TITLE: Brothers In Love
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
GENRE: Slash (mild). Established Relationships
PAIRINGS: Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard/Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin.
SUMMARY: Gibbs finds out just why Ducky used to look like Illya Kuryakin when he was younger
"Yes, my dear?"
"You really did look like Illya Kuryakin when you were younger, you know."
"Well, that's hardly surprising, Jethro," Ducky paused and smiled gently. "Given that he's my twin brother." He began to count in his head.
He reached three before his friend began to splutter. "Brother? Twin brother? What . . . ? When . . . ? How . . . ? What's the date?" Jethro suddenly demanded.
"12th October. Why?"
"Because for a moment I thought it might be April 1st. Come on, Ducky, you're pulling my leg, right?"
Ducky shook his head. The hair that he had worn overlong for more decades than he cared to remember momentarily restricted his vision. "No, my dear," he said softly. "I am not."
"But . . . But . . . You're British. He's Russian. You can't be brothers."
"Our mother was English, our father Russian. They died when we were nine months old. We were separated, arbitrarily I believe. I was sent to England to my mother's family, Illya remained in Russia with our father's family. My name was changed to our mother's maiden name, Illya's remained Kuryakin."
"Then your mother isn't your mother?" Jethro asked, staring into Ducky's eyes.
Ducky sighed softly. "Jethro, the woman with whom I live is my mother in every sense of the word, but one. She raised me. She is my mother."
"But that means . . . ." Jethro bit his lip, and a faint color touched his cheeks. Ducky didn't need to be a mind reader to know what his friend was thinking. Jethro already thought his insistence of not putting his mother into a home was the wrong thing to do, and sometimes Ducky feared that his friend was correct. And now that Jethro knew the woman wasn't his birth mother, well . . .
"She is my mother, Jethro," he repeated, and touched the other man's forehead, smoothing away the lines that had begun to form.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Jethro sounded hurt, and Ducky couldn't really blame him.
He shrugged. "I didn't know, neither of us did. It was deemed better for both of us."
"What happened to change that?" Jethro reached up and caught the hand stroking his face.
Ducky smiled ruefully. "Napoleon Solo is a resourceful man, as you may recall. He wanted to do something special for Illya's 60th birthday, so he began to try and trace his family tree. As I said, he is a resourceful man. He found the secret that two families had been hiding for six decades."
"Our parents marriage happened without the approval of either of their families. Their deaths solved a number of problems." Ducky's voice became icy, and his grip on Jethro's hand became tighter.
"Are you saying that . . . ?" Gibbs trailed off.
"No." Steel touched the usually gentle voice. The single word conveyed so much. The discussion was over. Gibbs knew that as clearly as if Ducky had told him so.
"So Illya and Napoleon are still friends?" Gibbs asked, desperately trying to take away the pain that had infiltrated the blue eyes.
Ducky's face relaxed and he chuckled. "They are much more than that, my dear. They are lovers."
"Lovers?" Gibbs voice rose. "But Napoleon was always . . ."
"Indeed. But Illya was the one he loved. They have been together now for almost forty years."
"Forty years?" Gibbs voice rose. "I think I need to lie down," he added.
"You are lying down, Jethro." Ducky said gently an amused smile twitched his lips.
"Oh, yes. So I am." Gibbs tugged the hand he held, and after a moment or two Ducky allowed himself to be pulled into an embrace.
After several moments during which little was said, but much was exchanged, Gibbs finally had them both arranged to his satisfaction. "Have you and Illya met?" he asked.
Ducky shook his head. "No. Not yet. We have spoken on the phone, and we regularly correspond via email."
"So why haven't you met up?"
"Time, Jethro. Time."
"New York's not that far away."
"No, but England is."
"Yes. Once they got out of the field, they both realized that their futures didn't lie within U.N.C.L.E. There were too many changes, too much pressure on Napoleon to 'do the right thing' and marry, so that he could take on the mantle of Alexander Waverly."
"He couldn't have done that without marrying?"
Ducky shook his head again, his hair brushing Gibb's bare chest. "Apparently not. It was felt that the world wasn't quite ready for a gay Head of U.N.C.L.E."
"They wouldn't be allowed to get away with that today," Gibbs said firmly.
Ducky said gently. "Maybe, maybe not. I'm not entirely certain just how much the world has changed, Jethro my dear."
"No one minds about us."
Ducky shrugged. "But you do not run a powerful organization," he said softly.
"And I don't want to," Gibbs said firmly, glaring at Ducky and daring him to argue. The silence became stilted for a moment, as the two men remembered the numerous times they had previously had the same conversation.
"So what did they do?" Gibbs said, abruptly changing the subject.
"Illya was offered a Professorship at his old university, so they moved to Cambridge almost thirty years ago."
Gibbs was silent for a moment. Then he said, "I've always wanted to see England, you know. Britain actually."
"I could pull a few strings and get us an extended vacation and we could go. You could show me all the places you grew up, Eton for example. Hey, you could even take me to a cricket match. And I hear that Cambridge is a beautiful city." He paused and then looked away. "Do they know about me?" he asked softly.
Ducky brushed his hand across Gibb's head. "They know I have someone very special," he said softly. "I did not feel that I could tell them who until I had discussed it with you."
"So you were planning on telling me then?" Gibbs bit his lip as he recognized the plaintive tone in his voice.
Ducky just chuckled and kissed his lover's lips with a gentle, affectionate kiss. "Of course I was, Jethro. I was just waiting for the right moment. I wanted to be certain that I had you all to myself for an uninterrupted period of time."
Gibbs gave his lover a rueful look. "It has been kind of manic recently, Duck. I'm sorry."
"You don't need to apologize, Jethro. At least I get to see and speak to you every day."
"But it's not enough, Ducky. Not by a long shot. That's why I'd really like to take a trip to the UK. I'd like to spend some time alone with you. Hey, I 'd even have time to listen to some of those stories you keep trying to tell me."
The blue eyes softened in the way Gibbs remembered Illya's used to when he looked at Napoleon. "I do love you, Special Agent Jethro Gibbs," Ducky said formally, his tone, like his eyes, soft.
"I love you too, Dr. Donald Mallard," Gibbs replied with the same formality. He pulled Ducky into a tighter embrace and found the lips he loved to kiss. No matter how often he kissed his lover, it was never enough; nor would it be.
After a lengthy period of time, Gibbs said, his tone drowsy, "So, we'll take that trip to England, yes?" Ducky's head was heavy on his chest. He stroked the silky hair and wondered if Napoleon enjoyed doing the same thing to Illya. He decided that he must, how could any sane man not want to caress the heavy strands? "Ducky?" he added, softly, wondering for a moment whether his lover had fallen asleep. "England, yes?"
"Da," Ducky said, his tone teasing.
Gibbs groaned silently. Although he spoke and understood Russian, he'd never enjoyed the language - it seemed far too complex. However, he knew his lover and once Ducky decided to learn something new, he didn't stop until he was an expert. Gibbs could only hope that Illya Kuryakin had never taught Napoleon Solo to speak Russian as Jethro Gibbs had never enjoyed being the odd man out.
Pulling the covers around his lover's shoulders, he settled down to sleep, confident in the knowledge that Ducky would remain in his embrace until morning.