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Story Notes:
A/N: Thank you to Crying Cowgirl for being a sounding board and her help with the beginning. Thank you also to my beta Hilde, You’re the best! I appreciate the read through
Author's Chapter Notes:
A Christmas tree can be meaningless to some people, unless you have never had one before.
Tony was like a kid in a candy store when it came to Christmas. To an outsider looking in, he appeared juvenile, but in reality he was making up for lost time. Tony’s childhood was hardly a scene from his favorite movie, ‘It’s A Wonderful life.’

His holidays were not filled with joy and laughter, like most kids. Tony only had painful memories to keep him warm on a cold winter’s night.

Christmas was not filled with sugar cookies, stockings, or letters to Santa. The first time he saw a sprig of mistletoe was when he started college.

Tony missed the child-like wonder of a Christmas morning. He never opened presents in his pajamas, or played with his newly opened toys and his father putting together toys on Christmas morning was out of the question.

Instead Tony’s Christmases were non-existent. His father dismissed him, instead spending the day with his wife of the week. Tony would spend his day in his room, not celebrating at all.

Christmas held no magic for Anthony DiNozzo. December 25th was just another day on the calendar as far as he was concerned. It wasn’t until he received his very own Christmas miracle that he realized the true meaning of Christmas.

Tim hadn’t meant to come into the office on Christmas Eve, but he forgot his flash drive in his desk drawer. He expected to make a quick trip to the office, and then still be able to make it to his parents for Christmas Eve dinner. What McGee didn’t anticipate seeing was Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo sitting in the bullpen gazing wistfully at the makeshift Christmas tree that Abby put up.

–Tony?” McGee said. –What are you doing here?”

Tony was so distracted by the lights of the Christmas tree, that he did not even notice Tim come into the bullpen. Damn, when had Tim come in? More importantly, when had McGee become Tim in his mind?

–Tony,” McGee said, more loudly, now standing right next to the man.

–McGoo,” Tony said brightly, plastering a fake smile on his face. –What are you doing here? Don’t you have halls to deck and sleigh bells to ring?”

–Why do you have to make everything into a joke?” he asked. –I was just trying to be a friend.”

Tony looked slightly abashed. –I’m sorry, McGee, you’re right.”

Tim was taken aback at Tony’s apology, but hid it well. –What are you doing here anyway?”

–I needed to get caught up on the monthly expense reports,” Tony stated. –What are you doing here?”

–I’m picking up my flash drive, my mom wanted to see the pictures that were on here,” he explained, holding up the flash drive.

–You can get on with your day then, any big plans?” Tony asked, genuinely interested.

–Just dinner at my parents, decorating the tree, hot cocoa and cookies,” Tim explained. –You know the usual Christmas stuff.”

–No, Tim, I don’t know,” Tony replied.

Tim, started, looking blankly at Tony. –What do you mean?”

–It’s pretty self explanatory, McElford, I had no tree, no cookies, no tinsel, no presents…” Tony spat out. –I had no family, so therefore any traditions. I work every holiday, so people like you don’t have to.”


–NO!” Tony yelled, standing up. –Just, no, McGee, I didn’t tell you all of this so you would feel sorry for poor disinherited DiNozzo.” He sat down heavily in the chair, finally running out of steam.

–I don’t feel sorry for you, Tony,” McGee explained, touching Tony’s cheek, and letting his hand rest there. –If anything this shows me what a strong man that you have become. That despite everything, you have turned into a kind, caring man, someone that I would really like the chance to get to know.” McGee held his breath waiting for Tony to respond. What the hell was he thinking? Tony was probably going to tell him to get lost and then tease him mercilessly for the rest of his life.

–You want to get to know me?” Tony asked nervously. –What if you don’t like the real me?” He could not believe his luck.

McGee brought his hand down and gently took Tony’s hand. –That could never happen; I already like what I see.”

–I like what I see too, Tim,” Tony said. –I have since we got back from Somalia.” Tony glanced at their hands entwined on the desk. He felt the corners of his mouth upturn; maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad Christmas after all.

–I have since before Somalia,” Tim stated. –I really enjoyed our dinners this summer, I have liked men since college, and my feelings for you changed this summer. I always thought you were straight.”

–Not completely straight,” Tony replied, at Tim’s questioning look, he continued, –We’ll talk after Christmas, Tim, I promise.”

–Tony, you could come with me to my parents.”

Tony shook his head. –Someone has to work probie, go on, get out of here, and have fun.”

Tim looked at Tony. –I could stay and help.”

–No way, go home, Tim,” Tony said resolutely.

–You’re calling me Tim now?” McGee asked teasingly.

Tony shrugged. –I figured if we were going to try something new, you need a new name.” He was hoping that he hadn’t blown it already, but if the grin threatening to split McGee’s face was anything to go by, he knew he hadn’t.

Tim squeezed his hand tightly and reluctantly got up and stared down at Tony. He would go along with him for now, but he had a plan formulating in his head.

–Ok, Tony, you win,” McGee said. –I’ll call you later,”

–I am looking forward to it,” he said warmly, truly feeling better than he had in a long time, as he watched McGee get on the elevator. He shook his head and looked at the tree, amazed at the direction that his life had taken.

Tim was already on the phone when he exited the elevator. –Abbs, I need your help, it’s for Tony.” McGee paused to listen. –Yeah, can you call the troops and meet me at Tony’s?”

He listened again, before interrupting the Goth’s babbling. –Abbs, I’ll meet you there. I have to get a tree.”

McGee chuckled as he hung up the phone. He knew that everything would work out, now that he had Abby helping.

Tony entered his apartment several hours later, tired from doing paperwork all day. He was happy though, he could not believe his turn of good luck as far as McGee was concerned. He realized that for the first time in a long time, he was happy.

–Oh good, you’re here,” McGee said, pulling a startled Tony in the door.

Tony was faced with a Christmaspolooza. His apartment didn’t look like his anymore, but rather like Santa’s workshop. There were glorious smells coming from the kitchen. He noticed garland over the door frames, and snow spray on the windows.

–You’re just in time to help with the cookies and then I thought that we could decorate the tree that Gibbs helped me pick out…”

Tony cut Tim off when he pulled him close and kissed him firmly on the mouth. The kiss seemed to go on forever, as both men got lost in each other, neither man giving a thought that they were sharing their first kiss in front of the entire team, ending any notion of keeping their relationship under wraps. Tony didn’t care, he just wanted to show McGee how much this gesture meant to him.

–EEHM,” Ducky cleared his throat loudly, his blue eyes twinkling. –Anthony, if you wish to decorate cookies, you must go now.” Tony and Tim moved toward the kitchen, where they found the team up to their elbows in frosting and sprinkles.

Abby handed Tony some sprinkles and showed him what to do. They spent the next hour decorating the cookies; once the tiny Christmas trees were done and cooling they moved into the living room.

Standing in the corner of his living room stood a beautiful spruce tree.

Gibbs came up to stand beside him and put his hand on Tony’s shoulder.
–Shannon and Kelly’s favorite kind of tree was a Blue Spruce,” he said loudly enough for everyone to hear.

–I used to string popcorn and cranberries and put them on the tree when I was a boy,” Ducky stated as he put the strings on the tree, with Palmer’s help.

–My family always put lots of lights on the tree,” Abby declared. –They loved lights.” She put lights in the tree with Ziva’s help.

–We always had a train under our tree growing up,” Tim told Tony softly, as he crawled around trying to get the train up and moving.”

Tony pinched his arm, because he thought he was dreaming. This could not be happening to him. He didn’t make cookies and decorate Christmas trees. He was staring at the twinkling lights on his very first Christmas tree when Tim came up to stand beside him.

–Why?” Tony whispered, turned to face Tim, struggling to find his voice over the lump that was forming in his throat.

Tim slipped his hand into Tony’s and leaned into him, holding Tony’s hand felt like the most natural thing in the world. –Because, Tony, this is what families do at Christmas, and you have a family.”

–Do you want to put the angel on the top?” Tim asked his boyfriend of 4 hours.

–Yeah, I do.” Tony replied. He looked around at all of the people gathered in the room, and realized he didn’t want to hide anymore. He pressed a kiss to the top of McGee’s head. He had found his Christmas miracle in the form of Special Agent Timothy McGee.

Happy Holidays to all!
Chapter End Notes:
A/N: Thank you to Crying Cowgirl for being a sounding board and her help with the beginning. Thank you also to my beta Hilde, You’re the best! I appreciate the read through
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