AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
PROMPT: 'What did Jimmy see?'
SUMMARY: Jimmy has his suspicions confirmed.
WORD COUNT: 3,300
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 and squeezed the bridge of his nose. "Are we done, Tobias?" he asked, reopening his eyes and looking across the table. He reached for the cup of now luke-warm coffee, took a swallow and scowled. It was typical of the FBI; not only did they drag meetings out, but they couldn't even provide decent coffee.
Fornell nodded. "Yeah, we're done." He stressed the 'we're, as he grinned at Gibbs.
From somewhere Gibbs dredged up an answering grin. "Reckon we," he also stressed the word, "were done at least two hours ago."
"Whereas our directors . . ."
"Tell me about it."
"You want to grab a drink?" Fornell stood up and put his jacket on.
Gibbs grabbed his overcoat and shook his head. "Another time," he said, pulling his coat on. "Got to get back to the office."
Fornell, in the process of gathering together the cups, stopped and looked at him. "Your director told you to go home; he said you were finished for the day. I heard him."
Gibbs shrugged. "Just want to make sure -"
"Come on, Jethro, even DiNozzo can't have screwed anything up in eight hours," Fornell said with a chuckle. Then he asked, "Can he?"
Gibbs laughed. "If he put his mind to it, yeah, he could. Or rather, if he didn't put his mind to it. Nah, it's not DiNozzo."
Fornell frowned. "Then what is it?"
Gibbs glared at Fornell. "What's with the third degree, Fornell, you got a problem with me going back to the office."
Fornell blinked and glanced away; instantly Gibbs regretted the sharpness of his tone. "No, of course not, it's just . . ." Fornell muttered something and then trailed off.
Gibbs may not have caught the words, but he did catch Fornell's tone. In two strides he was by Fornell's side and had put his hand on Fornell's shoulder. "Just?" he asked, feeling how tense the shoulder he now held was.
Fornell, still not looking at him, shook his head and for a moment Gibbs thought he wasn’t going to answer. Then he glanced up and met Gibbs's stare. A flash of pain raced through the tired gaze. Or at least Gibbs thought it had; it had vanished before he could be certain. "It's Emily's birthday today and Diane made damn sure they were out of town," he said, his voice gruff.
Gibbs swore under his breath, cursing their shared ex-wife and himself. "Look," he said, tightening the grip he had on Fornell's shoulder, "I really do need to go back to the office. But tell you what, come round to mine for a drink later. Say a couple of hours. I'll order a carry-out."
Fornell looked at him. "I don't need you to feel sorry for you," he said, his tone flat.
"Wasn't," Gibbs lied.
"Or have you put yourself out just for me." Fornell still argued for the sake of it, but clearly his heart wasn't in it.
"Tobias," Gibbs said, taking a half step back so he could really look at his friend. "You ever known me do something I didn't want to do?"
"You mean apart from sit through eight hour pointless meetings?" Gibbs was pleased to see a hint of the man he knew well in the gaze that watched him.
He laughed. "Yeah, apart from that," he said.
"I guess not."
"Too right. So see you in a couple of hours." He made sure it wasn't a question.
"Okay. That'd be nice, thanks, Jethro."
"De nada," Gibbs said, turning and striding towards the door. When he reached it he stopped and hand on this door knob said, his tone matter-of-fact, "Oh, and Ducky will be there too."
"Yeah, you know. British; a doctor; tells a lot of stories; pretty good at neck locks," he added, with a grin.
Fornell rolled his eyes. "I do know who Ducky is," he said. "I was just . . ." He trailed off, then asked, "How's his mom?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Not good. Well, physical-health-wise fine. Unfortunately," he added softly. "But mental-health-wise," he shrugged again. "She doesn't know Duck at all. Doesn't know anyone or anything. There's been no lucid moments for a couple of months now."
"That must be hard on Ducky."
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, it is. Harder than he lets on. The only consolation he has, I reckon, is that she seems happy." He sighed.
"Look, Jethro, if you'd rather . . ." He trailed off, then tried again. "I mean if Ducky . . ."
"He'll be glad to see you. Besides, you're a better conversationalist than me."
Fornell smiled. "Are you sure? I don't want to . . . If you and Ducky want to . . . You know, be alone." He muttered the last couple of words and again glanced away from Gibbs's stare.
Gibbs watched him. "You want to come round or not, Tobias?" he asked, after a moment or two.
Fornell looked back at him. "A couple of hours, you said?"
Gibbs nodded. "See you later." This time he opened the door and strode out.
As he drove back to the Navy Yard he mentally berated himself. What the hell was he doing anyway? Why hadn't he just gone out for a quick drink with Fornell? Why was he now heading in the opposite direction to his home?
The answer to those questions was both simple and complicated: Ducky. As he consciously thought of Ducky for the first time that day, he felt his body begin to tingle. Damn it, it was ridiculous! He wasn't a horny teenager of fifteen; he was a grown, mature man of fifty-five. He should be able to manage the best part of twenty-four hours without seeing his lover - but he couldn't.
It was crazy, but then in some ways the whole relationship with Ducky was crazy, if only because of the length of time it had taken for him to see what had been under his nose for far more years than he cared to think about.
It had only been some ninety-six hours since Ducky had let himself into Gibbs's home and proceeded to show Gibbs what he'd been missing for all those years. Ninety-six hours, and this was the longest they'd been apart.
Ducky had had to visit him mother the previous evening and from there had gone on to a long-time pre-arranged bridge tournament that had lasted into the early hours of the morning. And with Gibbs being tied up in the blasted inter-agency meeting all day, it had meant they hadn't seen one another.
It was foolish; it was laughable; it was somewhat worrisome; except Gibbs wasn't worried, which made it all the more worrisome, but Gibbs couldn't go any longer without seeing Ducky, without taking him into his arms, without - He cut his thoughts off as he got a reminder that driving with even a hint of an erection was not advisable.
But even as he negotiated the traffic, his mind returned to Ducky and just what a skilled lover he was. Against his will he found himself remembering the feel of Ducky's lips, mouth and hands as they moved over his body, as they made love to him in a far more skillful way than Gibbs had ever experienced. He also recalled how Ducky felt beneath his hands, lips and mouth as he kissed and stroked and touched and - Again he stopped his thoughts.
Maybe he should have just gone out for the drink, but that wouldn't have been fair on Fornell, because his mind wouldn't have been on Fornell or the drink. His mind had already, as soon as the meeting had wound up and Vance and Kierson had left the room, been back at NCIS, in Autopsy, with Ducky, in the place where the cameras didn't reach. He already had Ducky in his arms, and his mouth on Ducky's and . . . And he had to have it, even if it was only for two minutes.
He shook his head somewhat self-deprecatingly as he realized just how deeply in love he was with Ducky and how much he wanted, needed even, to be with him.
Tires squealing, he pulled into the Navy Yard car park, got out, locked the car and headed inside. Forgoing coffee, despite the insipid stuff he'd been drinking all day, and the squad room - if anything had come up needing his attention, he'd have been called - he headed for Autopsy.
He paused just far enough away to stop the automatic doors from opening and just looked inside. Ducky was standing with his back to the doors, leaning on one of the autopsy tables with one hand, he other hand hung by his side. He was dressed in his white coat and non-autopsy greens and the overhead light seemed to bounce off his hair. Gibbs rolled his eyes at himself and took a step nearer, hoping that Palmer wasn't there, and the doors swished open.
"Ah, Jethro my dear, there you are." Ducky spoke without even turning around.
The sound of his lover's voice, made Gibbs feel warm and content. "Sure am, Duck." Gibbs closed the gap between them, glanced up at the camera to assure himself that Ducky had been standing so that it wouldn't see them, and slid his arms around Ducky from behind him.
Ducky sighed with obvious pleasure and for a moment just leaned back against Gibbs. Gibbs rested his chin on Ducky's head, enjoying the silkiness of his hair and then he kissed his head. A moment later, Ducky turned around in his embrace and their mouths met in a long, lingering kiss.
"That's better," Gibbs said, when they finally broke away.
"It certainly is," Ducky replied. He gazed up at Gibbs, his arms loosely linked around Gibbs's neck, his eyes declaring his love for Gibbs and his desire. "Tell me, Jethro," he said, moving his body very slightly against Gibbs's. "Would you think it very dreadful of me if I told you just how badly I wanted you?"
Gibbs groaned softly as Ducky moved against him again. "Duck," he murmured. But before he could say anything else, Ducky had tugged his head down and was kissing him again. And Ducky could certainly kiss! In fact Gibbs couldn't recall ever being kissed by someone in the way Ducky kissed him. His lover was never detracted and Gibbs always knew exactly where Ducky's mind and focus was when they kissed or made love: on him. One hundred percent on him. It almost made him feel quite smug to know just how important he was to Ducky; just how intensely Ducky loved him. After all, despite what the kids seemed to think, Gibbs was only human.
"Well?" Ducky demanded softly, when they again broke the kiss. "You have not answered my question."
"Didn't give me a chance to," Gibbs quipped.
"Hmmm, I did not, did it? I shall rectify that now. Well?" he inquired, putting his head on one side. "Am I, or am I not, dreadful for wanting you so badly?"
"If you are, then so am I, Duck. But -" Again he was silenced by a very demanding Ducky. "Duck," he said, gently breaking the kiss, well aware that if they shared one more such kiss, Fornell was going to find himself lacking in company for the evening. Gibbs put his hands up and still gently pulled Ducky's arms from around his neck.
"Jethro, is there something the matter?"
Gibbs shook his head. "Not in the way you mean. It's just - Oh, shit, Duck. I asked Tobias to come round for a drink and a carry-out tonight. It's Emily's birthday and that bitch we were both married to, has made sure they're out of town."
"Oh, poor Tobias," Ducky said. "You were quite right to invite him to join you. I understand fully. I -"
"Us," Gibbs said, swiftly interrupting Ducky.
"I invited him to join us," Gibbs said. "Us, Duck, not just me. Want you there too." He cupped Ducky's cheek, letting his fingertips stroke Ducky's temple.
Ducky blinked and a look of happiness flashed across his face. Then he frowned slightly and said, "Are you sure, my dear? I mean -"
Gibbs silenced him with a brief kiss. "Sure I'm sure, Duck. Besides, as I told Tobias, you're a far better conversationalist then I am." He smiled. "God, I want you," he added, his voice suddenly husky.
"You told Tobias I'd be there too?" Ducky asked, momentarily ignoring Gibbs's final comment.
Gibbs nodded. "Yep. So you ready?"
"Ready?" Ducky's eyes widened slightly and his look once again became sultry.
Gibbs laughed. "Dr. Mallard!" he exclaimed. "I'm surprised at you. Although," he added, glancing around him and once more looking up at the camera. "Don't forget that Palmer told me he and Lee used to . . . " He trailed off and leered at Ducky. And then before Ducky could reply, added, "Meet here?"
Ducky's eyes widened as he stared at Gibbs. "Jethro! Are you suggesting we . . ." Now he trailed off. "Here?"
Gibbs shrugged. "You said you wanted me. I want you, so . . ." He pulled Ducky back into a possessive embrace and pressed his body against Ducky's.
Just for a moment, he thought Ducky was considering it. Then from against his shoulder he heard Ducky sigh. "Ah, Jethro," he said, moving back a little and gazing at Jethro. "As much as I want you, want to touch you, have you touch me, I do believe the kind of lovemaking you are suggesting is really the purview of the young."
"You're not old, Ducky."
Ducky smiled. "Why thank you, Jethro. I may not be 'old' as such. However, I am nearer to seventy than to sixty, and the prospect of some kind of 'quickie' against a wall or table or on the floor, really does not appeal to me. Besides," he added, stretching up on his toes to lightly kiss Gibbs's lips. "What I have in mind for you, cannot possibly be achieved within a few minutes."
Now Gibbs widened his eyes. "Can it not?" he asked.
Ducky shook his head. "Oh, no," he said firmly and let his eyes tell Gibbs so much more.
Gibbs swallowed hard. "Okay," he said, unselfconsciously adjusting himself slightly. "We'll do it your way."
Ducky beamed and then to Gibbs's chagrin, lightly knocked Gibbs's hand away and for a moment or two stroked Gibbs. But even within such a short time of being lovers, Gibbs recognized the touch, as being the one Ducky used when he wished to calm, to love, to simply show Gibbs how much he was loved, rather than to arouse. "I thought you'd see it my way," he said simply. "So shall we go?"
Gibbs nodded. "Sounds good to me. What kind of carry-out do you want me to order?"
Ducky stared at Gibbs in such a way that Gibbs wondered just what he'd done or said. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs, do you really think for one moment I am going to be party to serving a guest a take-away?"
Gibbs opened his mouth. "But it's onl-"
"Jethro! I trust you were not contemplating saying what someone who knew you less well than I myself do, might think you were going to say." His look dared Gibbs to answer in anyway other than the negative.
"Course not, Duck," he said quickly. "It's just, I didn't want you to . . . You want to cook for us?"
Ducky nodded firmly. "However, may I make a suggestion?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Suggest away."
"You call Tobias and tell him the venue has changed. Invite him to Reston House instead. That way I shall not have to worry about not being able to find anything suitable in the cupboards or refrigerator to cook."
Deciding that, giving the outcome was already assured, arguing would only waste time, Gibbs reached for his cell phone. "Whatever you say, Duck," he said, hitting the relevant speed dial number.
"Really?" Ducky replied, raising an eyebrow. "I shall have to remember that for later."
Gibbs was about to comment when Fornell answered. "It's me. Change of plan. Can you come to Ducky's instead of mine? . . . . . . Yeah, apparently he doesn't approve of carry-outs, he's going to cook something for us. I told him you wouldn't mind, but - what? . . . . . . I don't know. Hang on, I'll ask him." He looked at Ducky. "Fornell wants to know if he should bring red wine or white," he said.
"Oh, do tell him there's no need to bring either. It's -"
"Just answer the question, Duck."
"Oh, well if he insists. Red would be fine. Do thank him -"
"Did you get that? . . . . . . Good . . . . . . Yeah, see you then . . . . . . What? . . . . . . Yeah, Duck does keep his house locked up." And he ended the call. "Satisfied?" he asked, inwardly berating himself for the choice of word as he saw Ducky's face.
It clearly took Ducky some effort, but he managed not to respond to Gibbs's comment. "I think we should go now," he said instead.
"Yes, I do. We should go before I forget I am sixty-seven and that we have a guest joining us for supper and -"
"Later," Gibbs promised him, as he took his mouth from Ducky's. "Now get your hat and coat and we'll go home. Oh, just one thing, Duck," he caught Ducky's hand.
"Next time you have a bridge whatsit or anything else for that matter. You don't go home to an empty bed."
Ducky smiled at him and looked a little speculative and very happy. "Is that a promise, Jethro?" He spoke quietly.
Gibbs quickly replayed his exact words. "Yeah, Duck," he said, realizing just what he'd said. "It is. Now come on. Let's go. You want to leave the Morgan here and come with me?"
Ducky considered for a moment, then nodded. "Why thank you, Jethro. I do believe that would be an extremely good idea."
"Good." Grabbing Ducky's coat, Gibbs held it for Ducky while he slipped his arms into it. Then he grabbed Ducky's hat and briefcase and together they left.
Deep in conversation, neither man saw Jimmy standing pressed back against the wall in the relative shadows. For a moment he just stayed where he was, his eyes so wide they hurt, his mouth slightly open, before he finally moved.
However, until almost five minutes had passed, he still didn't go into Autopsy, nor did he move too far from the darkness; he wanted to be completely sure Agent Gibbs and Dr. Mallard had gone before he ventured out.
For a fleeting second he almost wished he could tell someone what he'd seen; that he'd had his suspicions confirmed under his very nose. But he sighed just a little as he knew he'd never do that to the two men whom he respected more than any person he had ever known. And not only respected; the two men he liked, even if Agent Gibbs scared him and Dr. Mallard sometimes made me feel like a recalcitrant schoolboy again. No, their secret as safe with him, for as long as they wanted it to be.
Finally, deciding enough time had gone by, he headed into Autopsy to get his own coat. As he was pulling it on, he wondered if he ought to try to drop into conversation the safest place in Autopsy to 'entertain' a visitor. On second thoughts; he decided not to.