A sequel to A Trip Down Memory Lane.
Fornell gets an unexpected, but very welcome visitor.
An established relationship story.
Gibbs/Ducky are also mentioned in this story.
Warning: Major character death in the past mentioned.
Written: August 2009. Word count: 500.
Four weeks had gone by since Fornell had stood and watched Gibbs drive away, and he hadn't heard anything from or about his friend since that day.
On the one hand he was relieved. He was certain that had Gibbs been found dead, he would have been told, or at least heard something. On the other hand he knew what a fine agent Gibbs was. If the man wanted to vanish and never be found - dead or alive - he could.
It was gone midnight when Fornell decided to call it a night. Just as he'd done since the afternoon Gibbs had driven away, he'd left the porch light on once he'd got home. Now he went to turn it off.
However, as he reached the hall, the doorbell chimed. Telling himself not to be a fool and keeping one hand on the gun he'd put in his pocket to take upstairs, he opened the door. "Jethro!" he exclaimed. "You're -" He cut himself off abruptly.
"Alive? Yeah, Tobias, noticed that. Can I come in?"
For a split second, Fornell hesitated. Then he sighed to himself and moved back from the door. "Of course."
Once Gibbs was inside, Fornell shut and locked the door and turned to look at Gibbs. He'd lost weight. "Where have you been?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Around."
Gibbs frowned. "And?"
"And what are you doing here?"
Gibbs shrugged again. "Came to tell you I was wrong."
"Never should have come to you on the night of Duck's funeral."
Fornell put his hand on Gibbs's arm. "Better you did that than . . ."
Gibbs shrugged again. "I guess. And I was wrong to keep taking you places I'd been to with Duck."
This time Fornell shrugged. "I imagine there aren't that many places you and Ducky didn't go."
"Yeah. Look, Tobias. I can't make you any promises, okay? I can't promise I won't . . ." Gibbs trailed off, glanced away for a moment, before looking back at Fornell. "You know," he said softly. Fornell nodded. "And I can't promise I won't take you to place Duck and I went. And I can't promise you that I'll . . ."
"Love me?" Fornell asked softly.
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah. I like you, Tobias. A hell of a lot. You know that. But -"
"It's all right, Jethro."
For a moment they just stood and stared at one another. Then Gibbs said, "Guess you should tell me to get lost."
Fornell shrugged again. "Maybe I should. But I'm not going to."
Gibbs's eyes widened. "You're not?" He sounded surprised.
Fornell shook his head. "No."
"Why not? After what I said to you -"
"It's because of what you said," Fornell interrupted him. "Had you come here and made me those promises, Jethro, then you'd be outside now. But as it is . . ."
"No promises," Gibbs repeated.
"I know. Come on, let's go upstairs." And with that, Fornell took Gibbs's hand and began to walk towards the stairs. It was a start; finally it was a start.
LINKS TO ALL THE STORIES IN THIS SERIES:
Don't Want To Be Alone
A Trip Down Memory Lane
At The End Of The Tunnel
A Small Gesture
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