TITLE: The Lioness With Her Cub Syndrome
AKA It's All Right For Me To Snap At/Say Things That Aren’t Always Pleasant To/Question My Lover, But No One Else Is Allowed To Do So.
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Humour. Fluff. Episode Related.
SUMMARY: Set after Trojan Horse. Gibbs goes to find Ducky to persuade him to keep him company while he finishes signing the reports, only to discover his lover is unhappy about something. Once Gibbs discovers what that is, he deals with it in his own way.
SPOILERS: Trojan Horse
PROMPT: 25fluffyfics 12 - Hurt
WORD COUNT: 1,100
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Hey, Duck." Ducky felt his lover's arms go around him. He was lightly tugged back against Jethro's body, and Jethro's lips fluttered over his ear, lightly caressing it. "I wondered where you were. I've been looking all over for you."
"And did you not think that Autopsy was the most logical place to begin looking, Jethro? After all that is where I work." Immediately the words left him, Ducky regretted them. Snapping at his lover for something that wasn't his fault was not going to help, and was in fact very unfair. "Oh, please forgive me, my dear," he said quickly, turning in the embrace and slipping his arms around Jethro's neck.
He almost laughed at the look of shock and surprise that was on Jethro's face and in the wide-eyed stare. "Duck?" Jethro said, the same shock and surprised in his tone. Then he frowned, and tightened his hold on Ducky. "What's up, Duck? What's happened? Is it your mom?"
Ducky hastened to reassure him. "No, Jethro. Mother is fine, thank you. Or at least I believe she is; I haven't actually spoken to her since this morning. However, I assume that had anything adverse occurred, that her nurse would have contacted me."
"Then what is it? What have I done to piss you off this time?"
"Nothing, my dear. Really." Ducky touched Jethro's cheek, letting his fingers caress the weather-roughened skin. He was so pleased that they had discovered this part of Autopsy, the corner where the camera did not intrude. And even though it meant more work for him, there were times, like at this moment, when he was glad that Jimmy was at Medical School for part of the week.
"Then what is it?" Jethro persisted.
Ducky sighed. "Would you say that I was tight-fisted, Jethro? Mean with money?"
Jethro blinked, and to Ducky's faint amusement his mouth fell open. He quickly closed it, the noise audible. "You?" he said, and began to laugh. "You? Duck, a less tight-fisted, mean with money person, mean with anything person, I've yet to meet. And I know that Palmer would agree with me," he added the last few words more quietly. "No one else knows, do they?"
Ducky shook his head. "It is no one's business, other than Jimmy's and mine. And yours of course," he added softly.
Jethro smiled down at him, the dark gaze softened even more. He leaned nearer to Ducky, dipping his head a little so that he could brush his lips over Ducky's. He let the kiss linger for a moment or two before straightening up again. "So why the question?"
Ducky shrugged and prevaricated. "Oh, it doesn't matter, Jethro. Forget it. Why were you looking for me?"
"Wondered if you wanted to come and keep me company while I finish those blasted reports and the other things Cynthia put on my, on the Director's, desk before she went home. Jenn's got a good supply of alcohol up there. And why the question," he added, letting Ducky know subtly but firmly that he wasn't going to let the matter drop.
Ducky sighed to himself. "It's just something Anthony said, that is all. I'm sure he didn’t -"
"What did DiNozzo say?" Jethro's tone became slightly harsher, and his look was his non-compromising one.
"It was when you first appeared in the yard, before you took over the case. We were exchanging comments about the pool he'd set up, and he . . . Oh, it's silly, Jethro."
"Ducky!" Jethro glared at him. It wasn't the way he glared at DiNozzo or McGee or Ziva, or the way he glared at people he was trying to intimidate, but nonetheless it was a glare. Ducky mused that as he had a 'Gibbs smile' and a 'Gibbs fond look' it was only natural that he should have a 'Gibbs glare' as well.
"He said that what he'd heard about Scots was true. It was my own fault, Jethro. I should know better than to tease Anthony about money."
"I still don't get it, Duck."
Known that he now had no choice, Ducky explained. "You appeared and I commented that it meant that I had won the pool, as I had stated that you would last four days before you took over a case. He said that you weren't there for that, so I offered to go and find out. He clearly thought that I meant that I would persuade you to work the case whether or not you had actually planned to do so, and he asked if winning fifty dollars meant that much to me. I foolishly and jokingly said, yes. And so he made his comment about the Scots. And what is even more foolish, it how much I realized his words upset and bothered me. So much so that I've -"
"Been alone down here wondering if they were true?"
"Yes." Ducky spoke quietly.
"Oh, Ducky, Ducky, Ducky. What am I going to do with you?" Jethro pulled him into a tighter embrace.
Ducky rested against him happily, once again at peace. "Well," he said, his head against his lover's shoulder, "You did say that Cynthia had gone home, did you not?"
"Duck, I'm surprised at you." Jethro began to laugh quietly. "Come on," he kissed the top of Ducky's head and then nuzzled his ear again, before letting him go and capturing his hand. "Let's go and have that drink, and see what happens."
"And at least I do not have a bra to lose," Ducky said softly.
Ducky smiled and shook his head. Reluctantly he let go of Jethro's hand and said, "I'll explain later, my dear."
When the doors opened on the squad room rather than the floor that housed the Director's office and MTAC, Ducky was a little surprised. Nonetheless he followed Gibbs out into the room; maybe his lover had left something on his desk.
DiNozzo was standing in front of Ziva's desk, talking to her and McGee. "Hey, boss. Hey, Ducky, are you - Oww. Boss. What was that for?" DiNozzo asked, rubbing the back of his head and staring at Gibbs, his expression one of pained surprise.
Gibbs kept walking, grabbed his glasses from his desk, and returned to Ducky's side. "Didn't know I needed a reason, DiNozzo." He slipped his around Ducky's shoulders. "Come on, Duck. Let's go and finish those reports," he added, his tone once again gentle, whereas only seconds before, as he'd spoken to DiNozzo, it had been hard.
As Ducky allowed himself to be turned around to face the stairs, he could not prevent a rather pleased, and he knew smug, smile from creeping over his face.