Written for Chirugal's Appreciation Week on the Gabby forum. Merry Christmas!
A Christmas Wish
It was early Christmas Eve morning and Abby was still obsessing over her tree. The ornaments had to be 'just right'. Finally satisfied, she stepped back and called over her shoulder, "So what do you think Gibbs?"
Gibbs had been watching her in amusement, the newspaper in his lap forgotten for the last few minutes, "Your star is crooked."
"What?" Abby jumped back in horror to look at the top of her tree.
Turning back, she narrowed her eyes at Gibbs, "That star is just fine. Santa is watching. He knows if you've been naughty or nice."
Gibbs laughed at the seductive gleam in her eye, "You think I've been naughty Abbs?" shooting her a sly grin.
Abby shot him her very best haughty look, "That is for Santa to decide." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on his lips and then headed for the kitchen. Abby shrieked with laughter as Gibbs' hand made contact with her backside before she was out of reach.
Their pancake fiasco from this morning's breakfast had pretty much destroyed the kitchen. "Why did I throw flour at him? You always have to throw the flour." Abby grinned as she remembered the look on his face as a white cloud of flour had over taken him. That memory was quickly followed by the shower they shared right afterward. "Best pancakes ever."
Abby gathered up the trash bag from the can, "I'll be right back Gibbs! Then you can tell me more of this naughty vs. nice business."
His reply was barely audible as she headed down the hall to the trash chute of her apartment building. It was located in the stairwell at the farthest end, and when she got there Abby was surprised to find her little 5 year old neighbor boy, curled up against the wall crying. She was immediately concerned, no kid should be crying on Christmas, especially one of her favorite kids!
"Liam? What's wrong?" She hunkered down next to him, her trash bag forgotten, "Why are you crying?"
The little boy raised his face up, and Abby could see his tear stained cheeks, "Momma said Santa might not come."
Abby felt the tears well up in her eyes and she pulled Liam against her. His family had had a tough year, Liam's father had passed away in the spring and money had been tight even with his mother working long hours, sometimes even longer then Abby, trying to provide for Liam and his little sister, Claire. Abby helped out when she could, looking after the two sweet kids, but it was never as much as she would like to be able to.
"So why might Santa not come?" Abby asked, kissing the top of his head, "You were a good little boy."
Liam sobbed even harder and crawled up into Abby's lap, burrowing his face against her shoulder, "Momma says he ran out of money after paying the 'lectric bill"
The tears flowed out of Abby's eyes as she sat holding him, rocking gently, and running a soothing hand against his back, just waiting for Liam to calm down.
Through choked sobs, his face still pressed tightly against her neck, he listed what he and his sister Claire had asked for. Abby's heart broke a little more when she realized that he wasn't listing off all the toys and games they wanted, like what every other child would be asking for, but gloves and hats, a new coat for his sister so she wouldn't get cold and some new shoes for his momma so her feet wouldn't hurt.
Movement in the doorway had caught her eye, as she looked up and saw Gibbs leaning against the door frame. His blue eyes looking a little misty at the scene in front of him, even a Marine can cry at the possibility of no Santa.
"Wondered what happened to you" he signed.
Abby shifted her hands from Liam's back so she could reply, "Gibbs we have to help them."
Gibbs smiled, his blue eyes twinkling much like Santa's fabled ones, "That's why I love you. I'll get the car keys." And he left as stealthily as he had come.
"You know Liam," Abby said gently against his shiny dark brown hair as his sobs quietly subsided, "My momma always said, 'That no matter what, Santa will find a way'"
Liam sniffed and sat back and rubbed a tiny fist against his tear stained cheeks, "Is that your momma who talks with her hands?"
Abby smiled at him and ran a gentle hand against his hair, "That's right. Do you remember the sign I taught you?"
His little fist nodded, "Yes" and then formed "I love you"
"I love you too," and then she kissed the top of his head, "Now, I want to see you smile."
He gave her a shy grin.
"Oh good! I thought you lost it." Abby grinned at his giggles, "You go back to your apartment and give your momma a great big hug, ok? I'm gonna call Santa and I am going to ask him about this electric bill business. Maybe the naughty elves left all the lights on again!"
Liam's eyes got wide, "You know Santa?"
Abby leaned in close to him and whispered, "Remember I work for NCIS, we know everyone."
He giggled again, his problems for the moment forgotten as he raced back down the hall to his apartment.
Gibbs met her out front leaning against the passenger door of the waiting car, his arms circled around her waist pulling her close and giving her a passionate kiss. "You have a beautiful heart Abbs." He murmured pulled away slightly.
She leaned in close to him, perturbed with the amount of bulky winter clothes between them, "Beautiful hearts attract beautiful hearts." She returned his kiss, lightly tracing his lips with her tongue. "Thank you for helping me with my Christmas mission Gunny. Now quit trying to distract me, we have toys to buy!"
"You drive me to distraction me at all times, just returning the favor." He kissed her again, smiling against her lips as he felt her giggle come out.
Later that night, he watched with a grin as a Santa hat wearing Abby obsessed on how to stack up all the freshly wrapped boxes 'just right' outside the family's door.
They had bought games, toys and warm winter clothes, and, as Liam asked, a gift card for his mother to buy new shoes. Gibbs' also thought they should get a gift card to the local grocery store, so that was added to the pile too.
Abby knelt back, admiring the large mound of Christmas presents, "What do you think Gibbs? Is this how Santa would leave it?"
He leaned down and helped her to her feet. With a kiss to her cheek, he said, "I dunno Abbs, you know the guy, you tell me."
"He told me he is still trying to figure out if you are naughty or nice." Abby sent him a seductive smile, "I told him I'd let him know."
A sly smile was shot in her direction as he started leading her back down to her apartment, "Better get on top of that then."
Abby giggled at his innuendo, "One more thing to do first, Gibbs."
She broke free of his grasp and scampered back to the door, knocked loudly and shouted "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" and then running back to Gibbs, grabbed his hand and pulled him back to her place giggling the whole time.