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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...

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41

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Help, I Need Somebody 22/?


As he moved slowly up the stairs to the level where the Director and MTAC resided, Gibbs considered and rejected a few different ideas as to how he should handle what Sheppard had done. He had no doubt that the ill considered idea hadn't been her own, but that didn't mitigate his anger in the slightest. Still, he knew what his best course of action was and he resolved to follow it, despite the knowledge that he would likely be disgusted with himself for days, or perhaps weeks, afterward.

He had to keep her off balance in order to keep her from looking too closely at what he was doing and keep both her and Ziva out of his way until it was too late for either one to prevent their own destruction. That meant confusing Sheppard even further by showing her a Jethro Gibbs she hadn't seen in a very long time. Instead of fury, threats and possibly violence, Jen was about to receive the surprise of her life. The deception would cost Jethro some self-respect, and probably a sour stomach later that night from repressing his true feelings, but the sacrifice was one he was more than willing to make.

Walking stiffly into the outer office, he gave Cynthia a surprise as well by calmly waiting for her to announce him. He smiled thinly and responded to her raised eyebrow.

"I'm not sick. Just go on..."

"Director... Agent Gibbs is here to see you."

The reply that came a moment later was clearly tense and concerned, despite the tinny quality of the intercom speaker.

"Send him in."

"Already on his way." The young woman replied as Gibbs opened the door, stepped into Sheppard's inner sanctum and quietly shut it again behind him. He studied Jen behind her desk for a long moment then moved to a nearby bookcase and ran one hand lightly over the volumes. He stayed silent and deliberately slumped his shoulders, projecting sorrow and confusion. Eventually, his ruse had its intended effect and Jen spoke first.

"Agent Gibbs?"

"Why would you do that?" he asked softly, finally turning to look at her. "I don't want to believe Tony could have done something to make you hate him that much, but if he did I need to know."

"Hate... I don't hate Tony. I was trying to help him... to make sure his position at NCIS will be here waiting when he returns. That won't happen without an evaluation by someone answerable only to the people above both of us."

"That means you've been in contact with SecNav." Jethro asked, now genuinely concerned.

"Not yet... but I'll have to eventually. I swore the staff psychologist to silence for the moment, but I can't keep it that way much longer."

Gibbs released a real sigh of relief, ignored the detour his plans had almost been forced into and moved close to Sheppard's desk, laying a hand over hers.

"Thank you, Dir... no, thank you, *Jenny*. You have to understand, Tony's kind of on a ledge right now. You showing up like that today... it nearly sent him into freefall. His doctor had to fight to pull him out of it."

Her mouth hanging open slightly, Jen gazed down at their hands then back up at Jethro. He pulled back suddenly, laughing darkly in his head at the hope he saw briefly shining in her gaze. His expression, however, showed only regret and a faint reflection of her own jumbled emotions. "Sorry."

"No... no, it's alright. I didn't realize how fragile Tony was. As I said, my intention wasn't to cause any further damage. I was doing what I thought I had to... I'm sorry."

"I appreciate that."

"As for keeping this secret, I can give you a few more days, but that's all. I have superiors too..."

"I know. I'm grateful for whatever time you can buy me."

After a few seconds of staring deeply into her eyes, Gibbs leaned in, barely touched his lips to her cheek and whispered in her ear. "Thanks again."

As he rose and moved back out of the office, Jen watched him go with an expression that was composed of both shock and cautious joy.

Gibbs moved at a moderate pace back down to the bullpen, struggling not to run to his next destination; the bathroom. Washing his hands, McGee surreptitiously observed his boss swishing and spitting out two paper cups of water and starting on a third and felt he had to speak up.

"Boss? You get a bad coffee?"

"Bad something..." Gibbs replied, finally crumpling and tossing the cup. "You make progress on that cold case you were looking at?"

"Actually... I did. There are a-a couple of things I spotted that may have been overlooked before. If I could just have a little more time..."

"Take all you need. Just remember what we agreed to..."

"If we get called out I put it aside and focus on the new case. You can depend on me, Boss. You can trust me..."

Gibbs turned from drying his hands, disposed of the paper towel and responded, slapping the young man lightly on the back.

"If I didn't, you wouldn't still be here, Tim. Now let's get back to work."

"Right behind you, Boss."



Once a nurse had cleared away their lunch trays, Lewiston spent a few minutes silently watching Tony, trying to gauge how much stamina he had left. Finally, Tony grinned wearily and gently called him out.

"Why don't you just say it?"

"Because I assume you're getting sick of being asked how you feel and if you're okay."

"You'd think... but if somebody had asked a long time ago, maybe I wouldn't be here."

"Would you have told them the truth?"

Tony laughed, knowing he was caught.

"Doubtful. If I knew the person really wanted an answer, though... who knows."

"It's true that most people don't. They're afraid to be obligated to do something about the problem, whatever it is. The people I talked to the other day... I didn't get that sense from them at all. I think if you'd opened up to Ducky or Abby months ago, you really might not have ended up wanting to hurt yourself that night."

"And there's the segue I was waiting for. We were going back to that topic, weren't we..."

"Absolutely, but only if you feel up to it. You've been through a lot today."

"I'm tired... but I can hold on a little longer."

"Okay. Let's go back to that night. Close your eyes and see it as a still picture. Tell me who's actually there in the office with you."

"Gibbs, McGee, Abby and Ziva."

"Not Ducky or Jimmy?"

"No. That doesn't mean Palmer's innocent, though. He still went to the damn party."

"How aware do you think he was of Ziva's deception?"

Tony's frown eased and he sighed quietly.

"Honestly? Not much, if at all. Let's face it, Jimmy is great at what he does and he's got a terrific mind, but... he's probably always been treated like a nerd. Nerds don't get *looked* at by beautiful, exotic women, never mind invited to parties. He couldn't be expected to refuse, I guess... and he wouldn't wanna jinx his luck by questioning her motives or why I wasn't there."


"Off the hook."

"Good. Now study that frozen moment in your head. Look at their faces... and tell me what you really see. Try to step outside of what your emotions are pushing you to say. Tell me what's actually there in the expressions."

"Abby... she's happy, excited... relaxed. She was just talking about the party as if it was any other night that she had something fun to do... and couldn't wait to tell me."


"She wasn't hiding anything. She must've actually thought I just had someplace else to be that night. She didn't know..."


Tony produced a knowing smile, but it dissolved into a confused scowl as he worked through things logically.

"He was gloating... he always gets that smirk when he gloats. Wait, though... if he's taken on the place of middle child, like you said, then he would've jumped at the chance to get in on something cool without having to stand in big brother's shadow for once. God, that's where the look came from..."


Tony's eyes popped open and he stared sadly at Lewiston.

"He was just playing dad, wasn't he? One of his kids missed a family event for something he considered a lot less important. Ziva probably told him I was out chasing skirts or drinking..."

"That sounds likely from what little I know of her. So the final answer on Gibbs would be..."

"He didn't mean it either... he wasn't trying to hurt me. Damn... so what am I supposed to do now if I can't be mad at them anymore?"

"I'm afraid this is where the really hard work begins. You've worked out where your anger deserves to be directed and where it doesn't. Now you need to look inside."

"Figure out what I did to get myself to this point, you mean."

"I'm not saying there weren't factors beyond you that helped put you in that apartment with a knife in your hand, but it's vital that you understand the things you *were* in control of."

"Hell... I don't think I'm strong enough for that."

"You are. I have absolutely no doubt."

"Well as long as one of us is sure..."

"Don't worry, I'll get you over the finish line, Tony. Kicking and screaming, maybe, but I'll get you there. Now lay down and get some rest, alright? I'll see you tomorrow morning."

Tony countered the proposal, even as he fought off a yawn.

"Not that tired. You must have some books in this place, right? Can I get something to read? My brain's turning to oatmeal without input and stimulation..."

"I'll bring a selection with me when I come back, but only if I see your head on that pillow in the next ten seconds."

Tony reluctantly complied, grumbling as he pulled the blanket up to his chin.

"Gibbs, Ducky, now you... I need a third dad like the world needs clones of Ziva..."



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