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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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5

With a Little Help... 5/?

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As he entered the house that afternoon, Gibbs' normal routine was halted before it even began and his breath momentarily frozen. His hand, the gun in it halfway to the side table where he always placed it while he prepared to secure it for the night, was motionless except for a slight tremble. The sight before him had caught him utterly by surprise and it took nearly two minutes before he could force himself into action again.

Tony was stretched out on the sofa, cocooned up to his chin in a dark green blanket, nothing showing but his head and one hand, which lay curled into a fist close to his face. The clarity and innocence that dominated Tony's expression in sleep wasn't a total shock to Gibbs, but at work, constantly around the others, he'd had good reason not to pay it much attention. Watching Tony at night all Jethro had ever seen was his back, and that not very clearly in the dark.

Finally gazing down at the hand that still hovered over the table, he slowly lowered the gun and released it then turned around to lock the door. Looking back over at Tony, Gibbs took one step, paused and took another. The third and fourth step came closer together and gradually he managed to cross the distance between himself and the younger man. As he dropped to the edge of the coffee table, myriad emotions flitting over his face, Tony shifted slightly, groaned and slowly began to open his eyes. When he found Gibbs sitting only a few inches away, an easy smile graced his lips and the other hand emerged from his blanket.

"Hey..." he murmured, producing another quiet groan as he stretched out any stiffness his nap had left him with. "You okay?"

Gibbs nodded, reached out and picked up Tony's hand, examining it. Letting it go, he proceeded to gently stroke the young man's hair, face and neck. Tony closed his eyes for the duration and arched slightly into the contact, tiny sounds of pleasure escaping from his slack mouth. After a last caress, using his thumb to trace Tony's lips, Gibbs pulled back and the other man looked up at him again, his smile even wider. "Love you too, 'Ro."

"Too?"

"You didn't have to say it. You never have to." Tony explained, sitting up and embracing Gibbs lingeringly. "God, when you touch me like that... I'd have to be brain-dead not to know what you're feeling."

Jethro shook his head in wonder and grinned.

"Wonders never cease..."

"Not around here. Man, what time is it? Hang on... it's barely five o'clock. What are you doing home?"

"Mackenzie. She knew your first session was today so after we talked, she told me to take off. Thought you might need me."

"Always, but today... it's for all the good reasons. It went fine with Lewiston."

"Nothing you wanna talk about?"

"Well... I told him you kissed me. He thinks you rock. He promised to start helping me get over the knife thing next time. We got into the mano-a-mano sex issue a little bit and he said we could work on that too. He's gonna walk me through the basics, separate fact from fiction..."

"And you'll bring the info home."

"Of course, but... there is another option. Once you've had a few hours with him and you're used to the routine... maybe you'd be willing to share a session or two with me?"

"Maybe. We'll see, okay?" Gibbs said, dropping a quick peck on Tony's lips before rising to his feet. The other man smiled from ear to ear, laid a hand over his eyes palm up and fell heavily back onto the couch in a mock swoon, tossing Gibbs a passable Southern drawl.

"He kissed me! Oh glory be and heavens above, he kissed me!"

"Yeah, yeah. Up off your ass, DiNozzo. You promised to make dinner."

"Is that any way to act when I'm trying to be romantic?"

"Romance later, slicing and dicing now, or I'm going out for Chinese and you're staying home."

"Hmmm. I'll have to hear your idea of romance, first." Tony replied as he strolled into the kitchen.

"How does the "Philadelphia Story" and sundaes on the couch sound?"

Tony whimpered faintly and raced to the fridge, pulling out the bowl of salad he'd prepared when he arrived home, the pork chops he'd been marinating since that morning and a few other ingredients. Jethro chuckled.

"Hey, I knew the session would leave me a little wiped out, so I did some stuff ahead of time."

"Best way to do it." Gibbs agreed, grabbing a beer before the door closed.

Taking a glass baking dish from a cabinet, Tony lined it with a double layer of foil, laid the chops in and covered them with sliced fresh mushrooms and the contents of two cans of cream of broccoli soup. Washing his hands, he half-turned and spoke to Gibbs uncertainly.

"That was only half a joke, you know. It really does make me a little wacky when you kiss me..."

"You don't exactly leave me cold, either, Tony." Gibbs whispered, kissing the back of Tony's neck and then gleefully touching the beer bottle to the same spot for a moment before he continued on to the living room.

"Yahhh! You didn't need to demonstrate the difference, boss! I get it!"

The only response he received was laughter and the sudden noise of the sports channel starting up on the TV.

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PRIVATE LIVES: JIMMY

Striding confidently into the small back room in the local community center, Jimmy adjusted the strap of the messenger bag he carried and smiled lightly. Every time he came here, it amused him to consider what his family at the office would think if they could see him in this environment, doing what he was about to do. Although it was a perfectly normal, reasonable endeavor, he was still sure they would be shocked, Tony especially.

Tugging the bag off his neck, he set it carefully on the long table in the center of the room, opened it and began setting out the contents. Once everything was arranged to his satisfaction, he checked his watch, made sure the clock above the door read close to the same time then moved to grab two chairs from the stacks leaning against the wall. He'd just set the second one up when he heard hesitant steps behind him. He turned to find a petite young woman standing in the doorway wearing a curious, yet anxious expression.

"Ummm... is this where I'm supposed to be?"

"Are you Lindsey?"

"Yeah. Lindsey Strong."

"Then c'mon in. Hi, I'm Jimmy Palmer." He offered, waiting patiently for her to come forward on her own instead of moving toward her. He'd learned long ago that first timers in this situation were more likely to reject the help they needed if he seemed even the slightest bit aggressive. When she was close enough, he pulled out one of the chairs and she sat down, clearly still undecided as to whether she would stay. Jimmy took the other seat and smiled gently at her. "I can see you're not sure about this. If you really don't want to do it, you're free to leave... but before you do, I hope you'll let me tell you my story. Then maybe you'll talk to me a little about what brought you here."

The young woman tucked her long sandy blond hair behind one ear and returned his smile nervously.

"It's not that I don't want to. I know this is important. It's just... embarrassing, that's all."

"Absolutely. But it's just you and I here. The materials I give you are your business, nobody else's. Not even your family. You have a right to keep this completely private. In fact, I can even hold some of the stuff for you and we'll only use it here. A few things you'll need to keep with you so you can practice, but I'll help as much as I can."

"Thanks. You're so nice... and really young. I guess I was expecting somebody more like... teacher age."

"Like I said, I've got my own reasons for doing this."

She studied him for a long moment.

"Sad reasons?"

"Very. Would you like to hear the story?"

"After. I'll let you in on my drama too, I promise, but I wanna get started before I talk myself out of this. Okay?"

"Okay. Your teacher said you were reading at a first grade level. Is that right?"

"I wish it wasn't. Seventh grade and I can barely manage books my six year old brother's already blown through."

"We'll fix that, Lindsey. A little testing to see if we can uncover the bottom-line problem, if there is one, a few months of work and you'll be the one racing past everybody else."

"That would be so amazing."

"You just wait. I guarantee, you can't imagine how good you're going to feel when reading starts clicking for you." he vowed, pulling a book close to him and opening it so they could both see.

"An eye chart? I don't get it, my eyes are perfect."

"I believe that. Just read the letters for me. One at a time and go slowly..."

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

7:30: A LOCAL RESTAURANT

"So?"

Sarah Mackenzie sipped her mineral water and threw Edward Sheffield a faintly dirty look.

"Smugness is so unattractive."

"But it feels wonderful. You're having a good time, then."

"I love it. So far. I've never been this engaged, this involved... It's not like anything I've ever done. The position actually lets me get things done and make a difference. It's a heady experience. Understanding that goes a long way to explaining what happened to Jennifer." She sighed, taking another sip.

Sheffield lifted an eyebrow.

"It does?"

"People in powerful positions need stress relief... need to find a way to give up the responsibility for a while. The strong ones find safe, acceptable diversions. The weak ones... all too often they go the other direction and end up damaged or destroyed."

Sheffield took a long drink from the beer in front of him and grimaced at the reminder.

"I just couldn't see it. I never pegged Jen Sheppard as weak."

"It wasn't your fault, Edward, you know that. You aren't a predator. David apparently was."

"And predators have a way of sniffing out and taking advantage of vulnerability. We have to be more careful, damn it... look closer. You're sure this new woman..."

"Adrianna Vendazzo."

"Yes, Vendazzo... you're sure about her?"

"There hasn't been enough time yet for that. She came up from within NCIS this time, her record is impeccable and Gibbs says her first day went well. Let's just say I'm as sure as I can be."

This time both eyebrows went up and Sheffield choked slightly on a mouthful of beer before he was able to swallow it.

"Wait... Gibbs says? He talks to you?"

"Every Friday before he goes home. Mutual decision to keep the lines of communication open. He and I have some history, don't forget. That makes it easier."

Her dinner companion wiped his chin and smiled wickedly across the table.

"Three months my ass. You're not going anywhere."

"Don't you start..."

Picking up his menu, Sheffield made a show of being deaf to her protests and chuckled quietly.

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TBC..........

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