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Alphabet Meme. Gibbs/Palmer (NCIS)
TITLE: Love In A Strange Place
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Jimmy Palmer
GENRE: Slash
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Gibbs never expected to find true love again.
WARNING: Major character death mentioned
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for sexycazzy: T- True Love (24/36)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.

Whenever Gibbs thinks about true love, he thinks about two people: Shannon and Ducky, one romantic love; the other loving friendship. If he's being honest with himself, he realizes that fact that he's known true love twice in his life makes him very lucky.

What doesn't make him lucky is both of the people he's truly loved are now dead. The first has been dead for twenty-three years; the second for three. And still not a day goes by when he doesn't think about and miss them both.

Shannon and Ducky had been tied together in another way too. He'd joined NCIS after Shannon's death; he'd resigned from NCIS after Ducky's death. Well, he only had another six months to go before he had to retire and he didn't want to face going to work every day and not seeing Ducky. So he'd pulled in his back-dated leave and had taken early retirement.

Although, he had to admit, it hadn't just been Ducky's death that had made him retire early, that had been the main reason, but there had been a secondary one. When Vance had refused to give Ducky's job to Palmer, Gibbs had been so disgusted with the agency and the changes that had come in, he'd decided it wasn’t a place he wanted to be any longer. If they could treat a loyal employee of ten years standing as they did, it was high time he got out. So he did.

For the last three years he's been keeping busy; he's redecorated the house, inside and out, spent time with his dad or Fornell, made countless toys and furniture and has finally started on another boat.

It was starting another boat that started other things too.

"Damn it," he cursed, dropping the chisel onto the floor, pulling out his handkerchief and trying to staunch the blood flow. However, in seconds the handkerchief was soaked with blood. Gibbs had never liked hospitals, but he wasn't a fool. When a second handkerchief was blood sodden in seconds too, he knew like them or not, he had to get his hand properly seen to.

By the time he arrived at the hospital the blood was dripping down his hand and his clothing was strained. The emergency room nurse took one look at him and prioritized him, promising the doctor would be with him within a few minutes.

The curtain around the cubical was pulled open and the doctor came in, reading what Gibbs assumed was his chart. "Right, I see you've - Special Agent Gibbs?"

Gibbs stared. "Palmer?"

For a moment or two they both stared in silence at one another, before the faint splash of blood hitting the floor caught Palmer's attention. He hurried over to Gibbs, took his hand, unwrapped the dressings and examined the deep wound. "It'll need stitches," he declared.

Gibbs couldn't resist it. "You think, Palmer?" he drawled. He regretted it a second later when Palmer flushed and began to stammer. "And it's not Special Agent Gibbs any longer, Palmer," Gibbs said, cutting into Palmer's stammering. "It's just Gibbs or," he paused, "Jethro. I retired, three years ago. I didn't expect to see you here."

Palmer shrugged as he started to work on Gibbs's hand. Gibbs wasn't certain if it was normally something a doctor did, but decided not to ask. "I decided I needed a change," he said, after a short silence.

Gibbs just nodded. He could understand that. Palmer had been devastated, even though he'd tried to hide it, when Vance had told him the agency would be bringing in a more experienced Medical Examiner to replace Ducky after his death.

They exchanged a few comments as Palmer worked, mostly about what had happened to the rest of the team and the weather. It was only when Palmer started to tell one of Ducky's stories, stopping quickly, blushing and offering a stammering apology, that Gibbs realized he didn't just want to thank Palmer, walk out and go back home.

He waved the apology away. "Ducky'd like to have known you cared enough to listen to his stories," he said. Palmer flashed him a smile and tied of the final stitch. "Look, Palmer, Jimmy," he corrected. "I don't know what time you finish here, but I wondered if you'd like to grab a beer or a coffee or something?"

Palmer beamed. "I'd like that, Sp- Jethro. In fact, I was due to finish an hour ago. You're my last patient. So if you don't mind waiting while I grab a quick shower and change, then we could even get dinner, maybe?"

Gibbs smiled. "Yeah, Jimmy. Dinner sounds good. Although, I'd better go home first and change." He looked down at his blood spattered clothing.

And that was how it began.

A, what was in Gibbs's mind, one-off dinner with an ex-coworker, turned into meeting up once every two weeks and then once a week plus a couple of phone calls in-between. Then once a week turned into twice and into three time and then Gibbs invited Jimmy to his home and his bed.

Sixth months later he was making room in the closets and kitchen and rearranging tables in preparation of Jimmy moving in with him.

He still wasn't entirely certain how it had happened. He still woke up every morning and almost had to stop himself from pinching himself to make sure it was real. He still worried that he was too old for Jimmy - despite Jimmy telling him and proving to him he wasn't! And Jimmy certainly knew how to prove it. He still occasionally thought he was being unfair to Jimmy, but Jimmy was happy, that was clear for all to see and he'd dragged Gibbs along to a couple of hospital parties and introduced him as his partner as the love shone out of his eyes.

He was still bemused to realize he'd found his third true love in a hospital emergency room of all places. But then he'd found his first at a railway station; his second in an alleyway when he'd gone to Ducky's aid, so was a hospital emergency room really all that strange?

He was also still stunned by his dad's reaction to the news. Jackson Gibbs hadn't said anything when, during his annual Christmas visit, Gibbs had introduced Jimmy to him as 'my partner'. But he had taken Jimmy into the kitchen and given him Gibbs's mom's secret recipe for stuffing. Fighting the tears he didn't want to shed in front of the two other men, Gibbs had muttered about 'getting something from the store' and hurried out before his dad and his partner could remind him the store wasn't open.

Yeah, what had he, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, done to deserve true love three times in his life time?

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14 Notes or Leave A Note
sexycazzy From: sexycazzy Date: 14th March 2012 15:22 (UTC) (Link)
Awwww! that was just so bittersweet and so lovely! (although I'm a little sad that Ducky isn't alive in this story, but I think it would've taken a big change for Gibbs to realise that he deserved some true love!)

Thank you for writing this! :D
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 14th March 2012 15:37 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Caz. I'm really glad you enjoyed this and found it bittersweet and loving.

I hadn't started out with the intention of Ducky being dead, but with the link to Shannon and the 'parallels' it seemed to be the better way to go.

Thank you for the prompt. I'm so pleased you liked it.
gibbsgirlabby From: gibbsgirlabby Date: 14th March 2012 15:47 (UTC) (Link)
Gibbs/Jimmy is the one pairing I canNOT see, but this story was sweet!
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 14th March 2012 16:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much for reading given you can't see it. I'm glad to hear you thought it was sweet.
angstytimelord From: angstytimelord Date: 14th March 2012 16:05 (UTC) (Link)
This was so sweet! I have a hard time imagining Jimmy with Gibbs, but you made it seem very believable & real.

Jimmy didn't say it in the story, but I bet he left NCIS because Gibbs left. He's not the only one who didn't want to be there without a certain someone brightening the place up for him. ;)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 14th March 2012 16:37 (UTC) (Link)
Why thank you very much indeed - both for reading given you have a hard time seeing the pairing and for saying I make it believable and real.

Well indeed - poor Jimmy. Bad Vance *g*
ashley_pitt From: ashley_pitt Date: 15th March 2012 00:01 (UTC) (Link)

And I love how much Ducky meant to Gibbs. Right up there with Shannon (as he should be *g*)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th March 2012 11:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much. I'm glad you liked this.

I'm glad you liked how much Ducky meant to Gibbs. Canon shows how close their friendship is, how much Gibbs loves Ducky as a friend, so to my mind it fits. I'm glad you agree.

Thank you for reading.
sharpiesgal From: sharpiesgal Date: 15th March 2012 01:31 (UTC) (Link)
Loved it!
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th March 2012 11:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much.
birggitt From: birggitt Date: 15th March 2012 19:48 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, this is JethroStyle sweet, which, of course, is never totally sweet, there's always a twang of sadness, but... yeah! Jethro is a very lucky man, indeed :)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th March 2012 11:38 (UTC) (Link)
*Grins* Indeed, our Jethro does sweet to a degree - but yes, with it there has to be a hint of sorrow.

He really is.

Thank you for reading.
pornell_fangirl From: pornell_fangirl Date: 10th January 2013 23:36 (UTC) (Link)
Much as I'm a firm believer that Jimmy belongs with Tobias, I'm so glad I found this fic. Very lovely. :-)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 11th January 2013 10:24 (UTC) (Link)
Argh, don't give me another pairing to consider *g*

Seriously, thank you very much indeed. I'm really pleased you liked this.
14 Notes or Leave A Note