SOMETIMES LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH
Set after Dead Reflection.
Gibbs goes to see Ducky.
An established relationship story.
Warning: This is not a happy story.
Written: April 2011. Word count: 1,084.
Sometimes love is not enough
Sometimes love don't make it right
As soon as Ducky opened to the door and saw Jethro standing outside he knew something was amiss. Jethro had had a key to Ducky's Reston home for many years and always used it. "Jethro," he said, keeping his tone neutral.
"Hey, Duck," Jethro didn't meet his eyes.
Ducky sighed softly. "Well, are you going to come in or do you intend to stand outside all night?"
Now Jethro did glance up and the look he gave Ducky made Ducky wonder if Jethro did indeed intend to remain outside. However, after a moment or two, he gave a half-shrug and a nod, which Ducky decided to interpret as Jethro's intention to join him inside his home. He moved back a little and held the door pointedly. After standing for another second or two, Jethro walked into Ducky's house. Ducky closed and relocked the door; however, he did not push the bolts into place.
Jethro opened his mouth, then closed it again. When he did speak, Ducky was a little surprised by his words. "Can I have a drink?"
"Of course," Ducky replied and led the way into the sitting room. He poured two generous measures of malt scotch and handed one to Jethro.
"Thanks." Jethro took a gulp of the amber liquid and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "DiNozzo came to see me earlier," he said, still not quite meeting Ducky's gaze.
"I see," Ducky said keeping his tone non-committal.
"Yeah. Told me politely who he slept with wasn't any of my business."
Ducky sighed. "Well now, Jethro, in all honesty, despite your rules, Anthony is correct. It is not your concern. The Agency does not have any rules that forbid colleagues dating or indeed to marrying. You know that."
Now Jethro did look at him; his stare was angry, his face pinched. "Gee, thanks, Duck. Thought you might have supported me."
Ducky shrugged. "Normally, Jethro, as you well I know, I will and I do. However," he broke off and sipped his drink. "Jethro, you did not come here to talk to me about Anthony sleeping with Erica, did you?" He spoke quietly.
Sometimes love is not enough
Baby please don't ask me why
You know the truth just hurts too much
And it's so hard to say goodbye
The anger in Jethro's stare faded to be replaced by pain. He drained the rest of his drink and put the glass down before putting his hand on Ducky's shoulder and then moved it to cup his face. "I love you, Duck," he said, his voice slightly hoarse.
Ducky sighed. "I know, my dear. And you know I love you."
Jethro went on as if Ducky hadn't spoken. "I'll always love you, Duck."
Ducky sighed again; he knew what was coming. "Yes, Jethro, I know."
"But, Duck, I can't . . . We can't . . . I'm a bastard, you know that. But I'm not a hypocrite."
"No, I know you aren't." Ducky felt Jethro's hand begin to move a little over his cheek and his fingertips began to flirt with Ducky's lips. Ducky wanted to turn away from the pain he could see in Jethro's eyes. He wanted to turn and run, to run away before Jethro said anything else. He wanted to run away from the pain he was feeling; the deep, insidious, scything pain that was creeping through his body, chilling him.
"It's not right, Duck. It can't be right. You understand, don't you?"
Ducky looked up at the man he loved, the man who loved him, the man he would always love, the man who had hurt him deeply over the years and was doing so again. The man who was now asking him for absolution from the pain he was about to deliver. Did he understand? Did he understand that basically Jethro was saying love wasn't enough?
"I can't demand DiNozzo stops sleeping with EJ while I'm sleeping with you, Duck," Jethro said, after Ducky failed to answer him. "I love you but -"
"It isn't enough?" Ducky didn't try to hide the bitterness from his tone.
Jethro opened his mouth and closed it again swiftly. He just stared down at Ducky and put his other hand on Ducky's face, now holding it between both hands. "Duck," he whispered. "I have to do this. I -" He stopped speaking and instead bent his head and kissed Ducky gently.
Ducky didn't return the kiss, but nor did he fight it. He just stood, feeling his lover's lips on his, tasting the scent he knew so well, waiting for Jethro to lift his head.
When Jethro did stand up straight, Ducky saw the glistening of tears in the dark blue eyes. "Duck . . ." But rather than go on, Jethro just tugged Ducky into a fierce embrace, buried his nose in Ducky's hair and murmured. "Love you." Then he pulled away, turned on his heel and strode out of the room.
Ducky stood and watched him go. For a moment he let the pain tear through him, he even enjoyed the intensity of the hurt, he let it eat him up, consume him, threaten to devour him.
Then he sighed, pushed his hair back from his forehead and went slowly out into the hall to bolt the front door. As he pushed them into place he wondered how long it would be before Jethro came back to him; just as he'd always done in the past. But maybe he wouldn't this time; maybe this was it; maybe their more than a decade on-off relationship was over for good. Maybe love really wasn't enough - for either of them.
Gibbs got into his car, slammed the door and wiped the tears from his face. He sat for a moment just staring out in to the darkness before he turned on the ignition and drove off into the night. He loved Ducky; he always would love Ducky, just as he knew Ducky would always love him. It hurt; it hurt more than anything had ever hurt him; he felt as if his heart would never be whole again. But he had to do this. He had to make it right.
It breaks my heart to lose you now
I know I'll love you all my life
But sometimes love is not enough
Sometimes love is not enough
Sometimes love can't make it right.
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