Ashleigh Anpilova


Jethro is worried about his lover and needs to find a way to cheer him up.

An established relationship story.

Written: August 2009. Word count: 1,000.




Jethro looked at Ducky who sat with his legs up on a footstool. He looked tired, somewhat unhappy, and most worrying of all, distant.


It had been a long two months, but Jethro had hoped Ducky would have perked up by now. Two months ago, Ducky had slipped on some water in Abby's lab, fallen badly, broken his hip, and had undergone an operation to replace it.


The operation had gone well. Ducky was in good health and he was soon home again, getting around the house first on two canes and then one. He hadn't complained of pain, although Jethro had known he'd had some. He hadn't complained at all. Now he managed to move about, providing he was careful and only went short distances, without using his cane all of the time.


However, the fall and prospect of several weeks off work, had led Vance to do what Jethro had known he'd wanted to do for some time: retire Ducky. Jethro had tried to change Vance's mind, but Vance had stuck to his decision. Finally Jethro had given him an ultimatum: either Vance reconsider, or he'd also lose his most senior agent. The look that'd crossed Vance's face had told Jethro he'd played right into his hands.


Unprepared to give Vance the opportunity to gloat if he backed down, Jethro had pulled out his shield and ID and had slammed them down on Vance's desk. Then giving into what he knew was less than mature behavior, he'd told Vance what he thought of him and the way he ran the agency. Then leaving Vance standing in shocked silence, he'd turned, strode across the office and departed.


Ten minutes later, leaving behind five stunned and silent people, he was in the car heading back to Reston House and Ducky. Only twice in his life had he been as certain he'd made the right decision. And he had; he knew he had. Somewhat surprisingly he hadn't had a moment's regret at leaving the agency that had been 'home' to him for so long. Sure he missed the kids, the family, but he had Ducky; that was what mattered.


Except, Ducky blamed himself. His logic was: had he been paying more attention then he wouldn't have fallen and broken his hip and Vance wouldn't have retired him and Jethro wouldn't have given Vance the ultimatum he'd had to go through with and they'd both still be working.


Jethro had assured Ducky he wasn't to blame. Jethro didn't regret for a second his decision; he was happy to be at home with Ducky, happy to be retired, and once Ducky had recovered fully they could do the things they hadn't had time for when they'd been working.


However, he still hadn't been able to completely shake Ducky out of his low level depression and self-blame. And then suddenly it hit him as hard as the baseball bat Stephanie had wielded. "Shit," he muttered. "What a fool I've been."


"Jethro?" Ducky's voice was slightly shaky and his apprehension was clear.


In seconds Jethro was on his feet and across the room. He dropped to his knees by the side of Ducky's chair, gently turned Ducky's face towards him, cupped one cheek, leaned in and kissed Ducky. He went on kissing him until he felt Ducky relax.


"Mmmm," Ducky murmured, when he finally leaned back in his chair and gazed at Jethro. "Are you trying to tell me something, my dear?"


And Jethro was hit for a second time. He groaned, "Ah, hell, Duck. Make that a double fool." Although he and Ducky hadn't ceased to share a bed once Ducky came home from the hospital, apart from some very gentle caresses and a little kissing, Jethro had made no move to make love to Ducky, or even suggest it. He hadn't known how able Ducky was, and he hadn't wanted to cause his lover pain; so they'd just used the bed to sleep. From the look on Ducky's flushed face and in his darkened eyes, Jethro realized that another part of his depression was that he feared Jethro no longer wanted him.


"Yeah. I was thinking you looked a bit tired, Duck. Why don't you go and have a lie down? And you what? Reckon I didn't sleep very well last night either, so I'll join you." The smile that lit up Ducky's face told him he'd hit the nail on the head.


Ducky positively beamed and the extra years that seemed to have crept into him over the last two months fell away. "Well, my dear, I believe you are correct. I am feeling somewhat tired; I think a little lie down would be very beneficial - for both of us."


Jethro kissed him again. "Tell you what, you go ahead and I'll be there in a couple of minutes. Got something I have to do first." He kissed Ducky again, then stood up and helped Ducky to his feet, snagged the cane Ducky still used when navigating stairs, and watched as Ducky made his way, somewhat slowly, out of the room.


Once Ducky was out of earshot, Jethro grabbed the phone and swiftly dialed a number. The kids hadn't been to visit since Jethro's abrupt and unplanned retirement, and Jethro hadn't thought to invite them. He hadn't thought he had to. They were a family; they didn't wait for an invitation. Before he'd walked out, one of them would call and ask if he, she, some, or all of them, could drop by. But that had changed when he'd left. Ducky was missing his 'children', and Jethro was sure they missed Ducky.


Three minutes later, he put the phone back down and made for the stairs. He wouldn't tell Ducky, he'd let the kids surprise him. As he reached the top of the stairs and headed for the bedroom, he smiled at the prospect of an afternoon spent in bed with Ducky and the family all being together again the following day.



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