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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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13

With a Little Help 13/?

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4:45:

After a long, rambling drive to let Gibbs release the anxiety and stress involved with the mystery assault case, he and Tony ended up making almost a complete circle, finally stopping at a small bar and grill less than a mile from work. Gibbs was the only sipping beer, however. Tony, not feeling like drinking, had volunteered to drive home. Looking up from his glass of soda, he nudged Gibbs subtly, directing his attention toward the door.

"Hey. Look who's here."

Gibbs eyebrow arced slightly on seeing Jimmy, but other than that he didn't seem surprised.

"It's popular, DiNozzo. Close to the office, not too expensive... NCIS and the Navy Yard staff practically fund this place all by themselves."

"Yeah, but... Jimmy?"

"He's over twenty-one and mentally competent. Let him be."

"Whatever this day means to him... it can't be good if the kid is in here sucking down Coors..." Tony speculated, his eyes still glued to his young friend, who had now claimed a seat at the bar and was halfway through a bottle of beer.

"You made a promise to me back in the lab." Gibbs reminded his lover, voice low and edgy. Tony turned back to face him, tension radiating from his face.

"I made a promise to myself too. After what you guys showed me in that group session... I swore that if I saw my family hurting I wouldn't just ignore it."

"It only lasts for the one day... and it's nothing anybody can fix with a pat on the shoulder and a kind word."

"So you do know what it's about."

"He'll be fine tomorrow. Drop it."

"He's in pain, for God's sake..."

"Yeah he is, but he doesn't need our help. He may look thirteen, but he's a grown man, Tony, and he wants to deal with this alone. You stick your nose in... you'll only make a bad day worse. Let him have his beer, think his private thoughts and go home. Besides... don't we have our own stuff to talk about?"

"You really want to, or are you just hoping I'll shut up about Jimmy?" Tony asked with a small smirk.

"Now whadda you think, DiNozzo?"

"Both? I hope, anyway."

"Good guess."

"Which one first?"

"The song." Gibbs replied softly, after a moment or two of intense thought. "I, uh... I never intended to say anything to you about that time. I'm not exactly proud of being so... stubborn and pessimistic and cynical. I've been in love once before. She was... I thought it was gonna be the last. One person, forever. Kids, a house, growing old and never wanting anything more. That was taken from me so fast and sudden I never really had time to understand. Jumped headfirst into three more marriages trying to forget... and at the same time, trying to get back what'd been stolen from me. Doomed to fail... 'course I couldn't see that. I just knew if I quit swimming, quit trying... I'd drown."

Uncaring of who saw or what they might think, Tony boldly reached out and enfolded Jethro's fingers in the warmth of his own. The older man paused, looking down at their hands then back up into Tony's eyes.

"Barbara Walters could be standing behind me with a camera crew... and I wouldn't care right now. Keep going. Please."

Jethro nodded slowly, took a sip of beer with his free hand and continued.

"Yeah... Truth is, I *was* drowning. Lost, about to try and fail a fourth time... then you showed up. When you and I met... I felt it... the same jolt I got when I first saw Shannon. My heart sped up and I could feel my pulse everywhere, all over my body... my nerves were going off like strings of firecrackers on Chinese New Year... and then I remembered the agony of having that and losing it. I shut down, hard and fast... decided I couldn't take the risk. For so long, I just refused to look that direction... to look inside. I let the bourbon and the boat and the basement convince me I didn't want or need you. Gunnery Sergeant Leroy Jethro Gibbs doesn't get lonely... Marines are in total control of their minds and their emotions, at all times and in all situations. Then I got that damned call... found out what you'd tried to do to yourself. It hit me that I could've lost my second chance without ever knowing... All the locks broke, the doors opened up... and I couldn't do anything to stop it."

Tony squeezed Jethro's hand fiercely, just for a moment, and responded hoarsely.

"Thank God... 'cause I might not have made it if you had. Ziva?"

"Long, long story. Jist of it is, her father found out she was the one who actually killed Ari and he showed up to drag her back home. Scuttlebutt says she was killed not long after she got there."

"Where the hell did he get that from?"

Gibbs provided the squeeze this time, while draining most of what was left in his beer glass, but offered no verbal reply. "Jethro..."

"It's complicated, Tony. Most of the story is ugly and you don't need to hear it... in fact, I hope you never do. She can't ever hurt any of us again. That's what's important. I..."

Tony waited for Gibbs to finish the aborted sentence, but instead his lover's gaze shifted to a spot above Tony's head and he smiled lightly. Tony frowned then half-turned to find Jimmy standing a few inches behind him.

"Hey, kid. Saw you come in, but..."

"Yeah... I appreciate the privacy and I wanted to thank you both for the respect."

"Wasn't easy, I'll admit." Tony confessed "After what you said in the hospital... it was really hard to stay back and not try to help. Gibbs practically had to sit on me..."

"Just the fact that you wanted to shows you really listened that day and took what we said to heart... that means more to me than you'll ever know. Maybe we could have lunch at my place Saturday? You can vent about your first week back, I'll just nod and agree with everything you say."

Tony and Gibbs both laughed.

"Come to the house instead." Jethro countered. "We'll grill burgers and veggies, relax..."

"Okay. It's a deal. Night, guys."

"You are taking a cab, right?" Tony asked, only partially joking.

"Already called it."

"Good man. See you tomorrow."

Once Jimmy had been safely collected and driven away, Tony and Gibbs spent a few more minutes talking then finished their drinks, paid the tab and left to make their own way home. When Tony turned the engine over he found the radio had been left on the country station after he'd retrieved his CD earlier. He was about to shut it off, but the first few notes of the song seemed familiar so he turned it up and waited to see if he actually knew it. It wasn't the one he'd been thinking of, but he let it play regardless, because what he was hearing seemed like utter serendipity, a phenomenon he never believed in before the events of the last year.

* A man, filled with doubt, down and out and so alone.
A ship, tossed and turned, lost and yearning for a home.
A survivor barely surviving, not really sure of his next move.
All of this I would've been, if there hadn't been you.

If there hadn't been you, where would I be?
If there hadn't been you here for me?
I made it through times I never would've made it through...
If there hadn't been you.... *

Gibbs found Tony's gaze and held it through the rest of the song and the surprising words of the D.J that followed, knowing he would soon be starting a new list of songs for Tim to put on CD, starting with the one he was currently hearing.

* A man filled with hope, who finally knows where he belongs.
A heart filled with love, more than enough to keep it strong.
A life that's alive again, no longer afraid to face the truth.
All of this I would've missed, if there hadn't been you...

... If there hadn't been you on my side, you in my life.
All my dreams would still be dreams,
If there hadn't been you. *

' That was Billy Dean "If There Hadn't Been You." by multiple request. I know we don't normally do that kinda thing 'till Friday night, folks, but this was a special case. We got over thirty calls begging us for that song this afternoon, so we finally surrendered. We love our listeners and when so many of you ask... well, what can we do? Hope you all enjoyed hearing your tune... '

"Who... who did he say that was?" Tony finally rasped out, reaching blindly to lower the volume and somehow touching the right control on the first attempt.

"Dean... Billy Dean. I think..."

"Another Billy..."

"Thirty calls..."

"As my best college buddy used to put it... God dances weirdly, but it's beautiful to watch."

Gibbs laughed uncertainly.

"God? Sounded more like a text-message prank to me. Let's go home, huh?"

Tony considered pushing the issue, asking if Gibbs really didn't believe, but the day had been so positive for both of them, and the other man was so clearly uncomfortable, that he was willing to let it go until Gibbs brought up the subject on his own.

"Home? Oh yeah." Tony said, adding his own laughter. "I knew that. Going, boss."

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PRIVATE LIVES: ABBY

7:00

"Straighten the back a little more, Abigail. Good... there. Perfect. Now let's try the sequence again. One, two, three, four... turn, six, seven, eight... maintain the posture... seven eight, one, two, three... en pointe... you can do it, darling... almost done... five, six, seven and finish! Excellent! Yes, you've got it down! I'm so proud, little one!"

Abby gleefully rushed across the floor toward her much older teacher and accepted an embrace that was nearly equal in ferocity to one the younger woman might have given out.

"Thank you... thank you so much, Belle. I never thought I'd get it right..."

"Yes, well, I knew from the moment you stepped into my studio that you had the potential to be an exceptional performer. All I had to do was quiet your brain and redirect the energy into your feet. Enough for tonight. Go shower and change and we'll get something to eat, hmmm?"

"Cool! Be right out..."

Dashing to the locker room, Abby sat down on the bench and quickly began unlacing her toe shoes. She was exhausted from the nearly two hour rehearsal, but her exhilaration over the praise she'd been given came close to negating her fatigue. She'd only been taking ballet for a year and, at the start, had harbored no illusions about how long it would take her to become proficient, if she ever could. However, her teacher, Belle, had insisted from the beginning that she had natural grace and would be a wonderful dancer and, to Abby's shock, the next few weeks had proven the other woman right.

As she stripped off her tights and leotard, Abby went over the steps again in her head and even did a few on the way to the shower, only stopping out of fear that she would fall on the slick tile. Her mind was buzzing, as always, with the lingering beauty of the classical music and her muscles twitched occasionally, wanting to repeat the movements she'd worked so hard to learn. She giggled as she finished her ablutions, thinking about what her work family would think if they ever saw her swaying, spinning and leaping to Haydn and Tchaikovsky, instead of slam dancing to punk or rocking out to her favorite modern bands. She would let them see someday, but she simply wasn't ready yet. Unlike other areas of her life, and most everything else she'd ever tried, this she wasn't at all secure about, which was why she was taking private lessons.

Drying off and diving back into her street clothes, Abby paused only long enough to gather her dance-wear back into her bag before re-joining Belle in the studio.

"Ready!"

"Good. Perhaps over supper we will discuss once again letting your family come and see how talented you are, hmmm? Just perhaps?"

No, Belle. I'm not there yet. I just don't think they'd understand. I mean... they've never seen me like this. I'm afraid of what they'll think..."

"So you've said a hundred times, but you will never know unless you take the chance. They love you, darling Abigail. I can't conceive of them rejecting or ridiculing you."

"No... me either, but..."

"Hush. You need to eat. We will talk later."

"Okay. I could so use a cup of coffee right now..."

"Ah, the recital is when?"

"Two weeks."

"And what is my rule?"

"No caffeine, alcohol, or sex two weeks before any major performance. Belle..."

"No. Water, juice or herbal tea. That's all."

"Aw, man... "

"Yes, yes. Come. I'll make it up to you with plenty of carbohydrates shall I? Those you seem to burn off as if they'll be outlawed in the morning..."

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TBC.......

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