A/N: This fic was written as a Christmas gift for my lovely beta Finlaure who is a dear friend and a wonderful beta :)
Merry Christmas to Finlaure and to all of my readers!
Tony paced the small confines of the jail cell he had been locked into. He was a bit buzzed but not really drunk so the pacing while not completely stable, wasn't as staggering as it might have been.
He cursed the cops who had locked him in on 23th of December, the evening before Christmas eve, and for what, a little misunderstanding.
Tony glanced at the clock on the wall and muttered to himself in a way that made the older cop sitting a little ways outside his cell glance up form the paperwork he was doing.
"You know you could let me go. I heard him say he wasn't going to press charges so what's the deal here?" Tony asked annoyance coloring his voice. He had been pacing for a while now and knowing that there wasn't going to be any charges pressed after the evenings events he really didn't see why they bothered to keep him in.
"Well seeing as you're a highly trained federal agent you should know we aren't going to let you go alone since you might not be drunk but you are over the legal limit. Just sit tight, John is calling your Next of kin as we speak to see if he'd like to come bail you out." The cop didn't look at him as he spoke, just kept going through his papers, hence missing the way his prisoner paled until he heard the dull thump of Tony sitting heavily on the cells cot.
The young agent sat with his head in his hands, trying desperately to convince himself that this was not happening.
The cop looked up at the thump and his eyes narrowed as he took in the younger man's posture "Son, you okay in there?" He was a bit worried about the sudden change in the kid's demeanor.
"You called Gibbs? Oh god." Christ can things get any worse? This is so freaking embarrassing not to mention he's gonna kill me. "Just shoot me now" He said aloud as he let himself fall to lie down in the cot.
The cop shook his head as he realized that his charges distress wasn't due to anything other than his realization of the situation. He returned to his paperwork and didn't look up until John came and informed him that the kid's boss was coming to get him.
After that it was quiet until there was a sound of squealing tires form outside which made Tony flinch as he had no doubt on who had just arrived. Sure enough after only a few minutes the man he had been dreading of showing up was standing in front of the older cop's desk, ignoring his agent who was lying on the cot in what some called the drunk tank.
"Special Agent Gibbs, I'm here to collect my agent" The man didn't look at his agent as he spoke but from the corner of his eye he saw Tony scrambling to get up from the cot.
The cop looked up and gave a small smile as he stood up and shook the NCIS agent's hand.
"Officer Daniels, I trust John explained the situation to you when he called"
That made Gibbs turn his piercing blue gaze to his agent who gulped as he looked into his boss' eyes.
"Oh yeah, he explained it to me alright." the cop nodded as he dug in his pocket for the key to the cell and walked to open the door.
"Then I'll just let you get on your way. Your agent is a bit over the legal limit so we couldn't let him go just like that, but since the other guy told us he wouldn't press charges especially since it was almost Christmas, there isn't any paperwork for you to sign. You just keep him out of my jail for the holidays, and you young man behave yourself" The last part was directed at Tony who walked out of the cell once the door was opened and he looked like a chastised schoolboy.
"Yes, sir" He answered as he looked down at the floor, refusing to look at his boss and the disappointment that was sure to be in his eyes.
"Thank you Officer Daniels, I'll make sure he won't do anything stupid for a while." Gibbs nodded to the cop as he led his subdued agent out of the station leaving the mildly amused cop behind.
Once outside Gibbs barked for Tony to get in the car and once they were both wearing their seatbelt he reached over and smacked the younger man on the back of the head, hard.
"Ouch, Boss!" The Italian said rubbing his head, he didn't dare to ask what he had done to deserve the slap since it was painfully obvious as they still sat parked in front of the police station.
"What the hell were you thinking!" Gibbs demanded as he started the car and pulled out of the parking spot.
"Come on Boss I didn't do anything to-" But his explanation was cut off by the older man's indignant voice.
"Didn't do anything? You attacked Santa!" If he hadn't just been bailing his agent out of jail, he might have laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.
"I did not attack Santa! I just wanted to see if the beard was real..." Tony trailed off as he realized how stupid that sounded even to himself but at the time it had seemed like a very good idea, maybe it had something to do with the fact that he had been a bit more buzzed at the time and that feeling had worn off during his jail stay.
Gibbs took one of his hands off the steering wheel to pinch the bridge of his nose as he progressed his agent's petulant statement.
"Start at the beginning" He ordered in a calm voice.
Tony bit his lower lip as he tried to figure how to explain his actions to his boss.
"Well I was with Abby and we had a few drinks while we swapped Christmas stories" Abby had found out that Tony had never pulled Santa's beard as a kid and she had laughed at the pout on her friend's face as she informed him how she had done it a number of times and how he had missed out on a lot. So it was no wonder Tony went for it when he passed a guy dressed as Father Christmas on his way home from the bar he and Abby had been to.
At Gibbs' impatient growl Tony realized he'd gotten lost in thought and he shook his head to clear it, maybe he was a bit more buzzed still than he gave himself credit for.
"Sorry Boss. Anyways she got a cab home but since we were in a bar near my place I decided to walk. So there I was walking home when I saw this guy in a Santa costume and I since I have never done it, I got the urge to pull his beard, well it would have been okay if there hadn't been a cop walking by who saw me and misread the situation and thought I was going to mug the guy!" Tony decided it best to leave out the part about Santa kicking his ass before the cop came by, that wasn't something he wouldn't admit, ever.
"So one thing led to another and here we are" he dared a glance at the older man's face and was surprised and a bit concerned to find the man fighting of a smirk with little success.
"What?" He asked, slightly irritated that his boss was trying not to laugh in a situation like this.
"Well lets see DiNozzo, you decided it wise to pull Santa's beard, you had your ass kicked by said Santa" busted "You do realize that this all put you on his permanent bad boy list?"
Tony groaned as he hid his blushing face behind his hands, of all the times his boss could develop a sense of humor he had to pick this one.
He ran his hands over his face a few timed before focusing on watching the scenery pass by. He jerked a bit as he realized that something was wrong with the picture.
"Um Boss? This isn't the way to my flat" He looked at his boss and saw again the irritable little smirk on his face.
"Glad you noticed, means there's hope for you yet"
Tony sighed at the amused tone on his boss' voice as he tried to keep his temper in check, he was in no mood for games since he was still more than embarrassed by the evenings events.
"Well since your a barrel of laughs tonight boss, care to give me the punchline?"
Gibbs ignored the irritated tone as he looked at his agent. He had been pissed when he got the call from he police station, but after getting the situation straightened he was kinda glad for getting a reason to not be alone for Christmas.
"You're coming back to my place for Christmas" He knew the younger man had no other plans than to wallow home and watch 'it's a wonderful life' and since he wouldn't mind watching the movie with his agent instead of working alone on the boat all Christmas he thought of it as a win win situation, though he didn't need to tell that to his agent.
"C'mon you can drop me home and I'll be fine." The younger man pleaded, but to no avail.
By that time they had already reached the older man's house and Gibbs got out from the car and moved to close the door before he changed his mind and bend down to address the man still sitting with his seat belt on.
"Besides I have to make sure you won't go after anymore Santas this year, don't I?"
Tony groaned as he heard the older man chuckle as he closed the door.
"Merry Christmas to you too boss" He muttered as he opened the car door but he had a small smile on his lips as he ran to catch up with the older man.
Happy holidays everyone!