AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Episode related. Angst. Hurt/Comfort
SUMMARY: Set nearly a week after The Meat Puzzle. It is Gibbs who is suffering from nightmares following Ducky's abduction. Written for Challenge #18 - Dreams.
SPOILERS: The Meat Puzzle.
PROMPT: 25fluffyfics 13 - Nightmare
WORD COUNT: 900
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"No!" his desperate cry jerks me awake. Not that I was sleeping particularly deeply anyway. Part of me was waiting for his cry.
"It's all right, Jethro. It's all right, my dear. I'm here. I'm here," I murmur, as I gather him into my arms. I hold him tightly against me, stroking his perspiration-slick back, and kissing his head and face.
"Duck?" He clutches my arms; his fingers dig into my skin as he stares at me. The look of fear in his eyes tells me what I already know.
Again he has been dreaming.
Again his dreams were not good.
Again he was lost within the same vivid nightmare that has shattered his nights for nearly a week.
"Hush, Jethro. Hush, my beloved. I'm here," I say again, continuing to hold, stroke and kiss him.
He hates them; as do I. But his hatred isn't just because of what he dreams about, but because he feels guilty for being the one to suffer from the full-colour, full-audio, full-sensory nightmares. He feels that it should be I who has them. After all, I was the one who lived through the experience.
I have told him, more than once, that it was easier for me. I was merely kidnapped and minutes from death. I could do nothing except trust in him and his instincts and his abilities.
He was the one who really suffered. He had to deal with my abduction, not only as a friend and colleague but also as my lover. And he had to do so whilst trying to deal with the fact that he blamed himself for only leaving me in the care of one, rather than two, agents. He had to live through one of the worst things he has ever had to live though; and do so without me at his side.
"Ducky," he says again, his tone a half-sob. "Hold me."
"I am, my dear." I say, but nonetheless I gather him even closer to me.
"Nearly lost you, Duck."
"You'll never lose me, dearest. You know that." I kiss him, and this time he moves his head from where it was resting on my shoulder and offers me his mouth. I accept the offer. I never tire of kissing, or being kissed by, Jethro.
And as I kiss him, I let my touches subtly alter, moving from purely caring to the more intimate. It is what works best; loving him heals all his ills; it always has done.
"Make love to me, Duck," he murmurs. "Need you."
And as always, I obey. And why wouldn't I? Is it not what I had in mind from the second I wakened? Is it not what I always do, whether we are in bed or at the office?
Every day we make love in a million different ways, some far more oblique than others.
Another night will pass with very little sleep, but that does not worry me. Nothing worries me when I have him in my arms, when I am in his arms. Because with him in my bed, in my arms, in my life, nothing can be wrong. I shall make sure of that.
"That's right, my dearest," I murmur, as he moves away just far enough to allow me access to the most intimate parts of his body. In spite of the horrors he has seen, heard, smelt and felt only moments before, he is already aroused, just as he always is.
I know exactly how to hold him, how to touch him, how to stroke him, how to pleasure him, how to fulfil him. And I know which particular technique works at what particular time. As with other nights, when he has awoken in this way, his climax is quite rapid. It is with my name on his lips that he finds satisfaction, completion.
He locates my mouth, and for several minutes, as I feel his racing heart begin to slow down, we exchange tender, loving kisses. They heal him as much, if not more so, as his physical release.
He drifts back into sleep, still in my arms, still holding onto me with a ferocity that I did not know until recently. For a while I stay awake and watch over him, sheltering him and keeping him safe.
No one else ever sees this side of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. No one ever has. No one, not even his ex-wives, sees him as he allows me to see him.
At the office, tomorrow, it will be as if tonight never happened. No one will see his fear, his dread, the guilt he still carries; he hides it well. He erects his shields and keeps up the persona of being a bastard.
Nonetheless, even if I had not experienced his dreams as I do, I would know that something was amiss. It is there in the dark gaze; barely visible, perhaps only visible to someone who knows him and loves him as I do. But it is there.
Only I can see it, because only I know the true Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Only I am able to heal him.
Only I am able to make it right again.
Only I can give him what he wants. What he needs.
Only I am able to there for him.
Only I love him.