Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shards To A Whole: Christmas 2015

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 331: Christmas 2015

05:03. Gibbs didn't need to set any sort of alarm. His body remembers how this works.

He spends a few more minutes in bed, resting, enjoying laying out with nothing hurting and not feeling particularly tired. Then he got up, decided it was cool enough that he wanted more than a t-shirt and sweat pants, so he pulls on one of his NIS sweat shirts, and grabs his goodies.

They're mostly presents for Kelly. He kind of went a bit bonkers on that. But, like Ducky with Molly's first Christmas, he's feeling entitled to engage in a bit of grandfatherly spoiling.

He creeps out of his room, trying not to make too much noise; he doesn't want Tim leaping out of bed and shooting him before his brain wakes up enough to realize that other person moving around his house belongs here.

Though, it's hitting him, that him wandering around the house happens enough these days that Tim probably already has it in his mind that those extra footsteps are his.

He gets down the steps and is greeted by something he wasn't expecting, at all. The Christmas tree lights are all on, so the room is glowing gold. Light enough he can see easy, but he doesn't have to turn the overheads on and go blind. He can smell coffee, freshly made, waiting for him. He doesn't see anyone and he'd have bet good money that Tim and Abby were still in bed, but light and coffee is very welcome.

Before doing anything else, he puts the presents on the sofa, and heads to the kitchen to grab a cup. He smiles as he gets in there, nose identifying that this is his coffee, and there's a cup waiting next to the coffee maker for him.

Back to the living room to do his Santa work. When he went up last night there were three stockings on the mantle, and now there's a fourth, and it does have some promising looking lumps. It's ice blue with silver snowflakes on it, and as his fingers trail over it, he's sure who it belongs to.

He looks down, sees the cookies, and the sign, smiles again, and begins to put presents in stockings or under the tree.

It only takes him a few minutes to get them all laid in place. Only thing missing is a roaring fire in the fireplace, so he takes a few minutes to get that set, and then looks around. Yep, tree's lit, fire's burning, presents all around, there's even boughs of holly on the mantelpiece.

It's Christmas.

All done he settles onto the sofa, munching the cookies, drinking his coffee, and coming to the conclusion that Andes mint-chunk cookies and coffee are very good together.

The addition of children, even tiny baby ones who aren't actually aware of the whole Christmas concept, makes the whole thing more fun.

Tim's got no idea why this would be true. He can get why it'd be true if Kelly had raced down the steps to tear into her presents, but… she couldn't care less about this whole Christmas thing. She's, if anything, slightly annoyed because her morning routine is off.

But, Abby's opening her presents, squeeing over the coat (trying it on over her jammies, and spinning in it), Gibbs is squinting at the bottle of Jolly Roger. (Yep, he's irked. He's got that, what on Earth could you have possibly been thinking look on his face. Tim's pleased.) Kelly's sitting in his lap, chewing on one of her presents (those stackable rings) and he's just really, really enjoying this.

"You going to open yours?" Abby asks as he's sitting there, watching.

"Oh, yeah." Presents. He's got presents too, right. He takes his stocking off the mantle and finds one rectangular package in it. He holds it up to Kelly, who's still in his lap. "What do you think? Wanna help me open it?"

She whacks it a few times with her palm, so he takes her hands in his, and gets her gripping the paper and gives it a rip. She giggles at that, and tries again, this time successfully grabbing the paper and tearing.
Call of Duty 5 is staring up at him, and he grins. Oh yes, he's got plans for that. "Jimmy and Tony got copies, too," Abby adds. His grin got wider. Jimmy really can play. Tony's still learning. He does much better when Ziva spots for him. He shows it to Gibbs. "Feel like learning how to play?"

Gibbs sips his coffee and slowly shakes his head. Then he reaches behind him, to the tree, and grabs Tim's other presents, flat squares. Tim smiles at them too, thinking he knows what they are, and a bit of quick unwrapping shows he's right.

Records. Old ones. Mostly jazz, but there's some blues, and some country, which he's surprised at, because he's really not a country music guy, but these are old enough that it might be that sort of music where blues and jazz and rock and spiritual and bluegrass and country hadn't yet all morphed into distinct genres… He's looking forward to getting them onto his record player.

"They were Jackson's. LJ and Ducky helped me pick out which ones you might like."

"Thank you."

He hands Kelly over to Gibbs, puts the records (gently) on the sofa, and heads into his office. A minute later, he's back with his record player, and plugging it in.

He holds them up. "What do we start with?"

Gibbs raises his hands. "No idea. The ones I knew well enough to remember, I also knew weren't the sort of music you like."

"Okay. We'll start at the top then. Can't go wrong with Etta James."

The scratchy hiss of the needle hitting vinyl fills their living room, and a few seconds later it's replaced by a warm, smoky voice.

Tim's watching Gibbs curiously, wondering if once he hears it it'll spring memories, but Gibbs just shakes his head. Then he surveys the mounds of wrapping paper, and the toys strewn in front of Kelly, along with three tidy piles of grown-up presents, and says, "So, breakfast?"


After they finished breakfast, Gibbs knew he had to get moving. That turkey wasn't going to roast itself, and if he wanted food to put on the table for the horde of people who were going to be coming to his house starting around noon and lasting all day, he had to go.

So, home he went. He got the turkey into the oven and the veggies prepped. (Potatoes are peeled and in cold water, waiting for closer to time to cook. Green beans have been cut, and are also sitting in cold water waiting for closer to time. And now, with as many people coming and bringing food as he has, that's all the cooking he has to do.)

Shower time, get dressed (cargo pants, t-shirt, flannel shirt over it: It's his house, he's not feeling any need to get too fancy.) and by the time he was heading downstairs again, he hears voices.

Wendy's sitting in front of the fireplace stacking the logs.

"You're looking comfy," he says as he kisses her cheek.

Fornell's fiancée looks up at him and smiles. "Indeed. Where are the matches?"

He nods to the mantelpiece. There's a long, narrow wooden box, mahogany and maple inlay. He'd made it for Shannon a long time ago. She'd used it for holding her jewelry. Now it holds long fireplace matches.
She stands and begins to light the fire while he heads to the kitchen. Fornell is already in there, cutting up peppers and onions, sausage browning.

"Told Jeannie that I'd show her how my Nona did it."

Gibbs nods. In addition to Draga, Kevin, Sarah, and Glenn, Ed and Jeannie are the new people joining the feast this year. Gonna be a very full house.

Tim put Kelly down for her post-lunch nap, and found Abby sitting on their bed. She's playing with the new perfumes (he got her a bunch of little testers this time, instead of two huge bottles.) and smells delicious.

Like Jimmy said, it's different, but that doesn't mean it's any less good.

So, he flops down onto the bed next to her, pulls her so she's laying across his chest, and kisses her gently, inhaling deeply.

"You like this one?"

"I think it's safe to say I like all of them. Which one is this?" One thing he does know is that he's got almost no shot of figuring out which bottle it came from by smelling Abby. They smell like one thing in the bottle and something very different on her.


This one is dry and spicy and not quite so sexy, but still smells very good. "Yum!"


She's got on his MIT sweatshirt and from the looks of it, nothing else. His hand comes to rest on the little bit of her butt that's peeking out from under the hem.

She kisses the tip of his nose. "Two hours until we have to leave for Gibbs' place."

He nods, then flashes her a sassy grin. "Yep. Maybe I should go play some Call of Duty."

That little kiss turns into a playful nip on his lip.

"No? You've got something else you want me doing?"

She nods, kisses him again. He cups the back of her head, kissing her slower, deeper. "What if I've got something I want you doing?"

She looks thoughtful. "Does it involve getting out of bed?"

He stands up, takes her hands, and pulls her up, too. "Yep."


He leads her to their bathroom.

"Even more curious."

He drops her hands, opens the medicine cabinet, and pulls out the trimmers. She sees them, understands what he has in mind, and smiles. "Not so curious."

He sets them on the edge of the tub and goes to put a new blade on his razor. "I think, if you're going to go to all the trouble to do this," his fingers trace lightly over her pussy, "for me, then I can take some time to spruce up for you. Especially if you might want to help me in my sprucing up efforts."

She's giggling at that. "Sprucing up?"

"I absolutely refuse to call it 'manscaping,'" he says, shaking his head. Tony was talking about it a few years… hell, it had to be getting onto a decade ago, when Queer Eye was big, and from that point on he decided he was never, ever using that word.

She's outright laughing at that, but finally calms down enough to say, "Grooming?"

"Sure." He strips out of his t-shirt and jammie pants. (None of them bothered to put real clothing on for presents and breakfast. Casual, laying about in pjs had been the morning vibe.)

She looks him up and down while grabbing the trimmers and sitting on the edge of the tub. Everything's regrown and back to normal from when they did this in April. "Everything?"

He steps into the tub, fingers lightly brushing his thigh. And while it's true that shaved legs did feel awesome, they aren't spending the whole day in bed. "Nah. I was going to wear the kilt to the party, and I'm not feeling any need to explain to Senior or Ed why I have no leg hair. Beyond that, anything else is up to you."

She lightly kisses the tip of his penis, which has noticed that something good is about to start happening and is looking forward to getting going on that. "Think I'll just get around here then."

"Good, want to be all soft and smooth against your soft and smooth."

She smiles at that and begins to trim.

Lots of sex results in a very relaxed, very playful, and honestly, kind of goofy Tim McGee. And sure, twice in less than twenty-four hours isn't exactly a record for them, but it is a post-Kelly record, and he's enjoying it immensely.

Trimming had led to shaving, and shaving had resulted in a very turned on Tim and Abby, and that resulted in bathtub sex, and finally wrapping up with a long, slow, tender co-shower.

And with them getting out of the bathroom about nine seconds before Kelly woke up.

So, it is, with Kelly on their bed, on her back, (in yet another painfully cute little Christmas outfit: this one is brown footy PJs with little hooves on the feet, a tiny tail on the tush, and a little hood with reindeer horns and floppy ears.) grabbing her feet while balanced precariously on her back (and rolling onto her side four out of five grabs) that they were finally getting dressed for the party.

Tim's stepping into his kilt (the McGee tartan: it's more 'Christmassy' than the black one), watching Abby slip on a little black skirt to go with her white button down and red sweater with the Grim Reaper Santa on it, (He now knows that's Death in his Hogfather costume.) enjoying watching her get dressed.

She's talking practical matters. (Making sure they've got all the presents packed up. That cookies and jambalaya are ready to go. Stuff like that. He's just watching her happily.)

"Earth to Tim, you hear any of that?"

He blinks, looking a little sheepish.


"What's got you so distracted?"

"Just… It's been a really good day. I'm enjoying it." She's smoothing red and green plaid thigh-high socks up her leg. "Plus, the view is awesome."

She laughs, shoves him gently, kisses him, and eyes him up and down. He's got the kilt on, and his shirt, dark green button-down, is currently on but unbuttoned. "Yeah, I'm liking the view." One more kiss. "And we've got to get moving if we don't want to be the last ones there."

"Okay. Moving." He turns toward the closet, buttoning his shirt, and looking for his gray tie. That's a bit dressier than Christmas at Gibbs' place usually is, but he's feeling kind of frisky.

Abby's dressed before he is, so she grabs Kelly, heading downstairs to start packing them up to go. He laces up his boots, puts on some of the 'tux date night cologne' and grabs his black leather jacket.

Time to make merry with the extended Gibbs clan.

Jimmy, Breena and the kids get to Gibbs' place next.

As soon as Breena's in the door and out of her winter gear, Gibbs takes Anna from her, very much enjoying her tiny, warm self, and then wraps Breena in a warm (one-armed) hug. "Not that I don't want your company, but we're all on kid duty, so if you want, I've got a nice, soft bed upstairs, and you're more than welcome to sack out."

She smiles, that half-drugged tired look that goes along with an eighteen-day-old on her face, very, very happy at his suggestion. She strokes Anna's fine curly brown hair. "She's going to want some supper shortly, but I'll take you up on that after."

Jimmy's getting Molly out of her coat, so Gibbs says the next bit loud enough for him to hear, "That offer's open for you, too. The three of us are more than ready to take care of little girls for you."

Jimmy smiles, too. "Thank you. Someone's," he looks at Molly, "been really excited today, so down time would be a very good thing."

"Good. Get a nap. Especially before everyone gets here. The soundproofing is good, but not great."

"Right now, the world could be ending down here, and as long as it doesn't involve a newborn crying, I'll sleep through it," Breena says.

Gibbs nods, he remembers when Shannon was there, she could have slept through a jack hammer, but the tiniest squeak out of Kelly got her up. "You want anything? Drink? Food?"

"Just want to sit down for a bit."

Gibbs ushers her to the best spot on the sofa, next to the fire, warm but not overly toasty, and makes sure she's got some water and sugar cookies (Wendy's addition to the menu) nearby, anyway. Then he shows Jimmy up to his room, and shuts the door behind him, fairly certain Jimmy's going to be asleep before he hits the sheets.

Wendy's talking with Breena, who's nursing Anna, when the DiNozzo branch of the family shows up. Tony, Ziva, Senior, Delphine.

They're also laden with food and drink. Senior's snickerdoodles. Tony's mulled cider and spiced wine. Ziva's latkes. And Delpine adds a chestnut-stuffed goose to the mix.

There are congratulations on the new baby, chatting and catching up with Wendy and Breena (at least until Anna finished up her sixth meal of the day, and Ziva took over on baby wrangling so Breena could also grab a nap).

As Breena heads up the stairs, looking wilted from tiredness, Wendy says to Ziva, who has the burp rag over her shoulder, gently patting Anna's back. "I love babies, but I don't miss those days at all."

"It is not so bad."

Wendy smiles; she knows what Ziva's not saying with that answer. That's a woman jonesing for her own little one. "No, it's not." She strokes Anna's cheek, marveling in how soft she is. "Especially when you think of what you get out of it."

Ziva nods, patting gently.

Once they had gotten the food down, and he'd said hello to the ladies, Senior's nose started quivering at the smell coming from the kitchen, and he knew he had to head in there and see what was on the stove.

Fornell browning up his own part of the feast made Senior smile, and suddenly he and Fornell were reminiscing on what New York Italian-American Catholic Christmas looked and smelled like. (Promises of Nana DiNozzo's baccala pasta were made for next year. Fornell's looking pretty eager for that.)

As that's wrapping up, Senior looks out the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room, seeing Ziva patting Anna, walking her around, chin resting on the top of Anna's head.

He grins. Fornell looks over and sees it, too.

"Grandbaby soon?"

"Can't imagine it'll be more than another year, two tops."

"Looking forward to it?" Fornell's hit the point where he enjoys his friend's grandkids, and can imagine liking being a grandfather, but in that he's got a seventeen-year-old daughter, he's also terrified of being one anytime soon.

"Yeah. I screwed up a lot at being a Dad, but I am going to be a hell of a Papa."

Fornell nods at that. Then he remembers something. "Hard to do when you're never in town."

Senior flashes his patented smile. "Got something in the works on that."

From there, the house continues to fill. McGees, Vances, Dragas, and Slaters round out the crowd. LJ wanders in with the Franks girls. Diane had Emily for Christmas Eve and the morning, and when Gibbs heard they were planning on switching her over to Fornell's that night, he invited her to join in, too. Ducky and Penny finally made it, thus finishing up the guest list.

The house is packed. People are talking and laughing. Little kids (Molly and Kevin) chasing each other around between the adults. Older kids (Emily, Amira, Jared, and Kayla) hanging out on the steps, eating, talking to each other and texting their buddies. Food covers practically every horizontal surface, and rich, holiday smells fill the air.

A bit later, Tim, feeling cocky and maybe a tad on the giddy side, gets Tony alone and quietly says, "Just, you know, for your post-baby research, Christmas more than made up for a lackluster birthday." Then he flashes his widest, most shit-eating grin at Tony, who elbows him (in a friendly way) in the ribs and laughs with him.

"So, you're saying Mrs. Claus had something nice for you?"

"Oh yeah," Tim says, nodding smugly.

"All stockings were well-stuffed?"

"Well-stuffed. There was a great outpouring of holiday cheer."

They both snerk and giggle at that. Tony gives him a quick back-handed slap to the shoulder. "That's the dirtiest thing you've ever said, isn't it?"

Tim shakes his head. "Not by a mile. Not by ten of them. And certainly not in the last twenty-four hours."

Tony laughs at that, too. Ziva joins them a second later. "Do I want to know?"

Tim shakes his head. "You really don't. It'll drop your opinion of both of our maturity by about thirty points."

"Then I will not ask."

Gibbs is sitting on the sofa, he's got Molly on one knee, holding her hands and bouncing her up and down. Kevin's sitting next to them, patiently waiting for his turn to play horsey on Gibbs. (Gibbs has explained that in a few months, maybe when they all get together for Easter, both of them can go at the same time, but right now only one knee is in play.)

Diane sits next to him. "Looks like all three of you are having fun."

He nods. "How about you?"

She surveys the party. "Yeah. Way better than home alone." She looks Draga up and down. "What's the story on him?"

"Young enough to be your son."

She shrugs. "He's too old for my daughter, so that means he's in play."

Gibbs laughs at that, shaking his head. But, he also knows that Delphine has to be at least twenty years younger than Senior, and no one's said a word to him about it. (Granted, at least twenty years younger than Senior puts her in her mid-to-late-fifties.)

"In the middle of a nasty custody fight for this little guy," he says as Kevin hops on and Molly slips off, heading over to go see if Uncle Tim will give her any treats.

"I know a good divorce lawyer."

"Never married his mom."

"Don't think that matters if you've got someone who's good at what he does."

Gibbs remembers the barracuda Diane has on speed dial. Be nice to see that man do someone he likes a good turn. "Then give him your guy's card. He could certainly use the help."

She starts to stand up and he says to her, quietly, "Go easy on him."

"I'm just going to say 'Hi.'"

Diane nods, smiles at Gibbs, from the looks of it enjoying him in his Pop mode quite a bit, and then heads off to have a chat with Draga. Gibbs quietly hopes that he's not setting up the fourth Ex-Mr. Diane.

At slightly more than six months old, Kelly McGee has mastered grabbing things, chewing on them, and sitting up on her own.

She has perfect posture, back straight, head high, no shoulder slump in sight. (Just another example of doing her Pop proud. She'll look really awesome in her 'Future Marine' onesies that were part of her Christmas presents.)

Kelly's also sitting on the floor, between her Aunt Sarah's legs, knocking over the blocks she keeps stacking up for her, as she talks with Penny.

"Can't believe how big she is," Sarah says about her niece.

Jimmy's on the sofa with Anna, which puts Kelly's bigness into perspective. About three weeks ago, Kelly was the tiny baby, now she looks huge.

"Don't they start crawling soon?" she asks her grandmother.

Penny laughs and shakes her head. "I've heard of babies that do that, but none of you did. You, Tim, your dad and uncles all stayed firmly on your bottoms until you were about fifteen months old, and then in less than two months you all went from not moving at all to walking."

Abby kneels down and kisses Penny's cheek. "Hi. Didn't see you get in. So, you're saying I probably don't have to worry about her ripping up my house for nine or so more months?"

"If she takes after our side of the family, yes."

"You okay?" Tim asks. Gibbs has a… it's not sad precisely, but there's more melancholy than usual in his face. It's very much not a party look. It's much more 'a party is swirling around me, but I'm not really in it' look.

"Thinking about dads."

Tim nods at that. "Feels weird not to have Jack here." And, even with the house loud and bustling with people, it does feel weird not to have him here.

Gibbs looks around, as if he expects to see Jackson leaning by the fireplace, eggnog in hand, talking to Ducky and Senior. "Yeah, that, too."


"My dad, your dad, the dads we became. Jimmy. Tobias. The dad Tony's gonna be. Hell, even Ed over there." Inviting the Slaters had been something of a perplexing moment. Over the last year, it's been becoming more and more obvious that these people are… well… family. Maybe not the same close, loving, respectful ties the rest of them have, but… Okay, if Draga and Vance and Senior are all here, then the people who have gone out of their way to make his girls feel welcome in their home have to be here, too.

(Or, as Gibbs put it in his own mind, the woman who threw that christening party for his granddaughter had an open invitation to everything that happens at his home, and if she drags her husband along, then she drags him along.)


"Yeah. Thinking about all of it."

"Any conclusions?"

"Nah." Gibbs shakes his head. "Don't think this is the sort of thing you ever get to conclusions about…" He takes Kelly from Tim. "But I'm glad you're my granddaughter's father."

Delphine's new diamond ring isn't subtle, at all. The damn thing is about the size of the iceberg that took out the Titanic. Obviously, DiNozzo Sr. is back in flush territory.

Tony's comment to Tim about his dad having ideas as to what constituted a proper engagement ring is becoming very concrete in Tim's mind. And apparently those ideas center around making sure your fiancée has a team of servants to lug her hand around because otherwise she'll develop massive shoulder and wrist strain from trying to move it.

Okay, it's not that big, but he's out carat-ed Abby, Ziva, and Breena combined.

So, in that Delpine is lugging around her own brand new mini-iceberg, there is basically no surprise when Senior announces that come early summer he and Delphine will be getting married.

There is, however, surprise when he says they are going to be moving to DC, as well. Tony does a very good job of not choking on his drink at that. Though the 'Oh God,' look on his face is awfully clear. But Senior sweeps over, all smiles and hugs, and Tony's hugging back, looking over Senior's shoulder with a 'what on Earth did I do to deserve this' expression aimed at Gibbs.

Gibbs grins back at him. Then he heads over and hugs them both, which shocks the hell out of all three of them.

"October 1st." Fornell's talking with Senior and Ducky, answering the question of when he and Wendy are getting married. "How about you, Ducky? You going to make an honest woman out of Penny?" Fornell asks.

The look on Ducky's face could best be described as, you are insanely lucky that you're in the middle of a loud and crowded party and Penny is busy talking to Tim and Sarah and did not hear you say that. "Penny's value as a woman it utterly independent of any action of mine."

"Come on, you know what he means," DiNozzo Sr. adds.

"Yes, I do. However, I have never been fond of that phrase."

"Fine. Are you going to join us in the no-longer-bachelors club?"

"If you think I'm still a bachelor, you've sorely misjudged the situation," Ducky says dryly with a hint of smile. The other two grin at him. "I think it is safe to say that our somewhat unconventional arrangement is working just fine, and as such, we are unlikely to change it."

Senior doesn't look like he buys that. "Are you telling me she doesn't want to get married or you don't?"

"I don't see why it matters much one way or another. There is nothing a marriage could offer us that we do not already have, and there is much it would complicate."

Ed had drifted over a few sentences before and is listening intently, then adds, "As a wise man once said in my hearing, the purpose of a wedding is not just to promise your life to your beloved, it is to do it publically and show the rest of the world that you intend to do it for the rest of your days."

Ducky's honestly stunned to see that Ed remembers him saying that from Jimmy and Breena's wedding celebration. He didn't think Ed had been paying attention to much of anything that anyone was saying during the ceremony.

"I'll admit I don't think it matters much if you make it legal or not. I've dealt with and helped deal with more than enough estates to understand what you mean by complicated, but I've never yet met a woman, radical feminist or no, who didn't like having her man stand up and tell everyone who has ever mattered to him that he loves her and intends to spend the rest of his days with her."

And, as he thought about it, Ducky had to admit that Ed had an awfully good point.

Ducky gets a moment alone with Gibbs later that night and says, quietly, "I'm not sure, but I think Jeannie disposed of Ed and found a doppelganger to replace him."

"He has been on really good behavior tonight, hasn't he?"

Ducky nods, slowly, watching Ed chat with Senior. (It's not a surprise to see those two get along.)

"Is she down?" Abby asks Tim. He's leaning against the wall, door to Gibbs' room two feet away, doing his usual put the baby down, lurk around for five minutes, make sure she's really asleep before heading off routine. (Right now there's Breena, Anna, and Kelly all sacked out on Gibbs' bed. Though Breena had stirred a bit when he put Kelly down, so she might decide to join the party in a few minutes.)

He nods. "Think so."

She presses up tight against him. "Good." She's rubbing against him in a very deliberate way while kissing him, hand snaking up the inside of his leg, cupping his very naked balls gently. "Can't get the fact that you're completely bare under there out of my mind."

He's grinning at her, kissing back, enjoying, very much, what her hand is doing under his kilt. "Looking forward to getting home?"

"Oh yeah. You know what else I'm thinking?" Big, huge grin on her face.


She kisses his bottom lip, sucking gently, and then gives his dick a firm squeeze before letting go of him. "There's a bathroom ten feet from here."

His eyes go wide. That's nothing they've ever done before. Yeah, sure quickies at weddings, great fun, loves them, but, God, here? Gibbs' house? Sure, he's thought about it, but… here? Really?

She's backing him toward the bathroom as he says, "We get caught; I'm blaming you."

"Who's going to catch us?"

"If the past is anything to go by, Jimmy or Breena."

She laughs at that, gives him a gentle shove into the bathroom, and locks the door behind her.

It's a fairly standard hall bathroom. Eight by tenish. Tub taking up most of one wall, sink and toilet on the other. There's not exactly what he'd call a great place for this. The door's got a mirror on the back of it, and the bit of wall that's open has a towel rack, so they're out for leaning against.

There is, lucky for them, one of those ventilation fans, which Abby switches on, so the noise aspect is taken care of. And she's dropping her skirt and panties on the floor, so… Yeah, quickie at Gibbs' house, why the fuck not?

She's leaning against the sink, one hand on each side of it, facing it, looking over her shoulder, wiggling her ass at him, and the visual of her in that red sweater, white button down, top button undone, naked butt, plaid thigh-high socks and high-heeled mary janes, works wonders for getting him in the right mindset for this.

About thirty seconds later, his kilt hit the floor, too.

And like all proper quickies, fast was the name of the game, so about four minutes later, they're panting quietly, her fingers twined between his, while he gently kisses her neck, feeling her thighs still quivering against his.

"You good?" she asks.

"Oh yeah. Anymore good and I'd be dead." He nods, dragging his teeth lightly over the nape of her neck. "You?"

"Yep." She stretches and reaches, and has just enough arm length to grab the tissues on the back of the toilet. She slips off of him and they begin to clean up. "Still looking forward to getting Kelly to sleep tonight."

He gently kisses her breast through the sweater. "Insatiable wench!" He grins. "I'm not a machine you know."

"Oh… all fucked out all ready?" She mock pouts at him while lightly stroking his softening dick. "Maybe I'll have to use one of the machines, and you can just watch."

He groans at that mental image. "You really are trying to kill me, aren't you?"

"Yeah, but it'll be a great way to go."

"Amen." He fastens the kilt and tucks his shirt back in. Then he makes sure she's watching him, and licks his left index and middle finger clean, and winks, before turning to wash his hands. Once he's got them dried off, she's almost all dressed again, so he cups her face in his hands, and gently, mouth open, lips wet, kisses her slow and deliberate. "And yes, I am looking forward to getting Kelly to bed, and showing you exactly what I'll be" he guides her hand to his now completely soft dick, and she gives him one last gentle squeeze, "up for."

She smiles very prettily at him, kissing him again. "Good. Don't know what's up, but I'm just craving you constantly today." She turns back to the mirror, makes sure that she's all put together, and then stops suddenly.


A slow smile spreads across her face. "I think I know what's up."

His eyebrows rise in silent question.

She turns to face him. "I'm only nursing twice a day now. And the last time I felt like, this we made Kelly. I bet I'm ovulating again."

He pulls her flush and kisses her hard. They aren't charting and obviously don't know for sure, but just the idea of it makes him so very happy.

Senior and Ed had been talking. They'd been talking a lot. Gibbs has no idea what, beyond a general love of wealth and the appreciation of expensive things, that they might have in common, but they've been getting on like a house on fire.

So, he has to admit there was a sense of trepidation when both of them, grinning, stalk over to him.

Senior drapes an arm over his shoulders and says, "Junior tells me you've volunteered the crew for helping to get whatever house he finds fixed up."

And Gibbs nods, not sure where this is going.

"Count us in," Ed says.

Gibbs eyes go wide. First off, he had no expectation at all of Ed doing anything like that, but he's seen Breena handle tools so he knows he's handy. Second of all, what the hell would Senior even be useful for on something like this? Finding the house… Okay, he'd probably be good at that. But after that? It's one thing to teach Jimmy and Tony and Tim on this stuff, but Senior's eighty-two.

Senior sees the look in Gibbs' eyes. "He's never told you, has he?"

Gibbs shakes his head.

"By the time Tony was born, we were well off. But that wasn't true when I was born. My dad got here in 1922 with the clothes on his back, the bag under his arm, and about ten words of English. He worked construction. Started on high rises. Easy to get work if you knew how to weld in those days. The Depression hit, and he scaled down. Jack of all trades, carpentry, drywall, cement, brickwork, welding, plumbing. By the time I was big enough to be useful, he had me helping him. From six until I graduated high school I worked nights, weekends, holidays, and early mornings with him. If it broke anywhere in the south Bronx, the DiNozzos fixed it.

"By then he had some money, and I had some ideas, so we started buying the houses, fixing them up, renting some, selling others, demolishing some when the land was worth more than the thing on the land. By the time we made our first half million, we hung up the hammers and nails and had moved entirely into real estate, and from there I moved to stocks, bonds, and a bunch of other things you'd probably find boring. Point is, I still know what to do with the business end of a hammer or wrench."

Gibbs would have to admit that if you asked him who he'd want to work on a massive project like this, Ed and Senior would not be on his list of guys to go to, but… and it's a big but, if Senior actually does know his ass from his elbow when it comes to construction, this goes from a mammoth project to a plain huge one, and if he can get a few hours a week out of Ed, that'd help. At the very least, that's two more sets of eyes who know how to do this to keep watch on Tim and Jimmy and Tony, and that might be worth its weight in gold in time and money saved by not having to re-do things over and over.

Gibbs shakes his head, sips his coffee, and says, "This'll be an adventure."

Senior grins at him.

"So, it's your last week?"

Tim nods to Fornell. "Friday's the last day on the team."

Diane heads over and says, "Hey, it's about time for me to head off. I've got her stuff in your trunk and ready to go."

"Okay, thanks. I'll drop her off Friday night?"

"Yep…" Which is about when she noticed that Tim was the guy he was talking to. Her eyes travelled from his leather jacket, to the kilt, to the dragon tattoo, and back to his eyes. "Wow!" She looks him over again. "Damn. You do have a hidden side. Nice skirt, Chucky."

He winks at her. "Yours is pretty, too, Love."

"Uh. Thanks…" Between the wink and him coming up with his own nickname for her, she's almost off-footed. She wasn't expecting that, and for that matter Tim wasn't expecting to say it, either. Definitely feeling pretty cocky today. She's looking at the dragon. "I didn't know you had a tattoo.

"I have four of them."

"Huh. If I had known that, I would have tried harder."

Tim shakes his head. "Wouldn't have worked." He touches his wedding ring.

She smiles. "I know. Knew then, too. Guy in love always has a certain look to him. Still, I do love a guy with a badge and ink. Toby ever show you his?"

Tobias is glaring at her, and Tim's staring at him with interest.

"No. Toby's never felt any need to share that."

She grins, kisses Fornell on the cheek, and says to Tim. "It's really cute. Merry Christmas, you two. See you Friday, Tobias."

Tim looks at Tobias, one eyebrow high. Tobias shakes his head, so Tim doesn't ask.

Five minutes later though, when he gets a minute with Gibbs, he asks, "Diane says Fornell's got a tattoo and it's cute."

Gibbs laughs.

"So you know what it is?"

Gibbs nods again.

"Gonna tell?"

Gibbs shakes his head.

"Where is it?"

Gibbs shakes his head at that, too.

Fornell's looking at him from across the room, bit worried, but Gibbs shakes his head, some secrets, like how Fornell ended up with a two inch-long bumble-bee (Wasp! It's supposed to be a wasp! Damn it, he asked for a wasp. His unit was the 99th Airborne. They were the wasps! It was not his fault that the guy who translated his English into Vietnamese didn't know a wasp from a bee, or for that matter that he was drunk enough he didn't notice it was wrong until the next morning.) on his shoulder, don't need to be shared with the kids.

Jimmy sidles over to Gibbs. "So, you thinking now's a good time for an application of the Fear Of Dad?"

Gibbs watches Kevin Draga chasing Molly Palmer around the sofa. "You can probably let it slide for now. Next year…"

"Yeah," Jimmy shakes his head, "because they all turn into little bastards as soon as they're five, right?"

Gibbs nods solemnly. "Only one thing a five-year-old wants, and it's your job to make sure he doesn't get it from your little girl."

It's probably due to the lack of sleep but Jimmy finds that utterly hysterical and just about strains his back he's laughing so hard at it. After a minute, he pulls himself together, wipes the tears of laughter from his eyes, and gives Gibbs a hug. "We've got to get going soon. Breena's pooped."

"Yep." You are, too is clear on Gibbs face as he pulls back, and Jimmy nods a bit, acknowledging it. "Want me to come over tomorrow? Get you two some more down time."

"Sure. We could both use more sleep. Nap I got here was my best Christmas present, yet."

"Let's see about getting you a few more."

Jimmy kisses Abby goodbye, pulls back for a second, looks at her, thinking, then hugs her again, inhaling. Then he looks at her, eyebrow high, and she smiles widely at him, and he glances at Tim and smirks, shaking his head.

As he's hugging Tim goodbye he says, quietly, "Here?"

Tim shrugs.

Jimmy chuckles, shaking his head again. "At least this one actually smells pretty good on her."

And Tim laughs.

They didn't stay all that much later than Jimmy and Breena did. Tim feels a bit bad about that. Previous years they stayed late, helped Gibbs clean up. And sure, he's looking forward to what's waiting at home, but still, he doesn't know if anyone else will do that if they don't. No one did before, and he doesn't want Gibbs left with a mountain of dishes on his own.

But there's a fairly brief, golden travel window when Kelly's up but sleepy, where she'll do her last bottle of the night, and then fall asleep in the car and they'll be able to take her up, put her in her crib, and she'll sleep through the night.

So, it's a bit after nine, and they're getting all of their gear packed up and in the car. The idea being that as soon as she's done her bottle and burped, they'll be on the way.

And with many hugs and Merry Christmasses, they were.

There are things that Tim assumes are true for just about all guys. How sex works (in general) is one of those things. Namely, if you're having sex, you want to get off, and, honestly, all the other stuff is usually window dressing. (Nice window dressing, good window dressing, and sometimes all you get is the window dressing so you may as well appreciate it... But… look, you didn't come see the room to marvel over the curtains…)

Lingering is fun and good and often produces some splendid results, but when it all boils down there's this goal, orgasm, and getting there, sooner or later, is the point.

But, in that he's done it three times in the last twenty-four hours, and once in the last three hours, he's not exactly feeling as goal-oriented as usual. (Yes, there will be an orgasm, but he's not feeling any sense of urgency.)

It's not fucked-out, which is more of a 'I'll just lay here and sleep' sort of feeling. That, 'I don't care if the house is on fire, I'm not moving,' sensation.

Likewise there's sated. Fucked long and well enough that you just don't want to do it anymore. He's very much not sated; he definitely wants more sex.

He tends to think of this as Zen Sex. There's a sort of calm hyperawareness that goes with this sort of sex. It's like, because he's not focused on getting off (or not getting off) that everything else comes to the forefront.

So, he's much more aware of everything: the feel of Abby's fingers between his, the tension in them, and the way she grips just a hair tighter as he presses in, or the sensation of her hair brushing his cheek as he kisses her throat, or the slide of her heel on the back of his thigh. Little things that he tends to miss when his world narrows down to his dick.

He's watching more intently than normal, all of his usual favorite sights are burning into his mind, breasts, buttocks, pussy, his dick slipping into her pussy or mouth, but not just those. He's watching the way her eyelids droop as she gets close, and the line of her collar bone rising and falling with each hard breath. He's watching the shine of their saliva on her lip, and the tension in her adductor muscles as she rides him.

He's much more present in the moments of stillness. Often stillness is about backing off, postponing climax a bit longer, about not thinking about sex, about finding the space to inch back from the edge. But not tonight. There is stillness here, more so than usual, both of them enjoying pulse and breath and the exquisite fullness of flesh on flesh, quivering in anticipation of the next stroke, next move, drawing out that desire-filled waiting.

They're in a resting stroke, slow, easy, on their sides, facing each other. His one arm is under her neck, hand in her hair, other arm resting on her side, hand cupping the underside of her thigh. She's stroking his cheek and ear, leg hooked over his hip. They're kissing, slow and deep, soft breaths morphing into gentle love words.

It's unraveling sex, one long, soft stroke after another, pulling his layers apart, dragging attention away from the rest of the world, away from life outside this warm circle of touch, taste, sight, sound and scent, stripping him bare of anything that isn't his essential Tim, leaving him focused entirely in this physical, spiritual, worshipful meditation of her body on his.

And that's where Christmas ends, much like it began, in bed, wrapped in each other, enjoying the almost infinite varieties of the gift of pleasure and love.


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