The next morning, Gibbs pulled Fornell aside and warned him about Diane. Fornell waved him off and told him not to ruin his fun. Gibbs shook his head.
He’d done what he told himself he would and warned him. If Fornell didn’t want to listen, that was on him. Of course, Gibbs hadn’t expected Diane and Fornell’s complete apostasy.
Ducky mentioned that they really needed to find Gibbs’ true love in Fornell’s hearing and the man was all over that. Diane? Well Diane was helping Fornell plan the ball to end all balls that supposedly was going to find Gibbs’ true love.
Gibbs more than anything wanted to run away from the fearsome sight. How did one night change someone’s personality so completely? Was Diane planning something for this ball?
She couldn’t actually be happy about him finding his true love now that she had Fornell, could she? The night before the ball was supposed to happen, Gibbs found out one of the reasons she was so gung ho. Apparently, they were doing a twist on a Sadie Hawkins Ball and had decided that Gibbs was to wear a dress for this ball.
Gibbs looked at them like they were both insane, especially when they told him he had to wear heels. ”It’s not going to happen. Forget it.”
“Come on, Jethro. It will be perfect. I can play the King and screen them for you and then you only have to dance with those that can see past the surface.”
The entire palace delighted in the idea of a party for one and all. Invitations were sent. Food menus planned.
The maids went into a frenzy to clean all the rooms to prepare for all the guests that they might have for this ball. Everyone was doing something to prepare for this ball. Gibbs didn’t hold out much hope that the ball would actually bring his true love out.
Doing his best to ignore all the preparations, he sequestered himself away in the lower levels of the palace. The ones that before had only ever been accessed by servants as they sought out stuff from the cellar and what not. He really wanted to build a boat down there, but that would just get in the way of people doing their jobs, so Gibbs decided to start on a coffin.
Hopefully, Abby would like it. Worst case, it could be used to bury him when he didn’t find his true love. Periodically Diane or Fornell would drag him upstairs to get his opinion on something or other or to try and get him into the ball gown they’d supposedly decided was to be his outfit for the night.
The night of the ball finally arrived. Gibbs had no idea how anyone thought he would find his true love in this mess. Not only did they have every able-bodied person from the neighboring kingdoms, but they also had every single citizen in his kingdom as well there.
If he could get away with it, he would be hiding in the closest thing to a basement that they had working on Abby’s coffin. He kept glancing at the doorway wishing he could escape. So far no one had even bothered to ask him to dance.
He wasn’t actually in a dress, despite Fornell trying really hard to get him into one. He’d put on his nicest suit or well the nicest one he had that fit his current form. He figured it had to be his appearance that was keeping everyone away.
Ducky, meanwhile, couldn’t even afford to be at the party. With so many strangers in the palace, the only choice he had was to spend all his time in the room they’d setup for Abby and Bert. He didn’t know what Gibbs would do if those two went missing, not to mention the rose.
When the rose died, Gibbs would be stuck forever in his current form. Abby and Bert were a completely different matter. They were the hope for the kingdom.
Ducky wasn’t willing to chance any of these practically magical items disappearing on them and as such he was doing his best to guard them. He’d hoped for a rather quiet set of days, but nope. Everyone and their brother was curious about the King.
He couldn’t even attempt to count the number of people that had poked their heads in for “just a quick peek into the King’s life” and that didn’t count the ones that had attempted to actually break into Gibbs’ rooms with a stick or whatever they could find in an attempt to gain access. Though, if Ducky had only had to deal with the quick peeks he would have considered it a blessing. Instead, he sometimes had to fight off spies from gaining access.
One particular man, Trent Kort Ducky thought his name was, had seemed quite determined to see if he could gain entry to Gibbs’ rooms. Ducky wasn’t sure why Kort wanted access, but as he behaved like a spy of some sort, Ducky wasn’t about to take any chances.