Additional Information: Though this story is based loosely off of the canon series, it is still AU because of the fact that it is placed sometime in the future. Meaning that some characters and situations might seem OOC. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: The Misgivings of Gift-Giving

Rating: Ma+

Pairing: Tivalicious

Warning: AU, because let's face it. They would never show this. :]
Summary: It's that time of year again. The time where friends and family everywhere come together to celebrate a time of giving. Tony has been waiting for this for far too long, and he can't wait to see just what Ziva will give him.

AN: After fighting for months against life, time, awkward phrasing, and stone walls I have finally been able to finish this story. Early or late, I think any time of year is a good time for a Christmas fic. Enjoy.

Huge thanks to the wonderful kandonkuuson for allowing me to use his idea and run with it. He is most patient, and I am so happy that he wanted to share his wonderful thoughts with me. It is an honor. He is creatively brilliant, and I do enjoy conspiring with him to make awesome little ficcy's. If you ever get the chance to talk with him, take it. He's a fun guy. :]


##

Despite popular belief Anthony DiNozzo wasn't a big fan of the holidays. They were played up, overdone, and all around too stressful for him to want to have anything to do with them. Then if one were to add in the fact that every piece of glorified childhood memory he'd had had been ruined it made it safe to say that he easily began to hate all things dealing with the holiday seasons. In his early years the childhood glee of presents and Santa Claus had clouded his judgment; that had quickly been ripped from him leaving in its place jaded cynicism that clung to him in all moments. He only blamed his father.

This year was definitely different from all the rest for numerous reasons; he admitted to himself that he was more excited for the coming festivities. It was the first holiday where he actually had a real legitimate girlfriend, and she was gorgeous which made that reason number one. It also happened to be the second reason, because he considered her super hot. It deserved more than one mention. The third reason was that the aforementioned girlfriend was Ziva David, which explained his persistence in echoing the first two reasons. While the fourth and final reason that the holiday season would not completely blow was because Gibbs knew of their relationship; and he didn't care. It was enough to make him want to believe in Santa all over again. Which was something that he hadn't done since he was five and his father shipped him off to Norway as an early Christmas present. Tony still wasn't sure who that Christmas present was supposed to be for, himself or his father?

It didn't really matter that Ziva was Jewish and didn't actually celebrate Christmas; he still couldn't help but look forward to it. There was no doubt in his mind that it was going to be one he would remember forever.

##

"Everything ready?" Tony asked. His insides felt jittery. The excitement that was coursing through his veins made his heart pound, and he reveled in it. If he had had any less self-restraint right now, he would probably be bouncing around like a giddy schoolgirl. He was grateful that that wasn't the case, Ziva had already seen him in too many embarrassing situations.

"It is almost ready," Ziva stated. Her tongue clicked as she looked back toward him over her shoulder, but she didn't stop from finishing what she was doing. "Patience is a virtue."

He laughed a soft rumble that started deep within his stomach and rose around the room. His chest was nearly pressing up against her back he moved to stand right behind her. He tugged at the belt loops of her jeans, pulling her firmly against him and kissing the back of her neck. "How many tries did it take for you to get that one right?" he teased.

"You are insulting my English again, yes?"

"No." His denial was slow, and drawn out. It was completely obvious that he was lying, but he didn't care as he grinned at her mischievously. "What time is everyone coming again?" Christmas was a time for giving, and for spending time with family. The celebration that they had planned together was the perfect way to combine both. Tony hoped that it turned out better than the ones he used to spend with his father.

"They will get here when they get here." Her voice was deeper, and he grinned at the cute way she tried to toss quotes out at the drop of a hat.

"Ah, The Incredibles. Animated but still no less exciting." He grinned yet again because he just couldn't help it, especially with the way she turned in his arms. With the way she fell against him he really had no choice but to fall in love with it. It was the small gestures that showed the greatest amounts of trust. It was something that had taken them a long time to build, but they had eventually been able to master it. Now that they were together, Ziva always had ways of utilizing the smallest of gestures.

"A man of vast knowledge is very sexy," she purred. Her body molded against his while Tony's fingers glided over her curves as he held her securely. They fit together so well in more than one aspect, and he wasn't just talking about ones of a sexual nature. He thought that they always had, and he hoped that they always would.

"You're in luck then, because I have a lot of knowledge that I am dying to share with you," he promised. A cheeky grin slipped across his visage. Her eyes smoldered as he stared down at her, and his fingers dipped just beneath the waistband of her pants as his lips took up residence below her ear. It was an erogenous zone for her, and he always made sure to use it to his advantage. Especially when she was in such high spirits, because that meant that she was unusually receptive to his advances.

"Teach me your ways, Mr. DiNozzo." Her body shuddered against his touch.

He smirked down at her. His fingers curled over her backside as he lifted her against him. Her close proximity aroused a part of his brain that allowed him to concentrate on her and only her. Not that he really minded. "Get ready to learn, Ms David. Get ready to learn."

It was unfair, as his tongue slipped inside of her mouth the doorbell rang. It seemed, that lately whenever he was about to get lucky something always seemed to interrupt them. It had been twelve days since they last took part in any sort of horizontal tango, and the separation was definitely taking its toll.

Tony reluctantly let go of her, moving toward the door in order to wrench it open. It was like a nice douse of cold water when one Leroy Jethro Gibbs stood there, on the other side.

"It's some sort of conspiracy," Tony muttered to himself. "Welcome to our humble abode, Boss," he said aloud. His bow was mocking, a large sweep of his arm that turned into a grand gesture. It earned him the customary smack to the back of the head; swift, yet relatively painless. Tony rubbed the back of his head nonetheless. "Sorry boss."

"Where should I put these?" Like usual, Tony's apology was ignored. Gibbs held up his right hand, weighted down with a brown paper sack brimming with gifts.

It was the first time that Tony had seen Gibbs own up to giving gifts. Usually the presents were left anonymously with no clear indication of where they had come from, though no one ever questioned it because everybody knew. "Aww. For me?" Tony chuckled. "You really shouldn't have."

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs glared. "Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean that I won't hurt you."

Before Tony could open his mouth in order to form a proper response - one that would most likely earn him another head slap - Ziva stepped in between them. A warm smile played across her lips, drawing Tony's eyes to them. Just like a moth to a flame. That didn't mean that he couldn't see the dark glint that rested in her chocolate brown eyes; he had trained himself better than that. He knew that retribution would be had if he stepped out of line tonight, so he settled for simply nudging the boundaries with his toes.

The thing about Ziva that not many people knew about was that she had an insane need to play the perfect hostess at parties. He figured it had something to do with the lack of social events found in Mossad. Every time he tried to imagine it, he ended up laughing; Valentine's Day would be one hell of a holiday if it included machine guns. Sometimes he liked to think of Ziva as the ninja version of Martha Stewart. He had made a comment on it once, and his wrist had hurt for weeks after. He kept his remarks to himself since then.

"How are you Gibbs?" Ziva turned to their boss. Tony couldn't help but to appreciate the pink tinge of arousal that highlighted the edges of her ears. It was a distinct trait that he picked up on early in their relationship. He was constantly on the hunt for flushed lobes, because they usually indicate that he would have her sooner than he had hoped.

"I didn't realize I was gonna be so early, Ziva." It wasn't an apology, nor was it an excuse; it was just a statement of fact. Straight and to the point, much like Gibbs did everything. If Tony knew one thing about his boss, it was that Gibbs was severely punctual when it came to personal matters.

"It is fine, Gibbs." Ziva smiled warm and affectionate. "The others will be here shortly." She gave a dismissive wave of her hand before she plucked both the bag of gifts and the previously unseen side-dish out of the elder man's hands with a stealthy grace that he had only ever seen her accomplish.

A gentle kiss was placed upon the older man's cheek as a wordless 'thank you', and Tony felt his gut flutter nervously. Tony could only imagine what Gibbs would do if he had any idea of what had been about to go down prior to his arrival. The image he had in his mind was not a pretty one. While Gibbs was well aware of their relationship, Tony was surprised at how wholeheartedly they'd been backed actually, but Gibbs still had a rule about any and all forms of affection at work. Something along the lines of 'If I can see it, don't do it' if Tony recalled correctly. There had been a few revisions to that rule though, and Tony remembered the most recent being 'The elevator is mine DiNozzo'. These rules may have had something to do with the fact that Gibbs would rather not have the image of Tony and Ziva butt-naked forever burned into his retinas, but that was a story for another time.

"Alright," Tony clapped his hands together, his earlier excitement over the day's festivities coming back to him. It was the first time that the entire team had spent time together for Christmas, and the fact that it was taking place at his house made him feel strangely needed. "It's certainly going to be a Merry Christmas," he grinned.

He spread his arms wide in an outward motion, his eyes lighting up like the Christmas tree that sat in the corner of the room. Ziva laughed as she walked back into the room her hands now empty. "And just how old are you again, my little hairy butt," she teased.

"Me? That is information that I can't disclose sweetcheeks." He grinned back at her his eyes alight with flirtation.

He pretended not to notice the way Gibbs was shaking his head.

##

"You sir, are late." Tony's words were extra loud; he blamed it on the fact that he was already on his third glass of wine. Large glasses. It was never too early to start celebrating.

"I do believe Ziva said between four and five thirty." The bow-tied man glanced at his watch, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose as he caught Tony's eye once more. "It is only five twenty, Anthony. Therefore, I am still on time."

Tony was about to reply when the front door swung open again, practically falling off the hinges with the force that had been applied behind it. It easily caught Tony's attention.

"I'm so sorry I'm late!" Abby shrieked. Tony was about to deny her words when Ducky shot him a look that caused him to bite his tongue before offering a stilted smile and shaky nod instead. "I was on my way over here when I realized I forgot the pudding. I mean you can't have Christmas without Christmas pudding. It wouldn't be the same. Do you know how many stores are open on Christmas day?" She paused for breath but only for a moment, before cutting off Tony's attempt at replying. "None. Well, not really none, because I found one. But, I swear I went to over fifty. No, a hundred!"

"O-kay?" Tony blinked, as Abby heaved out heavy breaths. She had yet to move out of the entryway, a fact that was clear from the winter chill that was seeping into his clothes. "Abs," Tony stated as he placed his hand on her shoulder. He was not sure she was finished, so he broached her carefully. He knew how much she hated being interrupted mid-spiel.

"I got the pudding!" she said finally. The smile that erupted across her face was practically contagious, Tony found himself mirroring her look as he shook his head her. Maybe it had something to do with the muddled haze within his mind. Maybe it was his sexual frustration, combined with the heady aphrodisiac of red wine.

"Abby?" Ziva called from the kitchen before anyone else could greet the Goth. That was all it took for Abby to go careening off in that direction. The men were once again left alone in the living room.

The silence in the air wasn't particularly stifling, but the stares were rather unnerving. Tony knew that anything he said would most likely be met with a firm slap to the back of his head. Since it was Christmas, he was trying his damndest to avoid that for the remainder of the night. Instead he chose to back out of the room; thinking it was his safest option in avoiding yet another head trauma.

"Hey Palmer, let McTardy in when he sees fit to show up." Tony cracked his knuckles knowing his host duties were now over. "I'm just going to see how the lady folk are fairing."

He entered the kitchen with sure steps, making more noise than necessary in the process. "Hey beautiful," Tony whistled. A smile lifted the edges of his lips as both women turned to look at him. "Oh, hey Ziva." The punch she landed on his arm was hard. "You're gorgeous," he amended in a pained whisper. He noticed the way she easily leaned against him as he wrapped his arms around her. They meshed together far better than they clashed, he was glad that he finally realized that.

Ziva's lips were deliciously warm against his, which kept his kiss from being the chaste peck that he had originally planned it to be. Tony couldn't get enough of her, and it showed in the way he devoured everything she offered. His lips molded against hers, his arms tightened around her form, pulling her tighter against him. It was so easy to get lost in her, and he wanted nothing more than to do just that.

His fingers began to skim the waistband of her pants again as they dipped beneath the hemline. The sweet torture of feeling her soft skin beneath his fingertips was enough to make him go mad, and his kisses became even more frenzied as his erection swelled against his thighs. He had one thing on his mind in that moment, and that was achieving ultimate pleasure.

"You two are so cute," Abby squealed. The sound of her voice jolted both of them back to reality, causing them to. It didn't upset him though, because he knows that one second longer and they wouldn't have been able to stop. He was sure of that.

"Thank you," Tony said, nuzzling against Ziva's neck. He nipped the soft flesh there, smirking as she inhaled sharply. He noticed the red on her ear before he forced himself to pull away, groaning out loud.

"Do not encourage him, please," Ziva teased. Despite her best efforts to dissuade his ministrations, he could feel her body shudder against his own. That was all he needed to know.

"You're encouraging me." His whispered words fall against her skin as he once again traced hot patterns against her neck. Ziva leant into him further, he knew that she could feel him pressing against her, hard and wanting. He wasn't opposed to taking her on the countertop as he should be; he would of course make sure they were alone. When he noticed her slatted pupils; he knew that she wouldn't object.

"Encouraging?" Abby laughed. "So that's what you're calling it these days." The forensic scientist stood near the sink. Tony couldn't help but to glare in her direction, her interruption forced Ziva to slip from his arms. With his ninja now chopping away at vegetables with unsuppressed vigor Tony couldn't help but to gulp. She always had a way with her hands. That combined with the fact that he can see she was affected by their recent lack of sex was making things much harder for him in that moment. He means that literally.

"Either you help, or you leave," Ziva purred. She didn't turn to look at him, just kept on slicing her way through the helpless veggies with enough force to indicate her seriousness.

"What do I need to do?" he questioned. So maybe he was sucking up just a bit, but it was the holidays after all. He wanted to remain on her good side at all costs. He knew he would be compensated for his good behavior later. At least he hoped.

"Set the table?" Ziva grinned over her shoulder, puckering her lips as he glared at her. Of course she picked the one task that he loathed doing above all else. Was she just testing him?

"You sure?" He didn't want to take her bait; so he hoped he could find a way out of it. "I do make a mean pie."

"Already got that covered my little hairy butt. Just set the table." She began lining the vegetables around the dip that sat on the platter as she spoke. He sighed loudly, which was probably the only reason she bothered with a belated 'please'.

"Alright, alright." He moved to the cupboard, easily grasping seven plates, along with knives and forks. "Just don't get used to this." He called out as he made his way into the dining room.

"Make sure it looks nice!" She shouted after him; he pulled a face in response. It was merely a table. In his opinion, it would look the same no matter what was done to it.

He grumbled going about the delegated task with a keen eye. Plate over napkin, knife followed by fork; repeat. It's a mindless chore that sounded easy, but the amount of effort he extended to accomplish it made the whole thing that much more meaningless.

"I thought you knew that talking to yourself is never a good sign."

Tony looked up just as he set the last place, the fork slipped out of his fingers only to land against the porcelain plate with a clatter. "And neither is tardiness," he countered all the while smiling at McGee. "What was the McHold up?"

McGee shook his head slowly, which allowed Tony to see that his barbs were not up to their usual caliber. He blamed it on all of the holiday fluff that's floating around. "I was going to offer to help you, but I'm thinking that won't be necessary." A smirk floated across McGee's lips, and Tony couldn't help but think the former probationary agent had been spending too much time around a certain very special senior field agent. Yes, he was talking about himself.

"Just grab the glasses, and lose that sassiness." Tony paused next to the younger man, cuffing him on the shoulder softly before moving forward once more. "Merry Christmas Tim."

##

"That was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted," Tony complimented. His mouth was full of turkey, and a forkful of stuffing was halfway through completing the same journey. He was starving – far more than Lee Marvin – and Ziva's cooking was always too good for him to pass up. Not that he would want to. Ever.

"DiNozzo," Gibbs barked. His mouth was empty.

"Sorry, Boss," Tony murmured, gulping down the last bite of food before offering a slight smile in apology. "It's just really really good."

"I must agree with Anthony," Ducky chimed in looking at Ziva, "Very nice, my dear." A napkin was tucked into the collar of his shirt; Tony suspected its purpose was to keep stains off his white holiday bowtie. "Mother would have loved this."

There was a slight pause that was filled with mournful silence as the occupants of the table remember the medical examiners late mother. "She was a good lady." Abby's tone was slightly subdued, but it was obvious that her sentiments were mirrored throughout everyone's mind.

"That she was my dear." Ducky gave a soft sort of smile; Tony couldn't help but admire the man's inner strength. "That she was."

##

Dinner passed as a quiet affair; though it was filled with soft humor, and plenty of thanks. Abby deemed it a second thanksgiving of sorts, Tony was inclined to agree with her. Though that occurrence wasn't entirely unusual in and of itself.

"Presents, presents, presents!" Abby bounced up and down on the balls of her feet, circling the Christmas tree as though it was some sort of Holy Grail. It was endearingly cute to witness, and Tony once again felt glad that they decided to actually celebrate Christmas. This was what Christmas was all about after all, and the residual feelings that floated around the room made him feel like a genius for suggesting it. Then there was the little factor of presents, which he always looked forward to. Especially Ziva's. She had been particularly secretive about things of late, more so than usual; it excited him. That combined with the fact that they hadn't had sex in twelve days? It's kind of a big deal which is why he keeps mentioning it.

"You have to open mine first," Abby squealed excitedly. She already had taken it upon herself to hand out the gifts she'd brought. The gifts were wrapped in black paper, flecked with white skulls wearing Santa hats. It was fitting.

"We could open them all at the same time, yes?" Ziva suggested. Tony could see anxiety in her face, wondering what it was that had her so obviously nervous. They were all friends, and no one would think to berate her for her choice in presents.

"Okay, fine," Abby sighed, and then continued excitedly as though she had thought of that. "But mine come first first! I know that you guys are just going to love them, I just know it! I looked and looked for each present until I found the perfect one for each of you! And they are perfect, if I do say so myself."

"I actually couldn't go shopping till last week." Jimmy looked sheepishly, he shrugged helplessly. "But Breena helped."

"Nice Jimmy!" Tony mocked. "Soon you can go shopping without any supervision at all!" He grimaced a few seconds later. He had been stupid to think he could go a whole day without receiving another head slap; but in the end it was definitely worth it.

##

Tony knew which gifts were from Ziva for multiple reasons. The first, being that he had seen them lying snuggly against the base of the tree before any other presents had arrived. The second reason was the most frightening, because right after she had shown him the freshly wrapped packages she had also told him that if he so much as came within three feet of them he would be a few fingers short of a peace sign. It was safe to say that he had made sure to abide by her rules, because the ninja was definitely more powerful than the sword. The third and final reason happened to be the most endearing. Each and every gift that was from Ziva was wrapped tightly within plain red paper. It was sleek, and the lack of decals on the paper was so very her that he couldn't help but smile in her direction each time he looked at them. He made a point to save hers for last.

"That better be my gift you are reaching for Tony!"

"I wouldn't dream of opening anyone else's, Abs." He lied, because he had had plenty of dreams about opening Ziva's present. Some were sexy, and some were downright awesome; but it boiled down to the fact that he really had no idea what she might have gotten him. He was really excited to find out. He tore the paper off of Abby's gift with a gusto that could be found in anyone who had had many years of practice. A sleek black box lay within his hand, nestled snuggly against his palm. It was long and thin in shape, and it was no wider than the small edge of a penny. "What?" he questioned, curious. He ran his fingers along the smooth surface, feeling that the box had been handmade.

"Open it already!" She said bouncing excitedly again. In her hands sat a giraffe donned in Gothic Ballerina attire. Tony eyed the stuffed animal suspiciously, wondering where it came from.

"I thought Bert could use a friend," Ziva remarked. Tony noticed the way she bit her lower lip, waiting for approval. His ninja wasn't one to do things like this often; he hoped that he could change that.

"I love it!" Abby squeezed the giraffe tightly, before giving Tony the stink eye. "Tony! Open the box!"

"Oh, uh, sorry." He pushed his nail into the thin slit located on the side of the box, popping it open quickly. He stared in awe at the contents inside. Five guitar picks lay side by side, each one colored differently with intricate designs laced over the top. He didn't even know that anyone knew about his hobby. "Thanks, Abby," he murmured. He smiles at her in appreciation before setting the box down beside his seat, before picking up Gibbs gift. The box was square Tony shook it once to make sure it didn't explode. He unwrapped the gift quickly to discover that it was a watch; expensive, big, and ugly. He glanced at his boss, and received confirmation that the unattractiveness of the watch was intentional. Tony's face pinched in response. "Uh, thanks, boss."

"Maybe now you won't be late," Gibbs stated.

"Well, we can only hope, right?" Tony chuckled, and everyone else followed his example.

He was so focused on Ziva's present and what might be encased behind the red wrapping that he zoned out. All of his other gifts went by without much thought, and he hardly paid any attention to what anyone else was given. Ducky got him a brand new Gucci tie that was stylish, but a bit over the top, while McGee gave him some new headphones, mentioning something about Tony no longer being allowed to steal his. Palmer bought him the fancy coffee grind that he loved so much.

"Thanks, Ziva!" McGee exclaimed, his words snatching Tony's attention up completely. McGee held in his hand a thin black box, with a picture of some sort of electronic device that Tony couldn't quite make out. It was obviously high-tech, because Tony had no idea what it could possibly be used for.

The fact that he had heard so many exuberant thanks offered to his special lady friend for her choice in presents made him more excited than he really had any right to be. He knew she was thoughtful, and he knew that she paid special attention to the little things. These things could only add up to one awesome gift giver. When he really thought about it though, he couldn't find one thing that she didn't excel at. Which was one of the things that he loved about her. He just hadn't gotten around to telling her that yet.

He slid his fingers over the satiny red paper that he held in his hand while he casually tossed Ziva a quick glance. She smiled in his direction, clutching the three books he had given her close to her chest like they were some kind of secret. He had done his research, and he even went as far as to finding an online Hebrew-pal to help him find the best books. After discovering her penchant for "romance" he made sure to find the perfect ones. He picked more than one, because he really enjoyed how frisky she became after she cracked the spine on each new book.

With a renewed sense of pride, he ripped into her gift. The white box that sat inside was quickly undone, and he stared at the contents for more than a second. He must have missed something, because the gift he was most looking forward to was nothing more than a pair of red silk boxers. A dull sort of ache spread throughout his chest in response. Each and every gift she had given to the others had been thoughtful. His was generic. He was upset by it, and he pushed his gifts off to the side and quietly brooded with his arms crossed tight over his chest. This was why he didn't like the holidays; they always left behind a sense of disappointment.

Tony pretended not to notice the way she was trying to catch his eye. He didn't want to talk to her right now. All he wanted now was to be alone.

He closed off as everyone finished opening their presents, and offering up thanks in response. He sat in the corner closest to the tree nursing a cup of cider that he wished he had a bit more bite to it. A fourth glass of wine sounded really good right then, because the dizzying effects of what he had consumed earlier had all but passed with his darkened feelings.

"Boxers," he grumbled to himself. "She didn't even try."

It was late, and he was feeling tired. He wondered how rude it would be to kick everyone out of his house. No longer was he in a giving mood.

"It was very nice for all of you to show up tonight," Ziva said, but he was more concentrated on the feel of her eyes on him the entire time. She got him, yet at the same time, she obviously didn't. "It is getting late," she edged.

"Yeah you're right, Ziva." Gibbs grinned, pressing a kiss to the top of her head as he gathered up his gifts. He graced Tony with a firm pat on the shoulder, and a warm smile; but Tony hardly noticed. "Merry Christmas, Tony."

"Yeah Boss," he murmured in response, "Merry Christmas."

He was engulfed in a hug so tight that he was nearly gasping for breath, but he held together. "Bye, Abby."

When he was released from her grasp, he moved to stand next to the door; holding it open as his guests began to file out. So he stood in the entryway, giving out the proper sentiments when needed but his heart wasn't in it. He felt listless, and he hated that he had to feel this way because it was the thought that counted right? No that must have been wrong, because there was something so inexplicitly contrived about a pair of boxers that he felt anger well up inside of him at the mere thought of them. When the door shut leaving him alone with Ziva everything finally boiled over.

"Boxers?" Tony questioned, turning on her.

She stared at him. Her arms were crossed, and he tried to ignore the way her black shirt stretched across her chest from the simple action. It was safe to say that he failed. "You do not like them then, yes?"

He felt like she was challenging him, his blood began to spike within his veins for reasons that escaped him. The light that shined deep within her eyes seemed to fuel his previous desire, but he couldn't blame anyone but himself. Twelve days!

"That's not the point and you know it," Tony growled.

"Then what would your point happen be Tony?"

He hated that she was able to get the upper hand without even trying. One sentence and he was left floundering for words, because really, what was his point? "I thought it would be special," he mumbled.

She was silent for a moment, which caused him to feel unnerved by her unrelenting gaze. Tony felt childish for questioning her lack of creativity. A small smile suddenly curved her lips andshe looked so amused that he wondered what he missed. Had there been something underneath the boxers? Why hadn't he checked? "What kind of present were you hoping for, Tony?"

He felt his face heat but he ignored it. "I dunno."

She was still smiling mischievously as she stepped away from him. He didn't know what she expected from him. So he stood still, rubbing his sweaty palms against the back of his jeans as he watched her hips sway.

"I think I have exactly what you were hoping for, Tony." She tossed a sensual look over her shoulder jolting him into action. Following her seemed like the best idea he had ever had.

When he ended up in their bedroom he felt that same earlier excitement return. He only hoped that this time would not end in the same disappointment as before.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Wait right here."

He was a mix of confusion, and excitement, all the while being more than a little turned on, but he did as she asked. There were some things that only Ziva could accomplish, and that was getting him to follow directions without much effort. He was positive that the prospect of sex played a hand in his ever-present willingness.

"Thank you for the present, Tony," she said from just behind the closet doors.

"Welcome," he replied. He found himself leaning on the balls of his feet while attempting to get a peek at what she might be doing just out of his line of his vision. His curiosity was getting the better of him; he hoped that he had enough patience to wait until she was done.

When she stepped out of the closet wearing a silky red negligee that stopped just below her hipbones his breath caught in his throat. The color contrasted beautifully with her skin, and he found himself licking his lips at the way her hair curled around her shoulders.

"Is this my present?" He was eager, he really hoped she would let him unwrap it.

She bit her lip, nodding seductively while running her fingers along the material found at her stomach briefly causing the fabric to lift. His eyes were drawn to the thin panties that covered her core, and he groaned at the translucent quality that they held. He amended his earlier statement; she really knew what he liked.

"So," she prodded him, "do you like it?" She did a quick little spin, and the nightgown raised just enough for him to see her pert little ass cheeks. He really wanted to touch them.

"Hell yes," he hissed excitedly. "I love it."

The steps he took to get to her were long and quick, because he couldn't go one more second without holding her in his arms. His fingers ran over the material that covered her, it was only when he was holding her that he realized she must have bought a matching set. He realized his stupidity, the boxers she gave him were much more thoughtful than he had given her credit for, and he regretted ever thinking otherwise.

"I think you are going to like what is beneath the wrapping so much more," she purred. He really couldn't help but to agree.

"Oh, I know I will," he replied breathlessly. His fingers traced her sides, mapping her curves through the thin satin that covered her skin. Her body felt warm beneath his palm, and his nose nuzzled at her hair, breathing in her scent.

Her fingers pulled at the buttons of his shirt before he could react, but he didn't mind. The cool air of the room caressed his skin as she pulled the clothing off of his body. It was all he could do to concentrate on the heat radiating off of her body. It was mouth-watering, and he wanted nothing more than to melt into her.

"Are you ready to unwrap your last present, Tony." The words left a yearning desire tangible against his skin, and he wanted to follow her rules. The caramel flesh that sat behind red silk was calling him like a beacon, and he wanted so desperately to taste it.

Words failed him as he pulled at the ties on her shoulder. The lingerie slipped to her collarbone, catching on her perky breasts and his eyes were drawn to the succulent lines that the fabric created. He could see her nipples standing out against the fabric, causing his thumb sweep over them before finally pulling the fabric out of the away. The swift tug he exerted on it caused the material to fall to her feet, leaving her in nothing more than her panties. He felt like he was drooling. "Ziva."

She hummed against his jaw, peppering a series of molten kisses against his chin before finally capturing his lips. Her tongue swept against his, gliding in smooth circles before she pulled away, biting his lip in such a sensuous nip that he groaned against her lips. "I have wanted you all night long," she whispered.

"Oh, I noticed," he lied. How could he have been so busy focused on other things, that he couldn't even notice how aroused she was? Sure, in the beginning, he had noticed, but as their had friends started arriving he had totally stopped paying her any attention. He would have to make sure to never do it again.

She called him out by biting at his ear before laughing lightly into his skin. "You are a terrible liar, Tony."

Her words spurred him into action, his hands finally grasping her ass with deft fingers as he lifted her against him. "But apparently I am very good at turning you on," he retaliated. The grin that spreads across his face feels predatory, and as their eyes locked together he took notice the lust raging in the brown depths of her eyes.

She pressed her body more firmly against him, dragging her fingers through his chest hairs before her fingers clamped down on his belt, flicking it open without any effort. "I would say that is what you are best at."

"Oh, really?" He grinned again, and her words made him more than a bit cocky. He thought she knew that, but in that moment he didn't care. "How so?"

She bit her lip, dipping her fingers beneath his boxers while locking her eyes with his. The heat that her gaze produced was so intense that his blood was set aflame. The need he had for her was strong.

"One look," she murmured. Her fingers grasped at him, freeing him from the confines of his boxers, and causing his breathe to leave him. There was no feeling comparable to her hands, well besides her mouth, then there was being inside of her; but those were on an entirely different playing field. "All it takes for me to crave you is one look," she amends. "That is something you are well aware of, yes?"

The atmosphere around him seemed stifling as he choked on the air that he struggled to bring into his lungs as her fingers worked over him. "Yeah," he grunted, though he wasn't really listening.

His fingers caught on her breasts, holding them and working them in a way he knew she liked best. The soft mounds fit perfectly within his palms, and he tried his hardest to keep his head about him while she continued to tease him playfully.

"Do you like your present?" she asked. It pleased him to hear her so out of breath, and when he feels the way her grip faltered around his cock as he tweaked her nipple he couldn't help but to smile.

"Love it."

"Then why do you not want to play with it, Tony?"

He didn't understand her question, not with the jumbled fog of arousal that clung to every crevice of his mind. "I am playing with it," he insisted.

Her hands pulled away, and before he knew what's happening he was falling against the bed as she straddled his waist. "Well, I will not believe that you fully appreciate your Christmas present, until you have really made it yours."

Their lips met in a clash of tongues and teeth, he never felt anything so amazing in his life. The passion between them began to rise with each caress the bestowed on one another, and he found himself tearing at her thong before he even thought about it. He just needed to feel her against him. The material ripped easily under the force he exerted on it, causing him to smile against her lips once they were finally off.

His fingers sank deep into her heat with gentle proddings, exploring her hot cavern with calloused fingertips and tuned motions. She loved it, he could tell from the gasps and gyration. The position was awkward for him. It was all quirked wrist and bent fingers as he pushed forward, propping himself up on his elbow so he could watch her ride his fingers. The movement of her hips was downright mesmerizing as she ground against his palm, but he focused on the tiny moans that fell from her lips.

"Is this what you want, Ziva?" he asked, hunger threaded through the thin wisps of his voice. "Because I'm gonna make sure that all you can ever think about is me."

"Please, Tony."

Her hips were gyrating faster now, pushing and curling against his seeking fingers. He just knew that she was ready for him. He planned to make her wait just a bit longer before he gave her her release, because he liked the power he held over her body; he knew that she knew it. "There's no need to beg, sweet cheeks. You know I'm good for it."

Deft hands peeled back his boxers, forcing his member into direct contact with her swelling heat. The mewl that came from his throat would've been embarrassing if her words didn't completely make him lose his mind. "Show me," she pleaded, longing evident in her voice.

Never before had he been able to deny her, and he definitely couldn't now. He doubted he would ever. He captured her lips in a searing kiss, licking her lips and stroking her tongue as he murmured his appreciation. He pulled his fingers out of her, grasping her hips just as she sank down on him. The feel of her walls grasping, hugging, suckling at his length was nearly too much for him, and his head was thrown back as both hands dug into the flesh of her hips. The cords of his neck flexed as he gritted his teeth, but his eyes remained open because he liked to watch her when she was in the throes of utmost passion.

She held still for the briefest of moments, allowing her eyes to shut. It was clear that she was savoring the feeling of him, just like he was her. Her breath was heavy, her fingers – curled against his chest – flexing taut the longer she waited.

"Move," he goaded her. "Give me everything that you have."

Her eyes slowly opened, allowing him to see the smile that was hidden behind her lashes. He didn't tell her that this was his best Christmas ever, but that would've been completely unnecessary.

"Just remember you said that." The promise in her voice caused his erection to harden deep inside of her. He hadn't thought it possible.

The moment she started moving, it felt as though his head had exploded. Her hips twisted and ground against his pelvis, the movement felt so delicious that words of worship fell heavily upon his lips.

The intense feeling built within his gut, his eyes alternating between squeezing shut and gazing up at her with enough passion that he hoped it didn't scare her. "I love you," he gasped, the words were out of his lips before he even had a second to think about them. He wasn't stupid, and he felt the way she tensed on top of him for a moment before she continued the previous motions.

Her body rocked against his harder. The pleas that spilled out her lips were so loud, so beautiful that he clutched her tighter, kissed her harder, and wanted her even more.

"Yes," she hissed. There was something about the way they fit together that had him pleading for more, something he had never done with any other woman. Ziva brought out things in him that he never thought possible, he wasn't complaining. "Just like that."

They weren't talking much, which was kind of unusual for them. Usually their sex was hard, fast, and filled with talk so dirty sometimes his ears burned. Today was different; they were quiet aside from the few heartfelt words of encouragement that spurred one other on. He was okay with this change. He knew that they were finally making love, rather than simply sex like they had been having prior. This was a real relationship; he was so glad that he was able to share it with her.

When he began to slam her down on top of him while jutting his hips up to meet her thrust for thrust, Ziva lost it. Her back arched in that delicious way that showed her flexibility, just before her fingers curled into the back of his hair, tugging his lips up to meet hers.

"Tony, oh yes, Tony." She was mumbling incoherently now, slipping into that undeniable bliss that would cause her to lose her mind, he wanted to help her get there as slowly as possible. Drawing out their release caused a sweet tension to pool in his gut, and he enjoyed the feeling it enticed inside of him. Though his own body was singing with hints of release he wanted her to get there first. In the process he would drive her crazy, that way when they finally fell over that edge it would be that much sweeter. The pressure pressing on his abdomen was strong, but he would hold off as long as could before he finally pushed her over.

His resolve to make that succulent torture last didn't last very long before he felt his body begin to coil. Everything felt tight, and he wanted to let everything go in order to feel the sweetest release. Twelve days really was far too long to go without feeling Ziva coming apart against him.

He bit her lip before pulling away from her intoxicating kisses. "Come on," he urged, "just let go."

Moments later she did so with a cry of his name, he thought that maybe she was just as helpless to his commands as he was to hers. It was a theory he was going to have to test out later; he could have a lot of fun with that knowledge.

The feel of her release gripping him was too much, and it was far too good for him to hold off against. He rolled her over, situating her body beneath his as he pushed that much deeper inside of her. Having her on top was good, but he wanted to drive his point in real good; no pun intended. Also, stimulating her post-orgasm was always a plus. His thrusts into her willing body were hard and sure, his eyes nearly crossed as her honeyed depths gripping him so tightly that it was almost painful.

Six thrusts. That is all he managed before he was careening over the edge, spilling his seed inside of her with a muffled grunt that he knew sounded suspiciously like her name; because it was.

His sweat soaked body sagged against her own while he panted into her ear. The supple curves of her body offered soothing hugs to the hardened plains of his muscled chest. He eagerly took all that she could give him. The fact that she didn't protest against his added weight meant everything to him.

When his confession of love suddenly came back to hit him full force he began to panic. It was his turn to tense his muscles. Even with as strong as he felt about her he didn't want to tell her because love changed everything, and he wasn't sure that they were ready for it. When he had finally gotten around to sharing his confession he didn't want it to be mid-coitus. He always thought that was tacky.

"Ziva, I-" She cut him off, and he couldn't tell if she was angry.

"You love me." Her words were simple and to the point, all the while being somewhat emotionless. The delivery worried him; he hoped that he hadn't ruined everything they had worked so hard for with a careless exclamation.

He couldn't lie, so he ducked his head into her shoulder and admitted the truth. She was soft, and his hold on her tightened a bit as though he was afraid she was about to pull away from him. "Yes. I do."

There was silence and he took his time in nuzzling against her neck, fully drawing in her scent. There was a speck of fear lingering inside of him. He wouldn't lose her now, because he knew that nothing would be the same if he let her go. He was finally able to be in a committed relationship, and all he wanted was to do so with her. She hummed against his ear, but she made no move to say anything. Waiting had always made him nervous.

When her silence dragged on too long he pulled away, propping himself up on his arm so he could look down at her. He was still buried inside her body, and he didn't plan on leaving anytime soon. "Ziva…"

She smiled up at him, her eyes alight with something he couldn't place. He looked nervous and worried; he didn't really have any other option. "You are aware that I feel the same way, yes?"

It was a roundabout confession, yet he wanted more. He seated himself further inside of her, watching the way she bit her lip against the enticing feelings he incited and he knew that he had her. "Say it, Ziva." She remained silent. He smiled down at her. He leant closer to her, hovering over her lips as he held her gaze. "Tell me."

She was desperate for his kiss, her lips parted urgently as her eyes traced the line of his lips; he loved that he could read her. "Tony." Her voice held a warning, he wasn't really all that scared though.

"Ziva."

She sighed, grasping the back of his neck as she pulled his lips down on her own. The noise she made in the back of her throat called to him, and his hand burrowed beneath her back as he pulled her that much closer.

"I love you," she breathed when they parted.

"I know," He grinned at her; hoping he looked similar to Harrison Ford in Empire Strikes back but not really caring all the same. The fear that cinched in his chest moments before vanished and all that truly mattered was that she loved him. "Was that so hard," he joked.

She bit his chin and pinched the back of his arm. The feeling caused him to flinch, but he didn't move away; he didn't think anything would ever make him leave her. It was kind of romantic in a way, but he wouldn't tell her that. It was a confession that could be left for another time, plus he had confessed to love first, so whatever confessions came after relied on her. It was her turn, after all.

He pulled out of her slowly, hissing at the loss of her cradled heat. Curling around her body just felt right as he rested his chin on her arm. There was a happy sort of feeling lingering inside of him, and he knew that the day ended in a complete success. This was how the holidays were supposed to make people feel. It was feeling he could get used to.

"You know," he started, rubbing soothing lines along the flat of her abdomen. "I think I'm starting to like Christmas."

She laughed. A deep-throaty chuckle that sent a tingle down his spine. The muscles in her side shift as she reached for something out of his sight. He let her move, because he knew she wouldn't stay away for too long.

"Really? I could not tell." When she held up the scraps of fabric that were once her panties, he smirked.

He pulled her back against him, catching her lips in a soft kiss before allowing her to lie back down.

"What can I say?" he grinned. "I like to tear the wrapping."

"In that case, you owe me another pair." She kissed his shoulder as she leaned her back against his chest, her hand pressing against his stomach. He watched as she lay back down, and he snuggled into the pillows beneath his head. It had been a long day.

"Nah, I think that my present looks best without any panties."

##


9,144; betaed by KandonKuuson.

Dear readers;

Thank you for patience, comments, and inspiration. Each one of you means so much to me, and without you I don't know that I would have written for this long. My absence is directly proportional to the fact that I'm finishing up my degree (still have a ton more school to sift through), and that I have been concentrating on my original works. Maybe one day you'll see something of mine actually published – though I doubt it.

Anyways, this note was created to inform you of what will be coming up.

WIP - Fit is all plotted, and outlined; it just needs to be written.

POD has been written on school notebooks, and I just need to find where they vanished too before I can post them; all episodes have been written.

Awarded will be concluded soon. Very soon.

New Stuff – Unnamed oneshot for ZandVsupporter and Anonymous033 Seriously, I know what I'm writing on it, it's just a matter of sitting down and working on it.

'It was hot, unbearably so, and all he could think about was sticking his feet in a nice cool pool of water in order to stop the sweat from beading on his upper lip. It's a simple a plan that was made ten times more complicated by the fact that his apartments pool was under renovation. That was not going to stop him though, because he knew of just the place to achieve his goal. Plus, Ziva said her door was always open for him; it was about time he took her up on her offer.'

Five-Part Story: Finished up to part 4, and still working on it. I'm a bit stuck. Call it writer's block if you will.

AU – 'Whatever you do, just don't have sex with Ziva David. The words seemed simple enough, they really did, but Tony found that following that instruction was a lot more difficult than he had been led to believe.'

The Bet: 'It started off as a bet. It often does. One moment they're sitting there, chatting like normal and the next their knee deep and rules and byplays, trying to figure out how everything is going to go down. It's fun for them, because it is what they do. He calls it a bonding experience, and he is really not opposed to spending any amount of time with her.'

There is more of course, but I figure I need to start somewhere. As always, your thoughts are appreciated and valued more than you can know.

Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

MoonFaerie.