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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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28

With A Little Help 28/?

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

1:45:

"Director, please... you must calm down."

"Don't call me that, Peter. I warned you to watch your mouth where anyone from this hellhole could hear you. If they find out why you've been coming here, it could all collapse. I won't let that happen..."

"I'm sorry, I just can't help what I feel. The bravery and fortitude you've shown... no one in the world deserves the title more. Least of all that... that charlatan in your office." The visitor growled.

"Peter, stop, damn it!"

"You haven't seen! That little *cretin* has her wrapped around his finger! He comes in late, goes home two hours early..."

"Peter!"

The man seated a few feet away lowered his head and wrung his hands.

"Understood. I'm sorry."

"I know..." she admitted with a heavy sigh. "I know it isn't easy, but you have to hang on. Everything depends on this. I can't do it alone, Peter."

His head came up and he produced a simpering smile.

"Anything for you. Anything."

"Thank you." she offered gently, reaching out to brush his cheek with her fingers. "Now, let's have the update. And minimize the editorializing as much as possible."

"Of course. He was back on full duty as of Monday, but he didn't really get out in the field until yesterday... wait. What am I allowed to call you? It must be respectful and if I can't use your proper title..."

"My name will do fine."

"Full name?"

"If you insist."

"Very well then... Jennifer. To continue...."

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

NCIS: 2:15

"Director?"

"Abby. Please, come in. Have a seat."

"You're sure? I'm not interrupting, or anything? If I am, I swear I'll go and I'll never darken your door again. I know I can be kind of annoying sometimes, but I know how to go away and, despite what you're hearing right now, I also know how to shut up, all you have to do is ask me and you won't hear another word... out of me. Huh."

"You look confused." Mackenzie offered, showing Abby a gentle smile.

"Well... yeah. Nobody lets me do that. *Ever*."

"What, talk yourself out? It doesn't cost me or the agency anything to be patient or to listen. Besides, all you're keeping me from is paperwork and believe me, you're welcome to do that whenever you feel like it."

"Wow. Tony was right, you *are* totally cool!"

"Thank you." Mackenzie chuckled. "Was there something specific you wanted to see me about?"

"Oh... right." Abby responded, hurrying forward and claiming a chair. "We need to get some things straight... you know, just... clarify a few points."

"Okay. Go ahead."

"Career Girl Barbie."

"What about her?"

"I can't work if I have to dress like her. Testifying in court, I know I have to look nice and cover up the tats and all, but in the lab, I have to be me... and this is me."

"I have no problem with that. I'd much rather you be comfortable and productive than be held to a standard that's really meant for field agents who have to deal with the public on a daily basis."

"Yes! I *so* agree. Next point is assistants..."

"I'm fully aware of the... Chip incident."

"A thing... that's what he was alright." Abby snorted. "He sure wasn't human."

"How he ended up here in the first place, I have no clue, but I'm working on finding out. The point is that nothing like that will ever happen again."

"Vow?"

"Solemn."

Abby finally smiled, just a little, and the sight made Sarah feel as if the sun had suddenly peeked out and significantly warmed the room. The delightful sensation broadened the new director's own grin.

"Good. Just one last thing."

"Agent Gibbs?" the older woman guessed quietly.

"Their history... it caused a lot of problems. She wasn't exactly shy about bringing it up, even in front of the rest of us. I know you and Gibbs don't have the same past, but... once burned, you know?"

"I do. He doesn't talk about what they had. I've wondered if he's afraid of how angry he might get if he did..."

"Maybe... probably. I mean... he thought he knew her so well and finding out what she was into with Ziva... I wouldn't be blowing up balloons and singing Happy Birthday, either."

"No... I have to agree with you there." Mackenzie conceded with a discreet laugh. "Hey... do you have to get right back or can you stay a short while?"

"There's nothing stat-worthy going in the lab right now. I can hang out."

Mackenzie studied Abby intently for a moment before replying.

"It's so interesting the way you come up with brand new words on the spot. You must keep up with the sci-tech journals and all that... I ran across an article a few weeks ago about the research being done on people who seem to be able to access the creative areas of their brains as easily as they can the analytical..."

"I did, I saw that! I couldn't put it down!"

"What did you think about their conclusions?"

"You mean about those people being a sign of where human brain development is headed in the future? It's fascinating, but kinda depressing at the same time. The idea that it's happening because of what we're doing to the environment... that for all of us to survive we'll need people who think that way? That makes me majorly sad."

"No argument there. Scared me a little too."

"Well, yeah... but you have to go back to..."

As Abby began to get seriously enthusiastic about the subject matter, Mackenzie sat forward and leaned her elbows on the desktop, eager to hear what the sparkling lab-tech would say and excited to see how well she herself could keep up, if it was at all possible. Every word Abby spoke revealed a little more of what the new director desperately needed to know and the former Marine soaked it all in gratefully, commenting as little as she could manage and still meet the definition of a conversation. It took nearly an hour for the topic to exhaust itself and by that time, both women were close to being in the same condition.

"Oh wow! It's been so long. I'm sorry..." Abby suddenly exclaimed, rising to her feet. Mackenzie stood as well, holding out a placating hand.

"It's okay. Like I said I needed the break. Not to mention I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm really looking forward to doing this again."

"Me too... a lot. I uh... I better get back. Thanks... for everything. I feel a lot better."

"Glad I could reassure you. You and I will do fine, Abby. I won't interfere with your lab or how you feel you need to run it..."

"... but if I need help, I have to promise to let you know. Works for me. Come down sometime. I'll show you around, introduce you to the gang and Bert."

"Bert... pet lab rat?"

"Nope. You have to see him in person."

"Okay. Soon, I promise."

Abby giggled, nodded and turned away, bouncing her way out of the office. Mackenzie laughed as well and dropped back into her chair, wondering if it was something in her genes that kept leading her to places where she was surrounded by eccentric, endearing co-workers. Sighing, she realized that Gibbs and his team already felt as much like family as the group at JAG.

"Here I go again..." she mumbled under her breath as she re-focused on her paperwork, but she was still smiling.

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

PETERSBURG: 3:00

"What, McGee?"

"I know this is the last thing you wanna hear right now, Boss..."

'Then why the hell are you about to say it?"

"Uh... because there's no other choice?"

Gibbs sighed heavily, dropped his chin to his chest and waved at the younger man to continue. "It's practically identical to the other two scenes. No trace on the victim or in the car, no debris anywhere in the area, even casual trash we can be pretty sure has nothing to do with the crime... we've got nothing."

Gibbs rounded on the younger man with a deep growl and a fiery glare, knowing he was unfairly taking out his frustration on Tim, but unable to stop himself.

"We've got another dead sailor. That's nothing to you, McGee? Huh?"

"No... of course, not, Boss... I just..."

"Go on... go find the other two and bring 'em back here. Maybe they found something useful..."

"Right, Boss. Okay."

Tim reappeared a few moments later with Max in tow.

"Where's Tony?"

"No clue." Max reported, looking over her shoulder at the large open space behind her and the wooded stretch that bordered it. "He said he was doing one more sweep, just to be totally sure his sketch of the scene was accurate. He walked off... I haven't seen him since."

Jethro's hands briefly went numb and his heartbeat ramped up suddenly.

"Where did you last see him, Vendazzo? Show me exactly."

"I'm sure he's fine. He was just walking the perimeter, that's all..."

"Damn it, Agent Vendazzo..."

"Okay, okay. Right over here..."

Several minutes of increasingly frantic searching yielded no results for Gibbs or Max, but Tim had more luck, even though he couldn't manage to think of it in those terms.

"Boss! Look..."

Gibbs jogged up to where McGee was kneeling and carefully examined the section of disturbed leaves and soil his young agent was pointing to. "I don't see any signs of struggle, but it definitely looks as if somebody fell right here... and there are two sets of footprints and some drag marks..."

In a flash the numbness returned to Gibbs, accompanied by paralyzing anxiety and a rapidly spreading chill. He tried to move, to take some kind of action, but the only thing he seemed able to do was speak.

"Photos, McGee. Vendazzo, you keep looking for him. If he's still out here, he could... he might need help. And call back to the office... get some backup out here."

"On my way."

As Tim ran to get the camera back out of its case, Gibbs dropped slowly to one knee and reached out a shaking hand toward the spot Tim had found.

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TBC......

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