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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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53

With A Little 53/?

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

THE HOSPITAL: TWO HOURS LATER

"God's sake, Precious... quit, or I'll put the oxygen mask back on." Gibbs chuckled, kissing Tony's hair. "Once you're stronger, we'll have a day-long conversation if you want..."

Despite the pain meds working hard to drag him back into healing sleep, Tony kept trying to speak, knowing he'd lose the battle to the drugs soon and desperate to have his questions answered before that happened.

"T... T... im..."

"What'd I just say? Dad mode is in effect for the foreseeable future and you don't mess with a Marine in Dad mode."

"R.. Ro... ple... pleashh..." Tony persisted, only half aware of how the residual swelling in his face was mildly distorting his speech.

"Okay, okay, but only 'cause you used my secret name. Can't deny you anything when you do that. McGee's fine. He stood between you an' that bastard... held up solid 'till the rest of us could get there. He pulled off a hell of an eleventh hour save."

"Knew... it. Wanna shee h...im."

"Tomorrow, maybe. We'll see how everybody's feeling in the morning."

"Meansshh no. Ha... hate Dad mo... mode."

"Yeah, well you're stuck with it. And me." Gibbs told him softly, giving him another gentle kiss and stroking his hair.

"N't sht'ck. Love. I g't it bad..." Tony forced out, valiantly fighting the painkillers.

"Same here, precious. Same here. Anything else you just have to know about?"

"C... can't move. R... r'lly hurtsssh."

"I know. The position you were in all that time... a lot of your muscles were damaged. A few weeks and a little help, though, and you'll be back to normal, chasin' down perps and makin' dumb jokes."

"H'y, th're not dumb. Tell good j'kessh."

"Sometimes. Sleep, now, sweetheart. Sleep..."

"One m're th'ng..."

"Later."

"No... m'dad... he... he'll try a'gin..."

"Fornell posted guards outside day and night. You're safe 'till we're able to arrest him."

"H'rt him f'r me, Ro." Tony demanded as he slipped back into unconsciousness. "K'ck 'm hard..."

"I promise."

"T'ree t'messh."

"Three times. I got it. Go to sleep."

"Kay. Love you..."

"Love you, too, precious. Always and forever."

A few minutes later, Dennis eased into the room, making just enough noise that Jethro wouldn't be startled.

"Hey Doc." Gibbs responded, almost whispering. The other man used the same tone.

"He's asleep, then?"

"Just about. You here to relieve me?"

"Sort of. I know it hasn't been that long, but I thought you might be ready for coffee."

"You want some time with him."

"Everybody else has had theirs."

"Plus there's the confidentiality thing."

"There is. Not that I plan on waking him up, but just in case..."

Gibbs breathed out heavily and rose to his feet.

"I'll be back in an hour. Got that? Sixty minutes exactly."

"Understood. Thank you."

Jethro grunted a faint acknowledgment and left the room. Dennis dropped into the chair that, by now, was almost a member of the family in its own right, leaned back and rubbed his eyes, glad his mother wasn't in the room. She knew each of his expressions and exactly what they meant, in spite of what he tried to get her to believe. At that moment he was sure she would have unabashedly declared that the guilt he was feeling was unearned. He was nevertheless, reluctant to let it go.

He had only known Tony and his ersatz family a month or two, but somehow the connection to all of them had become deeper than he'd ever experienced with any case before. More than a few times, he'd wondered if allowing himself the familiarity was wise, but the people surrounding Tony had inexorably drawn him in. Once he knew their depth of feeling for his patient and understood the strength Tony drew from them, he surrendered to the welcome the other members of Jethro's team had so willingly offered.

Eventually, Dennis steeled himself and turned his gaze on Tony's face, grimacing at the faded bruising and the lines of dark stitches across his forehead and down his right cheek. He read, studied and prepared constantly, knowing he had to be ready for any issue his patients might present, and still the brutality parents were capable of inflicting on their children tore at him.

"I'm so sorry, Tony. Damn it. If only we'd had more time, maybe..." He murmured, then broke off and sighed. "Yeah, I know. Your so-called father makes his own decisions and I couldn't have stopped this, no matter what. Doesn't change my feelings or my wishes, though. I'll be here over the next few months to help see you through the aftershocks. I promise that. Anyway... you rest easy, now. Cousin Dennis is watching over you 'till Dad comes back."

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

NCIS: 12:30: DIRECTOR MCKENZIE'S OFFICE

"Yes? Oh. Good to see you again, Agent Dunn. Come on in."

Jonah moved a step or into the office and held up a large white paper bag.

"I was hoping you hadn't had lunch yet."

"Actually, I haven't. I was just going to send out, but it looks like I won't have to. Sit, please."

Cautiously taking the seat Sarah had gestured to, Jonah set the bag on a corner of the desk, opened it and began pulling out items.

"Two options. Roast beef and Swiss on a bulkie, or ham and mozzarella on wheat."

"If you were smart enough to ask for mustard on the roast beef, I gratefully accept."

Her visitor lightly tossed two small plastic packets across the desk then handed over the wrapped sandwich.

"I didn't know whether you liked mustard or mayo, so I picked up a few of both." He explained, also handing her napkins. He then set out three small dishes, pointed and described the contents. "Pickles, coleslaw, potato salad."

Sarah paused halfway through untangling the waxed paper around her meal and gazed at Jonah with growing curiosity.

"Should I ask about the catch now or wait until we've eaten so my appetite won't be ruined?"

"No catch. Not really. And it won't ruin anyone's lunch. Except mine, I guess... if you say no."

She resumed the process of revealing her sandwich and gave him an opening.

"Go on."

"Jethro and I have been friends for quite a while. He kept telling me I needed to go on a case with him. That I should see some of the crazy things his team trips over on a regular basis. With your permission... I'd really like to take him up on that offer."

Sarah pulled the potato salad closer. Jonah placed a fork on her side of the desk, opened the pickles and began chomping on a spear to help him stay patient while she pondered.

"Why now?" she finally asked.

"My section of the bureau... we see some of the worst inhumanity you can imagine. Not all the time, you understand. Not even once a month."

"It still accumulates. Like a gradual poisoning."

"Absolutely."

"We don't have it any better. We've dealt with serial killers, brutal sniper attacks, bodies in every condition you can name..."

"I'm well aware."

"Then there's one particular kind of case you're looking to get away from."

"Yeah. Finding out it was probably Tony's father that orchestrated what happened to him... I just suddenly feel like I've gotten beyond my saturation point with cruel, stupid, mentally screwed up adults who can't keep their hands off kids... for whatever reason."

Sarah swallowed a forkful of salad and thought for another long stretch of seconds.

"True, those kinds of cases are pretty rare here. Are you sure your superiors at the Bureau will just let you go?"

"No worries. I have so much time off piled up, they'll be ecstatic when I tell them I'm using some of it."

"So a leave of absence."

"To begin with."

Sarah considered this intently.

"And if there are no open positions here once 'to begin with' runs out?"

"Then the FBI will welcome me back, I'm sure. But at least I'll have had the break I need to recharge my batteries."

"Hmmm. I didn't see any drinks when you came in."

"Huh? Oh... crap, I knew I forgot something."

"It's okay." She soothed, rising and strolling over to a well-concealed mini-fridge. Extracting two cold bottles of cola, she returned, separated out two napkins, placed one in front of Jonah and proceeded to search the seemingly empty deli bag. Finding a tiny paper square with salt in it, she tore it open and sprinkled some of the crystals on each napkin before placing the sodas on them. As she reclaimed her seat, Jonah, clearly both delighted and confused, stared at her in wonder.

"And what was all that in honor of?"

"Condensation from the bottle soaks the napkin, the napkin sticks when you go to pick up the drink. Put salt on first... the napkin doesn't stick."

"Seriously?"

"Scout's honor."

"It works with glasses, too?"

"I've been getting strange looks in restaurants for years, but it works like a dream, so I don't much care. Now, can we get down to lunch *and* business?"

"Business?"

"Negotiating the terms of your contract."

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TBC............

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