AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. AR
SUMMARY: Ducky hadn't expected to hurt so much after his mother died.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for femme_slash_fan: M - Mother. This story is an AR story as in it Gibbs knew about Ducky's mother's death from the off. (12/36)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
When the nursing home called to tell Ducky the news about his mother, he felt his heart had splintered. The pain was so bad and cut so deep.
He wasn't certain why the news had hit him so hard. He'd been expecting it; he'd even wished for it because he'd hated to see his beloved mother suffering so much. He'd hated seeing the strong-willed, intelligent woman reduced to a mental and physical shadow of her former self.
He somehow managed to say the right things, to thank the nursing home for calling him, to thank them for the care they'd given his mother before saying goodbye and replacing the phone on the table. Or at least trying to; his hand shook so much, his eyes were so full of tears he missed and heard the faint thump as the phone hit the floor.
The next moment the door was flung open and Jethro hurried into the room. "Duck, you okay? I heard - Duck? Ah, Duck." And Ducky found himself gathered into strong arms and held in a fierce, loving embrace. "I am so sorry, Duck," Jethro murmured into his ear.
Ducky sighed softly as he let Jethro's sweater soak up his tears. Although the pain of his loss still cut into him deeply, now he was being held and comforted by Jethro he felt a little better. He accepted the comfort, love and support Jethro offered him and let it help to sooth him.
Finally he lifted his head and looked up. "Thank you, my dear," he said, pulling out his handkerchief and wiping his eyes. "I confess I do not know why it has affected me so deeply, why it hurts so much. We've been expecting it for some time. I thought it would be a relief as her suffering would have ended and she would be at peace. I thought I was prepared."
Jethro slid his hand up into Ducky's hair. "Don't think you're ever prepared, Duck. Not when you love someone. When Mom . . ." He trailed off.
Ducky put his handkerchief away and touched Jethro's cheek. "But that was different, Jethro, you were a young boy. I am an elderly grown man."
Jethro shook his head. "A mom's a mom, Duck. Age doesn't matter. You loved her. She was your mom." Jethro's tone was serious, as was the look in his eyes as he stared down at Ducky.
Ducky felt more tears surge up into his eyes at Jethro's words. But he knew they weren't just tears for himself, but also tears for the young boy his lover had been when he'd lost his mother; tears even for any 'child' who loses their mother. He smiled a little. "You are quite right, Jethro. Thank you."
Jethro shrugged. "Nothing to thank me for, Duck. I just say it as it is. Now you want me to call the kids? You know they'll want to know. They love you too."
Ducky nodded. "Thank you, my dear. I would appreciate that.