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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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17

With a Little Help 17/?

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FRIDAY MORNING:

Both men settled into their desks and their work fairly quickly after arriving, but Gibbs couldn't find it in him to be as attentive as Tony was to the piles of paper awaiting him. Knowing Tony was still stressed from his ordeal the previous day, Jethro's gaze kept straying to the desk across the aisle, looking for any sign that the younger man needed a break or even to go home and catch up on the sleep he'd missed the night before. After enduring several minutes of Gibbs' scrutiny, Tony finally sighed and tore his attention off what he was doing to gently admonish his lover.

"Seriously... you can quit checking up on me. I have the weekend to rest and recharge. That'll be more than enough time."

"I know. After yesterday..."

"Forgotten. I'm sure I passed, in spite of what that anal-retentive jackass tried to do. Now if I can just finish this paperwork without my soul-mate making me crazy..." he snarked, grinning and re-focusing on the screen to monitor his typing for mistakes.

"Gimme a break, DiNozzo. With all you've been through, I'm allowed to worry."

"And I appreciate it. Reminds me you really care. It's just... hang on, boss. One sec..." Tony said, picking up the receiver on his insistently ringing phone. "DiNozzo. Hey, Adam.... me? By name? He give you an I.D.? Damn... I, uh... you better approve him. I'm okay... this just won't be pretty, that's all. No, you refuse him it'll make it ten times worse. Okay. Thanks for the heads up. I know it's your job, I'm still grateful for the extra five minutes to gird my loins. Yeah... okay, bye."

Recognizing the name of one of the lobby security personnel, Gibbs was instantly on his feet and moving to Tony's side

"Tony? What is it? Why'd security call? Look at me, Tony. What's wrong?"

"I... he's here.... on his way up. I have to go... I can't... have to get out..." Tony stuttered, rising to his feet and trying to move toward the stairs. Gibbs gripped his shoulders and held him in place.

"Who are you talking about? Who's here?"

"My father! You don't... I was planning on telling you everything, I swear, but it's too much and I'm not ready..."

"Tony, slow down..."

'No, you don't understand, I can't be here when he shows up, Gibbs! I can't!"

"Stop. Okay? I'm right here, Tony. Look in my eyes... breathe slow and steady. Better."

"Gibbs..."

"We'll get into the details later. Yeah?"

Tony nodded uncertainly.

"Good. You're not alone... in this or anything. Look down at your wrist and tell me what those letters mean."

"Jedi Forever, Stronger Together."

"Damn right. One call and the rest of your family will be here, you know that. Ducky, Jimmy, Abby... hell, if Abby gets to him first they'll have to look for the pieces with a microscope."

"True..." the younger man responded with a broken chuckle. "My bad, boss. I just freaked out for a minute. Thing is, you don't know him..."

"Don't want to, don't have to. I got your six no matter what."

"I know."

"Then we're doing this."

"You didn't bring a real light-saber, did you? We might need it before this is over..."

"Gun's in my drawer. If it comes down to it...that'll do fine."

"Not so sure about that... but thanks for the offer."

"Anytime, anywhere." Gibbs replied just as the bell announced the elevator had arrived. Turning to face the invader, Gibbs felt Tony go rigid under the hand he'd left on his inside shoulder. "Ease up. Never let 'em see you sweat, baby."

Tony laughed, a bit more genuinely, and relaxed a little. "That's better. You want me to stay right here, or..."

"No. I need to give this a shot on my own first, but if it starts to go south, north or any other direction..."

"Understood." Gibbs assured him, backing off a few steps toward his own desk, but never taking his eyes off Tony. A moment later a tall stranger stepped around the corner into the bullpen and stopped, staring at the younger man. Gibbs could instantly see the resemblance, which meant Tony could as well, and he assumed that accounted for the momentary flash of dismay that rolled over Tony's face before he regained control.

"Michael."

This time, Tony visibly flinched, despite how hard he was fighting to keep his real feelings buried.

"My name is Tony. How did you find me?'

"I've known where you... *work* for nearly a year now, in spite of your efforts to shut me out. Efforts which I must admit don't make any sense to me."

"They don't?" Tony asked, his surprise clearly authentic.

"Of course not. Admittedly, we've become estranged, but your stepmother and I are practically the only family you have left in the world. After that bizarre phone conversation we had a few weeks ago, I concluded you must be in some kind of trouble and decided to come and see you in person to find out what's happened."

"Why?"

"Pardon?"

"Why are you here?"

"I just explained..."

"No, the truth. Why are you really here?"

His father stiffened abruptly and scowled.

"Fine... but is there somewhere more private we can go to discuss it?"

"No."

"Michael..."

"I'm not going anywhere alone with you and I told you that isn't my name. Don't use it again."

"I know it's a great deal to expect from someone with your obstinate, intractable personality... but be reasonable. I'm not asking so much, am I? Just a few private moments to talk..."

"I don't trust you. I'm not sure I ever have. If I left with you... I'd prove I'm the idiot you've always believed I was. My family is here. I'm not leaving."

" *I* am your family."

"You made the decision. You have no right to walk in here and claim a change of heart after all this time."

The elder DiNozzo straightened and tensed, his expression growing darker by the second, and Gibbs felt his own body immediately follow suit, preparing for whatever he might have to do in Tony's defense.

"As your father, I have every right."

"I haven't had a father since I was twelve years old. You mean nothing to me anymore."

To Gibbs surprise, this comment drew a cruel smile and a taunting response from their adversary instead of the explosion he was anticipating. Tony's reaction, however, shocked him even more. In a flash, the younger man had backed away, ending up pressed against his lover until there was hardly even air between them.

"Bluffing with a weak hand, as usual. You've never had a backbone, *Michael*... certainly not enough to challenge me and win."

Tony's breathing sped up and he fought to speak, taking several seconds to force his throat to relax. When he was finally able to push out a single hoarse word, it was clearly not what his father wanted to hear and the other man's face showed his fury.

"Gibbs..."

"Making the call, Tony." He affirmed, reaching to pick up the receiver and dial Abby's extension. "Abs? Skywalker. Right."

Hanging up, he consulted Tony once more. "My turn?"

At Tony's nod, Jethro slid smoothly in-between the other two men, moving forward until he and Michael DiNozzo were almost nose-to-nose. Locking gazes with him, Gibbs returned an echo of the smile his enemy wore, instantly wiping away all trace of the original. "Do I?" he asked quietly.

"Excuse me?"

"I said... do you think I have the balls to go against you?"

"You're intruding on a private conversation. Get out of my way."

"I'll go if he tells me to. Tony?"

"No. Stay."

"That settles that. Out."

"You don't dictate to me. I don't even know who you are..."

"Me? I'm the man that's about to throw your ass in a holding cell."

"Oh? On what charge?"

"I'll start with threatening a federal agent, refusal to leave a federal facility when ordered... after that I'll wing it."

"Michael..."

The constant use of the hated name by the man he felt even more strongly about finally brought Tony back to himself and he erupted.

"Stop calling me that! My name is Tony! I never wanted to become you... it makes me sick that I'm even *named* after you. That call was supposed to be a clean break, for me at least..."

"Break? From what you are at the most basic level? You were born Michael DiNozzo the second and despite the persistent, galling disappointment you've been to your family, you will *be* Michael DiNozzo the second as long as I'm alive."

"Then you might as well lay down and croak right here, because I haven't been that person since the day I came home to find my bags packed and waiting for me by the front door. The only names I will *ever* answer to again are Anthony or Tony. If you can't wrap your brain around that concept, you should leave... before he really does arrest you."

"Who is he and how bad can I hurt him?" Abby suddenly piped up from behind the elder DiNozzo. Startled by the new and unexpected voice, he spun around. This got him mostly out of her way, opening a path to Tony that she swiftly took advantage of.

"It's okay, Tony... everything's okay, now. You need to get out of here?"

"Yeah."

"Let's go. See you in the lab after you finish cleaning up, bossman."

"Go on. I won't be long."

As she and Tony walked back toward the elevator, his father suddenly stepped in front of them, preventing them from exiting the bullpen.

"You're not taking my son anywhere until he and I are finished speaking."

When Abby met his eyes, it chilled the older man in a way even Gibbs hadn't been able to manage. He tried to continue, disconcerted by a tiny woman being able to stop him cold, but she cut him off.

"See the boots? I can and will turn your skull into foccacia bread. Now move."

Shaken, confused and starting to realize that his simple plan had been blown to hell and back, Michael DiNozzo backed away a step and turned slightly, allowing the pair to escape. Looking back to Gibbs, the other man's anger flared once more at the smirk on Jethro's face.

"We're finished. You can leave now." Gibbs told him matter-of-factly, sitting down at his desk and pretending to resume his work.

"This is far from over, believe me."

"Uh-huh. I can get you a security escort..."

"Not necessary."

"Didn't think it would be."

A few minutes later, when Gibbs had heard retreating footsteps and the elevator open and close, he picked up the phone again and called security anyway, ensuring that Tony's so-called father would never be allowed in the building again. As soon as that was done, he raced up the stairs to make sure Mackenzie heard the true, full story before the distortions of the office rumor mill reached her. Cynthia gave him a sympathetic look as he entered so he knew he was just in time.

"Somebody already phone you?"

"Yes, but I haven't told her yet. I knew you'd want her to hear the truth, not gossip. Can you tell me anything?"

Gibbs stopped, head lowered for a moment as he caught his breath and let his mind settle.

"All the director's appointments go through you? Every single one?"

"Absolutely."

"Then I've got a name for your personal watch list; Michael DiNozzo. Already got him banned from the building, but he could try to get her to meet him somewhere else. If he calls, do everything you can to keep him away from her. He'll just cause more trouble Tony doesn't need."

"Is Tony alright?"

"He's been better. Abby's got him downstairs with her."

Cynthia breathed a sigh of relief and smiled.

"That's good. She'll take wonderful care of him."

"Always has. She in a meeting or anything?"

"No. KSAE, like usual." She told him, pronouncing it "kay-say". Gibbs grinned. The acronym was familiar to him, but he hadn't known she was aware of it.

"Knock, speak and enter. Thanks, Cyn."

"No problem. I'll call tonight to check up on Tony... if that's okay?"

"He'd be disappointed if you didn't." Gibbs assured her as he moved toward the closed door and knocked lightly.

"Come in."

Gibbs slid inside and shut the door behind him.

"Director... we had a incident down in the bullpen."

Mackenzie straightened a bit and waved Jethro to a chair, waiting until he'd claimed it before she spoke.

"Serious?"

"Nobody hurt... not physically."

"Thank God. Tell me..."

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FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER:

Taking long strides, his pulse-rate and anxiety both too high for his liking, Gibbs frowned at not finding Abby or Tony anywhere in sight. A moment later, however, the question was loudly resolved.

"In the office! Hurry!"

Jethro turned swiftly and moved in the direction of Abby's alarmed cry to find Tony curled up in fetal position on the futon she kept there. Abby knelt behind him, rubbing his back and talking softly, but it was clearly doing little good.

"I can't get him breathing right, Gibbs. He's gonna hyperventilate in a minute..." she pleaded, turning anguished eyes up to her second father.

"Not your fault, Abs. Go on out for a while... give us some space, okay?"

"Sure. Boss is here, baby. I know he'll make it better. I'll still be right outside..." she assured him as she rose and made room in the tiny space for Gibbs. Once she'd left, the older man lay down behind Tony, wrapped an arm around him and began the finger massage that seemed to be the secret to calming his lover, no matter what the situation.

"It's me, darlin'... I'm here. Relax for me... please, Tony, relax... you're scarin' me here..."

Watching from outside, Abby was astonished to see Tony actually stop breathing for a few seconds and then release one long slow breath and collapse in on himself, surrendering all his tension and fear between one moment and the next. Suddenly in need of a cuddle from her one-and-only, Abby changed her mind about staying and ran off to find Tim.

"God... I thought he hurt you... that's what he does. Anybody who gets in his way... tries to tell him he can't have something... they get hurt."

"No. He never touched me."

Abruptly, Tony began to tremble from head to toe.

"What? What is it?"

"I can't believe I did that... what I said to him... shit, I am so screwed... he'll kill me..."

"Shhh. It's over, sweetheart... all over...easy..."

"No, I mean it, he will see me dead for standing up to him... nobody does that..."

"Never happen. That was so amazing... you really showed him what kind of man you've become. You were brave and focused and strong... everything you said you wanted to be... my Tony. Tony, Tony, Tony..."

Soothed and lulled by soft repeats of his name, the young man in Jethro's arms relaxed once more and even slipped into a light doze. Feeling the need to be vigilant, Gibbs didn't follow him down this time.

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TBC.........

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