I NEED YOU
Jimmy has the results of his final exams.
An established relationship story.
Warning: Major character death mentioned.
Written: May 2009. Word count: 300.
Today was the day.
Gibbs strode into Autopsy to find Palmer holding an unopened envelope. "Hey, Palmer."
"Those your results?"
"Yes, sir. Um -"
"Here." Gibbs grabbed the envelope and opened it. He scanned the paper inside and for the first time in months smiled. "Congratulations. Dr. Palmer," he said.
"I've . . . I did it?" Palmer's eyes were wide.
"Yeah. Yeah, Jimmy. You did. Well done." Gibbs put his hand on Palmer's shoulder.
"Thank you. I wish I could tell -" Palmer cut himself off abruptly and glanced away.
Gibbs knew why. They'd been an unwritten 'rule' in the months since Ducky's death: no one mentioned him. "I'll tell him, Jimmy," he said softly.
He strode out leaving Palmer staring after him.
CHESTNUT GROVE CEMETERY
"So there you go, Duck. Palmer passed; just as you knew he would. He'll make a damn fine doctor. But you know that. You're the one who told me. The kids are all going out for dinner tonight to celebrate. They asked me too. But I told them I had something else to do. Somewhere else to be. That's it, Duck. That's the -"
"I thought I'd find you here." Gibbs glanced around; Fornell was standing behind him.
"I gave up trying to call you."
Gibbs shrugged. "I've been busy."
"Sure you have. So Palmer's a doctor?"
"Good for him."
"Yeah. Me too. He's the last."
"Yeah. Duck made me promise that I wouldn't - Not while anyone needed me. Abbs and McGee are settled; DiNozzo's going to San Diego; Ziva's happy."
"Did she ever tell you who the father was?"
Gibbs shook his head. "No. But she's a good mother. And now Palmer's qualified I . . ." He trailed off.
Fornell looked at him for a moment. Then he swallowed hard and said quietly. "I need you, Jethro."
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