LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
Set immediately after Doppelgänger.
Jethro muses on his obsession with redheads.
An established relationship story.
Written: January 2006. Word count: 457.
As I drive home after delivering Karen into Headquarters, I realize I'm not totally surprised that yet another redhead had misled me.
Will I ever learn to let go?
Ducky tells me that I have to; and he's right. If not for my own safety and sanity, which is what he's concerned about, then for Ducky's sake. He deserves more, much more, than the way I treat him.
The way I expect him to be there for me when I want him.
The way I know he'll say the right things. How he'll patch me up - literally on more than one occasion.
And how he'll never say 'I told you so.'
It's been over four decades since Mom walked out on Dad and me, and over three since she died. I should stop trying to replace her love. Not that I'm looking for a mother figure, I'm not. But I am looking for the kind of unconditional love a mother gives a child - should give a child. And somehow I keep thinking I'll find it with a redhead.
The sad thing is, I already have that kind of unconditional love. I have it from Ducky. Always have had. And always will have. Why can't it be enough? It's not as though I'm ashamed of us, of what we have - I never have been.
Sure I've gotten used to hiding our true relationship; I wouldn't have stayed a Marine if I hadn't. But that no longer applies.
I can't even blame Ducky's mother, because she knows. Well, senile or not it's hard to hide the fact that I spend so many nights at Ducky's home. Besides I sometimes think she's less batty than she lets on.
It's way past time I stopped playing games and was open about the relationship Ducky and I share. Especially as I sometimes think Abby at least has guessed.
After all I know that whenever a redhead walks into my life, trouble will come with her, and one way or another I'll suffer. And Ducky will pay.
'Remember everything. Regret nothing, Jethro my dear,' is what Ducky once told me. Like learning to let go, it's something else I wish I could do.
Ducky's house is in darkness, save the light in the hall and the light in his bedroom. I don't even need to ring the bell. The sixth sense we seem to share has once again proven accurate. "Hey, Duck," I say, as I lock my car and move across to where the light streams from the open door.
"Ah, my dear Jethro," is all he says. Then he slips his arm around me and guides me into the house, where soon there'll be only one light shining.
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