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by: Hilde (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2066
Warning(s): Character Death
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ducky Mallard, Ziva David, Timothy McGee, Leon Vance
Summary: ZIva gets a special assignment from Director Vance.
Author Notes: CrackFic! It might not be your thing.... Written in response to Anna's Christmas challenge on the chat list. A warm hug and thanks to Xanthe for the beta :)
Tony could barely contain his smile as he walked back down to the squad room. This was above and beyond any payback he could have dreamed up. Ziva was still muttering behind him and he smirked, thinking about the scene that had played out in the director’s office.
“David, I need your considerable training and experience for this assignment.” Vance was standing by the window, looking out on the clear winter afternoon.
“I will consider it a personal favor to me should you accept it.” Vance continued. “Agents McGee and DiNozzo will assist you.”
“Should David be in charge of the operation, Director, after all it’s only been…” Tony began, feeling annoyed that once again, Ziva was singled out.
Shooting him a glare Gibbs would have been proud of; Ziva opened her mouth to protest when she was cut off by Vance.
“This is an operation that requires qualifications you don’t possess, DiNozzo.”
Tony said nothing, looking straight ahead. He knew he wasn’t one of Vance’s favorites, but the director rarely put him down in front of the others.
“Of course I will accept, Director Vance. I’m glad my considerable training will be put to use, I’m sure my skills are better utilized here, than stuck in archives.”
“You’re accepting even before you know what you’re required to do?” Vance sounded surprised, but something about him caught Tony’s attention. His trademark toothpick was doing a jig in the corner of his mouth, a clear sign something was up.
“I trust your judgment, Sir. As a Mossad operative, there are not many things I am not trained to do.”
“Fine. The Norwegian ambassador is hosting his annual Christmas party at his residence. A delegation from the Norwegian government is in town, including the Prime Minister, Mr Stoltenberg, a close personal friend of Secretary Wainright” He paused briefly, tapping his fingers on the file in front of him.
“You will be undercover as the evening’s entertainment. I understand that you can sing?”
“What…uh, yes, but…” Ziva stuttered.
“DiNozzo and McGee will be part of the team guarding SecNav for the duration of the party. We’ve intercepted emails outlining a possible attack from extremist anti-whaling groups and I want my best team on the case.” He got up again and stood with his back to the two agents.
“Have you ever ridden, David? Worked with horses?”
“Yes, but I do not understand…”
“Then this won’t be that different. The ambassador wants to grant his son’s dearest wish, to meet Santa, his elves and of course, ride in his sleigh. The National Zoo has lent him four of their reindeers for the evening. Apparently, the Norwegian embassy was very helpful last year securing the zoo a polar bear for their new Arctic wing, and the zoo was more than happy to repay the favor.”
“You want me to ride on a reindeer?” Ziva shrieked, loosing her cool for the first time that day. Well, there was the incident with the stapler, but that didn’t really count, Tony thought wryly, absently rubbing his still sore hand from where she’d whacked him, intercepting his not so stealth attempt at stealing her chocolate bar.
“Of course not,” Vance scoffed, pulling out a bag from under his desk. “You will be singing Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer along with a couple of other elves, and the embassy has requested that you all hold a reindeer each. Apparently, little Norvald is recovering from a serious illness,” he added, winking at Tony when Ziva hung her head in defeat.
“Wear this,” Vance said, handing Ziva a big blue bag, with Costumes Creative emblazoned in gold on the side.
Ziva stared at him for a full minute before opening the bag, hauling out a red mini dress, hemmed with green faux fur and a row of tiny silver bells running down each sleeve.
“You’ll look lovely, Ziva,” Tony quipped, unable to hold back his laughter anymore. A stern look from Vance silenced him as the director handed them both a file, with a memory stick attached to the front.
“This is the information pertaining to the threats. Familiarize yourselves with the layout of the embassy. McGee will act as a liaison officer, coordinating the different agents/agencies involved. Questions?”
Ziva opened and closed her mouth a few times, but not a sound escaped her mouth. Tony just shook his head and headed out the door, a slightly dazed Ziva trailing behind.
“David, report,” Gibbs barked when they reached the squad room.
Ziva plugged the memory stick into her computer and clicked to bring up the contents on the plasma screen.
“We’re working undercover at the Norwegian embassy, providing protection for SecNav when he attends a Christmas party tomorrow evening. McGee will act as a liaison officer and he and Tony will work closely with the other agencies involved. The Norwegian Prime Minister is attending, and there have been reports of threats from extremist anti-whaling groups.”
“I understood Vance had a special mission for you.”
Tony glanced at Gibbs, wondering if he knew what the Director was up to. Gibbs’ face was unreadable, but he’d get it out of him later tonight, Tony thought, wondering briefly if this could be construed as sexual harassment.
A slap to the back of his head brought him out of his reveries. Gibbs was standing close, too close.
“Sorry, Boss,” he said, looking like he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. A small smile lurking around Gibbs’ mouth told him the older man was not fooled.
“Focus, DiNozzo,” he barked, turning his attention back to Ziva. The smirk on Ziva’s face vanished as Gibbs asked again about her role in the operation.
“I…Vance asked me to perform during the party.”
“Perform?” Gibbs cocked an eyebrow.
“Sing.” She put her chin up, refusing to look at anyone. “Director Vance has asked me to go undercover.”
“As a singer?” Gibbs asked, seemingly not satisfied with her explanation. Second ‘b’ for bastard, Tony reminded himself.
“Well…an elf. I’ll be one of Santa’s elves.”
Tony kept his eyes glued to the screen. He could hear McGee coughing, probably trying to hide his laughter.
“Get to work,” Gibbs ordered. “McGee, contact the embassy. Familiarize yourselves with the layout of the building and the grounds before we head over there.”
Tony shifted his weight from one foot to the other, trying to keep warm. “God damn crazy Vikings”, he muttered, as he watched the stage in front of him. The temperature was barely above freezing, but Ambassador Leikvoll had insisted on having the concert outside. Apparently, it was a tradition from his native city, Bergen.
He glanced at his watch. Ziva was scheduled to go on stage in ten minutes. She was standing to the left of the stage, wearing a full length wool coat, trying to stay warm before her performance. Three blonde girls were running around her, the other little elves he presumed. If looks could kill, the noisy girls would be a small pile of ashes on the frozen ground, Tony thought.
Tony looked around. The garden behind the embassy was transformed into a winter wonderland. There were twinkling lights everywhere, and a few inches of snow on the ground. The clear starry night added to the Christmassy atmosphere.
“DiNozzo, report.” Gibbs’ voice boomed in his ear, and he adjusted the earpiece before answering.
“DiNozzo!” Gibbs yelled, clearly not pleased about being kept waiting.
“Sorry, Boss. I’ve just walked the perimeter, all’s quiet, no sign of any intruders.”
Ziva slipped off her coat, and walked onto the stage, the tiny bells on her sleeves jingling each step she took. Her entire role in the assignment had her fuming. She was a Mossad trained officer, for crying out loud! She was not supposed to be standing here, decked out in a mini skirt, blonde wig and high heeled boots, wondering briefly what kind of help Santa really wanted from someone dressed like this. Taking a deep breath, she focused on the task at hand. The little blonde brats had calmed down, and assumed their place on stage. Four minders from the zoo were standing by, each holding a reindeer.
She let her hand caress her gun; if the four Rudolphs didn’t do as they were told, she’d just shoot the damn things! The thought put a smile on her face and she felt much calmer. She would do this, Ziva-style.
Tony scanned the garden as the ambassador’s son and his friends gathered around the stage. SecNav was standing by the French doors leading back into the embassy. Ziva and the other elves were clutching the reins of four bored looking reindeer.
The Ambassador went on stage, welcoming everyone to the party and introducing Ziva and the band.
“Let’s give a big round of applause to Inga and the Elves, who will be performing for us tonight.”
“Inga?!” Tony chocked on his coffee.
The audience cheered and applauded the band as they started playing. He had to admit, Ziva had a good voice. She didn’t exactly put her heart and soul into the performance, but she flirted with the male audience and her sultry voice surprised him.
A shadow moving behind the trees surrounding the garden caught his attention.
“Boss, south entrance, possible breach.”
“McGee, DiNozzo, check it out.” Tony saw two agents staying close to the SecNav, moving him back inside the house. Before Tony had time to react, a couple of dozen activists burst into the garden, firing paintball guns, splashes of red paint suddenly covering the white snow and slamming into the stage, hitting Ziva’s reindeer.
Panic stricken, the animals tried to escape, one bull jumping off the stage, dragging Ziva with him. The large bull tried to shake her off him, only to entangle the reins further in his antlers. The others followed close behind, hooves thundering across the lawn before they were disappearing into the woods behind the embassy.
Guards were swarming the grounds, quickly rounding up the activists. Tony and McGee headed into the woods, in search of Ziva. Their flashlights shone upon pools of red and the occasional silver bell. “This reminds me of Hansel and Gretel,” Tony muttered as they followed the track.
A crumpled heap caught his attention. Ziva was lying by a big bush, one foot tangled in the branches. Her skirt was torn off and the blond wig was askew. They could see imprints from hooves on her body and a broken off antler was protruding from her throat.
“Oh, dear. This reminds me of a story I heard visiting my grandparents in Scotland. Did you know there are reindeer in the highlands? There’s a small flock of about 50 living in the Cairngorm region of Scotland.” Ducky and Palmer had arrived on the scene, looking sadly at the body in front of them.
“Ducky, where did you come from?” Tony interrupted, “I wasn’t aware you were part of the operation tonight.”
“Jethro called me earlier - his gut was acting up. Now, getting back to those reindeer,” Ducky continued. A swift slap to the back of Ducky’s head froze them all in shock. Gibbs had appeared by their sides, fuming as he looked at the scene in front of him.
“Get this sorted,” he barked, “I want to get home this side of Christmas.”
“McGee,” Gibbs hissed, “find the bloody reindeer that did this. DiNozzo, get me a goddamn cup of coffee!”
Later that night, curled up in Gibbs’ arms, Tony sighed and glanced at his lover.
“Why do the women on our team have to die such horrible deaths? Kate was shot, Paula was blown up by a bomb, and Jenny was shot, too.”
Tony rested his head on Gibbs’ bare chest, his fingers trailing a pattern on the soft skin. “It’s just so ironic, Jethro,” he muttered. “We haul her out of that desert hell hole, only to have her trampled and mauled by a reindeer a few months later.”
He fell silent for a few minutes, just soaking up the warmth from Jethro’s embrace.
“Let’s find a man for the team this time.”
“Ya, think, DiNozzo?”
MTAC - NCIS Fic