Gibbs woke with a start. He'd done it again – fallen asleep in the basement, working on the boat. He stretched, trying to get the kinks out of his stiff body, and the pain took his breath away. Grabbing at his chest, he stilled, long enough to give himself a mental check down. It wasn't a heart attack; his breathing was a little shallow; He was getting older, unfortunately, and sleeping on a hard wood bed wasn't good for the body. Rolling gingerly off, he didn't feel the pain again. Shaking it off to age and poor judgment, he went upstairs to get ready for another day of work.
The mood in the bullpen was lighter. It was no secret that Gibbs, Tony and Tim missed Ziva. She had become an integral part of their team, but her secretiveness over the last several months had taken a toll – a toll that Gibbs had managed to miss. He listened to his new TAD Agent, Callie Harris, laugh and tease with Tim and he knew he'd made the right decision.
Since she had returned from the trip to Santo Domingo with Tony, she had gladly accepted the role of third on the team. She knew what she knew but was quick to admit when there was a weakness. Harris had spent extra time on the shooting range and in the gym, trying to catch up to a level of competence at least somewhat equal with Tim and Tony. Callie had an infectious laugh and wicked sense of humor that had seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for his team. He knew Tony was infatuated with her and Callie felt the same about Tony. How far their relationship had progressed, Jethro didn't know and wasn't sure he wanted to. Don't ask, don't tell worked for him, too, so long as it didn't affect their performance on the job. So far, it hadn't.
The only problem Gibbs had with Harris was her ability to read him. That was something he hadn't counted on. Their working relationship of ten years ago had made Callie the expert on Gibbs' moods. He thought it was funny how quickly the guys had deferred to Callie on reading their team leader. If she smiled and spoke first, the guys followed suit. If she kept her head down and didn't reply, so did Tim and Tony. He always knew if she was pissed with one or other of the guys because she would deliberately mislead them into a Gibbs confrontation, letting him deliver the punches for her. He really was going to have to talk to Callie about that.
Since getting to the Navy yard this morning, Gibbs still hadn't felt completely himself. Thinking that maybe, for once, he was coming down with something, he had tried to ignore it. Callie, unfortunately, had been watching him like a hawk most of the morning. He knew she hadn't missed the slight twinge he'd let escape when he sat down. Callie and Jethro both knew the other guys were unaware of what was going on but Callie's scrutiny was beginning to annoy him. His chest was also starting to hurt again like a son-of-a-bitch.
His tone when he hollered at Tony was sharper than it needed to be, "DiNozzo!"
Tony jumped, "Yes, Boss?"
"That evidence was supposed to be locked up an hour ago." He chastised.
"OK, Boss, just thought I would take it…" The Gibbs glare stopped his explanation. "On it, Boss."
Tony spared a glance for Callie who was staring suspiciously at Gibbs. Tony shrugged and then made his way to the elevators to go down stairs. Continuing on his tirade, Gibbs then turned on Tim.
"And where's my report, McGee? There's no extra credit for punctuation or creative usage of the English language."
Tim, who thought he was finally past the sputtering stage, discovered he wasn't. "OK, Boss, uh, yeah, printing it now." He yammered.
Callie still stared at Gibbs from her desk. Squirming under her scrutiny and the pain in his chest making it harder to breathe, Gibbs stood and made it halfway between her desk and his before stopping to stare her down.
Under her breath, so only Gibbs could hear, "Don't try that look of intimidation with me, L.J.; we've known each other too long. What the hell's wrong with you?"
"Nothing that a little more work and a lot less staring on your part wouldn't cure," he replied cuttingly.
Callie stood, noting how pale Gibbs had suddenly become. "Gibbs?" She questioned. But he couldn't respond. Before Callie's eyes, he began to crumple.
"Gibbs? Jethro? Shit!" She hollered and she leaped around the desk to try to catch L.J. before he hit the floor.
From his desk, Tim had watched the interaction and then, stood, as Callie did, noticing more the look on her face rather than the body language of the boss. He saw Gibbs start to fall the same time Callie did and tried to catch the boss from the backside.
"Tim, call 9-1-1! Hurry!" she exclaimed, as she ripped open Gibbs shirt to try to begin CPR.
Tony came around the barrier wall in time to see Gibbs on the floor and Callie take a position that could only mean CPR. Thinking fast, he ran for the portable defibrillator that was now standard in most of their buildings. He was at Callie's side just as she looked up to call for him.
Tony had the equipment out and ready but Callie was still in CPR mode, "Clear," Tony said quietly and, when Callie didn't move fast enough, he yelled again, "Now, Harris!"
She sat back on her heals as Tony applied the electric shock to get Gibbs heart started again. She felt for the pulse and was satisfied when she saw a slight rise to his chest. Behind them, they heard the main elevator doors open and saw the EMT's swoop in and begin to do their work.
Callie stood by her desk, Tony opposite her, separated by Gibbs and the medics. From out of nowhere, Ducky, Palmer and Abby had all appeared; Abby, running straight into a comforting hug from Tim. From above the floor, Director Vance had exited his office when he heard the shouting. Knowing that his presence at ground level would only interfere, he kept a watchful eye from overhead.
The medics quickly attached a heart monitor and oxygen to the fallen senior agent. The beat was weak and so was his breathing but at least both registered. The paramedic turned to Tony and started to speak but he was interrupted by a voice on high, "Take him to Washington Specialty Hospital. It's a small, private facility but there's a heart specialist there who's one of the best. I'll call her and let her know you're on your way."
The floor below looked up to see it was a concerned Leon Vance who had spoken. The EMT nodded his understanding and he and the other tech rolled the agent out of the work area. Tony walked across to Callie and then turned to look up at the Director who continued to speak, "You two," he nodded to Callie and Tony, "you're no good to me here. Stay with him until you know something. Tim will hold down the fort." And Vance left to go make the promised phone call.
Exchanging a quick glance, Tony and Callie grabbed their weapons and their packs before Vance could change his mind. Tony stopped before following Callie to the elevator, "Do what he says, Tim. Take care of Abby and the others." He nodded to Ducky and Palmer, "You'll be my first phone call."
Tim nodded his understanding and then watched as Tony ran to catch Callie who was holding the elevator. The four remaining team members exchanged a glance. Abby, who was shaking, was still in the arms of a worried McGee. It was Ducky who broke the silence, "He's stubborn. He's been drowned, once; blown up, twice; divorced, three times; and shot, Lord knows how many times. Do you really think something like this is going to slow down the mighty Leroy Jethro Gibbs?"
Palmer and Tim both forced a laugh for Abby's sake, "Of course not, Doctor." Palmer was the first to answer.
"He'll be up and slapping Tony in the back of the head in no time," Tim added. He pushed Abby back towards the lab, "Go on, Abs. There's nothing we can do right now. Tony will call."
"He better," she threatened as she headed back.
Once they were sure she was out of earshot, a concerned McGee asked Ducky, "Do you really believe that, Duck? What you said about Gibbs?"
His look was guarded as he said, "I believe it, Tim. I just hope it's the truth."