TITLE: I Hear Wedding Bells Approaching
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Even though work is all go, there's already questions about the big day.
RATING: NC17 (Overall)
WORD COUNT: 4375
As the first morning light peeked through a gap in the curtains, Gibbs turned his head away from it, cracking his eyes open to find a pair of ocean blue eyes looking back at him.
"Good morning Jethro."
"Morning. How long have you been awake?"
"Oh, about half hour or so. I was just enjoying watching you sleep."
Gibbs gave a huffed out laugh, reaching a hand out to stroke Ducky's hair then down his cheek.
"Well that's not the least bit creepy."
"Like you've never watched me sleep?"
"Yeah," his hand trailed it's way under the quilt along the contour of Ducky's arm and side, "but I don't tell you about it."
"It wouldn't bother me if you did, my dear."
Ducky let out a small chuckle as he felt the wandering hand rest on his buttock.
"So, Duck, we haven't been called into work yet and with a bit of luck, we won't be for the day. What would you like to do instead?"
"How does a fry up sound to you?"
"That" he kissed Ducky gently on the lips, "is an idea" kissed again, "I highly approve of."
"Good. First though, I really must shower." Carefully, he got to his feet and stopped in the doorway, "Do you wish to join me?"
"I would, but I've got to make a few calls."
"Very well, I shall be back soon."
Gibbs couldn't help but notice the twinge of pain flash across Ducky's face as he moved.
"Duck, you alright? I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"No, my dear, I'm fine, I promise you. It's my leg that's bothering me because it got a bit cramped."
Ducky put on what he hoped was a convincing smile and was relieved when he received a smile back.
"Anyway, the hot water should help soothe. I shall be back soon, my dear."
Closing the bathroom door, Ducky sighed. He wasn't completely lying as his leg was somewhat cramped, but their love making the night before had definitely given him slight tenderness. Looking at the ring glinting on his finger made him not regret it for a moment. This year was going to be the best year ever.
Now alone, Gibbs reached for his mobile and let himself flop back against the bed, feeling relaxed and so very happy. He didn't believe Ducky's reason for his clearly pained expression, but wasn't going to call him out on it. He did however know that their lovemaking would have to be more gentle for a while.
Scrolling through his phone, Tobias was the first he thought of. After all, he had to ask a favor of him.
The phone rang for several tones and just as he was about to give in, a gruff and tired sounding voiced Tobias answered.
"What do you want, Gibbs?"
"Hey Tobias. You're sounding as chirpy as ever. Hangover?"
"Yeah, a bit." he let out a small groan as his head pounded out a beat like someone playing bongos on his brain.
"Sounds like more than a bit."
"Yeah, yeah." he muttered, looking at his bedside clock and groan again to see it was barely 7:30, "Why are you calling this early in the morning? And on new year's day for crying out loud."
"You're not a morning person are you?"
"Diane said the same about you. So?"
"Sooooooo, I wanted you to know that Ducky and I are engaged."
"I need coffee before I can deal with your jokes."
"No, I'm not kidding, we genuinely are."
There was a momentary silence.
"Really? After all those times you said you'd never marry again?"
"Yeah, I know, but this is it. I'm marrying Ducky because I want to...not because I want another Shannon."
"You know I've never heard you openly admit that. I'm happy for you, Jethro, I really am. Just don't screw this up."
"I don't plan to, but I do plan to ask you to be my best man."
"Well Ducky can't exactly do it, can he?"
Tobias laughed, causing his head to let out another thuding ache.
"I guess not, but I'd be honoured though."
"Great. Well when we start making arrangements about the wedding I'll let you know. Anyway, that's all I called up for, so I'll let you get back to your hangover. Have a nice cup of coffee. That'll help."
"Yeah, thanks. I'd rather have something more filling than that."
"Well, Ducky's gonna cook me a nice fry up."
Tobias' stomach rumbled at the thought and he let out another groan of irritation.
"You're a cruel bastard sometimes, Gibbs, you know that?"
"Yeah, I know. Anyway, that's really all I called for."
"Fine. Congratulations again. Now go on, go have your fry up and let me go back to sleep."
"As you wish."
Hanging up, he smiled to himself. From where he sat he could hear the shower running from the bathroom across the hall meaning he still had time to make one other important call.
"Hey Dad. Happy new year. "
"Happy new year, son. So how has things been?"
"They're good, yeah."
"And how's Donald?"
"He's doing fine. In fact we're engaged."
"That's wonderful news. Got a date for the wedding?"
"Well no, having only just asked him last night. We'll work it out and obviously we want you to be there."
"Just let me know the details when you have them and I'll be there."
"Thanks dad. Guess you're gonna go open the store now?"
"Of course. Maybe you and Donald could come down here and help out for a few days."
"Sure, I'll see what I can do. Love you."
"Love you too, son. You two take care of each other."
Closing his phone he smiled to himself. Now that two of the most important people knew about the wedding, he was relieved.
No doubt anyone who didn't attend the party last night was already aware of what happened knowing what a hen house the place could be. Before he would have been very private about everything in his life, but he found he didn't care who knew about his relationship with Ducky, whether they agreed with it or not.
The bathroom door opened and Ducky re-appeared, hair still damp and only dressed in a towel slung around his waist.
"I forgot my bath robe," he said in explanation as he started to dig through his wardrobe, one hand still holding the towel in place, "I'd forgotten my usual one was in the wash. Still, maybe I should just get dressed."
"C'mon, Duck, what's the problem? No one else gonna see you except me. I just rung Tobias and my dad to tell them the news. They're both really excited."
"That's good. Am I to assume Tobias will be taking my role of best man?"
"How'd you guess? But if there was someone else you wanted to ask then-"
Ducky chuckled, picking out a smart blue shirt that he knew Gibbs loved and placed it down on the bed to find trousers.
"Of course not, my dear, in fact I do believe he's the perfect choice."
Gibbs moved to sit at the end of the bed where Ducky stood and in one swift tug he had Ducky's towel off, making him fall none too gracefully back onto the mattress. Then in the next movement he was astride the surprised man, letting his eyes wander up and down his body with a predatory smile.
"Jethro, what on Earth?"
His words were cut off by a desperate kiss.
"Your body is so beautiful." he caught Ducky's hands as he instinctively started to move his arms to cover himself, "Don't keep doing that. I mean it, Duck, you are. You may not understand it and hell, even I struggle to explain it, but you turn me on. You don't have to feel self conscious around me."
"I'll never understand how. It's not like I-"
"Stop comparing yourself to something I'm no longer looking for."
"If you didn't know me, is that what you would be looking for?"
"Probably. I'd just continue having multiple flings, but never be truly happy. Luck smiled on me after I lost the girls and I got you, and now you're all I need. I mean it."
Unable to form words, Ducky raised his head up, lips pouting for another kiss that his fiancé of course obliged. Wrapping his arms around the man straddling him, he pulled him down so that their bodies touched.
"Do you still want that fry up?"
"Well Duck, we are both still naked right now."
"And I've only just showered."
"I know, but I missed joining you." his hand wrapped around both their cocks that were slowly hardening together, "Maybe we need an excuse for you to shower again?"
Ducky rolled his eyes but smiled. How did two men who would be considered by many as past their prime end up behaving like two horny teenagers?
The following day, they returned to work and were greeted by several work colleagues who weren't in attendance at the new year's party, but as Gibbs had expected, word had spread of their engagement.
Much to their relief, every one of them were delighted with the news and there were handshakes all round. Only as Gibbs got in the lift up to the squad room did he receive a dirty look from a woman in the legal section, but she didn't dare say anything or keep eye contact with him for more than a few seconds.
Bounding into the squad room with great enthusiasm, Jimmy Palmer smiled from ear-to-ear as he greeted his co-workers.
"Ah, the autopsy gremlin returns!" Tony yelled, patting Jimmy on the shoulder.
"Welcome back, Jimmy." Ziva said looking up from her paperwork with a smile, "How was your new years with Breena?"
"Oh it was fantastic. She has the nicest parents, she really does. Okay, her father is a liiiiittle bit protective, but I think given time we'll become great friends. So, did I miss much here?"
"Maybe." Tony said with a sly grin.
"What? "Jimmy looked between the three of them, his curiosity growing rapidly as they merely smiled, "Come on! What happened?"
Tony checked to see if Gibbs was around before smiling again.
"Gibbs and the Duck man." he joined the tips of his fore-fingers together, "Officially engaged."
"What?" Jimmy gawped, "So who-who proposed?"
"Gibbs did." Tim replied, "With the romantic music and most of NCIS witnessing it. Had me put on a Righteous Brothers song for the occasion."
"I never thought Agent Gibbs would do that." He let out a groan of irritation, "That's typical, the one time I'm not here and something like that happens."
Tim stood and quickly moved to Tony's desk, pushing Tony himself away from it and ignoring the man's protests.
"Well maybe, this would be enough."
With the tap of a few keys, the plasma screen came to life.
"McGeek," Tony laughed, "you sly dog. You recorded it through my webcam?"
They all stood and watched. Despite a few heads popping into view on the lower half of the screen, the angle was just right to catch
the moment. The music took up most of the volume, but the physical interaction between the two men said enough.
The lift bell 'ding'ed but none of them noticed as they continued to watch, completely absorbed in the moment.
"View was even better from where I was standing." Gibbs said from behind them and making all 4 of them jump; much to his satisfaction.
"Boss!" Tim looked like a deer caught in car headlights, "I er- You see."
"Yeah, I see, Tim." he continued staring at the screen as he walked to his desk, "Betcha Ducky will want a copy of that."
"Er, of course, I'll burn a copy to DVD, boss."
"Good." he turned towards Ducky's assistant, waiting for the stammering to begin, "Hey Palmer. Nice holiday?"
"Special agent Gibbs, I-I- yes, it was wonderful." he held his hand out, "Congratulations on the engagement, sir."
Gibbs couldn't help but smile at the young man's constant nervousness around him as he returned the handshake. It wasn't that he did it deliberately or anything, and there had been moments when he seemed to overcome his fear so why he just as quickly returned to fearing him, he had no idea.
"Anyway, I'd best go down to see doctor Mallard. I'm sure he'll be wanting to show me the ring."
Within moments, Jimmy had left, and his team returned to their desks, all three of them looking between each other, surprised that their boss took the whole secret webcam thing well.
As Jimmy entered autopsy, he immediately noticed Ducky sat at his desk humming to himself, which he always does when he is at his most happiest.
"Ah, Jimmy, my boy." he stood and pulled the younger man into a hug, "How was your new year?"
"Was wonderful. Breena and I had such a wonderful time together. I met the in-laws, which went well, and we had a lot of fun."
Ducky was practically glowing with joy, and Jimmy could see that he was bursting to tell him the good news.
"So, how was your new year?"
With a proud chuckle, Ducky held his hand out. The gold band shining in the light.
" How wonderful. Any idea when the big day will be?"
"No, but I'm not worrying too much about it at the moment. I wish you could have been there to see it. I never thought he would do something like that, especially not in front of such a large crowd of our work colleagues."
The phone rang, and Ducky answered it.
"Yes, agent McGee, we'll be on our way."
The peace never did last long as they were all once again called out to their first crime scene of the year.
A crime scene featuring the rather gruesome deaths of two petty officers was not how the team wished to start January, but then such was life as an NCIS agent.
Two autopsied bodies later and Gibbs found himself in Abby's lab with news of the bullets used and other DNA results from the crime scene.
As bouncy as ever, and with a twinkle in her eye, she gave him the rundown of her current findings.
"Okay, so both bullets are definitely from the same gun, and from what Ducky said, they were fired at close range. And I mean really close, Gibbs. In fact at first I thought that there were three bullets, but turns out the assailant shot at such a close range that one bullet went through the first guy and into the second! THAT is a close shot."
"They possibly knew their attacker?"
"Maybe. I've just got to narrow down the make and model of gun. So, what's going to be your wedding speech?" she asked, putting the straw of the caf-pow to her lips.
"How did we suddenly change subjects?"
She smiled and put on her best apologetic face.
"Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Sooooo?"
Gibbs couldn't help but smile at her forwardness.
"I don't know, Abs. I'm not thinking about it right now. I don't do big speeches. The speech when I proposed is probably the best you're gonna get out of me."
"Oh, Gibbs, come on! You know that you have the words within you to speak to Ducky on the big day. You just need to think of how to say them. And then there's all the planning, venue, outfits, the whole works to deal with."
"I will, alright? Just focus on the case and find me that gun type asap."
"Will do." she saluted him and got back to furiously typing.
Within the hour, Abby had the gun type narrowed down, and finger prints lead to a female petty officer being brought in for interrogation.
"Boss, pleeeeeeease can I do the interrogation on this one?"
Gibbs looked up from his desk at Tony, eyebrow raised.
"Just how pretty is the petty officer, DiNozzo?"
"Very pretty." Ziva said with a smirk, neatly putting her now completed paperwork in a neat pile, "And she didn't take any notice of him when she was first brought up here. She seemed more interested in McGee."
Tony let out an indignant splutter.
"Yes, thank you, Ziva. Anyway, what do you say, boss?"
Gibbs merely shrugged and returned to his work.
"Sure, whatever. Just get whatever you can out of her."
Much to Gibbs' irritation, he didn't get home until late. This was something that used to never bother him since he didn't have anything besides a boat to return home to. Now however he found that he wanted to be home at a reasonable time every night if possible.
As he'd parked up he noticed all the lights were off apart from the dim light coming from the bedroom. Closing the front door and securely locking it, he removed his coat and shoes, did one last check to make sure all doors and windows were locked then headed upstairs.
After a brief stop in the bathroom to freshen up and clean his teeth, he headed to the bedroom where he found Ducky sat up reading a book.
"Hey Duck. Didn't know if you'd still be awake."
"I was tired, but then I got a bit engrossed in my book." he flashed the cover to Gibbs briefly.
"Phantom of the opera?"
"Yes, it was a book before it was a Broadway show of course. Although its original title was 'Le Fantôme de l'Opéra', and was printed as a serial from late nineteen-oh-nine to ninteen-ten where it was then published as a full book."
Gibbs made a noise to show he was listening as he went about stripping himself down to his boxers and replaced his shirt with a simple grey tee that he always wore at night. He felt weary as Ducky continued.
"In fact its first adaptation was a short movie in nineteen-twenty-five. They say the scene when the phantom was unmasked made some movie goers scream in terror or faint at the sight of him! Mother apparently had quite a crush on him for a number of years, and was truly heartbroken when he passed away in-"
Coming out of his reverie, he noticed his partner's tired and slightly frustrated expression.
"Jethro, are you alright, my dear?"
"Yeah, Duck, I'm fine. Sorry, you were saying about your mom?"
"It's not important. I'm afraid I went off on one of my ramblings, but clearly see something is troubling you."
"It's just the whole wedding planning thing." he laid back against his pillows, relieved at least to now be in a warm and comfortable bed,
"All the times before the wives always handled everything, but this time...I don't know how the whole thing works. I mean, is it the same as straight weddings or what?"
Ducky placed his book and glasses on the bedside table and turned off the lamp before turning over into Gibbs' arms. He rested his head in the crook of the man's neck and smiled as the strong arms wrapped around him, a position they often enjoyed going to sleep in.
"My dear, I'm sure that if we asked Abigail she would be more than happy to handle things."
"Be surprised if she wasn't, but...I want this to be perfect."
"So long as we're both there and end the day together then that's all that matters."
"Yeah, I guess so."
"We can talk more in the morning about it. For now, let's sleep."
Their lips met in a soft, chaste kiss, and moments later, Gibbs was fast asleep.
Arriving back at work the next morning, Gibbs was surprised to hear that Tony had pulled an all-nighter in his absence. Instead of a head-slap, Tony received a rare pat on the back and a whispered 'thanks' that left him beaming with smug pride.
Approaching McGee's desk, he saw the man panic for a moment before holding up a DVD in a plastic slip case.
"Boss, I've burned a DVD copy of the engagement for you."
"Thanks Tim." he rewarded the younger agent with a fairly light head-slap, "You should have told me you were going to record it."
Leaving the squad room with the DVD in his jacket pocket, he decided his first stop would be the lab. As always, he was greeted by her loud music that he had to shout over to get her attention.
"Abs, need a word."
"Sure, what's wrong?"
"Well, firstly, Ducky and I want you to be our maid of honour."
"Oh my god, yes! I accept!"
She jumped up and down a little on the balls of her feet.
"And secondly, we might need some help with planning."
"I'll gladly help any way I can, you know me."
"Good, because I don't have a clue what I'm doing."
"I can show you."
"No. I just...I know that if you deal with it, it'll all run fine. Just you and Ducky deal with the planning, okay?"
Her smile dropped.
"But wait, Gibbs...don't you want to make any decisions?"
"Not really. I just want to walk away at the end of the day with a happy Ducky. I know you'll do all you can to make it as perfect as possible."
"But Gibbs, I've never technically actually planned a wedding before? I mean, alright so I planned Jimmy's stag do, but not the actual ceremony itself."
"Talk to Ducky. Ask him what he wants. I'm not going to say no. I've been through this four times already."
"Don't you want another wedding?"
"Of course I do, Abs, but...this is Ducky's first and with a bit of luck, his only wedding. I want him to remember it and to make him happy. I'll just be happy with us being together; that's all I really need."
"Okay. I'll do my best."
"Your best is always just enough." he kissed her cheek, "Now about the petty officer's alibi?"
In autopsy, Ducky sat at his desk whilst Jimmy dug through their supplies, checking what they still had and what needed ordering.
"We're down to our last box of disposable gloves, Doctor."
"I'll add it to the list."
As Jimmy looked up, he saw Ducky busy staring at his ring, smiling to himself.
"Doctor Mallard, may I ask you something?" he asked, sitting himself down on a stool.
Jimmy faltered, looking away. He could just pass it off as nothing important and return to work, but his mind was asking many questions since he watched the engagement video.
"What is what, Mr Palmer?"
"Gibbs. I mean, we've all only been on the stern and somewhat scary end of him at work here. How different is he, you know, at home? I really don't mean to pry, but...when it first came out about you two, I never thought that you'd be taking your relationship this far."
"He is pretty much everything you see here at work, but there's still that softer side thrown in. If only you'd been here to see him propose to me, and in front of so many people." He smiled at the memory, "I do hope that you and the lovely Breena shall be attending the wedding?"
"Is something wrong?"
"I just...Look, Doctor, I care for you so very much. You've been a great mentor and like a family member to me. I just don't want to see agent Gibbs hurt you."
"Ah Jimmy, I understand your concern given his history, but I very much doubt he will."
"How can you be sure?"
Ducky thought for a moment. He didn't want to make Gibbs sound like an absolute pussycat because he wasn't. Not always at least.
In the throes of passion, Gibbs could be made to purr if he caressed just the right spots on his body, like the small of his back and along the jaw line. It was something that Ducky just loved hearing, and he wasn't even sure Gibbs was aware that he did it.
"It's in his eyes, the way he says his endearments to me, the way he physically shows me affection. On the big day, you'll see it for yourself. I appreciate that you worry for me, Jimmy, but I can assure you that this is right."
It came as no real surprise that when the doors slid open, Gibbs was the one who entered. Anyone would think that he had a 6th sense that meant he always knew when Ducky was talking about him or wanted to see him.
"Hey Duck." he removed the DVD from his pocket, "Turns out that McGee recorded our engagement on DiNozzo's webcam, "So I had im put it on DVD."
"Oh how wonderful. I must thank Timothy later. I do hope however that you didn't give him a hard time for recording without your knowledge."
"Nah, I gave him a light head-slap, but nothing more."
"Jethro!" he scolded softly.
"I said it was light."
Ducky smiled and looked away momentarily. It was only then he realized that Jimmy had gone into the back store room; obviously trying to give them privacy. Not that Ducky felt it was really necessary given how everyone now knew.
"He's still jittery around you, Jethro."
"Hmm, I noticed. Come 'ere."
Despite the security camera and the possibility Jimmy would see, he wrapped his arm around the smaller man and kissed him softly.
"Now, was there anything else you came to see me about?"
"Not really. I'd better get back upstairs. Let you and Palmer finish your work."
He kissed him again, savouring it. When they pulled apart, Ducky felt like his lips were tingling.
"Love you, Duck." he whispered, gently stroking Ducky's hair before turning and leaving.
Ducky smiled to himself as he watched Gibbs leave again, and without even turning around, he spoke.
"Mr Palmer, when you've quite finished peeking through the gap in the door can we please get back to filling in the last of this stock check."