Ducky is tired and pushes Gibbs - but has he gone too far?
A pre-slash story.
Written: January 2012. Word count: 500.
"What the hell did you just say, Ducky?"
Ducky could hear and see Jethro's anger. For once he'd spoken without thinking; for once he'd thought of himself and not the man who towered over him.
The man who was his oldest, closest friend; the man he'd loved for so long he barely remembered a time he hadn't loved him. The man he'd always put before himself. Except for now. Now he'd broken his own rules; he'd dared to speak.
For a moment he seriously considered lying. However, even as he debated it, he knew he couldn't. Not only would it be wrong, it would also be futile. Jethro's question had been rhetorical.
Instead he straightened his back, looked up into the dark blue eyes that blazed with fury and said, "You heard what I said, Jethro."
For a moment Jethro stood in stunned silence, seemingly. The anger dissipated and his shoulders sagged; he stared at Ducky as if he didn't know him.
Then the rage began to course back through Jethro's body. Again he pulled himself up to his full height, clenched one hand into a fist and glared down at Ducky. "And what gives you the right?" he spat the words. "How the fuck can you know what it feels like to -"
"I may not have lost a wife and child, but I do know what it is like to love someone with such consuming passion that no matter who else comes along, the person has not got a real chance. I know what it is like to love and lose, not in the way you know it, but I know. I know only too well, Jethro."
Jethro curled his lip. "Who have you loved like that? Some twenty-two year old who put your dead mom's silver in the dishwasher? Or some murdering bitch?"
The words were hateful, but yet they didn't contain the heat they should. Jethro was using the ammunition he had, yet it seemed the sniper hadn't loaded his weapon properly. "No." Ducky spoke calmly; he was about to break another rule. "You."
He almost laughed at the shock and disbelief on Jethro's face. Yet, he noted there wasn't any hint of disgust. "Me?"
Ducky nodded. "Yes, somewhat ironic, is it not? There we've been all these years; you unable to truly love, me or indeed anyone because of Shannon and Kelly; me unable to truly love anyone else because of you. And you know what, Jethro? Unless something changes soon, that is how we are going to live the rest of our lives. And please don't do me the discourtesy of telling me 'I should have got over you'. You are many things, but you have never been hypocritical. Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I have outstayed my welcome." Ducky moved towards Jethro's front door.
But Jethro moved more quickly. "Wait," he said his tone not exactly friendly, but not as full of fury as it had been. "We need to talk, Duck."
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