Ashleigh Anpilova


Sometimes Ducky dreams of going home.

An established relationship story.

Written: March 2012. Word count: 500.



And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,

Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;


I sit sipping my tea, listening to Mr. Palmer relay his license-plate number to the person to whom he is talking on the phone. I hear him saying 'Zee Bee. No, Zee Bee'; then I hear him finally remember the NATO phonetic alphabet (well, actually the NATO spelling alphabet or to give it its full name, the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet) and saying 'Zulu Bravo'.


It has been a long time, too long a time, since I have heard 'Zed' instead of 'Zee'. When I was a young man, a newly qualified doctor, I wanted to see and travel the world; in particular I wanted to visit, to work in and live in America.


I got my wish and for over twenty years I have lived here. I have adapted to 'elevators' and 'trunk' and 'hood' and 'sidewalk' and all the other differences that divide our countries by a common language. Yet, 'Zee' for 'Zed' has always grated on my ear.


I never imagined I would stay away from my homeland for so long. I believed I would spend a year or two maybe as many as five or six in America and would then return home to Britain and more particularly to Scotland, to the rolling hills, the open skies, the true winters, the four seasons, the peace, the language I grew up with.


However, all that changed when I met an ex-Marine, although of course as my Marine would say 'there is no such thing as an ex-Marine'. That man was Leroy Jethro Gibbs; the man who came into my life and in effect turned it upside down. The man with whom I fell in love with from almost the moment I looked into his dark blue eyes, the man who first became a good friend, then my closest, most intimate friend and finally to my ever lasting surprise and delight, my lover.


My lover. My American lover. The man whom I cannot imagine living outside of his home country, the country of his birth. The man with whom I will stay in America, even though for the last few years I have found myself yearning more and more for that other country I love and know.


Jethro has vowed that once he retires we will go and visit Britain and stay for several months. I can show him Eton, where I went to school, Edinburgh, where I went to university, where I lived, where I grew up. I can show him the country I love, the country that is dear to me and maybe he will allow himself to love her, to see her beauty, to see her as I see her. Until that day I shall be content to remain here, because as much as I love the country of my birth, I love my Jethro even more.


'Zulu Bravo', I hear Mr. Palmer repeat. 'Yes, Zee Bee'. I sigh softly to myself and return to sipping my tea and visualizing the rolling hills of Aberdeenshire.


Going Home is the sequel to this story.

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