AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Episode Related. Angst
SUMMARY: Written for Challenge 35 - 'Dark & Light'. Set after Cloak. Gibbs pays a visit to Ducky.
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.
After scaring the wits half out of Agent Lee, Gibbs left her and returned to Autopsy.
The room was mostly dark, with only the light on Ducky's desk still shining.
He went in and waited for a second or two. Silence greeted him and Ducky didn't so much as look up to see who had entered the room.
But not for one moment did Gibbs believe his lover didn't know it was him.
"You still pissed at me?" he asked, beginning to walk towards Ducky.
Silence still greeted him.
"Take that as a 'yes' then." As he said the words, he winced. Talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Ducky turned around to face him and stood up. Then he began to walk slowly towards Gibbs, who found he had to lock his knees to prevent himself from actually backing away. "Do you have that little respect for me?"
"Duck, I'm -"
"What 'sorry'? Is Leroy Jethro Gibbs going to break his moratorium and actually apologize?"
"Wouldn't be the first time I've said I'm sorry to you," Gibbs said, his voice low.
For a fleeting second the pure anger that flashed in Ducky's eyes abated and they softened marginally. But seconds later it was back. "You are a bloody fool, Jethro. I sometimes wonder -"
"Why you still love me?" Again Gibbs winced as more wrong words came out.
"Don't," Ducky said, moving even closer. "Do not ever do that, Jethro. Ever. Why, Jethro? Why? Why did you not come to me, explain what you needed and ask for my help? Why the whole cloak and dagger thing? Do you not trust me?"
"You know I do, Duck. It's just -"
"I knew you'd say no."
"Oh, right. So having me find my missing corpse in the way I did was okay? Me possibly saying 'no' wasn't?"
"All right. I was wrong. I should have asked you. But, Duck. Look at it this way: we needed a body. If I'd asked and you had said no, how would you have felt if I'd just gone ahead with it anyway?"
"Which you would have done?"
"Which I would have done."
"I trust Anthony is not going to be disciplined for what he said to you?"
Gibbs blinked at the sudden change of subject. "No. I mean, he went -"
"Too far? Do you really think so?"
"You do. Well, at least you did. Why else would you keep trying to shut him up?"
"You really are a bastard at times." Ducky's tone was low.
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, Duck. I am. I've always told you that. Have you really only just seen it for yourself?" He spoke quietly, his tone flat as he held the slightly less steely, frozen gaze. "Duck?"
"I don't think I've seen it directed at me before, Jethro. I - It's late. It's already dark out and you know how Mother worries about me when I'm out after dark." Ducky turned away and, limping far more than he normally did at this time of day, went to get his hat and coat.
"Goodnight, Jethro," he said, as with his briefcase in his hand he walked towards Jethro.
"Duck." Jethro caught his arm. "I -"
"Not now, Jethro. Not tonight. Not now. I will see you tomorrow." Ducky's voice was heavy and showed signs of weariness as well as hurt. For a fleeting second he touched Gibbs's own hand, before pulling away and leaving the room.
Gibbs stood in the now completely dark room just watching Ducky limp towards the elevator. "I am sorry, Duck," he whispered to the devastatingly silent room.