THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT OF ALL

 

By

 

Ashleigh Anpilova

 

Gibbs has forgotten Ducky's birthday. Nonetheless he comes up with a unique solution.

A first time story.

Written: December 2008. Word count: 3,536.

 

 

"Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs." Abby caught his arm and yanked him into her lab.

 

"Abbs!"

 

"Sorry, Gibbs." He didn't think she looked in the least bit repentant. "So, what have you got him?"

 

He blinked and looked at her. "Who?"

 

"What?"

 

"Who? Abbs, what have I got who?"

 

"Ducky of course."

 

"Ducky? But why - Oh, shit."

 

Her eyes widened and she paled under her pale make-up. "Gibbs, you didn't? You haven't? Gibbs, tell me you're kidding."

 

"Do I kid, Abby?"

 

"Well, not usually, no. But - Oh, Gibbs." The way she looked at him reminded him of the way his second grade teacher had looked at him when he'd pulled Mary-Ellen's pigtails so hard she'd wet herself. "How could you?" Even her tone was the same.

 

"Abbs, I . . ." He trailed off as she turned her back on him and pointedly began gathering together a pile of presents. "Abby." But now she simply picked up the pile and marched out of her lab, back straight, pigtails bouncing in a defiant way.

 

The looks he got when he strode into the squad room a few minutes later, made it perfectly clear that Abby had not kept his oversight to herself. Even Palmer managed to glare at him, albeit in a somewhat apologetic way.

 

To make matters worse the team had piled Ducky's birthday presents on Gibbs's own desk - talk about pointed. He glanced at his watch, maybe he could pop out and . . . And what? Grab a bottle of Ducky's favorite scotch or a book token. No, that would be even worse.

 

He took his overcoat off and flung it over the filing cabinet, dropped his briefcase next to it, put his gun in his desk drawer and sat down at his desk. He had to forcibly stop himself from shivering at the iciness of the air that swirled around him.

 

And it wasn't just any birthday he'd forgotten, it was Ducky's sixty-fifth. God, he'd done some bastardly things in his time, but forgetting his oldest, closest friend's birthday just about topped them all. The kids had ever right to be pissed with him, he was pissed with himself, and it wasn't as if he had any genuine excuse - he hadn't. He had plain and simply forgotten.

 

Fuck it, he had to do something. Ignoring the low conversation that was going on and the icy stares and pointed looks he was still getting, he grabbed the phone and made dinner reservations for that evening. It was something, at least. Not enough, but something.

 

Ducky would be hurt, he knew that. Not because of the lack of gift, not really, Ducky was not in any way a materialistic person. He could give Ducky a cheap pen and Ducky would be content, but to have nothing for the most important person in his life was unforgiveable. Utterly and totally unforgivable.

 

His self dislike got worse when, five minutes later, Jenny came down from his office with what was clearly a bottle in one hand and a white envelope in the other. If she was surprised at the fact that the younger members of the team were in a huddle around McGee's desk, while Gibbs's own desk was piled high with presents and cards she didn't say anything.

 

Instead she added his offerings to the pile. "I have to attend a meeting, I'm afraid. So I won't be here to wish Ducky a happy birthday in person. But please do pass on my very best wishes to him, won't you, Jethro?"

 

"I'll do that, Director Shepard," Abby called.

 

Jenny frowned for a moment, looked at Gibbs who just shrugged, before turning to Abby. "Thank you, Abby. I do appreciate it."

 

Another five minutes went by and still Ducky hadn't appeared. Gibbs began to regret not going out and getting something. His regret deepened when the elevator doors opened to reveal Fornell holding a parcel and card.

 

He groaned silently as his second eldest and closest friend hurried across the room, nodding as he passed the kids, and handed his gift to Gibbs. "I thought Ducky'd like this. I can't stay to see him, but do wish him a happy birthday for me." And before Gibbs, or even any of the kids could speak, Fornell had turned and hurried back to the elevator.

 

Two more minutes passed before the elevator pinged and this time it was Ducky who appeared. "Ah, there you are, Mr. Palmer. I -"

 

Whatever he was about to say was lost as Abby ran across the room, flung her arms around him and kissed him soundly. "Happy Birthday, Duckman!"

 

From where he still sat, Gibbs could see Ducky was still swaying slightly under the Abby avalanche. "Thank you, my dear Abigail, I -"

 

But once again he didnít get the chance to finish as by some invisible pre-arranged signal the kids all began to sing 'Happy Birthday to you' to Ducky. Gibbs didn't join in; he didnít think he had the right to do so. He wondered just how long he could go on sitting there, avoiding Ducky, before his old friend noticed.

 

He watched Abby link arms with Ducky and lead him towards McGee's desk where one by one the kids hugged, and in Ziva's case kissed, Ducky and poured verbal greetings on him.

 

And then the moment came when Abby, still with her arm through Ducky's, led him over the Gibbs's desk and the pile of presents.

 

He couldn't sit there any longer, Ducky was already looking at him with a slightly puzzled look. He stood up decisively. "Happy Birthday, Duck," he murmured.

 

"Thank you, my dear Jethro." Ducky's eye shone as they stared at him and he smiled. If Gibbs thought he disliked himself a few minutes ago, he'd been wrong. Now he positively loathed himself.

 

He watched as Ducky opened present after present and card after card, his delight and thanks and happiness over each and every one - even the rubber duck gag gift which had been one of DiNozzo's.

 

And then there were none left. For a half second Gibbs wondered if maybe, just maybe, given the number of presents and cards, Ducky hadn't noticed the lack of someone from him. But that was stupid - he was only trying to fool himself. Of course Ducky had noticed. Not that he said anything; he wouldn't. Not that he even looked surprised, or hurt or disappointed or . . . Any of the things he had every right to look.

 

Ducky looked around at the kids gathered around him and smiled. "Thank you, my dears," he said, reaching for and squeezing each of their hands. "This has been the most wonderful birthday of my life. You have completely spoilt me. I'm . . . Oh, dear, I think I'm speechless." Everybody - except Gibbs - laughed. "But seriously, thank you all so very much. I couldn't have asked for a better family. And now as much as I hate to say this, I do believe it is time Mr. Palmer and I returned to Autopsy and got on with some work. But if Jethro," he glanced at Jethro, his look betraying nothing, "will spare you all later, I have a birthday cake, made by Mother's dear friend Helen, to share with you all. That will be all right with you, will it not, Jethro?"

 

"Sure, Duck," Gibbs managed, as everyone looked at him. The kids were still casting daggers at him; Ducky's look was guarded but not unfriendly.

 

"Good. I shall look forward to it. Shall we say 3:00 p.m? And now, Mr. Palmer, if you -"

 

"Wait, Duck." The words were out before Gibbs could stop them. He couldn't let Ducky walk away like that. He couldn't. He had to give him something and suddenly he knew just what the something was.

 

"Jethro?"

 

Gibbs strode from behind his desk to where Ducky stood still half 'guarded' by the kids. He put one hand on each of Ducky's cheeks, gently cupping his face between them and then bent forward and put his lips on Ducky's.

 

He wasn't certain just what kind of kiss he'd intended to bestow on Ducky, or even necessarily what he meant by it. But once his lips met Ducky's whatever vague thought had been in the depths of his mind vanished, and he found himself moving his hands from Ducky's face and instead put his arms around Ducky, gathering him into a close embrace and deepening the kiss.

 

Just for a fraction of a second he felt Ducky hesitate, felt his shock, but that fled and in turn Ducky put his arms around Gibbs and began to return to the kiss. Ducky's lips were warm and soft and smooth and tasted of Ducky's natural scent, not of plastic and greasy lipstick. He fitted into Gibbs's embrace so naturally, it was as if he'd always been there.

 

Gibbs wasn't sure how long the kiss went on for or how long he'd have gone on kissing Ducky, being kissed by Ducky, but suddenly just where they were impinged on his brain and slowly he gentled the kiss and broke it. He didn't rush, he didn't make the movement hasty or imply he'd done anything wrong, he just calmly and quietly ceased kissing Ducky, and let his arms slip from holding him.

 

But he didn't, he couldn't, let go of Ducky completely, instead he kept one hand on Ducky's shoulder and stared down into the pale gaze that flashed with the deepest love he had ever had directed at him. The gaze asked a question, in fact it asked a myriad of questions, none of which Gibbs was willing to answer in public - at least verbally. So instead he let the shields he always erected when at the office fall and gave Ducky an answer.

 

The look of utter happiness that now shone from Ducky's own eyes and radiated on his face, made Gibbs swallow hard. If he didn't let go of Ducky in the next few seconds, he'd be kissing him again, and this time he wasn't sure he'd be able to stop, He squeezed Ducky's shoulder and briefly moved his hand to cup his neck, before letting his hand drop to his side. "Dinner," he said. "Tonight."

 

Ducky smiled. "That would be extremely, pleasant, my dear," he murmured.

 

Gibbs swallowed hard again and finally glanced around him. He was suddenly aware that although he had kissed Ducky in the middle of the squad room, given where they'd been standing and the way the kids had been gathered around Ducky before he kissed him, it was highly unlikely that anyone outside of his team had seen anything. Not that he gave a damn if the whole office, the FBI, the CIA, the ATF, Homeland Security, the SecNav, and the President had been there and seen.

 

"Later," he murmured, so softly he wasn't certain he'd done more than just mouth the word.

 

Ducky's infinitesimal nod affirmed the statement.

 

Gibbs watched as Ducky turned away and with Palmer who kept glancing from Gibbs to Ducky and back again, calmly and serenely walked across the office to the elevators.

 

LATER THAT NIGHT

 

His arm wrapped around Ducky and to hell with what the cab driver might have thought, after all he'd kissed Ducky in front of the kids, he could put an arm around him in front of a cab driver, Jethro guided Ducky into his house. Once inside he flicked the hall light on and then did something that while it might not be unique was the 'once in a blue moon' thing: he locked his front door.

 

"Why, Jethro," Ducky said, raising an eyebrow and gazing up at Jethro. His voice was sultry and the look in his eyes left Jethro in no doubt whatsoever that Ducky had guessed what the gesture meant. After a moment, however, he glanced away.

 

"Duck?" Jethro pulled Ducky into his arms. "What is it?"

 

For a moment or two Ducky didn't answer. Then he looked back up and met Jethro's gaze. "Are you certain it is what you want, Jethro?" he asked.

 

There was only one way to answer that. Unlike during the kiss they'd shared in the middle of the squad room, this time Jethro made no attempt to control his body or to remain even the hint of a 'polite distance' from Ducky. As he pressed the beginnings of his arousal against Ducky, he felt Ducky's own body respond to him.

 

He chuckled silently, as much as you could do when in throes of kissing someone more than a little passionately, as he heard the moan come from Ducky and felt Ducky push against him even more. He wondered idly if he should be at all bothered by the fact that he was not only kissing another man, something he'd never even considered doing before that day, but also getting turned on by one? In fact he wondered if he should be bothered by the fact that he wasn't bothered.

 

Already tired of analyzing it, he reluctantly realized he needed to break the kiss before he faced the ignominy of passing out. "That answer your question, Duck?" he asked, his voice husky after he'd sucked in some much needed oxygen. And then just in case Ducky still needed proof, he took one hand away from where it was caressing Ducky's back and instead put it over Ducky's now obvious arousal.

 

Ducky's reaction was intense. He gasped aloud, his eyes widened and the pupils grew even larger and he pushed forward into the caress. "Oh, Jethro," he whispered, licking his lips and swallowing hard.

 

Jethro smiled and tightened his grip as Ducky swayed slightly. "Still haven't answered my question, Duck," he said, his tone teasing as he lowered his head and began to tease Ducky's ear with the tip of his tongue.

 

"Your question?" Ducky sounded only mildly interested.

 

"Yeah, the one where I asked you if I'd answered your question." Jethro laughed softly as Ducky just looked at him as if he'd suddenly started to speak one of the languages Ducky didn't know. "Ah, Duck," he said, kissing Ducky's lips briefly. "Come on, let's go to bed." He brushed his fingers over Ducky's now more than obvious arousal one more time, turned Ducky in his arms, snagged his hand and led him upstairs and into his bedroom.

 

He flicked the right hand of the two light switches on which in fact lit up the two lamps standing on the nightstands on either side of the bed. The curtains were already closed, the freshly made bed turned back down and in the bathroom he'd put out clean towels, a new toothbrush and a second wash cloth; anything else, Ducky would share his.

 

"Jethro." Ducky touched his hand.

 

"Mmm?"

 

"Maybe it would be better if you . . . Well, I am after all not only a different gender but considerably older than your usual bedmates. It might be better . . . You might be happier if . . . I don't want to . . ." Finally, after speaking for a minute Ducky trailed off having, to Jethro's ears, said nothing.

 

"You done?" he asked politely.

 

Ducky nodded. "Yes."

 

"Good. Then come here and let me kiss you."

 

Once he'd kissed Ducky back into the state he deemed he'd been in before they'd gone into the bedroom, Jethro urged him nearer to the bed and set about the task of undressing him.

 

"I thought -"

 

"Did you now," Jethro said, tucking Ducky's jacket off and throwing it over a chair he'd placed conveniently by the side of the bed. "In that case you can think again. I want to see you, Duck. I want to see all of you, got that?"

 

Ducky swallowed but nodded. "Yes," he murmured, gasping again as Jethro paused in undoing his bowtie and shirt to again lightly stroke him.

 

Once he had Ducky's bowtie untied and his top buttons undone, Jethro put his lips onto Ducky's neck and began to suck the sweet tasting skin. It was smooth under his lips and soft, and he suspected very vulnerable to being marked. As he licked and suckled he slipped one hand inside Ducky's shirt and began to lightly caress the nape of Ducky's neck and his shoulders.

 

Ducky tossed his head back, making his neck and throat even more available to Jethro, as he pushed his lower body against Jethro's thigh. "Oh, Jethro," he gasped. "Please, touch me again. Please."

 

Jethro took his mouth away from Ducky's throat and brushed his lips over Ducky's. "Hush," he said. "You don't have to beg. I'll do whatever you want me to do. I want to make this good for you, Duck."

 

Ducky sighed. "Oh, Jethro, it already is."

 

Jethro swallowed hard around the lump that suddenly formed in his throat. Damn it, Ducky's tone had been so full of honesty and just a hint of self-depreciation. He'd always know Ducky was in love with him, had wanted him from the moment they'd met, but he hadn't truly realized, hadn't let himself truly realize, quite how much. "It's going to get a lot better," he promised; hoping it was a promise he could keep. He put his hand back over Ducky's arousal, cupping it and lightly stroking it. "You like this?"

 

Ducky nodded. "Yes. Very much."

 

"Bet it'd be even better if you were naked, wouldn't it?" Jethro murmured, his mouth on Ducky's ear.

 

"Mmmm." Ducky's eyes had closed and he was smiling.

 

"Well then, why don't we get you that way?" And after another kiss or two and one more, just because, Jethro gently returned to his extremely pleasant task of undressing Ducky.

 

When he finally had him completely naked, he deliberately held him at arms length and took in the sight of him. He'd seen Ducky unclothed a few times, but now he was seeing him with the eyes of a lover, not just a dear friend. To his faint surprise as he gaze fell onto Ducky's erection, he felt his own twitch and harden even more.

 

"God, you're beautiful," he whispered, and he meant it. He hoped Ducky knew him well enough to know he didnít say 'pretty words' because they were expected of him. "So beautiful," he added, now running his forefinger along the length of Ducky's arousal. "Mmm. Nice." He gently ran the finger back the other way, keeping a tight grip on Ducky, with his other hand, who was swaying even more. "Very nice," he added, now wrapping his hand around Ducky and holding him.

 

His palm grew slick as he gripped Ducky and instinct honed from years of giving pleasure to himself advised him not to move his hand, but just to hold Ducky still for a few minutes. He didn't want this to be over with too soon and while he could climax more than once in a lovemaking session, he didn't know whether Ducky could - especially given the generous amount of alcohol that had been consumed.

 

After a few minutes during which he watched Ducky struggle with his need, he saw Ducky's face relax and heard him sigh. "Okay?" he said softly.

 

Ducky smiled. "Oh, much more than 'okay', my dear," he murmured. "Much, much, much more."

 

"Not quite what I meant, but it'll do." And just because he couldn't help himself, Jethro once more kissed Ducky's lips before finally encouraging him to get into bed.

 

His own undressing took seconds, and it was a sign of how deeply entrenched in passion Ducky must be because he didn't even comment or look as Jethro tossed his own best suit and dress shirt and tie and underwear onto the floor, before he got into bed with Ducky, tugged the covers partly up and turned his full attention to making love to Ducky.

 

 

"So, did you enjoy your birthday?" Jethro asked, as he propped himself up on his elbow and gazed down at the man he'd just spent over two hours making love you. Even now he his fingertips were lightly flirting over Ducky's skin.

 

"Oh, yes, my dear Jethro. It has most definitely been the best birthday I have ever had."

 

Jethro leaned forward and kissed the tip of Ducky's nose. "Good," he said. And then because he still felt guilty said, "I am very sorry, Duck, that I -"

 

His head was pulled down and Ducky's silenced him with a deep, sensual, loving kiss. "You," he said, when finally they broke away and Jethro was now lying down with Ducky once more in his arms, "have nothing for which you need to apologize. You have given me the best present I could ever have asked for. You have given me you." And then a look of something Jethro never wanted to see again on Ducky's face appeared. "You are mine, aren't you?" Ducky asked, his voice suddenly matching his look.

 

"Oh, yeah. Duck. I'm yours. I'm yours forever." And because he still felt words weren't adequate, Jethro claimed Ducky's mouth with his own again and showed Ducky just how 'his' he was.

 

 

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