AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTERS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs & Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Episode Related
SUMMARY: Set after Need To Know. Gibbs gets home to find Ducky waiting for him.
WORD COUNT: 500
SPOILERS: 'Need To Know'.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on – Franklin Roosevelt
When Gibbs reached his house he wasn't surprised to see Ducky's Morgan parked outside.
He considered driving on and returning home later. Except he knew Ducky would wait until he turned up, no matter what the time. Resigned, Gibbs turned his truck into the drive.
By the time he'd unlocked his front door he was already on the defensive. He dropped his briefcase and overcoat by the door and went into the living room where Ducky was waiting.
"Well?" he demanded, as Ducky stood in silence staring at him. "You might as well say it."
Ducky's blue eyes were like ice as they stared at him. "How could you, Jethro?" he asked, his tone chilled.
Gibbs shrugged. "Needed a confession. Nothing we haven't done before."
He started to walk past Ducky, but Ducky caught his arm and stopped him. "'Nothing we haven't done before'? Jethro, you physically assaulted, yes, assaulted, an injured man."
Gibbs shrugged again. "Told you, needed a confession."
"And you had to all but beat it out of the poor man?"
"Ducky, that 'poor man' murdered by remote control. You do remember, don't you?"
"Yes, Jethro, of course I do. However, that does not allow you and Anthony to torture someone, merely to extract a confession."
"Torture? Oh, come on, Ducky, we knocked him around a bit, that's all. And if it bothered you that much, why didn't you stop us?"
Ducky looked away from him. "Yes, well, at the moment, Jethro, I do not know with whom I'm the more disgusted - you or me."
"Anthony was merely following your lead."
"We do what it takes, Ducky."
"No, Jethro, we do not. Or rather we should not. There are lines, Jethro; lines over which no one should cross. You more than crossed that line today."
Gibbs shrugged. "Not the first time."
Ducky took a step towards him and to Gibbs's surprise, put his hand on his arm. When he spoke his gone was softer, "Yes, Jethro, it is. It is the first time you crossed it so far. And the first time you have ever made me scared for someone in your custody. The first time you have made me question something you have done. The first time I wondered just who you are and what made you act like that."
Gibbs shrugged Ducky's hand off. "Don't know what you're talking about, Duck. I did my job, that's all."
Ducky shook his head. "No, Jethro," he said, his tone sad. "It isn't. Forgive me, Jethro." He straightened up and said, his tone formal, "Agent Gibbs, I shall be giving a report to Director Vance on what transpired in Autopsy today and how you physically assaulted an injured man."
"Get out of my house."
Ducky sighed, picked up his hat and left.
As he watched the Morgan drive off Gibbs drank whiskey straight from the bottle. If he drank enough maybe, just maybe it would banish the skeleton he thought he'd banished all those years ago.