He'd got the call at 22:37. Ducky had told him what had happened. She'd been shot, he couldn't remember much more than that as the fear gripped his chest. Ice running through his veins.
"Jethro? Are you still there? JETHRO!" Ducky's voice brought him back.
"Where?" His voice cracked as he felt his throat constricted, "Where is she?"
"I'll send you the address. She's in surgery." The dead dial tone coming through the phone told him that Gibbs had already ended the call.
He'd barged through the doors to the hospital, not caring who was in the way. Ducky had not only told him which hospital it was, but which floor and section they were in. More to save the nurses and doctors from one Leroy Jethro Gibbs' wrath.
He'd found Ducky in the waiting room, sat calmly, the way only he could. He stood as he saw Gibbs walk through the doors to the waiting area. "Where's everyone else? Leon?"
"You were the first person I called. The Director knows, but he has conferences and red tape to deal with Jethro. The whole thing went terribly wrong. There were fatalities too. Jacqueline saved quite a few lives today." He responded, a glimmer of pride in his face.
"How long has she been in there?" Ducky motioned for Gibbs to take a seat before he would answer.
"A couple of hours I believe. The Director called me and asked if I would wait with her and inform the team. He knew you'd all want to be here."
It was now 01:03. He knew because he couldn't stop checking his watch. The rest of the team had arrived in drabs around half an hour after he'd got there. Bishop and Torres had fallen asleep. Gibbs had sent McGee and Palmer home to their wives and kids half an hour ago. Vance had finally gotten to the hospital at around quarter to one. Ducky was now sat retelling stories of his past to Vance whilst Gibbs sat silently.
Silence broke out in the waiting room as the nurse approached. She looked tired. The remaining members of the team stood up waiting for the news they were about to receive.
The nurse exhaled, "Shes currently stable. We lost her a few times in the operating room due to the blood loss, but we're feeling very positive. She seems to be a fighter."
"That she is my dear. I don't suppose she's allowed visitors?" Ducky asked of her.
"Give us 20 minutes to get everything set up and you can go in." She smiled in response.
Bishop and Torres had awoken with all the noise going on. They were whispering to each other where they'd been sat. "Boss, I'm gonna take Bishop home. Now we know Sloane is stable. We'll be back first thing in the morning. She probably wouldn't want us all in there anyway!"
"If she wakes up let her know we'll be back as soon as we can." Bishop's eyes were glassy from the mix of sleep and what could only be described as relief.
"You've got the day tomorrow, the case can wait." Vance looked across to Gibbs, almost daring him to challenge the order. Torres nodded in acceptance. He wasn't about to argue with a day off, especially after the night they'd had.
The three of them that were remaining made their way to the room the nurse had specified before she'd left. Vance and Ducky had taken turns going into the room to see her. She wasn't awake, but for peace of mind they needed to see her. To make sure that what they'd been told was true, that she was stable so that when the two men went home they'd possibly be able to get some sleep.
After they'd both said their goodbyes to Gibbs the two men left to go home. He was now stood outside the hospital room. Lost and not in control. He knew to get that control back he'd have to step into that room and start to fix things. It would be a long journey, but he would fix it if it was the last thing he did, because the feat he'd felt when he got that phone call made him realise he could do this.