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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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31

With A Little Help 31/?

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

FOLLOWING MORNING: SIX A.M.

Stepping inside the room where his prisoner lay sprawled on the floor, still seemingly unaware of his surroundings, Mitchell Rossmore grinned and shut the door firmly behind him. The sharp click and slight ring of metal against metal didn't even bring a tremor from the other man, but his captor took nothing for granted. A seasoned agent, especially one who'd trained under someone with the background and purported temperament of Jethro Gibbs, wouldn't twitch if he played the William Tell Overture.

Instead of wasting time hoping DiNozzo would slip up and react to an overt assault on one of his other senses, he looked for the subtler physical signs that Tony couldn't control so easily, such as slightly uneven breathing and muscle tension that shouldn't be there. Finding those and more, Rossmore swiftly moved to Tony's side, knelt and spoke quietly.

"I know you're awake. You and I have business to conduct, so you can give it up, turn over and face me... or the pain can start a lot sooner than either of us wants it to."

He got no response, so he tried again. "You've doubled my workload on this job, screwed with my Sunday and forced me to kill... something I don't do lightly. I'm already angry. You *don't* want to make it any worse by continuing to play this stupid game. Open your eyes. Now."

When Tony still refused to comply, Rossmore growled softly, shook his head and murmured under his breath. "Right. Your choice..."

A moment later he laid one hand over the severe burns his stun-gun had left on his captive's neck and pressed down hard. The move not only sent a jolt of pain lancing through Tony, it drove his face into the floor, interfering with his breathing. Finally acknowledging that his first attempt at resistance had failed, Tony arched up just a bit, signaling the other man that, even if he gave in on no other point, he would accede to this demand. Though reluctant to let go, Rossmore knew that killing at this stage, satisfying as it might personally be, would lose him the rest of the money he'd been promised. Softly sighing with regret, he released his hold, privately enjoying the labored breaths Tony struggled not to let his jailer hear.

"Man... the stun-gun was overkill, don't you think?" Tony offered as he pushed up onto shaky knees, flipped around and sat down, facing the other man. "You didn't have to leave the damn thing on me that long..."

A brutal slap abruptly halted Tony's words and rocked his head to one side. Slowly shifting his gaze back to Rossmore, he held his tongue and raised a questioning eyebrow instead.

"I don't tolerate cursing."

Tony licked tentatively at his freely bleeding lower lip and nodded.

"Understood."

"For your sake, I hope so. Every repeat will earn stronger punishment. Hands above your head."

Tony hesitated, carefully studying the other man's face for any sign that he would tolerate further rebellion. Finding nothing, not even anger or disdain, the younger man slowly capitulated, raising his arms.

His reasonable, generally calm attitude lasted through the shackles that were snapped tightly around his wrists a moment later, but when Rossmore's next move was to retrieve a small jackknife from his pocket, panic flooded Tony and he scrabbled with his feet, desperate to get as far away as the chains attached to the steel cuffs would allow. "A healthy sense of fear. That's good to know." The bigger man acknowledged. As he slowly exposed the blade, however, an alternative came to mind, inducing a nasty grin. "Then again... maybe there's something special here? A reason you're so afraid? Mmmm... bonus for me, unfortunate for you. Knives are one of my favorite tools." He confessed, twisting the handle back and forth and studying the patterns of light on the glistening steel instrument. "When you have the luxury of drawing out the agony, they can be exquisitely precise... or you can let your issues have free rein and go for quick, brutal and messy. All depends on your mood at the time."

Rossmore glanced up from contemplating his weapon to find the chains had reached their limit. Despite knowing this, Tony was shaking, wide-eyed and still pulling, frantic to escape what was, in his eyes, a far greater threat than the man who had abducted him. He fought to speak, to plead that he would do whatever Rossmore asked if only he'd put the knife away, but his palate was utterly dry and his throat was so tight it ached. The other read his face and offered a dark chuckle and darker words. "Relax. I said you won't be hurt yet. Maybe not at all if you cooperate, and that extends right up to how you leave this world when we're finished. I can cause pain like you've never imagined or it can be relatively easy. It's on you. All you have to do is answer a few questions. Nod if you understand."

Tony had to haul in and force out a series of deep breaths, but he was able to comply. "Alright. First question: can you hold still?"

This received another jerky nod. "Do it."

Clenching his eyes shut, the young man envisioned the movie theater and repeated the routine Lewiston had taught him until he felt his muscle tremors begin to ease up. When he sensed Rossmore step close, however, Tony tensed again and struggled not to shy away or flinch, even though all his captor did was deftly slice the fabric of Tony's dress shirt until it could be easily pulled off and tossed aside. "Better. Second question: Why did you react like that?"

"I can't." Tony croaked. "Hardly told anybody I *trust*... can't tell some guy I don't know."

"Oh, you will, eventually... but for now I'll let it slide. Last question, and the most important one of all: Who have you been talking to?"

Tony felt a heady mixture of fear and anger surge up from deep within him and he shifted, trying to sit up straighter. When the emotions hit his brain moments later, he couldn't suppress the recklessness that momentarily swamped him.

" *He* did this?! If my father thinks... no. I wouldn't tell him, I'm not telling you. Go to hell..."

This time, Rossmore's penalty for cursing was a fast, solid punch to the solar plexus. The chain length rendering him unable to curl forward and double over, Tony settled for pulling his knees up close to his body. His breathing was suspended for several seconds as he rode out the shock, but it gradually resumed, though pained wheezes were all he could manage at first. "I warned you to watch your mouth. Trust me, you don't want to know what the next level is, so I'd start listening when I tell you the rules. Now... answer the question."

Tony blanched, but his common sense had begun to reassert itself somewhat, so he chose not to take the risk of speaking again and merely shook his head. "Rethink this course of action, Michael. Walk this path and you'll hurt more than you ever believed a human being could."

Hearing his captor use the detested name only steeled Tony's resolve not to let his father win. This time there was no gesture, no indication of assent or refusal. All he gave the man towering above him was a blank stare. "Alright. You won't believe me, I know, but I regret that things have to happen this way. Not that any of is it on my conscience, of course. You made your decision. Whatever you suffer from here on out is entirely your own fault..."

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

TEN-THIRTY: NCIS

As he rode up on the elevator, Ducky frowned and stared fixedly at the floor numbers, as if he could affect the speed of his ascent with just the power of his mind. Gerald had, prudently, stayed down in the morgue, fully aware how irritated his lover was with him. After their late night, and knowing the stress Ducky was under, the younger man had turned off the alarm clock and allowed the doctor to sleep in. Now the M.E. was anxiously contemplating what mental and emotional shape the children might be in and wishing the elevator had a turbo boost switch.

Finally, he reached the third floor. The moment the doors opened he was out and hurrying to the rescue, or so he thought. When he came in sight of Gibbs' area of the office, Ducky was pleasantly surprised at what he found. He watched Jethro clap Max gently on the back and offer her a momentary smile before moving across the aisle to inspect what Tim was doing. His progress clearly met with his supervisor's approval, as he also received a quick grin and a shoulder squeeze.

A moment later, Gibbs looked up and met his old friend's surprised gaze.

"Yeah, Duck? You need something?"

"No... not really. I simply... I suppose I thought..."

"You were worried I'd have the second B on full display and these two would be hiding under their desks?"

"Yes. Very much so."

"What, you think I don't learn my lessons? Nobody's ever had to put me back on track more than once. Outside of marriage."

"Hmmm... true, but that found a remedy in Tony." Ducky replied, smiling lightly, despite how weighed down his heart became at even the mention of the missing young man's name. He watched carefully as Jethro fought off his own roiling emotions, relaxing only when his friend did.

"Damn right it did. He finds out I growled even once..."

"... you'll find yourself on the other end of one of your famous brain-rattlers. Justifiably, I might add." Ducky teased.

"I'm sure. You just checking up on the kids or did you have somethin' to tell me?"

"The former. Oh, you might like to know Gerald is here for the day. He wanted to reacquaint himself with any equipment and policy changes in the morgue and such."

"Abby know yet?"

"I left it to him. That way he can't blame me for any well-meant bruises he incurs."

Gibbs chuckled.

"Like he would. Tell him I'll be down to see him later, okay? I don't wanna walk away from the search right now..."

"He'll be more than willing to come to you, Jethro, no worries about that."

"He must be really happy to be back." Gibbs commented vaguely, never taking his eyes from Tim's screen.

"Very much so. As he'll be replacing me eventually, there are mixed feelings, of course... but as I said at the party, this is what's best for both of us."

"Mmm-hmm."

Realizing he was getting no attention whatsoever anymore, Ducky decided to go, but left Gibbs a gentle warning as he turned away.

"Right. Now that I know the children aren't being terrorized, I can return to my corner of the world in peace. If you should feel the urge to begin running facial recognition software..."

Gibbs finally glanced back at his oldest friend, his gaze sharp, clear and discerning, and the other man knew he understood.

"Message received. Thanks, Duck."

"Not necessary. We almost lost you during that period, as well. I watched you suffer and didn't say a word... but I won't do it a second time, so don't ask."

"Not gonna happen. Got too many other pairs of eyes on me this time."

Ducky smiled and began to move back to the elevator, but saw Gerald approaching and paused.

"Hello. Abigail let you go so quickly?"

"She wasn't there. I found a note on the doors to the lab that said she took today off."

"That isn't like her... not at all. It must have been something very important."

"Wouldn't she have told you? I thought she confided in you about pretty much everything."

"Yes... usually she does. I can't imagine what she could be up to..."

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

"Well, the paperwork all seems to be in order, Miss Sciuto. Everything should be ready on our end in a few days. A week, at most."

"That's great. I can't wait to do this. I know it'll work, it just has to. You can't know how excited I am!" she enthused, bouncing in her chair.

"I can make a guess." The woman across from her replied with a soft laugh as she rose to her feet and extended her hand. Abby stood as well, vibrated for a few seconds in indecision and then threw caution to the winds, moved around the desk and enveloped the other woman in a hug.

"Thank you *so* much for all you've done."

"I appreciate the sentiment, but we haven't even started..."

"It'll all work out, perfect, you'll see. I have a sense about these things." Abby assured her as she pulled away.

"I hope you're right."

"You have my cell number?"

"I do."

"Not that they'd make a *huge* deal about it at work, it's just personal calls... you know."

"Understood."

"Call me the minute. The very minute. Promise?"

"As soon as all the ducks are in a row, I'll get in touch."

Abby squeaked happily and twirled, her pigtails flying wildly, then ran out the door. The other woman snorted and laughed behind her hand.

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

TBC.........

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