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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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29

Help, I Need Somebody 29/?

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90 MINUTES LATER: A PARKING LOT NEAR THE WATER

Leaning heavily back against the front bumper of his car, Gibbs shifted his hips, changing position slightly, and took another pull on the cup of coffee in his hand. He knew his knees wouldn't let him stay on the ground much longer, not if he wanted to get up again, but he wasn't ready to give in to the demands of his traitorous bones just yet. He had just finished his story with a bombshell and he was determined to stay right where he was until he got a response from the man sitting next to him. He'd been waiting several minutes, however, so he drove a careful elbow into Fornell's ribs to hurry him along.

"What?!"

"I'm waiting."

"You expecting anger? Disgust, maybe? Go somewhere else. Hell... I've known for years, Ro. The day he joined up with NCIS, you met me for a beer after work and I knew you'd been shocked outta your shoes by *something*. You kept your own counsel, though, like you usually do. I had no clue what'd shaken you up 'till the first day I walked in the office an' saw DiNozzo. I caught you lookin' at him when you didn't think anybody else was payin' attention... a little smile, curiosity sparking in your eyes and ' I want ' written all over your face. Just the way you used to look at Shannon when she said something really insightful or did something that made you especially proud. I knew what it meant if Tony'd earned that... earned what you hadn't given anybody since your first and only love died. I also knew you'd never take the chance on getting your heart ripped out again. At least that's what I thought... but I hope I'm wrong. Am I?"

Gibbs sighed and dropped his head back, thumping it gently on the car.

"I don't know. Just telling you... saying the words out loud felt so damn right."

"But you're not sure you can say it to him."

"Yeah, I can. The issue... is should I? I want this news to make Tony happy, not freak him out and add more stress to the load he's already carrying. I couldn't stand knowing I was responsible for that..."

"What's his doctor been telling you?"

"Lewiston says he's doing a lot better... that he's come a long way from where he started."

"You trust the guy?"

"Absolutely. I trusted him the first time we talked, and you *know* I don't do that. Ever."

"True..."

"You were right, Toby... about the other three. I never loved a damn one of them. I couldn't. You can't love and be terrified at the same time. It... it came out as me being distant and angry and a workaholic, but the bottom line was fear. I couldn't get too close just in case..."

"If you really want Tony, you're gonna have to fix that. The chance of losing him..."

"I know." Gibbs interrupted sharply, suddenly unwilling to hear that particular piece of truth.

"You do want him. You love him, yeah? That's what all this jawing's been about?"

"I love him."

"Then do what you're best at, damn it. Make a plan and execute it."

Gibbs grunted, tossed the remnants of his cold coffee away from him and dropped his chin back down to his chest.

"We've both got so much shit to slog through just to get to each other..."

"Not quite."

Gibbs looked up at his friend, confused.

"Come again?"

"DiNozzo's got a two week head start on you."

"You're saying... I can't do that, Toby. Some of the stuff I've seen and been through... nobody should have to hear that."

"Were you lyin' when you said you trust this Lewiston?"

"No, but..."

"And he works with military patients all the time, right?"

"Right..."

"Then I doubt anything you tell him will overload his circuits."

"But..."

"But nothin', Ro." Fornell cut him off. "I've been tryin' to get you to do this for a long damn time. Now it's put up or shut up. DiNozzo's worth it and he deserves it. So do you."

Fornell slowly made his way back to his feet then held out a hand to assist Gibbs. The other man stared at the offering for a long moment before accepting the help. Once he'd dusted off his clothes, Gibbs transferred the stare to his companion.

"I tried it once. About a year after Shannon. I sat there for an hour... and I couldn't talk. I just couldn't say anything. I never went back."

"You had no reason to... nobody that needed you to stay and tough it out. This time is different. You'll be doing it for yourself... but it'll be for him, too."

"Why do you sound as if you know what you're talking about?"

"Come take a ride with me... and I'll tell you."

Gibbs grinned faintly and unlocked the car.

"Okay, but we're stopping for more coffee."

As he slid back into the passenger's seat, Fornell grimaced.

"The first thing you need to get help with is your caffeine addiction..."

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NCIS MORGUE: 5:15 P.M.

Ducky was just finishing his going-home tidying ritual in the enormous main room when the entrance doors sighed open, announcing someone's arrival. He turned from his task with a joyous greeting on his lips, hoping his visitor was Abby or perhaps Jimmy. That hope was dashed, but seeing who it actually was drove all other thoughts from his mind.

"Jennifer? Good Lord, you look terrible." He exclaimed, rushing to meet her. She took a step back, almost seeming afraid of him, and gazed up momentarily at the security camera. Confused, Ducky halted and spoke to her again. "Jennifer?"

"What... what is this?" she asked, holding out a sheaf of papers which began to visibly shake, causing her to frown and drop the hand down to her side. Ducky took one step forward and was mildly relieved to see her hold her ground.

"What has happened to you, Jenny? You look as if you're about to collapse..."

"I'm fine. Will you please explain these?"

Ducky briefly looked down to the papers she held and abruptly realized what she was talking about.

"Oh... yes, of course. Well, they're precisely what they seem to be."

"You can't."

"On the contrary, I certainly can. I must. It's long past time, as a matter of fact."

"You're the best in the country. I can't lose you."

"One of the best, perhaps. I've a good friend out in Las Vegas who'd give anyone a run for their money..."

"Ducky! Stay on topic for once, please?"

"I'm sorry, my dear, I believed I was. As to the subject of my retirement, all the relevant details are in the paperwork. It's already a "done deal" as they say."

"Why? I thought you loved your work?"

"I do. It's just that... the truth is my priorities have changed. I've been considering this for quite a while, but just recently something nudged me into finally making a decision."

"You'll have to stay until a replacement can be found..."

"That's already taken care of. Gerald is more than ready to come back to work and the upper echelons had no problem with his appointment when I proposed the idea... Jenny, please come and sit down. You really don't look well."

"No. I told you I'm perfectly fine. So there's nothing I can say to change your mind?"

"I'm afraid not."

"Alright. Thank you for indulging my questions, Ducky. I'll approve your papers in the morning and send them right out."

"Jennifer..." Ducky began, but Sheppard had already turned, albeit unsteadily, and made her escape. After a few painful moments of uncertainty, the coroner rushed back and picked up the phone.

"Jethro? Would you mind letting me in on what the bloody *hell* is going on with Jennifer?!"

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ONE HOUR LATER: TIM'S APARTMENT

Deeply engrossed in finding and retrieving the songs Gibbs had requested, Tim was only peripherally aware of Abby moving around restlessly behind him. Sighing in frustration, she stalked up behind him and smacked him between his shoulder blades with considerable force.

"Hey!"

"We had a date to go bowling, Timmy."

"I know. I'm sorry, but I have to finish this first."

"Finish what? What are you downloading?"

"Music. Somebody at work wanted a CD burned and they're willing to pay me back what I spend. Maybe even a little extra if it comes out well, so this has to take priority right now."

Abby dropped into a chair close to Tim and casually reached out to pick up the list of songs. Her reaction was much the same as his had been earlier.

"Whoa. Whoever it is, they are seriously, deeply in... love. Oh... my God. McGee, this..."

"I know whose handwriting it is, Abs. I was there when he gave it to me."

Abby suddenly beamed a smile that lit up the entire room and started bouncing in her seat.

"So he's finally ready to say it? He's gonna tell him?"

"I really hope so. I've been praying off and on all afternoon that he will. But until or unless it happens, you can't say a word. Promise me."

"Tim..."

"Promise me, Abby, right this minute. I swore to Gibbs that nobody would find out. He's starting to really believe in me and I can't let him down..."

"Timmy, it's okay. My lips are sealed, I swear." She vowed, touching his face gently. "I'd never sabotage you like that... not when things are going so good."

"Yeah... I know that."

"You need to have as much faith in yourself as Gibbs has in you. He sees a potential super-agent, Timmy, and so do I. Why can't you?"

"You know why. I'm trying, I seriously am. It's gonna take time..."

"We're staying in tonight."

"No. This won't take that much longer then we can go bowling like we planned..."

"Bowling tomorrow. Comfort and cuddle-time tonight. Now let's get back to work on the music. This is a long list... think you should split it onto two disks?"

Tim gazed deeply into her eyes, smiled and kissed her softly before replying.

"Great idea."

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TBC........

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