AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
PROMPT: 'Moving on, moving in'
SUMMARY: Gibbs makes three New Year's Resolutions.
SPOILERS: Mild for Faith.
WORD COUNT: 2,210
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
11:00 P.M. NEW YEAR'S EVE 2009
Jethro normally didn't bother making New Year's resolutions; he didn't see the point of them. In fact he reckoned the last time he'd have made some would have been when his mom had still been alive.
He dug back in his memory and dredged up an image of him sitting at the kitchen table, while his mom was making a cake or something. She'd given him a piece of paper and he was carefully writing out his New Year's resolutions. If he remembered correctly, he had resolved to keep his bedroom tidy and do his homework straight away and not to make a fuss when asked to do something he didn't want to do. The kinds of things kids always vowed they would do.
He took a swallow from his glass of bourbon. "Yeah, they lasted a long time," he muttered. For a week, maybe two, he'd done his homework each night and he hadn't argued when his mom or dad had told him it was time for bed or time to come inside. The keeping his bedroom tidy had lasted for a whole month, but after that . . .
Since then he hadn't bothered to make any. What was the point of resolving to give up alcohol or work fewer hours or be kinder to his staff or all the other hundred and one daft things people vowed they would do? If you wanted to cut down on drink, you did it; you didn't need it to be January 1st to do so.
But things were different this year. Maybe it was his dad's visit; with the faintest hint of embarrassment and even more regret, he recalled the appalling way he'd behaved over making his dad, his eighty-two year old dad, sleep on the couch. Maybe it was that he was getting older. Maybe it was something else entirely. Or more likely it was a combination of things. But he was going to make some resolutions for 2010. He was going to make three.
The first, he'd already started on. He was finally going to let go of his girls. He'd never forget them, but he couldn't go on any longer in the way he had been. They'd been dead for eighteen years. It wasn't remotely normal or healthy for him to still keep Kelly's room as it had been the last time she'd slept there, or to keep Shannon's bike in the living room or Kelly's last tape in the basement or all the other hundred and one things he had kept. There was a limit on the kind of thing you did and kept, and he was well aware he'd gone way behind that. No wonder he now had three ex-wives; he really had been a bastard. He'd treated all three them badly - just as he'd treated every woman he'd dated and bedded since the deaths of Shannon and Kelly badly.
Thus, he was finally going to do what he should have done years ago. His house was going to become his again; he wasn't going to share it with ghosts. In fact it wasn't going to be his house. It was time to let go of that too; time to move out, time to find a new home; time to begin a new life. That was his second resolution.
He looked around at what he'd done and he sensed approval. He wasn't sure if he believed in any kind of afterlife, yet when he'd been close to drowning, when he should have drowned, he'd seen Shannon and Kelly. They'd tried to make him let them go then, but he hadn't. At the time he'd intended to do so, but it hadn't happened. Gradually, he'd slipped back into what had become habit. But he had seen them. They had been there. They had told him to go back. Told him it was all right. They had smiled, laughed, told him they'd loved him. He should have done then what he was doing now. He couldn't see them now, but he knew they approved of what he was doing.
He hoped Kelly's toys and books would do less fortunate kids than she'd been a good turn. They were fairly old fashioned now, but little girls still seemed to love dolls and pony books, and Kelly always had taken care of her things. He'd boxed everything up and would start getting rid of them as soon as he could. Yeah, his girls were happy with him. "Love you both," he said quietly, raising his glass. "But it's time. You both know that. You've known it for years, haven't you?"
He didn't think he was being foolish when he felt Kelly's hand slip inside his and felt Shannon's warm lips on his cheek and smelled the scent of the perfume she loved as it tickled his nose. Nor did he think he was being foolish when he heard Shannon tell him he had always been a little slow on the uptake when it came to certain things.
And that led neatly onto his third and final resolution and in some ways the most important one of all. However it was the one he couldn't have made or fulfilled without having made his first one. He was finally going to give Ducky what Ducky had wanted for all the years they'd known one another. He was finally going to take Ducky into his arms and kiss him and go on kissing him until Ducky was past thinking about anything other than kissing and caressing and making love with and to Jethro. He was finally going to tell Ducky he loved him beyond that of just a dear, close friend.
He had done for some time; he just hadn't been prepared to admit it to himself - and certainly not to Ducky. He couldn't tell Ducky he loved him, he couldn't go to bed with Ducky while he still hadn't let go of Shannon. Bastard he might be, but he'd never hurt Ducky like that; never be that cruel to him. But now he could. Now it would all be all right. Now he could love Ducky in the way Ducky was meant to be loved; the way he deserved to be loved.
And then with a little luck his second resolution - to move house - would be easily fulfilled.
7:00 A.M. NEW YEAR'S DAY 2010
"Jethro!" Ducky's voice was quite high as he opened the door of his Reston home and stared out into the darkness, which was broken only by the porch light.
"Hey, Duck," Jethro said, taking advantage of Ducky being seemingly lost for word or thought, by simply walking inside and shutting the door behind him. He heard the lock click into place and he smiled to himself. "Happy New Year." He smiled down at Ducky.
"Happy New Year to you too, my dear," Ducky replied, he still seemed somewhat shaken by Jethro's arrival. "Is something wrong?"
Jethro shook his head and pulled off his coat. "Not with me, no."
"Oh, good. It's just . . ." Ducky trailed off.
"You did invite me for lunch."
"Yes, I do recall that. But, Jethro, it is only 7:00 a.m. I'm afraid I wasn't expecting you quite so early. I was -"
"In the shower?" Jethro asked, his tone light. He felt only marginally guilty that his closest friend was standing in the not overly warm hallway dressed only in a heavy silk, midnight blue robe and slippers. His hair was plastered to his scalp and droplets of water stood on his face, hands and legs.
"Well not quite," Ducky replied, raising a hand and pushing his hair from his forehead. "I had just finished showering and was - But that's quite irrelevant. Where are my manners? Do come through and have - well, I won't offer you a drink. I would venture to suggest that 7:00 a.m. is a little too early even for you to begin drinking, is it not? If you come through to the kitchen, I'll put some coffee on. Unless, of course, you would prefer a drink? It is after all New Year's Day." He gazed up at Jethro, blinking as drops of water slid down his glasses.
Jethro took them from Ducky, wiped them on his handkerchief and then popped them back onto Ducky's nose. "Coffee'd be good, Duck," he said. "But aren't you forgetting something?"
Ducky blinked again, this time in obvious confusion. "Er," he managed.
"You've wished me a Happy New Year, but you're forgetting this." And with that, Jethro put his arms around Ducky and pulled him into his arms.
Rather than immediately complete the embrace, as he normally did, Ducky stiffened slightly and tried to pull away. Jethro however was stronger, taller and younger; he simply continued to hold Ducky, noting as he did though that Ducky was attempting to keep his body away from Jethro's. Just for a moment Jethro allowed it. Then he began slowly and hopefully unobtrusively to tug Ducky a little nearer.
"Jethro. I'm . . ." Ducky trailed off as he found himself resting against Jethro's body.
"Naked under your robe? Yeah, know that, Duck. Kind of guessed it when you said you'd been in the shower. Now I know it." He pulled Ducky a little bit closer, noting as he did that Ducky's arms finally had slipped around his. "Like it too," he murmured softly, putting his lips against Ducky's ear; he ignored Ducky's wet hair. He wasn't sure if the very faint hint of an arousal he felt against him had been because Ducky had been showering, or because he was now in Jethro's arms; or indeed both.
Slowly, carefully, he began to lightly caress Ducky's back through the heavy silk, while moving his lower body just a little. He heard Ducky gasp. "Jethro, what are you -"
"Doing?" he asked silkily.
"Well, you see, Duck," he murmured, his lips still on Ducky's ear, as he slid his hands down Ducky's body and lightly cupped Ducky's round buttocks. "I made this New Year's resolution. Made three of them, in fact, but this is the really important one." Now he moved one hand and began to slide it around Ducky's hip towards the front of his body.
Ducky gasped aloud again and this time moved his head and tried to look up at Jethro. "Jethro?" he managed, before Jethro took advantage of the fact Ducky's mouth was in range and put his own on it.
As he began to kiss Ducky and felt Ducky kiss him back, Jethro slipped the hand that wasn't caressing Ducky's hip, behind Ducky's head and held him lightly. After a minute or two, during which he felt Ducky's arousal harden against him and become far more obvious - now he knew it was because Ducky was in his arms - he broke the kiss.
"As I was saying," he murmured, holding Ducky in a looser embrace as his hand continued its journey across Ducky's hip, across the front of his body and underneath Ducky's robe. "I made this resolution. Resolved I'd give you what you wanted for all the years we've known one another. And to tell you I love you as more than a friend. Want you, Duck," he added, as his hand found Ducky's erection and closed around it and began to stroke him gently. "Love you," he added, as Ducky made a half-whimper in his throat and pushed forward into Jethro's hand. Then he kissed Ducky again.
For a minute or two they stood in the hallway kissing and with Jethro caressing Ducky before Jethro realized quite how wet Ducky's hair and his body still were. He lifted his head and gazed down at Ducky. "How about we go upstairs, you can get dried, then we'll go to bed and I'll show you just how much I love you," he said.
Ducky gazed at him. The look telling Jethro he still wasn't entirely certain what was happening was real or not. "It's real, Duck. Very, very real. Want me to prove it to you?" And Jethro began to speed his strokes up. "Can do that here if you want, but it'd be far better in bed."
"Jethro, are you . . . Is this . . . Oh, Jethro. I've wanted you, wanted this for . . . Oh, my. I'm going to - Jethro!"
Jethro steadied Ducky, pulling him back to rest against him. He wasn't sure who Ducky's climax had surprised more - Ducky or Jethro himself. "Well," he said, his lips once again on Ducky's ear. "Hope you can come again, Duck, because I haven't finished with you yet, not by a long way."
And after holding Ducky and kissing him for a few more minutes he took Ducky's hand and led him up the stairs, grabbed a towel and rubbed it over Ducky's hair, before urging Ducky back into bed where in a matter of second he joined him.
Lunch turned into a rather late dinner.
A WEEK LATER
Shannon and Kelly's things all duly dispatched, Jethro kept the second of his New Year's resolutions as he moved into Reston House.