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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 24/?


Once he'd recovered his composure, Lewiston sighed and petted Bert gently.

"That's one cool hippo, I have to admit."

"Yeah... he really is. Not as cool as Abby, though. This... this thing isn't just a stuffed animal to her... it's a combination best friend, confidante and security blanket. You can't know what a sacrifice it was for her to give this up... even temporarily."

"Pretty special."

"More than anybody outside our team will ever understand. Umm... when I told her I wasn't ready... I was talking about going home. What, umm... what's your opinion on that?" Tony asked quietly, sudden fear rendering him unable to raise his eyes from the glass ones staring up at him from the circle of his arms.

"Three or four more days. Maybe not even that long."

The response to his question brought Tony's head up and around swiftly, his gaze locking with his doctor's.

"That's all? Four more days? That can't be right. I'm still having trouble getting out of my room, for Gods' sake..."

Lewiston chuckled.

"Take it as a compliment, Tony. You're doing very well. We've got the toughest issues to work through still, but you're definitely a lot stronger than you were going in. Another few days will be more than enough time, trust me."

"And... after that?"

"Five to six months of outpatient treatment."

Tony dropped his eyes again and leaned forward, shifting Bert to a two handed grip and focusing on the hippo's bland features, hoping to calm his racing heart and mind.

"Wow... I can't figure out the next five minutes. Looking that far ahead..."

"You don't have to, not yet, anyway. Let's take your new buddy to your room and settle in for a talk, okay?"

"Do I have to? The personal reasons I ended up holding that knife to my wrist... I'm just afraid they're buried in some majorly unattractive sludge."

"That's a good bet."

"Then why dredge them up?"

"Because hoarding noxious secrets isn't good for any part of you; mind, body or spirit.
Plus, exposing them to the light destroys them and lets you start to heal, which is never a bad thing."

"Like a serious infection has to be drained and cleaned before the anti-biotics will do any good."

"Perfect analogy. That's exactly how it works."

"So the outpatient therapy... is like not stopping before you take all the pills... even though you're not seeing the doctor every day anymore. If you don't take the whole course of medicine, the next time you get sick... it'll be worse and the same treatment won't work as well, if it works at all."

Lewiston whistled softly, surprised anew by the quickness and flexibility of Tony's mind.

"Boy, that insight of yours is one powerful tool. No wonder you're Gibbs' Senior Agent."

"It wasn't my charm or my pretty face." Tony joked feebly, standing and carefully hugging Bert to his chest once more. "Let's get going, huh? I've still got a mile high mountain of crud to sort through and only four more days to do it."

Lewiston nodded, rose and followed silently. As they approached Tony's room, the doctor took a quick detour to pick up the books he'd left on the desk and trailed Tony into the more private space. Closing the door behind him, he was pleased to see Tony's eyes light up when he saw the stack of paperbacks.

"Cool." Tony commented, taking his usual seat on the bed and reluctantly laying Bert aside. "Can I.."

"Of course." Lewiston agreed, handing over the books and claiming his chair. Tony sorted rapidly through the stack, setting aside all but one non-fiction book. Lewiston's eyebrows lifted momentarily at the choice of subject matter. " ' Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee ' ? Interesting."

"I have a big section of books on Native American culture and history at my place. I love the subject, but anything I read has to be from their point of view or show them in a positive light."

"Sympathy for an unfairly displaced people who never really got the justice they deserved. Completely understandable."

Tony looked up in surprise from his perusal of the back cover of the book.

"Yeah... yeah, I guess it is. No comparison between our experiences, though. I could never have survived what they've gone through."

"You were forced out of the only home you knew and into a consistently stressful situation with no real chance to prepare and few tools to help you survive. The people who promised to protect you and give you a fair return on your loyalty and trust ended up betraying you. I'd say there's a comparison."

Tony stared at Lewiston is shock for several seconds before finding his voice.

"You know, it's really unnerving when you do that."

"So I've been told." Lewiston replied, laughing quietly. "My friends keep insisting that if they didn't know it was an unconscious habit they wouldn't still *be* my friends."

"Yeah, well... disturbing or not, I'm grateful. It's useful for shifting my perspective around when I'm focused on the wrong thing... or in the wrong direction."

"You never really had anyone to do that for you, did you?"

"No... not 'till NCIS. Gibbs, Abby, Ducky, they all kept me so grounded... they kept my head in proportion to my body."

"Kept? Past tense?"

"I want that back... but it's like you said, the forgiveness has to go both ways and I don't... I'm just not sure..." Tony confessed, exchanging the book for Bert once more.

"They do have a right to be angry, even if they don't realize it yet. It won't be easy when they do. You did a good job with Abby earlier, accepting that minor reprimand she threw at you out of nowhere."

"She's good at that. Spend any time at all around Abs and you learn to shift gears and the topic of conversation as fast as she does. Those who can't keep up don't last long in her world."

"No, I would guess not."

"I don't know how I'm gonna handle them being pissed with me. I may not be able to help getting defensive. They weren't there, they weren't inside my skin or my head... they don't know what I was going through."

"Are you completely sure about that?"

"No, of course not. How could I be?"

"There's one way."

Tony mused for several minutes, once again gazing deeply into Bert's deep eyes as if they were a teleprompter and the answers would suddenly appear in them, ready to recite. Finally, he smiled thinly and gave a subdued response.

"Is there a space here that's big enough for me to talk to all of them at once? Someplace where you do group therapy, maybe?"

"Absolutely. I can set that up."

"Okay... God, I know I have to do it, but... looking around at their faces and not seeing the one I most need to talk to... that'll drive me right back in here for another week, I know it."

"What would Kate's reaction have been to all this?"

"Katie... would have kicked my ass to Miami and back for even thinking of suicide.
' DiNozzo, you stupid bastard! The damn *plague* couldn't take you out, why the hell would you try to find the afterlife voluntarily?! ' I need that more than anything else right now. No pity, no tears... just a boot upside my head to knock sense back into me and that voice yelling at me to get over and get on."

Tony suddenly burst out laughing and dropped over on his side, hugging Bert tightly enough that he made his trademark noise again, which only got Tony cackling harder. When he'd finally calmed down, Lewiston questioned him.

"What was that about?"

"I-I always wondered why her parents named her Kate... it's such a simple, kinda sweet name and she wasn't either one. I just got it... Shakespeare... Taming of the Shrew..."

Laughter suddenly devolved into tears and abject grief as Lewiston moved to perch on the edge of the bed, lightly gripping Tony's forearm. "I miss her, damn it... I want her back..."

"Would she want this, Tony? Think about what you just told me..."

"No... no, she'd hate knowing I was still grieving her... her loss."

"Try that again."


"You talk about that day in euphemisms and general terms, but I haven't heard you actually say the words. Sit up... that's right. Now, look me in the eyes. No evasions this time. Look right here and tell me what happened to Kate."

"She... she was shot."

"No. What happened to Kate?"

"A terrorist murdered her..."

"No, Tony."

"I don't understand... what are you doing? What is it you want?"

"The truth. Tell me. For Kate and for you... what happened to her that day?"

"I can't... I can't let her go..."

"Not your choice. Someone else made that decision and it was over before you even realized what was happening. Now the only thing you can do is acknowledge that. C'mon, Tony... you can do this. Say the words."

"She... the bastard shot her down... she was just laying there... her eyes open... I looked down and... I knew... I knew she was dead... the son of a bitch killed Katie...I couldn't stop him... and I couldn't save her..." Tony sobbed, falling face first onto the mattress. Lewiston stroked his hair and patted his back.

"Since her death you've barely had time to slow down, Tony. Pushing your grief aside and charging ahead isn't the same as going through the process. You've got time, now, and someone to guide you through it. You're not fighting every battle alone anymore, remember? I'm here... I'm right here."



Pulling his arms around his body, Tim shivered in the wind off the water and wished he'd also brought a jacket to go over his old t-shirt and the flannel shirt that flapped loose in the chill breeze. Gibbs grinned as he retrieved the keys from the ignition, exited the car, closed and locked the doors and moved to stand beside the younger man.

"The wind can whip out here sometimes. I've got a coat in the back seat if you want it."

"No... I'll be fine once we get inside, boss. This place is huge. What is it?"

"One of the cornerstones of my life these past few years. Kept me from goin' crazy more than once..."

"Okay... that's good to know, but it doesn't answer the question."

The smack to the back of his head surprised Tim, but a moment later he grinned from ear to ear, realizing that he'd just received a sort of baptism. "Eyes and ears open, mouth closed. Got it, boss."

"Good. Now let's go."

As they approached, a sign answered Tim's question for him, but that only sent more curious thoughts racing through his head:




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