DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Jaina


There is nothing left to whisper, here and now in the early hours of Christmas morning. Silence envelops them in a comforting embrace as Ziva traces the patterns of Abby's tattoo's down her spine.

She gets to the base of Abby's spine and draws her nails against the smooth skin in a way that she knows will have Abby waking up in just an instant. Abby squirms away from her fingers and shudders. She rolls onto her back and tilts her head to face Ziva. Her eyes are open just a little and Abby stares at her without saying a word.

Ziva has gotten used to these little silences in the morning and they no longer bother her, as they did at first, when she worried about what Abby and silence could mean. Now these little moments are one of her favorite parts of the day.

Today though, she is eager to break this moment. Ziva reaches out to touch Abby, brushing a lock of hair off of her face, stroking her cheek. Abby leans into the touch before she slides closer for a languid kiss.

They break apart gently and Ziva lets her head fall back onto the pillow. Still reveling in the moment and unwilling to break it, she whispers, "Merry Christmas."

Abby pulls back. "You don't celebrate Chris-"

Ziva puts her finger to Abby's lips. "You do." She dropped her hand to hold it out instead. "Don't you want to unwrap your presents," she asks teasingly.

Abby laughs and pushes herself up to her knees on the bed. In a flash she's off of the bed and heading for the small tree in her living room. Abby catches herself in the doorway and checks her headlong rush to turn back and grin at Ziva.

"You are the best girlfriend ever!"

Ziva sits frozen on the bed, her intention to follow Abby and watch her open presents forgotten as Abby continues on into the living room.

Abby has always been casual in her relationships, as has she, Ziva is forced to admit, but spending a few nights together here and there have somehow turned into spending a week together here and another together there. Now Ziva finds herself celebrating holidays that are meaningless to her, but for the fact that she wants to see Abby's face as she opens presents.

"You didn't!" Ziva hears Abby squeal from the other room.

Ziva chuckles softly at Abby's obvious excitement. Maybe this is a little bit more than just casual. The admission doesn't bother her like she thought it would; instead it makes her smile a little.

Ziva gets up and goes to watch Abby as she tears through the wrapping paper on each gift until she is unwrapping the last one. When she comes to the final box, Abby is careful, slitting the tape with a fingernail and pulling the paper away gently with a look of concentration that makes Ziva laugh.

Abby looks up quickly.

"You were looking at that the same way that you look at a piece of evidence when you're trying to figure out why it's important."

"It's the last present," Abby explains, "You have to savor it. Christmas won't come again for another whole year."

Ziva nods slowly, wondering how this moment had turned bittersweet.

"We could get more," she offers before she really thinks about what she's offering.

Abby shakes her head emphatically, "It wouldn't be the same."

Suddenly unsure of what to do with herself Ziva begins to pick at some of the bits of ribbon on the floor. If her father could see her now…

Without meaning to, Ziva grimaces. He probably has seen her – not now – not this moment, but if the photos of she and Tony are a common occurrence, he surely knows enough of how she's living her life. He would hate to know how soft she's gotten and how close she's let people get to her.

Ziva suddenly catches Abby staring at her and then realizes that she's just let the conversation drop mid-flow. It's not like her to miss so much. Ziva blinks, several times, trying to remember what they were talking about.

"I must have fuzzed out for a moment."

Abby laughs and sets her last present aside. She scoots across the few feet that separate them on her knees and half falls against Ziva.

"It's buzzed," Abby teases, tilting her head back to look up at Ziva's face as she lays back against her, "not fuzzed." She wrinkles her nose, "Although that does sorta work too."

Ziva leans over to kiss her lips, since Abby's as temptingly close as she is. Moments like these, Ziva thinks, are why she doesn't care what her father thinks of the way she is living her life.

Ziva pulls away from the kiss slowly, her hand stroking smooth skin bared by the large t-shirt that Abby was wearing.

"Are you going to open it?"

Abby grins at the reminder and doesn't tease her about the subject change. She sits up a little bit straighter but doesn't move from where she's sitting half in Ziva's lap.

Abby pulls the present closer and with a quick grin, she finishes undoing the wrapping paper. Carefully, she refolds it neatly and sets it next to the small box. She lifts it to her ear and shakes it lightly.

No sound slips out.

"DVD's," Abby questions, "Oh what about-"

"Open it," Ziva cuts her off, impatience getting the best of her.

Abby finally undoes the edge of the thin plain cardboard box, and pulls it out. A dark wooden frame holds a picture of she and Ziva. They aren't even standing near one another, but looking at each other from across the aisle of the NCIS bullpen.

Ziva examines the image carefully trying to remember when it was taken, but she can't place it. One of too many similar days. She notes though, the way that even across a room, her body seems to angle towards Abby. She sees the way that Abby is smiling, the way her eyes are lit up, as she looks at Ziva in the picture.

And Ziva realizes that this was a gift meant for them both. She isn't surprised when Abby flips the box over and finds that it isn't signed. This has Gibbs written all over it - or at the least the lack of a signature does.

"I like it," Abby says and Ziva smiles because she likes it too.

"We'll have to think of something to thank Gibbs, later."

Abby flashes her a mischievous smile, happy that Ziva knew that it was from Gibbs and even happier to have a willing accomplice in the thanking Gibbs when he least expected it department.

"Awesome," Abby replies, leaning in to punctuate her comment with a long slow kiss.

And it is, Ziva thinks.

Her last thought as she looses herself into the kiss: Only you, only this, everything.

The End

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