Another ridiculously fluffy Abby/Ducky oneshot for my favorite shipper. My second in two days. Can't sleep, plot bunnies will eat me!
"Ducky!" She said as he appeared on the intercom.
"Abby, would you have lunch with me? I have a small matter I'd like to discuss."
"Sure, meet you out the front in a few minutes?"
"Yes, that will be fine, I'm just cleaning up."
After walking to a nice cafe and ordering, Dr Mallard embarked on what promised to be a difficult subject.
"Abby" he took her hand "You know mother recently moved into full time care.
"Yeah" she nodded sadly. Mrs Mallard was slipping away, she knew it, but she didn't like to think about it.
"I've had to make some... Plans, recently."
Abby simply looked at him, she wished she could get up and hug him, kiss the tears from his cheeks, and tell him that everything would be okay. And yet somehow he didn't seem to need it. There were no tears, he didn't even seem to be fighting any.
"It no longer makes sense for me to will everything... Or anything, to mother."
Abby just nodded silently, looking down at their joined hands.
"I have very little in the way of family, as you know, and I've recently re-written my will. I never told you this, but years ago, I willed you my car."
"Ducky, I can't even drive it!"
"No, but you'll care for it, enjoy it and actually use it, I'll teach you to drive it if you like."
"Of course, but that's not what I came here to tell you. I have recently added to... What I plan to leave to you..."
Abby looked baffled, she didn't know where this was going, but quietly hoped for Mrs Mallard's clock, which she'd always loved, and which was just so very... Ducky. If she had it in her apartment, it would always feel just a little bit like Ducky's house.
"I'm leaving you the house... And its contents."
Abby's mouth dropped open, she didn't say anything for some time, although she tried.
"Ducky, are you sure? What about..."
"I've willed something to everyone, don't worry. But I'd really like you to have the house." He smiled happily to her.
After shaking off her shock, she smiled back.
-One month after Mrs Mallard's funeral-
Ducky walked softly into Abby's lab, it had been a long day, and it was late, but the case was wrapped up, and Abby was just turning out the lights.
"Abby" he smiled despite the nature of his visit. "Would you... Would you have dinner with me? We have something to discuss."
"Is everything okay?" She stepped closer and touched his arm.
"I'm sure it will be."
At the restaurant, Ducky pushed his glass aside and took Abby's hand across the table.
"Abby... Something happened at the funeral..."
Possibilities raced through Abby's head. If someone had done something to upset him, at his own mother's funeral, she was getting Gibbs involved, then hiding the forensic evidence.
"Mother had a sister, they hadn't talked in many years."
"I knew she had a child, but we'd never met. Her daughter, Liz, was there. And not for honourable reasons. Mother left everything to me, which was, I admit, quite a lot. I would have been happy to share it, but... Well... Things didn't go well."
"Oh Ducky" she squeezed his hand.
He continued slowly, trying to stay controlled and coherent.
"She demanded her share, claiming my mother had stolen from hers. She was quite abrupt... When I refused... She threatened to contest the will."
"No. She had no chance, the law was not on her side. But she made it very clear that she would be contesting MY will... And the law would be on her side, she is my closest living relative."
"Would have to fight her, yes"
"No, I won't do it, she can have it. If that day ever really happens, I'm not gonna be out of bed, let alone arguing with some stranger about taking her stuff!"
"Abby... I understand... I won't make you fight my battles for me... But there are other ways. I brought you this." He reach into his bag with both hands and pulled out a fairly large item wrapped in tissue paper. Abby watched as he unwrapped in on the table. It was an intricately carved 1930s Indian box.
"Is that your mom's jewellery box?"
"Indeed it is, look inside."
She lifted the lid. It was undisturbed, it contained all Mrs Mallard's jewellery, in exactly the mess she liked to keep it. All except for one little detail.
"Is that your mother's engagement ring?"
"Yes, I placed it there after she died... She probably would have liked you to have it, she liked you."
"I recognized it... I remember she used to wear it... You really should keep it, you might want to give it to someone... Someday?"
"No. She always said that too. She said I was to take it if I ever... Had use for it. But sadly that's never been the case. I'm too old for all that now."
"No you're not! You're not giving up, take it back!" She said angrily
"Err... Actually... There's something else. I can give you things I'd like you to have, but I'd really like for you to have the house, look after it... So..." He hesitated, clearly having trouble putting the difficult subject into words "Look, I could give you everything, yours, forever..."
She should have known, out of pure logic, what was coming next, but she didn't.
"If you were my next of kin... No one could take it... If... We were married."
Abby's eyes were wide, her lip quivered.
"Are you asking me to marry you?"
"Well... Yes. I suppose I am. I wouldn't ask anything of you, and you wouldn't ever have to defend your inheritance."
"You'd do that for me?"
He nodded and smiled.
She took a moment to answer, but when she did she was firm and sincere
"Yes, I'll do it. Thank you"
She'd live in his house, drive his car, be married/ to him. All her dreams were coming true. She realized she probably should have been more specific about her dreams.
By the next morning, Abby was significantly less happy with the situation. She went down to autopsy first thing and was glad to find Ducky alone.
"It's my turn to buy you dinner, we have to talk, are you free tonight?"
"Abby, what's wrong?"
She thought she'd sounded normal, she thought she was keeping her anxiety to herself. She was a terrible liar.
"Abby, I won't hold you to..."
He was cut off.
"No, just..." She wrung her hands in front of her "just have dinner with me, okay?"
The day went slowly for both of them, Abby dreaded the evening, but she was also dying to have it over with.
Once she'd finished, Abby went downstairs to find Ducky still busy. She sat silently in his office waiting for him. He was concerned. Abby was never silent. She sat on the couch fiddling with anything she could find. She was obviously nervous, and there was nothing he could do about it. He finished up quickly and joined her. He sat beside her and took her hand.
"It's alright, I'm not angry, I'm not disappointed with you, I didn't even expect you to accept, really. I don't mind."
"No, Ducky, it's not thatâ€¦ I think I still want toâ€¦ but maybe you won'tâ€¦ I just have to tell youâ€¦ I'm sorryâ€¦"
"Abby" He patted her hand "It's alright"
She took a deep breath and began trying to explain herself.
"I know there's a long tradition of marrying forâ€¦ other reasons. Family, and money andâ€¦ mostly money. There are all those awful Victorian romances about choosing between marrying for love and for money, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's not like it's sacred, you can marry for whatever reason, butâ€¦ All those stories have one thing in common, those couples are always both marrying for the same thing. I don't think you canâ€¦ You know, have one person marry for love, and the other for money."
Oh god, she knows/ he thought. He'd justified it so well. It was a perfectly sensible financial arrangement, he kept thinking, he'd never ask anything of her, she'd have everything she wanted, and so would he, and if she agreed, surely it wasn't wrong. He knew she'd never want what he did, but she'd be closer, just a little closer. It had all sounded so convincing up until that moment, the moment she said that. All of the sudden he saw himself as Hugh Heffner, a sad, rich old playboy, using money to buy the attention of a beautiful young woman. He opened his mouth to start apologising, but she didn't notice, tied up in her explanation, which she continued.
"I shouldn't've said yes"
His heart sank with shame, guilt and loss.
"I'm really sorry" she continued with tears in her eyes "I justâ€¦ I can't let you do this without telling you. I wouldn't've said yes just for the house or the money, I really wouldn'tâ€¦"
She did this for me. She said yes out of sympathy/ he thought. He felt awful.
"Butâ€¦ I wasn't honest with you, and I have to beâ€¦ I said yes becauseâ€¦ Because I really wanted to be married to you! I know it wouldn't be real, and you'd just be doing it to look after me, and so your cousin doesn't take everything, but I just wanted it enough thatâ€¦ Well, I guess I didn't care. If I couldn't have you, I could pretend. I could just take what you wanted to give and if there was a ceremony, you'd kiss me andâ€¦ If that was all I could have, I'd be happy with it, happier than without itâ€¦ I just couldn't believe you asked me to marry you, I couldn't say no, I'd been dreaming about it for years, I'm so sorry!"
He put his arms around her and buried his face in her hair, overcome with emotion. She wept into his welcoming arms.
"Ohh Abby I don't deserve you. If I had half your honestyâ€¦ I should never have put you through this." He took her shoulders and pushed her away far enough to look her in the eye, her lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him through her tears.
"Abby, I asked you because I love you." He had to hold her back to stop her from desperately kissing him. He had to finish his explanation. "I honestly wanted you to have everything, without asking anything in return, and I wouldn't have, butâ€¦ With the situation, it made sense, and I couldn't resist the chance to have you just a little closer."
He finally loosened his hold on her shoulders and passionately kissed her until they were both breathless. Abby reached into her pocket.
"I brought this to give back to you when you turned me down"
He took the ring from her, knelt down and slipped it onto her finger.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Years ago, Ducky decided to will his beloved car to Abby, and with the loss of his mother, he decides to leave her more. But when a vengeful, greedy cousin gets involved, Ducky decides that drastic measures are required to make sure Abby gets what she deserves. Sticky fluffy adorable sugarcoated oneshot. Complete.