TITLE: The Next Step
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Gibbs takes some advice and decides it's time to tell the 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: 2182
PART 1 PART 2
Much to Gibbs' relief, when they got into the office the next morning, there was no case for them to deal with. After going to his regular coffee place to get his usual and a small caff-pow for Abby, he made his way down to her lab.
On arrival he was surprised to find that the music was turned off and Abby was sat with Tim in deep discussion.
"Morning boss." Tim said with a small smile.
"Gibbs! You come bearing a gift for me?" Abby said in her usually bouncy tone, taking the caff-pow handed to her, "And I haven't even given you anything because we have no case to work on. It is truly an honour."
"Abby, I need to talk with you. In private."
Tim nodded in understanding and without a word, he left. Silently, she locked her lab door and they went to her office. She locked that door too for some reason and sat down nervously.
Clasping the caff-pow in both hands, she looked up at Gibbs like she was about to be scolded.
Gibbs sat in the seat opposite her, sensing her apprehension.
"Abby, I need to know something."
"Ducky told me that...you are aware of me and him."
Even though she had a feeling it was coming, she was still panicked and rushed to explain herself.
"It was an accident, Gibbs, I swear to you. Please don't be angry."
Gibbs kept his tone neutral as he spoke.
"I'm not angry with you, Abs. I just need to know how the others know."
"Well they don't exactly know, per say. Tony heard it as a scuttlebutt rumour and was convinced it was true without knowing it was. I never said a word about what I knew and when they found out you were down at autopsy, they decided to take a snoop via the stairs. That's why I rang Ducky to warn you both in case anything was going on that they weren't meant to see."
Abby was worried. Yes, Gibbs was a man of few words, but sometimes his prolonged silence could be very intimidating.
"I didn't mean to find out until you were willing to say something. I just want you to know I support you one-hundred percent and want you both to be happy."
Taking everything in, Gibbs breathed a small sigh and reached over to rest his hand on hers.
"It's okay, Abs. I appreciate what you did."
"You forgive me?"
"Nothing to forgive. If it was an accident then it was mine and Ducky's fault for not going somewhere more private in the first place."
"So are you two still okay? I mean, with what happened yesterday, I hope neither of you have gotten cold feet about the whole thing."
She was rather happy to see Gibbs shake his head and smile.
"He's not getting rid of me that easily."
With her bouncy attitude back, he pulled her into a hug and kissed her head.
After that, Gibbs and Ducky made sure to not let their relationship get in the way at work, which he started to find rather difficult. Seeing Ducky in his blue scrubs, they made his eyes so more vibrant and he could feel emotions swirling in his stomach the longer he looked at his lover. This however did make their home life more interesting with Gibbs pouncing out of nowhere, keeping Ducky on his toes often.
That being said, it didn't always end in sex; in fact it rarely did. Gibbs always remembers when he first married Diane and they had sex at least twice a day most days. It lead to the point where he was struggling; tired of being expected to perform time and time again until he was avoiding her.
Fortunately, he also knew that Ducky appreciated closeness and comfort much more than just sex, and whilst this was something Gibbs had already suspected long before, he found that he too appreciated it. That being said, he was always a man of few words, so was always giving Ducky hugs and kisses as he best way of showing his feelings.
Ducky had never felt so loved, and he couldn't help contain his euphoria as they went about their work. When out on the field, he did best to contain it given the circumstances. After all, looking pleased to see a dead body was rather disrespectful.
Down in autopsy he studied the wounds of the petty officer lying on the table before him.
"It appears, my good fellow, that you have a love bite just below the collar bone. I wonder who gave you that, hm? Some wonderful young lass I should imagine. You know, I've never actually received a love bite on any of my encounters. Still, I guess it's never too late. For all I know, I could be sporting one tomorrow."
"Sporting what, Doctor Mallard?"
Turning around, Ducky was delighted to see Jimmy Palmer standing in the doorway.
"Ah, Jimmy! So glad to have you back, my boy."
With a beaming smile, he pulled Jimmy into a brief, one armed hug.
"It's great to be back. I've missed you, and this place of course. Anyway, I've obviously interrupted your discussion with your guest."
"Hmm? No, no, it's perfectly fine. In fact it will probably be more beneficial for me to talk to someone who will actually respond."
"Have things been busy whilst I was gone?"
"Very much so. A few cold cases passed through along with fresh ones. All rather exciting, and it made me value the assistance you offer me."
"Really?" Jimmy flushed with pride. "I am of course very happy to be back. I'll just go change and I'll be right out."
Turning back to the petty officer, Ducky smiled.
"You know, one day that boy will make a smashing M.E."
Gibbs stood on the balcony overlooking the bullpen. Tony was surfing porn sites again from the looks of it, Ziva was having what she calls a "bat nap" and Tim was nowhere to be seen.
Behind him, the door of MTAC opened, and director Vance stepped out.
"Agent Gibbs. What luck; I wanted to talk to you."
"Did you now, director? What have I done wrong this time?"
"Let's go to my office to discuss this."
Slightly irritated already, he followed Vance and sat down when he was motioned to do so.
"What is it then, Leon? I've done something wrong, I can tell."
Vance sat down in another chair, a thoughtful look on his face.
"Well it's not so much something wrong I suppose."
"Well, I know all about your rule twelve. Never date a co-worker?"
Gibbs clenched his eyes shut and cursed under his breath.
"Now I know someone in security who's been picking up little things on the cameras. These particularly happen between you and doctor Mallard. Combined with the scuttlebutt rumour, it makes it pretty clear what's going on."
"So you gonna sack us or something? Blackmail maybe?"
For a moment, a look of hurt passed across Vance's face.
"Jethro, I know I can be a hard ass, but relationships happen in this building all the time, and believe it or not, yours isn't the first gay relationship to happen here. I admit, I am quite surprised given your track record. Is there anything you want to explain about that?"
"What is there to explain? Doctor Mallard and I are in love. Took a long time for us to get there, but that's all there is."
"And the rest of your team? Do they know?"
"Then maybe it's time you told them."
"That an order, Director?"
"Do you want it to be? I say it as a friend, Jethro. I doubt they'll think different of you if you did."
"What about you?" Gibbs asked, eyebrow raised like he was expecting a catch.
"As director, so long as you both do your jobs I have no protestations. As a friend, I wish you both luck. No blackmail, or sackings are going to happen."
Feeling relief flood through him, Gibbs let out a chuckle.
"You're not so bad, Leon, you know that?"
"You're only discovering this now?"
Gibbs nodded, smiling.
"Now go get your work done...and take care of him. Maybe you two do actually deserve each other."
Leaving the office, his mind was swirling a bit out of control. He wasn't really all that surprised to find that the security cameras had caught them, but now he felt that he was going to have to make his decision sooner or later about letting others they care about know. The lift doors opened, and he turned to see Ducky approaching him, looking concerned.
"Jethro?" he said, wanting to reach out and touch but resisted in case anyone else saw them,
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah, Duck, I'm fine. Can you...go down to Abby's lab and I'll meet you down there in a few minutes?"
"Very well. Should I ask why?"
"You'll soon know."
Ducky did as he was told and went to Abby's lab, butterflies starting to flutter in his stomach. He gave a small smile to Abby.
"Hey Ducky! You need something?"
"Not really, my dear. Something tells me though Jethro has something planned."
"Something good or something bad?"
" He told me to come down here. I feel he's planning to tell the others about us."
"Oh...well that's good, right? I'm guessing he didn't actually ask you beforehand whether you were comfortable with it?"
"No, my dear. However, I am okay with it and had suggested a few times that when he was ready we should formally announce it."
Abby pulled Ducky into a gentle hug.
"It'll be alright though. I mean, if it's what you both want then go for it. I doubt the others will treat you any different. I certainly haven't."
"I know, dear Abigail, and I appreciate it. I know that I'm comfortable with all of this. I just hope that Jethro won't have any regrets once it's out in the open."
Gibbs returned to the bullpen, smiling. By this point Tony had finished his unsavory web browsing, Ziva was awake again and typing away on her computer and Tim had returned from wherever he had been previously.
"Everything okay, boss?" Tony asked, having seen Gibbs go to the director's office.
"Oh, hunky-dory, DiNozzo. The three of you, Abby's lab. Now."
"Why boss?" Tim asked, "I've just been down there."
"Important meeting, so get going. I'll be there, just gotta make a stop at autopsy."
"Yes, agent Gibbs, what can I do for you? I'm afraid that doctor Mallard isn't here-"
"I know. Come with me up to Abby's lab immediately."
As everyone gathered in the lab, Ducky waited in the back room for Gibbs to arrive. Everyone apart from Abby looked confused, and Gibbs couldn't help but smile at their expressions.
"Hang on, we'll get to it in a moment."
Spotting Ducky, he approached him, seeing him looking rather nervous.
"You okay, Duck?"
"Jethro, I do wish you had warned me you were going to do this."
"It was your idea, Duck. Besides, the director knows about us and says that we should probably do this. "
"I know, but a little chance for me to prepare?"
"Sorry. I just...I wanted to do this before I lost my nerve. You know I'm no good at this kind of thing."
Ducky couldn't help but smile and forgive him immediately.
"Well, they're all here now, Jethro, and it would make it a lot easier on us."
"They aren't going to think any differently of you. You're still their boss."
"Might as well get this out of the way."
"Yes. Five dollars says Anthony gloats about his scuttlebutt sources."
"Oh no, Duck. You and I both know he will do."
As Ducky and Gibbs rejoined the group, everyone fell silent. Taking a deep breath, Gibbs was the one to speak.
"Alright, we'll keep this short and to the point." Looking to his left, Ducky was looking at his feet, blushing. With a small smile, he reached over and took his hand.
Tony felt laughter bubbling in his throat and was ready to gloat. Abby was smiling, relieved that she wasn't going to have to keep it a secret anymore. Ziva and Tim looked at each other, both surprised, but nothing could beat Jimmy's face. He'd only been gone two months yet he came back to this.
"Ducky and I are in a relationship. We...felt it was time you all knew and we hope you're okay with it."
There was a few moment's silence, and as expected, Tony was the first to react, letting out a laugh.
"I knew it! I mean, let me first congratulate you both and sure, I got no problem with it, but my scuttlebutt source already gave me the heads up."
Ducky smiled, looking up at Gibbs who smiled back. Whilst it didn't seem like a big thing, they had taken the next step in their relationship.