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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 16/?


Thursday morning dawned bright and clear in the outside world, sunlight transforming thousands of bare, ice-covered tree branches into prisms and revealing myriad snow covered evergreen sculptures, almost worthy of placement in a museum. After a pleasant, relaxed morning and afternoon at work the previous day, with a productive therapy session in between, the winter sparkle and seeming weightlessness of spirit should have been reflected in Tony DiNozzo, but instead the Gibbs household was mired in tension. Tony's critical interview, with a man Abby had described as the antithesis of his normal therapist, was coming up later that morning and the prospect had Tony anxious and worried. This had resulted in Tony doing far more pacing and muttering than eating, meaning Jethro was also anxious and worried.

"Tony... breakfast?"

"Sorry. Can't right now. Too wound up."

"I noticed. It's just gonna make things worse if you go in there hungry, you know that."

"We can grab some donuts and coffee on the way in to work."

"Coffee, yes. Donuts, no. You need an actual meal."

"Bagel breakfast sandwich, then..."

"Forget it. Will you come sit down? You're wearing out our floor and all the back and forth is giving me a headache."

"You didn't hear what Abby told me. This guy is smart, tricky *and* an SOB. That's a deadly combi... wait. Did you say our floor?" Tony asked, jolted out of his misery by the unexpected words. Jethro's response was to hold out one hand, gesturing for Tony to come back to the table. The younger man complied readily, grasping the offering as he finally settled into his own chair.

"Yeah... that's what I said. I know those first few days we talked about you going back to a place of your own when you were ready. If that's what you want, if you think it's best... I'll step aside and let you go. All I want... you should be happy, whatever that means."

"Mm-hmm. And you really think I could just walk out the door whistling Dixie, stepping over your stomped flat heart and your guts strung out across the hardwood?"


"Symbolic. I hope that's how bad it would hurt. I know it'd be ten times worse for me. I understand we're just starting and time could change things, change us... but I don't wanna leave here 'Ro. I don't wanna leave *you*."

Gibbs nodded and gripped Tony's hand a little tighter.

"Then you'll never have to. From now on, this is your home as much as mine, Tony. Long as you don't go painting the bedroom in pastels or putting chalkboard paint on the fridge... we'll be fine."


"You know I'd be in there with you today if I could."

"If wishes were horses..."

"Yeah. Lemme nuke that plate for you a little."




Sitting in the miniscule waiting area outside the psychologist's office, Tony was so determined not to do anything that might betray his nervousness he had ended up completely still. Finally realizing how ridiculous that was, not to mention a tiring strain on his muscles, he reached for a magazine and began to leaf through it, not caring that it was geared toward parents of infants and toddlers.

He was just getting interested in a sweet photo spread involving various babies' first steps when the door opened and his nemesis strolled over to him, peering at what he was reading. A light sneer briefly appeared on his face, just fading as Tony looked up. The young man's first thought was 'That is *so* unattractive.' Followed swiftly by, 'I've seen that before. He's a born and bred bully. Man, am I in trouble...' Knowing his actual thoughts would get him off on anything but the right foot, Tony swallowed his initial reaction and looked up with a wary smile and a question.

"You're him?"

"I'm Doctor Wall, yes." The man confirmed, turning and walking away before Tony could even consider making a friendly overture. Reluctantly, the young man rose and followed, as it seemed he was expected to, faintly grimacing at the next words out of the stranger's mouth. "If you could move it along, please? I have a lot of work ahead of me and not a great deal of time to complete it. Mackenzie expects your evaluation tomorrow morning, though how she thinks I'm going to make a proper conclusion about your mental state by then I wish I knew..."

Standing by the plastic chair in front of the desk, Tony watched the other man move around the desk and settle into a padded leather executive's version.

"Well? Sit down. I told you our time is limited."

"I was trying to be polite." Tony said as he sank into his seat.

"Why? We won't be seeing each other again until next year's eval. If you're still with NCIS at that point." He added, showing a touch of the smirk Tony so disliked and feared. The young man didn't rise to the bait, so the other man sobered and picked up a sheet of paper. "Let's start with the basics. Tell me today's date."

"February 16, 2006."

"That means eleven days ago the date was..."

"The fifth."

"What day was that?"

Tony thought carefully, made sure he had it right, then responded, his tone not yet betraying his confusion.

"A Sunday."

"The state?"

"Of what?" Tony asked carefully, fairly sure of what his inquisitor was asking him, but not wanting to assume.

"Is this building in Florida?" the other clarified tersely.

"No. It's in Virginia. Uhhh... what is this about?"

"I'm asking the questions."

"I understand that. What I don't get is why you seem to think I've lost all touch with reality."

At last the other looked up from the paper he held, his eyes cold and narrow. Tony fought down the instinct to shrink back in his chair and held his body straight, angry at the man across from him for causing the reaction, but staunchly refusing to reveal it. He knew he had to stay in complete control if he were going to survive this meeting with his career intact.

"You spent two weeks in a locked mental ward, that's why."

"That's true... but it was for depression and stress. I always knew where I was and what was happening."

"You were there for attempting to kill yourself. That implies a break with rational thinking."

"Not in my case..."

"Are you going to answer my questions or should I just end this now, hmmm? I'll write my report and you can leave to get a head start on finding another job."

His entire body thrumming with repressed tension, Tony slowly sat back in the chair. He endured another fifteen minutes of absurd questions, answering each one calmly and with patience. His lack of reaction, however, only seemed to make the department psychologist even more determined to force an emotional outburst.

"Hmmmph. You seem to be functional at present. Describe the incident that landed you in the hospital."

"I checked myself in... and I'd rather not."

"You don't have a choice."

"I haven't even told my family and friends what happened that night."

The nasty grin emerged once more, this time making Tony's stomach clench.

"They don't hold your life in their hands. You will tell me. Now, or this interview is over."

Tony was silent for several minutes, struggling to hide his fear and figure out how little he could say and still satisfy the other man.

"I held a knife to my wrist. When I realized I didn't want to go through with it, I put the knife down, found a cab and checked into the hospital."

"At least you knew enough not to drive."

"Which shows I was thinking clearly."

"Actually, all it means is that you had a few moments of reason. How long you were mentally unstable before that is yet to be determined."

Despite how intensely he was shaken by the term the other man had used, Tony took a deep slow breath, released it and responded as evenly as he could.

"I have never been... that."

"You're not qualified to judge."

"My doctor is."

"Mmmm. This is the same doctor who released you, even though he was aware of at least one severely violent episode in your recent past? One you claim not to recall?"

"He and I talked about that..."

"Yes, I see that in your record. 'Talk therapy is working very well for this patient. No change is recommended for the foreseeable future.' Huh. Just the fact that he isn't even *considering* a tranquilizer to control the violent tendencies, or at the very *least* anti-depressants and mood stabilizers... that shows his qualifications are at approximately the same level as yours."

Tony continued to breathe deeply, but clamped his lips shut to prevent any damaging words from breaking through his defenses. He now understood what this man was trying to provoke and he adamantly refused to let it happen. Closing his eyes, he turned inward and began the visualization Lewiston had shown him. The screen was filled with rapidly shifting red and black shapes. Presuming they were symbols of his anger, frustration and fear, Tony cleared them away, bringing the screen back to white, then allowed his preferred ocean colors to gradually overwhelm the untainted surface. Within a few minutes, his breathing and heart rate had both slowed considerably and he felt much more capable of handling the stranger's continual assaults.

"Agent DiNozzo. Agent, are you listening to me? Open your eyes immediately."

Tony complied a moment later, a gentle smile curving his lips.

"No need to get angry. All you had to do was ask."

"What were you doing?"

"Just relaxing. If you really do have my complete record, you know that I barely survived pneumonia not too long ago. I have to watch my breathing pretty carefully."

"Yes... that's here. Quite surprising you were allowed to remain a field agent with a medical history like this..."

"My fitness evals should be in there too."

"I'm aware that you passed every one. Can't imagine how..."

"Do you have any more questions for me?" Tony inquired lightly, his smile not wavering. This earned him a sharp glance from the other side of the desk, but Wall found no sign that the younger man was mocking him or even suppressing laughter.

"I should make you repeat the competency exam... but I won't. We're finished."

"Thank you."

Rising, Tony turned and strolled out of the office without a backward glance or another word. The elevator trip back down to the bullpen was no problem, but by the time he approached his desk his legs were trembling. He made it into his chair just in time, fighting the urge to fold his arms on his blotter, lay his head down and surrender to the shakes. When a quiet voice spoke up close behind him, he responded without turning around.

"Hey, Tony."


"It didn't go so great, huh?"

"I know you mean well and I appreciate it, but..."

"Just bend your head forward... and trust me."

Realizing it was easier to give in and endure until he could have his mini-breakdown alone, Tony sighed and did as Tim had asked. The shock of the damp, heated cloth on the back of his neck made him jump at first, but it soon became soothing, chasing off the chills he hadn't even realized he was suffering. The easy shoulder massage that followed calmed him even further, until the idea of a solitary crash and burn became a distant memory then vanished altogether.

"How'd you know?"

"Had to see him a few months ago. He pushed all my buttons... had me so afraid of stammering my way through the whole thing that I just shut up completely. That made him smile... my skin tried to crawl off my body when I saw it."

"Yeah... I know. Thanks so much, Tim. Just for being here, you know?"

"No problem." McGee replied adding a final squeeze before moving around to face Tony. "It's what brothers do." He added, ruffling Tony's hair and laughing brightly when the other man made a face and instantly whipped out a comb.



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