EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Jethro comes home and overhears Ducky on the phone. What he hears surprises him beyond words.
An established relationship story.
Written: September 2007. Word count: 1,094.
"She really is beautiful; the most beautiful I have ever seen. I simply have to have her . . . Yes. . . . Oh, I'm not sure that I'll mention it to him yet; he may not understand." Ducky chuckled softly.
"Well, yes, she is expensive, but money isn't a problem. And she is just so right. I have to have her. I have never felt like this before. In fact I feel rather foolish, actually. A man of my age." Ducky chuckled again. "That is what Jethro says . . . Yes, I shall do that thing . . . Goodbye for now . . . What . . . Oh, yes, certainly. You, I know, will appreciate her. You will understand . . . Goodbye, Paul."
Jethro stood frozen in the hallway of the home he shared with Ducky, one hand still holding the front door, the other clutching his briefcase. To say he was stunned by what he had overheard, would have been an understatement. As would shocked. In fact he wasn't certain a word had been invented for how he felt.
His lover of more than three decades?
Ducky? The man who had, by his own omission, been gay his entire life.
Ducky? The man whose occasional stories about lady friends were just that, stories.
Ducky? The man who had never had any kind of intimate relationship with the opposite sex.
His lover of more than three decades?
Ducky? Was interested in a woman?
More than interested going by what he'd said to Paul. Much more than just interested.
And from what he'd said, the woman in question appeared to be a common prostitute – maybe not exactly common, given how expensive she was. But still.
Why now at the age of sixty-eight had Ducky suddenly decided he wanted a woman?
What could a woman give him that Jethro couldn't?
He ignored the obvious. He had always told Ducky he could have that if he wanted to. However, Ducky had always said he was happy with things the way they were; more than happy. He had never once shown any wish to make love to Jethro in that way.
And what about Jethro himself?
If Ducky suddenly decided to take up with women, a woman, what was Jethro going to do?
Hadn't he finally given Ducky what he'd always wanted? Complete and total commitment?
Hadn't he moved into Ducky's Reston home? Made their relationship open, clear and fully known about?
Hadn't they married just a year ago?
And now . . .
And now . . .
And now it seemed as if Ducky had lied to him. Had misled him. Had always lied to him.
Was this woman even the first?
Ducky had himself said ‘the most beautiful he'd ever seen'.
Had Ducky always lied to him?
Jethro couldn't believe that. Wouldn't believe that.
No, he was certain his lover hadn't lied to him over the years. Completely confident.
So it was just this one woman. She had to be something special. But why?
Maybe it was just Ducky's age, or his sense of feeling inadequate. Old. No longer of use. After all he had, somewhat against his will, retired from NCIS a few months ago.
Maybe Jethro hadn't taken the time to show Ducky just how important, how vital, how necessary, he still was to Jethro.
Yes, that was it. He'd been too wrapped up in work, he hadn't realized how long the days were for Ducky now. How they must stretch with little to do.
Well he'd change that.
He'd make Ducky see, realize, understand how important he was, and how much he mattered. How much Jethro needed, wanted and loved him. He'd make him see that he didn't need a woman to prove himself.
Yes, that was it. And he'd start right now.
Ostentatiously slamming the front door to announce his arrival, Jethro dropped his briefcase on the floor, flung his overcoat on top of it, and strode to the sitting room door. He reached it just as Ducky came out into the hall.
Without giving Ducky time to speak, Jethro swept his lover into his arms, lowered his head and kissed him with the kind of passion they usually reserved for the bedroom. The kiss, coupled with the way Jethro began to caress Ducky, would have left his lover in no doubt as to what he wanted.
Two hours later he gazed down at Ducky who looked completely and utterly sated, which matched Jethro's own mood. "Love you, Duck," he said.
Ducky smiled. "I know, my dear. And I love you too." And he ran the tip of his tongue over his bottom lip.
With a moan, Jethro lowered his head, found Ducky's mouth and once again began to show Ducky just how much he meant his words.
THREE MONTHS LATER
Jethro arrived home to find a strange Morgan parked outside their home. He wondered vaguely if Paul was visiting Ducky; he knew the two men shared a love of Morgans, but he didn't think it was Paul's car. Although, he had to confess, to his eyes one Morgan looked pretty much like another.
Shrugging to himself, he unlocked the door and let himself in. "Hey, Duck," he called, dumping his briefcase and overcoat. "I'm home."
Ducky came hurrying out of the sitting room. "Hello, Jethro." He sounded animated and his eyes shone. "I'm so glad you're home, there is simply something I must show you." And without even pausing to kiss Jethro, he grabbed his hand and dragged him outside.
"There," he said proudly, pointing to the unknown Morgan. "Isn't she a beauty? Isn't she the most beautiful you have ever seen?"
Jethro never did tell Ducky quite why he was firstly incapable of speech because he was consumed with laughter, and secondly why once he'd ceased to laugh, he'd wrapped his arms around Ducky and kissed him tenderly, passionately, lovingly, lingeringly.
He kissed him, right there, right outside their home; in full view of anyone who happened to drive by. And he didn't care. He didn't care who might see and what they might think. All he cared about was the man he had in his arms. The man he loved. The man who hadn't lied to him; hadn't let him down; hadn't changed.
His lover of more than three decades.
Once again, just as has happened three months earlier, supper was delayed by several hours.
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