A Sign of the Times - Ducky's POV

Ducky watched as young Anthony stalked out of the elevator. He paused in the hall for a moment, then closed his eyes. The frustration in his frame was obvious. He stomped back into the elevator. Ducky chuckled darkly to himself. Perhaps he should call Abby and warn her of the impending invasion.

Instead, he picked up the phone and punched the pre-programmed number. "Gibbs."

"Jethro," he lengthened the name, displaying his displeasure. Anthony was a good friend, perhaps even a beloved nephew or grandson to him. He would not allow him to be hurt any further by Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

"What's up, Duck?"

"What have you done to young Anthony? He seemed rather tense when he went to the lab."

"And you assume it has to do with me?"

"Jethro." Anthony's foul moods were always related to Jethro in one way or another. Either he felt he'd messed up some key piece of an investigation, Gibbs was mother-henning him, or he was being pushed hard by the older man. Anthony had a well-hidden temper and no one was better at bringing it out than Jethro.

"Nothing he didn't ask for, Ducky. He's learning to sign."

"And I take it that you have either forbidden him to speak or done something foolish such as not listening to him?"

"Ducky." There was a warning in the tone of voice, but Ducky had no fear of Jethro.

"You know Anthony enjoys trading quips with his teammates. He needs the sound of voices to feel connected." Anthony's world was mostly aural. He learned best from the spoken word, and adored the attention speaking got him.

"Ducky, he's fine. If it gets to be too much, he'll let me know."

"Will he, Jethro, or will he merely bow to your wishes once again?" Ducky shook his head. For a smart man, Gibbs was singularly unable to see what was right in front of his face. Anthony would never disobey an order from his boss. He was devoted to the man. He'd destroy himself on Jethro's command.

"We're not having this conversation again." A dial tone followed the statement.

The doctor sighed and leaned back. What a true mess this was becoming. Anthony had been in love with Jethro since the moment they met and Jethro obviously returned the affection. However, neither man was willing to bend long enough to admit it to each other. One of these days he was just going to lock them in a closed room and leave them there until they got it out of their system. He turned back to his latest journal.

FINIS - Ducky

Tony's POV McGee's POV Gibbs' POV Abby's POV Ducky's POV - coming soon NCIS Index