AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship.
SUMMARY: Ducky remembers a pet peeve. Written for rare_pair's challenge #15 'Pet Peeve'.
WORD COUNT: 996
PROMPT: 30_memories 20 - Diary
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Ah, yes. I believe that we all have them, and if a relationship is going to last, then we must learn to live with them.
I am a very easygoing man, well in my line of work, with my life choices, my preferences, one has to be. However, there has always been one thing that irritates me more than others; it is quite a minor thing really, but then peeves often are. It’s one that, it has to be said, was probably occasioned by my upbringing. It is certainly something about which I have had occasion to write more than once.
Over the years I have kept, not exactly a diary as such, but a journal. A book in which I scribble down the odd thought or problem. It is a place where I can say things I might otherwise not say, a place where I can 'let off steam'. And over the years, I have certainly done that more than once.
I remember that there was a time when one particular irritation appeared many times. When Jethro and I first became intimate with one another, I have to say that I seriously wondered whether I could overlook this one transgression.
I am not a snob, well not really. In some ways, given my upbringing, of course I am, but mostly I am not. However, I do believe that good wine and whiskey should be treated with respect.
I can still remember, indeed it is noted here in my journal, the first time I invited Jethro back to my home. We were already close in a way that transcended the fact that we had known one another for only a relatively short time. We had become comfortable around one another in a way that often takes months, if not years, to achieve. I had been to his apartment on several occasions, but as I said, this was the first time I had brought him to my home.
It was then I discovered that he treated the finest single malt whiskey as he did the 'paint stripper' he tended to drink. I winced as he poured some 15 year-old malt scotch into a glass, and drank it straight down, without even attempting to savor it. However, I kept silent, telling myself that he was merely a little nervous, and that he felt out of place in my somewhat lavish home. And as he took me into his arms and kissed me, all thoughts of irritation fled.
However, the next day, when he had returned to duty, I did make a note of it in my journal. It had peeved me, not because of the cost of the whiskey; one thing I have never had to worry about is money. What peeved me was that he hadn't seemed to appreciate the fineness of the liquor he was imbibing. Even his, 'This is good stuff, Duck,' didn't help, quite the opposite in fact.
The next time he visited my home I left him alone whilst I answered the telephone. When I returned to the sitting room, I found that he had poured two measures of my very best whiskey into water glasses. I remember now that I had reorganized my drinks' cabinet; the months that Jethro was away at sea sometimes dragged, and rather than disturb me, or go through my cupboards, he had gone to the kitchen and fetched the water glasses.
I still remember how bemused he seemed to be, when I crossed the room, fetched the proper glasses from where I had moved them, and tipped the whiskey into them. I did all of it in silence; not trusting myself to speak. Once again though, he took away my irritation with kisses and lovemaking.
Each time he did it, because once he had overcome the final hurdle and visited my home for the first time, we spent more time there than at his apartment, rather than irritate me less, it irked me more. At one point nothing but this peeve covered the pages of my diary.
I never said anything though, as deep down I knew he wouldn't understand my objections. Indeed, if I am honest, I cannot say that I fully understood them myself. It wasn't rational; no one was being hurt; no laws were being broken; it wasn't as though I couldn't afford for him to drink my best whiskey as if it were the cheap kind to which he had become accustomed to drinking. Surely it didn't matter whether he used a crystal glass or a water tumbler, or even, as I'd seen him do with his own whiskey on more than one occasion, his coffee mug.
As much as I loved Jethro, still love him, I sincerely believed that I could never share my home, my life, on a permanent basis with a man who treated fine whiskey like he did. For months my journal was filled almost on a daily basis with my agonizing about this. I wanted to share my home and life with him, however impractical that might be; however, far in the future it might be, but could I?
I see that I even considered some kind of therapy to help me overcome this issue. I never did seek help, because suddenly it stopped mattering. It stopped mattering because I realized that as important as it was to me that he use the correct glass, it was nothing compared to how I felt about him, how important he was, is, to me.
It isn't to say that I do not prefer to drink fine whiskey from a proper glass, nor can I honestly say that I still do not get the odd twinge of irritation when Jethro does not do so. However, I realized that really, in the grand scheme of things, such a minor transgression matters not. Not when I have Jethro by my side, in my home, in my life and in my arms.