A/N: Tag: Silver War - Includes remembered conversations from Hometown Hero and Hiatus Part 2


ZIVA: Agent Gibbs? I would also like to know if I could drive the truck back to base. It might make me feel as if I actually accomplished something today.

TONY: Hey, not so fast!
ZIVA: I always drive fast! It's the best way to avoid possible IEDs and ambushes.
TONY: You're in America now. I wouldn't worry about it. How about this? Slow down or I'll puke on you.

TONY: Slow down, we're taking the next left.
CAR HORNS HONK/TIRES SCREECH
TIM: Ziva, car! Car! Car!
TONY: LOOK OUT!
ZIVA: Sorry. First time behind the wheel after a six month mission in the U.K.


The world around him faded in a blur of white; he was in hell; again. No, wait; this was his first trip there; again. Why was he back here? Why were there more images now; than there had ever been before? Flashes of blinding light; screeching tires; honking horns; screaming people; both from a distance and up close; even his own screams; all surrounded him now; he can feel the panic rising up in his chest; can feel his breath begin to have trouble finding its' way in and out of his lungs. He's in serious trouble and he can't find the breath to cry out for help; or form the words necessary. His eyes roll back into his head and blackness overtakes him.

"PROBIE!" McGEE! PROBIE!!! "Ziva get Gibbs now!" Tony hollered; worried sick and scared out of his mind. As he quickly hit the speed dial # for Ducky on speaker; he searched for but couldn't seem to find a pulse! What the hell happened? Ziva had lighteningly fast took herself to the back of the truck for the first aid kit; calling Gibbs on Tim's cell as she moved. Quickly; he laid Tim out flat on the seat of the truck; thankful they had made it back to NCIS before this awful turn of events took place.

"Anthony? What can I ..."

"Ducky! McGee's passed out. He's not breathing! Tell me what...!"

"Anthony, calm down and revert to your first aide training, my dear fellow. Clear his airways and commense cpr. Where are you?" Ducky's calm soothing tone did help calm Tony down.

"Outside, in the truck."

"I'll be right there. I'll alert Jethro for you."

"Already done, Doc. Hurry, please!" Tony's fear was palpable; even as he abandoned the phone and tended to his fallen teammate.

Ziva arrived at his shoulder with the first aid equipment and set it down; immediately stepping over to the other side of the truck to administer the compressions in tandem to Tony's breathing into Tim's mouth.

Gibbs and Ducky; as well as Palmer wheeling a gurney; arrived on the near devastaing scene. To see his youngest field agent lying there lifeless; with his teammates trying desperately to breathe life back into him; scared Gibbs more than he'd been scared in a very long time. Quickly, Tony and Gibbs transported McGee from the truck to the gurney.

Before stepping back and handing the reigns over to Ducky; Gibbs did what he knew to do best;

"MCGEE! You don't have permission to die! Get your ass back here!" amidst Ducky and Palmer's continued cpr ministrations.

Gibbs then stepped back; marginally; refusing to go far. McGee's eyes snapped open as he sucked in a huge block of air; almost gagging himself in his attempt to take in more than he was able at one time. Ducky got the young man to relax enough to regulate his breathing; immediately slapping the oxygen mask on his face; when that had been accomplished; telling him not to take it off. All of them breathed a huge sigh of relief. Ducky turned to Tony.

"How long was he not breathing, Anthony?"

"Ducky, I don't know. Ziva was driving and Probie and I were hanging on for dear life and I know he got real quiet; but I don't know exactly what happened and when."

"Jethro, he needs to be checked out at the hospital to make sure he's suffered no ill effects from this situation." Ducky told the Senior Officer.

"OK. Duck; I'll take him. He okay to ride in a car or does he need to ride in an ambulance?"

Tim frantically began shaking his head and trying to veto that suggestion.

"Hey! McGee! Not taking chances here; you got it?" Gibbs quietly demanded; as he looked at his fallen agent and tried to both calm him and get through to him; as the relief at having him back from the jaws of death threatened to overwhelm him.

Tim meekly calmed down and nodded at his boss.

"Jethro, his color is returning to normal and his breathing is regular; so he should be fine as a passanger in a car; but I do insist he keep that mask on until you get him under the care of a dr. there." Ducky instructed.

"Tony, get me my car! Duck. pave the way for us; will ya? Don't wanna be stuck in the e.r. for hours waiting to be seen ." Gibbs said with feeling.

"Absolutely, Jethro; I''ll call right away."

As Tony zoomed up in Gibbs' car; Ducky and Jimmy quickly and carefully bundled Tim into the front passenger seat; knowing Gibbs would need to be able to reach him if something do go wrong.

"Thanks. Tony, Ziva, good job; you probably helped save his life. Now, go see Abby and get to work on the case. I'll be back when I can. Ziva; you watch; Tony and Abby work the case; got it?" Gibbs directed; knowing they needed something to do. "Ducky; we'll need that autopsy report as soon as possible."

"Yes, Jethro; I know. Call me when you have Timothy's prognosis, will you?" Ducky answered.

"Sure, Duck." Gibbs promised as he jumped into the driver's seat; checked his agent over; making sure he was breathing steady; and for once in his life; drove safely off the Navy yard. An hour later found Tim McGee being admitted for observation under Gibbs' unrelenting glare; daring the young man to even argue the point.

"Boss, I'm fine. We've got a case to investigate!" Tim objected. He felt fine; The last thing he needed was to be seen as the weak link. He already felt like his place on the team was being tugged out from underneath him; what with the new girl in town being better trained and more ferocious and all. After all, he was just the team's computer geek.

"McGee; I already told you; we're not taking chances with this. The doctors want to keep an eye on you; said you were extremely lucky; no lingering after affects; no interruptions to your brain ; by some miracle; it seems your time without oxygen was minimal; thanks to Tony's quick thinking and Ziva's help." Gibbs once again laid down the law; this time using his 'dont' argue with me' tone.

"I know, Boss; but work..."

"Will wait, McGee. You can come back to work tommorrow if you get cleared by the doctors here." Gibbs vowed.

"Great, not only does she try to kill me; but now she gets to replace me, too." McGee mumbled miserably. As he turned his head away from Gibbs' piercing glare; tears actually formed in his eyes and errantly escaped to slide down his face; as he saw what he felt was the beginning of the end of his career happening while he was helpless to stop it.

The new girl in town; whom he'd gone out of his way to welcome; despite the pain he still felt when he saw her sitting at Kate's desk; was taking over. Wouldn't be hard for her to do; after all Tim had only been on Gibbs' team for less than 2 years anyway. He'd be easy to replace; especially since he was just the computer geek. He always had been the odd man out on this team.

"McGee, look at me." Gibbs quiet but commanding voice froze the cogs of his brain in place mid whirl. Turning his head back to face his boss; he was shocked to find the man sitting on the edge of his hospital bed; compassion filling his eyes as he steadily claimed and kept his agent's eyes locked on him.

"McGee, no one is replacing you. You have nothing to worry about." Gibbs promised; with eyes that backed up that promise; unrelenting and steady; refusing to loose contact with Tim's own unsure, worried and fearful eyes. "You trust me?"

"Of course, Boss." Tim's quiet answer came back instantly.

"Then, trust me when I tell you this. No one is replacing you. Your job is safe. You've earned it."

Tim closed his eyes for a moment; trying to clear his head of every doubt Gibbs had just went out of his way to vanquish for him. When he opened his eyes again; Gibbs was gone.

Quickly, Tim picked up his bedside phone and dialed his boss' number.

"Yeah, Gibbs."

"Thank you." Tim quickly gave; wanting the man to hear only the gratitude and not the loneliness that had came upon him with a vengence; when he'd opened his eyes to find himself alone."No problem, Tim. I have to get back to the case; we'll be by after we call it a night. Call Ducky; let him know how you're doing." Gibbs directed before he ended the call. His youngest field agent had a lot going on in that head of his; and that comment he'd made about Ziva trying to kill them; certainly needed to be investigated; but right now; this case needed to be solved.