Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 643
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Ducky Mallard, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Established Relationship, Friendship, General
Summary: Gibbs tells Ducky something. But is it too late?
Author Notes: This story was originally written and posted to LJ and my website as six separate drabbles.
However, for ease of reading I have put them together in one story divided by 'chapters'.
CHAPTER ONE - IF ONLY YOU HAD TOLD ME
"Ducky, don't go. Don't leave me."
"Why not, Jethro? Tell me why I should stay."
Jethro stared at him.
He stared into Ducky's eyes. They seemed cold, distant, hidden from him, grey rather than their usual blue.
He had one chance. He knew that.
"Because I love you," he said.
Ducky looked at him. The steady gaze was no longer hidden, no longer cold. Instead it was heavy with regret, with sorrow, with sadness.
"Ah, Jethro," he said, lightly touching Jethro's face. "If only you had told me."
With those words he turned and walked away.
CHAPTER TWO LETTING GO
Gibbs stood and watched Ducky walk away.
He felt . . .
He wasn't sure what he felt.
He wanted to go after Ducky.
Demand he stayed.
Beg him to say.
But he couldn't.
He knew he had to let him go.
A quote he hadn't realize he knew came into his mind.
If you love something, set it free. If it comes back it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was.
He had to let Ducky go.
Let him go and hope he came back.
"I love you, Duck," he murmured. "Love you."
CHAPTER THREE I NEVER KNEW
"Ducky! You came."
Ducky was pulled into an embrace and held tightly.
Automatically, he put his own arms around the man embracing him.
He was tall, about the same height as Jethro.
He was built like Jethro.
He was not, however, Jethro.
"Did you not think I would?" he asked, after a moment or two.
He was pushed away a little, and he looked up into dark brown eyes.
"I wasn't sure. I thought "
"Jethro told me he loved me."
"Yes. I never knew."
Ducky frowned. "Did you?"
"Oh, Ducky. What happens now?"
Ducky was silent.
CHAPTER FOUR DO YOU LOVE ME?
Ducky met the steady stare. "Do you love me?" he asked.
"You know I do."
"Yes," Ducky replied sadly.
"The real question is, do you love me?"
Ducky closed his eyes for a moment.
He opened them again and met the questioning gaze. "I ought to."
"But you don't." It wasn't a question.
"Craig, I do care about you. In a way I do love you."
"Just not the way you love Jethro." Again it wasnt a question.
"I'm sorry." And he was.
"You're going back?"
"I have to."
"Tell him he'd better make you happy."
Gently Ducky kissed him.
CHAPTER FIVE - MEMORIES MAKE US WHAT WE ARE
Craig watched Ducky walk away.
He didn't move.
He heard the front door open and close.
He didn't move.
He'd come so close.
So very close.
So close to having Ducky.
But deep down he knew.
He'd never really had him.
Not in the way Jethro had him.
Ducky and Jethro had too many years of shared memories.
Memories both good and bad.
Memories that made them what they were.
Memories that Craig couldn't begin to match.
He could only offer Ducky love.
Jethro could offer him memories and love.
"Be happy, Ducky," he whispered. "I love you."
CHAPTER SIX NEVER AGAIN
"Duck!" Gibbs cried, tugging Ducky into his arms. "You came back?" His relief was immense; his prayers had been answered.
Ducky pulled out of the embrace. "Yes. But there are conditions."
"Never again. Never again, Jethro, will you cheat on me. Never, do you hear me?"
"Never again will you let me believe you do not love me."
"I thought "
"Never again, Jethro. Because if you do, I shall leave you. And it will be for good. I will not return to you again. Believe me, Jethro."
"I do." He did.
"Good. Now kiss me."