It’s a post it note, yellow, inconspicuous even in an office like theirs. The hand writing is also fairly nondescript, block letters make it much harder to judge. Frankly it’s only the content coupled with the fact that it was stuck to the top rim of Gibbs’ trash can that make it interesting to Abby, but that doesn’t mean she has any clue who wrote it.
“We may have enough coffee to make it through the week but we’re low on bottled water. If caffeine but no sex is okay with you feel free to skip the grocery run.”
It’s mostly Tony’s smirk and quick move to tuck it away that bring Ziva’s attention to the little white slip of paper. It takes almost until lunch for her to find an opportunity to check Tony’s bag to read it and when she does it leaves her vaguely uncertain, the handwriting is familiar and the message itself a little odd.
“Late meeting today but Joe called. The part is in. If you pick it up on your way home I promise to have the water heater fixed before bed.”
Gibbs misses the trash can by a wide margin when he tosses the phone message slip at it and stalks away. Tony’s in the hospital again and that agitates him at the best of times but something about the note made it worse. Despite himself when he picks it up McGee flattens it out and reads it.
“Agent Gibbs… 11/2/2012 2:44pm…While you were out… Mr. Jackson Gibbs… telephoned. Please call… Message: Again Jethro? How does he do it?”
Abby hovers in the doorway of the hospital room looking around. It seems cheerful enough. Someone’s sent Tony flowers and there’s an adorable stuffed bear on the bedside table. Tony himself seems contentedly asleep and no worse for wear really. Gibbs has his back to her, staring out the window, but he must sense her presence as he turns and smiles, “They’re just worried about shock and how his lungs might handle it, he’ll be fine.”
Abby doesn’t doubt it, most of all because of the message on the white board across from the bed.
“Your nurse this shift is: Stella. You may have up to two visitors during visiting hours only. Yes Agent Gibbs counts as one of the two. No we do not get Showtime. GOODNIGHT.”
McGee pauses in his typing when his new mail indicator pops up. The first thing he notes upon opening it is that it’s been sent to the entire team, including Jimmy, except for Gibbs. That makes it truly intriguing and he minimizes his report to read it properly.
“It’s that time of year again and I’ve decided we need a new team tradition. Thanksgiving at Gibbs’ house. We’ll provide the turkey, stuffing and dessert. Bring your favorite side and we’ll have a proper team feast. Dinner will be at three o’clock, we expect you no later than two barring acts of terrorism or family commitments.”
Deciding he can’t be reading it right McGee secures his computer, and heads down to Abby’s lab. Abby is bouncing slightly when he enters, “What brings you down to see me Timmy?”
“Did you read Tony’s email about Thanksgiving?”
“Do you think I should make sweet potatoes or green bean casserole?”
“Sweet potatoes, you make great sweet potatoes. But don’t you think it’s odd that Tony invited us all to Gibbs’ place?”
“We wouldn’t even all fit in Tony’s apartment. I’ll bet it’s Bossman’s contribution to the feast.”
He considers it. It is entirely possible Tony declared Gibbs co-host to use his kitchen, it is a Tony thing to do. “We should all discuss what we’re bringing so we have a well rounded meal. You know Tony’d leave it at turkey and pumpkin pie if we let him.”
“I’ll let Jimmy and Ducky know. You tell Ziva, we’ll grab a quick drink after work and discuss it.”
Abby arrives at one o’clock, imagining rescuing Tony from a turkey disaster of epic proportions. Tony however has the kitchen under control. She kisses his cheek, “Need any help?”
“No thanks Hon, I’ve got the turkey and Jack’s laid claim to the stuffing and the squash. You could head down to the basement and try to convince Jethro that a sweatshirt is not okay for Thanksgiving dinner though.”
“Soon. Did you make your famous apple cider?”
“I didn’t start mulling it yet but if you want a chilled glass it’s in the fridge, just be careful of the pie. You didn’t hear it from me but someone in the house might just gut you if you ruin his pie.”
Abby goes to pour herself a glass and stops when she reaches the fridge. There’s a card hanging on it.
It’s a rainbow colored card with a photograph of two penguins on a rocky shore with “Happy Anniversary” written across the background landscape.
“Who was the anniversary card for?”
“Us. Jackson’s idea of a joke. He told us last year when we had Senior over if we refused to do it right he was just going to consider Thanksgiving our wedding anniversary.”
“You… and Gibbs?” Abby asks sounding confused and a little unintelligent.
“Like you didn’t know.”
“Um, no. I didn’t.”
“Oh come on, everybody knows.” At her continued staring he turns to look at her, “Seriously? You didn’t know?”
“No. And I don’t think Tim or Ziva do either.”
“You guys are really dim then. Ziva especially, I know she read Gibbs’ note about fixing the water heater the week before I ended up in the hospital.”
Abby’s jaw drops, “The thing about caffeine or sex…”
Tony blushes deeply, “You read that? I’m going to kill him. I left it on his coffee cup here at the house.”
“In the email you called this Gibbs’ house.”
“I figure that’s how you guys are always going to see it.” He shrugs a little self consciously, “Besides, it’s been Jethro’s house for years. I’ll have lived here for two years at Christmas.”
“You gonna tell the others?”
Tony shakes his head, “If they aren’t observant enough to know when Jimmy figured it out on his own they can fend for themselves on this. But you can tell ‘em if you want.”
“Okay.” She smirks at him, “You couldn’t get Gibbs into decent clothes on your own?”
“He used my best weapon against me.”
That makes her laugh a little evilly, “That is a hot image.”
“I’d complain about you picturing it but you’ve probably got it all wrong.”
“He is that,” Gibbs agrees from the doorway. He kisses Abby’s cheek before wrapping an arm around Tony’s waist. “Dad just called. Senior’s bitching about having been banished. Dad wants to know if they can come back now if Senior promises to stay out of the kitchen.”
“I will throw him out again if I have to, but I guess so.”
Gibbs laughs and pulls his phone out of his pocket and conducts an abbreviated conversation with his father without letting go of Tony. “Abby’s here now, he’ll be distracted,” Gibbs offers Tony consolingly.
“Stop taking his side,” Tony complains good naturedly.
“I always take your side,” Gibbs corrects.
Abby can’t help but make a noise at how cute they are, “This is a new side of you Bossman.”
“Not really Abbs. It’s just me at home.”
Tony shakes his head, “Just remember to tone it down when the probies turn up, they might have a collective break down.”
“They’ll get over it,” Gibbs kisses Tony and ignores the pair of gasps from the doorway as well as the chuckles that follow that. “Happy Thanksgiving everyone.”