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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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With a Little Help 30/?



Staring at the house he'd just pulled up in front of, Tim frowned slightly and switched his attention back to the cell phone in his hand.

"Yes... I'm fine. Of course I still need you... no, I won't leave you in the lurch, I swear. I'm not canceling, I just need to shift the timing back a few hours, okay? Remember I told you about the woman Ducky arranged for me to... the instrument maker, right. Well, I called on the spur of the moment and she said she was free and I could start tonight. I don't know... working with the wood at the foundation... it calmed me down and made me forget everything else. I decided I needed that *and* you, tonight, okay? I can still have both, can't I? You'll still come to my place later? I know, it's for you as much as me... okay. Thanks. About ten? Good. Love you. Bye."

Stepping out of the car, Tim locked up, slid his phone and keys into a pocket and took a deep breath. In spite of the approval of both Gibbs and his friend, the younger man wasn't at all sure he could do it. His creative outlet was writing, not working with his hands, but for the past month or so the novel he'd been putting together had been resisting his attempts to complete it. He'd wondered if perhaps trying something else, something totally unfamiliar to him, would shake his muses loose, so when Ducky had proposed lessons with an instrument maker, Tim had jumped at the chance. Now, he was suddenly questioning his decision.


McGee jumped at hearing his name spoken, but recovered quickly and turned to find a slender, older woman with short blond hair smiling gently at him from the open doorway. "You are Tim McGee?"

"Yeah... I mean, yes, I am. Nice to meet you, Miss Foster."

"Please, Susannah. It's what all my students call me. Come on in."

"Okay. Susannah. Do you, um... do you teach a lot of people to do this?" he asked uncertainly as he followed her into the house.

"Not really. Two or three a year at the most. It's an intense learning curve and I couldn't handle any more than that." she explained, leading him through the kitchen and out to her garage.

"How... how intense? I mean..."

" I wasn't trying to scare you." she responded with a smile as she flicked the light on. "You just need to know that not everyone is cut out for this. It takes focus, dedication, patience and the willingness to listen. I'm finding that fewer and fewer people possess all those qualities these days."

Tim replied without taking his gaze away from the workshop.

"I've worked with computers most of my life. I think I qualify."

"Yes, I think you might." She agreed with a low chuckle, drawing his attention back to her finally.

:I'm sorry. It's just..."

"No, no. It's fine. Showing more interest in the tools and materials than you do in me is a good thing... for now. First test: go to the small pile of wood over there and pick out a piece."

Tim gazed at her curiously, but she merely waved him on and he eventually did as she'd asked. For a long stretch of minutes he studied the pile without actually touching it, just letting his gaze move slowly over the different choices. Following that inspection, with his lower lip firmly clamped between his teeth, he began to remove certain pieces one at a time and run his hands over them carefully. It took almost thirty minutes of selecting, handling and discarding before he found one that met his approval. Hesitantly, he turned and walked back to Susannah with the chunk in his hands.

"Here. This one."

"Uh-huh." She murmured, accepting his offering. "Why?"

"I don't know. It felt... right. I liked it more than any of the others."

"What else do you do, Tim? Off the job, I mean."

"I write. I've got a novel almost finished."

"On a computer, I suppose."

"No, actually."

"Okay. Keep going." She prompted, wondering why he was hesitating. "I won't laugh, I promise."

"You'd be the first. I... I use a typewriter."




"Nope. Manual."

"Wow. Shows a respect for the past and tells me you're not afraid of doing things the hard way. We're on, Tim McGee. Welcome to a year of the toughest, most exacting and most rewarding work you'll ever do."

"You've never worked for my boss."

"That must be the famous Gibbs Ducky always talks about. I've heard stories. I'll try to live up to the levels of stress and the screaming fits you're used to." She joked.

"Thanks. And thanks so much for this opportunity."

"Save that for after you graduate, apprentice."

"Right, of course. Would you... I mean, you wouldn't be willing to teach me to play, too, would you?"

"Lordy, you are ambitious, aren't you? I won't do it. Too much of a distraction from what you're here to learn. I'll give you the name of someone who can, though. He's practically a master musician and he won't charge you an arm and a leg."

"Hope not. Until and unless my book sells, I can only afford a couple of fingers and maybe a toenail."

Susannah laughed heartily, but sobered at Tim's next question. "What kind of schedule am I looking at, here? What exactly do you expect from me in this deal?"

"You're committing to two nights a week, three hours a night for at least the next eight months. I expect the best out of you every time and no excuses. If you bail on a lesson, your life or someone else's better hang in the balance. I realize with what you do, that's a distinct possibility..."

"More than I like to think about sometimes."

"Still, like I said... I need you to be dedicated to this. I called Joe Youcha for confirmation, you know. He said you've at least got the touch. Don says you have the brains, the heart and the attention span. It's up to you, though. Final answer?"

"Yes. Absolutely yes."

"Good. Let's get going, then."


"Everything went as planned?"

"Basically. I had to improvise a little, but no harm done."



"I hope it's clear that in this case death isn't such a concern. Not as long as you get what I want first."


"Extracting information *is* supposed to be your specialty."

"Not to mention one of my great pleasures."

"Yes... I don't need to know about that."

"I shouldn't expect to see you here, then." He asked dryly, slightly mocking the other man and not bothering to try and conceal it. His employer, however, was oblivious as usual.

"Why would I bother? You're the expert in such things. I trust you can get the job done expediently and accomplish the clean up without any help from me. Contact me only when it's finished."

"I was going to insist on that myself. Interruptions make me cranky and when I get cranky my subjects may end up... damaged more severely than I planned."

"Didn't you hear? I said I don't want details."

The man on the other end of the line chuckled maliciously.

"No stomach, no backbone. Guess that's why you're the cash flow and I am... what I am."

"And never the twain shall meet. Go do your job." He spat, slapping the phone receiver back into its cradle with a decisive thud. Pulling the cell phone away from his ear, the other stared at it in disgust for a moment before shoving it back in his pocket. Storming across the large, dim space he stopped at a locked door and gazed through its tiny glass panel at the unconscious form on the floor. Shaking with fury, he spoke quietly, but with intense bitterness and clear purpose.

"Weak, stupid useless.... You just wait, little man. For the crime of birthing such an abomination, I may take part of my payment in *your* blood... once I'm done spilling his."


11:15 P.M.: DUCKY'S HOME

"It simply... isn't... fair." Ducky forced out through clenched teeth. Grunting, he hurled a ceramic toothbrush holder at the wall they'd designed for that purpose. Hands on his lover's shoulders, Gerald released a barely audible sigh and squeezed a little.

"You're right, it isn't."

"They were doing so well! I even had hopes that Jethro might agree to come with us one of these Sundays... and now this. If we can't... a second loss of this magnitude could well destroy him."

"We won't let that happen. You need one more?"

"Yes. Please..."

"Here you go. After this, I think we should get to bed, though, okay? It's pretty late."

"Hmmm? Oh... I suppose it is. Alright. Just one more..."

A last vehement expulsion of air, a soft curse and another piece of garage sale crockery meet its untimely end against the structure at the far end of the basement.


"No... not really. It will have to do, however." Ducky admitted as they moved toward the elevator. "I expect I'll need to be even more alert and aware than usual tomorrow. The children will likely be turning to me for reassurance when, absorbed in his grief and anger, their ersatz father pushes them away."

"That sounds like Gibbs..."

"I dearly wish it didn't."

"The fool... why doesn't somebody slap him upside the head once?"

Ducky produced a brief, astonished laugh and smiled wearily up at his companion.

"I don't think anyone's ever dared to contemplate it, never mind *do* it. For all we know the universe may just take that as it's cue that the end has come and begin contracting in on itself."

"He puts unnecessary stress on the kids tomorrow, I'll be hard pressed not to test that theory..."

"You're coming with me to work?" Ducky asked, pausing and gazing at Gerald in surprise.

"I need to get reacquainted with the morgue sometime soon, right? Check out what's been moved where, get familiar with any changes in procedure. No better time to do it than when my second family needs an extra set of shoulders to lean on. Besides... I could never leave you alone when you're feeling so much at loose ends."

"Have I told you what an amazing man you are?"

"Not in the last five minutes, no."

"Then let's go upstairs, shall we, and I'll correct that grievous error..."

"Sounds good."



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