Series: Discovering #16
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1333
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Ducky Mallard
Category(ies): Character Study, Established Relationship, Friendship
Summary: The sixteenth (and final part) of the Discovering Series. Ducky sums up recent events, and makes some decisions.
One of the superstitions with which I grew up was that 'bad luck always comes in threes'. Indeed, I remember our first cook saying to me, on more than one occasion, when two bad things had occurred, 'break a match, Master Donald, to stop the bad third thing from happening'. And I tended to humor her; she was, after all, my source to all kinds of extra food that a growing boy needs.
I cannot recall whether my breaking a match ever prevented the third 'bad' thing from happening. Nonetheless, one thing I do know is that I have never known something bad to lead not only to one, but to three good things. However, one of my philosophies is that there is a first time for everything.
It was the death of my dear mother, two weeks ago, which set off the entire cascade of events, both bad and good.
Now that I have had time to recover from the initial shock and grieving period, I am able to view her death not only as something bad, but also as something positive. My poor mother had begun to suffer badly in the last few months of her life, and as much I miss her, I would not wish her back to continue that suffering. She is at peace now; I know that, and that knowledge helps me deal with her death and with my loss.
When the children and Jennifer discovered the true nature of my relationship with Jethro, I was at the time deeply troubled, and I saw it as something very bad to have happened. Not for myself, but for my beloved. I did not want anyone to think less of him. Jethro tried, repeatedly, to reassure me, to tell me that they wouldn’t mind, wouldn’t be disgusted, and that no one would cause any trouble. However, as much as I trust him and believe in him, I nonetheless found his words hard to believe, to accept.
However, Jethro was, as he so often is, proven correct. I have now seen for myself just how right he was.
We buried Mother three days ago and all of the children, together with Jennifer and Tobias asked if they could attend the funeral. That very fact touched me deeply, as most of them had had little, if any contact with Mother. And it was the request, made to Jethro by Abigail, that made me begin to believe in Jethro's words of reassurance.
It was a cool, clear, bright day when we laid Mother to rest; her favorite kind of day. When Jethro and I arrived at the church, the children, Jennifer and Tobias were already waiting. One by one they greeted me, in their own particular way; expressing, as they had done on the day of her death, their sympathy. They also showed me with their actions, their expressions, their very beings, that Jethro had been correct.
However, it was dear Abigail, fearless and resolute who spoke for them. She put her arms around me, hugged me and told me gently, but firmly, how happy they all were for us. Abby does not dissemble; I know that. Had it merely been her, or her and one or two others who felt that way, she would not have stressed that they were all happy for us. She finally allayed my fears, and brought me peace and happiness at a time when I was still in some amount of turmoil.
And I now know that it was a good thing, Jethro and I being caught kissing, because we no longer have to hide, not that we ever really did as such, our relationship. We can be open about it.
It was Jennifer's behavior at the funeral that surprised me somewhat. Not her treatment of me; that was as it always has been. Jennifer has never particularly liked me, of that I have long been aware. I am certain that, one of two minor matters aside, she respects me and my abilities, and that she does not dislike me, but I have never been a favorite of hers. And the feeling I am a little sorry to say has always been mutual.
No, what surprised me was the fact that she was carrying her sidearm; she does like to wear rather tight fitting clothes that can be more than a little revealing. Although I was surprised that she had attended Mother’s funeral armed, I did not really give the matter too much consideration; she was, after all, not the only member of the party to have a gun. However, the others were at least Field Agents. Jethro had his, I know. Not only does he always carry it when he leaves his home, but on at least two of the occasions when he hugged me, I had felt it.
However, it wasn't just the presence of Jennifer's sidearm that surprised me, but also her behavior. She was alert, on edge, always looking around, whilst giving the appearance that she wasn't doing thus. It was as if she had been expecting someone to attack a member of the party, but that is my over-active imagination.
My beloved also spent some time looking around and being on his guard, but that is Jethro's natural state. He is not capable of doing anything without being a little vigilant; even when we are making love, I know that a small part of him is prepared for anything. Maybe now that he has finally begun to lock his front door on a regular basis, he might be able to allow himself to relax completely. So his alert watchfulness did not perturb or concern me; nor did that of Tobias, who, like Jethro, has spent too many years always expecting the worst, to allow himself to fully drop his guard. But the behavior of Jennifer, who is no longer a Field Agent, did make me a little curious. Maybe I should ask Jethro if he knew why she was carrying, but maybe it is better that I do not know.
The third thing that in all honesty could be considered a bad thing was Hollis Mann walking uninvited, unexpected and unannounced into Jethro's bedroom when I was in his bed. However, as it meant that their relationship was effectively over from that second, I cannot possibly see it as a bad thing at all. Nonetheless, for the sake of balance, I shall consider it to be thus, if only for her sake. Not that her feelings bother me, but even so.
The other two positive things Mother's death brought me are both connected and related to my beloved Jethro.
Firstly, he invited me to share his home, something I know he would never have done, not even as a means of comforting and consoling me for my loss, had he not been certain that I was now all he wanted. Whether I shall share his home or whether he will move to Reston with me, we have not decided. But there will now be no occasions when I shall have to sleep alone.
Secondly, he suggested that we took a holiday together, and assured me that Jennifer would place no objections to us both taking leave with immediate effect. He said it would be good for me, for us, to get away for a while, and I have agreed. We have never taken a holiday together, and the prospect of having him all to myself for a week or two, or maybe longer, he was a little vague when I enquired for how long we would be away, is an extremely pleasant one.
Bad luck may come in threes, but this time it led to good luck as well. I think that Mother would be pleased to know that her death has led to such peace and contentedness for me.
Rest in peace, my dear Mother. I truly believe that you will now be able to do so.