A/N: I can't believe this is the ONLY seaQuest/NCIS crossover (so far). Oh well, at least I can claim I did it first, lol. And now we come, finally, to the end as this story ends. I hope everyone enjoyed it, even if there was sometimes a long wait in between chapters. Now to finish my other stuff that I have unfinished, and on to writing some new stuff...
Gibbs sat outside of the surgical theater with both Commander Ford and Chief Crocker. Nathan had been in surgery for almost five hours while Dr. Westphalen and Dr. Levin worked tirelessly to save his life. So many of the crew had come and gone to give their respects and well wishes, and Commander Ford had set a course back to the US Navy Yard in DC, one of the only places the seaQuest could actually fit into to dock, even at the underwater docking slips.
They were mere hours out, and already Commander Hitchcock had called down from the bridge to tell him that they were almost ready to begin docking procedures. He had not left yet, still hoping to see Bridger come out of surgery so that he could see with his own eyes that the man still lived.
Lucas came in quietly, nervously and Crocker waved him over. With that, silently, Ford nodded and went to the bridge so that Lucas could have his seat.
Finally, Dr. Westphalen came out, sighed in exhaustion as Crocker gave up his chair for her. "Doctor, how is he?" asked Lucas.
"He's fine," she answered.
The three let out breaths that they hadn't realized they had been holding. "The bullet did alot of damage. It cracked a rib going in and lodged itself in another rib near his back, and nicked his left lung. We managed to stop the internal bleeding, and given the already invasive surgery, remove the bullet. He'll be weak for quite awhile - both from blood loss and from the damaged lung. We did almost lose him a few times, but he's a tough man and a fighter. Long term he might also have permanent issues with that lung, but I'm hoping that it will be minor."
She let that all sink in. "He was lucky it was to the outside of his chest and not the inside," she continued. "Eli's aim wasn't dead spot on, and Nathan moved out of the way as best he could, so it was not straight into his chest but to the side, but still close enough to not be a graze."
Finally Gibbs nodded, "I'll need his medical report to add to our reports so that we can close this case."
"Yes, of course," she sighed. "Thank you for saving us."
Gibbs got up, satisfied to see his friend still breathing when they wheeled him out into the medbay, and walked over. Westphalen nodded to the nursing staff and they let Gibbs sit with him. Nathan still looked ghastly pale and still. "When will he wake up?" asked Crocker.
"Well, he's going to be out of it for awhile due to the anathaesia as well as the other painkillers he will be on for the next bit. We'll have him transferred to a surface hospital as their ICU is far better equipped than our med bay. I don't think he'll be awake for that either," she answered.
One week later
Gibbs walked into the ICU room and was immediately relieved to note that most of the machines that had been monitoring his friend were gone. In fact, they were being wheeled away as he walked in. Nathan looked up and waved him in. He was still quite pale, and still attached to an IV and an nasal oxygen supply, but was far more awake than he had been in days.
"You look better."
"I feel better," answered Nathan. "I didn't think I was walking out of that one."
"Neither did we when we heard Eli shoot you."
"And former Director David...?"
"Dead, same with all his personnel," answered Gibbs, sitting down, but not saying any more.
"I suppose I should be relieved," Nathan leaned back into the pillows tiredly. "And I am. Any man who would throw his own children into danger like pawns in some stupid chess game..."
Nathan went still all of a sudden, struggling to catch his breath. Gibbs was at his side instantly, but he finally relaxed, still breathing heavily and laying limp in the bed, eyes closed. "You press that call button I'll break your fingers," came a very tired and quiet whisper.
"I'd like to see you try," answered Gibbs wryly.
"Maybe later," Bridger yawned, as that little bit had taken what energy he had out of him. "Go back to NCIS, Jethro. I'm not going to be much company shortly."
With a small smiled, Gibbs stood up to leave, tapping the chrome rail as he did so, and as he left, he heard a quiet, "Next time, though, could you bring me a coffee?"
Gibbs laughed all the way back to the NCIS office.
~ FIN ~
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and will review. Your input and cheering on is what keeps a writer doing just that.
And now, to remind people: I have done this out of fun and have not nor will not make any money from this work. I do not own the rights to either seaQuest or NCIS, although I enjoyed seaQuest immensely and I look forward to the upcoming 8th season of NCIS.