AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship.
SUMMARY: Written for Challenge #31 'First And Last Lines' using Block 6. Gibbs and Ducky make the ultimate commitment.
WORD COUNT: 1,534
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
It's seven o'clock on Monday morning and the removal men have been here since six. Today is the day I have waited for, longed for, prayed for, wished for, dared to hope for, for more than three decades. Today is the day Jethro and I are going to set up home together.
The actual decision to do that thing was, in itself, remarkably simple. And yet why should it not have been? We have been lovers for more than thirty years; we have, in truth, always known this day would come. Thus when my beloved commented a few months after my dear mother finally found peace, that it was long past time we stopped spending too much of our time driving back and forth to one another's homes, I readily agreed.
What took the most time was the discussion as to where we would live. Would I move into Jethro's home? Would Jethro move into my Reston house? Or would we find somewhere new together? As is my wont, I was prepared to bow to Jethro's wishes, to his preferences, despite the fact that deep down my choice would have been to stay in my Reston home and for Jethro to join me here.
Ah, Jethro. How does one describe Jethro? I once used the term 'a man of more questions than answers', and I stand by that. On the face of it he is gruff, detached, harsh, even uncaring; a man who does not follow, or seem to understand, the nuances of what many of us consider 'normal' behavior, a man who is uncompromising; a cocksure, in his own words, 'bastard'. And yes, that is, to an extent, my Jethro.
But he is so much more than that. That is merely the external Leroy Jethro Gibbs; the man he allows the world to see. That is not the man I see; that is not the man he is with me. He is far more complex than that; he is loving, passionate, caring - deeply caring, sometimes I fear he cares too much. He is not the cocksure bastard he appears to be, a lot of his arrogance is there merely to cover up his hints of insecurity; nor is he unaware of nuances. Not at all.
And once again he proved that to me during out discussion about where we were to live. After several days of going, what was in effect, round and round in circles, as we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each option, he just took me in his arms and told me he'd booked the removal men to be at his house at six in the morning in a month's time to bring his belongings to my home. He further told me he had also booked a few days leave for us both for that time.
Even after all the years we have been together, he can still surprise me, something for which I am eternally grateful. He later told me, as we lay in my bed, that he'd always known what I'd prefer; however, he had been hoping I would come out and say so. When I tried to explain why I had been so reticent, he simply laughed, pulled me nearer to him, put his mouth on mine and . . . But that's another story.
So here we are, both of us, in his house, surrounded by packing cases and boxes and furniture and emptiness. My beloved is 'directing operations' and I am fairly sure starting to make the removal men a little stressed, as he keeps giving them instructions as to how to carry a particular piece, where in the van to put it and other such things. Maybe I should try to intervene, try to tell Jethro that the good men do know their jobs, but I have not done so.
I have not done so because I know that part of his gruffness, his insistence that they do things 'his' way is because he is finally severing the last physical ties with his beloved girls. You see this was their home; this is where they lived; this is where Kelly played; this is where Shannon made a home for them; this is where Shannon and Kelly waited for Jethro to come home from deployment; this is where he has built, and destroyed, four boats. This is where he was once so very happy.
And that is another reason, indeed that is the main reason, why I did not want to move into Jethro's home. It is awful to say, but I did not wish to be like Alice, Diane and Stephanie: interlopers into a place that never was, never could have been, theirs. It was one reason I always knew their marriages to Jethro would not last - the other reason of course was that Jethro had no intention of being faithful to them; had no intention of giving me up. And I, I am more than a little ashamed to confess, never had any intention of giving him up either. Maybe had Shannon and Kelly lived then . . . But no, I will not allow myself to think those thoughts. As I am always fond of telling Jethro 'the past is the past; we cannot change it; what matters is the future; what matter is now'.
I am not a particularly superstitious man, but I feared that if I had have moved into Jethro's home, then our relationship might also have been doomed. That the ghosts of Shannon and Kelly might have done what the live Shannon, Kelly, Alice, Diane, Stephanie, Jennifer, Hollis and several other women had failed to do: separate Jethro and myself.
I do not know if Jethro is aware of my apprehensive feeling and I am not going to ask him. Part of me would not be surprised if at some level he did realize, did maybe even share my 'fear', but maybe that is just me projecting my own qualms onto my beloved.
So that is why I am not intervening; that is why I am letting him harass the removal men - I will make sure they have a more than adequate tip when they have completed our move. And I am sure they have suffered far more at the hands of other people than they are doing so at my Jethro's. He may be interfering, he may be more than a little curt and pushy, but nonetheless he is not being impolite or unpleasant.
One area they will not be moving things from is his basement; that he did himself, entirely by himself. I did not even offer my assistance, instead I simply waited for him to arrive at Reston and fed and watered him once he had everything into its new home.
I think this was always my biggest concern as to Jethro moving into my Reston home, as my basement, whilst large is not quite as conducive to being turned into a workshop as his own one was. Plus it has, for some years, been used only as a storage facility as well as a wine cellar.
However, he assured me that he was more than happy with it and he would 'knock it into shape' - I do not think he means literally. He has already spent many hours sorting it out and deciding where he will put his tools and benches, etc. When the time came for him to move things from his house, it was by no means 'perfect' nor indeed up to his high standards. Nevertheless, it was close enough for now.
I have accepted the fact that whilst I have finally got my long-time dream of Jethro and I living together, I shall, for at least some time, have to play 'second fiddle' to his plans for the basement. But he has promised me he will not spend all of his time down there; besides I know of ways to entice him away from his tools and into my arms.
But this is not advisable; I should not let my mind wander into such places, not when we are not alone. I do believe it is time for a nice cup of tea; I am sure the removal men will appreciate one - I know I will.
SOME HOURS LATER
I felt my eyes growing heavy and I glanced at the clock. It was seven minutes after midnight. Finally after well over fourteen hours of virtually non-stop work, we are where we should be: in one another's arms in my, forgive me, in our bed.
As is always the case the house looks as if the proverbial 'bomb has hit it'; even though we had known beforehand where things would go, there is still somewhat of a mess to be sorted.
And yet, despite the mess, my tiredness, the dust that always seems to accumulate no matter how good a housekeep one is, I am at peace. Why would I not be? I have Jethro; I finally have Jethro all to myself; I have him in my arms, in my - once again forgive me, in our - bed and all is right with my world.