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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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11

With A Little Help 11/?

A.N.: Those of you who've tried the treats I mention below, you know they aren't as weird as they sound. If you haven't... just trust me, okay? They're out of this world. I recommend you start with the more familiar orange or raspberry (also fabu!) and work your way up to my fave... the one in the story.

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MORGUE:

Peering around the edge of the door, Tony didn't see anyone so he called out quietly. His inquiry brought Ducky out of his office, rushing to greet and embrace his "grandson."

"Hey... anybody around?"

"Tony? Dear boy... it is *so* good to have you back."

"I missed it, Duck, I'll admit that. Not that being around Gibbs is ever boring, even 24/7, but I really need to get back to my work... back to what I'm good at."

"Indeed you are. Come into the office... we'll sit and have a cup of tea and a chat, something *I* have sorely missed."

Tony grinned and trailed behind. In the past his chances to spend a quiet half hour or so talking and sipping with Ducky had been far too infrequent so, knowing his time today wasn't limited, the young man eagerly grabbed the opportunity when it was offered. He stopped just inside the door, however, staring transfixed at the small box on Ducky's desk and failing to hold back a soft whimper.

"Pims... Ducky, you are just plain cruel."

"No, Tony. Cruel would be if I said that you could look but not touch." Ducky countered, gesturing Tony into a chair. "I bought them this morning, hoping you'd have a few spare moments. Go on... I'm craving a bit of indulgence myself and these are my favorite flavor as much as they are yours..." he said, pulling a tea kettle off a small hotplate and shutting the device off. He then filled two cups with dark, fragrant liquid, replaced the pot and came to sit down.

Slowly, almost with reverence, Tony opened the box of delicate, decadent cookies and selected one. The first bite made him shiver with pleasure as the light sweetness of the cookie was followed by the mild shock of pear-flavored filling and perfectly capped off by the richness of the dark chocolate on the bottom.

"Uhhhmm... this is just... Ducky, I will never be able to repay you for showing me the U.K. side of the cookie aisle..."

"No need, dear boy, no need. The surprise and joy on your face the first time you tried a Pims was more than enough thanks for me." Ducky replied, finishing his own cookie and choosing another.

"Gotta stop by the store on the way home. Now I'm craving those other ones, too... the shortbread and chocolate?"

"Ah, yes, the Petite Ecolier. Lovely things..." he agreed, adding a squeeze of lemon before sliding Tony's tea across the desk with a napkin under the saucer. "There you are."

"Thanks... mmm, Earl Grey perfectly brewed as always. You have to teach me that someday. You swore you would, if I'd keep your technique secret."

"Soon. Perhaps after church this week you'll come over to the house. Mother would love to see her 'Italian gigolo' again." The older man smirked. Tony chuckled and wiped the chocolate off his fingers.

"It couldn't hurt, I guess. She's a sweet lady, really."

"She certainly can be. Speaking of sweet, you've met your new team-mate I assume?"

"Uh-huh. She seems cool... good sense of humor. Five minutes in, we both had nicknames. That's gotta be a good sign, right?"

"Nicknames? Oh, do tell." Ducky requested, a gleeful twinkle in his eye.

"She's Dazzle... and I'm Dino."

"The young lady certainly does sparkle and shine, so I'd say that's an excellent fit. Dino... taken from your last name, one assumes. It doesn't seem to bother you too much, but... knowing how well you sing and that you enjoy the Rat-Pack era, you might think of it as a reference to Dean Martin, perhaps."

"Yeah... yeah, that's a great idea." Tony mused, grinning happily.

"You and Addie got on well, then."

"First blush... we did. Like I said, she made me laugh and that's never a bad thing. Have to see her in the field, check out her work ethic before I give her a final grade, though."

"Of course." Ducky replied, offering the box of cookies. Tony hesitated, then accepted one more with a sigh.

"The way you spoil me, it's a really good thing I get plenty of exercise, otherwise I'd weigh three hundred pounds... though I can't say I exactly hate how good this feels." He admitted, biting into the treat.

"Let Jethro be the disciplinarian. The wonderful thing about being an uncle-slash-grandfather is that I get to indulge you and attempt to thicken your waistline a bit and never have to feel guilty."

Tony frowned lightly.

"So... you're my un-father."

"Hmmm. Not that you've revealed very much about the man, but from the little I *have* heard... I do believe that un-father is a title I'd be proud to carry." Ducky responded quietly, holding out his teacup. Tony touched his to it carefully then decided not to resist the siren call of a fourth cookie.

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BULLPEN:

"I know, boss, I know. I should've come right back up, but Abby wanted me to help calibrate some of her machines and she never asks me to do that. I got caught up in the work and..."

One look from Gibbs was all it took to end Tim's rambling and get him back on task. "Right. Here's the envelope you sent me down for. She said everything you asked for is there, plus a couple of things you didn't. Specifically, a shopping list and some coupons. She also sent back a message... 'Don't argue, just follow instructions and it'll all work out great.' That's verbatim."

" 'Course it is. She made you memorize it."

"How did... never mind, I probably don't wanna know."

"Smart man. You got that report from Friday ready for me, yet?"

"It's on your desk, Boss. If there's anything... hang on." He said, reaching for the phone that had interrupted him. "McGee. Uh-huh... yeah. Right. I've got it." he muttered, scribbling on a notepad and tearing off the sheet. "We'll be there ASAP. Okay... no, keep everybody else out 'till we show up. *Especially* the local LEO's. Yup. Bye."

When Tim looked up again, Gibbs already had his jacket on and was sliding his weapon into place.

"What is it?"

"Assault on a Navy Lieutenant. Pretty brutal from the sound of it. Here's the location."

Gibbs glanced at the paper then handed it back and tossed Tim the keys.

"Go get Vendazzo and grab the truck. I'll meet you in the garage."

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

A ROADSIDE, JUST OUTSIDE KEMPSVILLE:

"Tim. Pictures?"

"Yeah, boss. I was... I couldn't shake the feeling something was wrong. It took me a few minutes to figure out what."

"He's back in the office. Won't be long before he's back out here."

"I know. The waiting, it's... tough. He's worked so hard to get back on the job. He deserves to be here today, not a month from now..."

"It won't be that long."

"God, I hope not."

"You can take him to lunch tomorrow, talk things out..."

"...but get the pictures before the cops and the rubber-neckers mess everything up." Tim replied, grinning lightly. 'Gotcha, Boss. Thanks."

"That's what dads are for. Go on... get moving."

Tim jogged off to start documenting the crime scene and Gibbs strode over to the damaged car and their victim to check up on Max, who he'd left to conduct the interview.

"I wish I knew... wish I could remember all of it. I was just cruising... right under the speed limit. The truck came up behind me... no plates, I know that... and it forced me off the road and up against this tree..." the man stated wearily, pointing vaguely at the passenger's side of the vehicle, which had been crushed against the trunk of a tall oak. "I.. I was in shock for a second... then I started trying to get out the driver's door... but this guy pulled me out almost before I had a chance to move. The first punch caught me on the temple and... the whole damn world went gray. I never even saw his face, really... I woke up with this massive headache, laying back across both front seats of my car. I'm sorry I can't help more."

"You did fine." Gibbs reassured him. "The EMT's are waiting. They're gonna take you to get checked out, make sure there's nothin' more serious than scrapes and bruises."

"Okay. Like I said, If I could remember anything else..."

"Don't worry about it. A blow to the head like that... it'd put anyone's lights out. Just feel better and call ASAP if anything else does come back in the next few days." He said, handing the man a business card.

"I will, I promise."

Gibbs turned and began walking back toward the truck, Max trailing slowly behind. When she finally caught up to him, she leaned against the cold metal and scowled.

"Something bugging you, Vendazzo?"

"The whole scenario. Not that I don't believe the lieutenant... my opinion, he's too beat up and confused to be lying."

"What then?"

"It doesn't make sense. Why would somebody do this? Contrary to what the nightly news would like you to think, out-of-the-blue, motiveless attacks are pretty rare. I just don't get it. It almost feels like..."

"Yeah? Like?"

"Like somebody planned this knowing we'd show up."

Gibbs grunted, the memory of Ari's deadly games flashing vividly into his head, but he consciously kept his expression neutral, not wanting Max to know how close her hunch might be to reality.

"These days... that's always a possibility. McGee! You done yet?"

"Just about, Boss. Another few minutes."

"You know how to use a casting kit, Vendazo?"

"Absolutely."

"Go do some measurements, figure out which ones are more likely to belong to the truck the vic described and get me casts of 'em. Then we're outta here."

"So you feel it too?"

"Didn't say that... but I'm not takin' any risks, either."

Max hauled the proper satchel from the back of the truck and moved off to do as she'd been ordered. Two hundred yards away, a figure well hidden by the surrounding forest lowered his sophisticated digital camera, studied the crime scene, then lifted the device back up and took a few more shots. Satisfied, he moved quietly back through the foliage, climbed into his truck and traded the camera for a cell phone.

"Yes. I got what you wanted. Worked like a charm. Yes, well, I'm sure that helped too. At least twenty or thirty photos. Of course. Trust me, after I have this thing painted, detailed and get some body work done, nobody will ever recognize it. Payment on delivery and approval, as always? Good. Yes, see you in forty-eight hours."

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TBC.......

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