Jethro finds a letter Ducky had written to him, but never sent. In turn he replies.
A first time story.
Written: July 2009. Word count: 1,000.
Love is when you would willingly give up everything if it meant they would smile.
Gibbs let himself into Reston House and paused, the key still in the lock. Something was missing, and he didn't mean Ducky. For a moment he couldn't think what it was, but then he realized the grandfather clock that ticked away day and night had fallen silent.
Pleased to have solved the mystery so quickly, he pulled the key from the lock, dropped it into his pocket, shut the door and strode along the hall to restart the clock.
Once that was done he headed up the stairs and into Ducky's bedroom to collect pajamas, toiletries, and a couple of books Ducky had asked for to help pass the time while he was hospitalized following a rather late-in-life appendectomy.
The book he was currently reading, Ducky had told him, was in the top drawer of his nightstand. Opening it, Gibbs snagged the book and took it out. As he did he realized he'd also pulled out a piece of cream paper covered with Ducky's handwriting. About to put it back into the drawer, he noticed it began 'Dear Jethro'.
Without making a conscious decision, he read it.
There is something I have to tell you.
I am in love with you.
It is as simple and complex as that.
I love you and have done so from the moment I met you. And I know that I will always love you. I know this because of the simple fact that you make my day merely by smiling at me. Indeed, I know that I would willingly give up everything just to get you to smile at me. I am quite certain no one should love another person quite that much, but I do.
You do not love me, at least not in the way that I love you. I know that you care for me, care for me deeply, as a friend. I might even be bold enough to say that you love me as a friend. However, that is all it is, and all it can ever be.
And it should be enough; after all friendship is far more important than a few minutes of physical gratification.
And most of the time it is enough. It is. Truly it is.
But sometimes . . . Oh, sometimes I long for more. Sometimes I wish that you would hold me in your arms as a lover, not just as a friend. Sometimes I wish that you would look at me and see me as more than your oldest, dearest, closest friend. Sometimes I wish that you would put your lips to mine. And sometimes it is more than just a wish; sometimes I yearn for you in this way. Sometimes I even -
But no. I know that it can never be.
You love women. You always have and you always will. I just wish that you could find one that would make you happy.
That is what I want for you, to be happy. I love you that much. I know that I can never be the one to make you happy, so I wish for someone who can.
I cannot understand people who say 'if I can't have you, no one can'. That isn't love. That can never be love. If you love someone, then you want what is right for them, and if that is not you, you learn to live with it. Just as I have done. Just as I will go on doing.
With my deepest love,
Gibbs read the letter again, just to make sure he hadn't somehow misread it the first time. But no, there it was in black and cream: Ducky's declaration of love for him.
"Well, I'll be damned," he said. "All this time." Ducky had been in love with him and he hadn't known; hadn't seen the signs. Some investigator he was!
He read the letter for a third time, before putting it carefully back in the nightstand drawer and continuing to pack a bag for Ducky. Once he'd got everything Ducky had asked for, he left the bag on Ducky's bed and headed for Ducky's study.
Ten minutes later he slammed the front door shut behind him, turned the key to double lock it, threw Ducky's bag into his car and headed back to the hospital.
Ducky was dozing when Gibbs slipped into his room, and deciding not to disturb him, he silently and swiftly unpacked the bag and put things away. The only thing he didn't put away was the book he'd taken from Ducky's nightstand. That he placed on the table next to Ducky's bed.
And then, after closing the blinds so the afternoon sun wouldn't make Ducky too hot, he paused long enough to brush his lips over Ducky's forehead, before quietly leaving the room.
Ducky awoke from the dream he'd been having; the dream in which Jethro had finally kissed him. He sighed a little wistfully and looked around the room. His eyes came to rest on the book by his bed and he sighed again; he'd slept through Jethro's return. Absurdly he felt bitterly disappointed and decided to read for a while.
Reaching for his glasses and the book, he opened the latter, and to his surprise a piece of paper fluttered out onto the bed. Frowning, he picked it up and unfolded it. To his astonishment he saw it began 'Dear Duck'.
Puzzled, not only was there only one person who used that term, but even had it said 'Ducky' he knew the handwriting, it was a second or two before he began to read.
I don't have the way with words that you have, so I'll just say it.
I love you.
"That answer your question?" Jethro asked, finally breaking the gentle, loving kiss.
Ducky gazed at Jethro, for a moment at a loss for words. Then he smiled and said, "Actually, I'm not sure. Perhaps you could just tell me again?"
Jethro laughed, leaned forward and did so.
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