A/N: Here it is, the last chapter. Thanks for sticking with me to the end, I hope it doesn't disappoint.
He decided he was probably delirious from the pain. That he only saw what he wanted to see. Because his team wasn't here at exactly the moment he needed them to? That would be a hell of a coincidence, and he didn't believe in them. And yet it seemed so real, especially when Carl put the gun to his head.
"NCIS! Drop your weapon!" four people yelled as one.
"Back off or I'll shoot him!" Carl yelled, pressing the gun against Gibbs' head. He and Wayne were standing behind Gibbs, using him as a shield.
"If you shoot him, nothing will stand between you and four thoroughly pissed agents," Jenny, the voice of reason said. "You won't shoot him, you'll just threaten."
Carl looked at the pure hatred in her eyes. "Then maybe I need to show you how serious I am." He took the gun off Gibbs' temple, only to press it against his right shoulder and pull the trigger. No one was ready for the scream coming out of Gibbs' mouth.
"No!" Tony yelled. "Stop it!"
Carl and Wayne both started smiling when they saw the despair in the Senior Field Agent. "And now you all know how serious I am," Carl needless said.
Tony looked at Gibbs, trying to assess the extent of his injuries. He really looked terrible, hanging on a hook attached to the wall like that. He wasn't putting pressure on his right ankle at all, so Tony assumed it was broken or otherwise injured. Where Gibbs' shirt was cut, it show extensive bruising on his chest, so there would probably be some rib damage too.
His back showed some huge cuts, probably in the need of several stitches. Add that to the gunshot wound and a concussion from the hit on the head in the alley and it would be weeks rather than days before Gibbs would be back in the field. If he survived at all. It was clear that he was barely holding on to consciousness as it was, eyes shut tight with pain evident everywhere on his too pale face. Blood was still oozing out of the shoulder wound. Something had to be done quickly.
"Boss?" Tony asked without paying notice to Wayne and Carl. "You with us?"
A low moan escaped from Gibbs' mouth. Tony took that as a yes. "We're gonna get you out of here, Boss."
"Hey smartass!" Wayne yelled at Tony. "Do we have to put a bullet in his other shoulder too?"
"Tim…" Gibbs said, barely audible.
"He's fine," Tony answered, understanding what his boss was asking. "Still in the hospital."
Gibbs opened his piercing blue eyes and glared at Ziva. "Left or right?"
Ziva smiled. Gibbs was asking if he had to lean to the left or to the right to give her a clear shot at the two men using him as a shield. "Your right," she answered.
He leaned towards his right despite the pain it caused his broken ankle and before Carl and Wayne noticed what was happening they were laying on the floor, both with a double tap in the head.
Tony and Jenny immediately ran to Gibbs, while Ziva and Paula went to check if the suspects were really dead. Tony grabbed his knife – long live rule #9 – and started cutting through the restraints. Jenny caught Gibbs and carefully lowered him to the ground.
"Ambulance is on its way," Cassidy reported with her cell phone still in her hand.
"You hear that Boss? Everything's gonna be okay," Tony reassured him. He took of his jacket and used it to put pressure on the gunshot wound.
To Gibbs, everything happened in a blur as he was barely holding on to consciousness. But he got the most important things loud and clear. Tim was okay. His team was okay. The bad guys were dead. That was enough for now.
"…so that's when we figured out Steve Cooper, the father, was the one that shot McGee. Should have seen that before, of course, but he did quite a good job at hiding it. He's still denying everything, but the evidence says enough. There's no way he'll walk. And neither will his son Michael. I mean, they've been running an arms dealing bussiness for almost five years!"
It had been almost a week since the team had stormed into Carl Davenworth's house to save Gibbs just in time. The ambulance had come very quickly and taken Gibbs to the hospital, where he had surgery on both the bullet wound in his right shoulder and the fracture in his arm. Those injuries had been the biggest concern of the doctors, together with the head injury. Luckily that turned out to only be a relatively mild concussion. They'd also set his ankle and stitched up his back. It had taken more than a day for him to get out of the woods and actually wake up, and when he finally did he immediately received a bone-crashing hug from Abby. A few days later he'd been transferred to Tim's room on both men's request, each of them eager to see the other was fine.
And now Tony was giving them a sit-rep on the case. They were sitting up comfortably, propped up against some pillows. Both men had their right arm in a sling and Gibbs' ankle was elevated, showing a white cast. The lines of pain still hadn't disappeared from his face, something that would probably take another few weeks.
"And why did he do that again?" Tim asked, not really sure if he wanted to know the answer.
"You came too close to deciphering the code," Tony explained. "You were a threat."
"Just be glad he did it and not those two maniacs. They've got a better aim," Gibbs said and winced as he moved his injured arm.
"Aiming's not really that difficult when you're four feet away, Boss," Tony grinned, but quickly stopped when he saw the look on his Boss' face. "So when can you get out of here?" he quickly changed the subject.
"They'll let me leave tomorrow," Tim answered.
"Yeah, just rub it in my face, McGee," Gibbs bitterly said.
"He has to stay for another week," Tim added laughing, "and he really isn't too happy about it. But it'll take at least a month before either of us is back, even on desk duty."
Tony's smile died on his face as he remembered how close they came to losing two agents in just as many weeks.
Gibbs seemed to read his mind. "Don't worry, DiNozzo. We will be back."
Tony's smile returned. "I know, Boss. I know."