AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Set during and after the Season Nine finale. Gibbs is given a second chance to tell Ducky the truth about his feelings.
WORD COUNT: 500
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Duck!" Gibbs cried, as he saw his old friend clutch his chest and fall to the floor. He started to push past people to get to Ducky's side.
"Dr. Mallard!" the cry was almost simultaneous. Out of the corner of his eye Gibbs saw Palmer race from the alter, ignoring Breena's attempts to stop him, and fall to his knees by Ducky. Abby followed him.
From various parts of the chapel Gibbs saw the other three members of his team, push past people and head towards Ducky. Due to them all, except for Ducky, being late they had been split up when they'd arrived at the chapel.
"Keep back," Palmer snapped. "Give me some room. Gibbs, call 911. Tell them an elderly man has collapsed with a suspected heart attack."
His phone already in his hand, Gibbs punched in the numbers and relayed Palmer's message. Part of him was amazed at how calm, how mature Palmer was being; part of him wasn't at all surprised.
He watched Palmer undo his own bowtie before bending over Ducky, tilting Ducky's head back into the correct position and beginning mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As he stood with Abby, McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo, all of them watching the professional, competent Palmer, Gibbs's one thought was 'don't die, Duck; not until I've told you I love you'.
A MONTH LATER
Gibbs sat by Ducky's bedside holding the lifeless, cold hand and tried not to stare at the various machines that were attached to Ducky. His old friend was stable but his condition was still listed as critical, even though his heart was now beating by itself and he was breathing for himself. The doctors had suggested that maybe Ducky had just given up.
Gibbs refused to believe that; Ducky would never do that. He ignored the whole issue of Ducky's will and how he was now executor and how maybe, just maybe, Ducky'd had some kind of premonition and maybe now his mother was no longer alive, he'd decided he didn't have anything left to live for.
"You have to live, Duck," he said. "You have to give me a chance." He tried to ignore the little voice in his mind that told him he'd already had a chance. "Okay, you have to give me a second chance," he growled.
A WEEK LATER
"Come on, Duck, open your eyes. I miss you." And he did; he missed his old friend more than he could say; more than he'd ever thought it possible to miss someone. He missed the stories he knew backwards, the way Ducky looked at him, the way Ducky said 'my dear Jethro'; he missed him so much.
A WEEK LATER
"Goddammit, Ducky! Will you wake the hell up so I can tell you I love you?"
"Now, Jethro, there is no need to shout."
"Duck? You're awake." Gibbs stared at Ducky.
"So it appears. Now I believe you were saying something about loving me?"
Gibbs leaned over and kissed Ducky; as he did he thanked God he had been given a second chance