Don't Give Up, Don't Walk Away
Written for the NFA It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Challenge
Disclaimer: All names and trademarks recognised as "NCIS" do not belong to me; I've just borrowed the characters for my own purpose. The title is inspired by the song 'Don't Give Up' sung by Rebecca Lavelle for the television show 'McLeod's Daughters'.
Characters: Tony, Gibbs, Ziva, McGee et al.
Genres: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Drama, Gen
Warnings: Some violence
Word Count: c.11,000 words
Summary: When a team member is found on the brink of death, the hunt for the assailant is not just about justice, it's about revenge.
Prologue: A Date With the Destiny of Death
Timothy McGee hummed along with the radio as he showered early on a Monday morning. It was the start of a new working week, but if the weather was anything to go by, it wasn't looking bright. Literally.
For the past week, Washington DC had been plagued with an abnormal amount of fierce storms that lashed out against the city. The amount of water that had been dumped on the city was astonishing; it was surprising that the buildings hadn't floated away.
McGee was enjoying his warm shower when his cell phone rang. He started and nearly slipped over. McGee scrambled to his feet, turned off the luxurious jet of warm water and flung himself out of the bathroom, only just remembering to grab a towel on the way out.
As he wrapped the towel around his waist, McGee called, "Hold on. I'm coming."
He stumbled his way over to his cell phone, looked at the caller ID and sighed. "What do you want, Tony?"
"Good morning to you too, Probie," Tony replied dryly. He paused. "Do you still want that lift to work?"
"Yeah." McGee tried to sound grateful, even though Tony had interrupted his shower. His car had been having problems lately and McGee has decided that it was too risky driving it in this weather so Tony had reluctantly volunteered to drive him to work, and Ziva to drive him home.
"I'll be there in five. You'd better be ready, McGeek," Tony ordered and hung up.
McGee sighed. There was no way he was getting back under that showerhead. He trudged back to his bedroom and pulled out a clean shirt, followed by one of his favourite suits. Even if the weather was horrendous, he could still feel good about himself.
Just as he was doing up the last shirt button, the door bell rang. Had it been five minutes already? He didn't know, but he supposed it was Tony at the door. McGee sighed. It was going to be a long day.
"I'm coming," McGee called to the door as he picked up his jacket and bag, and scurried to the door.
"I'm sure you said five, Tony, and I swear that was not . . ." he started, annoyed, as he flicked off the safety chain and opened the door.
"Wha . . .?" Instead of Tony, there was a man and woman standing in his doorway.
"Remember us?" the man asked, brandishing a baseball bat. And if that wasn't enough to set alarm bells ringing, the woman carried a metal pole.
McGee stood in shock for a second, before the first swing of the baseball bat jolted him into action. He ducked and the swing clipped his shoulder, making him drop his bag and jacket. Instinctively, McGee ran.
McGee rushed back into his bedroom, scanning for anything that could be used as a weapon. Damn himself for leaving his gun at work. He found nothing.
The second blow by the baseball bat caught him heavily in the stomach. He doubled over as pain ricocheted off one side of his rib cage to the other. He gasped for breath and the metal pole wielded by the woman came crashing down on his shoulder.
McGee was too shocked to cry out. He collapsed to his knees, experiencing more pain than he ever had in his entire life put together. Something collided with his head and his knees buckled, sending him sprawling on his back. McGee gasped and squeezed his eyes shut.
In his own darkness, he felt something crack against his knee and against his rib cage again. McGee opened one eye. The last, fuzzy image he saw was the man and woman standing over him, their weapons held high and suddenly, his world went dark.
As blood rained down on the walls of his bedroom, the rain outside grew heavier.
At the same time, Tony had pulled up in front of McGee's apartment and was chatting happily on the phone. It had rung just he had pulled up to the kerb.
"No can do Wednesday," Tony said casually into his phone as he twirled a pen in his fingers. He looked at his watch, exited the car and ran for cover.
"Saturday? Maybe. I'll have to check," he replied as he walked into the foyer of McGee's apartment block.
He shook himself dry as he laughed, "Crystal, you can do more than that. In fact . . ." Tony lowered his voice and whispered something into the phone, making Crystal giggle like a schoolgirl.
After Crystal had replied, Tony flushed and immediately said, "Scratch that, I'll see you on Saturday."
Tony pushed the button for the elevator to take him to McGee's floor. As he waited for the elevator, Tony said huskily, "You're a naughty girl, Crystal. I can't wait to see you on Saturday."
The elevator chimed so Tony finished, "I have to go. I'll see you on Saturday. I'll pick you up at eight. Be good till then."
Crystal said her goodbye and Tony pocketed his phone as he stepped into the elevator. He sighed happily. His weekend was sorted, and even the horrible weather outside couldn't damper his spirits. Tony grinned. He'd met Crystal the other week and they had hit it off immediately. He was looking forward to their date.
The elevator signalled that he had arrived at McGee's floor. Sighing happily again, Tony stepped out of the carriage and strolled down the hallway to McGee's apartment. As Tony turned the corner, his blood ran cold as he saw McGee's door ajar.
Tony pulled out his gun and inched his way to McGee's door. As he got close, he could hear the unmistakable sound of weapon hitting skin. Tony flinched and jerked back.
Shaking his head, Tony pushed open the door to McGee's apartment and cursed the fact that it squeaked loudly. He heard someone mutter, "Someone's here."
Tony swiftly stepped into the apartment, raised his weapon and yelled, "NCIS! Stay where you are!"
What happened next was over in seconds. As if a blur, two figures raced towards Tony with some kind of weapon. Before he could get a shot off, something slammed into his wrist, sending him to the ground. He groaned in pain and could only watch at the man and woman rushed out the door and disappeared from sight.
Tony hissed, half in anger and half in pain. Staggering to his feet, Tony called, "McGee? Are you okay?"
He got no answer, so tried again. "Probie? Tim? Talk to me."
Tony pushed his way into the bedroom, scanned his eyes around the room and froze. Distinctive blood spatters painted the walls. Tony was shaking as he followed the blood and found the source of it all.
It was McGee.
Tony stood in shock, unable to tear his eyes away from McGee's almost unrecognisable face. Blood was pooled around his head; it had sunk in his shirt and his pants. What was once white was now red.
Resisting the urge to throw up violently, Tony dropped his gun to the ground with a clutter and rushed clumsily to McGee.
"McGee!" he cried. He looked and felt horrified.
Tony dropped to his knees and fumbled around McGee's neck. "Please don't be dead," he whispered to himself, his own throbbing pain forgotten. "God, please don't be dead, McGee."
He kept muttering "please, please, please" to himself until he found a weak, but there pulse. Tony's arm dropped limply to his side as he took a deep breath. A pulse meant that McGee was still alive, still fighting. Just.
With shaking hands, Tony pulled out his phone and awkwardly dialled 911. There was a crash of thunder as the operator answered,
"911, what's your emergency."