Ducky listened as Abby continued to talk to herself as she opened her wardrobe and placed Bert the farting hippo inside. That hippo made some truly egregious noises in Ducky’s mind. He just knew that it would become a new form of torture for the palace.
That wasn’t the most disturbing thing that Ducky heard, though, as he lay under the bed waiting for his chance to escape or finish searching the room for the real Abby. The more he listened, the more convinced he was that this person wearing Abby’s skin and faking her personality was not Abby at all.
Based on the monomania coming out of her mouth featuring Gibbs, Ducky felt positive that for whatever reason Diane had decided to take on Abby’s form. He would worry about her obsession with Gibbs later. For now, he waited for Diane to leave so that he could come out from under the bed.
After what felt like forever, but was probably only like 20 minutes at most, she finally left. Ducky waited on pins and needles to make sure she wasn’t going to just come back immediately. Finally deeming it safe to leave, Ducky crawled out from under the bed.
Knowing he would get little chance to search her rooms again, Ducky decided to do a quick check of the wardrobe. If Bert was in there, perhaps Abby was too. It didn’t take long for Ducky to spot the glass jar with a miniature Abby inside of it.
He wanted to take Abby and Bert both back to his rooms and see if he could figure out what spell they were under, but he didn’t dare. He was sure that Diane would notice them missing. He glanced between the door of Abby’s rooms and the wardrobe trying to figure out what/if anything he could do for Bert and Abby or if he should just leave.
He finally noticed little Abby’s hands moving in what he was sure was standard sign language, but her small hands made it difficult for him to tell what she was trying to say even though he had picked up sign language when she came to live with them. He watched her for the longest time trying to figure out what she was saying. He had no idea how much time had past, but Ducky realized he really needed to leave before Diane or whoever inhabited Abby’s form came back.
Ducky wanted to share what he’d found with someone, but aside from Gibbs there wasn’t really anyone he was close to. He had an apprentice of sorts, but ever since Diane came he hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Jimmy. He hoped something bad hadn’t happened to Jimmy as well.
Clearly, Diane had no problems turning people into whatever object suited her. Enchanted was better than dead, Ducky supposed, but it made for quite the problematic situation. He considered going to Gibbs, but Gibbs hadn’t heeded his initial warnings about Diane and Ducky doubted that he would be any more likely to believe these ones.
Actually, come to think of it, he hadn’t really seen Gibbs around anywhere either. Diane, at least, seemed to care for Gibbs even if it was a touch more obsessive than healthy, so where was Gibbs? Ducky knew where Gibbs’ rooms were and decided to do some more investigating. They were on the opposite side of the house from Abby’s rooms.
At least, he mostly didn’t need to sneak into Gibbs’ rooms. They were one of the few places that Ducky was still allowed to visit. He found Gibbs in his room, brooding over a rose in a glass dish similar to the one Abby had been in in the wardrobe.
“What did I do wrong, Ducky?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why did she leave me?”
“Kelly’s been gone a long time, Gibbs. She didn’t choose to leave you.”
“Didn’t she? How can you be sure? Everyone leaves me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Shannon left. Kelly left. Abby left. It’s only a matter of time until Diane leaves too.”
“What do you mean Abby left? She’s still here.”
“No, she’s not. I don’t know who that girl is, but it’s not my Abby. She’s all crazy goth, now. I don’t know what’s gotten into her. She won’t even talk to me anymore. Can you believe that?”
“What? You guys always communicated via sign if nothing else.”
“That’s the other strange thing. It’s like she doesn’t know sign language anymore. I speak to her in sign and she never responds. She flat out ignores it. What am I doing wrong?”
“I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, Jethro.”
“Then why does this always happen to me?”
“I don’t know, Jethro. Sometimes that’s just the way life is.”
“Should I step down? Would the kingdom be better off with someone else running it?”
“No! Don’t give up. You’ll find your true love, eventually.”
“What if I don’t? I only have a limited time, after all.” Gibbs touched the glass in a caress.
“What do you mean, Jethro?”
“Well apparently I only have until this rose fades to find my true love.”