The Good Neighbor
AN: I hope this idea is well received. I always wondered if Gibbs would step in and help a neighbor if they needed help. Please let me know if you like this. Please review. Oh and no I have not stopped on Kindred Spirits. This idea has been on the back burner for a while. Summer is almost here and I am babysitting my new granddaughter so I am taking on a huge undertaking more than one story but at a time.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything especially the wonderful characters from NCIS. If I did we would not be left to ponder Gibbs' fate.
It was Saturday afternoon. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs was mowing his lawn and trying to do a little yard work. He had decided he had to do something about the yard his late wife Shannon had taken such pride in. It had really gone to ruin since her death and with him working all the time he had not had much time to put the effort into it he knew it deserved.
Several members of his NCIS team had been recruited to come and help. Abby was first to arrive. She had brought the groceries for the barbeque the team had planned for after the yard work. "Afternoon Gibbs. I got everything on the list," she replied hugging him. "Where is everybody else?"
"Don't know Abbs." He smirked. "They better hurry up. There is a lot to be done."
Abby took the food into the house putting the meat and vegetables in the refrigerator along with several bottles of beer. She then headed back outside only to hear Gibbs had started the lawn mower again. She smiled to herself and stepped back inside to call McGee and Tony.
Just as she dialed Tim's number two cars pulled up into the driveway. "Well there they are" she said to herself. Tony, Tim and Ziva got out of the cars and walked up to Gibbs who again grumbled as he turned off the mower again.
"Afternoon Boss." Tony replied. He was dressed in his oldest pair of jeans and an old OSU t-shirt.
"Bout time DiNozzo. Thought you were going to leave me hanging." Gibbs grumbled.
"Come on boss. We are only five minutes late." Tony whined.
"Well five minutes is late. Now grab a rake and get busy. McGee, you and Ziver get over to that flowerbed. I want to see nothing but dirt. No weeds, no grass, I want it ready to be planted." He ordered pulling the rope on the lawn mower again.
"Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs. What do you want me to do?" Abby cried as she ran up to Gibbs.
Gibbs pointed toward the large flower posts on the front porch. "Those need cleaning out." He signed. Abby answered back in sign. "On it Boss."
The group worked nonstop most of the afternoon despite a few beer breaks and much to Gibbs dismay a water fight. They had accomplished a lot in one afternoon. The sun was beginning to set when Gibbs decided it was time stop and start the barbeque.
Ducky had just joined the group having had to spend the afternoon at the nursing home with his mother. Gibbs had started the charcoal and the team was sitting on the backyard deck talking and enjoying the late spring evening.
Tony had just started instructing the group about the newest James Bond movie when they heard a loud scream followed by a crash coming from the house next door. "What was that?" Abby gasped.
"What is she trying to do now?" Gibbs muttered as he raced into the house immediately followed by Ducky and the entire team. Gibbs proceeded through his living room and out the front door.
Once outside he rushed across the yard and up to the door of the neighbor's house. Gibbs looked over at the driveway nodding that there was only one car there."As usual that SOB is gone, "he muttered. When he reached the front door he knocked loudly. "Sarah, Sarah" he called. "Are you ok?" He tried the door but it was locked.
"Want me to check around back Boss? " Tony asked.
"No DiNozzo. She keeps the place locked up tight when she is home alone. Which is most of the time." He then moved to the flowerpot on the porch and upon finding the spare key he quickly opened the door.
DiNozzo smiled at Ziva. "See they always hide a key." Both Ziva and Gibbs just glared at him.
Gibbs continued inside the house. "Sarah" he called. "Sarah, its Gibbs where are you?"
Just then they heard a faint voice coming from the kitchen. "Gibbs, I'm in the laundry room."
Gibbs just walked through the house and it was fairly obvious to the group that he had been there before. When the group entered the kitchen they saw the body of a woman lying on the floor next to an overturned ladder. Gibbs and Ducky rushed toward Sarah. She was just beginning to sit up. She had a large bruise forming on her head. "Don't try to get up my dear." Ducky instructed. "Did you lose consciousness?" Ducky then turned to Ziva. "Ziva would you kindly go to my car and get my bag?" He handed her his keys.
"I don't think so," she told them looking around at the group. "I feel so stupid. I hope I did not spoil your party. I just needed -"
Gibbs put his fingers on her lips and then finished her sentence. "You tried to change the light bulb in the laundry room again. Where's Myron?" She nodded. "I told you never to try this again. I told you to call me. I'll do it." Sarah just looked down at the floor ashamed. Gibbs took her hand. "Where's Myron?"
"I think he is at work. He said something about a ball game then he was headed to work." Ziva came in carrying Ducky's bag.
Gibbs just frowned at Sarah. "He's never around," he grumbled as Ducky shined a light in Sarah's eyes.
After a short exam Ducky motioned to Gibbs to help her up. "Well, my dear, I think you have a slight concussion. I don't think it is severe but I don't think you should be alone."
Gibbs put his arm around her waist and helped her up to stand. "You're coming over to the house," he said matter of factly. "We're getting ready to fix barbeque. Who knows when Mr. Wonderful will be back?"
"Now Gibbs, don't go there. I'll call Janice if I need something. "
"Just being honest," he grumbled. "No. Janice can't get here fast enough. You are going over to my place and that is that. No arguments."
Sarah just stared down at the floor and mumbled "Ok, Gibbs." Gibbs took her arm and led her out of the laundry room.
"DiNozzo, McGee change that light bulb and be careful. That ladder isn't stable." He ordered as they headed toward the front door.
The group went back over to Gibbs' house. Ducky and Gibbs helped Sarah sit down on the chaise lounge. Gibbs went back inside and got her a large iced tea. He leaned in and handed it to her. "Here Sarah, just how you like it."
She smiled up at him. Ducky handed her a couple of Tylenols. "This will help you with the headache. " He smiled gently. Sarah nodded a thank you.
Gibbs started the steaks. Abby sat down next to Sarah. "Hi, I'm Abby. How long have you been Gibbs' neighbor?"
"About 25 years. I guess. We moved in here when Kelly was 5 and my daughter Janice was almost 8." Sarah told her.
"So you knew Shannon and Kelly."
"Yep," Gibbs added. "Janice and Kelly were friends."
"I still miss them." Sarah replied quietly. Just then Sarah's cell phone rang. She quickly answered it. "Hello, ok Myron you're working all night then. Ok, thanks for calling." She hung up and just stared down at the ground.
Ziva walked up to Tony and whispered. "She is very sad, yes." He nodded taking a sip of his beer. "From the looks of her she has no self esteem."
Gibbs walked up behind Ziva and Tony. "She had an SOB for a husband. He treats her like shit. Can't hold a job for more than six months. " He whispered. "Can't stand the man. He thinks he knows everything about everything. And he keeps nothing to himself." Tony started to say something but Gibbs just stared. "Not like you DiNozzo. You have brains and know how to use them. He is just a prick."
Abby just wrapped Sarah in a hug. "You have friends now," she smiled.
Ducky walked up to Gibbs and put his hand on the man's shoulder. "We need to talk Jethro." Gibbs nodded and they stepped into the kitchen.
"What do you need, Duck?"
"How well do you know this woman Jethro?"
Gibbs looked at her puzzled. "Close to twenty-five years. Why?"
"Well, has her husband ever abused her?"
"All the time but I have never seen any signs of physical abuse. Emotional, Economical and just plain neglect but nothing physical. Why? Did you notice something?"
"I did actually. I saw bruise marks on her arms," he told his friend.
"Well she just fell of a rickety old ladder."
"No it was the in the shape of the handprint. It looks like she was grabbed tightly by both arms." Gibbs just shook his head in disgust.
"I'll try to talk to her Duck. She plays her relationship with him pretty close to the vest." He grabbed the meat for the barbeque and started toward the door. "I think she is so embarrassed about him and how he treats her. She does not want others to know. She sees his weaknesses as her failure in the relationship."
"That is a symptom of psychological abuse."
"I know Duck. Been watching it for years. Been trying to get her to leave that bastard but she refuses because of her religion." He just shook his head again. "She told Shannon once in a weak moment that she was pregnant before she got married and she feels that this is God's punishment."
"That is just wrong."
"I know. Shannon tried to convince her otherwise."
"Maybe we can change her mind on that. Looks like we have a lost lamb to help here." Gibbs grinned slightly and nodded.
"Maybe you're right Duck."
When the food was just about ready Gibbs looked as Sarah and noticed she was asleep. He motioned toward Ducky to check on her. "She's fine, Jethro." He assured his friend. "She looks like she needs it."
Just then the phone by Sarah's hand began to ring. "Damn" Gibbs whispered. He quickly grabbed it and looked at the caller ID. When he recognized the name he quickly answered. "Hello Janice."
"Gibbs" Janice gasped. "Is Mama ok?"
"Yes, she's asleep. She tried to change light bulb in the laundry room and fell off the ladder. She's at my house resting."
"Do you need me to come over there? Thomas can watch the girls."
"Not unless you need to. I had a doctor friend check her out. She has a concussion but we're keeping an eye on her."
"Is my father anywhere around?"
"Nope." Gibbs answered.
"If you're sure, I was just checking in. I have two sick babies and …."
"You needed your mother to come help." Gibbs finished the sentence. There was not much concern in his voice. He knew Janice loved her mother but she tended to take advantage of Sarah's giving nature and the love for her grandchildren.
Janice just fell silent and cleared her throat. "Will you call me if she needs anything? Tell her that Lena wants to talk to her."
"Sure Janice. I will let you know. Your dad is working tonight so I have her at my place. She needs someone to watch her."
"Thanks Gibbs. I'll call Alexis and see if she can check on Mama."
"No problem." Gibbs hung up the phone and looked at Abby.
"Her daughter?" Abby asked.
"Yep. She really loves her mother and they are best friends but sometimes she forgets that Sarah has needs to." Gibbs told her.
Abby smiled and looked at Sarah as she started to wake up. "Was that Janice?"
"Yes." Gibbs told her as he sat next to her on the lounge. "She was just checking in. "
"How are the girls doing?" Of course Sarah's first thought would be of her granddaughters. "Did Lena need me?"
"Probably. Janice said she wanted to talk to you." Gibbs told her.
Sarah could hear the irritation in his voice. "Now Gibbs you know how it is. Those girls are my life. I'm Mama Number two." She reached for her phone and quickly called Janice to check on the girls.
Gibbs just rolled his eyes. The team got the food ready and when Sarah finished her phone call. As she joined them at the picnic table Gibbs finally introduced the team to his neighbor. Despite her outward appearance of a baggy shirt with stains on the front, a grungy pair of jeans and no make-up her beauty was just there beneath the surface. The shape of her face and the beautiful dark blue eyes were hypnotic. Abby and Ziva both saw that with their help she could be a breathtakingly beautiful woman.
After the meal Abby and Ziva met in the kitchen to clean up. "Sarah has a beautiful soul and with a little help she could be a gorgeous woman." Ziva told her friend.
Abby smiled and then got a mischievous glint in her eye. "I think Gibbs sees that too. He cares for her more that he knows."
"Abby she is married remember." Ziva reminded her.
"Oh I know that for now but from what Gibbs says and from the bruises on her arms he is escalating in his abuse. She needs our help Ziva." Abby told her as they began to wash the dishes.
"That much I know Abby. But getting her and Gibbs together is different. "
"Can't you see it Ziva? They already have a relationship and don't know it. Sarah has a better relationship with Gibbs that she ever had with her husband."
"Abby, you are an incurable romantic?" Ziva smiled. "You are right about Gibbs. I can see it in his eyes. He hates what is happening to her. We will help her yes."
"Yes. Don't know our plan of action just yet but we need to get Operation Sarah started quickly. She is headed for more pain if we don't." Ziva nodded in agreement.
Outside while Ducky and Gibbs were helping Sarah back to the lounge Timothy McGee and Tony DiNozzo were standing over next to Gibbs' fence staring toward Sarah's house. "I really feel sorry for Sarah." Tim commented. "Did you see the grip bruises on her arm?"
"Oh yes. Seen this type of wife many times in my career. She has such a low self esteem that she thinks she deserves all the abuse and more. "
"Is her husband escalating in his abuse and neglect?"
"Absolutely McConcerned." Tony just shook his head. "Look at the way Gibbs looks at her. WE have to help her."
"Tony, you don't think."
"Oh yes. He has known her a long time. They share a history. He would not act since she is still married but he cares. No doubt about it." Tony informed his partner.
"Well what next? Tony."
"Not sure but from the look on Abby's face she is forming a plan. Maybe we need a campfire tomorrow at the diner."
AN: Well here is the beginning. Please review and let me know if you like this.