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With a Little Help From My Friends (Sequel to 'Help, I Need Somebody')

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #2
Chapters: 065 Word Count: 103164
Rating: ADULT
Warning(s): Disturbing Imagery or Content, Violence
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ensemble, Caitlyn (Kate) Todd, Tobias Fornell, Gerald, Kelly Gibbs, Jeanne Benoit
Category(ies): Action/Adventure, Angst/Drama, Established Relationship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, New Character, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/McGee, Ducky/Gerald
Episode(s): 3-12 Boxed In
Summary: As Gibbs and Tony grow closer, an outside force is working to destroy the younger man. Meanwhile the rest of the team find their joy in varied and interesting places...

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 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65

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With a Little Help 10/?


11:15 A.M. : MANHATTAN

"Yes? Come in."

"Sir? I, ummm... I have the information you wanted. All I was able to get my hands on, anyway. I thought maybe... you might want to look at it over lunch " The young man responded hesitantly, hovering in the doorway of the office that now defined hell on earth for him.

"Good. Bring it here and close the door behind you."

"Y-yes, sir... of course." He stammered, shooting forward and handing over the moderately thick file folder. The other man laid it on his desk, flipped it open and began skimming random pages.

"This looks promising. Are you done with the search?"

"Afraid so, sir. Any other potential source I'd either never find a way in... or I'm guaranteed to be caught."

"Hmmm. Understood. This will do very well. I assume you know enough to keep your mouth shut."


"I would hope so. You won't like the result if I find out you've opened it."

"No... sir. I-I'm clear on that."

"You can leave now."

Once again, the young man made a rapid escape, tossing out silent prayers of undying gratitude. The man behind the desk waited until he was sure the door was once gain secure before going back to the first document in the file and beginning to read, this time taking in every detail. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs... former Marine gunnery sergeant... now leader of his own team of agents in the Navy Investigative Service. Hmmmph. We'll just skip over the public face, shall we... move right on to the things you pray the world never finds out. All the lovely tidbits I can employ to make you reconsider standing in the way of what I want... if you're foolish enough to try."


11:30 : NCIS

Keeping a close eye on Tony as they rode up in the elevator allowed Gibbs to realize his lover's breathing had sped up considerably. He was showing no other signs of stress, but Tony's medical history led Jethro to take the one he *was* seeing very seriously.

"Hey. You need me to do a Transformers on this thing?"

"Ummm... you'll have to explain that one, boss." The other replied distractedly.

"Elevator... conference room." Gibbs said, reaching out to slap the emergency stop with the flat of his hand. Tony chuckled and visibly relaxed.

"Gotcha. Cute, boss. I hear the movie they're coming out with next year is gonna be pretty spectacular. How'd you find out, though? You switch from US News and World Report to Variety when nobody was looking?"


A pause for thought was followed by much bolder laughter from Tony.

"Cartoons! You were watching Cartoon Network on my big-screen! I thought I heard it, but by the time I got downstairs for breakfast this morning you'd shut it off!"

"I don't watch kids programming. Barely watch T.V. at all, you know that..."

"Millions of adults watch anime, Gibbs. It's nothing to be ashamed of..."


"Okay, okay. Consider me warned." Tony said, dropping a discreet peck on Jethro's cheek as he reached across the older man to restart the elevator then straightened again, leaning against the back wall as they finished their journey. "Not like I'd tell anybody... *you* know *that*. I'm not the immature lunkhead you pulled away from Baltimore Homicide. Too much has happened for me to even know who he is anymore. You taught me to think before I talk... and most of the time I manage it. Even if I couldn't, I would never betray you. Doesn't matter how minor a secret is, it's still total disrespect to spill it to the world at large... and if anything could possibly outshine how much I love you, it's how much I respect you."

The doors opened a moment later and both men stepped out. Gibbs knew that he could use the interruption as an excuse for avoiding what he should be saying, but, for the first time in a very long time, he made a conscious, deliberate choice to speak. Turning, he halted Tony with a hand on his arm.

"I'm damn proud to have earned that from you, Tony and, believe me, it's mutual... but now there's something you need to hear. Maybe you were immature, but since you signed on with NCIS you've grown beyond anything I could've hoped to see. And just for the record... you have never been, and you will never be, stupid. I don't ever wanna hear that from you again. Understood?"

"Yeah... understood. Like I said... most of the time."

"Okay. Let's get going, then."

"Right behind you, boss."

Tony was as good as his word until they reached the bullpen. There he stopped, on his own this time, staring intently at the stranger now occupying Ziva's desk. Sensing his scrutiny, Max looked up, smiled tentatively and rose to her feet. After drying her suddenly damp palm on the side of her pants, she extended that hand to Tony, but slowly dropped it again when he didn't immediately respond in kind. Instead he turned his gaze to Gibbs.


"Tonight. Over that beer, like you wanted. Now pull it together and be polite."

Tony paused another few seconds then shifted his attention back to Max, offering her a sweet smile and pushing his questions aside. When she held out her hand again, he shook it readily.

"Right. Sorry about that. You were just kind of... a surprise."

"I can imagine. It's no problem. Adrianna Maxine Vendazzo. Max."

Tony laughed.

"Tony DiNozzo. Sounds like a match made in Naples."

"I just hope we can work together well. I'll do whatever I can to make that happen."

"Yeah... same here. Good to meet you, Max." he said, turning away to move to his desk. Once there, however, he paused, a light frown creasing his brow, and spoke to her again. "Hey... anybody ever call you something else?"

"My grandmother and your coroner insist on calling me Addie. Other than"

"Hmmph." He grunted quietly, his mind racing. A minute later his face lit up. "What would you think about Dazzle? Cause, you know... you do."

"Dazzle. I could live with it. Better than that... I like it." she replied thoughtfully. "Spell your last name for me?"

Grabbing a sheet from the plastic cube of notepaper on his desk, Tony quickly signed his name and handed her the small square. She studied it briefly, but with as much deliberation as he had, and eventually answered his grin. "Nice to meet you too, Dino."

"Dino? What am I, Fred Flinstone's dog?"

In response, Max hooked her thumbs in the belt loops of her khaki's, allowed her body to slip into a swaggering posture and produced a Brooklyn accent that dropped Tony into his chair, curled up into himself with laughter.

"Ay... Dino's a solid Italian name, ya know? You got somethin' against Italian's, huh? I tink you do. Ain't nobody gettin' away wid dat. I will put a fist right *trew* your nose, pal..."

"God... that is so perfect..." he panted, tossing her an NCIS ball cap. "Here... turn it backwards..."

The request was never fulfilled, unfortunately, as the hat was caught in the air between the two desks and thrown back at Tony by a scowling Jethro.

"Did I *ask* for summer stock auditions?"

"No, boss."

"No, Agent Gibbs."

"Tony get upstairs and see the director. She'll have your return paperwork and your schedule for the next couple days. Vendazzo, go down to the lab and haul McGee's ass back up here."

She briefly considered asking how he knew that was where Tim had vanished to, but thought better of it just in time.

"Absolutely. On my way." she said. As they split up, however, she and Tony shot each other wicked grins.

Even though he had a good idea what would be expected of him in the next week, and was dreading it, Tony forced himself not to linger on the stairs and made it to Cynthia's realm fairly quickly. On seeing him, she stood, moved around the desk and embraced him.

"Tony... it's so good to see you. You look amazing. I'm so sorry I never came to see you, but I just wasn't sure I'd be welcome..."

"Always, sweetie. Always. You're family too." he assured her as they separated. "How're you doing? What went down with Jenny...that had to be really hard on you."

"I'm better. It'll take a while. Some part of me is still trying to deny the truth, I guess. Director Mackenzie is wonderful, though. Very understanding."

"Glad to hear it. Gibbs seems to like her too, which is a miracle. She's waiting on me?"

"Uh-huh. Knock then go right on in."

"Thanks." He said, favoring her with a smile as he moved away. He found the door partially open, so he tapped on the frame. "Director?"

"Come in, Tony." She responded, rising to greet him. "Have a seat. How's everything going so far?"

"We only got here a few minutes ago. I just met the newbie. She seems pretty cool... I think we have the same sense of humor, which is gonna drive Gibbs insane." He confessed with a there-and-gone smile "In's getting there."

"I can see that. You know I have to ask. I won't actually say the words, but..."

"I know. Yeah, I'm ready to be here. My doc and Gibbs both think so... I trust their judgment."

"What about your own?"

Tony looked up abruptly, showing Mackenzie a cautious expression.

"Do I have to answer that?"

"Eventually... yes. If I'm going to put you back in the field, watching your teammates backs, I have to know."

"The field won't be a problem. Any doubts I still have about myself involve private, off-the job issues."

"If you feel those issues are starting to bleed through, I need your assurance I won't have to hear about it from someone else."

"You won't. If anything starts feeling off, or I think I'm slipping... you'll be my first stop."

"Second. If you skipped over Gibbs I'd get a dope-slap for sure. I've seen him hand them out and the last thing I want is to be the *recipient* of one."

"Smart lady. If you did catch one, though... you should be proud. It'd mean you'd really become part of the clan. Plus... he won't bother unless he thinks you have potential. It's his way of telling you to wake up, pay attention and start living up to the best you can be instead of living *down* to other people's expectations and opinions."

"Hmmm. I never thought of it that way. Maybe I should be looking forward to my first one then."

"There is the downside, don't forget. It also means you screwed up somehow."

"True." She laughed, gathering up a stack of paper and neatening it before handing it across the desk. She chuckled a second time at the disgusted look on Tony's face. "I know, but it's necessary. I filled in as much as I could for you, to save time and avoid writer's cramp. Your schedule's on top."

"When do I get back in the field?"

"Not this week."

"Director... ma'mm..."

"I understand, but you know the department psychologist has to sign off before you're cleared for full duty and your appointment isn't until Thursday. You also need time to adjust and decompress, Tony. I won't be responsible for you getting the bends because you tried to surface too fast. As long as your family and I have anything to say about it, you'll take things nice and slow. Matter of fact, I want you to spend this afternoon getting used to the place again. Go talk with Abby and Ducky, have a cup of coffee with Jimmy... make positive memories to replace the ones that aren't."

"Okay. Thanks." Tony conceded, standing and valiantly resisting the temptation to rip the hated paperwork to shreds. Mackenzie got to her feet as well.

"I'm available whenever you need me, Tony, day or night. Just call or come up and knock, okay?"

"I appreciate that... and I won't disappoint you, I promise."

"Not possible."



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