Ducky is patching Gibbs up after Diane hit him with the seven-iron.
An established relationship story.
Written: May 2011. Word count: 1,000.
Ducky, already wearing his hat and coat, was standing by his desk putting things into his briefcase when the Autopsy doors swished open. He turned around to see Jethro leaning against the door, a blood-sodden handkerchief held against his head.
"Jethro," Ducky cried, pulling his hat off and dropping it onto his desk before hurrying across the room. He put his arm around Jethro and guided him to one of the steel tables. "What on earth has happened to you?" He helped Jethro up onto the table, took the bloody handkerchief away from his head and glanced at the deep wound.
"Diane hit me." Jethro was pale and his forehead and upper lip were damp with perspiration.
Ducky examined the wound and shook his head. It was fairly deep and would definitely require several stitches. He pulled out his own clean handkerchief and put in place of the one Jethro had used. "Hold that," he said, squeezing Jethro's shoulder before tugging off his overcoat and tossing it over the table next to Jethro. He then hurried off to fetch the things he'd need to clean and stitch the wound.
As he began to clean the wound on Jethro's head, he realized he'd been so concerned with the fact Jethro's head had been cut, he hadn't followed up on the question as to what had happened. "With what did Diane hit you?"
Jethro winced slightly and tried to pull away, but Ducky held his head firmly in place and continued to clean the wound. "Seven iron. Said she wanted to kill me."
Ducky was silent for a moment as he wondered idly whether your married lover sleeping with another person meant that said married lover was being adulterous to you as well as to his wife. After given the matter some consideration and not coming up with a satisfactory answer, he said, "Yes, well, I am not entirely surprised. In fact it is perfectly understandable. Diane has always been a," Ducky paused as he searched for the right word.
"Bitch?" Jethro's tone was hard.
Ducky frowned. "Jethro," he said slightly sharply.
Jethro shrugged. "Well she is."
Ducky sighed softly and continued to clean the wound. "I was thinking more of headstrong."
"Yeah, as I said a bitch." This time Ducky didn't reply. "So why aren't you 'entirely surprised' by her wanting to kill me?"
Ducky paused, moved back a little and looked straight into Jethro's eyes. "Well, I imagine she wasn't all together happy when she found out about your," he paused for a moment before saying, his tone flat, "'relationship' with Jennifer Shepard." He held Jethro's stunned gaze unblinkingly.
"You know?" Jethro tone matched his gaze. He shifted slightly on the table.
At least Jethro wasn't attempting to deny it; that both pleased and reassured Ducky. "Of course I know, Jethro. I always know what you are doing."
Jethro's dark eyes widened. "Do you?" he sounded as if he wasn't entirely happy with the notion.
Ducky hid a smile. "Oh, yes. Always. Now do keep still. I need to stitch the wound. I imagine you do not wish me to anaesthetize it first?
"Nah." For a moment Ducky worked in silence. Then Jethro spoke again. "You didn't say anything."
Ducky frowned. "What did you expect me to say, Jethro?" His inquiry was genuine, had Jethro really expected him to say something? Surely not? It wasn't in his nature to say such things and even if it had have been, he wasn't certain what he could have said. No, it was far better to have stayed silent and just waited it out.
Jethro shrugged. "Don't know. Just -"
"Jethro, I told you to keep still!" Ducky spoke sharply. It wasn't as if he liked it, but he wasn't particularly troubled by the fact Jethro had slept with Jennifer; he knew it wouldn't last. Just like Jethro's marriage to Diane wouldn't last.
He knew, they both knew, that one day Jethro would finally admit to himself that the only person he needed and wanted was Ducky. Until that day Ducky was content enough to let things go on as they were. "Am I correct to assume that the relationship with Jennifer has now ended?"
For a moment Jethro was silent. Then he said, his tone flat, "Yeah. She sent me a 'Dear John' letter."
"I see." For the first time, Ducky did feel somewhat uncomfortable and concerned. Women didn't walk away from Jethro. It was Jethro who walked away from the women. As he continued to stitch Jethro's head he hoped fervently it was not an omen.
However, he pushed that aside, consigning the fear to the part of his brain he didn't access on a daily basis. "Do I presume you wish to come home with me tonight?" he asked quietly.
"You want me to?" Jethro sounded slightly surprised.
Ducky hid a sigh and a smile. "What do you think?" He paused long enough to gently squeeze Jethro's shoulder, before returning to his task.
"You know, Duck, I sometimes wonder why you put up with me."
Ducky smiled to himself as he said, "Yes, I do occasionally wonder that myself."
"Duck!" Jethro sounded askance.
Now Ducky chuckled softly. "Ah, Jethro," he said, putting his hand on Jethro's cheek. "I am teasing you."
Jethro moved his head back a little and looked at Ducky. "Are you?"
Ducky shrugged. "Yes, at least mostly," he added and smiled.
"Hmph. You nearly done?"
"Well I would be if you didn't keep moving your head." Jethro rolled his eyes.
Ducky worked in silence for another moment or two, before putting the final stitch into Jethro's head. "There," he said, tying of the last knot and deftly cutting the thread. "All done. Now wash your hands and we can go home. You may leave your car here and come in the Morgan with me. No, Jethro, do not argue. I am driving."
A few minutes later they were in Ducky's car and on their way to Ducky's home.
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