AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Written for a rare_pair challenge. Write a story that includes the line: Can you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me? Gibbs overhears the team talking. Something he hears makes him need to go and visit Ducky in order to clarify something.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"What's the matter with Tony?" Ziva strode into the office, put her bag on her desk, and went to stand by DiNozzo's desk.
"Rosie dumped him."
"Thanks a lot, Probie."
"You didn't say it was confidential, Tony."
"Dumped him?" Ziva looked puzzled.
"Split up with him. Ended their relationship," McGee explained.
"Oh, I am sorry, Tony. Didn't you say that she was the 'one'?"
"We all make mistakes, Ziva. Now if you've both finished pulling my personal life apart, then -"
"What have I missed?" Abby bounced into the office.
"Rosie's dumped Tony."
"Oh, poor baby." Abby ran over to DiNozzo, put her arms around him and patted his head. McGee frowned. "What did you do?"
"Thanks a lot, Abbs."
"Sorry, Tony," said Abby, not sounding the least bit sorry. "I meant to say what did she do?" She beamed.
"A gentleman never tells," DiNozzo said.
"Well that's all right then, because you aren't a gentleman." Ziva smiled.
Abby glared at Ziva.
"Come on, Tony. You know you'll tell us in the end. Better get it out of the way before Gibbs gets here."
"Yes, tell us, Tony. It'll make you feel better." Abby patted DiNozzo's head again.
"It will?" Ziva sounded surprised.
Abby glared at her again. "Yes, Officer David, it will. Telling friends your troubles always helps. But then maybe -"
"Abby." McGee's voice was firm and he frowned at Abby. She met the look and held it, before glancing away.
"Maybe what?" Ziva asked, looking from Abby to McGee.
"Nothing, Ziva. Right, Abby?"
"Yes." She sounded sullen. "Go on, Tony. Tell us. You know you want to," she added brightly, all hint of the resentment suddenly gone.
DiNozzo sighed and rolled his eyes. "Since you all insist. There we were watching a movie and suddenly she turns to me and says, 'Tony, can you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me?'"
"Wow! What did you say?"
"I said I could."
"And she said that wasn't what she meant. Apparently she actually wanted me to look into her eyes and tell her that I loved her."
"Well. Nothing. I couldn't."
"But you said a moment ago that you told her you could." Ziva sounded puzzled.
"Saying I could do it and doing it are two different things, Ziva."
"So you lied to her?"
"It's not a lie, exactly."
"What's the opposite of telling the truth?"
"It's what we all do. I mean you've done it, haven't you McGee?"
"Er, done what precisely, Tony?"
"Told a girl that you love her, because you know that's what she wants to hear."
"Er, no, Tony. I haven't."
"Oh, Timmy, that's so sweet." Abby pushed passed Ziva and hugged McGee.
"Come on, Probie, every guy's done it at some time or other. You know, to get a girl into bed if she's being a bit, you know. Or when you're making love. It's normal. Come to think of it, you won't have said it. Ouch! Hey, boss. Didn't hear you come in. Have a good weekend?" DiNozzo rubbed the back of his head.
Gibbs just stared at him. "Haven't you got any work to do?" He strode over to his desk, put his coffee down and shrugged off his overcoat.
"Tony was just enlightening me into another American custom," Ziva said, crossing her arms and frowning. "Apparently, it is common for the men of your country to lie to a woman when they tell her they love her."
"Is that so, DiNozzo?"
"I didn't say it was a custom, boss. Just that men did it. It's part of the game. You must have done it."
A collective silence went around the group, and as one they turned to stare at Gibbs.
He in turn simply stared unblinkingly at DiNozzo.
No one spoke.
Or even seemed to breathe.
Finally Gibbs broke the stare. "Nope," he said and sat down at his desk.
After another moment or two, McGee and Ziva returned to their own desks, Abby, still beaming happily, bounced out of the room, and DiNozzo returned to his latest porn site.
Half an hour went by before Gibbs pushed back his chair, stood up and headed for the elevators.
As soon as he was out of hearing, DiNozzo said, "He must have done it."
"Done what, Tony?"
"Told a woman he loved her just to get her into bed."
McGee rolled his eyes. "Why do you say that, Tony?"
"He's got three ex-wives."
"I don't think that's the reason for them, Tony."
"Huh?" DiNozzo stared at McGee. "What do you mean, Probie?"
"Hey, Duck." Jethro strode into Autopsy.
"Jethro. I was just going to call you." Ducky smiled up at him, his eyes soft with the deep affection they always showed for Jethro.
"He's taking the blood samples up to Abby. Yes, I expect that they will confirm my - Jethro, what are you doing?"
Jethro had his arm around Ducky's shoulders and was leading him across the room to one of the few places in the building that was free from security cameras. He pulled Ducky inside, closed the door, put a hand on each of Ducky's shoulders and looked down at him. "Ducky."
"Yes, Jethro?" Ducky stared up at Jethro; his blue eyes were filled with a mixture of confusion and love.
"Look at me. Look right into my eyes."
"Are you planning to try to hypnotize me, my dear? Because it is not -"
"Ducky!" Jethro snapped. "Just look at me," he said, his tone softer. He lifted one hand from Ducky's shoulder and brushed the overlong fringe from Ducky's forehead. "Please," he added.
Ducky obliged, looking straight into Jethro's eyes. Clearly puzzled by his lover's behavior, he nonetheless showed the complete trust he had always shown.
Jethro looked down, allowed the shields he raised the moment he stepped into the office to tumble from his own eyes, and smiled. "Duck, you do know that I love you, don't you?"
Ducky looked even more puzzled. "Of course I do, dearest. I love you too."
"Good," said Jethro. "That's okay then." He pulled Ducky nearer to him, lowered his head and kissed him. The contact was brief, chaste, caring.
"I'm not objecting, my dear," Ducky said, when the kiss ended. He remained in Jethro's arms and Jethro stroked his hair. "But what has suddenly made you ask me that?"
Jethro kissed the top of Ducky's head, hugged him again, before reluctantly letting the embrace end. "Oh, just something DiNozzo said. Catch you later, Duck." Before Ducky could say anything, he turned on his heel, raised his hand in a brief wave and left the room.