Trent glared at the speaker that the deleterious holiday music emanated from. He hated this time of year. The constant holiday music.
The forced cheer. Everyone pretending that they’re happy when they’re all miserable inside. The whole holiday was a hoax.
No one could possibly be that cheerful all the time. No one. If he could, he would hole up for the entirety of the season and never come out.
He had to admit that sometimes he wondered if Gibbs had the right idea spending all his time not at work in his basement. It was actually Gibbs fault that Trent was out and about amidst this holiday cheer. Normally, they didn’t do presents for each other, both preferring to pass the holidays unacknowledged.
One of Jethro’s team members had put a burr up his butt about the holidays though and Gibbs had decided that they would exchange presents this year. Being the bastard he is, Jethro had only told him they were exchanging presents the day before Christmas. Thus, Trent was now searching for a present to give Jethro on the busiest day of the year listening to the crappiest of holiday music blaring through store speakers and wishing he was anywhere else right now.
Still Trent wasn’t about to back down from this challenge that Gibbs gave him. Just because Jethro was his significant other didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to out do him in the gifting competition between them. In fact, it was his duty as Jethro’s lover to win this demonstration of love battle.
Now, if only he could figure out what Gibbs would actually like in this place. Knowing Jethro as he did, it should be easy to find him a gift, but he was absolutely drawing a blank right now. This is why they didn’t do gifts. It just stressed the both of them out.
Kort was going to mess DiNozzo up the next time an NCIS op interfered with a CIA op. He was sure it was DiNozzo who had convinced Gibbs that holiday cheer and presents were a good thing. Either that or Miss Sciuto, but he knew better than to do anything that might harm Abby.
At first, Trent had actually been jealous of Gibbs’ relationship with Abby before he’d realized that Abby was basically a replacement daughter to Gibbs. It still annoyed him how much Gibbs doted on Abby, but mostly he let it pass. Abby generally didn’t affect their relationship even if he did think Gibbs spoiled the girl.
Back to present shopping for Gibbs, Kort looked around the store and sighed. He didn’t want to just go to a hardware store and buy something for Gibbs’ boat. He knew Jethro would love that just like he’d love a bottle of his preferred bourbon, but that wasn’t the way to win this gift giving competition.
Trent wanted something personal. He wanted something that was just them. Something that no one else would get Jethro.
He kept hoping that it would jump out at him, but so far he wasn’t having any luck. He’d already rejected build-a-bear, regular teddy bears, sheets, china, boat pieces, boat in a bottle, and many other items that he’d seen or thought of while walking the mall. Absolutely nothing felt right.
They were both men of little words. They fucked when they wanted to fuck and made love when they wanted and didn’t give a damn about whether they met some random person’s standards for a relationship. It worked for them, but finding something to symbolize that was not the easiest.
Truthfully Trent hated gift shopping and generally avoided it whenever he could. If he could convince someone else to buy gifts for him he would. If he could order it online he would, but Jethro hadn’t given him enough time to employ his normal gift shopping avoidance strategies. Kort turned around in the store glaring angrily at the other shoppers and the items available to be purchased that didn’t fit what he was looking for.
That’s when he noticed it. The perfect gift for Jethro. Gibbs would hate it, but Jethro would love it.
Walking to the other side of the mall and into another store, Kort picked the gift off the shelf and examined it. He turned it upside down and examined the left side and right side thoroughly before taking it up to the cash register and paying for it in cash. With all his CIA identities, he always paid for personal things with cash.
He didn’t want a paper trail that would ever tie his real identity to one of his undercover ones. Spotting a music CD as he left that he liked, but Jethro would hate, he stopped and paid for it too. It would be revenge for the late notice that they were exchanging gifts.
He would sneak it onto Gibbs’ computer in the bullpen and make it look like one of his team member’s did it. He wasn’t worried about seeing Gibbs’ expression when the music started playing. The NCIS cameras were so easy to hack, it was almost shameful not to do so.
Jethro didn’t work until the 26th, so Kort would sneak in on Christmas itself when NCIS headquarters would be mostly empty due to the government holiday. For now, he simply slipped the revenge CD into his glove compartment to deal with later. His next stop before joining Gibbs at his place for the holidays was the dollar store so that he could get lots of wrapping paper cheaply and other supplies needed to make this gift the most annoying to open.
With this one gift, Trent intended to provide Gibbs with all the unwrapping that he had missed on previous years where they hadn’t exchanged gifts. Duct tape, scotch tape, some other odds and ends that he picked up just because he liked the looks, and of course plenty of tissue paper. You couldn’t forget that.
With a basketful of dollar store items, Kort checked out and finally headed for Gibbs’ house. He rarely stayed with Gibbs. The man was too well known for him to be happy there all the time.
He just couldn’t help feeling exposed whenever he went to Gibbs’ house. He would make an exception for today and tomorrow due to the holidays, but then it would be back to either their shared house, owned together under fake names for them both or his apartment, also rented under a fake name.
Trent sometimes wished that he didn’t have the instincts he had and could just relax at Gibbs’ house in Alexandria. It was in a lovely neighborhood and there was nothing actually wrong with it. If they could actually sleep in the same house most of the time they would see each other a lot more, but they made it work.
Alas, they were not different people and if they were they probably would not be together. Gibbs’ bastard levels rose when he hadn’t had enough sex, but they also rose when he hadn’t had enough alone time. The required separate houses guaranteed that Gibbs got the alone time he needed.
Kort opened the front door to Gibbs’ house and walked in. It wasn’t locked and even if it had been, he had a key. He paused in the entryway to listen for Jethro’s distinctive movements.
He wanted to get his gift wrapped before Gibbs had a chance to sneak a peek at it, but he needed to know where in the house Jethro was in order to actually accomplish that. He didn’t want to call out Gibbs’ name because then Gibbs would know he was home. If Jethro were in the basement, he might know anyway as the bastard was damn good at telling who was visiting him based on footsteps, but if Kort was lucky Gibbs would be upstairs and wouldn’t have heard him.
“Trent?” Gibbs called from down below.
Kort cursed. No hiding now. “Just me,” he hollered back.
Quickly turning and running up the stairs to the bedroom, he closed and locked the door. Gibbs could pick the lock or open the door in any number of ways, but he likely wouldn’t bother unless he thought Kort was in danger. If Trent was lucky, he could have the present wrapped in its entirety before Gibbs even got suspicious enough to check on him.
2 hours later and the gift was revenge wrapped to his satisfaction. Taking it downstairs, he placed it under the tree that one of the minions had brought for Gibbs. Trent wasn’t sure which one had provided the tree this year.
It varied who, but without fail one of the member’s of Gibbs’ team decided he needed cheering up for Christmas and would put a tree up in Gibbs’ living room. His gift was the only one under the tree. He wasn’t really surprised about that.
Gibbs’ gifts tended to be hid in his basement until Christmas and were frequently too large for a tree anyway. Kort let his mind wander to what Gibbs might have gotten him for Christmas. Last time they’d actually exchanged gifts, it had been a security upgrade to their co-owned home so that Kort would feel even more secure there.
Kort thought that that may have been his favorite gift from Gibbs ever. He wasn’t sure Gibbs could top that gift. Kort could count on his hand the number of places he actually felt secure and their co-owned home was now one of them.
Knowing it had taken him longer than he’d expected to wrap Gibbs’ gift, he wondered what Gibbs was up to. Usually, Gibbs would have checked on him by now. Kort moved to investigate, but stopped when he saw the basement door was actually closed.
He would let Gibbs keep his secrets for now. They would all be revealed tomorrow anyway. He did want to know what the plan was for dinner, though.
He didn’t particularly want to do steaks tonight. They would do that tomorrow. Nor did he feel like cooking. “Chinese for dinner?” He hollered through the closed basement door.
Kort heard an answering grunt and went ahead and placed the order for delivery. Pulling his book from it’s normal hiding place, Kort settled in to wait for dinner to arrive. At his place, he might have turned the TV on for company, but Gibbs didn’t keep a TV here.
Supposedly, it kept the “kids” from coming over too often in Gibbs’ words. Kort figured there were better ways to keep the team from invading if he really wanted, but didn’t argue. Trent mostly preferred the TV when alone which he wouldn’t be for long.
The door opened with the chinese. Obviously, the delivery boy knew Gibbs. Paying for the meal, Kort set it on the coffee table and called, “Jethro!”
Gibbs bounded up the stairs, making sure the basement door closed behind him. Grabbing his favorite, he settled next to Kort on the couch.
Trent glanced at the door and back to Gibbs. “You know I’ll see whatever it is, tomorrow.”
“Are you going to be down in the basement for the rest of the night?”
Gibbs shrugged. “Only until it’s done.”
“So I’ll see you in the morning.”
Gibbs grunted. Kort chuckled. “Wake me.”
Gibbs nodded, “I wouldn’t miss it.”
With that, Gibbs pulled Kort into a good night kiss. “I’ll be up when I’m done.”
“You better,” Trent growled in his sexy voice that he knew drove Gibbs wild.
Gibbs eyes darkened with lust and locked with Kort’s, but he turned regretfully to the stairs. He had a present to finish still. He blew a kiss to Kort before closing the basement door behind him again.
It was past midnight by the time Gibbs finished, but he joined Kort in bed. He had a make up blow job to deliver. He used his tongue just the way Trent liked and had Trent coming down his mouth in no time.
Trent grinned. “I’m not taking it easy on you just because you stayed up late on my present.”
“I wouldn’t expect you to.” Gibbs smirked back as the tousled on the bed to determine who would top for the next round.
By the time the sun rose high in the sky again, they were both exhausted. Sated, but exhausted. Lacking most of the enthusiasm for the holiday they fell back asleep until it was almost noon.
At which point, Kort rose from bed knowing that if they didn’t exchange gifts soon he would have a hard time hitting NCIS headquarters for his revenge prank on his way home. Of course, some would think that what Kort had done to Gibbs’ present in wrapping would be revenge enough. Trent disagreed though. He had to keep up his skills somehow when he wasn’t actively running ops, after all.
“Coffee.” Gibbs grunted.
“I turned on that new fangled machine DiNozzo left here. There should be some just about ready.”
Gibbs stumbled out of bed and in the direction of the coffee machine downstairs. He hadn’t even bothered to put on boxers. Kort chuckled and climbed into the shower.
By the time they were both awake and dressed, Gibbs frowned at his watch. “The team is supposed to come over in an hour.”
“We better exchange gifts quick then. Wouldn’t do for them to see me here.”
Gibbs grunted. He didn’t really like hiding his relationship with Kort, but he knew it was for the best right now.
Kort handed Gibbs his present and settled into a chair to watch him open it. The package looked innocuous enough, some Christmas wrap around a large sized box. Once Gibbs opened the box and saw what was inside he shook his head. “Trent.”
“You’re the one who wanted to exchange gifts this year, Jethro.”
“Yours is downstairs still. Let’s go.”
Trent shrugged and followed Gibbs down the stairs. He stopped and stared at the arbor clearly taking up where Gibbs’ boat had been.
“What happened to your boat?”
“Same thing that happens to all of them eventually.”
Trent shot Gibbs a look.
“I know you’ve been wanting to train the garden better.”
Trent couldn’t help running his hand along the smooth wood containing the beautiful pattern Jethro had covered into the arbor for their garden. “Thank you.”
“I’ll take it over in my truck next time I head over there.”
Kort nodded and gestured upstairs. He didn’t mention it, but he’d recognized the symbolism behind the pattern of yin and yang that had been carved into the arbor. It was, yet, another way that Gibbs was telling him silently that they were forever.
Kort hoped that his present would mean as much to Gibbs as Gibbs had to him. He watched Gibbs cutting through duct tape, scotch tape, wrapping paper, ribbon, and everything else he had wrapped with a huge smirk. Gibbs had already uncovered a few trinkets that Kort had tossed in just for fun like the boat figurine from the dollar store, but he still had a ways to go to get the actual gift completely unwrapped.
The room fell silent as Gibbs stared at his gift. He just stared. He didn’t say anything.
If Kort were the type to worry, he’d be biting his lip in concern. When Gibbs turned and carried it upstairs, Kort knew he’d chosen well. Trent followed Gibbs upstairs and watched as he set the boat shaped gun safe on his side of the bed.
No one would look twice at it, but now Trent would worry less when he was in Gibbs’ house and when Gibbs was alone there. They shared a down and dirty kiss that would have led to more if Gibbs wasn’t expecting visitors before Trent left Gibbs to enjoy whatever Christmas with his team meant and headed for his own home and another revenge trick.
He didn’t think Gibbs had noticed when he’d put the gun safe on his nightstand, but there was a ring hidden in it. Kort fully expected a phone call from Gibbs after the team left and he finally had a chance to thoroughly inspect his new boat, but for now he had revenge music to setup.