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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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42

With a Little Help ... 42/?

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GIBBS' HOME: 5 A.M.

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Wandering through the house in nothing but his boxers, a t-shirt and heavy socks, Gibbs sipped absently at a cooling mug of coffee and wished he hadn't been so drained and used up the night before. He'd slept deeply and without dreams, something he felt guilty about since Tony hadn't been beside him. He was now wide awake, left facing three lonely, silent hours before he could reasonably get back on the road to visit Tony.

Ducky had dropped him off and headed back to the hospital the previous evening, anxious to check on his patient, and Gibbs, despite his friend's many admonitions and gentle threats, had written off food and hydration, heading straight up the stairs and crawling under his covers on Tony's side of the bed. Now, as the world beyond his windows turned inexorably toward sunrise, he tipped the last of the dark liquid down his throat, made a detour into the kitchen to exchange the empty mug for a glass of cold water and shuffled into the living room to continue gradually slaking what felt like a days long thirst.

He knew he should be eating as well, but the desire simply wasn't in him. He wanted, more than anything, to return to bed and bury his head in Tony's pillow. The faint touch of the younger man's peppermint scented shampoo was already gone from his senses and he felt almost feverish with the need to re-establish it. Laying one hand beside him on the sofa where Tony had sat the night they'd shared the chocolate, he imagined he could feel the warmth still lingering. A moment later, however, he pulled back, scowling and shaking his head.

"What the... God, what is goin' on with me? I'm actin' like he's dead!"

Frustrated with himself, Jethro began to sweep items off the table in front of him and into his arms, knowing a normal, everyday task like cleaning would get his equilibrium back. Among the newspapers and flyers, though, he found something that stopped him cold. Dropping the rest of the jumbled mess onto the couch cushions, he held up the small device, experiencing a rill of familiarity when two thin cords unraveled and hung down nearly to the floor. Turning on a nearby light, he took a better look, but he still wasn't sure he was right about what it was. Grasping the thing tightly, he raced up to the bedroom, flipped the lights back on there as well and, after a brief search, found his cell phone in the jacket he'd hastily discarded in his quest for sleep.

"McGee. I can hear you're awake. I'm glad your typewriter's working again... No, I haven't eaten... DiNozzo's doin' okay... damn it, will you listen for a second? I need you to describe something for me. That H-seed... the music thing Tony always boppin' around to... I-pod, right... hell, I don't care if they used hieroglyphics or Martian to name it, just tell me what it looks like. Uh-huh... good. How fast can you get to my place? That'll have to do. Just push it a little, willya? I'll pay the ticket if you end up with one." He reassured Tim then, as usual, ended the call without warning and hurried to wash and dress.

Fifty minutes later, he was opening the front door for his youngest agent.

"Morning, Boss."

"Morning. Coffee?"

"Yeah, thanks."

Once Tim had his cup of slightly doctored brew, both men settled on the sofa.

"Here. How do I work this thing?" Gibbs asked, handing over the music player.

"Well... you start with this right here... then this lets you run through what songs he has stored. Oh... oh wow. Tony likes... oh, my God."

"He's a major talent, McGee. He can keep up with Billy Joel an' Elton John on the piano, that's for sure."

"Yeah, but... Boss..."

"I like him too."

"Right. Of course. Major talent."

"What makes it play?"

"This one. I can ask it to just do part of the list or one song..."

"Yeah." Gibbs agreed, squinting and pointing. "That one. Show me."

"Okay. Like that... and that. You wanna try?"

"Not a hell of a lot... but I will."

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NCIS: 9:30 A.M.

"Sir, I don't know what else to tell you. She isn't on a set schedule. If she has a breakfast meeting or attended a dinner the previous night, she sometimes doesn't make it in until ten..."

"You're her assistant, you must have her cell number. Call her. Now."

"Sir, I..."

"Not necessary." Sarah announced from behind both of them. "Thanks, Cynthia. You can take your break now."

"Yes, ma'mm." The young woman replied gratefully as she hustled out of the line of fire. Sarah watched her go then moved past Vance and into her office, not looking back to see if he was following. The tense, solemn expression he wore told her he wouldn't be far behind. As she settled in behind her desk, he closed the door and strode to within a foot or two of where she sat.

"Why haven't I been kept in the loop as to what's going on around here?"

"I wasn't aware you were out of it. What, precisely, are we talking about?"

"Precisely? Let's start with what the hell Jennifer Sheppard is doing in a locked mental ward."

Sarah hesitated for a moment then felt herself begin to tense up as well.

"She's receiving treatment."

"For what?"

"Was she a friend?"

"Is. She *is* a friend and I demand to know why she's been locked up." Vance growled, stepping even closer to the desk. Sarah, instantly recognizing an attempt at intimidation, smiled up at him and refused to rise to her feet or to the bait. She knew full well that the power in the room was still hers, his bullying tactics aside.

"I assume you're familiar with 'The Andy Griffith Show' ?"

"Excuse me?"

"Andy Griffith. Mayberry, whistled theme song, Goober and Floyd..."

"Of course I know about it. What does that have to do with anything..."

"I'm the sheriff. The nameplate on the outside of my door might as well read Andy Taylor. I don't know exactly what yours says... but I'm sure the word deputy is on there somewhere." She calmly replied, leaving the rest unspoken, knowing he would get the point. Despite her dislike of him personally, she respected and would never underestimate his intelligence or his capacity to make her life miserable if she gave her tongue free rein. She might have been bristling internally over his attitude, but she knew subtlety and restraint were the best way to go.

"Message received. Will you tell me what happened... please?"

"I wish I could." Sarah told him, softening just the slightest bit. "For her sake it's being kept very quiet and the reports on the incident have been sealed."

"Was David involved somehow? The way she was just hauled out of NCIS and back to Isreal... it doesn't make sense."

"That was a result of what happened." She answered curtly. Her unwillingness to go any farther made Vance's lips tighten and his hands clench into fists.

"Damn it, Sarah..."

The disrespect brought Mackenzie to her feet at last.

"You barely know me well enough to use my title. My first name is *miles* out of bounds." She retorted quietly. The obvious anger he'd caused made Vance back off, but only a little.

"Understood. Look, I apologize, but you have to see things from my perspective..."

"No, I really don't. You can go now."

"Director..."

"I said, you're dismissed... *Deputy*."

His expression telegraphed that there was much more he wanted to say, but instead Vance merely nodded, spun on his heel and moved stiffly and rapidly out of the office. Moments later, Sarah sank back into her chair, panting lightly and recalling Gibbs' description of psychic vampires. Now she was even more certain Vance fit into the category. Once she'd recovered her breath, she lifted the phone receiver and dialed.

"Edward. We have a problem."

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