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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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26

With a Little Help 26/?

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

Pacing the tiny waiting area just outside Lewiston's office, Gibbs tried to force himself to sit, to show the discipline he prided himself on, but he simply couldn't manage it this time. The idea that he must look a lot like Tony at that moment made the older man grin, but thoughts of his lover brought back the distress of the previous night, wiping the smile utterly away. He was just beginning to silently fire up his mental DI to get his brain back on positive ground when the door opened a foot or so away, pulling his attention and his gaze there.

"Agent Gibbs. Good to see you. C'mon in."

The unexpected formality sending one eyebrow climbing toward his hairline, Gibbs turned and moved past the doctor into the private space. As Lewiston claimed a seat in the middle of the room, Gibbs wandered the perimeter, studying various objects and pausing to read the spines of a few random books on the ceiling high shelves. The other man simply observed with a wry smile until Jethro seemed finished.

"Everything ship-shape, Gunny?"

"What?" Gibbs grunted, whirling around to stare at the doctor in surprise.

"You seemed to be conducting a security sweep. Or maybe it was just the investigator doing what comes naturally."

"Either... probably both. It wasn't conscious." Gibbs muttered, striding to stand behind the chair he assumed was meant to be his. His hands clenched and relaxed on the back of it, but he held his ground.

"You don't have to sit. "

"I might... later. Not sure yet. So how does this work? What are you looking for?"

"Whatever you feel like giving me. For the most part, what happens in here is up to you."

"Qualifiers. Never liked those..."

"I'll tell you the same thing I told Tony. We're not here to talk about the Redskins or the latest op-ed in the Post. If I ask a question, it'll be on point and necessary."

"And if I choose to keep my mouth shut... I might as well have stayed at work."

"Pretty much. Think of me as the magic mirror in 'Snow White'. I'm here as a sounding board and to answer questions. The twist is that you may not like what I have to say."

"The mirror always told the truth." Gibbs challenged.

"So will I, but as I said..."

"Yeah, yeah, I got it." Jethro replied, taking off on another slow circuit of the room, this time halting at the window that overlooked a small patch of lawn and a large swath of parking lot. He was quiet for several minutes, long enough for Lewiston to consider prompting him, but, finally, the older man cleared his throat and spoke. "Everything's been good with Tony... more than good, fantastic. He's happy, getting stronger every day... but last night, something... something happened that scared the shit outta me and I think maybe... I'm losing him again."

"Can you tell me?"

"I can try... don't know if I can describe it so you'll understand, though."

"I'm an expert interpreter. Just do your best."

"Right... I was, uh... I was down in the basement. First time in weeks I felt safe to go down at night and really focus on a project for hours... I've been so on edge, thinking I had to be close by if he needed me. Anyway, his bas... his father picks right then to call the house. *My* house! How the hell he uncovered where Tony was I'll never know, but if I find out..."

"I'll be right behind you with a bat twice the size of yours. Finish the story?" Lewiston urged, quietly rising and moving to stand a foot or two behind his newest patient.

"Yeah... I looked at my watch, saw how late it was an' I headed upstairs to check on him... nudge him into gettin' ready for bed. The phone... it was hanging from the cord, doin' that damn busy signal buzz. Tony, he was curled up on the couch... wild-eyed and shaking... I touched him, but he had no clue I was there. He started talking like... like I was his dad... I guess not leaving the phone off the hook was a huge rule in that house. He kept sayin' he was bad... that he deserved to be punished, to stand there and let the son of a bitch say things to him... I can't repeat that part. I won't."

"It's okay. You don't need to. Is that it?"

"Almost. Words weren't breaking through to him, so... so I just pulled him in... held him and rocked him. Finally, he came out of it... looked at me like he knew who I was. He claimed he didn't remember what happened or anything he said... not sure I believe him."

"We shouldn't jump to conclusions." Lewiston warned, thinking of the incident in the hotel. "If he is lying, it's a shield... protection from memories he can't face yet. It's entirely possible he's telling the truth, though."

"And if he is?" Gibbs questioned, turning around to face the other man.

"I'd be concerned, but it's nothing he and I can't work through in his private sessions."

Gibbs grimaced and flushed guiltily.

"Yeah... not without him wanting to punch me in the nose. I promised him anything I heard last night was forgotten."

"Telling me was the right thing to do, never doubt that, Jethro. You and Tony both know that some secrets should never be kept."

"Now it's Jethro?" Gibbs asked, a trace of a wry smile curving his lip.

"In here, when it's just you and me, always. Out there, where anyone could've heard... not a chance. Letting me use your first name was a sign of trust and respect... one you don't just grant to anyone off the street. I would never dishonor you by just throwing out your name on a whim."

"No... you wouldn't." Gibbs affirmed, his regard for the doctor stepping up significantly. "So what am I supposed to do when he gets pissed at me?"

"Let him rant and yell until he gets it all out. Then tell him honestly how scared you were for him last night and remind him that I'm helping both of you now. This is your session, you needed advice and I couldn't give that to you unless I heard what happened."

"Blame it all on you. Good strategy to keep me outta the dog house."

Lewiston snorted out a brief laugh.

"Trust me, I've been the scapegoat before. I can handle it."

"I'll bet you can." Jethro retorted, swiping a hand over his face. "Well, that's Tony's trouble left in good hands. Time to get down to all the crud I've buried, hmmm?"

"Only if you want to. I'm perfectly willing to start out easy today."

"Like?"

"Work, your military background, your life growing up."

It was Jethro's turn to laugh, now.

"I loved my father and I had nothing but regular old affection for my mom."

"I never said you didn't, but learning about the past from your perspective is important for me. Your beliefs, your strengths and weaknesses, the process you go through when you make decisions... you learned all that somewhere. Knowing who you were, or who you *think* you were, helps me get a clearer picture of who you are now."

"So I can see it better, too."

"Precisely."

"Makes sense... I guess."

Brushing past Lewiston, Jethro walked back to the chair he'd rejected earlier, studied it carefully, then slowly dropped into it. The other man resettled himself in his seat and favored Jethro with a light smile.

"You can start wherever you want to."

Gibbs nodded once, locked his gaze on his tightly clenched hands and hesitantly began to speak.

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

When he returned to the office, Gibbs was surprised to see Tim and Tony already there, huddled with Max at Tony's desk. Curious, he strolled over to see what had them all so intent and found the trio studying and quietly discussing the files on their two latest cases.

"Hey, boss. Good lunch? Max asked vaguely, unable to tear her gaze away from the paper in front of her.

"Not bad. You see anything fresh, Tony?"

"No... not yet. Sorry, Gibbs. I'm not giving up, though..."

"Didn't think you would."

"I wish something would just jump out at me.... but the only thing I get is a really bad feeling."

"Yeah... "Max echoed. "... I got the same thing. Creepy..."

"Bad feeling." Gibbs prompted Tony.

"I know, not real specific. There has to be a motive here, right? I just can't get a clear sense of it. I mean, if there's no motive... whoever this is, they're sick and dangerous. Maybe more dangerous than anybody we've faced since Ari."

"Think your intuition would get a boost if you went to the scenes?"

"It might... it just might." Tony responded cautiously.

"Drive him out there, McGee." Gibbs suddenly ordered, pulling the keys to the sedan from his pocket and tossing them in front of Tim.

"Can I go along?" Max asked, praying her eagerness didn't show too clearly.

"Yeah, why not. It might take a while, so make sure you three grab all your gear. That way Tim can drop you two off and head right home, instead of anybody having to come back here."

Tim raised an eyebrow, but otherwise chose to simply accept Gibbs' show of faith.

"You got it, boss."

"Keep your phones on in case something new comes in... but I'll do my best not to need you for the afternoon. Go on. Pull your stuff together and get going. Hang on, Tony. You've got your house keys?"

"Yup."

Tim frowned.

"I thought you never locked you door, Gibbs?"

"Never had anything irreplaceable in the house before." Jethro replied, never taking his eyes off Tony.

Tim and Max both hid amused smiles as they moved to their own desks. Tony grinned lightly and fought off an urge to fiercely embrace his lover. Gibbs read the need in his eyes and responded warmly, but very quietly.

"I know. When we're home... we'll see what the spirit moves us to. Get outta here, now. See what else you can get me on this freak of a case."

"Okay... okay. See you then."

Surreptitiously, Gibbs watched his team move out toward the elevators, inordinately proud of the way they'd allowed Max in and seemed to be accepting her as a normal part of the group.

Checking one more time that the phone number he'd pulled out hadn't migrated under another pile of the paper that constantly inundated his desk, Gibbs turned and headed downstairs to find out what new info Ducky had discovered about the second victim.

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

KEMPSVILLE:

The minute Tim pulled up and parked, Tony was out of the car, beyond eager to get back to the work he'd been longing to do. Tim chuckled softly as he and Max made a slower, more composed exit, watching Tony head directly for the flapping strips of crime scene tape that still remained.

"Wait for us, willya, Dino?" Max tossed out lightly as they approached.

"You guys can afford to be casual. She knows what you can do. I don't have that advantage."

"Tony, c'mon." Tim protested. "You don't have to prove yourself to anybody, least of all Director Mackenzie. She's on your side a hundred and fifty percent."

"Not yet she isn't... but I'll get here there." Tony muttered. "Where was the car exactly?"

Tim sighed and surrendered, knowing he couldn't win. Max patted his shoulder in sympathy and studied the sketch in her hands.

"About ten feet to your right... pretty close to the trees. In fact if you look..."

"I see it."

Pulling his gloves on, Tony moved in to examine the damaged trunk more closely. "Man it must've hit hard..."

"No kidding." Max responded. "The driver's lucky to still be breathing."

"Not like the second victim."

"That wasn't from the crash." Tim reminded them, a scowl on his face.

"True." Tony replied, kneeling to check out the ground. "We've got full reports, tire treads, photos and drawings of the area around the car?"

"Complete." Tim confirmed.

"And the evidence collection really turned up nothing? That is so weird..."

"Not here, not at the other scene. This guy is scary good." Max growled.

"Yeah, well... he can't be too good for NCIS. Such an asshole criminal doesn't exist. He'll make a mistake. When he does we'll be standing behind him with cuffs in our hands and full clips in our guns." Tony asserted as he rose and rejoined the other two, holding out a hand for the file Max held. She gladly handed it over. "Measurements... good. Nice pictures, Tim. Clear, perfect composition... you've gotten really good behind the camera."

"Thanks." The younger man replied, his voice filled with genuine gratitude.

"This it, Dazzle? That's all we have?"

"Afraid so. Like I said, there's not much more at the other spot. The only real difference between the two is this victim went to a hospital, the second one went to a morgue."

"Mmm. Can't wait to make this SOB pay for that... Guess we're done here." He conceded, returning the file and rubbing his neck. "Let's head to the second site. It may not do any good, but you never know."

"Whatever you need, I'm in." Max agreed.

"Me too." Tim said, pulling out the keys.

As the trio hiked back to the car, Tony fell behind a little, looking around and fighting off shivers. The nasty sensation he'd gotten from just skimming the file at the office had persisted, even gotten worse, and he couldn't shake it off. His instincts told him he had to stop the person who'd committed the assaults, but they also warned him that doing that would in no way be as easy as he'd claimed a few moments before.

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

5:30 : THE HOUSE

When Gibbs arrived home, he was greeted by delectable smells coming from the kitchen. He strolled in that direction and found Tony just starting on a homemade pasta sauce. The younger man turned and started to speak, but Jethro lightly placed a finger across his lips. Tony gave him a confused smile, but received no clues as to what his lover was thinking, so he turned the heat off under the ground lamb he was browning, just in case. For several minutes Jethro simply held Tony's hands and gazed into his eyes, while the other man's curiosity grew exponentially.

Finally, Jethro tugged Tony out into the living room and over to the stereo. Fooling with the multi-disc machine until the CD he wanted was in position to play, he slid the case out, checked which track was right, put the case back and advanced to that song. He then urged Tony out into the center of the living room, wrapped his arms around the young man and waited. Grinning softly, Tony reciprocated, keen to discover what tune they'd be dancing to. It wasn't anything he might have been expecting.

* Like the sound of silence calling,
I hear your voice and suddenly, I'm falling
Lost in a dream...
Like the echoes of our souls are meeting,
You say those words my heart stops beating
I wonder what it means

What could it be, that comes over me?
At times I can't move,
At times I can hardly breathe.

When you say you love me,
the world goes still, so still inside.
And when you say you love me,
for a moment, there's no one else alive. *

As the lyrics began to hit him, Tony felt tears threaten, but fought them off valiantly. Fearing he wouldn't be able to do that much longer, and certainly not if the song became any more emotional, he buried his head in Gibbs shoulder and concentrated on the movement of his feet as Jethro swayed them both gently back and forth.

*You're the one I've always thought of,
I don't know how but I feel sheltered in your love,
You're where I belong.
And when you're with me, if I close my eyes,
There are times I swear I feel like I can fly
For a moment in time.

Somewhere between the heavens and Earth,
Frozen in time, oh when you say those words...*

Tony's grip tightened and, as the song finished, Jethro stopped moving altogether and simply held his lover against him, soothing his trembling with smooth strokes of one hand up and down his back.

*... And this journey that we're on
How far we've come and I celebrate every moment
And when you say you love me, that's all you have to say,
I'll always feel this way...

... And when you say you love me,
In that moment I know why I'm alive...

... When you say you love me,
Do you know how I love you?*

"It's okay that you told him. I knew you would..." Tony finally choked out, his face still firmly hidden.

"I was so damn scared... I couldn't get through to you, I couldn't go back and change what happened..."

"What I said..."

"I only gave him the gist... none of the words. I didn't know how to say it. Hurt me to even think about it..."

"I can't remember... I swear I can't..."

"You don't have to. We'll never talk about it again, okay?"

"Okay. I do love you, 'Ro... I love you."

"Never doubted it, baby... not for a minute."

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

TBC.......

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