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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 39/?

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Creeping through the empty, echoing room one cautious step at a time, acutely aware of every scrape of his shoes over the dirt on the floor, McGee approached the door at the far end slowly. Peering through the tiny window, his heart stuttered at what he found and it was several seconds before he could get his feet to work well enough to let him back away. Thanks to the shaking suddenly wracking him, his hands nearly failed him as well, but he somehow managed to extract his walkie, depress the button and speak, though he kept his voice as quiet as he could.

"Boss..."

"What, McGee?"

"Boss... oh God..."

"Stay where you are, we'll be right in. Wait for us, you hear me?"

"Huh? No! I can't!" Tim whispered harshly. "He... Tony needs... I'm at the rear of the building, Boss! Make it fast!"

Shutting off his walkie to prevent noises that might betray him, Tim stowed it away and swiftly moved back to the door. Gripping the handle, he braced himself for a hard pull with no result. He was therefore thrown slightly off balance when it opened with no effort. He recovered almost immediately, but the reality of Tony's condition froze him in the doorway for a moment. A second or two after that, however, he was kneeling at his friend's side. "Tony? Can you hear me? God... you have to hold on, okay? Gibbs is on the way, so you have to try and hold on. Please..."

His last reserve of energy nearly depleted, all Tony could manage to do was crack open the eye that hadn't swollen shut, direct his gaze over Tim's shoulder and mouth the word 'Ari'. The younger man instantly understood that danger was behind him and stiffened in fear. Unfortunately, neither Tony's warning nor his own comprehension were enough to overcome his shock and allow him to react to the threat before Rossmore decided to take control.

"Stand up."

"I can't."

"I may be a mercenary and I may have killed, but even I have lines I won't cross. I will not murder a man when I haven't looked him in the eyes and seen who he is. Get up off your knees and face me. Now, boy!"

Tim gazed back down into Tony's face, but the other man appeared to have slipped into unconsciousness. Bereft of the help and guidance Tony consistently provided, even if DiNozzo wasn't aware of it, Tim knew he was being confronted with the moment he'd always known would come. He would have to salvage the situation on his own, knowing the team he depended on, the people that were closer than his biological family could ever be, were not immediately available. To his amazement, the recognition brought with it calm, clarity and the ability to get to his feet and turn around, despite what might be coming. "Better. Now move aside."

"No. That I won't do."

Rossmore's eyes widened briefly, but his expression soon settled back into mildly disdainful and subtly dangerous.

"Pay attention, mouse. I have a job to do, but I have no problem taking you out first rather than second. You *will* get out of my way and let me earn my money or I'll shut the door, lock it and do the same thing to you that I've been doing to him."

"No. He's been through enough."

"You... telling me no. That's the best joke I've heard in a very long time. One might almost think you understood the meaning of self-sacrifice. That's ridiculous, of course. These days people barely understand two plus two. I can see you're one of the rare ones, though. You can speak coherently... you seem to actually have a brain in your head. That means you're smart enough to know when the battle *and* the war are lost. Now move out of my way."

"No."

In response to this simple reply, the smile Rossmore produced was thin and tense and almost feral, but it was no match for the sheer malice in his next words.

"Again with the negativity. With such a ... warped, perverted *thing* as your only mentor, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. He probably infected you with his disease under the guise of teaching. My only regret... is that I'll probably never have a chance to get that sick old man in here and wash the world clean of his filth and DiNozzo's at the same time."

The vile speech caused deep anger to begin rising up in Tim, but thanks to what Gibbs and Tony had actually taught him, he knew exactly what to do with the unwanted, potentially lethal emotion. Turning his gaze down for a moment, he drew a slow, measured breath and released it just as evenly then looked up again and responded with a single word and a smile.

"Sorry."

Seeing no result from his ploy to get Tim angry enough to lose his head and rush him, Rossmore's fury pushed him into that position instead. Growling and incoherent, he raised his gun and stepped forward, but the distinctive feel of a second weapon being shoved against the nape of his neck stopped him in his tracks.

"On. Your. Knees." Gibbs intoned quietly from just behind Rossmore's left shoulder. The mercenary chuckled bitterly and shook his head and Jethro could see the man's muscles tense in preparation for fighting back, but the former marine wasn't about to let that happen. "You should know I don't give a damn whether you live or die."

The utter certainty he heard in the threat told Rossmore that if he so much as twitched, there was no doubt which outcome Gibbs would choose, so he slowly unclenched his fingers, let the gun drop and sank to the floor. Realizing that it was all over, that he'd done his best and kept Tony safe long enough for help to arrive, Tim followed suit a few moments later, collapsing into a crumpled heap and struggling to breathe. Max and Jonah rushed in, sidling around Gibbs and the now cuffed suspect, and the young woman ran to crouch at McGee's side, pulling him into a fierce embrace.

" ...t's okay, right? I did it... did it... "

"Yeah, sweetheart... you did. You were awesome."

"Got it right... gonna go to the lake... camp out..."

"Come again, kiddo?"

"Boss said facing a gun... 's like fishing. Breathe slow... be patient 'nough to-to let them take the bait... and don't talk too much."

Max laughed softly, though tears were also streaking down her face, and urged Tim to move to the side so that Ducky and the paramedics, who had just entered, could get to Tony. Once they were out of the way, she sat down against the wall and pulled Tim in even tighter. Part of her desperately wanted to participate more fully in the rescue effort, but she recognized that as part of the family, comforting her brother was just as important. Fighting down her own emotions, she breathed deeply and rocked Tim back and forth, content for the moment to watch the drama unfold a few feet away.

"It's alright, Jethro. I'll take him now." Jonah insisted benignly.

"Hell you will..."

"Tony needs you. You can trust me to get this SOB taken care of, you know that. Go see Tony... tell him it's all over and he's safe. Go on..."

Reluctantly, Gibbs handed Rossmore into Jonah's custody and turned away, intending to do as his friend had suggested, but he was held back by Ducky's gentle hand on his chest. That simple gesture wouldn't have even slowed Gibbs down, but the expression on the ME's face was more than enough to halt the team leader.

"No, my friend. Please..."

"Ducky... don't you dare. Don't you tell me he's..."

"Anthony is alive, have no fear. Unconscious, but most definitely alive. But his injuries... they're nothing anyone who loves him should have to see."

"Anyone else, you mean." Gibbs corrected, squeezing the older man's forearm.

"Yes. The... the medics will care for him now. We should focus on the ones we can be of use to. Timothy and Addie both require attention..."

Reminded of what his youngest agent must have been through while he waited for backup, Gibbs searched until he found the pair huddled together on the far wall. Carefully, he approached, knelt down and touched Tim's ankle.

"Good work, Vendazzo. Is he..."

"He'll be alright... eventually. I can only get bits and pieces of the story, so far. What I'm hearing, though... if nobody else will write him up for a commendation, I'll do it myself." She related through a fresh flood of tears. "And if you don't really take him fishing someday, I'll knock you on your ass and then tell everyone in the office that you do needlepoint and sing show tunes."


"Fishing..."

Slowly, a long ago lecture to a then greener-than-green Tim McGee came filtering back to Gibbs. "Breathe, be patient.... damn. Spot like he was in, I can't believe he remembered that." Gibbs murmured. Eyes down, as if it were hard to look at either of his agents just then, the older man squeezed Tim's ankle briefly and gently. "You did me proud, Tim. Did the whole team and the agency proud. You'll have your fishing trip, I swear. And *I'll* put you in for the commendation."

Max grinned faintly.

"You better. Is Dino..."

"He's hurt... maybe real bad. Ducky wouldn't let me see. He'll recover, though. Tony's too tough and he's got too much heart to let somethin' like this beat him." Gibbs told her as he rose to his full height again. "You take care of the kid. Get him to Abby and the two of you stay with him tonight... give him whatever he needs. Within reason, on your part, of course."

"Of course."

"If you need me I'll be at the hospital from here on in. Try your damndest not to need me."

"Gotcha, Boss."

As she watched Gibbs stride away, Max gave Tim a quick, firm hug and rubbed his back vigorously to get him motivated. "You ready to get outta this place, Tim?"

"More than. Way more..."

"You can stand okay, now?"

"Think so..."

He was still a bit unsteady once she'd helped him up, but managed to walk mostly under his own steam as they left the disturbing little chamber behind them.

"By the stunned look on your face he, uh... he doesn't say things like that too often, does he?"

"More lately... but no. Loving Tony... it's made Gibbs a different man. Just as strong.... but different. He can't lose..."

"Hey, don't you dare. I'm sure I'm allowed to crack you one in Gibbs' place, no matter how big a hero you are." Max admonished him lightly as she held open the door and led him outside.

"Probably. I'm not, you know. I did what I had to... what Gibbs and Tony trained me to do..."

"That's for other people to decide, Tim. You can't be objective. Anyway, we shouldn't worry about the future. Right now, we need to get you back to your sweetie so she can see you're okay." Max told him as she lowered him carefully into the passenger side of the car she and Jonah had arrived in. "Then the three of us will decide how we're celebrating tonight. Sound good?"

"Anything that involves seeing Abby. I really need one of her patented hugs right now..."

"I hear you, Tim. Me too..."

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TBC...

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