Set immediately after Judgment Day.
Gibbs is silent.
An established relationship story.
Written: May 2008. Word count: 500.
In silence they made their way down the stairs to the squad room.
In silence they moved to their desks.
In silence they waited.
He knew they expected him to say he'd sort it out. To say Vance couldn't do it. To say he wouldn't stand for it. To say he had a plan.
To say something. Anything.
But he couldn't.
Right now he couldn't.
He hadn't got the energy to say or do anything.
He hadn't even got the energy to face what Vance had done.
There were things he had to face before he could face what Vance had done.
In one swift movement he swept up his black overcoat and briefcase and strode across the office towards the elevators.
He could smell their confusion.
He could feel them watching him.
He could taste their disappointment.
He could hear their stunned and shocked silence.
He could see, even though he didn't look at any of them, the looks on their faces.
Damn it, maybe he should stay. Should say something. Do something. Reassure them he would sort it.
But he couldn't.
Because as good a liar as he was, he never lied to people he cared about, at least not about the really important things. And right now he couldn't see a way out of it.
Not for him.
Not for them.
Not for any of them.
They were all being punished.
But most of all he was.
And he deserved it.
They didn't. All they were guilty of was loyalty to him.
He knew that. But he still walked away. He had to. For their sakes as well as his, he had to.
He strode into Autopsy, ignored the look Palmer shot him as he grabbed Ducky's hat, coat and briefcase, took Ducky's hand and all but dragged him out of the room.
Still he said nothing.
He kept his grip on Ducky's hand as he led him to the car. He didn't care what the people they passed must have thought.
He threw their coats, Ducky's hat and their briefcases onto the back seat, and held the passenger door for Ducky.
But Ducky didn't move. He just stood and gazed up at him. "Just answer me two questions, Jethro," he finally said.
He gave a half nod.
"Have you resigned?"
"Are you leaving me again?"
Ducky briefly closed his eyes. "Very well," he said softly, and calmly climbed into the car.
For now Ducky was placated.
For now he would keep his peace.
For now he would abide by his rules.
For now he would allow him his silence.
He just hoped that by the time he'd gotten home he could find a way to tell Ducky the truth.
The truth about Paris and how badly he'd screwed up.
And then he'd tell him about the kids. And maybe between them they could come up with some ideas for getting the team back together.
And maybe Ducky could make it right again.
Feedback is always appreciated
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