This is my second 1st person p.o.v story. It took me about two weeks to write and as such it's only on one document. I know that reduces the number of reviews but I thought this way they'd be no waiting period for y'all. Reviews are always appreciated and replied to (if possible, some don't leave a reply address)

Anyway, this story has you cast as the main character with Gibbs.

Warning: Gibbs hurt.


I stare at his motionless form, his closed eyes, pale skin. He doesn't look peaceful, though he is unconscious; instead he looks like he's in pain. There are ugly blue bruises on his face and arms, probably elsewhere also but I can't see the rest of him. The dried blood makes me both furious and concerned.

The expression on Gibbs' cataleptic face tears my heart apart. I know he wouldn't want me to sit by his side moping. He'd want me to be out there catching the bastard. But the way I see it, I can do both things at once.

I hold his left hand between my hands, feeling the blood pump beneath his skin and am disturbed that he's letting me do this. I wish he'd wake up and yell at me for not working or for touching him, yell at me for something.

I jump as the door behind me creaks, turning around I see Tony standing cautiously in the doorway. He looks over me at Gibbs. There's a long silence as we both leave the other alone with their thoughts.

"How long 'til Abby can get me those results?" I ask Tony.

The only things he moves are his eyes. "Twenty minutes max, she's got them running in her lab now; but she's here." he replies and then takes a step towards the bed. "Have you heard any news?"

I shake my head. "The doctor hasn't been back. The last time he was here he told me that they weren't sure if there is any permanent brain damage. We won't know til he wakes up. If he wakes up." I can't peel my eyes away from Gibbs for more then a second for fear he'll wake up when I'm not looking.

I force myself to face Tony, my hand still in Gibbs'. "I need you to get those results to me as soon as they're ready. Get Ziva onto tracking this bastard's credit card, phone calls. You know the drill. And you're my front man. Any news, anything at all you get it to me, and make sure they're working hard." I breathe. "Gibbs wouldn't want it any other way." I say quietly, but I know Tony heard.

Tony slips out of the room as I turn back to Gibbs. I'm hunched over his body, my forehead nearly touching his hand.

"We're gonna catch this guy Gibbs."

No reply, no witty, cynical or sardonic comment.

"I promise."

I'm starving; I haven't been able to drag myself away from his side in about twenty-five hours. No food no water, nothing. I don't want him to wake up without me being here, and that's not only for my piece of mind. I want him to know that I've been sitting here for over a day, even if that means he yells at me. I want him to know I care. I want him to know I'm sorry.

But, the fatigue is getting to me, and I need to use the bathroom. So I stand, with my legs protesting, and slide my hand out of his. I watch his face until I'm in the corridor, and he's out of sight.

Ducky and Abby are seated on white plastic chairs in the hospital corridor. Duck has his arm around her and he lifts it as I come out of the room. All their eyes on me I give a tired sigh and ask, "Could you two keep an eye on him. I'm going to get a coffee." Ducky nods and stands, patting me on the shoulder.

"I'll ring your mobile if there is any news." He nods. "And take your time dear, you need the break." He adds, although he knows I'll be back as quickly as I can.

Abby's already gone into the room with Gibbs, and Ducky and I share a look before I head towards the ladies room. Abby's taking this harder then anyone else, we're all worried about her.

The line for coffee feels like it's the entire population of Washington DC in front of me. I grip my phone tightly, wanting Gibbs to wake up; but guiltily I hope it's not while I'm out here.

I look nervously behind me. Half expecting something to go horribly wrong. But I eventually get my coffee. Still no phone call. I force myself to walk and not run back to the room. And am surprised when I see Abby sitting outside, the door to Gibbs' room is closed. Her head is in her hands and I can't see her face.

I sit down beside her, she didn't hear me coming. She doesn't move when I shuffle beside her to let her know that it's me.

"Abby?" I question, my voice low and soft. I want her to open up to me, but I fear I already know what is wrong and all the horrible things going through her head. Only because they're going through mine as well.

She looks up at me with those incredible green eyes, filled with tears. "I don't want him to die." She squeaks, barely forcing the words out of her throat, and then regretting them fiercely. She doesn't want to 'jinx' it.

She falls into my arms and I hold her tightly. She's a good friend to me and to Jethro. "We've got to stay positive." I say, trying to sound confident. The tears well up in my eyes and I can't speak anymore. Instead we just sit and hold onto each other for a good two or three minutes.

Eventually, I can't take sitting out here anymore; I want to be by Gibbs' side. So I brush the hair out of Abby's face and get up.

Slowly I turn the brushed chrome handle to his room. Ducky is leaning back comfortably in his chair, his personal fears already laid out for Jethro he's regaling him with stories of miraculous healings that he's learned of and been a part of, he's not one to dwell on negative feelings. That makes me smile. When Ducky speaks I sometimes forget the horrors of the world.

Ducky looks up at me from his chair and stops talking. He gets up silently and I stay in the doorway. He stands beside me, his back to the bed and says, "It's going to be alright you know."

Before he has a chance to go I remind myself and then say, "Abby needs you in the corridor."

Then with another pat on the shoulder followed by a short squeeze he slips past me into the corridor.

It bothers me that he didn't say, 'he's going to be alright.' He said, 'it's going to be alright.' My stomach does flip flops as I replay his sentence over and over. The hope he had given me seems to fade away with his attempt at comfort, what does he know that I don't? My guess is that he was just being honest. Gibbs might die. I should come to terms with that. I've seen people compartmentalize death before, so why can't I do it?

I shut the door behind me and lean into the corner of the room. Because it's my fault he's lying on that bed. My fault.

If I had stopped him from heading around that corner without backup. Well, that's not fair, I was meant to be his back up. He was counting on me to watch his back. But I couldn't watch his front. But I failed him. I could have done better. I could have prevented this. I should be the one lying on that bed.

I watch him closely and hang my head forward as I remember. I've been trying so hard not to remember. The man came rushing from the left, along the wall where neither of us could see him. Gibbs had run forward, low to the ground with his gun in front of him. The man had slammed into him, his knife slicing Gibbs' side neatly, plunging all the way in. Gibbs fired a shot into the air as he went down to the ground. I aim my gun at the two rolling bodies but as a shot whizzes past my head I'm forced to turn and fire upon a second attacker. With two shots he's dead.

I spin back; the man has knocked his gun away from him. Blood begins to soak into the gravelly ground he's being pressed into. Just as I gain a clean shot the man fires in my direction with Gibbs' firearm before sprinting off, a gun in each hand.

I throw myself towards the wall on my left when he lifts the weapon, firing my own shot is ineffective, I don't want to hit Gibbs so I don't even pull the trigger. But thanks to my quick reflexes I'm not hit, thought I do a quick check to make sure.

When I recover the man is gone. I run to his side, he's got a huge lump on his head, he's unconscious and the blood seems to ooze with scary rapidity from his side. "Gibbs!" I yelled into his face, "Gibbs, open your eyes!"

I lift my head and walk to the side of his bed. "I'm sorry." I collapse next to the bed on my knees. "I'm sorry I didn't stop this." The guilt finally comes out all over his hand, tears rolling down onto the sheets. "Please wake up. Please."

If I'd just been quicker, if I'd just pulled him back a little longer, or maybe gotten a better look around that corner. I should have been smarter or quicker or both. There are a million things I could have done differently and because I didn't he's lying on a hospital bed on the edge of life and death.

I don't know how long I've been crumpled on the floor crying onto his hand but a significant amount of time seems to have passed, and I feel like I've just woken up.

I steal a quick and nervous glance over my shoulder to make sure I'm alone. Now not only do I feel guilty for getting him into this hospital, I feel guilty for getting myself in such a compromising position. I dare not entertain what-ifs at this point so I lift myself painfully off the floor and rest in the chair beside the bed.

I let out a long sigh and rub my forehead. My eyes are stinging and I feel warm. My hair is a mess so I try to tidy it up the best I can. I check the clock on the wall. I was only out for a few minutes.

Tony enters, I try not to look startled as he steps in. This time however he doesn't look at Gibbs. Instead he comes straight to me.

"We've got a name, phone number, home address, everything on this guy."

I stand up and face him properly.

"Name?" I enquire.

"Mason George Reynolds, identified thanks to Abby's DNA tests. Thirty-seven years of age as of last month. She's still working on Gibbs' lacerations, her and Ducky think they can match the imprint to a weapon."

"Where is he?" I start to walk out of the room Tony follows me. I don't want to disturb Gibbs.

His hesitation is the answer.

"Last known location then?" I find myself snapping at him.

His voice hardens in response. "Detroit."

"Any previous police record?"

"Arms dealing in 2000, caught drink driving February this year."

"Arms dealing?" I repeat, but it isn't really a question. Tony stands and waits.

My glare fades and I pat him on the shoulder in apology. "Good work Tony."

I collapse on one of the plastic chairs. Ducky must have taken Abby back to ncis. I'm surprised she let him.

"You look pretty tired." Tony says. I know that he's concerned.

I bite back on a reply and think before answering. I look at him through my fingers and then, deciding that Gibbs wouldn't do that, I tell Tony to get back to work. "We haven't caught him yet." I won't rest until he's dead or caught.

I nod Tony off and he disappears around the bend of a corridor.

This day doesn't seem to end.

A nurse appears, enters Gibbs' room and I follow her in.

"How's he doing?"

"He's stable, for now." The nurse gives me a reassuring smile. "You should go home and get some rest."

I nod but don't leave.

She adjusts a few dials and the amount of morphine his drip is feeding him and then after one more smile she leaves.

I drag my fingers through my knotted hair. I could really use a shower and a hot meal. But the only thing that's going to tear me away from this hospital is finding out where this guy is, so I can kill him.

My cell rings, its Abby.

"Results?" I question

"Mason is definitely our guy. His skin was under Gibbs' nails." She pauses as if dredging up a mental image. "He hit Gibbs with what appears to be the back of a six millimeter, me and Ducky worked that out. We have more then enough evidence to put this guy away considering that he owns a licensed 6mm among other things."

"Good work Abby. Can you come and take over for me at the hospital? I have somewhere to be." I ask and then hang up. I realize she may not be up for it but Gibbs and her have a good relationship and I don't think there's anyone else he'd rather wake up to. That's another hard thought to deal with for me.

Deciding to push things along I pull out my cell phone and dial McGee. He picks up on the second ring.

"Hello?"

"Tell me what you got." I reply. No time for pleasantries.

McGee falters; he thinks Tony already told me everything. "Mason George Reynolds, His credit car was last used at an airport in Detroit."

"Can you track him using his cell?" I ask

"We could, but he doesn't have one. At least, not one we know about."

I give an exasperated sigh. "How long ago did he use his credit card?"

"About ten minutes ago."

"He couldn't have gotten far. And unless he left his car at an airport in Detroit he's probably taken a taxi. Get a BOLO out on him in Detroit ASAP. Check every cab that's come out of that airport within the last half an hour."

"Give the phone to Ziva."

McGee's probably already put a bolo out on the guy. I now that, but at least I feel like I've accomplished something, like I've added something to finding this guy.

I take a break before calling Ziva. McGee's just given me the information I asked her to get, but I know she'll still be working on it.

"Ziva." She answers.

"What have you got?"

She knows I know about the credit card. "I've got his last three places of residence, his name, home phone number."

I cut her off, "Where does he live?"

"Washington DC."

I snap my fingers and stand up. "He must have taken a taxi." I think aloud. "Unless he knows someone who lives in Detroit."

"Ziva any phone calls made to Detroit within the last year?"

"Dozens." She replies. "To the same number." I can hear keys tapping.

"Who's number?" I demand.

"His mother."

Before I hang up I instruct her, "You, Tony, McGee. Get saddled up. We're going to Detroit. I'll meet you at NCIS."

Then I snap my phone shut and charge back into Gibbs' room. I'm happy with the speed they've found out this information. I have to remind myself that they care about him as much as I do. Well, almost.

"I think we know where he is." I tell him.

"I'm going to go and catch the bastard. We're going to go and catch the bastard"

I lean over his cold body and kiss him on the cheek. "I'll be back." My determination pushing through my tears. "Don't go anywhere." I feel a bit wayward for kissing him without any kind of permission while he lays vulnerable on that bed. But, it's too late now.

I speed my way back to headquarters and jump into the car with the other three. Ziva hands me my gun from the front seat. And I give her a look of thanks. Tony already has the engine running when I get there.

"We've got a private jet waiting." McGee says, beside me in the back.

"The director set us up." Tony grins from the drivers seat.

This lead has them all pumped. This is good. The adrenaline will speed up their reaction times, not to mention take their minds off Gibbs.

When we're up in the air McGee gets a call on his mobile. He nods and acknowledges the other person. "Alright. Okay. Yup. " Then he puts the phone on speaker and pulls out his laptop, dropping it on the fold out table in front of him.

"I've got a cell phone number." He informs us all loudly. We crowd around his computer. "Thanks to Abby." He admits when we're all within earshot. I have to smile, that girl is better at multitasking then anyone else I know.

I watch as he brings up the satellite imagery. It's dark, so he switches to infrared.

"There are two people in his mothers house." McGee says. But he's stating the obvious; we can all plainly see that.

The two figures appear to be deep in conversation, the man is pacing.

"We can't be sure it's him." I remind them. Trying to bring them back to earth a little. Ziva shoots me a half glare, which seems to say 'stop being so pessimistic'.

A voice on the other end of McGee's cell phone pipes up, "I might be able to prove its him." Abby says. There's rapid tapping on the other end of the line. I don't bother to ask her how.

"Do it." I say.

A few moments later she gives us the confirmation we're all hoping for. "His height, body mass and stride suggest with ninety percent accuracy that this is our guy."

"How long 'til we land?" I solicit.

The pilot is in earshot, "Ten minutes."

I pull out my gun and check the clip, brushing it fondly as if it had dust on it. I'm just buying myself some thinking time. I holster my weapon and look over the team. I still feel guilty for letting Gibbs get hurt. This is my chance to redeem myself.

"Okay team, time to make a plan of attack." They all look up with their full attention. They have bright eyes and eager determined faces.

"I'll take point, Ziva and Tony you cover the back of the house. McGee you've got our backs." I almost cringe at the term. The look on Tony's face says he doesn't approve.

"Problem?" I challenge him.

"Do you really think you should take point?"

I draw myself up.

"It's just that you haven't slept in nearly two days." He counters before I have a chance to defend myself.

Unfortunately he's got a point. I stand down on my defensive and lean on the table. "What do you suggest?" I ask diplomatically.

He seems to realize that I want revenge but not only that; to dispel my guilt by catching the man responsible.

"You and I take point. Ziva takes the back entrance. McGee watches our backs."

I consider the words for a moment and then nod my approval.

The group breaks.

I slap McGee on the shoulder, not hard, and leave my hand there. The two figures in the house are both sitting down.

He looks a bit upset that he's in charge of our 'backs' again. And I know how he feels. After all, we were all probie's once.

I'm not quite sure what to say to him to make him feel better.

"There's nobody I'd rather have watching my six McGee." Is all I can conjure before heading to the back of the plane for a quick sip of soda water. I find that always calms my nerves.

I spend the rest of the flight in the very back of the plane, alone. I use this time to prepare myself mentally for the attack. I see his face in my mind and I compartmentalize all other feelings and thoughts. And when I'm positive that there is no imbalance in my head I look out the window and ready my things. We're about to land.

Detroit at this time of night is not very spectacular, unlike Washington DC this city sleeps.

As we arrive in the airport, pumped full of adrenaline, we are met by a small group of Detroit police officers who come directly to me.

"Are you in charge?" They ask me.

"Yes."

"You put a BOLO out on one Mason George Reynolds?"

"Yes that was us." For some reason I want to rush the man but I hold back on my rudeness and allow him time to collect his thoughts. He's a skinny average looking fellow with a bit of a receding hairline. But that comes with the age.

"We've been waiting for you. Mason George Reynolds was seen just over an hour ago by the owner of a coffee shop on the corner of Madison and Calisbury."

"Thank you officers." I say quickly, "You've been a great help." But really they haven't, we already know where he is.

The others follow me wordlessly, but they're puffed up and striding like pros.

Abby's still on the line, McGee talks to her intermittently; something going on there I think, she's watching the house with the infrared while we're on the move. McGee can't exactly hold his laptop and watch our backs at the same time. So she's our eyes.

There are two cars waiting for us outside of the airport courtesy of the Director. Tony and I take the front car and Ziva and McGee hop into the one behind. I figure that it's fitting seeing as that's our plan of attack. I'm suddenly glad that Tony convinced me to take point with him. Somehow this eerie and windy Detroit night doesn't seem very inviting.

The house we arrive at is several hundred metres away. Ziva goes around behind the house with their car and I wonder how McGee liked his trip; her driving being so strenuous and all that. She parks about the same distance as we do from the house. We'll take the rest of the trip on foot so we don't get caught out.

I adjust my earpiece and whisper into it. "Red team in place, over."

"Blue team in place, over." Comes Ziva's heavy accent.

"Yellow team in place, over." McGee whispers.

"Abby, what's the situation inside?" I ask, she's listening in.

Her voice comes through loud and clear, "Looks like his mother's gone to bed but he's sitting in the living room. First door on the right facing north."

That means he'll be closer to Tony and I.

"Abby Alert me if there is any movement from either parties. All teams, you have a green light." I relay.

I give Tony a determined look and we both crouch low to the ground. With everyone dressed in black, ear pieces and guns I can't help but remember Gibbs being beaten by this man. I halt for a moment and give Tony the signal to stop. He gives me a questioning and alert look but I'm just stalling.

What if this turns out the same? What if it's Tony or Ziva who gets hurt this time?

I grow angry with myself for such irrational thoughts. 'There's four of us and one of him. I doubt his mother will be a problem.' I think.

Before I have time to overanalyze the situation further I start forward again. We're almost on the verandah. The thing looks so rickety that I just know it's going to creak the moment we set foot on it.

The wooden verandah does creak as we stand on it. I hold my clenched fist up and Tony and I freeze on either side of the door.

"He's moving towards red team." Abby whispers urgently through the earpiece.

I shake my head at Tony. We're staying put. Our backs are flat to the wall on either side of the front door watching the handle for even the slightest movement.

"He's looking out the window." Abby says, concern written all over her words.

Then there's silence. I scarcely breathe for fear he'll hear me and from the looks of Tony I'd say he's going through similar thoughts.

"He's moving away from the window." Abby breathes a sigh of relief as she says it. "He's sitting down again, facing the lounge exit."

"Blue team move in." I say, barely above a whisper.

We need the element of surprise, So she'll be the perfect diversion. I catch Tony's eye and lean right into him across the doorway, "We move one second after Ziva moves."

He nods and I nod.

Now we wait, and we don't have to wait long before there's a noise from the back of the house.

"Target is on the move," Abby says, her voice tense.

After one more nod to Tony he steps in front of me and literally kicks the door in.

Mason is making his way down the hallway in front of us towards the back of the house. "Stop! NCIS!" I shout at his back, my arms outstretched, my finger pressed lightly on the trigger willing me to ask it to pull.

He stops. I recognize the back of his head as soon as I see it.

"Put your hands up!" Tony yells. But the man darts into the side room to his left, reaching for a gun at the same time.

For one ghastly moment I can see into the future, Tony's brain splattered on the wall.

Now even more determined, I surge forward ahead of Tony, blocking his way. I ignore his face and rush forward into the side room.

Abby's saying something in my ear but the blood rushing through it means all I hear is the sound of water. I'm hot and sweaty, every image seems sharper and my eyes dart around the room. Almost on impulse I swing around and point my gun beside the door.

A bullet whizzes past my head, I stumble to the left and lock onto my target.

Shoot to kill.

It's self-defense.

Bang.

He's hit, and my finger is pulled back so far I can feel the cold metal behind the trigger. But I don't move to my left fast enough this time.

Mason squeezes off one more bullet before collapsing on the ground.

Tony's behind me, Ziva and McGee enter the room; all have their guns pointed at his head. But his life is already seeping out of him onto his mother's rug.

I can now hear her screaming. My hearing's cleared. McGee runs off to hold the mother in custody. Helping a criminal.

I step forward and kick his gun away from him. No mistakes this time.

Ziva stands over him with her gun pointed at his head. She looks up at me and gives Tony a look.

I barely understand and then I feel a pressing on my shoulder. I look down thinking that Tony has his hand on me but instead my eyes meet blood soaking through my shirt. I quickly tear off my sleeve and check the back of my shoulder. No exit wound.

"It's lodged in there." I say.

Tony takes a look.

I feel the blood running out of my face. But all I can think is how good it is that this man in front of me finally got what was coming to him.

Then the room fades and I hear a thud as I hit the floor.

When I wake up in hospital I have the most peculiar thought, that I've fallen asleep next to Gibbs' bed again. But as my sight clears and I realize that I'm looking at a ceiling and that I'm tucked in neatly between the crisply uncomfortable white sheets. That brings it home. I look down at my bandaged shoulder, the wet blood seeping through and the needles poking out of my arm. I hate needles. The chart at the end of the bed pokes up above my toes and I sit up and reach forward numbly to pick it up. The morphine is working wonders I can't feel a thing. I do feel groggy though.

I can't read the chart my sight is too blurry.

I have to see Gibbs.

Level three. Room 108. I repeat over and over in my head, as I roll out of bed. My morphine drip is on rolling wheels, which is good or I'd have to carry it with me.

There are no nurses about and so I escape into the elevator before anyone can stop me. I press the three button and try to hold myself upright.

The elevator dings and I step through the doors, fearing for a moment that I won't fit, because I didn't wait for them to open completely.

I tiptoe down the quiet corridor. A nurse steps out of one of the rooms but she's so engrossed in her chart that she walks on without looking up at me frozen in her passage.

I count the number on the doors and stop to think. 108, 108, 108.

Oh yes, I remember. 108.

Finally I reach 108 and turn the handle. The light is turned off and so I slip in noiselessly and lean over the bed. I squint until my eyes become accustomed to the darkness, at which point I realize that there is something not quite right about this room.

There are four beds in here. The room is huge. Gibbs is in a room with two beds, not four! I'm shocked. I look down at the bed next to me. There's a sleeping old woman in it.

"What…?" I whisper in disbelief.

I hear running feet in the hallway and look out the door. A nurse runs past the room and then slides to a stop and races to the open door. She almost glares at me but at the same time she looks happy to have found me.

"What are you doing? You're not meant to be out of be!" she says. The old woman stires in the bed.

I stutter as she pulls me into the hallway and closes the door behind up. She leads me by the elbow to the elevator and rambles on about losing me or something. "I was looking for Gibbs." I mumble.

"Where am I?" I slur my words.

"Detroit district hospital."

Now it makes sense. I think. Oh, he's in Washington! And I'm in Detroit.

"Oh." I yawn.

"We have to get you back to bed my dear." She says warmly.

But a horrible feeling hits me in the stomach.

"No! wait, I have to get back to Washington! What if he's awake, what if something's happened!" I grab her lab coat. "Please," I plead, "I have ot get back to Washington."

She looks frightened so I let her go. "No, you're not going anywhere."

I feel like I'm stuck in a horror movie.

"Where's Tony and Ziva? And McGee?"

The nurse looks vacant for a second, "Oh, the three who cam in with you?"

"Oh no, they aren't hurt are they?"

"No, no." she waves her hand and laughs. "They brought you in with a gunshot wound."

"Oh yes." I remember that.

"Where's my cell phone?" My head is so fuzzy.

She looks nervous and she's reaching into her pocket. I see the end of a syringe and know immediately what she's going to do. This is like a movie! She's going to sedate me so that I won't cause trouble.

I fall silent.

The elevator dings and we arrive at my floor. I allow her to lead me back to my room and I keep a wary eye on her pocket.

I crawl meekly into bed and nestle into the sheets. She watches me until she's sure I wont cause more trouble and then she leaves and closes the door behind me. No doubt she'll put a guard there so I can't escape. This is like a prison!

This morphine is not allowing me to think so I decide that the best thing would be to lose it. So I rip the surgical tape off quickly and slide the needle out of my vein. As soon as its out I put pressure on the hole, then I reuse the surgical tape to hold it closed. I poke the needle into my pillow and shake my head to clear the cobwebs. It takes a few minutes before I'm awake enough to rummage through the drawers next to my bed. My cell phone is there so I throw a prayer of thanks heavenward.

It's switched off. I turn it on and wait; the light illuminates the room so I hold it under the sheets. Low battery. I curse under my breath. Wait! There's phone next to my bed. I pick it up, there's a tone so I dial straight out to Tony's cell phone.

"Hello?" Comes a sleepy reply.

"Tony?" I whisper frantically.

"Is that you?" he wakes up quickly.

"Yes, yes. They've got me locked in my room like a prisoner." I whisper.

I hear a worried silence on his end. "How are you feeling?"

"Oh that's irrelevant." I say exasperated. Like I called him to tell him how I was doing! Come to think of it taking that drip out is feeling like a bad idea, pain in my shoulder grows rapidly. "How's Gibbs?"

I think I hear him smile. "He's asleep, unlike you."

"Did he wake up?" I ask panicked.

"No." Tony says a little less happy, "But the Doctor said he's doing fine now."

I breathe a sigh of relief.

"I need you to get me transferred out of this hospital and sent to Washington." I explain quickly.

"What! I can't do that; it's like four am. Plus some crazy nurse kicked us out, said visiting hours were over."

"Please Tony."

There's more silence on the line.

"I'll see what I can do."

"Thanks." I hang up. Seems like the Gibbs thing to do, to hang up before he really agrees. I feel guilty again for hoping he hadn't woken up but Tony said the doctor said he was all right. Good news all round. Now all I have to do is wait.

My shoulder is screaming with pain now. I regret pulling out my drip thoroughly, more so now because I know I have to put it back in before the nurse comes back. I gingerly peel back the surgical tape, and the blood oozes from the vein. I wipe the blood away to find the point where it was last time and pull the needle out of the pillow. Taking a deep breath I direct it through the hole and into the vein at the same angle it came out. Then, I secure it with tape.

I close my eyes and rest on the pillows behind me. I am so sleepy.

I feel like I'm fighting to wake up, fighting to stay conscious but when I open my eyes the room is bright. Sunlit even. It's hard to keep my eyes open but I force myself to examine the yellow light playing on the ceiling.

My shoulder hurts and it brings me back to reality. I sit bolt upright in bed and begin to panic. Tony didn't come through for me! I can't believe it! He probably just went back to sleep.

It annoys me that I'm still groggy and that I allowed myself to sleep. I glare at the needle in my arm but my face softens and my attitude changes to confusion when I see that the surgical tape on my needle has been replaced. That means the nurse was in here and I slept right through it. I hope she doesn't realize that it was me who made it loose.

I drop back onto the pillows and sigh. This is so frustrating!

But something isn't right about this room. The window isn't in the right place and the room is wider. I turn my head to my left and my jaw drops in surprise.

"Gibbs…" I whisper, unbelieving.

I sit up without thinking and stare at him in wonder. I'm overjoyed; Tony did come through for me! I'll have to get him something really nice for his birthday this year.

"Yup." Says a gravelly voice. It doesn't take me long to realize that Gibbs is the one who said it.

"You're awake!" I say shrilly. He opens his eyes and gives me a half smile.

"That morphine's gone to your head."

"How long have you been awake for?" I say whispering.

He rolls over and groans, I suspect the knife wound is giving him trouble. "About two minutes."

My joy overflows, I was here when he woke up!

I sit up, grimacing in pain. I scramble to help him but the pain in my shoulder stops me. I let out a squeak and freeze, hoping the morphine kicks in.

He looks up in unease and gives me a concerned look. Looks like he wants to hop ou tof his bed to help me as I was about to do for him.

"Apparently I can't dodge three bullets in a row." I try to smile convincingly.

"Though, originally I was in here waiting for you to wake up. I went for a coffee break and what do you know. Bam. And then here I am again, only this time I'm in the bed too."

He doesn't look like he believes my entire version of events but I see him take a good look at my bandaged shoulder.

He leans back onto the cushions and I sit staring at him.

"I'm sorry."

He gives me a glare.

"For what?" he says gruffly. I know he thinks apologizing is a sign of weakness… but too bad.

"For not stopping that guy sooner."

He says nothing. I dread his next words. I'm so sure he's about to confirm my worst fears.

"There's no one I'd rather have watch my back." He says.

My lips part in amazement and I glow on the inside, that sentence sounds very familiar…

I lean back in my bed. The room is clear. I don't need to respond to that statement, we've said all we need to.

We lie in comfortable silence; I'm not expecting any great discussions. Not with Gibbs. But for now I'm quite happy to be lying in the bed next to him, in pain while he breathes steadily beside me. Because if I use my imagination just a little bit, we're in the same bed in pain together. And the kiss I gave him plays over and over in my head like a song on repeat.


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