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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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20

With a Little Help 20/?

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

3:45: NCIS

"Director?"

"Tony. I'm so glad to see you. Come in and have a seat."

"Thanks." Tony responded wearily, dropping slowly into one of the visitor's chairs. "You, uh... you heard about this morning, I take it." He said, his gaze on the papers clutched in his hands.

"From Jethro. I'm sorry that happened. Trust me, your father won't ever be allowed back onto the grounds, never mind into this building."

Tony didn't respond, but he didn't have to speak for Sarah to understand. His furrowed brow and shifting expression spoke volumes. "You're not so sure you want that. Or should I say, you're not sure whether you're *supposed* to want it."

"How can I? No matter what's happened, it doesn't change biology, right?"

"DNA gives nobody automatic privileges, Tony, and it puts no obligation on you. The man isn't just entitled to your love or respect."

"I know, and most of the time that makes perfect sense to me."

"But sometimes you desperately want and need the father he never was." She finished softly.

Tony's head came up swiftly and he threw a penetrating glance at the woman across the desk from him.

"Director?"

"You're not the only one, Tony. Remember that."

"Aw. No story?" he joked lightly.

"Someday... maybe. Those are your return forms, I take it?" she deferred, reaching out a hand. Tony passed over the paperwork with a resigned smile.

"Mmm-hmm. All done. I'm really anxious to get back to work. At the very least it'll get my mind off this lousy week."

"Something more than this morning?"

Tony flushed a little and grimaced.

"I should ask a question first. Did I pass my psych eval?"

"As far as I'm concerned? Absolutely. In Doctor Wall's opinion, by the skin of your teeth."

"Okay... I should explain..."

"Not necessary. I read his report carefully. The man's an idiot."

Tony barely suppressed a snort of laughter.

"I wanted to tell you... but with my future on the line, I didn't dare..."

"Your career at NCIS will never be dependent on someone like him, Tony. Not while I'm director. If his report on you is any indication, the man needs to spend a few months with his own therapist..."

This time, Tony laughed audibly.

"Thank you, director. You can't know how grateful I am you understand... about everything."

"No problem, Tony. Now go collect Gibbs and head home, alright? It's been a long, stressful week and I'm sure you're both eager to start recovering."

"An hour early? Really?"

Mackenzie grinned.

"Take advantage of my generosity and sympathy while they last. Starting Monday you're back on full duty and I expect your usual exemplary performance."

"You'll get it, director. I promise you that." Tony responded, smiling just as broadly as he rose to his feet. She followed suit a moment later, shaking his hand.

"I know I will. That doesn't mean there isn't room for rest periods or a little alone time if you need it. I want you to keep taking care of yourself."

"Gibbs and Abby will kick my ass if I don't."

"I'll happily join in. Gibbs says you're one of the best investigators NCIS has. I won't lose you before I get a chance to see that for myself... and before I get to know you as a friend."

Just before he stepped out, Tony paused, turning back to give her one last bit of soft-spoken assurance.

"I love the job, director. I know I make a difference and even if I didn't have anybody behind me... I'd fight to keep doing this work. Maybe I acted like a goof sometimes, but I'm a *really* good investigator and I'm willing to prove it any day, anytime... to any*one* who wants to challenge my word. I will show you that your faith in me is justified. I will *not* disappoint you."

Sarah swallowed hard, surprised and deeply touched by Tony's solemn speech.

"I believe you, Tony, and I'll do everything I can to live up to the trust you've put in me."

Tony blushed, grinned and exited quickly, jogging back down to stairs and into the bullpen, feeling so suddenly unburdened he was sure he'd be floating away towards the ceiling any minute. Max grinned at him as he strolled in.

"You look about three tons lighter, Dino."

"Feel it, Dazzle. Nice of you to notice."

"So you'll be in the field with us Monday?"

"God willing and the risers don't creak."

"Good. From everything I've been hearing, you're practically an urban legend around here. I can't wait to see you in action."

"You better mean as an investigator." Tony chuckled, collecting his gear and his coat. "Gibbs is possessive as hell."

"Really? You two? On second thought, I guess I can see it. You were working together before there was a team, you're both incredibly sexy... wow. *My* dreams won't be boring tonight..."

"Glad we could help, Vendazzo." Gibbs tossed out lightly as he returned from the men's room. "You all set, Tony?"

"Yeah, boss. Paperwork's in and we've got orders to head home early and rest up for Monday."

"She read my mind. You might as well take off too, Max. Nothing more we can do on this damn crazy case."

"I suppose. I hate letting this go for even a second, but the only real evidence we have is up to Abby and Dr. Mallard to sort out. I can't do anything... and it's frustrating the living hell out of me." She growled faintly, impressing both men, even if she didn't know it. "I'll see you both next week."

"Looking forward to it." Tony replied with a droll half smile. Max's face transformed as she returned the wicked little smirk, punched him easily in the shoulder, turned and walked away. The young man hesitated before looking over at Gibbs with a much more cautious expression.

"She doesn't know she's doing it, Jethro and she doesn't mean it. Dazzle and I...we're gonna end up real close friends, but nothing more. I'm positive she understands that."

"I agree. Just the same... I'll keep an eye on her for a while."

"I'd expect nothing less from the caveman I adore." Tony quipped, lifting his backpack onto his shoulder.

"What?"

"Down in the lab I heard you talking to Abby... something about dragging me around by my collar?"

"That was a contingency plan in case you refused to go home."

"Awww." Tony responded with mock disappointment. "I always figured you only smacked us in the head 'cause they wouldn't let you use your club at work."

"Very funny. Go, willya?"

"Hey, the way you grunt at me all the time..."

"Tony..."

"I can grow my hair if you'd rather use that instead of my shirt."

Gibbs raised a hand and Tony prepared to accept the imminent dope-slap as his proper punishment for questionable humor and running his mouth after being warned to quit. The impact never came, however. Instead, Gibbs wrapped the hand around the back of Tony's neck and tugged his lover's head down so he could murmur into the young man's ear.

"Ya know what, sweetheart? When I'm ready to haul your gorgeous ass back to my cave and stake my claim, we'll see who does more grunting... and who gets reduced to a drooling, panting Neanderthal."

After slowly releasing Tony, Jethro strode off toward the elevator, leaving the other man gaping and frozen in place for almost a full minute before he was able to turn and follow, talking all the way.

"Gibbs? Damn it, Jethro, what've you been reading and where do I get a copy..."

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

AFTER DINNER:

From his spot on the couch beside Tony, Jethro watched the young man shift position, roll his shoulders and grimace for the fifth time in an hour and finally decided he'd seen enough.

"Turn around."

"Huh?"

"Turn so your back is to me. I'm not lettin' this go on another minute."

Tony warily did as he'd been commanded and was soon sighing with relief, his head lolling forward as Jethro patiently eased away his post-stress aches with gentle, skilled fingers.

"God... thank you so much. I won't ask how you knew. Didn't think I was being that obvious, though..."

"Only to me. Yeah... that's gettin' better."

"It is... it really is. Ow! Okay, it was. Crap..."

"When these knots start to let go, it can hurt. Hang in there. You'll sleep better if I get it all unlocked now."

"Pandora's box... if you can let all the bad stuff go..."

"... you end up with hope. Sounds a lot like what we've been doin' for each other these past few weeks."

"Mmmm... exactly."

At last, every knotted muscle had been turned to limp spaghetti and every ounce of nervous tension had been coaxed from Tony's body. For what felt like the first time that day, Tony drew and released a long slow breath, after which he began to lean back slightly against Jethro's hands. The move surprised the older man at first, but he swiftly realized what Tony wanted and supported him down until he was laying face up across Jethro's legs. A minute or so later, Tony half-opened his eyes and favored his lover with a drowsy smile and a quiet greeting.

"Hi there."

"Hi, yourself."

"I feel soooo good right now. Happy, at peace, relaxed... usually it takes me days to come down after seeing him. You're the best thing that ever happened to me, you know that? You gave me a job I love and I'm good at... a place with people I can count on, where I really wanna stay. I've never had any of that... never given myself the *chance* to have it. I've always been the guy who runs when it even looks like things might get comfortable and familiar. Now... now I have so many reasons to never be that man again."

"God, Tony, you don't know..." Jethro responded hoarsely. "I'd trashed so many relationships, burned so many bridges... I figured if anything better actually existed, I didn't deserve it. I'm still not sure I do... but I'm trying, Tony. I'm trying to deserve you. I waited too damn long for this second chance. I'm not letting it slip away without a fight."

Sliding both hands behind Tony's head, Jethro elevated his lover's upper body, bent in and kissed him with a level of intensity and passion Tony had never experienced. When the older man finally pulled back a little, taking a moment to catch his breath, Tony was stunned by what he saw in Jethro's face. Staring down at him was every emotion, every ounce of love he'd always longed for, but thought was impossible. Then Jethro spoke, just a single quiet word, and Tony was suddenly struggling not to break apart. The word should have sent dozens of majestic film images racing through his head, but, considering their earlier conversation, it swelled his heart instead and it was all he could do not to sob. "Precious..."

Fighting against the tears and the blockage in his throat, Tony nodded and sat up the rest of the way under his own power, wrapping both arms around Jethro's neck.

"Yes... you are."

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

TBC....

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