AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Fluff
SUMMARY: Gibbs and Ducky do what they hoped they'd be able to do, but never really thought or dreamed they would be able to.
WORD COUNT: 3,903
AUTHOR'S NOTE: As soon as I read the news (last week) that DC now allows gay marriage, I had to write this little story. It ignores last week's canon *g*. Thanks to murgy31 for her help with one of the terms in this story.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
RESTON HOUSE - MARCH 2ND 2010
"Are you quite certain, my dear?" Ducky gazed up at Jethro.
"Sure am, Duck. Come on, that's why we applied last week, isn't it? Why, don't you want to?" Jethro slipped his arms around Ducky's shoulders and tugged him into a loose embrace. "Truth," he added, softly.
Ducky smiled and put his own arms around Jethro. "Of course I want to, Jethro. I have always wanted to. But it isn't necessary, we have -"
"Don't want it because it's 'necessary', Duck. Want it because I want to acknowledge what we have."
"We've already done that, Jethro," Ducky took his left hand from behind Jethro's back and pointedly looked at the gold band that adorned the third finger.
"Yeah, I know. But this is different, Duck. It's historic. Okay," he added, when Ducky just looked at him. "Maybe not the right word. But . . ." He broke off and pushed Ducky away from him a little, holding him at arms' length. "Donald 'Ducky' Mallard, do you or do you not want to legally marry me?" He spoke formally.
Ducky smiled and his eyes became just a little misty. "Yes, Leroy Jethro Gibbs," he said, stretching up on this toes to lightly kiss Jethro, "I do."
"That's settled then." Jethro turned the brief kiss into something considerably more.
THE SQUAD ROOM THE NEXT DAY
"Where's Gibbs?" Tony asked, arriving quite a lot later than usual due to finding, upon leaving his apartment, that he had two flat tires and a flat battery.
McGee glanced at him and shrugged. "I don't know. I got an email saying he and Ducky were taking the morning off."
Tony stared in shock at McGee. "Gibbs sent you an email?" he said. And then added, "And why you? I'm the sen-"
"Senior field agent," McGee, echoed by Ziva, intoned. "Yes, Tony, we know you are. But Gibbs knows I check my emails straight away."
"Whereas you . . ." Ziva trailed off and smiled at Tony.
Tony looked from McGee to Ziva and back again. "Fair enough," he said finally, unable to argue with McGee's statement. Then he said again, "But Gibbs sending an email. Gibbs? That's like . . ." Unable to think of something that would fit he trailed off.
"You giving up sex for a week?" Ziva asked.
"Yes! No!" Tony corrected instantly, frowning at Ziva. "McGeek. Gibbs. Email. Why?"
McGee who was not very successfully trying to hide a smile shrugged. "Actually, he said, "Ducky was the one who sent it, but he did it in Gibbs's name."
"Ah, now that makes sense," Tony said, nodding as order in his world had been righted. Rubbing his hands, aware he had some free time when he didn't have to worry about Gibbs appearing, he sat down at his desk and opened his favorite websites. "So," he said, after a moment or two of checking the 'joke of the day', "where do you think they are?"
"Moultrie Courthouse," Abby said brightly, bouncing into view. "At least that's what Jimmy and I think, isn't it, Jimmy?" she turned to look at Palmer who appeared by her side.
Palmer nodded. "Yes," he said.
"Moultrie Courthouse?" Tony asked. "But why? What have they done? And which one of them did it?"
Abby shook her head. "Neither of them has done anything, Tony. That's not why they're there."
"Then why?" Tony demanded. "Do you know?" he looked at McGee whose fingers had been flying over the keyboard from the moment Abby had spoken, and now had a smile on his face. "You do know, don't you?" he added.
McGee nodded. "Yes," he said. "I think I do. I think you and Palmer are right, Abby."
Abby beamed at him. "Yes!"
Tony glowered, how come everyone else knew, but he didn't. He looked at Ziva. "Do you know, Ziva?" he asked her.
She shook her head. "No, Tony. I do not."
That was something at least. But even so, three people knowing and he wasn't one of them wasn't something Tony liked. "Well?" he demanded, looking from Palmer to Abby to McGee. "One of you tell us. Why had Gibbs and Ducky gone to "Moultrie Courthouse?"
Abby looked at Palmer. "You tell him, Jimmy," she said.
"Because today's the day that gay couples can pick up a marriage license," Palmer said solemnly.
"So?" Tony said. "Why would - Oh," he said, as the meaning suddenly dawned on him. "You mean Gibbs and Ducky are . . . They're going to . . . But they already . . . You know," he added.
"Wear rings and live together," Abby said. "Yes, Tony, they do. But this makes it," she paused and seemed to be searching for the right word. Apparently and somewhat surprisingly, she seemed not to find it. However, after a moment or two of frowning concentration she simple beamed in true Abby fashion and said, "Gibbs and Ducky are getting married, guys. Gibbs and Ducky are getting married!" And she twirled around on the spot. "Isn't it great?"
"When?" Tony asked. Abby looked at him. "When do you think they'll . . . You know."
Abby rolled her eyes. "Get. Married," she said slowly, as if talking to a particularly dim five year old. "Say it, Tony. Go on, say it."
Tony sighed, but knew Abby well enough to know she wouldn't give in until he did. "When do you think Gibbs and Ducky will get married?" he said. "Will that do, Abby?"
She beamed at him. "See, it wasn't hard, was it?" Then she looked at McGee. "How soon can they get married, Timmy?"
"Er," he squinted at the screen. "It says here they have to wait for three business days," he read. "So that means -"
"Tuesday, the ninth," Palmer declared swiftly. "That's the soonest," he added. "Of course they may not -"
"Oh, they will," Abby said, her tone full of certainty. Then she frowned and said, "Except, if they do then we won't be invited." She sounded disappointed.
"How do you figure that one, Abby?" Tony asked.
"Because Director Vance isn't going to let all seven of us be out of the office at once, Tony."
"She's right, Tony," McGee said.
"They may not wish to invite us," Ziva said. "They may wish to keep the ceremony private."
Abby looked at her. "Do you think so?"
Ziva shrugged. "I do not know. But you know Gibbs."
They looked at one another. "Wait!" Abby cried. "What about Gibbs's other marriages?"
"What about them, Abby?"
"Did he do those privately?" She looked around at them all.
Tony shrugged. "Don't know, Abby. None of us were around. Well apart from Ducky," he added. "And we can't ask him, he isn't here. Besides, what does what Gibbs has done before matter?"
"Because, Tony," Abby said, once again adopting her 'talking to a dim five year old' tone, "Gibbs won't do anything less for Ducky than he did for his ex-wives."
"I do not know about that, Abby. Maybe he will not wish to risk cursing this marriage."
"Cursing?" Abby said.
Ziva frowned. "You know when you do not do something you have done before in case you curse it. You do not wish to repeat the same pattern of events," she added.
"I think you mean jinxing, Ziva," McGee said, after a second or two.
"Thank you, McGee. Yes, jinxing this marriage by doing what he has done before."
"This one won't end in divorce." Tony spoke quietly but firmly. "It won't," he said, looking at each of them in turn as they looked at him. "Gibbs wouldn't do that to Ducky," he added. "He's not that much of a bastard."
"I agree," Abby replied. "But we still don't know what Gibbs did when he married his wives. Ooh," she said. "I know. Fornell."
"What about me?" Five heads swiveled in Fornell's direction. "Where's Gibbs?" he asked, before anyone could reply.
"Moultrie Courthouse," Abby declared. Then added, "At least we think he is."
"What's he doing . . . Oh, of course," Fornell said. "So they are going to. I did wonder. Good for them." Then he looked at Abby and repeated, "What about me?"
Abby frowned for a second and then smiled. "Oh, yes. You knew Gibbs when he married his ex-wives, didn't you?"
Fornell nodded. "Two of them anyway. Why?"
Abby looked quickly at the other members of the team and then back to Fornell. "What were his weddings like?" she asked. "Who was there?"
Fornell grinned. "Him, his wife, the Justice of the Peace and of course Ducky."
"Ducky?" Tony exclaimed.
"Yeah. He was Gibbs's best-man every time."
"Poor Ducky," Abby said quietly.
Fornell glanced at her, and she met his look and just stared at him with her innocent expression. Tony watched Fornell just acknowledge the look with a half nod. Fornell then went to Gibbs's desk, pulled off his coat, threw it over the same filing cabinet Gibbs used as a coat hanger and turned on Gibbs's computer. Tony glanced at McGee who, like Palmer and Ziva, was staring at Fornell. The only person who didn't seem that bothered by the fact that Fornell had sat down at Gibbs's desk and was now about to use Gibbs's computer was Abby.
"Has Gibbs put a password on his computer yet, McGee?" Fornell asked, looking at McGee.
McGee shook his head. "Er, no. I've suggested he should but . . ." He trailed off as Fornell just nodded in acknowledgement and started to tap Gibbs's keyboard.
Abby waited for a moment then said, "So just the three of them?"
Fornell glanced at her. "Yeah."
"Oh," Abby sounded disappointed. "I guess it will be the ninth, then," she said.
"I could check Gibbs's schedule," McGee said.
"No point," Fornell called. "There's nothing in it." He went back to what he was doing.
"What about Dr. Mallard's?" Palmer said, his eyes bright.
"Does he use one?" McGee asked.
"Oh," Palmer looked deflated. "No. He only uses a paper one."
For a minute of two the team just stood in silence looking at one another. Meanwhile Fornell picked up Gibbs's phone and made a quick call, that sounded to Tony to almost be in code, before returning to whatever it was he was doing on Gibbs's computer.
"Oh, well," Abby said, as the silence continued. "I guess Jimmy and I'd better -"
"Get back to your own areas? Yeah, you had."
They all looked up to see Gibbs, Ducky by his side, halfway across the office. "Hey, Gibbs. Hey, Ducky," Abby called. "We were just -"
"Can see that. FBI throw you out, Fornell?"
"Hello to you too, Jethro," Fornell replied, seemingly unconcerned by being caught sitting at Gibbs's desk, using Gibbs's computer. "You really should listen to McGee," he said, "and password protect your computer."
"No point," Gibbs said, dumping his coat on top of Fornell's. "Nothing on it anyway."
"I noticed that."
"You here for a reason, Tobias?"
Fornell shrugged. "Kind of," he replied, pulling his coat out from underneath Gibbs's.
Gibbs frowned for a moment. "Oh, right," he said. "My office?" Fornell nodded. "See you later, Duck," he said, briefly touching Ducky's arm before heading towards the elevator followed by Fornell.
RESTON HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
"You sure you're happy with that, Duck?" Jethro asked, as they sat in front of the fire enjoying a post-dinner whiskey.
Ducky turned to face him. He put his hand on Jethro's knee and squeezed it lightly. "Yes, my dear," he said. "I'm quite sure."
"Because if you'd rather have people there, I don’t mind. I don't," he said, as Ducky just looked at him. "I don't," he said for a third time. And he didn't; he really didn't. If Ducky wanted it, he'd be happy to go along with it.
Ducky moved a little nearer to him and kissed him lightly and briefly. "I do not mind, Jethro. I will be more than happy for it to be just you and me."
Jethro looked at his lover, trying to be certain Ducky really was being honest with him. His steady, loving, intense gaze confirmed his words, but Jethro knew Ducky tended to put Jethro's wishes before his own. "I know the kids and Tobias would like to be there and it's your first, whereas it's -"
Ducky silenced him with a kiss that was far from brief and far from light. "Jethro," he said, when he took his mouth from Jethro's. "I really am certain. As dear as the children and Tobias are to me, I want this to be just for us. Our special moment, shall I say. Just you and me. I've waited for this moment for so very long, I've occasionally dreamt about it, both waking and sleeping dreams. Although, in truth I never thought the day would come when we could actually marry in the eyes of the law as well as in our eyes. Maybe I should want a big affair and those who are dear to us to witness the moment, but I find I do not. Our relationship is and has always been about us, it's fitting this moment is about us. So we'll finish work early on the ninth, get married and then we'll have a celebratory meal with our family and friends at the Rooftop Grill."
Jethro swallowed hard as he looked at Ducky. What had he done to deserve, to warrant, someone like Ducky? He didn't know; even after all these years he didn’t know. "Have I ever told you, Dr. Mallard," he said, putting his arms around Ducky and pulling him nearer to him, "just how much I love you?"
Ducky smiled and his eyes twinkled. "Well, now that you mention it, Agent Gibbs . . ." he said, tipping his head back a little.
Jethro laughed. "Love you, Duck," he said, bending his head a little. "Love you so much. Always will." He kissed Ducky.
"I love you too, my dearest Jethro," Ducky said some moments later, when again they broke the kiss. "Now, come," he stood up and tugged Jethro's hand. "Let us go and find a way to confirm what we have said."
Jethro stood up and pulled Ducky back into a loose embrace. "You sure, Duck. Because I thought that it was customary for the couple not to be together before their wedding. And I know how important tradition is to you. Maybe we should -"
"I believe you were saying something," Ducky asked politely, several minutes later, as he gazed up at Jethro with a mixture of amusement, passion and love in his steady gaze.
"Um, you were. I believe it was something about us not sleeping together before our wedding"
Jethro shook his head. "Nah, must have been someone else, Duck. Or you're hearing things."
Ducky beamed. "Oh, good. I'm so glad to hear that. So shall we?" he inquired, raising his eyebrows and looking upwards.
"We shall," Jethro said, pausing only long enough to kiss Ducky once again.
MOULTRIE COURTHOUSE - 9TH MARCH 2010
Jethro held Ducky's right hand with his left as he carefully and steady pushed the same golden band he'd given Ducky months before back onto the third finger of Ducky's left hand.
They'd had a short debate as to whether they would use the same rings they'd exchanged in the privacy of their bedroom in Reston House or if they'd buy new ones. They'd decided to keep the ones they had; the ones with which they had married, even if not in the eyes of the law. Now they were married in their eyes and the eyes of the law.
Seconds later, his ring in place, Ducky echoed the gesture, all the time smiling up at Jethro.
The Justice of the Peace who'd conducted the brief ceremony, said his formal words and then added, "Congratulations to you both. I wish you health and happiness and a long life together."
"Thanks," Jethro said, after a second or two, slightly stunned by the blessing.
"Thank you," Ducky said, a little more formally.
"You are very welcome, gentlemen," he man said and smiled.
And then because he had to, not to do so just wouldn't be right, Jethro put his hands on Ducky's cheeks, lowered his head and kissed Ducky briefly for a second or two.
Then after a nod at the Justice of the Peace who smiled back them, Jethro put his arm around Ducky's shoulders and together, officially and legally joined in marriage, they left the Courthouse.
THE ROOFTOP GRILL - LATER THAT NIGHT
"Congratulations, Gibbs! Congratulations, Ducky!" Abby cried, throwing her arms around Jethro and Ducky and squeezing them tightly. "I'm so happy for you. We all are."
"Well done, boss. Ducky," DiNozzo added, holding out his hand first to Gibbs and then to Ducky.
"Mazal tov." Ziva spoke quietly and formally as she greeted them in her own language. Then she said even more softly, "Shalom Aleichem," before kissing Ducky on each cheek and then, after a moment's pause, stood up on her toes and brushed her lips over Jethro's cheek.
"Congratulations, boss. Ducky," McGee said, also holding out his hand to shake Jethro and Ducky's.
Palmer beaming widely and looking as if he'd already had a glass or two of wine, but Jethro knew he hadn't, solemnly held out his hand first to Ducky and then to Gibbs. "Dr. Mallard," he said, shaking Ducky's hand several times. "Special Agent Gibbs," he shook Gibbs's hand. "I hope you'll be very happy together, sirs," he said, nodding all the time.
"Jethro. Ducky. About time to," Fornell said, taking their hand in turn, but also squeezing their shoulders.
"Jethro. Ducky." Vance, like DiNozzo, Palmer and McGee shook their hands. "Many congratulations," he said.
Their debate over Vance's inclusion in the wedding meal had taken far longer than the one over the rings. But finally Jethro had agreed with Ducky that not to include their director would be wrong; so he had been invited. Jethro had half expected Vance to decline, but when he hadn't, he realized he was actually quite happy that he hadn't.
"Thanks, all of you," Jethro said, once again putting his arm around Ducky's shoulders. "And thanks for being here tonight to help Duck and me, um - Oh, hell. Duck, you tell them," he said, pulling Ducky a little nearer to him and tightening the grip he had on Ducky's shoulder.
And Ducky did. Not that his speech of thanks was particular long, but it was eloquent and said everything Jethro knew that even if he lived to be a hundred, two hundred, he could never, would never be able to, say. He thanked them for being there and told them how important they were to Jethro and himself.
"And now," he finished, taking Jethro's hand and smiling at the group, "let us eat. And I can definitely recommend the rib eye. As Anthony's father told Jethro, it really is the best in town."
As he sat with his arm around the back of Ducky's chair, his fingers flirting from time to time with Ducky's arm, Jethro knew he'd never been happier. The evening had gone well, it had gone very well. Everyone had enjoyed themselves, and it seemed the presence of Vance hadn't dampened anyone's spirits or had made anyone feel ill at ease.
Nonetheless when, a short time after he'd finished his post-dinner coffee Vance had stood up and said he'd promised Jackie he wouldn't be late and with a final congratulations to Jethro and Ducky had left, Jethro felt it was right he had gone. It just left the eight of them; his team and his second closest friend.
When Ducky signaled for the check and handed his credit card over without even looking at the bill, Abby handed over a silver wrapped square, almost box-like in appearance, parcel.
"We didn't know what to get you," she said, as Ducky took it. "You've probably got everything you need. So," she paused. "We thought, well we hoped, that is . . . Oh, just open it, Ducky!"
Carefully, in true, Ducky fashion, Ducky undid the parcel and folded back the paper. "Oh," he said, his voice contained just the faintest hint of a quiver. "Look, Jethro."
"Hey," Jethro said, as Ducky began to turn the pages of the photo album, the photo album with pictures of the team; the team that as well the current team also included Tom Morrow, Kate, Gerald, Jenny and, of course, Fornell. "This is great." And it was; it really was. The pictures were a mixture of formal and informal, several he recognized as being 'taken at crime scenes' when one or another (usually DiNozzo) had taken candid shots of his or her coworkers.
"Do you really like it?" Abby asked, as she leaned nearer; she sounded anxious.
"We love it, Abigail," Ducky said, turning his head and kissing her cheek. He then reached across the table to take their hands one by one, pulling Ziva's to his mouth to kiss it. "Thank you, my dears," he said, after he'd squeezed all their hands and apparently without thinking had taken Jethro's. "We love it and will cherish it forever, will we not, Jethro?"
"Yeah, yeah, Duck, we will." Jethro linked his fingers with Ducky's and then brushed a strand of hair back from his forehead. "It's really great," he said, smiling at them all in turn. "Thanks."
RESTON HOUSE - LATER
"Happy?" Jethro asked, putting his arms around Ducky and gathering him closer to him as they stood in their bedroom.
"What do you think?" Ducky said, resting his head against Jethro's shoulder.
"That I'd like an answer."
Ducky moved back a little and looked up, for a moment a frown creased his forehead. "Do you have to ask?" he said, his tone tinged with concern.
Jethro shook his head and kissed Ducky's nose. "Guess not. Just wanted to hear you say it."
Ducky shook his head and smiled. "In that case, my dear, do let me oblige you. Yes, I am happy. I am very happy, I am happier than I have ever been. It is my dream come true and that is all because of you. Satisfied?"
"For now," Jethro quipped, now putting his mouth on Ducky's and kissing him. The kiss began as a light, gentle one, but soon deepened as the passion and desire made themselves known. After that it didn't take long for Jethro to strip first Ducky and then himself, pausing now and then to kiss or stroke the part of Ducky's skin he'd uncovered, before settling them both in bed.
"And now," he said, pulling his naked husband very close to him and shivering as his arousal brushed Ducky's, "I get to show you why you should have gotten more sleep last night. After all," he said, moments later as he took his mouth from where it had begun to suck Ducky's throat, "this is the first time I get to make love to you as an honest man."
It was only when dawn was beginning to show even though the heavy curtains and Ducky declared that he had to get an hour's sleep that Jethro told him he'd booked the rest of the week off for both of them.