perhaps he was only being so tolerant because the team had drawn the short-straw and were stuck covering the holiday shift this year. Though it did not impact her, she knew that McGee was rather sad about not being able to go home to spend Christmas with his family and their other team member, Tony DiNozzo, had complained about missing the fabulous ski vacation he was going to spend shacking up with a ski-rabbit. Whatever that was supposed to mean. Abby…well, honestly Ziva was not sure why Abby was there. The forensic scientist was on call if a new case came up, but she hadn't been required to be in the building unless paged.
The longer Abby and McGee's kiss lasted, the more uncomfortable Ziva started to become. Was there not a common phrase for just this situation? "You two should get a tomb," she suggested wryly.
"Erm…that's get a room," McGee stammered, his face turning red as he quickly extricated himself from the kiss, flashing Abby an apologetic smile as the Goth's eyes narrowed at the interruption.
"I don't think so, Probie," DiNozzo countered, "This is Abby we're talking about. Tomb would be completely appropriate."
McGee considered for a moment, and nodded with approval as he saw the small grin tugging at the corners of Abby's lips as her eyes lit with merriment.
A big smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Second kiss of Christmas was also from Abby…
Ziva turned her attention back to her report but found herself distracted once again as Abby let out an excited squeak and bounced over to Gibbs' desk. Both of Ziva's eyebrows rose as Abby sat herself on Gibbs' lap and placed quick kisses on each of Gibbs' cheeks. She was even more surprised as Gibbs not only didn't stop her, but kissed her back. Though it was a fairly chaste kiss, the fact that Gibbs would kiss Abby on the lips at all was considerably astonishing to the former assassin. She glanced at Tony, expecting to see shock in his expression as well, but he did not seem even slightly fazed by the occurrence.
Two cheek pecks, and a small smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Third kiss of Christmas was given by Tony…
Nor did he seem confused at all as Abby made her way toward his desk. In fact, he looked downright wolfish as he rose to meet her part way. Or perhaps tigerish was a better description, considering the silly purring sound he made as Abby approached. Ziva's eyes bulged as without so much as a word between the pair, Tony swept Abby into his arms and playfully dipped her backward, giving her an exaggeratedly loud kiss. And Ziva was pretty certain there was tongue involved.
Ziva fully expected Gibbs to put a stop to it, but as she looked toward his desk, she noted that he was calmly drinking his coffee as he continued reading through the report on his desk.
"Has every one gone sad?" Ziva blurted out, looking to McGee for an explanation.
"Mad," McGee corrected automatically. "And no, it's…"
"You do realize that you're cheating, keeping that thing strapped to your head," Tony commented to Abby before letting her up.
Ziva's eyes went to the odd hat Abby was wearing. It wasn't so much a hat, she realized, but more of a wire halo that Abby had constructed to hang over her head and dangle an odd little leafy twig.
"And yet it didn't stop you from taking advantage," Abby reminded him silkily. "Besides, you're just wishing you'd thought of it," she added with a grin. Tony gave an 'innocent' roll of his eyes and a small shrug, but she wasn't fooled. She could see the envious spark in his eyes.
"He does have a point, though," McGee pointed out, a hint of jealousy in his tone as he pointedly did not looking to where Tony still held Abby off-balance in his embrace. "You are kind of cheating."
Ziva frowned as she tried to figure out how Abby's hat made her unethical.
"Yes, but if I hung it up somewhere, I'm sure that someone would have already ripped it down," Abby pouted as Tony pulled her upright and released her.
"We'll make a rule. Nobody can take it down," McGee suggested.
Abby considered for a moment and then nodded, a sly smirk spreading across her face.
A French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Fourth kiss of Christmas happened unexpectedly…
"Tony, help me," she demanded as she grasped his arm and tugged him toward the elevator. As soon as they were on the elevator, she pulled the stop and then carefully pulled the wire mistletoe hanger from her hair. "Up, up," Abby commanded Tony, looking at him expectantly until, with an exaggerated sigh, he obediently turned and stooped down so she could climb up on his shoulders before he rose back to full height.
"We need tape," Abby announced.
"Couldn't have thought of that before?" Tony chided.
"Ziva? Could you bring me some tape?" Abby called out, ignoring him.
Though she still was not entirely sure she understood this rather bizarre custom of her coworkers, Ziva was happy to take a few moments as a time-out from her stack of paperwork. She grabbed her tape dispenser and made her way into the elevator.
Ziva knew she was in trouble the moment she looked up and saw Abby grinning wickedly down at her. "What?" she asked, her eyes shifting from Abby to Tony, who curiously cocked his head as he gazed back at her, apparently also unaware of whatever Abby's scheme.
"It would seem, Ziva, that you and Tony are now standing below the mistletoe," Abby reminded her.
Tony blinked in surprise, but a moment later a grin spread across his face. "Tricky, Abs…" He wagged his eyebrows at Ziva, whose own brow furrowed.
"Yep!" Abby replied gleefully. "It's tradition. Whenever two people are caught standing beneath mistletoe they have to kiss."
"Rrrrooow," Tony added for emphasis.
"Come on. It's tradition," Abby urged as she noted Ziva's hesitation.
Ziva purposely schooled her features to one of exaggerated dismay. "All right," she agreed to play along, her eyes narrowing as Tony's grin grew wider. "Careful, Tony," she warned as she eyed the dispenser in her hand thoughtfully. She hid her smirk as he watched her finger run gently along the jagged cutting edge, his grin fading as she turned the dispenser in her hands and momentarily popped the roll of tape out to examine the spool before pressing it back into place. Her smirk brightened at the suddenly nervous look in his eyes as he seemed to reconsider. "There could be no body left to find," she added, as she stepped closer, demurely looking up at him through her long lashes.
"Heh," Tony scoffed, though he looked to Ziva much like an anxious little boy proclaiming that he was not afraid, full of false bravado. Had not been supporting Abby on his shoulders, Ziva wondered if he would have bolted. Instead, he held his ground as she stepped up to face him toe-to-toe. He did, she noted with glib satisfaction however remain perfectly still as she stretched up to give him an only slightly less than chaste kiss.
As Ziva backed away, Tony seemed to regain his confidence and flashed a lecherous grin. She rolled her eyes slightly, not fooled, but she became apprehensive when his grin grew wider. Practically predatory.
For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see.
Oh, the Fifth kiss of Christmas was given reluctantly…
"You know, Abby," Tony began. "It would seem that you and Ziva are also--"
"Actually, she is not under the missile toe," Ziva cut him off to point out. "She is holding it; it is not over her head. I do believe that is the tradition, yes?" She almost felt bad as she watched him deflate just a little bit.
"And it won't be," Abby added, gently swatting the back of his head as she handed the mistletoe sprig down to Ziva. "You can find a better place for it?" she suggested to Ziva as Tony helped her down off his shoulders.
"I can do that," Ziva replied as she led Tony out of the elevator.
Immediately, Ziva noticed that Gibbs was no longer at his desk. She glanced around and spotted him disappearing into Director Shepard's office. With him away from the area, she could hang it wherever she wanted…she glanced around, trying to figure out just the right spot.
Of course it would be no fun if Tony…she got an idea. "Oh, Tony?" she called as he was about to drop back into his chair.
"I just thought you should know…" she hesitated as though she was not sure if she should mention it, but then continued, "You might want to brush your teeth. You know. In case you get caught again."
He rolled his eyes as though dismissing her insinuation, but as she expected he quickly turned his back, covered his mouth and nose with his hand and exhaled into it, trying to determine if she was telling the truth or not. She almost laughed as she saw him seem to battle with himself before he reached into his file cabinet, pulled out his toothbrush and scurried toward the men's room.
"That was mean," Abby hissed at Ziva, though her highly amused look assured Ziva that she was in no way angry. "So where are you going to put that?" she asked.
Ziva sat at her desk for a few moments and looked around, tapping the mistletoe gently against her desk as she contemplated.
A few moments later, Tony's phone began to ring and she quickly got out of her seat, sending McGee a sly grin as she snatched it up. "Anthony DiNozzo's desk," she announced. She listened for a moment, her eyes growing wide and her smile fading rapidly as she looked toward McGee. "Yes. Yes he's here. I--" She motioned frantically for McGee to go get Tony. "Someone is getting him now," she assured, watching McGee head toward the restroom.
"Hey, Tony?" McGee called as he entered the men's room.
"Whaa, Megggeh?" Tony asked around his toothbrush.
"You've got a phone call," McGee informed him. He raised his eyebrows as Tony continued brushing his teeth, seemingly unconcerned. "I think it's important."
"Thii iih ihhpoent ooo," Tony replied.
It took McGee a few moments to translate the garbled response into 'This is important, too.' Or possibly 'This is important, McGoo,' he supposed.
McGee sighed and was about to leave when Tony spit into the sink before asking, "What were you doing answering my phone?" He watched McGee in the mirror as he began scrubbing his teeth again.
"I didn't. Ziva did."
Tony paled slightly as he started thinking of all the potential damage the Mossad Liaison Officer could be doing to his social life. He spit into the sink again and leaned down to draw water into his mouth for a quick rinse before turning to rush back to his desk, McGee trailing right behind.
When Tony opened the door, however, he had to stop short as not to run into Ziva and Abby, who stood, blocking the way. Both with excessively gleeful looks on their faces. As Tony felt Tim bump into him from behind, he got a sinking feeling in his gut.
And looked up.
At the mistletoe hanging over the men's room door.
"I am sure that Tim will appreciate that you have brushed your teeth, Tony," Ziva teased him, her eyes shining with mischief. "Well, you did seem rather keen on seeing a…" her mind searched for the word, "…monosexual kiss."
"What?" Tim asked before looking up. "I…I'm not…" he began to stammer. "I-I'm not kissing Tony."
"What's the matter, Probie?" Tony challenged. Though he had no intention of kissing Tim, he certainly wasn't going to be the one to back down and give Ziva the satisfaction of winning this round. He was certain he could count on McGee to put a stop to it. Ziva wouldn't make Tim go through with it. Tony, yes, but McGee…
"Well it's just that…you're a guy…I'm a guy…"
"Your point, Captain McObvious?"
"Look, McGee. You are, without a doubt, my last choice to kiss, but it's not that bad," McGee eyed Tony suspiciously. "Hey, in lots of countries it's customary for men to kiss each other hello," Tony justified. "There is nothing wrong with two friends kissing each other." His tone didn't sound quite as confident as his words, but he was doing a fairly decent bluff job if he could say so himself.
McGee still looked doubtful.
"You're not a prude are you, McGee?" Tony baited him, hoping that if McGee got a little angry he'd just walk away.
"Ah. So you're homophobic. You, know, Probie, that's really not an attr--"
"I'm not homophobic!" McGee insisted as he lurched forward and kissed Tony as if to prove himself.
"Um…okay, McSlobberer. A kiss on the cheek would've been a bit more appropriate," Tony commented as soon as he recovered from the unexpected lip-lock. He made a big show of wiping his lips as McGee turned bright red and quickly pushed past the highly amused Abby and Ziva to return to his desk.
"This," Tony informed the women as he pointed up at the mistletoe, "is not staying here."
"The rule is that no one can take it down," Abby reminded him merrily.
"That was McGee's rule," Tony retorted. "Don't worry," he relented as he took in her pouty expression, "I'll hang it back up."
Abby reluctantly nodded. "Okay, but it has to be somewhere out in the open, no hanging it in the janitor's closet or something."
"I know just the right spot."
By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see.
Oh, the Sixth kiss of Christmas was given to Tony…
Ziva watched curiously as Tony pulled the mistletoe down. She couldn't help but laugh as he headed back to his desk, where he straightened the wire hanger enough that he could tape it to the top of his file cabinet such that the mistletoe dangled over his chair.
"Who called, anyway?" he asked as he sat at his desk and looked across to hers.
She didn't answer, but casually reached into her pocket and hit 'redial' on her cell.
"DiNozzo," he answered. He scowled as she pulled the phone from her pocket and waved it at him before hanging up. "Cute. Just remember, David. Revenge is a dish best served cold. And perhaps with pizza and beer," he added with a small wistful smile as his gaze flitted aimlessly around the bull pen.
Ziva let out a small amused snort.
"Oh, and McGee? You were a little enthusiastic about that which we will never speak of again, or this'd go without saying, but….Just so you know, you're not allowed on this side of my desk," Tony informed his junior field agent.
Tim let out an annoyed huff and was about to reply when he heard Gibbs', "Why's that, DiNozzo?"
Ziva could barely contain her laugh as she watched the blood drain from Tony's face. It was only Gibbs' no-nonsense appearance that convinced her to stifle it. Even Abby froze in place and remained completely silent.
Tony gulped as he glanced over his shoulder to find Gibbs standing directly behind him, with a large box in his hands. "Uh…Boss…" his eyes flicked to the mistletoe that now hung over their heads.
Gibbs' gaze followed Tony's, settling only briefly on the mistletoe. His expression remained completely blank as he looked back at Tony. He balanced the box on one hand as his other rose to his face, hovering over his mouth as he seemed to mull over the situation.
"You uh…you don't have to kiss me, Boss," Tony stammered. "And I'll be taking that down." When Gibbs made no reply, he quickly added, "Right away. I shouldn't have--"
Gibbs kissed his hand, loud enough for all to hear then took a swing and slapped the back of DiNozzo's head with it.
That was all it took for Ziva to lose her normally impeccable control and burst into laughter.
Tony's jaw dropped for a moment, though he recovered fast. "Uh…" his mouth snapped shut for a moment before he choked out a, "Thanks, Boss."
"Even more appropriate than a kiss on the cheek, wouldn't you say?" Gibbs asked dryly as he pulled the mistletoe down from its perch and handed it back to Tony. Tim and Tony exchanged glances. How had Gibbs known about that?!
Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see.
Oh, the Seventh kiss of Christmas was quite a shock to see…
"Ducky thought we might want some of these things," Gibbs announced as he started to set the box down on Tony's desk. He glanced at Tony for a moment, and realized his impending mistake. He quickly changed direction and set the box, instead, on Ziva's. "So everyone can have some," he explained as he opened the box to reveal cookies and holiday candies, procuring a small handful for himself before stepping back to grant access to the others.
Tony started to set the mistletoe twig on his desk so that he could go raid the cookie box, but stopped as he looked up at Abby's once again pouting face.
"You have to hang it back up," she informed him, her eyes pleading.
Tony looked over to Gibbs, silently asking permission. Or possibly asking for an order not to hang it.
"Somewhere out of the way," Gibbs replied, calling over his shoulder as he headed back up to the Director's office.
"But not too out of the way," Abby insisted eagerly once he was out of earshot.
Tony sighed and contemplated for a few moments.
Ziva knew she should probably be worried as she saw him gazing in her direction a smile slowly spreading across his face. She was not, however, concerned even as she realized his destination.
"Could you not have been more original?" she teased him as she watched him heading toward the Ladies' Room door. "And do you really think that Abby and I will fall for this when we are watching you hang the missile toe?"
"A man can dream," Tony replied as he began trying to affix the twig over the doorway. He nearly dropped it as the men's room door opened, startling him. He'd thought they were alone in the building. He relaxed as Ducky appeared in the door frame. Of course. He'd come bearing cookies.
"Merry Christmas, Anthony!" Ducky greeted cheerily.
"Stay back!" Tony quickly urged, feeling guilty at the man's confused gaze. "Sorry, just don't want another Mistletoe accident."
Ducky glanced up. "Oh! My. No. I should say not." The medical examiner let out an amused chuckle. "Though you know in most countries it is not unusual for--"
"That's what I was just telling McGee," Tony cut Ducky off before he could launch into a long tale. "So what are you doing here?
Ducky nodded his approval. "We just wanted to stop by to drop off some cookies and eggnog, although I'm afraid that mother drank all the nog on the way over…" he trailed off as though lost in thought for a moment then looked apologetically back at Tony. "I've called Mr. Palmer for reinforcements."
"Don't worry about it. We've got…wait…" A look of horror spread across Tony's face as he made a realization.
But by then, it was too late.
The Ladies' Room door swung open and Tony found himself face-to-face with Mrs. Mallard.
Beneath the mistletoe.
"Vittorio!" Mrs. Mallard greeted him, a fond look spreading across her face as she 'recognized' him.
"Tony," he corrected, speaking a little bit too loud and cringing as he realized that it had caught the attention of his coworkers. From the corner of his eye, he could see Ziva rising to her feet to get to a better vantage point. "DiNozzo. We met. Last year…?"
"I always knew you'd come back for me, Vittorio," she swooned.
Tony saw Abby's grin as she started to approach them and let out a small nervous chuckle.
"Oh you naughty boy," Mrs. Mallard teased as she saw that he was holding the mistletoe sprig over their heads. Before he could protest she grabbed his shirt and pulled him into an agonizingly awkward kiss.
Afraid that he'd hurt her if he tried to push her away, Tony simply froze, unable to fathom any sort of appropriate response. Or even an inappropriate one. Suddenly kissing McGee didn't seem like such a bad option anymore. Hell, he'd even rather kiss Ducky. At least that would've been over quickly…
"Mother," Ducky admonished, flashing Tony a pained look as he gently tried to pry her away from him.
Mrs. Mallard released Tony's shirt and he hastily took a step back away from her. He just wasn't fast enough to dodge the hard slap to his face.
He stumbled back another step. "Wha--"
"Who are you?!" Mrs. Mallard demanded, her eyes filled with intense anger. "How dare you attack me!"
"Mother!" Ducky scolded, giving Tony another remorseful glance.
"Mrs. Mallard," Abby greeted, giving Tony a sympathetic glance before taking the older woman's arm. "Why don't you come have a seat over here with me."
"No. Abby," the Goth replied, patting Mrs. Mallard's arm as she led the woman toward an empty chair.
Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Eighth kiss of Christmas was given to Ducky…
"I am sorry, Anthony," Ducky expressed his regret, wincing as he looked at the reddened handprint that now adorned the younger man's face.
"It's alright, Duck. But uh...maybe you should take this." Tony thrust the mistletoe sprig into Ducky's hands. "I think it's cursed."
Ducky chuckled and patted his shoulder. "Actually, as the legends go, the tradition of kissing beneath mistletoe did start out as the result of a curse of sorts," he informed Tony as he accepted the offered branch. "According to Norse Mythology, upon the birth of her son, Baldur, the Goddess Frigga made every animal, plant, and in fact, every inanimate object, promise not to harm him. Unfortunately, she overlooked the tiny mistletoe plant." Ducky made his way into the bullpen and began trying to find a place to hang the mistletoe. "It was using that oversight that the mischievous God, Loki tricked one of the other gods into killing Baldur--who had come to be associated with light, happiness, beauty, and warmth--with a spear fashioned from mistletoe. This unleashed winter into the world..." As though he were not used to completing stories, Ducky trailed off. He began trying to affix the mistletoe wire to Ziva's desk lamp such that it would hang over the top of the Christmas cookies. Unfortunately, he was having trouble getting it to hold upright.
"And that led to kissing?" Abby eagerly queried, prompting him to continue as she moved to assist him in getting the wire adjusted.
"Kissing is a great way warm up," Tony gleefully offered his theory.
Ducky chuckled. "Not exactly, Anthony. You see, eventually the Gods were able to bring Baldur back to life, at which time Frigga pronounced the mistletoe to be a sacred plant but that instead of death it would bring peace. Henceforth when any persons--even enemies--meet beneath the mistletoe, they were to lay down arms and kiss beneath it."
"That is a beautiful story, Ducky," Ziva proclaimed as she pulled out a piece of tape and moved to help get the wire to stay in place. Once she was done, she and Abby both looked up, than at each other, and finally to the third person who stood beneath the mistletoe with them. Each throwing sly glances at Tony, who watched them with renewed interest, they then turned and each planted a kiss on Ducky's cheeks.
"I maintain that it's cursed," Tony grumbled as they once again fulfilled the kissing tradition without having to kiss each other.
Threesome chastely kissing. Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Ninth kiss of Christmas was Ziva to McGee…
His theory was lent a little bit of credence as Mrs. Mallard sprung from her chair. "Get your hands off of him, you hussy!" the elderly woman snapped at Ziva. "And you! My own sister!" she added, glaring at Abby.
"Mother, please!" Ducky winced, clearly embarrassed.
"What are your intentions with my son?" the elderly woman directed angrily back to Ziva.
"It is okay, Mrs. Mallard," Ziva tried to assure the woman as she stepped away from him. "Ducky and I are only friends."
The woman did not appear remotely appeased as she advanced on her.
Though he was certain that the Mossad Officer would never intentionally hurt the not-as-frail-as-she-looked Mrs. Mallard, McGee wasn't so sure the same could be said of the opposite. No good could come out of this, he realized as he instinctively rose to his feet and swiftly made his way across the bullpen to try and diffuse the situation.
Quickly placing himself between Ziva and Mrs. Mallard, McGee found that he wasn't the only one who was concerned about the potential disaster.
"Vittorio!" Mrs. Mallard once again enthusiastically greeted Tony as tapped her shoulder in an attempt to distract her. "I saved a spot on my dance card for you," she informed him seriously.
Though dancing with Ducky's mother wasn't exactly his first choice, Tony smiled brightly as he took her arm and gently spun her around the bullpen as she began to hum along to music only she could hear.
Ziva couldn't help but smile at the way her normally brash co-worker softened and at the way he was clearly making the older woman's day…or at least her moment. Perhaps she should make sure to "let him" catch her beneath the missile toe one more time. In the meantime, it seemed that she had been caught by someone else.
"Thank you, McGee," she expressed her gratitude for the way he'd come to her rescue, even though she hadn't necessarily needed it. She rose on her tiptoes and kissed him softly.
It took McGee a few moments to realize where they were standing and the kiss was over before he really had a chance to react. He smiled down at her as she stepped back. "Merry Christmas, Ziva."
Lips gently brushing. Threesome chastely kissing. Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Tenth kiss of Christmas sure surprised Jimmy…
Abby bristled slightly at the way McGee was looking at Ziva. They only kissed because they were standing beneath the mistletoe, she assured herself. Not that it mattered. It wasn't like she and Timmy were going out anymore. Still…that didn't mean she really wanted to watch him kiss someone else. Well, okay, so watching him kiss Tony had been kind of funny, but only because there was no way that it meant anything. Not that Tim kissing Ziva meant anything. Because it didn't. Still…she couldn't help but feel a little bit jealous. And…oh holy Caf-Pow she was really just over thinking this. "Dance with me, McGee!" she commanded as she grabbed his arm so that they could join Tony and Mrs. Mallard.
"Would you care to dance, Ducky?" Ziva suggested as she watched them.
"I would most definitely never turn down a dance with a beautiful woman," Ducky replied as he reached over to turn on the radio on her desk. "Though perhaps it would be best if we rescue Tony before Mother decides to spice things up with a little Salsa," he added with a tiny smirk.
Ziva laughed as Ducky twirled her around the floor as they approached Tony and Mrs. Mallard.
"May I cut in?" Ducky asked, tapping Tony on the shoulder.
"Absolutely!" Tony answered, gladly trading partners. Once he stood facing Ziva, however, he hesitated, suddenly nervous. Since she didn't back away, however, he quickly recovered and expertly took the lead as they rejoined the dance.
"Ho, ho, ho!" Jimmy Palmer greeted as he stepped off the elevator a few moments later, wearing full Santa garb and bearing a big punchbowl of what appeared to be eggnog.
"Excuse me?" Ziva queried as she stopped dancing, slightly taken aback by the unexpected name-calling.
"Not exactly in the Christmas spirit to call Ziva that, Jim," Tony immediately picked up on the Mossad Liaison's confusion and was unable to resist stoking that potential fire a little for his own amusement.
"What? No!" Jimmy was so startled he nearly dropped the punchbowl. Fortunately Ziva, with lightning-fast reflexes managed to catch it before it tipped and helped him maneuver it onto the desk-top without spilling. "I swear I didn't--" Jimmy quickly protested, looking fearfully at Ziva, who eyed him suspiciously. "It's a holiday greeting," Jimmy scrambled to explain. "I swear I wasn't calling you a…"
At Ziva's irritated gaze, Tony held up his hands as if in surrender. "Forgive me for defending your honor," he implored, attempting to appear a picture of innocence. Ziva was not fooled.
"I would never call you…" Jimmy continued to stammer, looking as though he feared for his life.
Ziva arched an eyebrow at Tony, and made sure he was still watching before glancing pointedly up at the missile toe. Smirking craftily, she stretched up and pulled Jimmy into a kiss, making sure it lasted long enough that she could practically feel the jealousy rolling off Tony in waves.
"Merry Christmas, Jimmy," she bid him as they parted.
Jimmy Palmer dazing. Lips gently brushing. Threesome chastely kissing. Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!
Oh, the Eleventh kiss of Christmas was Palmer and Abby…
"Jimmy," Tony called, trying to get his attention as the assistant medical examiner continued to stare after Ziva in a silent but blissful haze. "Hey!"
"Hmm?" the younger man responded absently.
"Never mind," Tony waved him off.
Not that he noticed.
Nor did he notice Abby until she pounced on him a few moments later. "Merry Christmas, Jimmy!" she exuberantly welcomed him with a kiss, leaving him breathless and wide-eyed long after she filled her mug with 'nog and flitted off to rejoin McGee at his desk.
Merry Christmas greeting. Jimmy Palmer dazing. Lips gently brushing. Threesome chastely kissing. Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!
The Twelfth kiss of Christmas, you'll have to wait and see…
"Leonard, bring me my drink!" Mrs. Mallard demanded, though she failed to break Jimmy out of his stupor.
"I think you've had quite enough for today," Ducky kindly tried to cut her off.
"You might want to move," Tony suggested to Jimmy, noticing that Mrs. Mallard did not seem to be dissuaded.
"Hmm?" Jimmy absently asked.
Tony reached out and grabbed Jimmy's arm, pulling him away from the mistletoe before "Leonard" became another casualty of Mrs. Mallard and the mistletoe.
"Oh!" Jimmy's eyes widened as he realized why Tony had moved him.
"Mother…" Ducky warily tried to pull her away from the punchbowl.
"Don't worry, there's no rum in it," Jimmy assured him.
"Pity," Ducky responded wistfully.
Jimmy grinned at the older man. "Yes, Dr. Mallard," he replied.
"That was nice of you, Tony," Ziva commented as she watched Jimmy help Ducky lead Mrs. Mallard away from the punchbowl. She eyed him coyly as she casually stepped beneath the mistletoe.
"I'm a nice guy," he replied as his eyes met hers, the wolfish grin that spread across his face conflicting with his words. He slowly stepped closer, his gaze not leaving hers as if he were daring her not to move. She stared right back, daring him to come closer.
They were both startled as they heard the telltale 'ding' of the elevator as it opened and Agents Oliver and Brighton stepped off the elevator, signaling the end of Team Gibbs' holiday shift and shattering the moment.
"Definitely cursed," Tony growled under his breath as Ziva quickly moved away from the mistletoe before either of the new agents noticed her position.
"I do believe I could find some brandy for the eggnog if any of you would like to accompany us home," Ducky invited.
"Sure!" Abby agreed immediately, grabbing McGee's hand to let him know that he was going to join them whether he wanted to or not. As he had no other plans, he was quite happy to oblige--especially as he watched her collect the mistletoe to bring along to the new destination.
"How about you, Tony?" Ziva asked. "Will you be joining us, or are you going to catch up to your ski chipmunks?"
"Bunnies," he corrected automatically. "Afraid they're in another time, another state," he added in an exaggeratedly regretful tone. In all honesty, even if it were possible for him to get to the ski lodge that night, at the moment the bunnies seemed far less interesting a prospect than trying to steal another moment under the mistletoe with Ziva.
As they all collected their belongings, Tony glanced up at the mezzanine to see Gibbs standing at the rail, watching over the group. He noticed Ducky looking up as well, silently inviting the team leader to join them.
Gibbs gave a brief nod, dismissing them. He watched them all disappear into the elevator.
"I don't know about you, but I was kind of hoping Abby would leave it," Director Shepard teased lightly as Gibbs returned to her office.
To her surprise, Gibbs swept her into his arms, kissing her with wild abandon and leaving her breathless.
She gaped at him for a few moments as she tried to regain her composure.
"Never needed mistletoe," he answered her unspoken question, a small grin tugging at the corners of his lips.
Secret lovers canoodling. Merry Christmas greeting. Jimmy Palmer dazing. Lips gently brushing. Threesome chastely kissing. Mrs. Mallard macking. Via head slapping. By Tim McGee! For a little trick, a French kiss, two cheek pecks, and a big smooch for all to see!