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Help, I Need Somebody

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 041 Word Count: 76064
Rating: MATURE
Warning(s): Disturbing Imagery or Content, Other (See Author's Note)
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ensemble
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, Angst/Drama, Episode Related, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/McGee
Episode(s): 3-12 Boxed In
Summary: My version of where Tony might have ended up after the crappy treatment he received in Boxed In. This is a bit dark, but I have to go with the muse and this is what she provided. The thought woke me up crying, as a matter of fact. Triple Kleenex warning...

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15

Help, I Need Somebody 15/?

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Tony sat on the bed, farther back and much more relaxed this time, and Lewiston reclaimed his seat.

"You're not leaving?"

"I set aside the afternoon for you."

Tony blanched slightly and his ' Me? Say something stupid? Never! Now watch me smile and recover masterfully.' mask clanged into place so hard Lewiston could almost hear it.

"You felt bad about being so late. You could've said something..."

"Ahhh... no. Bad form for a therapist. Too much chance it would sound like guilt and pressure."

"Yeah. Right... so we can keep talking?"

"Absolutely. This time it's up to you when we call it a day."

"Okay... okay, that'll work."

"Where were we? Let's see... would you like to hear Agent Gibbs' thoughts?"

"On me? No thanks. Delicate ears shouldn't be exposed to language like that."

"What makes you think anything he said was derogatory?"

"I don't know. That's how he is. He'll knock you on your butt just to see how many times you get back up. I think somewhere in his head there's a number and once I get past that... he'll ease up a little."

"You're his senior agent, Tony. Don't you think that's a pretty good indicator that you've achieved that goal?"

"No way. Not yet."

"C'mon, Tony. Whose opinion is that really?"

Tony grinned tightly, but didn't respond. "Okay... let's try this. Which mask do you think you use most often?"

"I don't have names for them. They're... connected to my emotions. When I need a particular one it's just... there."

"So?"

"Which emotion... God, I don't know. Probably uncertainty."

"That's a start. Now dig deeper."

"Deeper?"

"Go beyond the surface."

Tony scowled for a moment then turned his eyes down.

"Fear."

"Good. Deeper."

"There is no more."

"There's one more level. You can do it, Tony. Just try..."

"I can't."

"You don't want to."

"Same thing."

"Tony." Lewiston reproved gently.

"What? What do you want?" Tony shot back, lifting his gaze again.

"For you to get everything out of this process that you possibly can, and for you to leave here as close to being whole and healthy as both of us together can manage."

Tony stared, wide-eyed, for several seconds then nodded slowly.

"That... that sounds right. It's what I want. I'm just so screwed up... all that seems like a-a brass ring that I need binoculars to even see."

"You're not screwed up, Tony. I guarantee that. Confused, sad, a little lost, yes... but definitely not screwed up. I've seen men and women in here over the years... some of them were so damaged that returning to the world never became a reality for them. *You* are going home at some point and when you do... I want to know I've done everything I can to make sure you're ready."

"But you can't do it alone."

"I can try. I'm no superhero, but... I can give it a shot."

Tony chuckled brokenly and finally responded to Lewiston's earlier request.

"Insecurity. There are times I'm sunk so deep in it... I can't see a way out. Tim... he was right about the teasing and the nickname... and he wasn't. Part of it was seeing him as competition... a challenger for my place on the team. He can do things with computers I can't even dream of, he has a degree from MIT, for God's sake... They would've laughed in my face if I even knocked on the door. Sometimes I just feel like... the kid is breathing down my neck and waiting for me to really blow it so he can step in and take my spot with Gibbs. I know damn well it isn't true, but..."

"... but it doesn't matter."

"Right."

"You come by it legitimately, Tony. You have every reason to be insecure."

"Tell that to Gibbs."

"Why haven't you?"

"Are you nuts? He'd either shoot me or fire me, and at that point either would be a relief. Besides... sometimes I wonder if I *have* to tell him. He has x-ray vision. Sort of like you."

"Yeah, well, that comes with your master's in psychiatry. When they shake your hand as you cross the stage? You get the superpower as a little bonus." Lewiston joked.

"Cute. Not funny, but cute."

"You think Gibbs can see through you? He's got nothing on Jimmy Palmer."

"Do tell." Tony replied, sitting a little straighter and tensing a little.

"He knows why you sometimes wear your sunglasses in the office."

"He thinks he does."

"According to Jimmy, you only do it when you know your ' happy, happy joy, joy ' cover is slipping and you're feeling vulnerable. Apparently, you know your eyes really are the window to your soul and the shades provide an extra layer of protection when the walls around that soul are fragile."

Tony grew even more uptight and annoyed.

"Freaking little autopsy gremlin..."

"He knows about that too and he doesn't mind."

"Hell... what right do they have? None, that's what. I work so hard to keep them out and they just walk right in and help themselves? No... that is just so wrong. It's invasion of privacy, that's what it is! Damn them..."

"The nerve of them, daring to actually care about you. Absolutely tasteless and uncivilized." Lewiston mocked gently. Tony glared at him.

"Cut it out."

"Apologies. They do genuinely love you and worry about you, though. Abby especially."

His young colleague's face swam into his mind and Tony's anger slowly dissolved, replaced with regret and sorrow.

"I know. I've tried harder with her than any of the others... but she wouldn't give up on me. She wore me down until I had to let her in. She must be so twisted up over this. I never wanted to hurt her... I was just in so much pain I couldn't focus on anyone else but me. God... you know what scares me the most about getting out of here? She's gonna forgive me and try to keep loving me... and I won't be able to accept it, which will total our friendship, which will, more than likely, send me back to the bottle and the blade. History repeats itself... leaving me dead or a permanent fixture on the 'No Sharp Objects' ward."

"I care for you too, Tony... and I won't let that happen. You can get to a place where you'll be ready, willing and able to take whatever Abby and the others decide to give you, but you have considerable soul-searching to do first. Tony has to understand Tony better before he's strong enough to face the people he's hurt."

"Hold up... me? I'm the injured party, here! They disrespected me!"

"And you were contemplating taking yourself away from them forever. Ultimately, no matter how much real anguish you're suffering, no matter what anyone else did to break your heart and damage you, suicide is the most hurtful, selfish act a human being can commit. You'll have to come to terms with that eventually... but not until you're ready. Right now I need to ask you what you meant when you said losing Abby as a friend would ' send you back to the bottle and the blade '."

Tony was silent for several minutes, staring at Lewiston in shock. He didn't want to confront the truth, but it wouldn't leave him alone. The thought that he could cause as much pain as he'd received had actually crossed his mind more than once that appalling night. Abruptly he paled, shuddered and looked as if he were fighting off the urge to throw up. "Tony?"

"I... went home and started drinking that night... but it wasn't helping... it didn't do anything to make it stop hurting or make me less pissed off... so I went into the kitchen... and grabbed a knife out of the block... I just wanted it to be over... it was all too much and I was so tired..."

"What was too much? Why were you so tired, Tony?"

"The lying, the 'put on a happy face' bull-shit... I couldn't do it anymore... but I brought the knife down and laid the edge against my scar... and I couldn't do that either. Somehow... I knew it wouldn't change anything. Kate would still be gone, Gibbs would still be out of reach... and my father wouldn't give a damn. I screamed, threw the knife across the living room, called a cab... and came here..."

Abruptly, Tony lurched off the bed and stumbled into the bathroom, unable to suppress his gorge any longer. Lewiston followed, kneeling beside the younger man and rubbing his shoulders until the spasms seemed to be over. He helped Tony to his feet and provided a glass of water to rinse the vile taste from his mouth. "I can't keep going... it's a day." Tony offered wearily after a long moment of leaning on the edge of the sink and letting his breathing slow back down to something resembling normal.

"Agreed. You got rid of some serious poison today. I'm proud of you."

"Is that what the puking was all about?"

"Physical response to emotional upheaval. It'll probably happen again."

"Oh goody..."

"C'mon, let's get you back to bed."

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4:30 P.M. : NCIS

"Yes? Officer David, can I help you?"

"It's good to hear your voice, little one."

Startled by a voice she recognized from deep in her past, Ziva quickly scanned the area to be sure she would not be overheard then responded quietly

"Shia... My God, my sweet Shia..."

"I know, you did not expect to hear from me, but I was asked to be the... go-between, just this once. I have missed you terribly."

"And I you. I don't understand. Why have you called? I thought..."

"The barriers have been let down... for a few moments at least. You must contact him as soon as you possibly can. He has received some information and he is not pleased."

"The usual method?"

"Yes. I must go now. Stay safe, my dearest love."

"Be well, Shia, my heart."

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TBC....

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