AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Episode Related.
SUMMARY: Set during Broken Bird. DiNozzo and Ziva have gone and Gibbs is left to reflect on what he's learned.
SPOILERS: Broken Bird
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for Challenge 37 - 'Ten Words'. The words I have used are 'Before. Lover. Enemy'. This is far less dark and angsty than my previous Broken Bird story.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Gibbs closed his eyes for a moment, trying to banish the headache and nausea he'd been fighting ever since Ducky had been stabbed.
He was alone again with Ducky, having sent a reluctant and subdued DiNozzo and Ziva away, and once more he was holding his dearest friend's hand. He hoped Ducky knew he was there; he hoped Ducky knew that whatever happened he would be there.
He couldn't believe the report. He couldn't and he wouldn't. It was as simple as that.
It couldn't be true. Ducky, his beloved, dearest Ducky was not a torturer or a murderer. Sure he could kill, Gibbs had always known that. Given the right circumstances, the right situation, a good enough reason, and Ducky could kill. But torture? No way.
"I don't believe it, Duck," he murmured. "I won't believe it. I can't believe it."
Ducky wouldn't. He simply wouldn't, not even thirty years ago. He couldn't. Gibbs knew that. He knew that because he knew Ducky. He had known him for thirty-three years. He knew him inside and out.
He forced away the little voice that was trying to make itself heard. The little voice that pointed out that although they'd met and become lovers in 1975, Ducky had 'honorably' taken himself away from America, away from Gibbs and away from temptation when Gibbs had realized he loved Shannon. He'd known Ducky had served in Afghanistan, but his lover had never talked about it, had never said in what context he'd served. Gibbs had always assumed as a doctor, but he'd never asked. So he didn't 'know' Ducky during that period, not as such.
He growled at the voice and ferociously ordered it to 'go away'.
He put his second hand over Ducky's and spoke to him, his tone low, soft, affectionate. "You sleep now, Duck, and when you wake up, you can tell me the truth. And whatever it is, whatever trouble you're in, whoever wants to try to punish you for something you didn't do, whatever enemy is out there waiting for you, I'll sort it. We'll sort it, Duck. Me and you. Just like always. Promise you, Duck. I'll be here. We'll sort it, and things will go back to how they were before. Me, you and the kids."
As he settled back further into the chair, still keeping a tight grip on Ducky's hand, he again ignored the nagging voice that suggested if he repeated the words often enough, he might even believe them.
When the nurse came in to tell him it was time for him to go home for the night, he made it very, very, very clear he was staying exactly where he was.
This time he ignored the little voice that suggested the main reason he'd insisted on staying was he feared it might be the last time he got to spend time alone with the man he loved.
"We'll sort it, Duck," he repeated, leaning forward so that he could kiss Ducky's forehead.