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Kelly's Christmas Surprise

by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 948
Rating: CHILD
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs
Category(ies): General, Holiday
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Gibbs has a special surprise for his little girl, but he's going to test her patience first. Day 3 of the
12 Days of Gibbsmas.

Author Notes: Thanks to Anna for the beta!

Chapters: 1

Twelve Days of Gibbsmas==Day 3

December 25, 1989

“Alex, Shan, get ready. She’s getting up!”

They’d been awake since oh-five-hundred waiting for Kelly. Alex was spending his first Christmas with them, on loan from Annapolis where he was at the Naval Academy. And this was a huge Christmas. Kelly was finally old enough to have some responsibility and Jethro and Shannon had splurged. There were very few presents under the tree and Kelly had been pouting for days now. She had nothing to shake, no boxes to rattle. Even when beloved Uncle Alex had arrived yesterday, he hadn’t brought any presents for her that she could see. And that had put her in a snit she hadn’t yet emerged from.

Beware of redheaded daughters and wives, his father-in-law had warned and Gibbs was only now starting to see what Bill Thomas meant. The father of three girls, Bill had some knowledge to pass onward. And Jethro realized he had really better start listening hard.

All throughout Christmas Eve, even at church and after the pageant where she’d played a camel, her pout had been comical, her sadness overdone, dramatic. She pouted, she sulked, but they all pretended to ignore her mood. Jethro found it a bit amusing. His little girl did wear her emotions on her sleeve. Some day he’d have to change that, before some boy hurt her.

The pounding of feet on the stairs sounded just before her impish little face appeared, her braid mussed and coming undone from sleep, her Barbie pajamas all tangled around her body.

“Santa! Santa came! San…ta?” Kelly skidded to a stop, folding her arms and looking at her parents and uncle mutinously. She stalked over to the tree, looking around it and even peering between the branches. “Where are the presents?”

Gibbs arched an eyebrow. “Shannon, where did the presents go? Did we lose any?”

Shannon made a big event of counting and naming each present under the tree. “Daddy, Daddy, Mommy, Jethro, Shannon, Shannon, Daddy, and four for Uncle Alex. No everything is here.”

“Mommy, Daddy, don’t be mean! I was good. Santa should have come.” Her lower lip started quivering and Jethro stroked a hand through her hair.

“Wash your face and brush your teeth then dress up real warm. Santa delivered your present but it isn’t here.”

“We have to go out find my present?” Her face screwed up in confusion.

“Yup, now get ready.”

“Can I bring Stuffy?” She held up her favorite stuffed turtle, the one Uncle Alex had gotten her as a first day of school present.

“Course you can,” Alex spoke up. “Stuffy will love it.”

“And we’ll take a thermos of hot chocolate too, Kelly. Now go get ready,” Shannon added with a gentle smile. As their daughter disappeared up the stairs, she tugged Alex close and walked them both to Jethro. “I cannot wait to see her face! You have the camera, Alex?”

He waved the camera and nodded. “Thanks for including me in this one.”

“Are you kidding?” Jethro asked, throwing an arm around his brother’s shoulder. “We’re family, Alex. And family sticks together. Who taught her how to ride a two-wheeler this summer?”

“And who let her get sick on cotton candy at Busch Gardens?” Shannon added.

Kelly came bounding down the stairs again, dressed now in jeans and a warm Christmas sweater her grandmother had made her. “Stuffy and I are ready!”

“Well surprise surprise, so are we,” Jethro replied, scooping her up in his arms and tickling her until she squirmed.

Alex covered Kelly’s eyes as they drove to the stables where her new pony awaited her. Cliff had promised to have the pony ready and Jethro quietly slipped out to call him, glad that it was oh eight thirty. Cliff’s grandchildren lived far away and this was going to be a bit of holiday warmth for him as well.

As they pulled in, Kelly sniffed deeply. “It smells all dirty. Where are we? Not the beach. We didn’t drive far enough for the beach. Where….?” Alex led her closer to the form of the small horse while Shannon took the camera and Gibbs came around front.

“You ready, Kelly.”

“Uh huh!” she was trying to pull away from Alex and see on her own timetable.

“Okay, Uncle Alex. On three. One…” Alex winked and smiled. “Two…” Shannon readied the camera. “Three!”

Alex removed his hands from Kelly’s eyes and they all waited, breathless. Kelly just stood there in shock then she stumbled forward one step, looking up and at her parents. “I don’t understand, Daddy.”

“It’s your Christmas present, honey.”

Kelly screwed up her face, freckles blending together. “What is?”

“The pony, sweetheart.”

“The pony?” Her face was starting to brighten, comprehension dawning.

“The pony,” Shannon confirmed, nodding to their daughter encouragingly.

“The whole thing, Daddy?” Jethro nodded and suddenly a whirl of arms and legs was flying at him, knocking him onto the hard-packed ground. “A whole pony just for me? Thank you! Thank you, Daddy! Thank you, Mommy! Thank you, Uncle Alex! Thank you, Santa! Thank you, everyone!”

As Jethro hugged his daughter on that cold day, he wished he could bottle her joy and take it with him when he was deployed. Her love was a pure, solid cornerstone of his life. With a wicked grin, he snagged Shannon’s pant leg, dragging her down. She took Alex with her and soon the four of them were laughing and celebrating Christmas on the frozen ground. And it was one of the most perfect moments of Jethro Gibbs’s life.

Chapters: 1

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