A/N: Okay, so being the h/c junkie I am, I felt like there was stuff missing between 'Legend' and 'Identity,' so I wrote my own. Some of the dialogue's taken straight from the show and I'm not a doctor, so pardon any blaring medical mistakes.


It wasn't like he'd never done anything like this before, hadn't cradled broken bodies and tried to stop the blood from flowing out of them. He'd been a SEAL, after all.

None of those men had been Callen. None of them had been his best friend, and he couldn't remember the last time it had been in the middle of the road with life continuing obliviously around them instead of in some foreign land with mortars and bombshells going off.

"Come on, G, come on G, stay with me," Hanna muttered, pulling Callen into his arms as he simultaneously dialed 911.

"Stay with me G, don't do this to me, come on!" Hanna roared, feeling more of the warm life flowing out of G and painting his hands as Hanna put the phone to his ear. Callen was gasping audibly for air now, his eyes rolling and his face devoid of any color.

The dispatcher finally picked up and Sam barked the address into the phone, muttering assurances at G as he did so. Callen's head lolled back and Hanna felt a stab of fear lace through him.

"Hang on G, just a bit longer, I promise," Sam murmured soothingly, running a blood stained hand through Callen's short hair before replacing it over the wounds. "Come on, buddy." People had started to notice and were gathering now, crowding around and making Hanna both irritated and disconcerted. He couldn't help but run his eyes over everyone in a meager attempt to detect any potential threats to his vulnerable partner.

One man pushed his way to the front of the crowd and stepped closer. Something in Hanna's stance or expression, or maybe just in his eyes, stopped the man cold, and he held his hands out. He was carrying a first-aid kit, probably from his car.

"I can help. I'm a doctor." Hanna finally nodded curtly, knowing that he had to take the risk because Callen was going to die without help. Sam watched the man intently as he peered at G's numerous wounds.

"Well?" Hanna demanded as the man tilted G's head back to help clear his airway then pulled gauze from the kit. He pressed it down against the wound that seemed responsible for most of the blood, the one on the right shoulder. The gauze soaked through with alarming rapidity.

"Left lung's definitely hit," he said quietly. "Looks like the subclavian artery might've gotten nicked too."

Sam didn't need to be a doctor to know that that was bad. Really bad.

"Shit, he isn't breathing," the doctor muttered suddenly, looking up at Sam. "I take it you know CPR?" Sam nodded. Of course he knew CPR. He'd never used it on Callen, though, and for some reason, that made a world of difference. The doctor rubbed a knuckle on Callen's sternum, didn't get a response, and turned to Sam.

"You've got to breathe for him," he said. "Here." He pulled something out of the kit and handed it to Sam, who realized it was a breathing barrier. Hanna said a brief prayer of thanks for an over-prepared doctor, then placed the mask over Callen's mouth. He took a deep breath to calm himself, pinching G's nose and sealing his mouth over Callen's and giving his air to his friend. He did it in the rhythm that he'd practiced a thousand times on dummies, startled at how different this was. The doctor swore again, looking up at Sam with frightened features.

"I can't find a pulse," he whispered, and Hanna briefly shut his eyes, opening them again when he felt Callen jerk beneath him. He silently counted the compressions as they happened, noted that the doctor seemed to know exactly what he was doing, compress about 1.5-2 inches, allow the chest to recoil between compressions, perform at a rate equal to 100 per minute, 30 compressions then 2 breaths…Realizing that was his cue, Sam dutifully bent, breathing twice, then leant back as the doctor started compressions again.

"Come on G, stay with me buddy," he murmured under his breath, already vowing to hunt down and kill the bastards responsible for this. He bent down once more, wishing for some resistance to the breaths he was literally shoving down Callen's throat, but none came, and it was devastating.

The ambulance pulled up with its sirens blaring, and the paramedics hurried through the crowd, parting it like the Red Sea. Sam barely listened as the doctor rattled off stats to the paramedics, allowed himself to be shoved out of the way enough for the medics to work, but not far enough to lose his grip on Callen's hand. The paramedics were brisk and efficient, getting a mask over Callen's mouth and nose and pulling out the AED. Hanna briefly remembered joking around during recertification, teasing Callen that they'd have to shave his chest to get the pads to stick. Everything seemed so surreal.

"Okay, let's scoop and run," one medic said, and apparently they'd gotten a pulse back, and Sam couldn't believe that he hadn't noticed, and he felt bad for it, but he was relieved. He followed them, knowing that they would try to stop him from coming, and knowing that he wouldn't be stopped. Judging by the blood and by the number of wounds currently leaking it, they would probably need help anyway.


Sam had never ridden in an ambulance before. He sincerely hoped he never would again. He wished he was anywhere but where he was, trying to hold his partner and friend's lifeblood inside of him, and he felt like that kid who stuck his finger in the hole in the dike. He couldn't even remember how that story ended, but he hoped it wasn't with the dike breaking and the water flowing over the kid, because there was enough blood on him already, and Sam wasn't sure he could handle anymore.

"BP's dropping again," a medic muttered, and Hanna was pretty sure that that meant that they were out of time and the driver had better move faster and the medics had better do their damn jobs and keep his friend alive. Damn, but he was being irrational.

"He's gonna crash again," someone said, and Hanna could hear the falter in the beeping of the heart monitor, wanted to yell in frustration or maybe just shake his unconscious partner. Instead, he watched anxiously as a syringe was depressed into Callen's chest, allowed himself to relax the tiniest bit as the beeping steadied again.

"Hang on, buddy," Sam muttered, again. "Hang on you stubborn bastard."


Six hours, another defibrillation, numerous units of blood, one extended surgery, and one ventilator later, G. Callen was finally in recovery. Two hours after that, and Hanna was allowed in G's ICU room.

"You look like shit, bro," Sam muttered, but it was said with sincere affection, and relief, and concern. Eyes flickering over the various machinery scattered hooked up, Sam knew without a doubt that it was going to take awhile for Callen to recover from this one. If he recovered.

He had to leave after only a few minutes, stepped aside to let Kensi and Nate and Eric and Macy see him, sat in the hallway with the rest of the team, all of them stunned and silent and staring at the floor.

"He's going to be okay," Eric murmured finally, and Kensi sniffled, and Nate muttered something under his breath, probably something about the psychological effects of the trauma they were enduring, and Macy was quietly pissed, fury smoldering just under the surface, waiting for a chance to erupt. Hanna watched them all, Kensi crying quietly as Nate absently rubbed her back, and again quietly vowed that whoever was responsible for this would die, slowly and painfully.


It was a week before Callen regained consciousness, a week of mostly uneventful sleep punctuated by a few terrifying moments of choking and hurrying doctors and blood and medications.

Hanna was there, was a happy witness to Callen's slow, confused blinks, the small half-smile that appeared only after Sam assured him he was there, the slightest squeeze of his hand, then the eyes that slid shut again.

The next time he saw Callen, G told him that he looked like shit and had gained weight, had teasingly told him to hit the gym again. Sam had responded likewise, informing Callen that he'd lost any muscle tone he might have had and had better get his ass back in shape if he thought he was going to get back out in the field. A moment of silence.

"Thanks, Sam," G whispered as drugs and injuries conspired yet again to pull him to sleep.

"Anytime, buddy," Sam answered, settling into the chair next to Callen's bed and joining his friend in sleep.