AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Set immediately after Till Death Do Us Part. Ducky chooses a course of action, knowing there will be consequences.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yes, another story based on the spoilers for tonight's episode *g*
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
As the dust began to settle and clear the view, Ducky saw three figures stumbling across the debris towards where he stood with DiNozzo and Ziva. He was holding their hands so tightly the only way either could've got away was by sheer brute strength, which would have meant hurting him. As he'd grabbed their hands he'd gambled they wouldn't risk hurting him; his gamble had paid off.
"Thank God," he murmured, when he saw Gibbs with one arm around a pale but apparently unhurt Abby and the other around McGee whose face was bloodied. He let go of DiNozzo and Ziva's hands and they ran forward, taking McGee from Gibbs's arm and supporting him between them as he slumped forward.
Gently they lowered him to the ground and Ducky hurried forward; with DiNozzo's help he squatted down by McGee, whose eyes were now closed, and began to examine him. There was no need to order anyone to call 911, as ambulances, fire-trucks and police cars were already surrounding the area.
A quick but thorough examination told him McGee's injuries were severe, but not fatal. "Anthony, please go and tell the paramedics we have someone in need of their assistance," he said.
"On it, Ducky," DiNozzo called, as without even pausing to glance at Gibbs he sprinted off.
"How is he, Duck?" Gibbs offered Ducky his hand to help him stand back up.
"He will be all right, Jethro. It will take some weeks, maybe longer, but he will be all right. Are either your or Abigail injured?"
Gibbs shook his head. "Nah, both fine. McGee took the brunt of it. You sure he'll be okay, Duck?"
"Yes, my dear, I am."
LATER THAT NIGHT
Ducky poured himself a small drink and sipped it while he thought. He had a choice to make; one he'd thought about many, many times over the years; one he'd always made one way and never the other. If the events of the day had taught him anything, it was life really was too short.
AN HOUR LATER
"Duck? Didn't expect to see you. You okay?"
"Yes, Jethro, I am quite well, thank you. May I come in? You are alone, are you not?"
"Yeah. Sure am, Duck. Come in, I'll make you a cup of tea." They smiled at one another.
"Jethro," Ducky caught Gibbs's arm before he could go into the kitchen.
"There is something I have to - no, that is incorrect; there is something I chose to tell you."
"Please don't think it is just the events of today which have made me speak. They have had an impact, of course they have. However, it's time I told you this. In fact, it's well past time, Jethro."
"I love you."
"Yeah, know that, Duck."
"No, I mean I -"
Gibbs silenced him with a kiss that went on for some considerable time. "Told you I knew, Duck. Just been waiting for you to tell me."
"Oh, Jethro," Ducky murmured, pulling Gibbs's head down for another kiss.