TITLE: Shaped By The Past
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: The past shapes us. Set four years before the series began
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
The past shapes who and what we are.
Our mother shapes us.
Our father too.
Teachers; priests; friends; enemies, all play their part.
Our culture shapes us, as does our class. Expectations, moral judgments, right and wrong, belief systems, the world in general, we are not free of any of these things, not really. We are products of the world, the world of which we are a part. And as such we are shaped, influenced, regulated, made, molded, honed, built almost.
Nature or nurture?
The debate will never end. Different generations of psychologists and other 'experts', will tell us different things.
At one time it will all be about nature.
At another it will all be about nurture.
Sometimes the two will be balanced.
And no matter what the 'experts' tell us, we will all have our own opinion, our own view, our own belief.
Jethro Gibbs wasn't sure what the current thinking was in the nature vs. nurture debate. In fact it wasn't something he ever thought about. He didn't need to. Because he knew. He knew how and by whom he had been shaped. He knew what had made him the man he was today.
He lay awake in Ducky's bed, with his lover in his arms. Ducky was asleep, loved into exhaustion by Jethro, lying curled against him; warm, soothing, comforting, soft, reassuring, he was Jethro's safety raft in the troubled waters of his life.
Jethro's head still throbbed from where Diane had smashed the baseball bat down on it. He put his fingers up and touched the puckered skin that Ducky had stitched with such care and devotion.
Apart from a curse and a blaze of anger that had turned the soft, pale blue eyes to harsh steel, upon hearing who had caused the damage, Ducky had not alluded to it. Nor would he; Jethro knew that.
Once again his lover would keep silent. He wouldn't ask. He wouldn't say anything. He'd patch Jethro up, physically and emotionally, and he'd listen to Jethro tell him 'never again' as Jethro sought out a Lawyer to carry out his third divorce.
Ducky's mouth would be silent, a rare feat; but his eyes would not be. They never were. Ducky rambled verbally a great deal of the time, but his eyes were even more talkative, no matter how hard he tried to silence them.
As always, Jethro had read concern, pain, hurt, confusion, puzzlement, questions, fear, resignation, and a hundred and one other emotions in the steady, loving gaze. As always Jethro had ignored the emotions, shut them out, and answered none of the questions. He knew Ducky would never vocalize what his eyes said, and he used that knowledge to his own advantage.
Thus rather than talk about what had happened, he would let Ducky do his job and make him physically whole. He would then return with Ducky to his home, to his bed and let his arms, lips, hands and body express and say far pleasanter things. He would let Ducky make love to him, and he'd make love to Ducky. The gentle joining would last for hours, mending Jethro's other hurts, until tired out they would both fall asleep.
At least that is how it had always been.
Tonight though it was only Ducky who had succumbed to sleep. And it was Jethro who lay awake, troubled by more than the throbbing in his head, and the slight itching of the stitches.
One day, and that day would come soon, he knew he would have to tell Ducky why it was he kept forming relationships with redheaded women. And why so many of them - more than Ducky knew - had violent tendencies towards him. He had to; not just for himself, but for Ducky, and for their relationship. It was unfair to keep the man who loved him more than life itself, the man he loved with the same passion, in the dark. No one else would have kept quiet, no one else would still be around, no one else would put up with what Ducky had put up with.
Jethro made a decision. He had a fortnight's leave due to him, and Director Morrow had insisted he take it. He knew too that Ducky had time owing; his lover was as bad as taking leave as Jethro was himself. He'd talk to Mrs. Patterson; see if she would be prepared to keep an eye on Mrs. Mallard for a while. If so, he'd take Ducky away somewhere quiet, peaceful, out of the way, where there were no phones, no people, no demands, no Marines or Navy personnel getting murdered, or indeed committing murders. Somewhere where they would be no computers, no expectations, nothing but Ducky and himself.
"And then I'll tell you, Duck. Tell you what I should have told you years, decades ago." As he placed a gentle kiss on Ducky's forehead, Jethro felt his own eyes grow heavy. His head ceased to throb, and a sense of peace descended over him.
The past indeed shapes who and what we are. But it was time, Jethro knew, that he began to shape his own future.
Yes, there is a sequel planned.