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Family Dynamics

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 006 Word Count: 9402
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ensemble
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, Angst/Drama, Episode Related, First Time, Friendship, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/McGee, Tony/McGee
Episode(s): 5-18 Judgment Day
Summary: The team is given a unique opportunity while the regime change takes place. What they learn about each other will powerfully change them as well...

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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6

Family Dynamics 6/?

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Gibbs found Tim on the stairs some twenty minutes later, his head still bowed and his mood even darker. Dropping beside him, he laid a hand on the young man's neck and shook him just slightly. Tim startled and looked up finally.

"Boss..."

"Hey. What happened?"

"Nothing... maybe. I don't know."

"Who?"

"It's okay, Boss. I can handle it. You don't have to..."

"McGee."

Tim studied Gibbs carefully then sighed and gave in.

"Jimmy... then Tony. My mouth just had a mind of its own this morning."

"Tell me."

"Boss?"

"It's what this is about. And for the next three weeks, Boss doesn't exist. Gibbs, hey you... anything else."

"Okay... Gibbs. "

Gradually, the majority of the story emerged. As Tim's words faded, Gibbs grinned faintly.

"I got it... so far."

"Um... that's all there is."

"Uh-huh. What were you and Jimmy doing when you had the blow-out?"

"Doing... well... we were just... standing by the sliding doors... to the backyard."

"While Tony was out there swimming."

"Was he? I, uh... I didn't really notice..."

"Cut the crap, Tim."

"Boss..."

"What'd I just say? Huh? You can't use my name?"

Tim chuckled softly.

"Hey, you don't know... it's like fighting on a battlefield with General Patton then meeting him at a picnic and suddenly being asked to call him Georgie-poo. I need a little time to adjust, okay?"

"Take all the time you need... but you start calling me anything that ends in poo, I'll not only fire your ass, I'll kill you. Slow and painful."

This drew a heartier laugh out of Tim.

"Gotcha. B... Gibbs."

"Better. Now talk about Tony."

"I can't." Tim replied, his darker emotions returning in force, along with his hang-dog expression. "Not like it matters anyway... not after this morning. I really hurt him."

"Wrong. He's pissed off."

"You didn't hear what he said..."

"Fine, it's both, but if he is in pain, you didn't cause it. He's beating himself up over a lot of things, McGee. Jen's death... that's just the latest. It goes back a long way."

"Kate..."

"Yeah, Kate... but you have to put his mom on the list, too. Then add Paula, Jeanne, Sheppard... hell, even I might start seeing a pattern where there isn't one. The only connection is that none of them were his fault. His problem is that he'll never believe that."

"I know. So why add to what he's got on his plate, right? Never mind that there's no way to predict how he'll react..."

"Can't argue with you there." Gibbs acceded as he pushed back up onto his feet. "One thing I can pretty much guarantee, though... he won't be pissed anymore. Surprised, maybe, bit not pissed."

"I couldn't... I just... I don't dare..."

"Then you'll never get anything you want or need, will ya?" the older man concluded then jogged back down the stairs. Tim watched him go silently, knowing how right Gibbs was, but without the first clue how to change things.

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9O MINUTES LATER:

Tony jogged back into the house, stumbled to an unsteady halt and bent forward with his hands on his knees, struggling to slow his breathing. Just as he was beginning to realize he either needed to find help or pass out and wait to be found, a strong hand grasped his elbow.

"Tony?"

"Abs... in... trouble..."

"I can see that. Big doofus... you never heard of humidity? Ducky!" she shouted in the direction of the living room, where the doctor was relaxing. Hearing the anxiety in Abby's voice, he hurried out to join the pair as she was settling Tony into a seat at the kitchen table.

"Anthony... what were you thinking? You know better than to push yourself so hard, especially in this climate!"

"Wasn't... thinking..."

"Obviously. Luckily for you, I came prepared. A cool damp towel, Abigail, quickly. Then please hand me one of the plastic bags I've stored in the freezer."

Abby complied at top speed, spreading the damp towel over Tony's neck and shoulders and staring in surprise when Ducky pulled a second kitchen towel from the bag and clamped it over Tony's mouth. "Breathe as deeply as you can... yes, that's it... excellent, my boy."

"What in the..." Abby murmured.

"Cold dry air, to counter what he did to himself outside. Another, please, and lay this one out flat somewhere. It must be completely dry before we replace it in the freezer."

"Sure... is he okay? Tell me he's okay, Ducky."

"Better. The second towel will help even more." He prompted, offering her a smile.

"Right. Sorry. Here you go..."

"Thank you. Slowly, Anthony... slowly. Right..."

After another minute or so, Tony reached up and gently pushed the fabric away from his face with a faintly trembling hand.

"I'm good now, Ducky. Thanks."

"Are you sure? You're still a bit flushed..."

"Positive. Sorry for scaring both of you. Unintentional, I swear."

Abby knelt down and hugged him carefully.

"Don't ever do that again, okay?" she chided him as she pulled back a little. "I know you hate thinking about it, but your lungs will never be back to a hundred percent, Tony. You can't just use your head as a placeholder for this gorgeous face." She teased, touching his cheek.

"I was mad. When I get that way... I have to purge it. You know that, Abs."

"Mad? Why? You were fine earlier."

"Don't go there, okay? I'm over it, no need to discuss it."

"Tony..."

"I was pissed at myself, now I'm not. Just let it go, Abby. Please."

Her hand slid into his hair and gripped lightly.

"If you need a shoulder, or an ear, or a left big toe, or anything..."

"I'll find you when I'm ready to vent, I promise."

"But you never will be."

"Scary how well you know me." He told her, offering a sad, mildly apologetic grin.

"Yeah. I love you."

"Ditto times ten." He replied, tweaking her nose. "Now go find Ziva and do something girly."

"It'll be a challenge just getting her to understand that concept." Abby countered as she moved gracefully back onto her feet.

"If anybody can do it, you can."

"We'll see. It'll be fun trying, anyway. You start taking care of yourself, you hear me?"

"Yes ma'mm." He responded crisply, throwing her a perfect salute. She smirked, stuck her tongue out at him and exited. Ducky was silent for several minutes, finally speaking as he replaced the damp towel over Tony's neck.

"If someone hadn't been nearby..."

"I know. Ducky you can't tell them. Gibbs... if he knew he'd never let me stay. This job is all I know... it's everything."

"I'm your physician of record. I can't say anything unless you give me explicit permission."

"Doesn't mean you wouldn't throw out a few major hints if you thought it was necessary."

"True. Your secret will remain so, Tony, no fear. On one condition"

"Yeah?"

"Stop letting your emotions turn you into a blithering idiot. You simply *cannot* be so careless again. Not once more. You are so loved and needed... you're a vital presence in Abigail's life. What she'd do if you were gone, I'm sure I don't know. Moreover, I'm sure I don't want to."

Tony chuckled tiredly.

"I hear you. From now on I don't run alone. That way I'll have a monitor to keep me from staying out too long or going too far."

"That will do fine. If you feel you must have solitude, restrict yourself to dusk or early morning when the heat and humidity won't be such a hazard, alright?"

"It's a deal."

"It had better be. Now upstairs with you. Get some rest."

"Should I salute you, too?" the younger man asked lightly as he stood and handed off the now warm compress.

"Of course not. Total capitulation and obedience will suffice."

"Right."

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

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