Thank you all for taking the time to read and review. I really appreciate it. Sorry for making you wait so long to get to the last page, so to speak. Hope you think it was worth it. Decided to wrap it up quickly in the end. Enjoy!


As Gibbs began to lose consciousness, McGee and Abby were strolling down the corridor to call in to say goodnight. They were horrified when they saw what was happening. Much to even her own surprise, Abby was the first to react. She charged screaming at Tyler who still had his hands around Gibbs throat. With one hand he made a fist and swiped at the oncoming Goth connecting squarely under her chin and sending her careening into the end of the bed. Her head clipped the wheel of the bed as she fell. McGee was close on her heels and he swung a solid punch at Tyler's face which knocked him off balance and away from Gibbs.

Tyler struck back at McGee who nimbly dodged his swing and landed a decent punch into the ribs of Gibbs' attacker. Tyler doubled over albeit momentarily. Then he reached for the drip stand and prepared to use it as a weapon against McGee. However, McGee wasn't going to give him the chance and charged full throttle, head down into Tyler's mid-rift. The two men smashed through the glass wall of the I.C.U. room before landing heavily in a heap in the corridor. Upon hearing the racket the night nurse jumped up immediately from her seat at the reception desk and quickly grabbed the telephone to call security for help. The two men struggled with each other exchanging a barrage of blows. Eventually McGee managed to roll on top of Tyler and pin him to the ground. He continued pounding on Tyler ensuring that he stayed down. By this time Tyler was already unconscious. When he finally realised this McGee stood up, exhausted and turned back towards Gibbs and Abby.

Abby was only now getting back to her feet having been stunned by the knock on her head. She was oblivious to the blood streaming from the back of her scalp as she hurried to help Gibbs. By this time the nurse had also made it to the room. She stood on the other side of the bed and checked her patient. She listened to Gibbs chest and saw that there was no movement.

"He's not breathing," she said as she acted quickly and grabbed the equipment. She held the mask over his face and bagged him to artificially resuscitate him. It only took a few pumps on the bag before he began to cough and breathe again.

"Oh my God, he's bleeding," Abby said noticing blood soaking through the sheets on his bed. Gibbs came around quickly and continued coughing and rubbing his neck to try and ease the discomfort. The nurse placed an oxygen flow mask over his face to help ease his distress. Then she hurried to the other side of the bed to find the source of the blood. She pulled away the bed sheets and revealed fresh blood oozing from his surgical wound.

"He's just torn his stitches," she said sounding relieved. "I'll call the doctor, just to make sure there's no internal bleed. He'll be fine," she said to the very anxious young lady.

Gibbs was still having difficulty catching his breath. The nurse advised him to try and slow his breathing. Abby held his hand and took deep deliberate breaths herself, in the hope that Gibbs would follow suit. His eyes betrayed a flicker of fear, something Abby had never witnessed from Gibbs. She touched his lips with a single finger and shushed him. He found her touch calming. They held each others gaze as they both concentrated on their breathing. Soon Gibbs' breathing had regularised enough for him to be able to speak.

"Are you okay?" he rasped sounding concerned for her.

"Me? I'm not the one who stopped breathing," Abby said in disbelief.

"You're bleeding," Gibbs told her.

Abby touched the back of her head and felt the stickiness in her hair. An exhausted McGee came up behind her. She turned straight away and threw her arms around him.

"Way to go, McGee!" Abby enthused before backing him away to check if he was injured. His cheek was swollen, his nose bloodied and there was a large amount of blood on his trouser leg. "Oh McGee, you're hurt," she said examining his right leg.

"What?" McGee replied not even realising that he was bleeding. "Oh, must have cut it on the broken glass," he said looking down at the tear in his pants.

"You two go and get looked after," Gibbs ordered as he took another deep breath from the oxygen mask. They both hesitated, not wanting to leave Gibbs. "Well, what are you waiting for? I'm okay. You got him, right?" he wondered.

Abby and McGee turned towards the prone figure who was out cold on the hospital floor. Gibbs looked past them and saw the security team and a doctor standing around the unconscious figure.

"You did that, McGee?" Gibbs asked notably impressed. "Nice work."

Tim smiled. It wasn't often anyone received a compliment from the boss so little one's like that he treasured.

"C'mon you two," Nurse Lopez said to the agents. "Let's get you patched up."

Abby turned back and kissed Gibbs on the cheek.

"I'm glad you're okay, Gibbs," she said with fervour.

"That's two I owe you, Abs," Gibbs said to her as she left the room.

"Don't worry, Gibbs. I intend to collect," she called back to him with a wicked grin on her face.


Just over a week later Gibbs was well enough to be released from hospital. Ducky and Jackson Gibbs were there to pick him up and take him home. Gibbs was never so glad to get out of a place as he was to leave that hospital. When they pulled up outside his house, his team were waiting to welcome him home. The effervescent Abby couldn't contain herself when she saw him step out of the car. She welcomed him home in her own inimitable fashion running to him, throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.

"Woah, Abs," he said as he staggered backwards. Luckily Ducky was just one step behind him and saved his grace.

"Gibbs! You look great," she gushed as she linked his arm and escorted him up the step onto his porch. He smiled as he saw Tony, Ziva and McGee waiting there for him. It felt great to be welcomed home by his family. Everyone that was important to him was there. And when at one time he would have sent them all packing back to work, he invited them in and appreciated the opportunity to spend time with them out of the office for a change.

The good things in your life can be ripped from your grasp without warning and without reason. He had learnt this the hard way. Having had time to reassess his life he made a conscious decision, it was time to make the most of now because tomorrow may never come.


A/N - I know - got a bit mushy in the end. Don't know what came over me ;)