TITLE: Curiouser And Curiouser
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: The curiosity of the scuttlebutt rumour starts to rub off on the other members on Gibbs' team.
RATING: NC17 (Overall)
WARNINGS: There will be a few parts that have very brief homophobia. These parts will have the warnings labelled
WORD COUNT: 2691
The knowledge that their brief encounter in autopsy lead to someone knowing about them slightly spooked Ducky. He knew that Abby would keep her word about not telling anyone, but now he was thinking about the security cameras. How many of them caught the brief touches, hugs and even those few sly kisses they'd been having over the last few months?
So lost in his thoughts he didn't even notice his lover sit beside him on the couch and start to kiss down his neck.
"Duck, you seem distracted. What's wrong?"
"It's nothing, Jethro, really it isn't. I've just been tired of late." he lied, knowing that it was probably evident that he was lying.
Gibbs could definitely sense something amiss, but also knew that it wasn't worth pestering Ducky about. When he was ready to tell him, he would.
"Need to be in bed a little bit earlier." he said, going back to leaving kisses in the same spots as before.
Ducky let out a chuckle.
"Well you don't exactly make that easy now, do you?"
"If you want to go to bed without me disturbing you then just say so."
"But then I'll be lonely." he said with a smile that made Gibbs roll his eyes.
A couple of days passed and after extensive chases with McGee on the computer trying to track their killer who was incredibly skilled in avoidance, the killer was arrested and the body could be laid to rest. Feeling satisfied with himself, Gibbs strolled into the squad room, whistling as he sat down at his desk.
"Boss, you're in a good mood."
"Yeah, McGee. Caught our killer; why shouldn't I be?"
"I guess so."
Drinking down the last of his coffee, he knocked the cup into the bin to join the 4 others he'd already had that afternoon alone.
"You did a good job, Tim. I really thought we weren't gonna catch that bastard."
Tim felt himself burst with pride as Gibbs smiled at him.
Gibbs returned to filling in the last of his paperwork, still smiling not only at their success but the fact that Tim was happy. Sometimes he knew he didn't praise his team enough; Tim especially.
"Ah, Jethro." Ducky appeared carrying a paper bag, and Gibbs' smile grew wider, "I got what you asked for."
Gibbs looked in the bag before looking up at the older man, blushing slightly.
"That's good, Duck, thanks."
He then gave a signal purely with his eyes that only the two of them seemed to understand as Ducky knew to turn around.
"Ah, Timothy. Good job today."
"Thanks Ducky. Yeah, wasn't easy, but they don't get away from Elf lord that easily."
Inside he berated himself for using one of his own embarrassing nicknames on himself. It was however amusing to the other two men, so maybe it was worth it.
"Anyway, I must get going. I'll see you two gentlemen tomorrow." Ducky said placing his hat upon his head and smiling at Gibbs again.
"Yeah. Night Duck."
Tim finished his work and turned off his computer, all the while his mind wondered what was in the bag Ducky had handed over that made Gibbs blush the way he did. After having received such high praise he knew though not to ruin it by being nosy about its contents. It wasn't his business after all, but he started to ponder on Tony's scuttlebutt rumour.
The next morning, Tim was smug as he told Tony and Ziva about his praise. He knew that this would likely piss Tony off since he always seemed to be seeking Gibbs' approval. As expected, Tony was aghast about it.
"Gibbs complimented you and we missed it?"
"It's not a big deal. After all, it was my persistence that helped track him down."
"So was Gibbs smiling?" Ziva asked, not at all bothered about it all.
"Yeah, kinda. Then Ducky came up and told me how good a job I'd done."
"Okay, come on, something is going on with them."
Ziva was quick to head slap Tony for once again bringing up what was considered just a stupid rumour. Tim kept quiet since he too was now pondering more and more on whether the rumour had any truth
"There's one thing I do know." Tony said, rubbing the back of his head, "Ducky went back to Gibbs' place last night."
"Oh, so you're stalking them now?" Ziva said, rather shocked.
"No. Look, there's this hot chick that lives on the same road as Gibbs, and I saw that Ducky's Morgan was parked up outside Gibbs' house. When I got up this morning, Ducky's car was still there."
"So Ducky stayed the night at Gibbs' place. Who cares? It proves nothing. You're paranoid, Tony. Paranoid and obsessed with something that isn't there."
"I'm telling you, there is something going on."
Tim thought back to the night before. He recalled Ducky saying he was going home and left at least an hour before Gibbs packed up and left for the night. Maybe something came up and Ducky then went over to Gibbs' to help or talk? No, he had to stop pondering over this. It was still a ridiculous notion in his eyes because it was clear Gibbs was very much straight.
"Well," Tim said, standing, "whilst you two keep on arguing about this, I'm going down to Abby's lab. Just in case either of you had forgotten, she has invited us to her Halloween bash next week and needs to know who's going."
"What's the party plans this year exactly?" Tony asked, "Cause that haunted house we had it in last year was just...hinky."
Ziva couldn't help but let out a laugh.
"That's why it's called a haunted house, Tony. I should actually join you, Tim. I need her advice on a costume anyway."
As the two of them walked off, Tony soon gave in.
"Alright, hang on, I'll come down too. I don't want to be here when Gibbs comes up and finds that none of us are at our desks."
Leaving the lift , Abby's music was blaring as loud as always, but it was definitely more a Halloween themed playlist of tunes. Like every year, the lab was decked out in skeletons, pumpkin toys and cobwebs. A motion censored witch head in the doorway cackled loudly, making all three of them jump.
"Abby! Abbs!" Tim shouted over the noise, relieved when she saw them and turned it off.
"Hey guys. What brings all three of you down here at once?"
"We wanted to talk to you about this year's Halloween plans."
"Really? Brilliant, because I wanted to run some ideas past you and get your opinions. I don't want this to just be a repeat of previous years. I want it to be scarier than ever!"
"As in you planning on inviting Gibbs?" Tony said as a joke, disappointed when he didn't get a laugh.
Abby gave him a glare.
"Funny, Tony, really. No, I want real ideas."
"Do you actually ask Gibbs if he would attend?" Tim asked, "I thought for you he would attend at least the once."
"No. We all know he doesn't do these sort of things and I can't force him to."
"How about we call him up and ask him altogether?"
"I doubt an attempt on ganging up on him would work in the slightest. I mean, I'm not going to call him just for that! Gibbs is down in autopsy at the moment so-"
"Is he?" Tony's face lit up all of a sudden and he started making his way to the door.
"Tony, where are you going?"Abby asked.
"Autopsy. Gotta go...talk to Gibbs."
His attempt at a lie was poor, not that he cared, but it did make Ziva quickly grab him by the arm.
"No you don't, you just think Gibbs and Ducky are dating each other."
Abby panicked. How did they know? Tim, despite wanting to go with them, rolled his eyes.
"One of Tony's scuttlebutt rumours. He's convinced it's true. I don't know what you expect to see down there. Besides, they'll hear you come down in the lift."
"I'm not taking the lift."
Tony had wrenched his arm free and was off down to the stairway, Ziva and Tim both in pursuit.
Quickly, Abby rushed to the phone, ringing autopsy and praying Ducky or Gibbs picked up. Down below her, Gibbs and Ducky were in the office. Gibbs had the older man pinned against the wall just behind the door, kissing down his neck.
"I know. Just ignore it."
"I can't, it might be important."
Before Gibbs could say another word, he broke contact and reached out for it. On the other end, Abby was pacing and muttering to herself.
"Tim, Tony, and Ziva are on their way down."
"Okay, yes, thank you, Abby."
"What did Abby want?" Gibbs asked, wrapping his arms around his lover again only to be gently pushed away.
"Nothing important. Put your jacket back on, quickly."
"Just do it."
By the time the three had snuck their way to the autopsy doors, Ducky was sitting nonchalantly at his desk, a random file open in his hands whilst Gibbs sat leaning against the autopsy table nearest and was about to ask Ducky what was going on.
It wasn't the most foolproof of plans because, of course, the doors had a motion sensor. The door slid open and Gibbs stood, cross armed and glaring at the three of them all crouched down on the floor.
"Lift broken, McGee?" he asked, irritated at the interruption.
"Er, no, boss." Tim quickly stood.
"So what have you got to tell me?"
"Then why are you all down here?"
Ziva stepped forward.
"Well I came down to see Ducky actually, and these two idiots followed me."
"Oh, Ziva, my dear, what can I do for you?"
"Well if you're busy talking to Gibbs then I don't wish to intrude. So maybe I'll come back later."
"No need, Ziva, I'm heading back up now. McGee and DiNozzo, the two of you, come with me."
"Now, my dear. What can I be of help with?"
She mentally head slapped herself since she was now stuck with no real reason for being there other than spying on them with the other two.
"I...wanted to ask your opinion on something."
"Well I'd be happy to help."
Quickly, an idea formed, and although she knew she'd have to endure a lecture, it was easier than admitting she was nosing into his private life. This, she knew would hurt his feelings greatly and she certainly didn't want to do that.
"Well, Abby has her Halloween party coming up soon, and...apart from the fun of it, why do people dress up in costume?"
"Ah, the history of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve as I once remember hearing it..."
This was going to be a long lecture.
Gibbs spent the rest of the day away from autopsy. There was a slight niggling question in his mind about what his team knew and he wanted to make sure he asked Ducky once they were properly alone. As he sat at his desk, he looked over at Tim and Tony, but they gave him no clues as to what they were thinking.
This evening, Gibbs' went to Ducky's place in Reston; bottle of white wine in hand. By the time he'd gotten there, dinner was almost cooked. As he let himself in with the key Ducky had given him, he sniffed and smiled when he recognized it as steak. He loved Ducky's cooking more than any posh fancy restaurant food he'd ever eaten.
"Hey, Duck. Dinner's smelling great." he said, placing the bottle down on the kitchen sideboard and wrapping his arms around the smaller man from behind.
"I'm glad you think so, my dear. It will be ready in just a few moments. The table is already set so go sit down and I will join you soon."
"'kay. I've brought wine by the way. Should I pour you a glass?"
"That'd be wonderful."
Gibbs kissed Ducky's neck once, twice, three times before leaving him to it.
Dinner was just as delicious as it had smelt. The stake was cooked the way he liked it, the roast potatoes were crisp and flavoursome, and the wine he'd picked out managed to work perfectly with it.
After dinner was finished and the plates were in the dishwasher, they relaxed on the sofa in front of the fireplace which was now flickering away and keeping them warm.
Ducky let out a contented sigh and nuzzled against Gibbs' neck as he enjoyed the peace. It was however sadly short lived as Gibbs sat up a bit, looking at his lover seriously.
"Duck, why did Abby ring you?"
"I just had her look into some records, that's all." he lied automatically.
"And then the other 3 sneaking around and taking the stairs. You telling me to look normal. There's something you're not telling me. Duck, do they know about us?"
With a heavy sigh, he gave in. Despite it being a while since Abby found out, he hadn't actually planned what to tell Gibbs when it became clear that people knew. He was partly hoping that they would maybe announce their relationship at some point and knew that Abby would just play along like she hadn't suspected anything in the first place.
"Abby...called me about the finger prints on the last body we had in via the camera. I didn't know it was on yet alone her being able to see us."
Gibbs stood and Ducky felt regret immediately flood through him.
"She saw us?"
"And you were going to tell me when?"
There was a slight bitterness in his voice that he couldn't keep down as he started pacing the floor in front of Ducky.
"I didn't know how. This relationship of sorts wasn't what either of us had expected to happen. I just feared that someone finding out would scare you away and the arrangements would be broken off. It was an accident, Jethro, and Abby has been as good as her word for not saying anything."
"Then why did the others sneak down to autopsy like they knew?"
"I don't know, but I do not believe she was the one to tell them. You know Abby as well as I, and she would never divulge such a secret, especially one involving you."
Gibbs approached the drinks cabinet and filled a tumbler with Macallan, drinking half down in one go. He stood silently in deep thought for a few moments.
Deep down he knew that this would happen at some point. If anyone were to ask him if he was ashamed of his relationship with his long time friend, he would say no without a second thought. And yet, to be pretty much outted before he was ready made him slightly annoyed.
He poured himself another half glass and swallowed it down.
"I guess that people finding out would gradually be inevitable."
"Well they still could not know. We could always just call the whole thing off?"
" Do you want to?" Gibbs looked momentarily panicked.
"No, of course I don't."
Much to Ducky's relief, Gibbs sat back down on the sofa beside him.
"Good, because I don't want to either."
He let out another rather heavy sigh, leaning in to give the older man a soft kiss to the lips.
"I'm sorry, Jethro. I know I should have told you sooner."
"I'm not angry with you, Duck. Tomorrow I'll have a word with Abby. I'm not going to have a go at her, I just wanna talk to her about it."
"Okay. You know eventually we should let the others know though to take the pressure off Abby. Not straight away of course; whenever you're ready is fine with me."
Gibbs made a grunt of agreement, pulling Ducky against him and claiming his lips in another kiss.
"Yeah, we will sometime, Duck. Love you."