Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Genre: Slash; Christmas Schmoop
Pairing: Gibbs/DiNozzo; Gibbs/Shannon (past)
Word Count: 1,711
Note: Author's note at end regarding a connection to a past fic of mine.
Crossposted: ncisfanfic; ncis_fic; gibbs_dinozzo; ncis_slash
Summary: Care packages at Christmas will always brighten the recipient's day. But what about twenty years down the road?
Gibbs was more excited than he could remember being in some time. Being on the front lines was tough on anyone, but doing so alone as a sniper most of the time was even more taxing.
However, a mail delivery had finally made its way to them and he knew that there would be several things for him.
"Gibbs!" the shouted name alerted him and he tried not to seem to greedy when he gathered his loot and headed off for his bunk.
He tossed the random care package aside in favor of opening one of the many letters with his daughter's improving scrawl across it. He was greeted with endless pages of drawings and notes from Kelly that left a smile wide across his face.
Next came the letters from Shannon. They were filled with a longing that matched his own. He wanted nothing more than to be at home and holding her tight. She told him how well Kelly was doing with the start of school and she mentioned that his father was doing okay.
We love you and miss you, Jethro... Come home soon!
That was the ending of every letter and he tried not to let the tears fall.
Finally sated with the lives of his wife and daughter, Jethro switched to the care package. It had the looks of one that a school somewhere had put together. Hoping for something worth keeping, he opened the box to see what it contained.
Inside, he found something that would make him the most sought after Marine in the camp. It was several pounds of instant coffee, the good kind. He squirreled it away into his bag, wanting to keep it a secret as long as he possibly could.
With the coffee safe, he opened up the card that had accompanied it.
Our instructor said to go with things that men in battle would need. Short of ammo, I figured coffee was a safe bet. Hope it gives you a warm Christmas, unless you're somewhere that is already warm, then never mind.
Good luck out there,
"Atta boy, Athony," Gibbs said as he placed the card with the ones from Shannon and Kelly and then went in search of a pot of water to make some coffee.
Tony sighed as he dropped his bags in the temporary room set up for him for the holidays. He would be in a block of rooms with only international students for company for the next few weeks, but at least he had his own room in which to wallow.
It had taken everything to make it to a college of his choosing, but it didn't leave him anything beyond the regular semesters. And going home was not an option.
He already had plans for getting into the frat house for the next school year, so, with luck, this would be his only holiday spent at the mercy of campus housing. The only perk was the care package that was sitting over on the desk.
Biting the bullet, he grabbed the brightly wrapped box off the desk and placed it in front of him on the bed. Having not received too many gifts over the years, he gingerly opened the paper so as not to tear it.
Next, came the box top and then he was greeted with the site of various items that were a college student's dream. There were coupons to the local pizza delivery place, a few books that were required reading for the English Lit class he had next semester, a box of hot chocolate and a mug to drink it from and a sealed envelope that appeared to be card size.
Setting the box and its contents aside, he opened the envelope to reveal a card with Santa's boots dangling over a fireplace. With a snort, he opened it up to see the message, Heard you’re stuck over Christmas... Hope this cheers you up!.
Folded inside was a letter and a child's drawing he couldn't quite figure out. With a smile of anticipation, he opened it up and read.
The university is always contacting its former students asking for money and I never give anything. One reason is that I don't have much to give as the wife of a Marine and the mother of a little girl. The other reason is that I never know how what he money would be used for and I definitely don't want it padding some school official's pocket.
So when they contacted me about doing a gift basket for a student who had to stay at the dorms over Christmas, I couldn't say no. This way, I know that what I put together will go to a good cause.
They gave me your name and a list of your upcoming classes. I hope the books are still required in the class. If not, maybe you can enjoy them anyway. And I don't know of any college student that would turn down pizza.
I know it's not much, but hopefully it will make a Christmas stuck on campus a bit brighter. And I know a drawing from some random kid isn't the best, but my daughter Kelly wanted to send a picture with the package just like she does when we send something to her dad. It's her horse, Spitfire, in case you couldn't tell.
Have a Merry Christmas Tony and a Happy New Year.
Tony was still smiling hours later around a fresh slice of pizza as he looked at the drawing of Spitfire tacked to his bulletin board.
"I can't believe that between the two of us we have so much Christmas shit. I mean this is you and me, Jethro," Tony said with a worn out voice as he opened yet another box from their combined stash labeled Christmas.
"Three ex-wives and some things I kept from before account for mine. What's your excuse?" Jethro threw back as he slit the tape on one of Tony's.
"Trying to impress one too many girlfriends and few boyfriends over the years?" he questioned, hoping his excuse would pass muster.
Jethro just snorted. "Well, you don't need Christmas junk to impress me, Tony. I think-" then Jethro paused as he unfolded a piece of paper in the box he was looking through.
"You think what?" Tony asked, looking up to see what had silenced the other man. Tony felt a smile cross his face as he saw the faded drawing of a child's representation of a horse that he had received over twenty years before.
"I got that in a care package my freshman year in college. The letter should be in there somewhere too," Tony said as moved to rummage through the box.
"It's a horse," Jethro said with a curious hitch in his voice.
Tony looked askance at his lover as he pulled the letter out of the box. "Yeah, how'd you know? I couldn't tell until I read the letter."
"Kelly sent me some just like this," Jethro said softly.
"Kel- Damn," and Tony hastily unfolded the letter and held it out to Jethro. "An alumni sent me this care package. Had some books, pizza coupons and hot chocolate. Signed her name Shannon. And she talked about her daughter Kelly and her Marine husband," Tony stopped short and looked up at Jethro.
Jethro's eyes were brimming with tears as he looked over the familiar writing and then back at the drawing of Spitfire.
"Kelly was so proud of that horse. I lost count of how many pictures she sent me. After... I ended up letting the stables take care of Spitfire after I had one last ride."
"You never told me Shannon was a Buckeye," Tony said, hoping to draw more out of Jethro. The other man rarely talked about his family, but Tony could tell it helped when he did.
"Yeah. She was heading back for her sophomore year when we met at the train station. We got married after she graduated. Hell, she probably followed your sports career there while I was overseas. She loved that school."
"It had a way of getting under your skin. What are the odds that I got this from them? You don't know how happy her package made me. I even had Kelly's drawing pinned on my bulletin board through all of college. Made me smile every time I saw it. Still does."
"Me too," Gibbs said as he sat the two papers in a safe place. "Let's frame those."
And Tony knew it was the end of the discussion. With a brief kiss, they returned to their rummaging in silence.
An hour later, Tony held up some papers as he spoke. "Jethro, I found some more of Kelly's drawings. She really did have a thing for that horse. And here's-"
When Tony stopped, Jethro moved over to see what he had discovered.
"When did you get this?" Tony asked breathlessly, holding out a letter to Jethro.
"Christmas '88," Jethro said as he scanned the short note. "Best damn coffee I ever had on the front lines. Had to keep it hidden from the others. And-" Jethro stopped as he saw the name at the end. "Anthony?"
"Yeah," Tony answered with awe in his voice. "I was still going by Anthony back then. Didn't shorten it until I went to college. I know you don't believe in coincidences, but..." Tony trailed off.
"Just means we were always meant to meet up one day, Tony. Let's put this with the others and call it quits for the night."
Tony just nodded and followed Jethro to their bedroom where he could show Jethro just how much he cared for him.
Long after they were both sated and spooned against each other in bed, Jethro turned and whispered softly in Tony's ear.
"You better find me some more of that coffee you sent me back in '88, Tony. You've been holding out on me," he punctuated it with a teasing nip to Tony's ear.
"On it, Boss. But I'm not revealing who my dealer is."
"I'll find a way to make you talk. Don't care how long it takes." And Jethro did just that.
Author's Note: This fic can tie back to a fic I did called Spitfire that was about Kelly's horse.