AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Hurt/Comfort. Angst
SUMMARY: Gibbs has to deal with the loss of his family, and he isn't certain that he can. However, he has Ducky to help him through it. Written for Challenge # 15 Drabbles.
PROMPT: 10_hurt_comfort 06 - Lonely
WORD COUNT: 400
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
He was alone.
His girls were gone.
Taken from him.
He couldn't see them. Touch them. Hold them. Tell them how much he loved them.
He had nothing left now.
Nothing and no one.
He was alone.
He . . .
He didn't stop to wonder how Ducky knew; how he'd gotten into his house; why he was there. Instead he just sobbed and threw himself into Ducky's arms, barely registering the fact that Ducky staggered under his weight. "Oh, Duck. It hurts. It hurts so much. So damned much."
"I know, my dear. I know," Ducky said, holding him tightly, stroking his head, rocking him gently, calming him, comforting him, loving him.
"Make it stop, Duck. Please make it stop."
"I would if I could. But I can't, my dear. I wish I could."
"I miss them."
"I know you do."
"I feel so alone."
"I know. But you are not."
"Duck?" He lifted his head from Ducky's shoulder and looked into Ducky's eyes. He saw the steady, caring gaze, heavy with affection, sorrow and sadness.
"You are not alone, dearest. You will never be alone. You will always have me."
Jethro blinked and shook his head. "But you said . . ."
"I know. I was wrong. I lied to you, and to myself."
Clutching on to the glimmer of hope, the fragment of comfort that Ducky's words offered, Jethro held onto him. "You'll never leave me?"
Ducky sighed softly. "No, dearest. I won't." Then he added softly, not quite managing to hide what sounded almost like regret, "I can't."
It wasn't enough. He couldn't go through this again. "Promise me," he snarled, gripping Ducky's shoulders tightly and shaking him.
Ducky merely continued to look at him with a calm, steady look. "I promise, Jethro," he said softly.
"And you'll . . . ?"
"If that is what you want, yes."
Jethro pulled Ducky towards him, gathering him against him, holding him, taking the solace Ducky offered, the reassurance his once again lover gave merely by being there with him.
As he sought Ducky's mouth, as he accepted the comfort that his lover was offering him, he thought that he should feel guilty, and maybe later he would. But for now he needed this, he needed Ducky; he needed something to make him know that he was still alive, a living, breathing being.
He needed to know that he would never be alone again.