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'Twas the Night
by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 663
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Ziva David
Category(ies): Character Study, Friendship, Holiday
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Gibbs and Ziva are stranded on Christmas Eve in the worst place possible.
Author Notes: Day 11 of The 12 Days of Gibbsmas.
'Twas the Night
Dec 24, 2006
“’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Wal-Mart…” Gibbs began, stifling a sigh. He and Ziva had broken down in Fredericksburg, VA, at least fifty miles from home. It was Christmas Eve and AAA would take a couple of hours.
At least they were a short walk from a Wal-Mart Super Store.
“You must have had plans. You are Catholic, no?” Ziva asked as they sat down at the small McDonald’s and stared at the shoppers running around.
“I am. No plans though. Nothing I couldn’t change.” He thought back on how he’d cancelled, in cryptic phrases, very aware of the fact that Ziva was standing right there. “Not that this is ideal…” He gestured to the people running around.
“No, it doesn’t appear to be so. I find it sad that America is so commercialized.”
“Not just America,” Gibbs shot back. “I’ve been in Europe for a few holidays and it can be the same.” His hands curved around his coffee cup. “Wasn’t like this when I was a kid.”
“No?” Ziva asked curiously. “What was it like, Gibbs? Tell me about your favorite Christmas.”
He sifted through memories and came up with two. “When I was a boy, I found out that my mom was pregnant on Christmas Day.” He smiled in remembrance. “I made the baby a crib and cradle out of Lincoln Logs and a family friend varnished and glued it all together. Alex still has it somewhere.”
“Alex,” Ziva replied, testing the name out. She cocked her head to the side slightly. “Younger brother. Navy?”
“Naval aviator, yes.” Her automatically reached for his wallet and pulled a photo out. It had been laminated to protect it from hard use. There were two people in the photo, the man looking directly at the camera, the little girl looking up at the man with a hero-worshipping expression on her face. He handed the photo to Ziva, who took it gently.
“Are you close?” she asked, her voice soft.
“Yeah. Close as we can be with him career military and my hours at NCIS. Hope he moves here after he has his twenty years in.”
“And that was Kelly?”
He nodded, watching Ziva stroke a fingertip over the picture. “She was beautiful.”
For the first time in months, Gibbs was able to think about his baby girl without getting emotional.
“She was. So was her mother. My other favorite Christmas…” He pulled out another laminated picture and handed it over. “We’d just surprised Kelly with a pony, two years before we lost her.” She handed him the pictures back and he carefully reinserted them into his wallet, fingers trailing over Kelly’s face. Gibbs’ eyes flicked over the crowd and he watched a little redhead running after her parents, who were frantically grabbing things and tossing them in their cart.
“She should be in bed.”
“No…” Gibbs just shook his head. “Someone who reminded me of her for a moment.” He looked down at his coffee, sipping it slowly, trying to get his emotions in order. A change of subject was in order. “Always wanted to spend Christmas in Israel.”
“You still can,” Ziva replied softly. “Bethlehem, Jerusalem. It is very beautiful. Simple, not…commercialism and expensive gifts and…this.” She waved her hand around, gesturing to the shoppers.
Gibbs smiled briefly. “Didn’t expect that it would hold your interest.” He motioned to her Star of David necklace.
“The traditions are hard to escape,” Ziva allowed. “I have cultivated a healthy respect for the rituals of your religion, Gibbs.”
Gibbs’ cell phone rang and he answered it, conferring briefly before he hung up. “Well, then, Ziva. Merry Christmas.”
She smiled, squeezing his fingers. “Merry Christmas to you then, Gibbs. Have the car people arrived?”
He stood, resting a hand on her arm and giving her a gentle squeeze before they walked out together into the cold night.
MTAC - NCIS Fic