Ashleigh Anpilova


The third part of the After Hiatus Series.

Set after the 'make up' scene in Smoked.

Jethro and Ducky return to Jethro's home to continue making up. However, Jethro feels he still has to explain to Ducky.

An established relationship story.

Written: July 2007. Word count: 1,435.




Hard To Say I'm Sorry - Chicago


Everybody needs a little time away

I heard her say

From each other


Even lovers need a holiday

Far away from each other


Hold me now

It's hard for me to say I'm sorry

I just want you to stay


After all that we've been through

I will make it up to you

I promise to


And after all that's been said and done

You're just a part of me I can't let go


For more than two hours Jethro and Ducky had been making love in Jethro's bed, with the front door firmly locked. Now as he held Ducky in his arms and continued to lightly stroke the pale, soft skin, Jethro felt fully at peace, content, sated and far happier than he thought he had the right to be.


Beyond what they'd said to one another in the office, they hadn't spoken about Jethro resigning, walking out, leaving everyone, abandoning Ducky, and the way he behaved when he came back; the way he had continued to behave.


And suddenly Jethro wanted to say more; wanted to explain, if he could, or at least try to. He'd broken his own rule and apologized to Ducky, but was it enough? Even coming from a man who rarely said he was sorry, did Ducky really understand? Really believe? Really accept what Jethro felt?


He had to know.


Even if he didn't make a very good job of it, he had to try. Had to try to explain, try to apologize again, and try to make it up to Ducky. To let his lover know how vital he was to him. How without Ducky in his life, Jethro really had no life; not as such.


"You were right you know, Duck." He spoke quietly.


Ducky moved back a little in his embrace and looked at him. "About what in particular, my dear?"


"I was avoiding you."


"Jethro, I -"


Jethro silenced him with a brief kiss before speaking again. "Hear me out, Duck, please."


"Very well." Ducky looked at him, his pale blue gaze steady, tender and loving.


Jethro took a deep breath. "I was avoiding you, Duck, because I didn't know what to say to you. I couldn't, then at least, say I was sorry for going, because . . ." He broke off. He couldn't admit it, it was too cruel.


"It's all right, dearest, say it." Ducky's tone was gentle, reassuring, encouraging; still he stared at Jethro, his gaze rich with affection.


"Part of me wasn't sorry for leaving, Duck. I had to go. I had to get away from everything and everyone. Even you," he added softly. "I needed to."


"I realize the now, Jethro. I confess that when you first left, I couldn't understand how you could just walk away from your job, the children, your life -"


"You?" Jethro said softly.


Ducky nodded. "Yes." His tone was equally low. Now he glanced away from Jethro's gaze; he seemed a little ashamed at what he had admitted.


Jethro tugged him a little nearer. "Ah, Duck, come here. I am sorry that I hurt you, I really am. I know it's not enough, but . . ."


"Never think it isn't enough, Jethro. I know how difficult it is for you to say it. Indeed, sometimes I wonder whether your way is the better way. Maybe too many people say 'I'm sorry' too easily; too glibly. With you, when you say it, I know that you mean it. I am afraid that one cannot always say that about everyone who -"


Jethro kissed Ducky again to silence him. As much as he loved hearing, listening to, Ducky's voice, he needed to finish his explanation.


"There's another reason as well why I was avoiding you," he said, after a moment or two of pleasurable kissing. "It was because I knew that if I did say something to you, say I was sorry, then we'd end up in bed. And I couldn't do that to you."


"Jethro?" Ducky's puzzlement was clear in his voice, in his expressive eyes, in his entire being.


"I knew I couldn't go to bed with you, Duck, because I wasn't sure that it'd be you I was thinking of. And I couldn't, I wouldn't, do that to you. It would have been cheating on you, and I've never done that. I couldn't do that. Do you understand, Duck? It wasn't that I didn't want you in my arms, it wasn't that I didn't want to touch you, kiss you, caress you, God, did I want to, being away from you was . . . But I couldn't. Does that make any sense?"


"Yes, dear. It does. And thank you. Thank you for your consideration and for your honesty. I do understand, I understand completely. And you were correct in what you did. I cannot say that I do not wish you had told me, tried to explain to me, but -"


"I don't think I could have done then, Duck. I think it might have made things worse. I didn't want to lose you completely."


"You'll never do that, Jethro. You should know that by now." Ducky spoke quietly, but firmly.


"You mean after everything I've done to you through the years? Everything I've put you through? The lies I've forced you to tell? The women? The -"


This time it was Ducky who silenced Jethro. And this time the kiss turned into something more, as Ducky again began to caress Jethro.


Jethro moaned softly with pleasure as knowledgeable hands began to stroke his back, and strong surgeon's fingers flirted with his spine. "Oh, Duck," he managed. "I'll make it up to you, I promise."


Ducky sighed with evident enjoyment as Jethro began to touch and stroke him in turn. "You already have, my dear. However, there is one final thing you can do for me, to show me that you really are back, really are mine again."


"Name it, Duck." And whatever it was, Jethro would do it; say it; get it for Ducky. There was nothing his lover could ask for that Jethro would deny him.


But Ducky didn't answer him, at least not with words. Instead he shifted slightly in Jethro's embrace, settled more firmly onto the mattress and parted his legs a little. He looked up at Jethro from under his heavy fringe, his eyes blazing with passion. The message was clear, at least to Jethro, the man who had spent more than thirty years making love to and with Ducky, of reading him, of knowing him, of loving him.


"I hate to say it, Duck, but I'm not sure I can - Ahhhhhh," he moaned, as the same knowledgeable hands that had stroked and caressed his back moved to another part of his body. Ducky touch and grip was sure and confident as he showed Jethro that he could indeed become aroused again.


As he entered Ducky's willing body, Jethro knew that his apology, his explanation, had been accepted and understood, and he was forgiven for what he had done. And he knew too that no matter what happened, what was said, done, thought, he could never let Ducky go. It would be impossible; he was as much a part of Jethro as Jethro himself was. Ducky was as much a part of him as he was of Ducky.


When some time later they finally settled down to sleep for a few hours, Jethro gathered Ducky into his arms and smiled as Ducky wrapped his own arms around him, holding him, reassuring him, offering him everything that Jethro could ever want.


"Love you, Duck," he murmured, as he closed his eyes.


"I love you too, my dearest." Jethro felt soft, warm lips gently brush his neck before Ducky snuggled a little closer.


As he fell asleep, Jethro knew that as hard as it was to say, sorry was, in this case, for Ducky, enough.


Couldn't stand to be kept away

Just for a day

From your body

Wouldn't want to be swept away

Far away

From the one that I love


Hold me now

It is hard for me to say I'm sorry

I just want you to know

Hold me now

I really want to tell you I'm sorry

I could never let you go


After all that we've been through

I will make it up to you

I promise to


After all that's been said and done

You're just a part of me I can't let go


After all that we've been through

I will make it up to you

I promise to







Is Sorry Really Enough?

Hard To Say I'm Sorry



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