Set after Dagger.
Ducky knows Jethro will break.
An established relationship story.
Written: November 2008. Word count: 300.
From the moment Jethro walked into Autopsy, his head grazed from a bullet, his finger mangled, looking for Ducky to 'fix him', Ducky knew it would come.
There would be a moment when the steely exterior, the detached manner, the 'I-did-what-I-had-to-do-it-was-my-job', would fail and Jethro would breakdown.
Ducky had seen it before. Not often, but more often than others who knew Jethro would have imagined.
Today his lover had deliberately fired his gun into the chest of a woman with whom he'd worked. A woman who, despite being a murderess, had touched Jethro; had moved him. She'd given her life, as all NCIS agents know they might have to do, to save others.
Jethro had taken her life. Had killed her in order to kill the man behind her. And Jethro would pay for that.
All thoughts of still being pissed with Jethro fled as Ducky saw his face. What did it matter if Jethro hadn't told him what he was doing? That didn't matter; not now. What mattered now was that he was there for Jethro. That no matter what, where, when or how, he, Ducky, was there.
It came later that night when Jethro suddenly declared he had to go to the bathroom. But Ducky knew he didn't; Ducky knew what that meant. So he simply and deliberately held Jethro in place, knowing that if his lover really chose to do so, he could break the hold. "No, you don't, my dear," he said, pulling Jethro into his arms.
For the rest of the night and into the early hours of the morning he just held his shuddering lover. Held him and wondered if the day would ever come when Jethro, with Ducky at his side, would walk away from NCIS and the hell he had to endure.
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