Ducky watches Jethro sleep and writes about his feelings.
An established relationship story.
Written: March 2007. Word count: 600.
Tired out from the journey and other far more pleasurable things, my beloved is asleep in our hotel bed.
I, however, although tired and satisfied, find that I cannot yet sleep; there are too many things going around in my mind to enable me to do so.
The first is that we are here at all. I had never dared to hope that I might drag Jethro away from the office; from the children; from our work; from his desk; from the death and destruction that makes up so much of our daily lives; from his boat (these days my only rival for his affections).
However, I did. And amazingly it was all such a very simple thing to achieve. So here we are, in Scotland, the country that I grew to love with a passion only my love for Jethro ever surpassed.
Tomorrow I shall take Jethro to my old University and show him where I spent many happy years; where I learnt about far more than mere medicine. It was the place where I learnt that it was better to be true to oneself, to accept what one was, than it was to live a lie.
The second thing that is keeping me awake is Jethro's talk of retirement, both for himself and myself. I know that I have been living on 'borrowed time', as far as my career with NCIS goes, for more than a year or two now. I also know that it is only the records showing how many M.E.s my beloved got through before I arrived, that is keeping me in employment.
For myself I remain at NCIS, and have done so for a while, simply because of Jethro. For far too long we spent more time apart than we did together; and although that is no longer the case, some habits are hard to break, and neither of us is getting any younger. Besides I do still enjoy my work and the children's company.
The third, and most important, most surprising, most wondrous, thing that is keeping me awake, is Jethro's proposal to me. His proposal of marriage. His final acceptance, not only of what he is, but of how other people will see him. Despite the fact that he took me to live with him more than two years ago, I still believed there was a tiny part of him, a miniscule part, a part of which he might not have been consciously aware, that had not, could not, would not accept the truth about himself.
All that changed earlier today when, with more simplicity and honesty than I think I have ever seen him display, Jethro asked me to marry him. Naturally I accepted; after all it is what I have always wanted, desired, dreamed of, wished for, albeit mainly in my sub-conscious, as wanting, wishing, dreaming consciously was too painful.
And I know without any hesitation, any shadow of doubt, that the vows we take, my dearest will keep. This time he will, his boat aside, 'forsake all others' and be mine and only mine. What a joyous thing that is to write.
So that is why I am still awake and completely content to be so, as it means that I can watch my beloved sleep.
Except, except he is no longer sleeping. In fact he is watching me as I write this, and the look in his dark eyes tells me that it is time for me to stop what I am doing, and return to his arms. The only place I have ever truly felt at home.
This Time is the companion piece to this story.
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