“Tony don’t do it.” Abby whispered, “You know how he gets this time of year.”
“Grumpy, Mean, Old, and a Grinch? That’s why this is perfect for him.”
“Tony,” Abby warned.
But Tony wasn’t listening to Abby anymore. He’d made his plans. Now, he just had to implement them.
Abby watched Tony leave her lab and worried that his temerity would result in even more stress amongst the MCRT this year. She wasn’t kidding about how Gibbs got around this time of year. She just knew that Tony’s plan was going to backfire.
Pranks had their place, but not during the holidays when Gibbs was already a bastard of a bear. Pranks disguised as gifts were even worse. Abby wished she’d been able to talk Tony out of it and convince him to just get Gibbs coffee or bourbon and leave well enough alone.
Tony hummed happily as he skipped up the steps into the bullpen. He loved Christmas. It was one of the few times his dad had actually paid attention to him for more than to deliver a spanking.
The cook, maid, and butler had always made sure that there was a special tree just for him in his room that he could decorate however he wanted. They’d always slipped a few presents under that tree for him to find Christmas morning. He couldn’t say that his Christmases lived up to the hype in Christmas movies, but they had still been better than any other time of the year for him.
This year was super special. It was the first year that they had two probies on the team. Before Gibbs had always insisted on them working Christmas since it was just him and Tony and neither of them really had family.
Tony didn’t know if they were working this year, but he hoped that they’d get some extra time off at some point to make up for it if they were. They had new teammates, ones that actually had family. Maybe they could actually have Christmas off this year.
Tony would love the chance to pitch in at the soup kitchen near his apartment and actually take some time to enjoy Christmas instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop in the form of a case. He knew Abby didn’t approve of his plan, but he hoped that it would at least garner them Christmas off this year. He couldn’t wait to truly have a Christmas to remember again.
He whistled absentmindedly as he returned to his desk and started his work again. Both Kate and McGee threw him suspicious glances wondering what on earth had gotten into DiNozzo.
“DiNozzo!” Gibbs barked.
“Yes, boss. Sorry, boss,” Tony responded immediately, regretfully he stopped whistling.
The bullpen resumed its normal silence, well for about 20 minutes before Tony started humming under his breath as he worked on cold cases.
“DiNozzo!” Gibbs growled. “Shut up while you still can.”
Tony’s back straightened automatically and he stopped humming. He hoped that his plan would do the trick. Gibbs was definitely being a grinch this year.
Tony didn’t have the supplies to implement his plan today, but first stop after Gibbs let them go for the night would be the Christmas shop. When Gibbs finally let them go, Tony rushed for the stairs not even going to bother with the elevator. He had somewhere he wanted to be yesterday.
Flicking the radio to a station playing Christmas songs, Tony sung and hummed along as he drove to the Christmas store. Once there, he filled his cart up with everything grinch like he could find. Paying for it, he dropped it into his car and set off for a hole in the wall shop that would have various joke pills like old age pills and grouchy man pills.
The next morning, Gibbs came in to find a present on his desk. He stared at with suspicion before picking it up. He squeezed it a little and a confused expression appeared on his face when it was soft and squishy.
Finally, deciding that it wasn’t a bomb, he opened it and was met with a grinch beanie hat smiling creepily at him. Gibbs snarled and tossed it away. He figured it was a one time thing and aside from being grouchier than normal just continued on with his day.
When the next day there was another gift on his desk, Gibbs glanced around wondering if he were being pranked. This one he opened to find a grinch coffee mug with the saying I hate morning people and mornings… and people… This gift he grinned at and set on his desk out of the way.
The following day it was a set of grinch spatulas. Gibbs stared at those with a perplexed expression for the longest time. Eventually, he shoved them into his coat pocket to take home with him later.
DiNozzo continued to be overly cheerful and annoying in his enjoyment of the holidays. Gibbs had to stop giving him head slaps for fear of actually injuring him due to how annoying he was being. Opening his present the next day, Gibbs uncovered a bottle of pills for old age with multi colored pills for each old age symptom.
Before this, he hadn’t been sure that the one leaving him “presents” was DiNozzo, but now he was positive. When Tony came in that morning, he tossed the pills at him. “I’m not old, DiNozzo.”
“Just a Christmas grinch,” Tony agreed.
“What do you want DiNozzo?”
“Christmas off. Kate and McGee deserve to see their families, boss.”
“Oh no, no, no. That’s quite alright, thanks,” Kate immediately protested, “I can do without the pity party just because I’m a woman.”
McGee piped up that he was happy to work the holidays as well. Tony glanced between their new team members and Gibbs and sighed, “How did you brainwash them already?”
Gibbs just smirked. “Guess we’re working the holiday again this year.”
Tony sighed and lamented the rest of his gifts that he hadn’t gotten a chance to give the boss. They wouldn’t make any difference now, he knew. He only had one question, should he send them back or disperse them amongst the other grinches?
Disperse them, of course! Kate found a grinch sweater on her desk the next day. The probie discovered some grinch gloves in his gift and for Gibbs, grouchy man pills.
All three of them glared at Tony for the gifts. Tony just started singing, “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes santa claus.”
Next thing he knew, all 3 gifts had been tossed at his head. Chuckling, he gathered them up. It wasn’t what he’d wanted for Christmas, but he would make it work. He always did.