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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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19

With a Little Help 19/?

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

Between travel back to the office and getting what little evidence they had distributed properly, it was another hour before Gibbs could get back down to check on Tony and by that point the older man was slightly frantic. As usual, not a trace of what he was feeling showed on the surface, but the minute Abby saw him she knew and gave him a gentle hug.

"He's okay, Gibbs. Talking to super-doc helped him a lot. He dozed off for a while after, but he's been awake for the last few minutes. It's like he knew you were on the way..."

Gibbs snorted, but deep down the idea of their bond being that strong pleased him immensely, even though he struggled to believe he could have that kind of awareness and sensitivity with a mate. Not twice in a lifetime, at least.

"Love that imagination, Abs."

"You taking him home?"

"Lunch first. Then we'll see. We'll probably be back. Hell, now that he's here finally, I'll probably have to drag him out by the collar to get him to leave."

Abby's eyes widened and she grinned wickedly.

"Now that's an image to warm up a cold night..."

"Only for you, Abby. Only for you." he replied fondly, dropping a quick kiss on her brow.

"You mean you guys... you haven't even..."

Gibbs expression became stern and the young woman changed her tack instantly. "Oops. MYOB, Abby."

"Thank you."

"But if it doesn't start working soon, you will tell me and let me help, right, 'cause I know a ton of tricks and techniques that totally work *miracles* for older men..."

"Abby!"

"Okay, okay." she protested, backing away a step or two with her hands up. "Sheesh, try to help..."

Gibbs glared her all the way back to her computers before turning and moving into the office to kneel beside the futon. He was immediately pulled into Tony's arms.

"Missed you."

"I couldn't tell." Gibbs joked. "You okay?"

"Better. Lewiston helps me clear my head... put things in the right order. You'll find out Monday."

"Still not convinced about that. Never needed a therapist once in my whole damn life, not sure I need one now."

"But you're still going, right? You're gonna at least try?" Tony asked anxiously, pulling back.

"Yeah. I promised you an' him both, didn't I?"

"Whoa, hold up. If that's the only reason you said yes..."

"Isn't that a good enough one?"

"Not by a long shot. I don't want you sitting in that office for an hour every week, resenting me because you felt pressured into being there. You know yourself better than anybody, including me, so if you really don't think there's anything Lewiston can help you with, cancel the appointment, okay? You have to do this for you, or it makes no sense."

"Damn it, Tony, I do have reasons and issues. It's just..."

Gibbs trailed off and Tony's expression abruptly shifted toward regret.

"Oh. Your version of 'I'll tell you when I'm ready.' God, my foot just never leaves my mouth, does it? I must have athlete's tonsils by now..."

"Quit, will ya? You and I are both still figuring out how to do this. We say stupid stuff, we misunderstand... but most of the time we get it right. Amazingly right. The little crap, all the everyday things... if you think you really wanna hear it, I'll give up as much as you can carry. The ones that hurt too much to let go of yet... they'll keep until the need is stronger than the pain."

Troubled, Tony reached up and lightly touched Jethro's hair.

"I wish I'd been there. You must've felt so alone... so empty."

"Yeah... when I wasn't mad enough to pull down the Great Wall with my bare hands and smash every brick into dust."

"I'd help."

"I'd accept. Hey, what say we go get lunch, hmmm? It's about that time."

"I could eat."

Gibbs laughed heartily as he slowly got back to his feet, groaning a bit as his knees creaked. A few moments later, Tony rose as well, the two said their good-byes and thank you's to Abby and they headed for the parking garage.

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

TEN MINUTES LATER:

Squinting against the sun streaming through the window of his hotel room, Michael DiNozzo's hired gun sighed almost inaudibly, shifted his phone to the other ear and focused on not lashing out at the man who was irritating him so intensely.

"I might believe you were lying to me... if I weren't so certain that you're fully aware of the penalty for doing so."

"You contracted for my services. That gives you temporary control over my time and how I spend it. It does *not* allow you input on my judgment or the right to threaten me."

"You weren't supposed to kill! I specifically told you that I want witnesses to keep those imbeciles running in circles and make sure their focus stays off me!"

"Then it wasn't exactly smart for you to go waltzing openly into NCIS was it?"

"How dare you..."

"Your money also doesn't buy tolerance of your indignation or your tantrums. If you have something for me, fine. If not, this call is over."

"Damn it, I demand respect from my employees..."

"Earn it. Is that all?"

Even though he had to force it, after a few strained seconds, DiNozzo Senior had enough control over his fury to finally speak.

"Take the next step in the plan. Timing is up to you, as usual."

"And afterward? I don't have any written instructions beyond the next attack."

"I won't know for a day or two. I have one last card to play and if I get the result I anticipate... let's just say that more than one person will discover the danger of attempting to back me into a corner."

"You have a contingency, then."

"I do. Call when you've completed the next phase. I should have an answer by then."

"Fine " the other responded flatly, terminating the conversation. Turning from the window, he left the room, careful to secure the door behind him, and made his way down to the lobby. Approaching the fountain that dominated the area, he dropped onto the bench that circled it and pulled a map from his inner coat pocket. Under the guise of searching for something on the huge sheet of paper he reached behind him and slid the phone silently into the water. His expression as rigid and impassive as always, he folded the map, rose and exited the hotel.

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

NCIS

"Abby? Earth to Abby. You okay?"

"Oh... hey, Timmy. I'm fine. Why?" she inquired vaguely.

"I don't know... maybe because I've been here almost ten minutes and you haven't looked away from that computer screen once. Whose baby is that? Is it one of your cousins?"

"Nope."

"A niece or a nephew, then."

"No... do you think he's cute?"

"Cute? He's adorable. Look at those chubby cheeks, that great smile... and I've never seen eyes that color. What is that, aquamarine?"

"I know. Really unusual... but that can be a good thing, especially for guys."

"True, if they grow up learning how to handle their uniqueness. He's gonna be a heartbreaker someday, that's for sure."

Tearing herself away from the image at last, Abby scowled at the young man behind her.

"How can you say that, McGee? How can you just casually put such a negative spin on his future?"

"I... I only meant that when he finally picks one girl, the rest of them will be crying for weeks."

"Much better, McGee " Abby conceded, her expression softening. "Nice save. C'mon..." she decided, turning off the monitor, sliding her arm through Tim's and dragging him away. "... let's go to lunch."

"Uhhh... are you gonna tell me what that was all about?"

"Not a chance."

"I didn't think so, but I had to ask..."

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

A FAST FOOD RESTRAUNT: 12:50 P.M.

After wiping his mouth, Gibbs crumpled the napkin, stuffed it into his empty coffee cup and gazed fondly at Tony.

"You ready to get home?"

"Sounds nice, but I can't."

"Why not?"

"My return paperwork. If I don't finish filling it out and put it in the director's hands before she leaves today, I don't get back in the field next week. He can throw his weight around all he wants... but he can't stop me from going back to work. I won't let him."

"Good man." Gibbs praised, adding an easy clap on the shoulder. "Best part of life is makin' sure the bastards don't win."

"You won me." Tony replied with a smirk.

"That's different." Gibbs countered, standing and beginning to clear the table.

"Oh, is it." Tony challenged mildly, pushing back his chair and rising to his feet.

"Real bastards think they know everything. You teach me every day... and I keep coming back for more. That must mean I'm not the bastard I used to be."

"And do you... is that something you regret?"

"Not for a second. I never minded making changes, Tony, as long as the shift was toward something better. This is... we are, and I'll do what it takes to keep it. When you hugged me before... I haven't had that, haven't been needed..."

Once again, Gibbs let the sentence die then shook his head and turned to leave, moving back to where they'd parked. Tony smiled thinly and followed, responding only when they were outside.

"He said over and over that nobody would ever need or want me... and I just accepted that. Hell, I was a kid... you're supposed to trust your parents, right? If they say it, you take it as gospel and keep your mouth shut. What made me so scared and mad at you that day in the hospital was looking down... and suddenly realizing that everything he'd told me was bullshit. Seeing the truth in your eyes, seeing the love... on top of all the stuff I was hearing, it was just too much. That's why I fell apart."

As they both settled into their seats and buckled up, Tony paused, continuing once Gibbs had started the engine. "I haven't told anybody what you whispered to me that morning, not even Lewiston. It was too... God, forgive how sappy this sounds, okay, but what you said was so precious to me... I don't think I'll ever be able to share it."

"You're precious to me. That's why I said it."

"I'll uh... I'll make you a deal. I won't ever leave this world voluntarily, but this job... we've both seen how fast it can happen when somebody makes that decision for us. I promise to hang on if I lose you... you swear to hang on if you lose me."

"That goes against what I said that day. I gave you my solemn vow that..."

"I know, but you were only focused on me, you weren't thinking about the rest of our family. If you guys hadn't been there after Katie... I could've ended up in that little beige room a lot sooner than I did. Abby, Jimmy, Ducky... they'll need you."

"Okay. It's a deal."

"Thank you."

Gibbs grunted. Tony squeezed his shoulder once, kissed him quickly on the temple then pulled back, staring out the windshield at the road spooling out in front of him. Neither said another word the entire trip back to work.

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

TBC...

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