AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRINGS: Timothy McGee/Tobias C. Fornell; Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: At a party to celebrate Ducky's seventy-fifth birthday, Gibbs and Ducky make an announcement. However, they are not the only ones who have something to share with their friends.
WORD COUNT: 500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is all the 'fault' of ember_reads who suggested this pairing in a meme and then provided a few prompts for this month's older_not_dead promptathon - this is for you ember_reads.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
The sound of the champagne cork popping had everyone applauding. Fornell watched as Gibbs went around filling people's glasses before he returned to Ducky's side and offered his hand to help him up.
Once Ducky was on his feet, Gibbs lifted his glass. "To Ducky."
"To Ducky," seven other voices intoned.
Ducky beamed as he looked around. "Thank you, my dears," he said. "And thank you for being here to help an old man celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday."
His eyes twinkled with mirth as this time five voices declared firmly, "You're not old, Ducky."
Gibbs tapped the side of his glass. "As you're all here, there's something else Duck and I want to tell you. Should have told you years ago, but, well, we're telling you now. We're getting married and you're all invited."
Led by Vance, 'Team Gibbs (as it was still known) together with Fornell all clapped, cheered and called 'about time too'.
"Something tells me they already knew, my dear," Ducky said, putting his arm through Gibbs's.
"Well, Ducky, we are investigators," DiNozzo said; the others laughed.
"Um," Fornell suddenly heard himself say; everyone fell silent and turned to look expectantly at him. He locked gazes with one person and silently asked a question, which was answered. "I don't suppose you feel like making it a double wedding, do you? I mean it's hard enough to get everyone together once, but another twice would be . . ." He trailed off as everyone stared at him.
Finally it was Gibbs who broke the silence. "Who are you marrying this time, Tobias? Not another of my ex-wives?" Everyone laughed.
Still amazed to hear himself speaking, Fornell said, "No. But you do know," he paused, moistened his lips and said quietly, "him." And he held out his hand to Tim who moved towards him, took his hand and linked his fingers with Fornell's.
The room was so silent a pin could have been heard dropping. Fornell focused his attention on Tim, wondering if he'd made a mistake by 'coming clean' to their friends. The silence continued as everyone just went on staring at him and Tim.
Fornell was on the verge of dragging Tim out of the room and the house when Ducky broke the surprised silence. "Well, Tobias, Timothy," he looked from one to the other and beamed his genuine smile. "I confess this is something of a surprise, but a very pleasant one. Many congratulations to both of you. Jethro, do open some more champagne."
"Sure, Duck." But before he left the room Gibbs came over to Fornell, took his hand, shook it hard, then hugged him before shaking Tim's hand and hugging him. "Well?" he said to the rest of the room.
And the remaining fiver members or the party moved and began to talk at once, coming over to hug and kiss Fornell and Tim.
"And," said Gibbs, his hand on the door-knob, "Duck and I'd be delighted to make it a double celebration. Right, Duck?"
Ducky smiled his agreement.