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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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36

With a Little Help... 36/?

5:30 A.M.: NCIS

Gibbs woke slowly, brushing away the hand that was gently vibrating his shoulder. Since midnight, he'd barely managed two hours of restless sleep, all of it saturated with fear-centered dreams, so he was not yet ready to wake up, but the hand was insistent, soon joined by a gentle voice.

"Jethro. Jethro, I'm aware how badly you slept. I wouldn't disturb you if it wasn't very important."

Gibbs sat up by increments, cautiously testing muscles and joints that had stiffened and cramped, as they always did when he conked out on one of Ducky's autopsy tables.

"What's up?"

"There seems to have been some progress upstairs. Timothy phoned and asked if I'd wake you and send you up to hear the latest."

"Thanks, Duck." Gibbs offered, rising to his feet, stretching and heading for the automatic doors. Just before he got there, however, he paused and spoke to his oldest friend without turning back. "Hey."

"Yes?"

"What you're doing for Tony... the Sunday thing... it's really good for him. Once he's back with us, he may try to use my attitude about the whole thing as an excuse to quit. Don't fall for it, okay? Don't let him stop going."

"I won't. My solemn vow."

As he rode up in the elevator, Gibbs was deeply grateful the trip was so short. It gave him no time to dwell on everything that could already have gone horribly wrong, or might in the next several hours. Until Tony was found, Gibbs needed to think logically and strategically and keep his mind focused on a positive outcome. When his senior agent was safe and his kidnapper behind bars, then, and only then, would the older man allow his emotions any real control, and only when the two of them were alone.

"McGee!" Gibbs barked as he strode into the bullpen. He added nothing, aware that, by now, Tim knew precisely what was expected without being told.

"Here, boss. It took us most of the night, but we narrowed down the list to three locations. Director Mackenzie is working on warrants as we speak."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "She stayed with us until around one, crashed in her office and was back at it as of half an hour ago."

"More power to her." Gibbs murmured and dropped into his desk chair. "Distances?"

"Ummm... hang on. I swear... why can't I find it... God, I can't believe... this isn't right, I know I had it on here..."

Max grasped Tim by the chin and pulled his attention up for a moment.

"Stop. It's okay, Tim. We're all exhausted. Close your eyes, take a breath... and look again."

"Yeah... okay. Got it. Forty-five miles... twenty-two and fifteen point six.

"That close?" Gibbs asked.

"To each other. It depends on whether we start with the one that's farthest away, of course. I can recalculate if you think..."

"Don't. That'll be fine. Good work, all of you. Be ready to go as soon as the paperwork comes down."

"Two hours," a faintly disgusted voice announced from the entrance to the bullpen, drawing all their focus there. Realizing who it was, Gibbs stood and moved to greet her.

"Morning, Director."

"Morning.

"Two hours, huh?"

"I did the best I could. Judges and clerks seem to think sleep is a necessity. I don't know where they get that."

"Wimps."

"Agreed. Why don't you all go hit the cafeteria for food and caffeine? I promise you'll know the minute the warrants come through."

Gibbs hesitated. Mackenzie smiled and added quiet reassurances. "You're not letting everything go, Agent Gibbs. You're just handing it over for a while. You know I'll take good care of it."

"Yeah... guess I do. Let's go people! Time to fuel up while you've got the chance."

Mackenzie watched the others file out and turned an expectant look on Gibbs. "I'll be there. Got a call to make first."

"The kids are depending on you, Gibbs. This would be a really bad time to dim their North Star."

"I twinkle and I'm a sailor's best friend. Yeah, that's me alright." He retorted lightly.

"I know you get my point."

"I do."

"Good. See you downstairs." She said, turning to follow the same path the rest of the group had taken a few minutes before. Gibbs shook his head and reclaimed his chair, picking up the phone.

"Put him on, Abby."

"Gibbs? How did you... I mean how..."

"Have I ever answered that question?"

"No, but..."

"Then put him on, willya?"

He endured a few moments of silence before Dennis came on the line.

"You've ticked off the little lady, Jethro. Not a good idea."

"Buy her a Caf-Pow and tell her it's from me. She'll get over it so fast your head will spin. We've got a couple promising leads. Soon as the warrants come down, we'll be gone. Try and keep Jimmy and Abby's minds on something else, huh? Ducky'll help."

"I'll do everything I can. Hope it's acceptable if *I* pray."

"Do what you want." Gibbs grunted. "Good news or bad, we'll be back late evening. Before midnight, definitely."

"Here's to only good."

"Thanks... for everything."

"Even making you want to strangle me earlier?"

"Especially that." Gibbs replied and disconnected firmly. Dennis followed suit, a bit more gently, and turned back to Abby.

"Now, young lady. You were going to tell me about something you're feeling guilty for?"

"Kind of. I mean it's like... time machine guilt, 'cause I haven't actually done this morally questionable thing yet, I've only set it up so I *can* do it..."

Dennis held up a hand and she fell silent instantly.

"Gibbs and the rest... they let you get away with that?"

Abby's eyes widened and she pasted on her most innocent expression.

"With what?"

"Abby."

"Okay... more than you just did. Usually."

"And none of them have ever figured out why you really do it?"

"Only Gibbs... I think."

"I'd bet on it. So... no more of your favorite diversion tactic, hmmm? Just tell me."

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

6: 45:

Rossmore drained half a bottle of cold water, used his handkerchief to dry his mouth and gazed down with satisfaction at one of his finest creations. Pain and blood were his art, his craft, and he considered himself a master. He had no doubt that if DiNozzo's remains were found within a reasonable amount of time everyone who saw them would reach the same conclusion.

Capping the bottle, he set it on the floor, moved to where he'd placed his latest tool before his break and retrieved it.

"You're running out of chances, worm. I've already decided you won't die easily even if you give up the information. You've been too much trouble and too stubborn to have earned that. The pain you're suffering in the moment, however... can end. Two words, one name. That's all I'm asking. You can't have known this person very long. The call you made to my client, the... advice on forgiveness... it was only a month or two ago. You owe your so-called confessor not a damn thing. Put your loyalty back where it's always been, scum... with yourself. Show me the self-serving, self-centered little brat he said you are."

Tony held his breath for a few moments, briefly hoarding what little he could pull in, then used the precious air to continue his campaign of resistance.

"You both can... go play... chicken... with a backhoe..."

"Uh-oh. Not as bold and defiant that time. It seems your sarcasm is running out as fast as your strength and your ability to breathe." Rossmore mused, running one hand over the wide portion of the long paddle he held and studying the soles of Tony's feet. "Hmmm. The color of the bruises is quite pretty... but not exactly what I was going for. I'll just have to keep working, I suppose..."

Too depleted to scream, Tony was only able to moan softly when the paddle began to slam into the sensitive area again. Though he hadn't learned enough in his visits with Ducky to know if a church-probie was allowed to make an attempt at a 'this is an emergency' prayer, Tony nevertheless sent up a silent mayday, pleading for his release to happen soon, not caring anymore whether it came as rescue or death.

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AN: The search begins! Strap in and hold on tight, boys and girls...

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