Recipient's name: Nakeisha
Pairing(s): Gibbs/Ducky, some light Abby/McGee
Summary: For their 30th Christmas together, Gibbs braves shopping to find Ducky the perfect gift.
Authors Notes: Merry almost Christmas Nakeisha! Good tidings, and a big cup of cheer to you!
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS, nor am I making any money off of this.
Gibbs had found out many years ago that shopping for Ducky was not only pointless, but utterly frustrating. If the man wanted it, he would buy it for himself. His home was tastefully furnished, his book supply was seemingly endless, and he wasn’t into technology or some other pastime that was easy to shop for.
This year had to be different, though. The agent wanted to give his Duck something special on their thirtieth Christmas together, something that wasn’t just another ‘Fine, I’ll go with you to the opera’ agreement.
That sentiment was how Gibbs found himself, the day before Christmas, trudging through an incredible eight inches of snow while heading towards his sixth shopping center. The people around him were loud, rambunctious, and more oft than not, rude. A woman in front of him stopped short, and glared at him when he nearly ran into her.
Ducking into another store, Gibbs looked at the wares. Why would Ducky want opals and pearls? They were gifts for women, which Ducky certainly was not. Gibbs groaned a little as he left. All four of his wives had been so easy to shop for. Some jewelry every now and then, chocolates, slinky lingerie.
Gibbs’ scowl deepened as he entered another store, this one full of eastern European products. For a moment, he considered getting a huge compilation book of all the great Russian novels, but decided against it. Knowing his Duck, the man probably already had one. Nodding at the store’s owner as he left, Jethro stepped back out onto the street.
Somehow, in the brief time he’d been in the store, the snow had began to fall again. Perhaps ‘fall’ was not the right word. It whipped around, driving not only the falling snow around, but sweeping the snow off the nearby roofs into the mess. Though visibility was low, Gibbs noticed a familiar figure ahead. It almost looked like Tony, walking as if there were no snow at all into a store a little ways ahead.
Despite the probability that it wasn’t his senior field agent, Gibbs felt himself drawn towards the shop. He stood near the corner of the large front window, by the alley in case he should need to vanish. Inside he could see Tony, who was conversing with the cashier. His agent gestured with a smile, pointing out things he was considering buying, and talking animatedly.
As Gibbs was wondering what Tony was doing in a specialty knife shop, he made a movement towards a blade with the well-crafted handle. Quickly Gibbs made the connection--the knife was a present for Ziva. He pointed at his bags, likely talking about his previous purchases. From what Gibbs could lip-read, McGee would be getting a very nice black turtleneck, designer of course, and Abby would be receiving a copy of ‘Left for Dead’, whatever that was.
DiNozzo turned to leave, which Gibbs took as a cue to move on. He wandered through a few more stores, thinking about what Tony had purchased, and thinking about what he should get for Ducky.
Stepping into a store with a trade-shop feel, the agent was behind a rather large shelf when the bell chimed again, indicating that someone else had walked in. Gibbs glanced over at the door, and was surprised not only to see Ziva, but Abby with her. He smiled a little at that. They hadn’t gotten a long at the beginning, but they were working on it. Ziva had been with them now longer than Kate, and while Abby was adjusting to that, Ziva was adjusting to being in their family.
“Okay, Ziva. So I’ve got the silk boxers for Tony, Wrath of the Lich King and the special present for Tim, the super-secret present I got for you, and I still need to buy for Gibbs, Ducky, and Jimmy.”
Ziva smiled back at her. “I have the ink well for McGee, the signed copy of the new book Ducky wanted, and your also very secret present, leaving me with Jimmy, Gibbs, and Tony to shop for.”
Gibbs listened as they looked at the merchandise together, laughing and making suggestions. Slowly, he slipped out of the store, unnoticed by his workers.
Back out on the cold, windy street, the agent continued to walk further, trying to find a shop that looked like it might have something promising. After another two or three blocks, a man ran hurrying out of LaPerla’s ran into him. While Gibbs was able to stay on his feet, the other man fell, dropping his packages, his merchandise falling all over the place.
The figure who had run into him turned out to be McGee. Gibbs took a quick look at his dropped packages, matching the presents to the future owners.
“Let me guess. The box collection of Wesley Ruggles films is for DiNozzo.” He handed the bag to his agent. “The Douglas Adams book set is for Jimmy, and the fountain pen and bowtie are for Duck.” Gibbs handed the bags to him, before raising an eyebrow at the wispy, white silk creation on the ground. “Hey, McGee. I don’t think that’s going to fit you.”
His agent flushed a brilliant red, stammering. “It-It’s not for me, Boss. It’s for, um, Abby.”
“I know, McGee.” Gibbs gave his agent a half-smile, before handing the bag over to him. If he had to pick one man for Abby to be with, McGee would be it. “I’ll see you tomorrow, at Ducky’s.”
McGee nodded as Gibbs left. It was their annual tradition to swap gifts on Christmas. Looking up at the sun, he realized that it was getting late. In an hour the sun would be down, and he’d be out of time to find The Gift for his Duck. Leaning on the corner of a building to think, Gibbs was surprised to hear some bagpipe music drifting out of the building he was leaning on.
Walking in, he was greeted by an anciently old woman. Apparently, the shop was a bookstore, musty, with the bookshelves on the walls reaching to the top of the high ceiling. Bizarrely drawn to one shelf, Gibbs laid his hand on a thick volume bound in pale red leather.
Opening it, he read the first page, and realized that it was perfect. He went to the counter, and handed the money to the little old woman behind the cash register. She dropped the money in without looking, her milky, cataract-ridden eyes staring straight through him.
“Thank-you, young man.” She said, her voice thin. “I can see you have had a long journey here. I pray that your next thirty will be filled with twice the joy your last thirty have been.”
Gibbs stared at her, almost wanting to believe that the numbers the woman chose were a coincidence, but unable to. He thanked her, and walked out into the snow. He didn’t turn around to look back at the shop, half-certain that if he did, it wouldn’t be there.
Unlocking the door for his lover, Ducky found himself pulled against the taller man, his lips gently touching Jethro’s for a brief moment. His heart fluttered for a moment, just like always. He wondered if it would ever stop being so wonderful. He doubted it would.
“Hello, Jethro. Merry Christmas Eve.” His lover smiled, pulling off his coat.
“Hello to you, too, Doctor Mallard.” Gibbs sighed a little, pulling his lover closer. “I spent all morning shopping for you, Duck. I don’t know how you do it every year.” It was true. They gave joint presents to the children, but Ducky was usually the one who went shopping and selected them.
“Oh, Jethro. You know you don’t need to do that. Having you is by far enough, and I couldn’t want anything more.”
Gibbs cracked a smile, allowing himself to be gently led up stairs. “I know, but this is our thirtieth Christmas. I wanted to do something special.”
Ducky tilted his head up, brushing a kiss against the agent’s jaw. “How lucky I am to have the love of someone like you. Tell me about the shopping. I have a gift for you, too.”
Quickly, Gibbs gave him the run down of the searching, and how he had bizarrely run into so many people while he was looking. He told Ducky about the kids’ planned presents, and about the bizarre shop with the old woman. Being an always-curious man, Doctor Mallard listened with rapt attention, as if it was the most interesting thing he’d ever heard.
At the end, Gibbs handed the package over to his lover, asking him to open it. Ducky did, looking at the first page.
It was a book of stories and poetry of love, not just in the early stages, but from the later ones, too. The book was divided into three main sections, and as Ducky flipped to the first one, he saw a single stem of Statice pressed between the pages.
“Remembrance, Duck.” Jethro said, “For all of the times you saved me when no one else could. For when you stood by me when no one else would. For being there for me, loving me unconditionally, and for letting me make my stupid mistakes. As long as I have my mind, I will always remember the amazing man who gave me an anchor and a reason to survive.”
Ducky looked at his lover, before gently touching Gibbs’ chin with his hand.
“My Dear. What reason could I’ve had to go on if you weren’t there with me? You’re my one true love, Jethro. I could never in a million years exist without you near me. You’re as vital to my very being as blood or air. I simply could not live for long without you near me.” Softly, Ducky kissed his lover again, before opening to the second section, a Snapdragon stem falling out.
“Snapdragons are desire. I know we don’t make love quite as often as we used to, but I want you to know that I do desire you, Duck.” His voice was a little husky. “I love your body because it’s part of you. I love knowing you in the fullest extent of the word, and I love when we do make love, to whatever extent we choose. I love holding you, touching you. I love feeling you tremble beneath me or next to me, and I love seeing your face right after, when we come down from the climactic high together.” He took a deep breath, calming himself a bit. “Of course, I desire you as a friend, too. You are the only person in my life, Duck, that is literally my everything.”
The Doctor shivered a little at the imagery, moving closer. He didn’t say anything, just found his partner’s eyes with a look that said that not only did he know his lover’s desire for him, but that they would have a chance to make use of their slowly kindling desire very soon.
Opening to the third section, a branch of Queen Anne’s Lace revealed itself as the third flower.
“Sanctuary. As long as we’ve been together, you’ve been the one that’s kept me safe. You’ve been my haven, my home. With you, I feel like I can’t be touched by anything going on in the outside world, because nothing would dare try to get through your protection of me. With you, I can finally forget, I can re-charge and keep my faith in humanity and love. As long as you are near to me, I know that I will get through any obstacle because of your love. Your tranquility soothes me like nothing else, Duck. Your arms protect me, and your heart does nothing but give to me. I don’t know how I ever found a man as amazing as you, Duck, but I’m so happy I did. God, I love you.”
Dropping his mouth to his partner’s, their lips met in a smooth dance, Gibbs’ hands moving from Ducky’s waist up to his hair.
“Jethro, this is the second most amazing gift I’ve ever received.” His lover said between kisses.
“What was the best one?” The agent asked, before claiming the sumptuous, kiss-swollen mouth beneath his own.
“You, of course.” As Ducky went to wrap his arms back around his lover’s neck, the book slid down his legs, the pages flipping to reveal the inside back cover. The Doctor lifted it up, looking at what was written. His brow furrowed. “Jethro, these are the dates of everything important that ever happened between us, starting from the day we met thirty years ago! How did you remember all of this?”
His lover gently took the book out of his hands, before putting it on the coffee table next to them and shrugging.
“How could I forget?”
Slowly their mouths met again, their eyes keeping contact. They slowly lowered themselves horizontal on the couch, their hands gently roaming one another’s body. Quiet ‘I love you’s were murmured into the dark night. In the hallway, the grandfather clock struck midnight, officially starting the morning of their thirtieth Christmas together.