TITLE: And What Have You Done?
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Holiday. Romance. Fluff
SPOILERS: It's Christmas, and Gibbs looks back at what he has done, and more importantly what he has not done over the last year. In doing so he makes a decision that will change his life forever.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: For kalliekat who asked for Gibbs and Ducky on Christmas Day. Not quite the story I'd hoped to write, but the one they decided I'd write. I hope you enjoy it, nonetheless, Kallie. It was inspired by an e-greeting sent to me by caffyolay. The story takes a few tiny liberties with the canon time line.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Lost an agent.
Relived a disastrous affair.
Got blown up.
Got pulled back into the past and viewed it through rose-colored lenses.
Walked away from everyone and everything.
Oh, and came that close to screwing up the most important relationship he'd ever had, or was ever likely to have.
All in all the last year had not been one of Leroy Jethro Gibbs's best.
And it still wasn't over, not really.
Oh, he and Ducky had made up, were back to being friends and lovers. In some ways it was if he'd never walked away. In others . . .
In others, everything had changed.
He felt sure that Ducky, consciously or sub-consciously, was still waiting for him to walk away from him again. He wasn't about to, but how did he reassure Ducky of that? How could he?
He did know how.
But could he do it?
Could he . . . ?
So that was what he had done during the past year.
But what hadn't he done?
That was easy.
He and Ducky had spoken about moving in together, making their relationship officially known about, once Mrs. Mallard had died.
Well she had died.
Four months ago.
And thus far he'd done nothing. Said nothing.
He knew Ducky wouldn't. Not ever.
It was up to him.
For years he'd been waiting for the event that would change his life. Now that it had happened, he didn't know what to do. He wasn't certain that he wanted to change his life. Or rather he did; he just wasn’t sure how to go about it.
It wasn't that he didn't love Ducky, he did. He loved him so much, that sometimes he worried about the depths of his feelings.
It was simply that . . .
Three divorces. Which almost certainly would have been four.
Disastrous affair after disastrous affair.
Oh, yeah, he was great at commitment, just the right person to marry and live with and love. Permanence was not a word that you thought of when you thought of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Except . . .
Except in one relationship it was. With one person it was. How much more commitment and permanence did he want? Wasn't thirty years enough to prove that he could actually love one person forever?
But . . .
But could he?
Monogamy. Another word that didn't sit too well on his shoulders. Ditto faithfulness.
And yet in one, somewhat convoluted way, it did.
Outside of his wives and lovers, he had always been faithful, monogamous even, to Ducky. Ducky knew about every relationship Gibbs had had - every single one. He had never cheated on Ducky, just on everyone else.
And he never could cheat on Ducky. If he did do what they'd always talked about, then that was it. It was one relationship he couldn't terminate; couldn't end; couldn't . . .
"Duck, will you sit down and stop fussing." Jethro grabbed Ducky's hand and pulled him back down next to him; he then took advantage of having Ducky in his arms.
By the time the kiss had ended, Jethro was having serious thoughts about suggesting they abandon lunch for something far more carnal. But Ducky had worked hard; Ducky had worked very hard; very hard indeed, and Jethro was not about to spoil it. Besides . . .
"I want everything to be perfect, dearest," Ducky replied softly, nonetheless settling against him and putting his head on Jethro's shoulder. The pleasant scent of woodlands and pine trees, and the inevitable formaldehyde, floated up into Jethro's nostrils.
"It will be, Duck," he said softly, kissing the top of Ducky's head. "It already is," he added.
"My dear?" Ducky moved away and looked at Jethro, raising an eyebrow, which vanished under his long fringe.
Jethro gently brushed the fringe away, letting his fingers caress Ducky's forehead. "I've got you in my arms; that's my idea of perfection."
Ducky widened his eyes slightly, and also smiled, almost shyly. "Well, if you are that easy to please . . ." He moved nearer to Jethro again, snuggling back into his arms and sighing with evident pleasure.
Jethro tightened his embrace. "Love you, Duck," he murmured quietly, his lips on Ducky's ear.
"I love you too, my dearest Jethro," Ducky replied. He then added more quietly and solemnly, "And I always will."
Jethro swallowed hard. "Duck. I . . . Will . . ." He broke off, as the sound of Ducky's timer cut into the peaceful moment.
"Yes, dear?" Ducky reached for the timer and stopped its piercing noise. He looked at Jethro expectantly; however, Jethro could see that part of Ducky's attention was once again directed towards the kitchen.
He shook his head. "Later, Duck. It'll keep."
"If you're certain, my dear."
"Yeah. You need a hand with anything?"
"No, it's quite all right, everything is under control." Using Jethro's knee as a lever, Ducky stood up and began to move across the room.
Jethro stood up too. "You sure, Duck? I must be able to do something, if only come and talk to you."
Ducky turned around and looked at him. "If you promise that 'talking' is all you will do, then I would be delighted to have your company in the kitchen." He smiled and began to move again.
"You mean I can't do this." Striding quickly across the room, Jethro caught up with his lover in the doorway, the doorway where a spring of mistletoe hung. He put his hand on Ducky’s arm to stop him, and in seconds had him back in his arms and once more found his mouth with his own.
Ducky kissed him back for a moment or two, before capturing Jethro's hands that had began to wander, and moving away. "No, Jethro. You may not. There will be plenty of time for that later," he smiled, and his eyes twinkled. Then he said, his tone suddenly serious, "You are staying tonight, are you not?"
"Course I am, Duck. Course I am. Come on. I promise I'll behave." And with that, Jethro captured Ducky's hand and led him into the kitchen and the wondrous smells.
"Hey, boss. Hey, Ducky. Have a good Christmas?"
"Yes, thank you, Anthony. Extremely good in fact. And your good self?"
"Well, you know, the usual. Do anything, boss?"
"Let's see. Got married. Moved house. Planned a honeymoon. You know, the usual."
"Sounds like - You got married?" DiNozzo's head jerked up as if pulled by a string, and he stared open mouthed at Gibbs. "You got married?" he repeated. "Again? That makes . . ."
"Five times, DiNozzo. Yeah, I can count. And strictly speaking, it's not formal yet. Just need to speak to Fornell, find out when he's available to be my best man."
"Fornell? But what about . . ." DiNozzo broke off, and looked at Ducky.
"Ducky? Well, that might be a bit difficult. He'll be doing something else." Gibbs put his arm around Ducky's shoulders and tugged him nearer to him.
DiNozzo frowned. "Something else? But I thought you two had made -" He came to a sudden stop, as realization dawned on him. He glanced at Gibbs; then at Ducky; then at the arm Gibbs had around Ducky's shoulders; then at the way Ducky was resting against Gibbs. "You mean . . . You and . . . " He looked back and forth again, as he came to a spluttering halt. His expression told Gibbs that he didn't want to come out and suggest it, just in case he was wrong.
Gibbs took pity on his senior field agent; well it was still Christmas-ish. "Yeah, DiNozzo. Ducky can't be my best man as he'd the one I'm going to marry. If that's okay with you," he added, hiding a smile. By his side, he felt Ducky's silent chuckle, and knew that he would be chastised, in Ducky's own, gentle, loving way later, for teasing DiNozzo.
"Course it is. It's great. I mean . . . Hey, Abby," DiNozzo called, "Gibbs and Ducky are getting married."
Abby squealed loudly, dropped her bag and raced across the office, flinging herself at both men. "About time too," she cried, hugging and kissing them with glee.
Seconds later she pulled away from them and bounced off across the office calling out loudly, "Hey, everybody, Gibbs and Ducky are getting married." She stopped and turned back. "You can leave the party to me. I'll organize it. I'll just . . . Oooh, Tim, Ziva," she called, as the other two members of Gibbs's field team appeared. "Guess what? Gibbs and Ducky are getting married."
Ducky who, from the way he was holding onto Gibbs's arm, was still reeling slightly from the onslaught, moved away a little and glanced up at Gibbs. "Is this quite the 'making it public' you had in mind, my dear?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Works for me, Duck. I . . . " His phone burbling cut into his words. "Gibbs, yes. Hang a moment," he bent his head, brushed his lips quickly across Ducky's cheek and said, "Catch you later, Duck." Then with a smile, he turned back to the phone. "Sorry, yes?" As he listened to the call, he watched his lover make his way across the office to the elevators; he knew he was grinning all the time.
So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
What he should have done thirty years ago.
Propose to the one person in the world who'd never hurt him. Never let him down. Never betray him. Never leave him. Never stop loving him.
The one person in the world who would always be there for him. Always understand him. Always care for him. Always cherish him. Always put him first. Always love him.
All in all the last year had been one of Leroy Jethro Gibbs's best.
And it still wasn't over, not really.
In fact, not by a long way.
His future awaited him.
For the first time in far too many years, he was actually looking forward to his future.