AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUMMARY: Written for Challenge #33 - 'An event told from two different perspectives'. Gibbs and Ducky have different takes on Gibbs's behavior post-Shannon.
WORD COUNT: 600
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
When dear Shannon and Kelly died, Jethro no longer formed attachments with women. Oh, he dated and bedded them; he even married them. But he never became attached to them.
He couldn't, you see. He couldn't because he blamed himself for the deaths of Shannon and Kelly. And even though it was more than fifteen years ago, he still blames himself.
That is why he will not, why he cannot, form attachments: he has never let go of them; not really.
And that is how it has gone on since the day they were taken from him: he dates women, he beds them; but that is all. These days they stay around for an even shorter time than they used to. Maybe that is a good sign. Maybe that is a sign that he is ready to start to form an attachment with someone else, with someone special.
For many years, decades in fact, I have dared to hope that one day he will be able to form an attachment with me. I am in love with him, you see; I am in love with my dearest, closest friend, and have been from the moment I first met my young, dashing, cock-sure Marine.
We are already intimately, closer than close, lovers without the sex. And maybe I should be content with that, but as the years go on and I get older, I find myself more and more wanting that one extra bit in our relationship. I find myself praying that one day we will become lovers with the sex.
But I fear it will never be; not whilst he is still so in love with Shannon.
At least I have his friendship and I know I shall always, no matter what, have that. It will have to be enough.
When I first lost Shannon and Kelly I was sure that was it. There wouldn't ever be anyone else for me. There couldn't be. I wasn't going to care. I wasn't going to become attached to any one person, because it hurts too damned much.
Then I woke up one day and realized something: I did care. I was attached to someone. I was in love with someone. And that scared the hell out of me.
Not for the reasons most people might think: the fact the person was another man. Yeah, a man. Ducky. My Ducky. My closest friend.
What scared me was that I cared so much. I loved him so much. And I was too afraid I'd lose him. Lose him like I lost Shannon and Kelly. And I knew I couldn't go through that again.
So rather than tell him how I felt, I took up with woman after woman. Dated them. Bedded them. Married three of them. Got attached to them. It was safer.
But as the years go on and the women stick around for less time, I find myself wondering if I should risk it. After all we've gotten closer over the years. Gotten more intimate. Guess you'd say we were lovers without the sex. So if he died tomorrow it'd hurt like hell. Would it hurt anymore if we were lovers with the sex? I don't know. Don't reckon it would.
And it's not like I'm still in love with Shannon. I'll always love her, or the memory of her. So why not take the chance?
Friendship isn't enough any longer. I want more. And I'm going to have more. I'll tell him tonight.
It's long past time I stopped being afraid and formed another attachment with a person I really love.