Ashleigh Anpilova


Set a short time after The Meat Puzzle.

Ducky changes his style of dress.

An established relationship story.

Written: November 2007. Word count: 500.



When Ducky arrived at the office one day wearing a turtleneck sweater rather than his usual shirt and tie, people were surprised. But they didn't say anything.


At least they didn't say anything to Ducky.


And they certainly didn't say anything in Gibbs's hearing.


The former would have been rude.


The latter suicidal.


They did, however, discuss it amongst themselves, coming up with a variety of reasons as to why Ducky might be wearing it.


Kate, never liking to be foxed over a puzzle, searched the Internet and found old pictures of Illya Kuryakin. As she looked at them, she pondered whether Ducky was trying to emulate the man Gibbs had said Ducky had once looked like.


Tony suggested it was to cover up the dressing he must have on his neck, suggesting that maybe Ducky was embarrassed by it. Kate witheringly suggested to Tony that he was trying to channel himself onto Ducky.


Tim had an inkling of an idea, but decided it was so ridiculous, he dismissed it. Besides, it certainly wasn't the kind of idea he was prepared to discuss with his co-workers, not even once they were certain Gibbs had taken Ducky out to lunch.


Abby denied fervently that she had persuaded Ducky to get a tattoo.


No one thought to ask Palmer.


And Gibbs? Well, if Gibbs knew, Gibbs wasn't telling.



"Sorry about that, Duck," Jethro said, gently stroking the red mark on Ducky's neck. "Got carried away."


Ducky sighed and settled into Jethro's embrace; arching his back he pushed his head back further to enable his lover more access to his neck. "Mmmm," he managed, when Jethro replaced his fingertips with his lips and began to kiss, lick and gently nuzzle.


Ducky felt his arousal begin to harden, as the attention his lover was paying to his neck became more intense. "Ah, Jethro," he murmured, capturing one of Jethro's hands and guiding it down his body.


As Jethro's hand caressed his arousal, and his lips continued to make love to his neck, Ducky began to mentally catalogue how many such sweaters he had. At least he did for about three seconds, before the dual attention Jethro was paying to his body overtook him.


Later, much later, much, much later, Ducky lay replete on the bed, still in Jethro's arms, still being lightly stroked. He smiled up at his lover, who looked as relaxed and pleased as Ducky felt.


And then to Ducky's surprise he saw a frown crease the skin between the steady, passion tinged dark gaze. "Dearest?" he asked, letting his fingertips flirt with Jethro's slightly stubbled cheek.


"Just wondering what's going to happen if we get a body tomorrow," Jethro said, again gently fingering Ducky's neck.


Ducky chuckled softly, and tugged Jethro's head down in order to kiss him.


They could cross that bridge if and when they came to it. And in the meantime, in the meantime he would simply enjoy wearing the mark of the man he knew loved him.



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