The eighth part of the Amnesic Gibbs Series.
Ducky and Jethro have left the States and are settled in England.
An established relationship story.
Written: March 2007. Word count: 1,472.
It all, I am surprised and pleased to say, went far more easily than I had anticipated.
Jennifer did not seem at all surprised by Jethro's request for retirement. And once she knew that is what he wished to do, my own request was greeted with nothing more than a nod. Secretly, I think she was pleased to finally be rid of both of us. Not, I hasten to add, in a vicious way, as I told my beloved on that magic evening, some three months ago now, Jennifer had changed; she had finally accepted our relationship. As well as accepting that she had no relationship outside of that of Director and Senior Agent, and ex-lover, although that is now only her memory, with Jethro.
Indeed, she did not even insist that we stayed on and fulfilled our contractual obligations. That pleased my beloved; it pleased him very much. And I understood why. Really I do. For myself, I would have preferred a little more time to say my goodbyes. However, Jethro was, I could see that, finding it harder and harder to go into the office each day, to interact with people he could not remember, and to simply be there. And he wasn't about to, indeed I was not about to let him, remain at home whilst I went to work.
So two weeks after the evening we made our decision, we left the States for which, I am certain, will be the last time.
Saying goodbye to the children, in particular saying goodbye to dear Abigail, was extremely difficult. I hugged them all, and they all seemed more than happy to be embraced. Indeed I shed more than a tear or two, and I was not the only one to do so.
Poor Abby, she held herself together so well whilst she was in my arms, and even better whilst she was in Jethro's rather stiff embrace. However, when I slipped into her lab a short time later to give her a special gift, I found her sobbing as if her heart would break in Timothy's arms.
It was right and proper that Timothy should have been present, as my gift, the keys to my Reston home, was for both of them. Over a year ago they had realized what I, and Jethro, at least then, had realized; they were meant for one another, and that the commitment they both craved and yet both feared, was to be found with the other. Abby had moved in with Timothy, but his apartment was rather small. I know they had talked on and off about finding a new home, but time had always seemed to intervene. Well, I had the solution. And I had no need of the house, nor of the money selling it or renting it out, not that I would have ever considered the latter option, would fetch.
And as she sobbed, moving from Timothy's arms to mine, she told me why she was particularly sad. The day before Jethro's accident Timothy had proposed to her and she had accepted, and she had intended that my beloved should give her away. I think it was then that I realized, truly realized, that I wasn't the only person who had lost Jethro on the day he had lost his memory; dear Abigail had done so too. Indeed all of the children had.
For once I had no words to give her, nothing to say that would comfort her. So instead I continued to hold her, until Timothy, his own eyes a little damp, took her from me, and indicated that it was better that I left them.
And I did, as much as it pained me to do so. I knew that he was right. He was now her comforter; he was hers, and she was his. I left an envelope with the keys to the house and a letter explaining how the deeds were now in their joint names, on her desk. She has, indeed they have, of course thanked me many times, but as I always say, it was my pleasure. And it was. It is. The home should be a family home, and soon it will be. Abigail is expecting their first child.
Thus we left America and came here, came to Britain. And Jethro has been so happy, so content, so carefree and painfree. He has blossomed. He is like my old Jethro, yet he is also not like my old Jethro. And he doesn't need to be. Because old or new; he is my Jethro.
We settled into my house in the Cotswolds, which was my mother's family home in England, before she married my father, and neither of us has looked back. We easily fill our days. There is so much for me to show my beloved; so much to share with him; so much to tell him; to teach him. He thinks a lot of our customs are 'quaint', or at least that is the polite term for it.
The village knows about our relationship and has accepted it without so much as a murmur of disapproval. Maybe it is because they are older people and as such they have seen so much; have lived through so much; know so much. Maybe as people grow older they know how truly precious life and love is, and so why begrudge anyone who has it? Maybe they are just all just non-judgmental people. Maybe . . .
Maybe it does not matter.
Indeed, it does not matter.
What matters is that we are here. We are happy. We are, if anything, more in love than we have ever been. And Jethro has no real concerns. He doesn't have to worry that someone will come up to him in the street and start a conversation about their past. He doesn't have to look at the people and wonder who they were to him. All he has to do is to look forward. And he does. We do.
He has, I know, indeed he told me so, given up hope of his memory returning.
I, a little selfishly, from time to time, wish that it would return. Wish that he could share our three-decade relationship with me. However, my memories are more than enough for both of us. And in some ways I do not need them.
In some ways I have perfection. The comfort and surety of a long-standing relationship, coupled with the freshness of the new.
He is returning from a small job he has been doing. One of our neighbors, a Mrs. Patricia Finch - she reminds me more than a little of Helen Patterson, indeed just like Helen, she has a grandson whom she brought up, although he now works and lives in London. He comes to visit her as often as he can, but, it isn't quite the same, is it? Where was I? Oh, dear, I ramble even when I write. It must be my age - although I had better not let my beloved hear me say that. 'You're not old, Duck', is one of his favorite sayings. And when I am with him, which is, with few exceptions, all day every day, I do not feel old. However . . .
Ah, yes. Mrs. Finch. Well she happened to mention that she had a door that was sticking, and as she uses a walking stick to aid her movement, it was causing her some difficultly. She was going to wait until Jeremy next came to visit her and ask him to fix it, or indeed get a man in to do it. However, upon hearing this, my beloved offered to go around to her house and sort it out for her. He has fully maintained his carpentry abilities, and still enjoys working with his hands. Indeed not just working. Oh, dear, that was a little naughty of me.
The window at which I am sitting looks down a hill into the part of the village where Mrs. Finch lives, and I can see my beloved making his way back to me. He looks happy, well of course I cannot see his face, but I can see the ease with which he is moving.
I shall look forward to hearing about his visit, as he has been gone far too long to simply fix one door. But that is my Jethro; once he starts these kinds of tasks, he has to go on until they are all finished. I am certain that Mrs. Finch will not have any sticking doors, or indeed any similar problems now.
And once he is home, we can lock the front door and settle down together for a peaceful and contented evening. And I shall leave my written ramblings for another day.
LINKS TO ALL THE STORIES IN THE AMNESIC GIBBS SERIES
It Has Happened Again
Memories Make Us
Can It Be?
Enough Is Enough
Now Or Never
Back In Synch
Feedback is always appreciated
Go to NCIS Gibbs/Ducky Fiction Page
Go to NCIS Index Page
Go to Home Page