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 Post subject: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Director's Secretary

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 2382
Location: Southern Tier
Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
Gender: Female
link: Blog
link: First Novel
AN: Written for the If Today was Your Last Day and Stalked By Death challenges.

Warnings: Suicide

Spoilers: S7 Faith, Double Identity

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to CBS and DPB. Not making any money off of them, just playing in this sandbox as a change from my own. :)


Moriturum


Ducky pulled shut the front door of his Georgetown brownstone, reminding himself to lock it. He pulled out the small notebook he'd taken to carrying and jotted down a note to himself to leave the key on his desk where young Dr. Palmer could not miss it.

He walked to the curb and hailed a taxi, requesting a trip to the Navy Yard.

"Which building?" The driver didn't ask why he was headed there so late in the evening.

Ducky opened his mouth, then closed it. He flipped to the first page in that blasted notebook and gave the address. "It's the NCIS building."

The driver didn't reply, just drove on, his approach much closer to Jethro's driving than to the care Ducky took with his own car. He wondered why he wasn't driving his Morgan, before remembering the paperwork in his satchel. Anthony would appreciate the classic car, even if it wasn't quite as race-worthy as his usual choices.

When he arrived at the building, Ducky managed to make his way down to autopsy without encountering anybody. It was quiet late at night, as long as there was no case. He paused. No, if there was a case, he would not have gone home earlier.

The medical examiner sighed, and pulled the folders he had assembled from his satchel. Each bore the name of the intended recipient on the small tab. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out manila envelopes he had requisitioned a few weeks back after he had made his choice.

It had taken rather longer to get to this point than he had anticipated. The effort to keep anyone from noticing at work was draining, and many evenings he had sat down to his appointed task only to find his brain would not cooperate.
Ducky set a beaker to boil on the hot plate. He tipped tea leaves into the teapot's brewing basket. The final addition would come later, once the tea had steeped. He smiled. Jethro would appreciate this, once he allowed himself to think rather than react.

While he waited, Ducky lay the envelopes out on his desk, and placed a folder on each. First Jethro, then Dr. Palmer, who was unlikely to be surprised. Dear Abigail, between young Anthony and young Timothy. They would be there to help her tonight and through the week. Ziva, the one most likely to understand. Caitlin, whom he was quite certain would not. Special Agent Sharpe, a face from his long past. Hers was the clearest of all to him. Finally, Director Vance.

Ducky turned the hot plate off and made the tea, his decades of experience allowing him to brew without thinking about the next step. As the liquid inside the glass pot darkened to an amber hue, he made the final addition from the vial in his coat pocket.

That done, he placed the vial on the desk, then lay down the key to his house next to the plastic container. He poured his first mug of tea and added milk. He sipped and grimaced at the taste. But it could not be helped. He would not take a different path now. He had seen the other direction too many times; it would not be his fate as well.

Working methodically, he took each folder and placed its contents in the appropriate envelope, then sealed it. First he wet the flap on the envelope, gluing it down. Next, he wound the string around the two small discs that secured it. Finally, he sealed over that with tape. He placed Jethro's on the desk next to the key and the vial.

Many at NCIS had thought him an odd bird before. He smiled at the poor pun. Still, this legacy of memories and mementos for each member of his honorary family would be a small consolation. Far too few people had the opportunity this situation presented him with; he intended on taking advantage of it. In many cases, the words he had carefully written on fine letterhead were long overdue. The bequests and tokens, far too little for friends who had meant so much to him over the years.

As he sealed each file, he sipped constantly at his tea, making sure to finish the entire pot. As he swallowed the last bit, he placed the final envelope on the pile. This one was addressed to Director Vance. He would, one hoped, distribute the envelopes to their recipients. Ducky paused. Something wasn’t correct about that thought. But try as he might, he could not come up with the answer. Director Vance would have to mail Mrs. Sharpe’s envelope, of course. She was no longer here. But the others would just get them delivered by hand, or on their desks. Ducky would have done that himself, but he did not want to risk somebody discovering him too early. Anthony and Jethro did tend to return in the wee hours, their obsession with the team’s cases so legendary he could not help but know it, even now. And Abigail was equally apt to start her day well before sunrise. He could picture putting each envelope on the appropriate desk. Abigail in her lab, and Jimmy here, of course. Then the bullpen, Anthony and Timothy on one side. Across the way, Jethro, Ziva and Caitlin. He frowned. Something was not quite right about that picture. Sighing, he shook his head. Yet more confirmation, had he needed any. The amount of evidence, sadly, was overwhelming.

Ducky took the dishes to the autopsy table closest to the sink. He sealed each in an evidence bag and marked them with his name, the date and the time. Then he lay them on the table, steadying himself with one hand. He looked at the clock and forced his brain through the calculations one step at a time. It wouldn't be long now.

He made a stop at the facilities, one that was slow and marked with mis-steps. When he returned to autopsy, it was quiet, his desk lamp providing the only glow. Ducky stepped into the locker room and changed into his scrubs, folding his clothes carefully before placing them on the bench. Once done, he returned to the main room and doused the light. He made his way across the room in the dark and carefully hoisted himself onto the table closest to the drawers.

As he lay down and closed his eyes, the lassitude spreading through his body, he reminded himself he had done his duty. When Dr. Palmer discovered him in the morning, he would be beyond help, except for the answers he had left for them. His adopted family would not like it, but he could not do this to them or himself. He would not subject any of them to witnessing the indignity that had befallen his mother in her waning years.

Ducky drifted into sleep, and then a coma. Finally, death.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:32 pm
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What a lovely, sad story! It seems very in character for Ducky to do such a thing. He is indeed an "odd bird" but not without his dignity.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
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Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
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Thanks! The story actually grew out of some discussions with friends speculating on what GaryG & Co. might have planned for Ducky's character based on breadcrumbs dropped in various episodes, plus some first hand experience with family members on just how insidious a disease Alzheimer's is. I do think that if Ducky found himself in that position, he would consider this option because he has seen the alternative, and it is one he would not care for.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:38 am 
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Name: Carolyn
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Very sad indeed. You're right though, I think this is exactly how Ducky would handle it. Very much in-character and great details showing just how far the disease had progressed already. I assume the discovery will be written for the sequel challenge? I'm looking forward to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
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Thanks, Carolyn! Yes, that's the plan. This was a sad little plot bunny, but it felt too right not to write it. I'm glad you- Well, enjoyed might not be the right word.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:31 pm 
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I usually avoid character death, but this seemed so very, very right for Ducky. The details you included were so telling, and perfectly captured what he must have been feeling. To see him try and puzzle out why it wasn't right to have Caitlin in the mix...heartbreaking. The sequel will probably be equally so, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
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Thanks Helen. I also avoid death stories - I always say it's my one squick. But this bunny just wouldn't let go. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes, the sequel will probably need a hanky warning - including one for myself as I write.

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:18 pm 
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I think the hanky warning is implicit in the description of the sequel. :) Writing it would probably require a caseload of hankies. (It would for me.)

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:23 am 
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This was so sad. It felt poignantly real... To think that there are many more who choose this path to escape this fate after realizing what's in store for them...the steady and unstoppable decline. A way to avoid becoming a burden to others, to the younger... :'(

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 Post subject: Re: Moriturum (Ducky)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Director's Secretary

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
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Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
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Thanks, Linda. Alzheimer's, sadly, is an insidious disease that robs a person of themselves before it lets the body go. This just felt like what Ducky would do in that situation.

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