AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Angst. Episode Related
SUMMARY: Set after Hiatus. Ducky remembers something his grandmother had told him. Written for Challenge #19 'Seven Virtues'. The virtue I have used is 'Fortitude'.
PROMPT: 50_lovequotes 20 - Goodbyes make you realize what you've gained, what you've felt, and what you've taken for granted.
WORD COUNT: 600
WARNINGS: Another snap-shot-moment-in-time story and does not have my usual style ending.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Never let anyone hurt you. Keep some of yourself apart.
My grandmother first said these words to me when I was a very young boy, who had gone to her in tears because his best friend had hurt him.
She repeated words to me just before I went to Eton, when only she knew how much I feared going away.
She said them to me a third time when I visited her in hospital, hours before her death.
She was a very wise woman, and they were very wise words.
Ah, had I but heeded them.
Had I done so I might not be sitting here now, having drunk far too much whisky, but nonetheless having just poured myself another glass, in the vain attempt to drown the hurt I feel. The aching, the pain, the anguish, the agony, the throbbing, which I fear will never leave me; which I know I shall never be able to recover from.
Jethro has left me.
There. I have written it.
Four simple, short words. How can they contain such chilling, biting, destroying pain?
He was so easy to love, at least for me, and for thirty years, I have done that thing. Indeed, it is difficult for me to remember what my life was like before I loved him. I sometimes think, rather foolishly and romantically, that I had no life before I loved him.
For thirty years I have loved him; I have shared his world; I have, in all respect but one, lived with him. And I have given myself utterly, totally, completely, absolutely, without hesitation, question or deviation to him.
I was unable to follow my grandmother's advice, no matter how much I told myself that maybe I should. I could not keep any of myself apart from Jethro; I did not wish to. I gave him my heart, my body and my soul, for him to do with as he wished. And I truly believed that when I did that, when I gave all of me to him, that they would be in safekeeping.
And now I am paying the price for that. And it is such a high price. Such a terribly high price. A price that I do not believe I am able to afford.
However, a price I must pay, I must afford, as I have not the luxury of doing anything else.
I do not believe he consciously meant to hurt me. Indeed, I do not believe that he was even thinking of me at all. In some ways that causes me even more pain.
He has gone.
He has walked away from his home.
He has walked away from his job.
He has walked away from the children.
He has walked away from those who care for him.
He has walked away from me.
He has walked away to start a new life. A life that does not include me.
I will never cease to love him, of that I am certain.
My life will go on. It has to.
I will not walk away from my home.
I will not walk away from my job.
I will not walk away from the children.
I will not walk away from those who care for me.
I will not. Because I cannot.
I shall learn to live with the hurt. With the pain. With the loss.
I shall learn to do so. Because I have to.
And at least if I am hurting, I know that I am alive.
Ah, Grandmamma, how I wish I had been able to heed your advice.