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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...

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50

With A Little... 50/?

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

ABBY'S APARTMENT; 12:15 P.M.

"Timmy! Lunch is ready!"

"On my way." Tim responded eagerly, quickly drying his freshly washed face and hands. Abby's rules were few, but the ones she did create she took seriously and expected guests to follow them to the letter. As a scientist, she was keenly aware of what could be transmitted by dirty hands, so washing up before eating was an unbreakable decree, one that Tim, thanks to his own medical education, had no trouble complying with. He ordinarily would not have added cleaning his face, but he had been fixing various things around the apartment while Abby was at church and more than his fingers had gotten dirty.

Sure he would meet the cook's standards now, he strode into the kitchen and kissed her lightly on the cheek, holding up his palms for inspection.

"Very nice, Timmy. Lunch is on the table." She told him, pointing. McGee turned to find that she had made one of his favorites.

"Wow, Caesar salad and your homemade garlic bread. Thanks hon."

After another brief kiss, he took his seat. Abby gathered plates, utensils and drinks for both of them and joined him at the table. Grasping hands, they bowed their heads to say a silent grace, another requirement for eating at Abby's. She didn't dictate what deity, if any, you gave thanks to, but she believed it was only right to show some level of gratitude for the food you were about to consume and acknowledge that you were blessed to have resources that so many other people in the world lacked.

"I got the bathroom faucet to stop dripping." Tim began as he served first Abby and then himself from the large salad bowl between them. "That fidgety outlet in there isn't fidgeting anymore. Oh, and the hair dryer is all fixed."

Carefully slicing off two generous hunks of bread, she followed his example, offering him his choice and putting the other on her plate.

"You're a miracle worker, McGee."

"Not so much." He nudged, favoring her with a slight grin. "You could've finished all those repairs yourself in half the time it took me."

"No! You're Handy Timmy, my super-hero fix-it guy."

"Abby." He mildly admonished.

"Okay, maybe. But you need it. All the internet searches and the programming make you forget how good you are with the down an' dirty, grease-under-your-nails stuff. It makes you happy to work with wiring and tools... and I want you to be happy."

Tim's smile broadened considerably, accompanied by a blush and a struggle not to break eye contact.

"Yeah... yeah, I guess it does. You think the boss is okay? He looked kinda... shell-shocked last night."

"He did, didn't he? I can see it looking back. In the moment... I was just so happy he was there. I know he's not really Dad and I probably treat him that way too much but he's all I've got up here in D.C., you know, and he's never minded me depending on him before or coming to him with problems and he kisses me like I'm his daughter..."

"Abby, deep breath."

"Sorry."

"It's okay. Think we should stop over there for a minute? Check on him to be sure everything's good?"

"I don't know. He's the polar opposite of an emotional mush ball on a *good* day. If he's pissed or he's not sure about things..."

"... waking up the bear in the middle of hibernation. And we'll see him on Monday anyhow."

"We can hope. I want us to go take a shift with Tony. We can find out how his lungs are and whether he's off the sedative... sit and talk to him for a while."

Tim paled, tucked his head down and began shoveling salad into his mouth. "Timmy? What, you don't want to?"

Tim kept eating frantically so he wouldn't have to respond, but after one bite too many and too fast, he started to cough and choke. Abby patted his back, fed him sips of his drink and soothed him until he was able to breathe freely again. "Okay, enough lettuce chugging. Just tell me why. Why don't you wanna see Tony?"

"At the warehouse, I... I've never been in any situation like that, Abby. I was scared out of my mind. Every time I think about it I just know it's all over my face. If Tony wakes up and sees... God, we're just getting to where we really respect each other and we're friends. I don't wanna lose that."

"Timmy. You think Tony's never been scared? He just hates to show it."

"Now we know why, don't we?" Tim mused. "His d... DiNozzo Senior probably saw it as weakness... as a flaw that had to be corrected at any cost."

"Probably? Definitely. The best thing you could do for Tony would be to *admit* to him how scared you were and let him see that the world doesn't get sucked into a black hole if you say it out loud."

"It makes sense. I don't know if I'm strong enough to do it, though..."

Abby gripped his hand once more, squeezing fiercely, and locked her gaze onto his.

"You could've backed off and waited for Gibbs and Max and the Director to get there. Instead, you thought about Tony, not yourself, and you went in that room. You stood between him and that... that evil piece of crap and protected your teammate. Tony's alive because you acted when it would've been easier and safer to turn away. If that's not strength, Timmy, I don't know what is."

"Abby... that was... wow."

"When you love somebody you tell them the truth." She offered easily, rising a bit so she could lean in and softly place a kiss on his lips.

"Right... right. Thank you."

"No problem. So... we finish lunch, clean up and go see Tony?"

"Absolutely."

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

GIBBS' HOUSE : 12:45

Ducky smiled fondly at Jethro's half-full plate, realizing that his formidable mind was still rock-tumbling the thoughts and questions he'd been left with earlier. He knew that if given enough time and solitude, his friend would eventually smooth and polish any ideas that might have sprung from their previous conversation and come to what he believed was a reasonable, logical conclusion. Too much space to think, however, and Gibbs would start to see only the negative aspects of whatever end the process came to, so Ducky spoke up and broke into his companion's private musings.

"Did I tell you I spoke to Susannah about how Timothy's first lesson turned out?"

"Huh? I don't know... maybe."

"According to her, he has quite an aptitude for the wood. Strong instincts as well. She thinks he'll do splendidly."

"Yeah... Joe said the same thing. That's what got the whole thing started, remember?"

"Yes, well, I was wondering if you had a project... perhaps one that's languishing for lack of inspiration... that you might allow him to assist with?"

"Could be. I'll have to look."

"Susannah also said he asked if she'd teach him to play the guitar. Knowing how difficult her tutelage will be, she provided him with the name of a friend of hers. I must say, that young man surprises me at every turn, lately."

"Surprise? No, he shocked the hell out of all of us Thursday..."

Ducky sat forward a bit, curiosity lighting his face.

"Indeed. You haven't revealed much about what happened before I arrived."

Gibbs sighed.

"He's not really impulsive, ya know? I tell him what to do and he's on it. Gets it done in record time most days, unless DiNozzo... anyway, the point is he usually needs the words... needs to hear it from me. I told him to stay put in that warehouse, damn it, and wait for backup. I expected a 'Yes, boss.' or 'I will, Boss'. Something like that. Couldn't believe it at first when he said no. Before I could repeat the order, he told us where he was in the building, ditched his walkie and his phone... and he was gone."

"My God. You're right, that isn't much like the McGee we know. Thought we knew, I should say. Of course, he and Tony had been getting closer... developing a stronger bond as brothers. Knowing Tony was in such dire straits..."

"Yeah, but how? How'd he know? Unless... he must've looked through the glass in the door, then backed off and called me."

"Yes... yes, that makes sense. And he still decided to enter and do what he could to help. There are obviously deeper levels to Agent Timothy McGee than anyone has ever guessed at."

"I'm with you there. When I moved in and took down the bastard that hurt Tony, looking over his shoulder... I barely recognized Tim. Strong, collected, self-confident..."

"Until he knew all was well. Then he did the perfectly natural thing and went to pieces. I do hope you told him it was nothing at all to be ashamed of. That retaining his humanity is a large part of what will put him in the ranks of elite agents one day...

"I haven't really seen him."

"What about last night?"

"After this past week... we all ran and hid in our comfort zones, Duck. You saw him and Abs. I wasn't gonna bust in on that."

"But you will tell him."

"Yeah. I promise."

"You'd best to keep that vow, my friend. His newfound belief in himself seems to be hanging on nicely so far, but without reinforcement it could slip away."

"Jeez, I'll call, okay? I'll invite him over to help finish up Tony's bookcases and get em' up to the new library."

"Library..."

"Used to be the guest room."

"Oh. Oh my." Ducky responded gleefully. "Does that mean..."

"We sleep, that's all. Nothing but sleep. It relaxes both of us to be close to each other." Jethro insisted as he got up and scraped his plate into the trash.

"Yes, but a beginning is a beginning. 'Once upon a time' always leads to a wonderful story."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just come wash your dish, will ya?"


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TBC....

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