I Never Believed in Santa
Tony put his backpack down and looked over at the Christmas tree in the corner. Then he looked around at the empty desks.
Christmas Day again.
His father had stopped in a few days ago, promising as usual to spend the holidays with him, then 'out of the blue' a 'huge' deal had come up, and he was off to Bali with Jocelyn. Saying he would call him soon.
Tony had smiled at that, he had already swapped shifts with another Agent who had been told to work today, he had a three-year-old daughter and he really wanted to spend Christmas with her.
"Tony, I know it's nearly Christmas and you probably have plans, but I was wondering if you'd trade the Christmas shift for New Years' with me." Rick Johnson asked late one evening. "Sam Mitchell said you were the guy to ask." He explained. "My wife's a Marine and she's got leave over Christmas and we want to make it special for Katie our three year old."
"Sure, no problem. I'm not doing anything special over Christmas anyway." Tony replied with a smile. "Now New Years'….All those hot babes… Sure" He grinned.
Gibbs coming back from the head stopped behind the partition listening to the conversation.
"Okay, Thanks man, I'm sure Santa will bring ya something nice," Rick said laughing as he walked away.
Tony looked at the man's retreating back and sighed.
"I never believed in Santa Claus. If he existed I'd get a family Christmas," He said to himself.
So, there he was on Christmas day, sitting at his desk, his co-workers were with their family and friends, which was how it should be, he thought and he was alone, which is also how it should be.
It was his tradition.
He reached over and pulled a stack of cold cases out of the box he had stashed behind his desk the day before and started working on them.
"Spending Christmas with your father eh?" A voice said from beside his desk.
He jumped and dropped files everywhere.
"B…Boss!" he yelped. "You made me jump. Dad had a last minute deal he couldn't get out of." Tony explained. "I thought you were spending Christmas with Jackson?" he said.
"Never said that." Gibbs replied, "Dad's gone with Leroy to Florida for Christmas."
"But you said…?" Tony started and got cut off.
"I said, DiNozzo. That I was spending Christmas with family….So get ya coat." He ordered.
Tony stood up and blindly grabbed his coat. "Family?" He said stunned.
"Yeah, Apparently Santa heard your wish for a family Christmas." Gibbs smirked.
"Yeah. Santa. Right." Tony said sarcastically, but still dutifully following his boss to the car.
They pulled up outside of Gibbs' house and the curtains were closed and the lights were on. Tony pulled his gun as they walked up onto the porch.
"Put that away, DiNozzo." Gibbs sighed he rolled his eyes as he grabbed a bag from his car.
"Boss? There are people in your house." Tony said confused.
Gibbs rolled his eyes, "Ya think!" He said and slipped past Tony into the house.
Tony stood in the doorway blinking. Abby and Tim were in a corner playing a role playing game on Tim's laptop and laughing as Abby put a Christmas cookie in Tim's mouth. Ziva and Ducky were playing chess and smiling, there was a large Christmas tree that was brightly decorated and a roaring fire in the fireplace. Jimmy and Breena where placing the last of the presents under the tree.
Abby saw him first. "Tony! I thought you weren't coming?" She smiled and enveloped him in a hug. "Merry Christmas." She said and kissed his cheek.
"I….What are you all doing here?" He asked.
"It is a tradition is it not, spending Christmas with family?" Ziva asked.
"Good, Anthony, you're here, now we can have Dinner and then open the presents." Ducky said.
"Coat DiNozzo." Gibbs said taking his coat and hanging it up. "Now all the family's here, let's eat."
Still stunned Tony followed everyone else.
For a second he was sure he heard bells and laughter coming down the chimney.
He shook his head and went, smiling, to spend Christmas with his family.