OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES
Ducky invites Tim and Jimmy to visit him in Scotland where they discover new and simple pleasures.
An established relationship story.
Written: November 2014. Word count: 2,600.
Jimmy was showering when Tim wandered into the bathroom, a faint frown on his face. The frown vanished as he turned his attention to Jimmy and quite blatantly let his gaze travel up and down Jimmy's body. Despite being lovers for more than five years, Jimmy still found himself blushing somewhat at the attention Tim was paying him. He hoped Tim would think it was just the water that was making his face turn a little red.
"You could come and join me," he said softly, in an attempt to turn the attention onto Tim rather than himself.
Tim sighed. "I'd love to Jimmy. But I really do have to finish writing the chapter I started a few days ago. Lyndi is starting to make 'deadline' noises."
Jimmy sighed softly, but said, "You go and do that and I'll cook dinner for us."
Tim smiled. "Would you mind, Jimmy? I know it's my turn. But if you wouldn't mind, that would be great. Or we could order a carry-out."
Jimmy shook his head. "No, I'd like to cook and no, I don't mind."
"Thanks, Jimmy. I'll make it up to you later." Tim smiled, winked at Jimmy and turned to go.
"Tim?" Jimmy called.
Tim stopped and looked back at Jimmy. "Yeah?"
"Is that why you were frowning when you came into the bathroom?"
"No. I came to tell you Ducky just called."
"It's past midnight in Britain, isn't it?" Jimmy swilled the soap from his body and turned the shower off.
As he got out, Tim handed him a towel and Jimmy smiled his thanks. "Yes. But he said he wanted to actually speak to one of us, rather than just use email."
Jimmy stopped drying himself for a moment and said, "Is he all right? He's not sick is he?"
Tim shook his head and patted Jimmy's shoulder. "No, Jimmy, he's fine. He's been playing golf today and was in particularly good spirits because he won. He called because he wants to invite us to go and stay with him."
"Us?" Tim nodded. "You and me?"
Tim nodded again. "Yes, Jimmy, you and me. He says he's sure we're working too hard and we need a nice, quiet holiday. We are the only ones not to have visited him yet."
Jimmy returned to drying himself. "It's not that I don't want to. We've just been extra busy with our new jobs and your book and moving house."
"I know. I told him that. And he said he understands. But he was pretty insistent and," Tim paused and brushed a droplet of water from Jimmy's cheek. "I think it would be nice to see him again. And I've always wanted to visit Britain."
"Could we get away?"
Tim nodded. "I think so. Once I've finished my book and sent it to Lyndi, I'll have some time before she needs the edits done. And you know Director Vance has been on the war path about people not using their leave. I think we should do it. If you'd like to," he added.
Jimmy beamed. "I'd love to, Tim. I'd love to see Ducky again."
Tim smiled. "That's settled then." He hesitated for a moment and once more let his gaze wander over Jimmy's body. He took a step nearer to Jimmy and traced his cheekbone. "I suppose I really should go and write," he said softly; the look in his eyes told Jimmy quite clearly that writing was the last thing Tim wanted to so.
However, he laughed lightly and took a step backwards, removing them both from temptation. "Yes," he said. "You should."
Tim sighed. "You're right. I should." He sighed again before turning on his heel and leaving the bathroom.
SCOTLAND - A MONTH LATER
"Timothy! Jimmy! It is lovely to see you both." Ducky hurried towards them and quite calmly hugged each of them in turn. "Did you have a good journey?"
"Yes, thanks, Ducky," Tim said, looking around what was in his opinion an incredibly small airport, not to mention lacking in the usual umpteen layers of security which he was used to. He had thought Edinburgh was small, but Inverness was tiny.
"It's good to see you, Dr. Ma- Ducky," Jimmy hastily corrected himself as Ducky turned and stared at him, one eyebrow slightly raised. "Thank you for inviting us."
"It was my pleasure, my boy. My pleasure. Now come along; they have a rather excellent sandwich bar here, I'm sure you must both be peckish; we'll have something to eat and then be on our way. I promised the lady who cleans for me I wouldn't be back too early - she does like to have me out of the way when she cleans. Otherwise she says she gets distracted."
Jimmy and Tim looked at one another and smiled. "It's really good of you to invite us, Ducky," Tim said. "I hope we won't cause too much extra work for you."
"Not at all, Timothy. I enjoy having people to stay; I do miss you all," Ducky added, his tone slightly somber. "But let's not think about that; let's just enjoy ourselves. Now, here we are. I know it's nothing like your sandwich bars, of course, and the choices . . . Well, they aren't exactly state-of-the-art, but they are jolly good." He smiled at them.
They enjoyed a fairly longish lunch, which actually was, Tim decided, really good. As Ducky had said the range of sandwiches and rolls wasn't great, but the quality was very good. Ducky talked a great deal, telling them about the area and all the places they could visit, including Culloden and the various whisky trails. Tim got the impression that while Ducky was happy to be home in Britain again, he really did, as he'd said, miss everyone.
Ducky drove them back to his home which was impressively large - especially for one person. He was clearly rather proud of it as he insisted on taking them of a tour not only of the house, but also of the grounds. As they wandered around he filled them in on the history of the place. It turned out it had been in the Mallard family for at least ten generations.
Tim was pleased to discover that despite the age of the property, it had been completely modernized inside as least as far as facilities such as hot water and central heating went. Although several of the rooms still had open fireplaces - including the bedroom (well suite really) Ducky had given Tim and Jimmy. He said if they wanted to have an actual fire they only had to ask and he would show them how to lay it and light it. He seemed so keen that Tim found himself saying 'yes, please, Ducky', before he even thought about it.
"I'm really glad we came," he said, once Ducky had given them their lesson in fire laying and lighting and had left them to unpack and tidy up. Before he had left them he had assured them that if they needed a nap after their journey he would quite understand.
"Me too," Jimmy said, crossing the room and putting his arms around Tim. "It's really nice to see Ducky again. Do you think he's all right?"
Tim put his arms around Jimmy and held him. "I think he's lonely," he said. "He really seems to enjoy living here, but -"
"He misses us all?"
Tim nodded. "Yeah. I think so - more even than he's letting on."
"Well, we're here for two weeks - I still can't believe Director Vance let us have all that time off."
Tim shrugged. "I'm not, well not really. We both have a lot more outstanding leave. I think he was just glad we were taking some."
Jimmy smiled. "It's nice to be able to spend an extended time together without being surrounded by dead bodies and paperwork."
Tim nodded. "Yes, it is. Hey, look, it's already dark."
They both looked out of the window to see that the sky had darkened, broken only by the moon and a few stars. As Tim stared out he realized what was different. "Street lights," he said.
"Street lights, or rather there aren't any."
"Oh," Jimmy said. "I hadn't noticed before - the lack of them, I mean. I just assumed that -"
"Everywhere had street lights?"
Jimmy nodded. "Yes. Silly, isn't it?"
Tim shrugged. "When you've been brought up with them all around you, you just expect them. Hey, I bet the sky looks even better when you're outside. Let's go and look."
Jimmy looked at him and smiled. "Okay."
The quickly closed the curtains and grabbed their coats and hurried downstairs and found, after three attempts, the living room where Ducky sat reading a book.
As they came in he looked up and smiled. "Hello," he said, "I was just thinking it was time for a drink. What may I offer you?"
Tim looked at Jimmy. "Would you mind if we went outside first, Ducky?" he said.
"Outside?" Ducky sounded slightly surprised.
Tim nodded. "Yes. We want to -" Suddenly he fell silent and looked at Jimmy who met his gaze and held it. Suddenly Tim felt a little foolish and didn't know what Ducky might think of them wanting to go outside and look at the sky.
Ducky waited politely for a while before raising an eyebrow and asking, "You want to? What exactly do you want to do, Timothy?"
Tim and Jimmy exchanged another look before Tim swallowed and said quickly, "We want to look at the sky." He waited for Ducky's response.
For a moment Ducky seemed puzzled, but then a look of understanding crossed his face and he smiled. "Ah, of course. You haven't seen a sky that isn't diluted by the light from street lamps and other such artificial lighting, have you?"
"No," Jimmy said. "We haven't. And we'd like to."
Ducky smiled and spread his hands. "Well then, off you go. I trust, you'll forgive me if I don't join you. It is rather chilly and I anyway, I'm quite sure you'd like to enjoy the experience by yourselves. When you're ready, come back in and we'll have that drink." He smiled at them rather like and indulgent grandparent might.
"Thanks, Ducky," Tim said. "Come on, Jimmy." He took Jimmy's arm and they turned to go.
"Actually," Ducky said. "If I may make a suggestion?"
"Of course, Ducky," Jimmy said.
"If you go out of the French doors," Ducky hurried over to them and pulled back the long, heavy curtains. "You'll find yourselves in the garden where it's really flat and there's no risk of you tripping over anything."
"Thanks, Ducky," Tim said. He realized he hadn't actually thought about the practicalities of going outside into what he saw was by now a pitch black world; the moon even seemed to have disappeared.
Ducky smiled and opened the doors. "My pleasure. I don't want you hurting yourselves. Now you go down onto the lawn and then I'll close the doors and pull the curtains again and you can enjoy the sky. If you'd be interested," he added, "another night I'll come out with you and point out some of the star constellations - but don't feel you have to say yes."
"I'd really like that, Ducky," Jimmy said. He looked at Tim. "Wouldn't you, Tim?"
Tim nodded. "Yes." This trip was going to be far more than just a holiday, he realized. He and Jimmy were going to have a lot of new experiences. "Come on, Jimmy," he said, once more taking Jimmy's arm. "Let's go and enjoy the sky."
They went out into Ducky's garden and after a moment or two the light from the living room faded as Ducky pulled the curtains and they just stood in the completely black world.
Tim put his arm around Jimmy and Jimmy sighed softly with pleasure and leaned against Tim as together they stared up at the sky.
It didn't take long for Tim's eyes to begin to adjust to the darkness and he realized it wasn't pitch black as he'd first thought. He actually could make out shapes and he no longer felt disorientated. It was far darker than anything he had ever experienced and he wasn't certain if he would enjoy living like this all the time. But for now he was just going to enjoy it.
He tightened the grip he had on Jimmy just a little and together they just stood side by side enjoying the peace as well as the darkness. It was so silent; again silence wasn't something Tim was used to, he didn't think he had ever experienced such silence before. Despite how chilly the evening was, Tim felt content and surprisingly warm.
"Oh, look!" Jimmy said suddenly. "The moon's back."
Tim looked up and was held captive by the way the moon slowly appeared from behind the clouds. She slid out her brightness lighting up the sky and glimmering; it was a full moon and after the total darkness it seemed almost light.
It was certainly light enough, together with the way his eyes had adjusted, for Tim to see Jimmy. He turned around and put his other arm around Jimmy, tugged him towards him and kissed him. They kissed gently for a moment or two before breaking away and as one they once again turned their attention to sky.
As they stood and watched more clouds parted or drifted away and stars started to pop out, like small, sharp lights. Tim stood captivated by the beauty; he had never seen so many stars before. Some were brighter than others; some in fact were very dull and smaller and seemed to be a lot further away. Some seemed to make patterns, but although he could vaguely remember the names of a couple of the constellations, he couldn't make them out. He really was going to enjoy Ducky pointing them out to them.
"It's beautiful," Jimmy said, slipping his arm around Tim's waist. "I can see why Ducky loves living here."
"So can I," Tim said. "So can I."
They stood for another few minutes just staring at the sky, until one by one the stars began to flicker and vanish. Tim took Jimmy's hand, "Come on," he said, leading Jimmy back to the house. "Let's go back inside before the moon vanishes as well."
Carefully they made their way back to the French doors and Tim tapped on them. A moment later Ducky pulled back the curtains, opened the doors and they went inside, into the warmth. It was only when they were back in the fire-lit living room that Tim realized quite how chilled he had got outside.
"Did you enjoy yourselves?" Ducky said, smiling at them. He locked the doors and once again closed the curtains.
"Yes, thank you, Ducky," Jimmy said. "It was beautiful. I never knew the night sky could be so beautiful."
"Not did I," Tim added, taking his coat off and rubbing his hands together.
Ducky beamed. "I'm so glad. Now put your coats down on that chair, sit down and let me pour you both a drink."
"Thanks, Ducky," Tim said, taking Jimmy's coat and putting both of them onto the chair Ducky indicated.
"Thank you, Ducky," Jimmy echoed.
As they sat down side by side on the couch, Tim decided he really was so happy they had accepted Ducky's invitation to visit him. He was really looking forward to the next two weeks.
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