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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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5

Help, I Need Somebody 5/?

--------------------------

1:30

Gibbs and McGee strode back into the office to find Jen Sheppard waiting for them. She was standing by Gibbs' desk, arms crossed and tapping one foot.

"Jethro."

The tone of her voice didn't bode anything pleasant, so her former paramour did everything he could to avoid the confrontation she clearly had her teeth and temper set for.

"Jen. What can I do for you?"

"We need to talk... in my office."

"I have work to do. It can wait, can't it?"

"No."

"Then tell me here and now. I need to get going on this case file."

"It's about DiNozzo."

"What about him?"

"Jethro, please. I'd really rather not do this in public..."

"McGee and Ziva aren't the public, Jen. Besides they're aware of what's going on."

"I'm not."

"It was need to know. You didn't." Gibbs replied coldly, moving away from the others. Jen followed.

"For God's sake, Jethro..."

"He's taking some personal time. You know what he's been through the last six or seven months. When he asked for a few days to rest I wasn't about to deny him."

"I should have been informed. Protocol says I have to process any request..."

"Would you have approved it?"

Jen hesitated then looked down at the floor as she responded.

"Eventually. We can't spare anyone at the moment..."

"Well he needed the break now, Jen, not three months from now! That's why I didn't bother to go to you and beg your permission. Tony deserved consideration, not a pile of bureaucratic manure dumped on his head."

"Consideration or preferential treatment? And damn it, how many times do we have to discuss not using my first name in the office, Jethro? It's disrespectful and even if there isn't anything between us anymore, I am the head of NCIS and I demand respect!"

Slowly, Gibbs turned from the filing cabinet he was searching in and faced the director, his eyes boring into hers and sending icy shivers down her spine. His words made the sensation worse, seeming to drive the frost into her core.

"I don't respect hypocrites."

"Excuse me?"

"From now on, you call me Agent or Special Agent Gibbs, I'll call you Director Sheppard. That should solve the problem."

Her lips tightened and she looked like she badly wanted to slap Gibbs across the face, but she clamped down on her anger and abandoned a little more of the hope that he would ever again look at her with passion, adoration and trust, the way he once had.

"Fine."

"Good. Anything else you wanted to talk to me about?"

"No."

"Then I can get back to work.... Director?"

Turning on her heel, Jen stalked back through the bullpen and up the stairs. Gibbs smiled to himself and resumed his search. When he found the folder he wanted, he removed it, closed the drawer and moved back to his desk. McGee had his head bowed close to his computer screen, sensibly avoiding eye contact. Ziva was looking at Gibbs cautiously, her brow lined with concern.

"I didn't tell her, Gibbs."

"Your judgment's improving. Doesn't mean I trust you."

The young woman opened her mouth to say something more, perhaps to apologize, but she wisely closed it again. Her position was tenuous enough without letting her ego tear out any more of the ground underneath her. If she wasn't very careful, she might end up out of NCIS and she could not afford to let that happen. In fact, whatever she had to do, whatever it cost her, she would fight to stay. The alternative didn't bear thinking about.

---------------------------------

4:00 : BETHESDA

Lewiston quietly entered Tony's room, stopping just inside the door for a moment or two of solemn observation. According to the nurses, the young man had been sleeping most of the day, but had been awake for the past half hour or so. Shifting the food tray to his other hand, he closed the door and approached the bed. Hearing his footsteps, Tony slowly turned over and regarded the doctor with bleary eyes.

"Hey."

"How are you feeling? Besides tired, I mean."

"A little better. The arm doesn't hurt as much... but I've been asleep pretty much since you left."

"As you said, pain meds will do that. Unfortunately, you were also right about the antibiotics. You need to give your system something to work with."

"Ugh. No thanks..." Tony said, throwing a disgusted look at the tray.

"You have to try. The next step is nutrition shakes, and if that fails, an I.V. I don't want to resort to either one. I'm not saying you have to wolf down everything on here. Just make an attempt, alright?"

Tony threw another glare at the toast, milk and scrambled egg, but he slowly sat up and threw his legs over the edge of the bed. The first bite caused him to look as if he desperately wanted something to spit it into, but he managed to swallow. The next was smoothed on its way by a sip of milk and Tony's expression wasn't quite so grave. After a few more minutes and another three or four reluctant bites of food, Tony finally looked up at Lewiston, who was now sitting in his usual chair.

'You don't have to watch me. I promise, I'll choke it all down somehow."

"I'm not monitoring you. I just thought since you've been alone for several hours you might want company."

"Not if we go back to the same topic of conversation. You're not making me do... that anymore."

""Do what?"

"That. What I was doing before I fell asleep this morning."

"Crying."

"Right. That." Tony replied, ripping a chunk of toast off angrily, as if the bread had offended him, chewing and swallowing before he tried to speak again. "And don't try telling me it's normal and everybody does it. I know better."

"You do? How?"

"My... I just do."

"Your father told you that didn't he?"

"Don't push."

"Have you ever heard the term "parent tapes" ?"

"No."

Tony's face now showed mild curiosity amid the frustration and fury, and Lewiston mentally cheered, knowing he hadn't lost the connection they'd started to build.

"It refers to phrases and lectures that pop up in our brains in certain situations. When I'm about to go out without a heavy enough jacket, even though I know perfectly well the temperature is close to freezing, I swear I hear my mother saying ' You're not going out like that, young man! If you catch a cold and end up sick in bed, don't think I'm going to nurse you! You can just fetch your own tissues and juice!' "

Tony laughed briefly, then finished off the last of the small amount of egg he'd been provided and took a long drink of milk.

"Mine couldn't have cared less what I had on. I could have run around naked as long as the neighbors didn't see me. I get what you're saying, though."

"That was a positive example of course. Those tapes aren't always a good thing. Adults who suffered emotional abuse in childhood can have horrible things running through their heads. The slightest mistake and suddenly it's like twenty years never happened. They're right back there, hearing someone scream that they're stupid or worthless or they'll never amount to anything..."

"Stop! Damn it, just... stop." Tony demanded, pushing the food away from him. "It wasn't my father. He barely spoke to me unless he wanted something. Nobody had to *tell* me crying is a waste of time and water... all I had to do is watch him... I learned."

"Watch who?"

"Gibbs. I've never known anybody as strong as he is. From the moment I started working for him I could see it. His eyes, the way he carries himself... That first day, I walked up and asked him if he had any instructions for me. He looked me straight in the eye and said "Never back down, never give up. Stick to that and you and I will get along fine." I never forgot. I live by it. I hate that he knows I'm here... but I couldn't let him wonder what happened to me. I respect him too much for that. Besides, he's my boss... he had to be told. I hate it, though."

"You really believe he'll think less of you for seeking help?"

"Hell, yeah. I broke the rule... I gave up. I couldn't handle things and I ran to somebody else to solve my problems."

"Tony... first off, you've got it backwards. Killing yourself would have been giving up. You didn't do that. Secondly, it takes more strength and courage to admit that you're not in total control anymore than it does to keep faking it and let your depression get worse and worse."

"Depression? You think I'm depressed?"

"After all you've been through, who wouldn't be?"

"He wouldn't. He doesn't surrender to anything, no matter what. I've tried so hard to live up to his example... to be as tough and steady as he is... and it kills me that I fell short of that. It just... pisses me off that I'm not everything he wants me to be..."

"Has he ever said that? Has he ever actually told you that to your face?"

"No..."

"You're a trained investigator, Tony. If you made an assumption about a case and arrested someone, without the facts to back it up, what would Gibbs do?"

"Kick my ass... and make me go back and do it right."

"Something to think about. Here," Lewiston responded gently, holding out Tony's pills. "take your meds and try to get some more rest, alright? I'll see you tomorrow."

Tony grumbled under his breath, but he downed both pills with the last of his milk. As Lewiston left with the tray, his young patient lay back down and pulled the blankets over him, but with so much whirling through his mind, it took a long time for even the powerful medicine to drag him down into sleep.

------------------------------

MTAC: 10:00 P.M.

"You ready, McGee?"

"As ready as I can be, boss. Do I get to know what we're doing and why I'm running the comm. equipment instead of the usual tech?"

"Not from me, but if you keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut..."

"Got it, boss. Shutting up."

"Good. Do it."

McGee pushed buttons and did some rapid typing and within a minute or two, the large screen in front of Gibbs flared to life and a man's face came into focus.

"Good evening, Agent Gibbs."

"You're not who I was expecting."

"I am his representative. If I decide that your message has merit, then, and only then, will you speak to him. If the arrangement is not to your liking..."

"No. I understand the need for security better than anyone. Tell him we need to talk about her."

"Her?"

"He'll know. Tell him a decision needs to be made and I have information that will help him do that. There are things noone has told him... secrets he has the right to hear."

"About her."

"About her."

"That is all you are willing to say?"

"At this time... yes."

"I will pass on your message. You will repeat this contact two nights from now at the same time. I should have your answer by then."

"I'll be here."

The image vanished from the screen and McGee produced a relieved sigh, gazing at Gibbs with a mixture of wonder and fear.

"Was that who I *think* it was, boss?"

"Absolutely."

"So your plan is to... boss, can I just say..."

"No, you can't. I know what I'm doing, McGee."

"I'm not questioning that..."

"Damn right, you're not. Good job tonight. Now go home and get some sleep."

McGee nodded and hurried out of MTAC and down the stairs, wondering how Gibbs thought he'd be able to sleep. If his boss was doing what Tim suspected, the young agent was fairly sure that safety and peaceful rest would become precious commodities in all their lives until the plan was complete and perhaps for a long time afterward.

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TBC....

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