WHILE I'M GONE
Set during Patriot Down.
Gibbs goes to see Ducky to leave him a final instruction.
An established relationship story.
Written: June 2010. Word count: 500.
The sound of the doorbell awoke Ducky from his nap. He glanced at his watch; it was 11:00 p.m. He'd been asleep for more than an hour; he'd only intended to close his eyes for a minute or two.
As the doorbell rang again, he pushed himself to his feet, rubbed his thigh and went out into the hall. A caller at that time of night was unexpected and somewhat worrying.
Leaving the chain on, he opened the door. "Jethro!"
"Hey, Duck. Can I come in?"
For a moment Ducky hesitated, recalling the almost vicious way Jethro had pulled his hand from the door of the elevator and had gone, leaving Ducky calling after him. But it was Jethro outside and Ducky wasn’t about to let months go by with them being at odds with one another again.
Thus, he closed the door enough to allow him to remove the chain and opened it fully. "Of course."
"Thanks." Jethro strode into the house, pushed the door shut behind him and pulled Ducky into his arms.
For a moment Ducky held himself taut. But then as Jethro gathered him closer, Ducky relaxed into the embrace, putting his own arms around Jethro and sighing.
"I'm sorry, Duck," Jethro whispered, his lips on Ducky's ear. "Shouldn't have walked off like that. Shouldn't have pulled your hand from the door. Didn't hurt you, did I?"
Ducky rested his head against Jethro's shoulder. "No," he replied softly. "No, my dear, you didn't hurt me, at least not physically. Why don't you tell me why -"
"I behaved like such a bastard?" Ducky shrugged. "I was scared, Duck. Still am."
"For you. For Abbs. For Mike. For anyone who knows the truth about Mexico and Hernadez."
Ducky moved back a little. "And you thought that by running away from me, you'd be protecting me?"
Jethro shrugged and nodded, then shook his head. "Yeah. No. Kind of."
"Ah, Jethro. When will you accept that you by my side is far safer than you not being there?"
Jethro shrugged again. "Got to go, Duck," he said. "Just came to tell you I was going. Didn't want to go without saying sorry and goodbye."
"I assume you're going to Mexico?"
"Yeah. Got to find out who's behind it all. Just need you to promise me something." Ducky nodded. "While I'm gone, you take care, okay? If you're worried about anything or think you're being followed or something, call Tobias. Promise me, Duck."
"Jethro, I -"
"Promise me, Duck."
"Very well, I promise."
"Good." And with that, Jethro lowered his head and put his mouth on Ducky's and kissed him. "Love you, Duck," he said, when he ended the kiss. Then he ruffled Ducky's hair, turned on his heel and strode out of Ducky's house.
As he watched the taillights of Jethro's car disappear out of sight Ducky signed. "I love you too, my dear. I just hope you'll come back to me so that I can once again tell you."
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