I can see them, but I can't join them. No matter how hard I try, a glass wall appears and I run into it. Time passes but I still can't reach them. Their light is all I can see in the silent darkness. I slowly approach them, and they me. Finally, I'm going to get through. I can see their faces. Dad, Mom, Sarah, Kate. I want to join. I raise my hand in greeting and my fingertips brush against the glass once more. I can see their tears running down their faces, past their smiles. They raise their hands. I try to talk to them but they shake their heads. I scream in frustration, and hit the glass. It vibrates under the force. I hit it again and again, until I see it crack. The people on the other side are still shaking their heads, but make no move to stop me. Two more hits and the glass is gone. I freeze, unsure of what I want to do, of what I should do. My family approach me.
"You shouldn't have done that." My dad says as they stop short of me.
"You shouldn't be here." Mom says as I look at her.
"Go back. It's not your time." I can see the tears run down my baby sister's face as she says it. I don't want to leave her. I turn to look at Kate.
"McGee, they need you. You can't leave them now. You have a chance to fight it, a chance I never had. Go back to them. Fight for them, for me. It may seem had now but you can do it, I know you can. Turn around. Walk away. Your mom's right, you shouldn't be here. Go. Go and fight for your life. We will be here, when it is your time. But right now it's not. So fight!"
And suddenly the barrier's returned and I can't hear them. I watch as they turn away and their light fades. I turn around and scream into the darkness. Then I run. I run like there's no tomorrow, which, I think, for me there may not be. I run until I can't remember why I'm running. I run until I can hear sound. Then I slow. Funny, I think, I'm not even out of breath.
I wait for the noise to turn into something recognisable. A voice. I don't know who it belongs to, but I use it as my anchor. I move towards it and it gets louder. I try to make out what its saying, but I can't. I move again. Then the sound stops and I'm lost. I'm lost in the darkness. I panic. Then I hear a new voice. This voice is further away. I try to get closer to it but I don't know where it's coming from. It's muttering something to me. I try to make out the words, but once again I fail. More mutterings. Then pain. God it hurts. I try to move away from the pain but it follows me. As suddenly as it started, it stops. And then the first voice is back. There's a new emotion in it. Once again I try to move towards it, again it gets louder. And I can hear the words.
"Come on Tim. You can do this. Come back to me, I need you. I need you, please Timmy, come back..."
The effort it takes me to hear this wears me out and I lose the connection, but at least I know who is with me now. Only one person calls me Timmy, and that's...
I manage to whisper, before I completely surrender to the darkness. I do not even hear her squeal turn to a scream.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There are more voices this time. More anchors to cling to. I don't know who else is there, but I need to see Abby. I need to know that she's ok. I don't know why, but I have to make sure. I run towards the voices once more, all fear left in the darkness. I run until I hit a barrier. Not again. At least I can hear their voices:
"Come on Tim, just open your eyes." Abby...
"Probie, we're here. We're waiting for you." ...and was that Tony?..
"Yes, McGee, open the entrance, ignite the light again..." ...and Ziva?..
"Don't you mean, open the door and switch the light back on Zeevah!" ...yup, definitely Tony...
"Whatever Tony." ...and Ziva...
"McGee. You need to open your eyes, now. You've had enough time. Wake up. Now McGee!"
My eyes snap open involuntary, to the Boss' command. Light blinding me, screams deafening me, pain pulling me under. I close my eyes trying to gain control. There's talking and the screams stop. Pain rakes through my body. Breathe, just breath. And I realise I can't, there's something in my throat. I struggle, panicking. Hands hold me down.
"Don't fight it Tim. Don't panic. Just open your eyes again for me. That's it McGee your doing great..."
I open my eyes again. The light is dimmed, the screaming stopped, but the pain is still there. I struggle to sit up, to say something, but the hands are still there. I see two blue eyes and they stare into mine.
"Relax Tim. The doctors coming. Don't try to talk. Just blink ok. Blink if you understand me."
I look at him and slowly blink. Then I shut my eyes. Relax, how can I relax when I'm in so much pain. I'm barely hanging onto consciousness. I hear someone else enter the room, talking to me. It's that voice I heard before, the one that caused me pain. I don't want to open my eyes; I want to hide from him. I don't do what he wants me to do. I hear mutterings and then;
"McGee! Open your eyes. We know you're awake! Stop trying to hide. Do what the doctor is telling you to do!"
Once again my eyes snap open, without my control. Why can't I control that impulse? Why do I always do what Gibbs wants? I look into the blue beacons as I try to do what the doctor wants. Then a pair of unfamiliar grey eyes interrupts my view.
"Mr. McGee I'm going to ask you some questions now. Blink once for yes and twice for no. Do you understand?" I focus on the grey eyes and slowly blink once. "Do you know who you are?" I blink once. "Do you know where you are?" I let my eyes wander round the room, a hospital. I blink once. "Do you know who the people around you are?" I blink straight away. "Do you remember what happen?" I try to think, and blink twice, worried. "That's ok. Now Mr. McGee, are you is any pain?"I shut my eyes straight away and hold them shut to emphasis the point. "Ok, now you awake we'll get you some pain meds. We'll leave you incubated for the moment though; we need to get you O2 stats. up." I watch him as he adds another bag to my IV pole. "I'm giving you some morphine for the pain. I want you to try and get some sleep. Someone will be here when you wake up. Don't worry Mr. McGee; you're going to be ok."
I watch him leave the room, and then I focus on who's left with me. I see Ziva and Gibbs on either side of me. Tony's at the foot of my bed, Abby in his arms. I try to see if she's ok, but my eyelids start to droop.
"Don't worry McGee, she's fine..." says Gibbs, reading my mind, "and so will you be..."
The darkness pulls me down and I let it. I'm content.