Title: Year of the Dragon
I own nothing
none | 9x12 | PG
Parings: Tony/Ziva, Palmer/Breena,
Summary: The team celebrates Chinese New Year. Happy Chinese New Year Soph.

Year of the Dragon

Ducky walked into the squad room of NCIS with a spring in his step and a smile on his face.

"Why are you so happy?" Tony asked as he tried to procrastinate doing the paperwork.

"Yes, why are you so happy?" Ziva agreed.

Ducky looked at his friend, as much as she was trying to pretend she was okay after what happened with Ray, she was not though Ducky believed that the team including him, walking on eggshells around her was not helping.

"It is Chinese New Year," Ducky replied with a smile on his face. "The year of the dragon, which is supposed to be the most prestigious of the Chinese Zodiac signs, to many it is a symbol of power and wealth. Officials in China and other countries with a large Chinese population are predicting are rise in births as parents rush to have a dragon baby."

A sad look crossed Ziva's face; Ducky realized his monologue had probably reignited the feelings of grief over the loss of Ray. She was not really grieving for lost love but more the grieving for the picket fence ideal of a husband and kids.

"So?" Tony asked, "None of us are Chinese, Ducky."

"Does that matter Anthony?" Ducky responded.


Jimmy Palmer stopped when he leaflet about Chinese New Year on Ducky's desk, he found himself reminded on Michelle Lee, his late lover. Michelle had never been very open emotionally or culturally but she had once explained Chinese New Year to him as they walked down a corridor looking for a location for their activities.

"Mr. Palmer," Ducky said as he reached autopsy. "Perhaps you and Breena would be interested in coming to Chinatown with me this weekend. It is always so vibrant this time of year. It is Chun Jie, Chinese New Year or Spring Festival if you use the direct translation from Mandarin. "

"Maybe," Palmer replied.

He had not really thought about Michelle since he met Breena. After her death, when the truth about her had come out, Palmer had not been able to look back on their time together without feeling regret or used. Now as he looked back, he smiled. He remembered Michelle as she was. She had seemed to shy and straight-laced yet once she was unleashed she had become someone completely different. So hot and a little bit crazy. Their relationship had allowed him to grow up and learn new things. Some of the things he had learnt benefited his relationship with Breena now.

A smile crossed his face as he thought of Michelle. Chinese New Year sounded like a good idea.


That evening the whole team sat around Ducky's table with a variety of Chinese food. Ducky had explained about the tradition of grown-up children coming home for a sort of reunion dinner, which was what his neighbors across the road were doing. They watched the neighbor's wonderful fireworks, which seemed different from the ones the team was used to.


The following Sunday, despite the cold weather all of the NCIS team, including Leyla and Amira, turned up for the Chinese New Year festival and parade,. The team also bumped into Fornell and his daughter, and the Vance's. Emily Fonrell and the Vance children had learnt about Chinese New Year in school and when given the chance would dispense facts about the celebrations. The parents smiled and regained faith in the American school system. The adults that were not parents listened intently and then watched for the delight on the children's faces as the parade started.

"Dino-saw," Amira called as the dragon came towards them. The adults laughed.

"Dragon," Leyla corrected, looking up at her daughter who was sitting on Tony's shoulders, after Ziva had offered the little girl a better view of the parade. When Tony had remarked that Amira was lighter than the last person who had sat on his shoulders, Ziva had given him a death stare, refraining from hitting him only because Amira was on his shoulders.


The parade ended and they continued to walk around. The group got split up with Ducky heading to the poetry reading and the parents being dragged to children's events. Gibbs had followed Leyla. Abby grabbed McGee and to try and win a prize.

They saw a Kung-Fu demonstration. Tony watched as Ziva admired the martial art.

"Wanna join in, ninja, give them a run for their money," Tony asked.

"That would be culturally insensitive," Ziva replied but Tony was not listening he had seen the sign for the movie screening.

"Tony, you do not speak Mandarin," Ziva whispered as they sat in the cramped room, "You will not understand,"

"It has subtitles," Tony replied as the opening credits began.

"I thought you did not read movies?" Ziva asked as she started to watch.

They emerged from the cinema with a brochure of the different types of Chinese movies and some recommendations.


Palmer and Breena drove back in comfortable silence. Both of them had a fun day which had been a nice break from the stress of his final year of medical school and wedding planning.

"You knew a lot about the festival today," Breena suggested, "Did you learn about it in school like the kids?"

"No," Palmer replied, "Did I ever tell you about Michelle?"

Breena shook her head. Palmer began to tell her.


"So this is my stop," Ziva replied as Tony stopped the car outside her apartment.

"I had fun today," Tony admitted. "Do you think this makes up for our New Years?"

Both of them had spent the Georgian New Year moping about the state of their lives. Their lives had since changed, but the moping had not stopped.

"Your New Year, Jews have their own New Year," Ziva replied with a huge smile on her face. "But I did have fun,"

As Tony drove off, he wondered if the year of the dragon would be the year of change.

A/N: Happy New Year Soph, and anyone else who celebrated it. I know this is not strictly correct as it based on people who are not a part of the Chinese culture. So I based it more on them going to the Chinese New Year festival in DC. Much of the information is from Soph, my own friends who are celebrating, and the internet, so if it really wrong do tell me.

Thank you for reading and Happy New Year.