DO NOT WORRY
Jethro tries something new.
An established relationship story.
Written: March 2009. Word count: 1,000.
"I get the distinct impression you've never done this before."
Jethro rolled his eyes. "That obvious, eh?"
Ducky smiled and said, his tone clearly meant to be reassuring, "It is rather, my dear. But do not worry. You are doing very well and you will, I assure you, get better at it in time."
"Gee, thanks, Duck."
Ducky flushed slightly. "Oh, dear. That did sound more than a little condescending, did it not?"
"You think?" His oft-said words were unintentionally snarled. Ducky glanced away from him and instantly Jethro was contrite. He put his hand over Ducky's. "Ah, sorry, Duck. Didn't mean it to sound so cutting. Reckon for a moment I forgot it was you and not DiNozzo."
Now Ducky looked back up at him; his eyes wide and shining with mirth. Then to Jethro's relief he chuckled. "I'm not entirely certain I wish to know or to imagine just why you might be mixing me up with Anthony," he said smiling.
Jethro shook his head. "You're twisting everything I say, Dr. Mallard, aren't you?"
Ducky smiled broadened. "Why, yes, Agent Gibbs, I believe I just might be." He sounded eminently pleased with himself.
Jethro laughed. "Ah, Duck," he said, his tone heavy with fondness.
For a moment or two they just looked at one another. Then Ducky said softly, "Well, Jethro, I do believe we should return to what we were doing before we went off on a tangent." Ducky's smile was now one of encouragement.
Jethro said dryly, "I can't imagine why we did that, can you?"
"No, dear. I cannot." To Jethro's eyes Ducky looked far too innocent. However, before he could say anything, Ducky went on. "Now, why do we not try again?"
Resisting the urge to 'remind' Ducky he was fifty-five and not five, Jethro said, "I don't know, Duck. I'm really not sure it's my type of thing." He nearly laughed ironically, as he was suddenly aware that he was in danger of sounding like a petulant child. But he'd never enjoyed doing things he didn't know how to do. And this was something he'd never even thought he'd ever try. "Couldn't you do it instead?" He gave Ducky the look that ninety-nine times out of a hundred got him his own way.
Ducky, however, shook his head. Obvious it was the one time in a hundred. "Oh, I am afraid not, Jethro. We did agree that this time you would be the one to do it, did we not?"
"Yeah, I know." Jethro sighed. "Okay. Let's have another go. I'd almost got it right in last time."
"Indeed you had. Now that's it. Good. Just push it in there. Oh, Jethro, do be careful. You are not thumping a criminal or even slapping poor Anthony. You need a more delicate touch. Imagine you are caressing your boat. There's that better. No, no, no. Do not just ram it in, you'll damage the skin. Work it in, yes. That's it. Oh, well done." Ducky patted his back.
"Is that it, Duck?" Jethro asked, letting out a whoosh of breath. He couldn't believe how hard he was working. Surely it shouldn't be that difficult?
"Oh, no, dear. That is merely the first part." Ducky's tone was back to being his encouraging 'tutor' one.
"The first part? You mean there's more?" Jethro couldn't believe it. For the first time in a long, long time he willed his cell phone to ring and for someone to demand his presence at a crime scene.
"Oh, yes. You have to do the other end."
Ducky nodded. "You do."
Jethro rolled his eyes and then cast his gaze upwards. He could do this. He could do this. He was Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Nothing defeated him. He could do this. Other people did it, it wasn't anything rare. Ducky did it. Therefore, he could. "Okay," he said, resigned to continuing. "Don't ram, take it nice and gently."
"You remembered. Oh, it is always a pleasure when one is listened to." Ducky beamed at him.
Turning away from Ducky, Jethro hid a scowl and went back to following Ducky's instructions to be gentle and careful.
As he pushed and maneuvered, he felt Ducky's breath on his neck. "Yes, that's it. I always told you that you were a fast learner. We'll make an expert of you yet." Ducky fell silent as Jethro glanced at him and shot him the kind of glare he usually reserved for the kids.
For a minute or two there was silence, apart from Jethro muttering softly under his breath as he pushed his fingers into the tight cavity. "There," he said, taking his hand away and wiping his brow. "Is that it now?" He looked at Ducky, almost daring him to say anything other than 'yes, Jethro'.
"Oh, well, done, Jethro. Finally, you have done it. And for your first attempt you really have done extremely well." Jethro looked at Ducky and raised an eyebrow. "Oh, dear. I am sorry, dearest, I am afraid I sound a little condescending again, do I not?"
This time Jethro didn't comment. Instead he asked, "Duck, tell me again just why I agreed to do this?"
"Well, Jethro, it was you who insisted that we play cards for it. You who said it was hardly fair that I did it each time, do you not remember?"
Of course Jethro remembered. He remembered very well. It was just that he hadn't been expecting Ducky to be quite the card shark he had turned out to be. He'd fully expected to beat him, thus maintaining a sense of fair play without actually having to do it. "Yeah, Duck," he said. "I remember."
"Yes," Ducky said, his smile getting broader. "I must confess that as much as I enjoy inviting the children to join us for Christmas lunch each year, it does make a pleasant change not to have to stuff the turkey."
Shaking his head, Jethro leaned towards Ducky and . . .
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