The team are 'selling' kisses.
An established relationship story.
Written: December 2008. Word count: 1,350.
"What's Ducky got that I haven't?" DiNozzo moaned, the faintest hint of a whine in his voice.
"Good manners?" Ziva suggested, her tone was her sugary sweet dangerous one.
Jethro turned away to hide a smile. It was true, the queue of ladies willing to pay to receive a Christmas kiss from the eccentric Doctor far surpassed DiNozzo's own impressive line.
He suspected there was more than a grain of truth in Ziva's comment. Ducky's technique was certainly old-fashioned, gentlemanly and, if one ignored the fact that he was gay, and known to be so, romantic. When the woman approached him, Ducky took both of her hands, smiled at her and paid her some compliment that would have been completely genuine. He then solemnly kissed her on each cheek, squeezed her hands again, smiled and let her go.
DiNozzo's technique, on the other hand, was to grab the woman, and give her a big kiss on the mouth, which would almost certainly involve, in a lot of cases, his tongue. He also managed to get the odd squeeze in too.
Nah, Jethro knew which technique he'd prefer. He was only too familiar with Ducky's kisses, except the ones Ducky gave him were usually not on his cheek.
He was pleased to see the lines in front of all the other four kids were pretty equal. Even quiet Palmer seemed to have a lot of ladies, both young and older, wanting to receive a kiss from him. Poor Palmer, he seemed to be the only one who didn't appear to really be enjoying the event; at least he wasn't if the flush of what seemed to be embarrassment was anything to go by.
Abby, the perpetrator of the 'event', had fewer people than Ziva in front of her, but it was only a negligible amount and Abby was clearly unbothered. The 'Christmas Kisses' had been arranged after Abby had arrived at the office with the news that the Sisters had been robbed. They had collected, as they normally did, for the homeless and the children from impoverished families and had, in Jethro's opinion, foolishly thought their cloth would prevent anyone stealing from them. It hadn't.
Thus, Abby had come up with the novel idea of the team selling kisses; and it had gone down well. Jethro had refused to take part himself, instead he had handed over a pretty substantial donation; as had Vance, both from himself and on behalf of NCIS. And Jethro knew his lover's donation had been at least double the amount he'd given. However, Ducky had also declared he wished to take part.
DiNozzo had reacted as only DiNozzo could. "But Ducky's -"
Jethro had simply looked at his senior field agent, quelling him into silence before speaking. When he had done so, his tone had been more than merely dangerous. "If the next word out of your mouth, DiNozzo, begins with 'O' or 'G' you can hand me your badge and gun now."
The look on DiNozzo's face had been one of sheer panic for a few seconds. Then Jethro saw inspiration hit and DiNozzo had managed, "A gentleman."
Well, DiNozzo had said it himself. And that, Jethro was sure, was why Ducky had more female employees queuing up than DiNozzo himself.
As he watched proceedings, Jethro saw one young man he knew to be gay receive a kiss on the cheek from Ziva, but Ziva was not where his attention lay. The young man might be being kissed by one of the most attractive women in the building, but his gaze was on Ducky. And from the wistful look on the young man's face, Jethro knew which line he would have preferred to have been in.
Finally, the queues began to dwindle away, and one by one the kids were free to talk to one another. Ducky, however, still had half a dozen women left, and Jethro saw DiNozzo once more turn and frown a little.
And then the final six, all of whom, just like everyone other woman who had received a 'Ducky kiss', were smiling, had been kissed and had left the squad room.
Jethro glanced over to where Ducky still stood beneath 'his' bunch of mistletoe which Abby had insisted be part of the event and had provided for everyone. He'd lost count of just how many people Ducky had kissed, but he knew one thing: the one person Ducky would have liked to have kissed hadn't joined the line.
He couldn't. Could he? Everyone knew about them, and the team had claimed to have known long before, following Mrs. Mallard's death, Jethro had moved his belongings, his boat and himself into Ducky's large Reston home. But knowing about them was one thing, seeing them . . . No, he couldn't.
And then Ducky looked up and met his gaze. Jethro swallowed hard and then swallowed hard again. To hell with it. It was, after all, for a good cause.
He put his hand into his pocket and tugged out his wallet and extracted the requisite five dollar bill from it, pushed that back into his pocket and strode across the where Ducky had returned to neatly putting the notes together.
He cleared his throat and Ducky looked up. "Jethro my dear," he said, smiling his special Jethro smile. "It really has been a very successful morning, has it not? The Sisters will be extremely pleased, I am sure. I hope you won't think it audacious of me to say so, but I do believe every lady came to visit me." He looked very pleased with himself, and just the teeniest bit smug, in the way only a gentleman like Ducky could look smug.
"Reckon they did, Duck," Jethro said, letting the shields he habitually wore on a day-do-day basis when at the office fall from his eyes as he gazed down at his lover. "Although there is still one person who wants a kiss."
"Is there?" Ducky frowned and glanced around him. "I cannot imagine who that might be. I am sure I have kissed all the ladies, including dear Abigail and Ziva. And there is no other lady around. No, my dear, you must be mistaken." He looked back at Jethro.
Jethro shook his head and smiled. "Never said it was a woman, Duck," he said.
Ducky's eyes widened. "My dear?"
Jethro tugged out the five dollar bill and handed it to Ducky who automatically took it but still just stood and stared. "Well," Jethro said, "I'm waiting, Doctor."
"I'm waiting for my Christmas kiss from you."
"But . . . Oh, Jethro." Finally, realization seemed to dawn on Ducky, because a smile broke out over his face. He took Jethro's hands in his and looked up at him. "I must say, you are looking particularly handsome today, dearest. I am so pleased you indulged me and wore a suit and tie." Then he reached up on his toes and solemnly kissed Jethro on each cheek. His lips, Jethro noted with pleasure, lingered for a few moments longer than when he'd kissed each woman. Then Ducky stood back down and still holding Jethro's hands, smiled in his loving way.
"Oh, I think we can do better than that, don't you, Duck?" Jethro said, gently tugging his hands free from Ducky's light grip to put his arms around his lover and gather him into his embrace.
"Jethro, we can't. We -"
But they could.
And they did.
When they broke away after a few minutes of gentle, loving, affectionate, sensual, non-passionate kissing, it was to a round of applause from the kids.
"Hey, boss," DiNozzo called, as Jethro put his arm around Ducky's shoulders and encouraged his lover to rest against him. "I reckon that kiss was worth twice as much, don't you?"
As one the rest of the team agreed whole-heartedly.
By his side Ducky chuckled softly.
Playing along, Jethro dug into his wallet and pulled out another bill. "Oh, at least," he said, handing Ducky another ten dollars, and then bending his head and lightly kissing his nose.
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