Series: Discovering #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 679
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Ducky Mallard
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study, Established Relationship, Friendship
Summary: The first story in the Discovering Series. This is Ducky's report on the event that changed everything.
What have I done?
How could I have been so foolish?
What have I done to Jethro?
I never meant it to happen. Truly I didn't. I do hope that he knows that.
It isn't as if Jethro and I have ever really hidden the true nature of our relationship; not as such. However, we have never gone out of our way to advertise it. Not, that is, until today.
I was alone in Autopsy when the call came. The call that has changed my life.
As I put the phone down, after thanking the head of Mother's nursing home for calling, I knew that I was in no state to drive myself to the home. It was foolish of me I know. She had, after all, turned one hundred less than two months ago, and her health had been deteriorating to the extent that it truly was a blessing. A relief. I had never wanted her to suffer; and she had been doing so for several months.
I should have been able to get my hat and coat and drive myself to the home to take care of the necessary things. But I knew I could not. My hand was shaking even as I hung up the phone, and I felt the same shaking begin to move throughout my body.
So I did the only thing I could do: I called Jethro.
Within less than a minute I heard the door to Autopsy swish open. Then he was by my side, pulling me to my feet and taking me into his arms, holding me tightly, securely, firmly, lovingly. And I went into his embrace willingly, as I always did, suddenly relieved that he was here to take care of me; to take care of things. Glad for just a moment not to be the one who had to make the decisions.
I settled against him, my head resting on his chest, as he brushed my hair with his mouth and nose, as he so often does, and murmured to me.
And that was when it happened.
If I am honest, I still do not know quite how or why.
It isn't as though he has never held me in his arms before without it happening.
It isn't as though his lips have never touched my ear before without it happening.
It isn't as though he has never told me he loved me before without it happening.
All of those things have occurred before, many times, without it happening.
One moment I was content to rest against him, happy just to be in his arms, enjoying his strength and the security only he can give me. The next . . .
The next . . .
The next his lips were on mine.
I do not remember moving my head from where it was resting so comfortably; but I must have done so.
I thought for a second that it was just going to be a mere brush of lips over lips, the kind of kiss that good, close, old friends might share. But that is not what it became.
Not that it turned into a passionate kiss. It did not. My beloved knows me so well, passion was the last thing I wanted or needed.
The kiss was gentle, pure, beautiful, tender, a promise and an answer. It made everything right. And it was exactly what I needed. Our lips did not part, they simply remained on one another's as he continued to hold me, and my arms continued to embrace him.
And then I heard the sound I knew so well.
I heard the sound of the doors to Autopsy parting.
And as we broke the kiss, me in desperation, Jethro as if he had all the time in the world, but not the embrace, I looked and saw . . .
They all stood there. Silent. Still. Staring.
And I felt fear. More fear that I can ever remember feeling.
What have I done?