Tobias swore silently.
“Ah hell, Jethro, I’m – “
“Don’t say it,” Gibbs growled. The last thing he either wanted or needed was pity.
For a long moment the two men sat in an uncomfortable silence. Fornell knew he needed to say something, and plenty of things came to mind, but he wasn’t sure what he could say that wouldn’t make the situation worse. Realising that whatever he said would probably make it worse, he opted for the first thing that had come to mind.
“You need to talk to someone,”
If looks could kill…
“I don’t need a damn shrink, Fornell!” Gibbs all but spat.
“I was thinking more of Ducky,” he offered in uncharacteristically soft tones. Opposite him, Gibbs visibly deflated, and it worried the FBI man to see him looking so lost and hurt. It was obvious Ducky was the last person he wanted to tell.
“Can’t, or won’t?” Tobias challenged, “You’re willing to give up the single best thing you’ve had in your sorry-assed life since Shannon and let that bastard win?”
“Willing? Hell no!” Gibbs met his gaze and for a moment Fornell thought that he might have made some progress, but then the spark he’d seen diminished again. “I don’t have a choice…”
“What the hell, Jethro? There’s always a choice –“ he stopped mid-sentence, trying to decipher what Gibbs had just said. Gibbs drained his glass, the bourbon beginning to loosen his tongue just a little.
“I said I’ve tried. Every time Duck touched me…” he trailed off, not wanting to say any more. Not wanting to tell him that he’d been on the verge of having a full-blown panic attack. Not wanting to reveal just how weak and pathetic he really was.
Tags: fic snippet