AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Ducky takes Jethro to see the sunset, and old memories are recalled.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Duck, tell me again why we're here." Jethro looked around him at the hills and trees and greenery and . . . And nothing. That was it. It was empty. A vast - emptiness.
Ducky looked up at him and smiled gently. "To watch the sunset, my dear."
Jethro blinked. "Er, Duck. I can do that at any time. All I have to so is look out of the window or go outside my backdoor."
"Ah, but that is diluted, dearest."
"Diluted?" Jethro rubbed his hands. He'd just discovered something else: it was cold. And he hadn't got any coffee.
Ducky moved nearer to him, the gentle smile still on his face, a certain look in the beautiful eyes. Jethro instinctively opened his arms and tugged Ducky into them. Okay, so maybe the emptiness had its benefits. But he really wanted coffee.
Appearing as he so often did, to mind-read Jethro, Ducky tilted his head back further and offered his mouth for a kiss. Jethro obliged. As he kissed Ducky he decided, as he always did, that as much as he enjoyed coffee, was even maybe addicted to it, if he had to choose between giving up coffee or Ducky's kisses, he'd never touch another drop of the lethal liquid again.
The cold wind that had been cutting through his lightweight coat and jeans, maybe he should have listened to Ducky when he'd suggested that Jethro put on something more suitable to keeping out the cold, seemed to trickle away into a faint, gentle breeze as he held and kissed Ducky. As always his lover tasted like he smelled: of woodlands and formaldehyde. But the former was fresher, more real, more tangible than it usually was, and the latter less obvious. Maybe there was an advantage to being outdoors.
Pulling out of the kiss for the moment, but not letting Ducky leave his embrace, Jethro repeated, "Diluted?"
"Yes, dear. By the buildings, the lights, the traffic, the pollution generally. Out here there are none of those things."
"Yeah, I'd noticed." A shadow passed across Ducky's face. Immediately Jethro regretted his tone. "Sorry, Duck," he murmured, bending his head to kiss Ducky again.
Ducky met the kiss, but pulled out of it after a moment or two. He even tried to extract himself from Jethro's arms. But six inches, not to mention twelve fewer years, and his Marine training tended to allow Jethro to 'win' such battles, at least when he wished to.
After a second or two Ducky gave up his struggle and sighed. "No, my dear. It is I who should apologize. I allowed my enthusiasm for the beauty of the sight to carry me away and make me behave foolishly. It isn't important. As you say you can see the sunset any day you wish to. And I'm sure you saw some spectacular ones during your time at sea." Again he tried to move from Jethro's arms; again Jethro prevented the escape.
"Guess I did, Duck. I just don't think I ever really noticed them. And you are not foolish. I'm being thoughtless - again."
"Yes." Jethro spoke firmly. He pulled Ducky nearer to him again, and this time Ducky didn't try to move away. Holding Ducky close to his body, Jethro bent his head and rested it on the top of Ducky's. "I do remember one sunset, now I think about it."
"You do?" Ducky sounded faintly surprised.
"Yeah. I was on deck and it was sinking into the sea. For some reason, which I'm sure you could explain to me, it was more gold than red or orange, and the sea seemed bluer than usual. And that's when I knew. Or rather when I was prepared to admit it to myself."
"Knew what dearest?"
"That I loved you. That I was in love with you. That I wanted you. Wanted to go to bed with you. Wanted to make love to you. To hold you; touch you; kiss you; caress you."
"You never told me."
"No. Well words aren't my tool are they, Duck? Not like they're yours. I sometimes think I don't tell you enough how I feel. How important you are to me. How vital you are. How essential. How without you I'm incomplete. How much I love you."
"We don't need words, Jethro. I know how you feel. You don't have to -"
Jethro kissed him. Showing him all the things he had just said; everything he sometimes struggled to say. "Love you, Duck," he murmured, breaking the kiss for just long enough to breathe the words, before capturing Ducky's mouth again.
This time he didn't break off.
This time Ducky didn't either.
This time they seemed to manage to breathe without really stopping the kiss.
This time Jethro deepened and intensified the kiss, stopping just short of the level at which he wouldn't be able to stop it, and they'd end up making love on the hilltop. The cold, empty, vast, dark -
Now he did break the kiss. He looked around him at the heavy black cloak that had settled over everything; ebony broken only by a handful of stars that were beginning to wake up.
In his arms Ducky shifted slightly and began to chuckle softly.
After a second or two, Jethro joined in.
A moment later he paused and said, "Duck, tell me again why we're here."