AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
A sequel to A Start.
Two months has gone by since Gibbs returned to Fornell and some progress has been made.
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.
Fornell leaned back in his chair and watched Gibbs.
It had been four months since Ducky's death.
Three since he'd got out of Gibbs's car and watched him drive off.
Two since Gibbs had turned up on his doorstep.
And progress had been made.
For a start Fornell had suggested they retire. He'd had enough of long hours, of DC, of risking his life on a daily basis, and enough of paperwork. Also, he'd thought if he could get Gibbs out of DC, away from NCIS, the kids, Virginia, away from daily physical memories of Ducky, it'd help them both.
So he'd told Gibbs of his desire to retire and to move away. To his surprise, Gibbs had raised no objections; in fact he'd seemed content with the idea.
And that's what they'd done. Within two weeks, they'd left their respective agencies and DC. With no real object in mind other than to get away, Fornell hadn't really known where to suggest they went.
Finally, they'd gone to a quiet part of France to spend time and make plans for the future. The future Fornell was slowly beginning to believe he'd have with Gibbs.
Gibbs had regained the weight he'd lost, and the empty, haunted, distant look had begun to vanish from his eyes. He still seemed to retreat into himself at times, not shutting Fornell out, just not aware of Fornell's presence. But those times were getting fewer. He even smiled occasionally, and mentioned Ducky's name without the anguish and pain he'd hitherto shown.
They made love, they talked, they sat in companionable silence, they bickered with one another. They began to build a new element to the close friendship they'd always had.
Fornell was under no illusions; he wasn't going to replace Ducky in Gibbs's affections, and he didn't want to. As long as he made Gibbs at least partly happy, as long as he knew Gibbs cared about him, as long as he himself was happy, that's all he needed.
And those things were definitely happening. Slowly they were happening. Fornell knew he'd been right to act on his desire to get away. And it had been right - for both of them.
He still wasn't sure what the long term future held for them. However, for two men who'd lived their adult lives not knowing whether they'd have a short term, let alone a long term future, that didn't trouble him.
He did know one thing, he didn't know how he knew it, because Gibbs hadn't said anything, but he did. He knew the only thing that would part them, the only way Gibbs would leave him, would be by death.
Sure he still lived with the fact that Gibbs's death might come sooner than he'd like and not be natural. But even that concern was getting less.
He had now; he had here; he had Jethro Gibbs. He was content; Gibbs was content. Progress had been made, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
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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