Christmas Observed

6 Days Later...

Gibbs had been released from the hospital the day before New Year's Eve. Per Abby's request, they had their Christmas morning the next day. Everyone was there. They'd happily and even tearfully exchanged gifts and had a big breakfast together.

The majority of the gang bid their goodbyes around 1400. McGee needed to head to Sarah's; Ziva had a flight out to her friend in California that afternoon. Abby would be back that evening to celebrate the coming of the New Year with Tony, Gibbs and Jackson.

But for now, the house was quiet and clean. Everyone had helped to put it back in order before leaving, knowing Gibbs would be more likely to rest that way. Jackson had gone upstairs for a nap and Tony had started a fresh pot of coffee.

He entered the living room, glancing at his boss who'd stayed firmly planted in his seat on the couch since after breakfast. Tony knew it was because he didn't like the concerned glances at his need for assistance walking. But he also knew Gibbs had had enough coffee for several trips to the bathroom and hadn't asked, even once, to be helped there.

Looking at him now, he knew Gibbs had to go. Wordlessly, he made his way to the couch and gently grabbed onto his boss's bicep, indicating that he was there to help him up. Gibbs glanced up at him, meeting his eyes for just a moment before grabbing onto Tony's other outstretched hand and hoisting himself up.

He didn't need quite as much help as he had in the hospital, which was a good sign. But he still felt like an older man than his own father, and that annoyed him to no end. Luckily, he hadn't resisted any of the help Tony had offered. But the manner in which the senior field agent had helped hadn't been out of pity. He'd done it in such a way that showed that he was more than happy to do it.

Tony got him to the bathroom door and left Gibbs to getting the rest of the way in by himself, as always. He walked away to give him privacy, and waited for the sound of flushing to return.

Such had been the pattern since Tony had been technically released, the day after Christmas. But Tony never left the hospital until Gibbs did. And Gibbs, surprisingly enough, didn't tell him to, either.

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Somehow, Jackson managed to pass out again well before the countdown began. Though it was suspected that the Jack Daniels had assisted. He dozed in the armchair as the rest of them sat on the couch.


Abby giggled when Jackson snored a bit loudly, and in reaction Tony couldn't help but to laugh as well.


Gibbs smirked as he watched the two beside him on the couch. Normally, he'd have this very telecast on downstairs where he could work on his boat and enjoy his bourbon in peace. But this year...well, it felt right to have people there with him.


"Okay, which one of you is gonna kiss me at midnight?" Tony said, at first a bit seriously, but couldn't help the slightly drunken laughter that followed.


"What makes ya think you're gonna get kissed at all, DiNozzo?" Gibbs quirked an amused brow.


"I always get a New Year's kiss, boss," he defended. "Even if it's a little late because of work..."


"From who? McGee?" Gibbs asked jokingly. Tony's incredulous face blushed so furiously that the lead agent couldn't help but to burst out laughing.


"Oooo kinky," Abby said with a seductive grin. Tony buried his face in his hands and murmured something along the lines of an absolute refusal.


What he didn't see, was the two of them signing to each other as his eyes were covered. Abby had something up her sleeve, and Gibbs was just tipsy enough to give in without a fight.


As the crowd cheered on the television, and music played as they shouted, 'Happy New Year', Tony sat back up, hoping what was said had been long forgotten. "Happy New Year, guys," he said with a slight grin as he looked forward at the screen.

Suddenly there were two faces mashed up on either side of his. It took him a moment to realize, and with the help of overly-exaggerated kissy noises that they were both giving him a smooch on each cheek. He was frozen there until they simultaneously pulled away with laughter.

"Happy New Year, Tony," Abby told him with a smug grin in place at her masterful plan's succession.

"Yeah." Gibbs smirked. "Got your kiss after all."

"That's so not what I meant..." He glanced between the both of them, cheeks re-reddened.

Gibbs laughed again, then ruffled the agent's hair. "Happy New Year, DiNozzo..."

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