WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIEND
Fornell asks Ducky out on a date and after evaluating the offer Ducky decides to accept. After all, he has waited many, many years for Jethro to commit to him, but he still hasn't. At close to seventy, Ducky thinks it's time he stopped just waiting and being hurt. Instead, he'll go out with Tobias and have a good time. But can he?
An established relationship story.
Written: July 2009. Word count: 1,000.
When Tobias had invited Ducky out on a date, Ducky's initial response had been to thank Tobias, but to decline. After all, he was already involved with someone, which Tobias was well aware of.
Nonetheless, something stopped Ducky from refusing, and instead he began to analyze his relationship with Jethro. They'd been together for many years, during which Ducky had told himself that one day Jethro would commit to him.
However, that day had yet to come. Ducky was now in his late sixties, maybe it was time to stop waiting for Jethro, and find affection and friendship where he could. He was fond of Tobias, they got on well, they shared a love of fine scotch, and Ducky knew one marriage had been more than enough for Tobias. So instead of saying 'no' he said 'yes'.
Tobias had suggested they go to a club he knew, where there'd be a dinner dance, adding hastily, they didn't have to dance. Ducky liked to dance and he'd always regretted he'd never danced with Jethro.
He sighed; he mustn't keep thinking about Jethro. Instead he thought about the evening. He was going to have a good time, and no one was going to stop him. And he would dance with Tobias and - He suddenly remembered something his grandmamma had told him.
'Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt.' Could he do that? Could he 'love like he'd never been hurt'? Jethro had hurt him many times. Could he trust another person? Could he love another person? He doubted it; in fact he knew he'd never love anyone as he loved Jethro.
Again he pulled his thoughts away from Jethro. This was unfair; Tobias had asked him out; he'd said yes, he couldn't spoil things by allowing thoughts of Jethro to take over his mind. Even if it was just this one date, he was going to have a good time. He was going to 'let his hair down'. He was going to forget his age, forget how much he'd been hurt, forget his aches and pains, forget Jethro - Except he couldn't.
He sighed. What was he doing? He could no more go out on a date with Tobias than he could fly. He'd have to call Tobias and apologize to him. But he couldn't do it by phone. Besides, Tobias would already have left his home.
The doorbell rang and Ducky went to answer it. "Good evening, Tobias."
"Do come in."
Ducky closed the door. "Tobias, I have something to tell you. I am afraid that - I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I said 'I know'. It's all right, Ducky. I know you can't . . ." Tobias just shrugged. "Look, come and have dinner with me anyway. No pressure. I'm not going to . . . You know. Let's go and have a good time. Two friends. Okay?"
Ducky smiled. "I'd like that very much indeed."
And a good time they did have. The place was extremely pleasant, the food and wine more than palatable, and the company even better than Ducky had anticipated. He still felt somewhat guilty, but didn't allow the feeling to interfere with his enjoyment.
When the music began Tobias asked him to dance. After a second's pause, Ducky accepted. Tobias danced well, but somehow it didnít seem right being in the arms of a man who was only a couple of inches taller than himself. Nonetheless, Ducky enjoyed the moment.
"May I have the next dance?" said a voice Ducky knew as well as his own.
"Jethro?" He glanced from Jethro to Tobias, who met his gaze, gave a barely perceptible nod and let his arms fall from around Ducky.
Uncertain what to say, Ducky let Jethro take him into his arms and begin to dance with him. This felt right; this was how it should be. And despite the fact they'd never danced together before, they moved in perfect synchrony.
When they returned to the table Ducky and Tobias had shared, they found Tobias had gone, leaving a terse note behind 'suggesting' they got their act together.
"Duck. I -"
Ducky shook his head. "Not here. Not now. Let us enjoy the rest of the evening, then you may drive me home and we'll talk."
"No. You will hear me out, Jethro. This is it. I am not prepared to play your games any longer. I am not prepared to go on waiting for you. I am tired of it, and I won't do it any longer. Either you want me or you don't. It is as simple as that."
"And I don't just want you to decide out of jealousy because Tobias showed an interest in me."
"Good. Well?" Ducky wondered if he was pushing too hard. But decided he wasn't. Jethro had had more than enough years to make his mind up.
Jethro took Ducky's hand and looked into his eyes. "I want you, Duck. Just you. No one else."
They were the words Ducky wanted to hear, but self-preservation made him ask, "Are you sure, Jethro. Because -"
When Jethro took his mouth away from Ducky's, Ducky knew he had his answer. Never before had Jethro kissed him quite in the way he'd just done. Never had he given Ducky his entire being; never had he not held some small part of him back. Now Jethro had given himself completely to Ducky.
Ducky sighed softly and rested against Jethro. "I think we owe Tobias quite a lot."
He felt Jethro's nod. "Yeah, Duck. We do. But I owe you a hell of a lot -"
This time Ducky silenced Jethro.
"Come," he said, finally breaking the kiss, taking Jethro's hand and leading him out of the sitting room.
As Ducky finally let his eyes close, he reflected on the evening. It had indeed been a very good one. He had indeed had a very good time. And now he knew he would have a lifetime of such evenings to come.
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