Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any of its recognisable characters. I make no profit from this story but wish you enjoyment from it anyway.
Important: Currently there are a total of 6 chapters to this story. They begin when all the 'kids' are very young and are therefore in other POV's (eg. Ducky). Each chapter shall be posted in order and the story will end with a New Year's Eve chapter posted on New Year's Eve. Happy Holidays to everyone, if you enjoy please check out the Coming of Age series on my profile!
A/N: Another Coming of Age universe fiction but will stand alone. This story follows Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his children Anthony, Caitlyn, Timothy, Abigail and eventually his step-daughter Ziva through various Christmas celebrations, beginning the year Gibbs, Tony and Kate lost the rest fo their family. Goes in chronological order and I hope you enjoy my first ever Christmas fiction, much love x
The Christmas Special
"Shhh, Anthony," Doctor Donald Mallard gently patted the back of the two year old on his lap, excitedly squeaking as his baby sister lay – finally asleep – on the sofa beside them, "you'll wake Caitlyn, and we know how much trouble that will bring."
The boy murmured quietly against his shoulder as he slumped beside him, eyes wandering over the small, dull array of lights wrapped around the nicely scented pine a few feet away, "well its almost midnight and your father promised to be home for Christmas, so don't worry young man, he will be here soon I'm sure."
Ducky, as he preferred himself called, looked down at his wrist watch yet again, sighing at the tree himself as the boy on his lap murmured, pointing at the lights and squeaking as if to ask a question, "Christmas, Anthony, is a time of celebration for the birth of Christ. The story goes that... well I guess you're a bit young for that yet, eh? I suppose there's a lot of time to discuss these things when you're older."
The boy raised wide eyes to him and Ducky gave a small chuckle at the back of his throat, slowly and gently moving off of the couch carrying the boy to the tree. Anthony Devon Damien Gibbs reached out a hand and ducky saw the fingers gently brush their way over the pine needles and lights, almost in awe.
"You celebrate Christmas with family and friends, and house are decked out for miles around in much larger and brighter displays than that one my dear boy," Ducky gave a sigh as the child remained transfixed by the tree, "this house used to be so cheerful Anthony. Your poor mother, she..."
The doctor went silent with a rather fresh grief, not only for those departed but also for the father and the children that remained. Kelly, he imagined, would be rather put out at the lack of decorations and cheer in the house. She had always insisted that Jethro string up the lights – different every year on her orders – then decorate the tree and help cook the turkey dinner and the shortbread. This house was not seeing much cheer this year.
"She what, Duck?" Ducky Mallard didn't even pretend to be startled as a door clicked audibly in the distance and Jethro Gibbs himself made his presence known.
"She would have wanted you to have made a celebration of it," Ducky said quietly, turning away from the tree and at the same time alerting Anthony to his father's arrival, eliciting excited grabbing motions from the lad, "for Caitlyn and Anthony. And Kelly would..."
"I made it home for Christmas, Duck," the marine looked stern but Ducky could pick out the hurt little pieces beneath, "sorry you couldn't be home with your mother."
Ducky sighed and stepped forwards, patting the younger man on the shoulder, "You know as well as I that mother and I celebrate Christmas on the 24th, Jethro. Just be sure to take care of yourself and these glorious children of yours."
Jethro Gibbs nodded and patted the doctor on the back, watching him walk towards the hall for his coat, only to pause briefly in the corridor, "you will be sure to call if you need anything, won't you?"
Jethro tugged up the corners of his mouth and Ducky nodded, heading towards the door where Gibbs knew he would see himself out, "Hey Anthony, how's it goin'?"
The boy gurgled happily in response and Gibbs took him to the couch, rubbing a small circle on his daughters belly when he got there. Her breath came in even, small strides and he smiled to himself as he reached out towards the lonely looking tree he had placed in the corner.
A small few parcels had gathered themselves there without his consent, and eventually his own gifts to his children had made it to the pile. Thumbing through the cards he opened the ones from his father and his in-laws, setting them back on the couch with a teary sigh and slash to his eyes. Mike Franks card was next, which was odd considering Jethro had never picked him as the card giving type, and with almost no surprise he found a job offer tucked in between two sheets of cardboard. Shannon's friends had all written, and some of Kelly's had also sent cards, but Jethro placed them aside, not up to reading the sentiments within them. Anthony grabbed at all the cards with a two year olds curiousness and Gibbs almost choked on the laugh that tried to escape whilst he was still feeling sorrow.
As if sensing the mood, Anthony Gibbs began to crawl onto the lap of his dad, mumbling like his only wish was to wake up his sister. Gibbs smiled again and lifted the boy, offering him a gift which he tore at experimentally and gurgled in delight to when the wrapping ripped off.
Anthony smiled in delight and threw paper above his head, rolling in the pile he created as Caitlyn began to softly snuffle awake. Doctor Donald 'Ducky' Mallard turned from the scene, hiding from the family he was trying to keep an eye on. It seemed to the doctor that they would be alright, the three remaining Gibbs' sitting in the darkened room by their Christmas tree. He hoped that they would be.