KEEP THEM GUESSING
Gibbs and Ducky's plans for a day out together get scuppered and DiNozzo is left with a puzzle.
An established relationship story.
Written: December 2010. Word count: 1,000.
As Jethro's cell phone began to burble, Ducky sighed. No good ever came of a phone call at five o'clock in the morning and this was meant to be Jethro and his day off. Jethro was showering prior to them leaving for their day on the sea, so Ducky hurried around the bed and picked the phone up. "Hello -" Before he could say anything else, he was interrupted.
"Hey, boss. I know it's your day off, but - That's not Gibbs, is it?"
Ducky hid a smile. "No, Anthony," he said, "it is I, Ducky."
"Ducky?" Tony's voice crept up an octave. "But I'm sure I . . ."
Ducky heard a faintly muffled sound and guessed Tony was checking the number he'd called. "You called the correct number, Anthony," he said. "I merely answered Jethro's phone as he is otherwise engaged."
"Oh. Okay. But he's there, right?" Tony sounded uncertain.
"Yes, Anthony, Jethro is here."
"So why are you answering Gibbs's phone?" Now Tony's tone became his 'there's something I don't know and I have to know' one.
"Why don't you tell me why you are calling Jethro at five in the morning on his day off?" Ducky spoke firmly.
"Oh, yeah. That. Marine family, mom, dad, two kids have been found murdered; shot." Tony's tone became quite somber.
"Oh, dear, God," Ducky murmured.
"Yeah. The director thought the boss'd want to know. I can handle it, if he still wants -"
"Jethro will be with you as soon as possible, Anthony, as will I," Ducky added. "What is the address, please?" He wrote down the address Tony gave him. "Thank you."
"Nothing. Just tell Gibbs I'm sorry to have interrupted his plans - whatever they were."
Despite Tony's news about the Marine family, Ducky found himself smiling at the obvious attempt to ascertain quite what was going on. "I shall indeed tell him. We will see you shortly, Anthony. Goodbye for now," and forestalling any other possible attempt by Tony to obtain information, Ducky ended the call.
He put Jethro's cell phone back down before heading across the room to exchange his casual trousers, casual shirt and casual sweater for his suit, one of his normal workday shirts and a red bowtie. Still tying the latter he went into the steamy bathroom, he was just in time to see Jethro get out of the shower. "Thought you said sharing was -" Jethro came to an abrupt halt as he looked at Ducky, his penetrating gaze taking in Ducky's attire. Grabbing his towel and beginning to dry himself and raised an eyebrow in Ducky's direction.
"Anthony called, at the request, or I probably should say order, of our Director. The bodies of a Marine family, the parents and two children have been found murdered."
Jethro paused mid-hair rub and shook his head. "Damn it," he growled. Ducky nodded; he knew as much as Jethro hated any murder, the killing of innocent children touched him far more than that of adults.
"We'll get whoever did it," Ducky said, briefly touching Jethro's damp arm.
"Damn right we will."
"And then we can have our day off together," Ducky said calmly. He'd long stopped feeling any kind of guilt for having a life outside of crime scenes, murder, abduction and the other things man did to their fellow man. As harsh as it might sound, life did go on and anyone involved in any way with the solving of crime knew that only too well, just as they knew how quickly life could be over. To make plans, to laugh, to talk about personal matters during a case didn't lessen the severity of the case, didn't show disrespect to those who had died or been hurt; it just helped keep people sane.
Jethro nodded. "Yeah, we will." And then to Ducky's partial surprise, Jethro put his hand behind Ducky's head, tugged him forward and gave him a fierce, fairly brief kiss, before ruffling his hair. He rubbed his shoulders again with the towel, tossed it over the heated rail and naked strode out of the bathroom into Ducky's bedroom and began to dress.
Ducky sat on the edge of the bed and watched Jethro ignore his jeans, tee-shirt and sweat-shirt and instead pulled from the wardrobe a one of his office shirts, smart trousers and his blue-grey jacket and began to dress. "Oh," Ducky said, "Anthony sounded more than a little surprised that I was the one to answer your phone."
Jethro, about to button up his trousers paused and grinned at Ducky. "I bet he did. How hard did he try to find out why?"
Ducky smiled. "For Anthony, not very hard, I am surprised to say. Although I confess I didn't give him that much of an opportunity. No doubt he will try again later and I'm sure by now he has informed Timothy and Ziva. Do you maybe think we should . . ."
"Tell them?" Jethro shrugged into his jacket and began to fill the pockets. Ducky nodded. "Nah, let them keep guessing. We can put them out of their misery with the invitations."
Jethro put his watch on and grabbed his Sig. He then opened the drawer of the nightstand that stood by his side of the bed. "Yeah. Not how I planned it, not as romantic as the middle of the ocean and not the best time. But as we both know life's - Ah, hell. Here," he crossed the room in four long strides, pulled Ducky to his feet and gave him a small box. "Marry me, Duck," he said.
Ducky blinked. "Jethro, I . . ." he trailed off under Jethro's fondly exasperated frown. "I'd be honored," he said solemnly.
"Good." Jethro lowered his head and gave Ducky another swift kiss. As he straightened up, the lover fled and the special agent asserted himself. "Come on," he caught Ducky's hand. "Sooner we get there, the sooner we can start to track down the bastard. We'll take my car; give 'em something else to wonder about."
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