FOOLS RUSH IN
Set after Enigma.
Ducky goes to confront Gibbs over his actions.
A first time story.
Written: August 2008. Word count: 2,206.
"You bloody fool!" Back ram-rod straight, stride deliberate, Ducky crossed to where Jethro stood. He moved closer and closer and closer, until his head was tipped back so far Jethro thought it must have hurt him.
As he stared down into the steely gaze of Ducky's eyes and the frozen look on his face, Jethro had to clamp down on the temptation to take a step backwards. "Duck?" he managed, making the single word a question.
"What the hell did you think you were doing? Oh, I forgot, you probably weren't even thinking, were you? You were just listening to that bloody gut of yours. Don't you have any sense, Gibbs?"
"Ducky, I –" He cut himself off; he what? Was sorry? Didn't understand what Ducky was getting at? Had been perfectly safe? All of those? None of those?
Ducky sighed loudly and continued to glare up at Jethro. "Just tell me why, Jethro?" he demanded, for a second, his voice softened just a little. But then as he continued to speak, the harshness and anger returned. "Why did you do it? Why? Does you life really matter to you so little? Do I –"
Jethro waited. "Go on, Duck," he said. "Do you what?"
"Please do not change the subject. Why did you do it?"
"I really believed he wouldn't shoot me," Jethro said, and he had; he really had.
"Did you? Or are we back to Semper Fi again?"
"He was sick, Duck."
"Yes, I know that. And I'm sorry about that; I really am, Jethro. I know how important Colonel Ryan was to you. And how much you –" Again Ducky abruptly stopped speaking.
"How much I what?"
Ducky shook his head. "It doesn't matter." But they both knew what Ducky had almost said. They both knew how at least a part of Jethro would have preferred it had Lieutenant Cameron not died instead of him; had not taken a bullet meant for Jethro.
Jethro extended a hand slowly and put carefully and gently put it on Ducky's shoulder. He could feel how tense Ducky was, how taut his muscles were; he could feel the way they were quivering very slightly beneath his grip. "Duck?"
To his surprise, Ducky glanced away, bending his head slightly and shrouding his eyes and face from Jethro's gaze. "If Tobias hadn't been there –"
"I really don't think Colonel Ryan would have shot me. I truly believed that, Duck."
Now Ducky did look back up. Some of the steel had vanished from the steady blue gaze, as he stared at Jethro. "Did you? Did you really, Jethro?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I did"
"Despite everything? The way he interrogated Tobias's man? The way he kept on the run? The way he shot at the FBI?!" How much had Fornell told him? Jethro would have a word or two or more to say to his other old friend. Ducky went on. "The way he spoke about, and to, Lieutenant Cameron as if he was still alive? But you knew he wasn't, didn't you, Jethro? You knew something was wrong?" The pure anger that had been in Ducky's voice, like the steel in his gaze, began to fade, and now he sounded almost puzzled.
"Yeah. Yes, I did, Duck. But I had to try to help him. If the FBI had gotten their hands on him, God knows what would have happened. The Colonel was trained, Duck, trained in a way the FBI can't begin to understand."
"I do realize that, Jethro; that almost makes what you did worse. You were unarmed, Jethro, you . . ." Suddenly Ducky turned away and began to move across the room towards the door. As he did he said something, very quietly, under his breath. "I don't know how much longer I can go on doing this." At least that was what Jethro thought he'd said; but he knew he wouldn't be able to swear under oath that those had been Ducky's words.
He followed Ducky and stopped him by putting his hand on his shoulder again. "Duck, why's this bothering you so much? I'm a Federal Agent, I . . . Well you know."
Ducky sighed softly and bent his head a little. Then he straightened up, turned around, Jethro kept his hand on his shoulder and looked up at Jethro. "Ah, Jethro," he said, all hint of steel gone from his eyes now. "Do forgive me. I am just being . . . Of course I know you face de- what you risk every time you leave the building on a case. It is just . . ." Now Ducky trailed off, and a very faint hint of color touched his cheeks. "Forgive me, my dear?" he asked, smiling a little ruefully as he gazed up at Jethro.
"Nothing to forgive, Duck," Jethro said, moving his hand from where it rested on Ducky's shoulder and patting his cheek. To his surprise he heard a half-bitten off gasp from Ducky as well as saw, in the soft blue gaze that was often so very open and revealing, a flash of . . . desire?
"Duck?" he said softly, as he slowly, taking great care not to spook Ducky, slid his hand around the back of Ducky's neck, while putting his other hand onto Ducky's shoulder.
"Duck?" he repeated when, to his surprise, he felt Ducky begin to move backwards – or try to do so. However, the attempted move was futile as he kept Ducky in place, without necessarily appearing to do so.
"Duck?" he said for a third time, as to his horror he saw a fission of fear flash through the now completely closed off to him gaze.
"Jethro, I really must go. Mother will be waiting for her –"
"Never thought I'd see the day you'd lie to me, Duck," he said quietly.
"If your mom hadn't got someone with her, you wouldn't have come here tonight; not this late anyway."
Now the faint color he'd seen earlier was back, several-fold. "I . . ." Ducky again trailed off and once more looked away from Jethro's gaze.
And suddenly it hit him; not a frying pan, a seven iron or a baseball bat, but a startling clarity and explanation. It hit him as to just why Ducky was so pissed with him; just what was going to come after the hastily cut-off 'Do I'. As well as the quiet, but now clear, 'I don't know how much longer I can go on doing this.'
Ducky wanted him. Ducky was in love with him. It all made sense now; not just tonight, but everything; from the moment they had met to now. Everything Ducky had said, done; they way he looked at Jethro, spoke to him, touched him, invaded his personal space, never minded when Jethro interrupted him, stood up for him, was there for him to talk to, to give advice, and so much more.
But something else hit him too: he had to play this carefully, very carefully. Ducky was rather like a colt he'd once seen when he'd stayed with his childhood best friend and his family, and they'd been allowed to go into the barn and see the few weeks old colt. One misplaced word or action and Ducky would flee.
His hand was still cupping Ducky's neck and his other hand still resting on Ducky's shoulder. Slowly, casually, non-deliberately, he slid the hand that cupped Ducky's neck upwards into the thick, heavy hair. As he did that, he moved his other hand slightly, so that he had a better, more secure grip on Ducky's shoulder. He kept his movements slow and he never once broke eye contact. Ducky's eyes had widened almost imperceptibly as he continued to gaze up at Jethro. He was still tense, in fact it had increased slightly, and his eyes were still carefully controlled.
"You know, Duck," Jethro said softly, as he slid his hand up yet further into Ducky's hair. "You could have just told me."
"Told you?" Ducky's voice sounded very un-Ducky-like as he attempted to move without appearing to do so from Jethro's double grip – but Jethro wasn't letting him go anywhere. Not now. Not now he knew.
"Mmm," he said, and quite deliberately licked his lips. This time Ducky's bitten-off gasp was louder. "That you want me."
Ducky's mouth fell open and his eyes widened even more as again he attempted to move away. "I –"
"You do want me, don't you, Duck?"
"I . . ."
"Well? Come on, Duck, it's a simple enough question, isn't it?" Now Jethro began, still without appearing to do so, to guide Ducky a little nearer to him. "Do you want me?" he repeated. "Or," he added, as sudden inspiration hit him, "am I about to make a complete fool of myself?"
"Fool of yourself?" Ducky managed.
"Mmm, when I do this?" And with those words, Jethro ceased making his movements unobtrusive and instead put his arms around Ducky, gathered him into his embrace, bent his head and put his mouth on Ducky's.
He heard Ducky's third gasp, as his lips met Ducky's soft and cool ones; felt Ducky freeze for a second and then felt himself being kissed back with a passion and talent he was ashamed to admit he would never have guessed his old friend possessed.
Beneath his lips, Ducky's lips parted and as he slipped his tongue inside the warm, moist mouth, he tasted, as well as smelled, the scents that always surrounded Ducky; had seemed to surround him from the day they had met. Fresh woodlands, the sea, jasmine and formaldehyde mingled under his tongue, infiltrated his nose and surrounded him.
Ducky was now pressed against him, and Jethro had a clear answer to his question: oh, yes, Ducky wanted him; he wanted him very much indeed – that much was clear. He felt himself shiver with desire as his own want, his own need, began to creep up, and he allowed himself to be swept along by the newness, the oldness, the novel, the known, the intensity, the moderation, the passion, the chasteness.
Ducky was new to him as a lover, but known to him in every other way, suddenly it was as if they'd been lovers for years, for decades. Instinctively, he knew how Ducky would make love, how he'd want to be touched, caressed, kissed, stroked; he knew it because he knew Ducky. And he knew something else too: they'd been heading here since the day they had met. The day nearly three decades ago when he'd met the, even then, eccentric, wealthy Brit, who had quietly, but with steady determination, become so much a part of Jethro's life that he could barely remember what it was like before Ducky.
Finally, because even Federal Agents and Medical Examiners have to breathe in order to stay alive, Jethro broke the kiss. But he didn't let go of Ducky, instead he pulled him even nearer, smiled at the way Ducky's head came to rest against his shoulder, the way Ducky rested his weight against him. "Take that as a yes then, shall I, Duck?" he murmured, burying his head beneath Ducky's sweet smelling hair and nuzzling his ear.
He smiled with pleasure as he felt and heard Ducky chuckle. "Oh, yes, my dear," Ducky said, the humor clear in his tone. "You most certainly may."
"Good," Jethro said, smiling to himself as Ducky shivered with obvious pleasure as Jethro's breath touched his ear. "In that case, Dr. Mallard, how about we take this somewhere more comfortable?" He kissed Ducky's ear again, then kissed his way around to his nose, before lightly and briefly placing another two kisses on his lips. Then he moved back far enough, let Ducky go from a full embrace, took his hand and began to lead him across the room.
"I think that, Agent Gibbs, would be a very suitable proposition." Ducky's hand felt warm and secure in his; it fitted perfectly, just as Ducky had fitted perfectly into his arms. "Although," he said, stopping and looking up at Jethro. "There is one condition."
"That you lock your front door."
Jethro laughed aloud as he pulled Ducky back tightly against him, now maneuvering him into a one-armed embrace as they continued their way across the floor, out into the hall where he paused long enough to not only lock but also bolt his front door, before going up the stairs and into his bedroom.
There they began a new chapter in their lives together; added a new dimension, a new intimacy, a new level of connecting, tied bindings that had already been tighter than tight even tighter.
Hours later though as he shifted just enough to turn off the light, Jethro mused to himself that apart from the sex - which was in truth a tiny part of their relationship, of what they had - nothing had actually changed between them.
"Ah, Duck," he whispered as he put out the light. "Love you," he lightly kissed Ducky's lips one more time, before settling down to sleep, his lover held lightly but more than a little possessively in his arms.
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