Hunted by WickedBlue
Summary: Jake was just looking for some friends and Gibbs for some murderers. Now they have to fight for their lives, together.
Timeline: Jericho: Preseries, between Jake leaving Jericho and him coming back in the show. NCIS: Anytime after Ziva joined the team.
Warnings: attempted rape, violence, lots of h/c, swear words, no beta and a writer who doesn't have a clue what she is doing. Read on your own volition.
Please keep in mind, that this is my first ever fanfic and English is not my first language. And before I forget, of course I don't own anything but the storyline.
If anyone is still here after all these warnings, have fun.
On to the story
"I want to see the report on my Desk ASAP, Dinozzo" Leroy Jethro - the second B is for Bastard - Gibbs and his NCIS team had just finished up a murder case resulting in the perbs being caught and the hostages they were holding being saved.
In Gibbs book that was a good thing, even when some of the perbs hadn't been so lucky to have been taken into custody alive.
The hostages were all accounted for and none the worse to wear and his team had solved the case. None of them had gotten themselves injured or worse. So this was a good end of the case and of the day.
Time to finish up and go home. But not until Dinozzo had finished his report. Who knew when he would get it otherwise.
He looked at the reports from McGee and Ziva. "Okay kids pack up and go home. Not you, Dinozzo" he interrupted his senior agent when he was just starting to get up. "You still owe me a report."
Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo was looking forward to getting home, crashing on the sofa in front of his TV and watching the football game, Yankees against someone, he had actually forgotten against whom they were going to play. It wasn't really important just something to take his mind of work and of the last case.
Pizza would be good though. He would have to remember to stop at this amazing Italian pizza place down the street. But that would have to wait a couple of more hours apparently, until he had finished the report for the last case.
Absently he watched McGee and Ziva getting ready to leave him alone in the office, with Gibbs, yay. "Hey McGoo remember to bring breakfast with you tomorrow. I will still be here, writing on this horrendously long, boring… Ow, even prisoners get fed, Gibbs", he retorted to the head slap which had come unsurprisingly from his team leader "that's one of those Miranda laws we learned about at the Academy." Or was it Belinda?"
"Dinozzo, back to work." Gibbs snapped getting impatient with his agent's antics.
"Yeah boss", Tony replied promptly to this order hearing the impatient sub tone in it. Hastily he went back to his computer giving one last sad look to Ziva and McGee who were already half down the hallway.
At this moment the phone rang.
Jake Green was sure, this time he was dead. No sudden rescues anymore, no friends suddenly turning up to have his back and certainly no Johnston Green anymore to get him out of a tight situation.
Who would find him here? Well, his Dad probably wouldn't help him anymore anyway. He made it very clear what he thought of his screw up of a son and turned his back on him. He never could do anything right by him.
Great, he would die in this rat infested warehouse in the middle of nowhere in D.C. of all things, still not having cleared the air with his family and with Emily.
He had survived one and a half year in the green zone in Iraq but he would die in D.C. of all places. He was just here to look for some of his friends, whose last mail had said something about going hunting in this area.
But he had been distracted, tired and let his guard down. He sure as hell didn't expect to be kidnapped by some crazy hillbillies to be used as the prey in the hunt of the "biggest game possible". Big game hunt from the other side. Just great.
The dead marine had been found in an old abandoned railway tunnel by a couple looking for their lost dog. At least that's what their story was and Gibbs was intended to believe them. His gut feeling was rarely wrong. And at the moment it also told him that there was more to it than just a robbery gone wrong as the D.C. PD cops, who had been first at the crime scene, had assumed.
The marine, petty officer McDonald as his fingerprints had indicated, was found stripped of everything of value. Even his shoes were gone. But they hadn't just been taken after the marine's death. No the feet of Petty Officer McDonald looked scraped and bloody like he had run miles after miles through the bush. Nobody was doing something like this, if he wasn't being hunted and afraid for his life.
But not only his feet, also the rest of the body, had taken a lot of abuse before his death with the head wound being the most severe and probably deadly injury. The bullet had made a clean little hole into his head, as far a you could call head wounds clean, but it had also left some residue next to the bullet hole.
The shot must have been fired from very close by. This had been no simple robbery. This had been an execution.
Jake knew now they were dead. They had shown him the pictures, their trophies, before giving him a one hour head start.
After running through the forest for what seemed endless miles, the abandoned warehouses had been the first buildings, the first signs of civilization. But there was nobody here, just him and the dogs, he could hear coming closer and closer, bringing their crazy owners with them.
Absently he wondered how Jerry and Dan had faired. Had they made it to the town just to be gunned down after already feeling safe? Or had they been killed in the forest, without a chance ever to get help.
He knew they had been no easy prey. He had met them in Iraq. Tough guys. People usually had gone a long way not to piss them off. He wondered is it was that, what got them into this situation. The crazy hunters probably wouldn't want to win too easily. Well you should be careful what you wish for.
Although Jake didn't give himself to much of a chance against six guys, armed to the teeth that knew the territory and had dogs, but he sure as hell didn't intend to be an easy prey. He had picked up a thing or two while in Iraq, which surely would come handy. If they found him, he certainly wouldn't go down without a fight.
"Ducky, what do you have for me?" the infamous leader of the NCIS team pressed, striding into the Pathology.
"Well, Jethro, I'm not sure I can tell you much new. The time of death was between 4:00 and 4:30 this morning. It's a bit difficult to tell, because you have to calculate that the cold temperatures in the morning can influence our methods. I really have to talk to my old friend at the San Diego office. Apparently they have this new..
"Ducky!" Gibbs interrupted the sidetracked ME impatiently "What can you tell me about the COD?"
Knowing his friend, Ducky was not put off by his tone. Calmly he replied. "Well Jethro, the shot to the head was definitely what brought on the Petty Officer's demise. But to kill him it actually wouldn't have been necessary. His other injuries were serious enough. It just would have taken a bit longer, but there in the forest, without immediate medical help, he wouldn't have lasted long. Aside of the deep knife wound, he had definitely inner injuries resulting from blunt force trauma and a deep infected cut on his leg which looks 2 maybe 3 days old. He couldn't have moved very fast with it."
Ducky's next statement seemed to support Gibbs own theories. "This here is very interesting" Ducky stated motioning Gibbs to the head of the table. "It looks like the bullet entered the head in a very steep angle and in combination with the gun powder residue it looks like the victim was actually lying or kneeing in front of his killer, Jethro. Did I ever tell you about…?"
"Not now Ducky" Gibbs interrupted the communicative ME and turned to leave the examination room "Let me know if you find out something else". He was gone so quickly that he didn't even hear the reply of the older man.
Coming out of the elevator he was promptly stopped by his senior agent. "Gibbs we have a second victim. Was just found in the forest not far from the suburbs. It looks like the body has been laying there at least a couple of days."
Without missing a beat Gibbs decided "Ok, Dinozzo, Ziva you are with me. McGee, get me everything what you can find on our Petty Officer."
Arriving at the crime scene the agents were hit by a gruesome sight. The second victim's body was in a similar abused condition as the first victim's, with the difference, that this time the cause of death definitely was not a bullet to the head. No, Gibbs noted, this time the method of execution had been a slid throat.
Ducking behind some rubbish bins Jake tried to catch his breath. They had nearly made him this time. He really had to be more careful. If those hunters knew in which area of the warehouse district he actually was, it would be easy for them to catch him. Even now in the dark.
Suddenly he heard a noise behind him. He quickly spun around but was not fast enough.
Something blindsided him and he fell to the ground seeing stars. "Hello again pretty boy, you didn't really think you could escape us, did you?" he heard a mocking voice he identified as one of his former kidnappers and now hunters.
Jake knew he had to get up and defend himself, but at the moment he had his hands full with curling his body together biding his time until he could see straight again and trying to minimize the damage from the hard kicks the hunter was inflicting to his body.
He needed a weapon. Something he could defend himself with.
His hands helplessly tried to grab something, anything. As he couldn't find anything he grabbed onto the next best thing, the hunters leg and held on. While he couldn't get him to fall it was still disturbing the balance of the violent man and he had to stop the kicking to gain it again.
This was the opening Jake needed. Although he was still a bit winded from the kicks and he was sure he had felt some of his ribs give in, he knew that this opening was probably the only one he would get.
Grabbing the leg and the foot with both hands he twisted it disturbing the balance of his attacker who was having a hard time to keep standing. Jake used that opening to get back onto his feet.
Now both men were circling each other. "Come on Pretty Boy, show me what you've got" the hunter said attacking Jake again. This time Jake was able to get some good blows in leaving the hunter panting on the ground.
Jake stood bend over, trying to catch his breath. The hits he had taken before taking their toll on him. His ribs hurt like hell. He knew he had to take the guy out, fast and by what ever means.
Suddenly he felt a hit to the head which nearly made him pass out. He sank to his knees trying to get his bearing. He still could see the other guy on the ground but he hadn't paid attention to what was going on around him. One of the hunters friends must have had sneaked up on him.
Trying to get up he suddenly he felt a hot pain in his side which made his world finally stop turning as it went black. His last thought was that he had screwed up again.
"Abby, tell me you have something" Gibbs said putting a new cup of CafPow on his favorite lab technicians desk.
"I've got something" Abby replied enthusiastically. "Look here" she said, pointing to one of her computer screens. Gibbs couldn't really see much more than grayish brown blobs. "What am I supposed to see here Abs?"
"Look, this" she said pointing to the right side of the screen, "is a soil sample we took from the crime site where we found the first victim, and this here on the left is another soil sample. This time from our second Victim. He had it under his fingernails. And this grey brown soil doesn't exist around the warehouse district where we found him. Only in the forest, which means…" "That our second victim must have come the same way, as Petty Officer MacDonald" Gibbs followed that line of thought. "This means that we should have a closer look at what is going on there.
Waking up was painful Jake decided. Especially when your arms were cuffed to a pipe over your head and someone had decided to use you as a boxing bag and a pincushion.
He felt like hell. He should have been able to take his attacker out and notice the other guy sneaking up on him. Oh yes. He had screwed up, big time.
This time it would probably cost his life. And not only his. These guys had been doing this for a long time. They had shown him the photos. And they were probably kidnapping some other guy very soon, if Jake couldn't make it out of here alive and warn people.
His Dad had been right, he was a screw up. Of course the great Johnston Green would never say something like that outright to him. But he didn't have to. The way he had looked at him before he left Jericho had said enough. Shit, his own father already thought he was a screw up. And not only his father. His brother, too. And his mom.
And now he had to go and prove them all right.
The blood loss from the knife wound in his side made him feel light headed. He could feel the wetness of the blood already on his thigh. Not good. And while the pain in his ribs had subsided a bit, his shoulders started to hurt slowly from the strain of having to hold nearly all of his body weight and his head felt like it was weighting a ton.
Looking around he noticed that he was definitely in one of the abandoned warehouses.
He could hear the muffled voices of his attackers somewhere behind him. They were having a heated discussion about what to do with him. Apparently one of them didn't want to share his trophy and the other one wanted to get the rest of his friends to have some more fun. Just great. Maybe they would kill each other over it. That was pretty unlikely, but one could only hope.
Jake tested his knots again. Those tiny movements alone hurt like hell and he had to suppress a moan. Apparently his capturers still heard him. "Oi, are you awake, Pretty."
One of them stated poking his side. Jake had a hard time trying not to scream. He didn't want to give them the satisfaction to know that they had hurt him. Then the other one took out a knife.
Looking back, calling his team to meet at that deserted forest road, to look for hints to what may have killed the victims might not have been such a good idea. That was Gibbs first thought, when he woke up in that dark damp cell.
He actually hadn't expected to be jumped by some rednecks with an affinity to chloroform while waiting for his team to turn up at the meeting point. He wondered if at least the others were safe. Hopefully Dinozzo managed to make them late again.
Looking around he noticed relieved that he seemed to be the only one they had caught. Apparently he was in some kind shed, the cell filling most of the building. He could hear voices outside, but could not make out what they were saying.
Suddenly the door opened and a pre-teenage boy with long hair stepped in. Gibbs jumped instantly onto his feet. "Oh, you're awake" the boy commented excitedly "Dad will be so happy. He looked you up, you know? On the internet. He says you are a big soldier."
Before the kid go on with his rant, Gibbs shut him off. "Who are you, kid? Can you let me out of this cell? Gibbs asked, trying to keep his tone calm and friendly. The young man seemed to ponder this for a moment than shook his head. "I'm not really allowed to talk too you. Daddy doesn't like it. "He said, turning around ready to leave the shed.
On the door he looked out for something than turned back to Gibbs. "You are a good soldier. You will make a good prey as soon as they come back with the other. He nearly got away, you know? He is a good soldier, too. But the uncle said he is hurt now, so he won't get away again. You together will make good trophies. I'll ask Daddy if I can join the hunt this time." He said, running out of the door, leaving Gibbs alone in his cage.
Jake was pretty sure that was it. When the guy came closer with his knife, he was sure he saw his life flashing by. Or at least some parts of it. Actually only the parts he regretted.
Absently he noted that there were quite a lot of them. Getting in with Jonah, fighting with his Dad, Chris dying, Emily, leaving his family, Emily again, that little girl in Iraq. Of course there were more things, but these were the most prominent, which had changed his life, had changed him.
The guy with the knife was so close now that he could smell him, sweat, leather and a cheap aftershave. He brought his knife up, and Jake tried not to flinch back. He wouldn't give them that much. If they wanted to kill him, fine, it was not that he could do anything about that hanging here defenselessly, but he as sure as hell wouldn't show them any fear.
But then the guy flicked his knife and cut straight through Jakes ties. "You are lucky that we don't kill you now right here. " He said, pushing Jake to the ground." But the boss said to bring you back to the ranch. He was impressed by how far you made it."
He growled, not sounding very happy about giving up his easy trophy. Then he went on sounding more upbeat. "You nearly spoiled the hunt, but that won't happen again. You and the new one will be hunted together. We will see how far you will get this time. We have some friends joining us tomorrow. Both of you together will make for a good hunt."
Jake was pretty sure he was right. He had been beaten up, hunted through the forest, beaten up again, got a knife into his side and hung up like a fish. He wasn't sure if he would make it as far as to the door now if he somehow got free. His ribs and side hurt like hell, and he felt weak like a baby which probably could mainly be contributed to the blood loss. He wasn't sure if he was actually able to get up now from where his attacker had pushed him.
Turned out he didn't have to, as one of his attackers unceremoniously grabbed him, dragged him out of the warehouse and threw him into the back of a 4 wheel drive truck parked on the road.
It was mostly dark when they arrived back at the ranch. Jake had tried to stay awake during the drive hoping to see some landmarks or other things which could later help him, but he had been too exhausted.
He was woken up very rudely by a riffle poking his side. "Wakey wakey, Pretty. We are home again," Crazy guy number one said, while crazy guy number two went inside of what seemed to be the main building.
Just a couple of minutes later he came back out, being followed by an older guy with crooked teeth wearing a grimy looking wife beater. Jake had made acquaintance with this guy before. Actually mostly with his fists. He seemed to be the boss of these crazy hunters and liked to let their victims know that he could do whatever he wanted and nobody here would do anything against it. Jake had learned that lesson very quickly when he had tried to talk one of the kids into letting him go.
Crazy guy number one pulled him out of the car none too gently. He had to hold him up when Jake's legs threatened to give out under him.
The big boss man didn't seem too happy about that. "What the hell did you guys do?" He questioned angrily looking Jake over. "I want him to be able to run tomorrow and give us a good hunt. Throw him in with that agent and give them some water and bandages. Wouldn't want him to die in the cage tonight."
After giving his instruction to his men he turned to Jake and grabbed his face. "I'm looking forward to the hunt tomorrow. I've had some more friends coming in. Now we can show them twice the fun." he stated, abruptly letting go of Jake which made him stumble and nearly fall onto his knees, only the hard grips on both of his arms holding him up.
Exhaustion finally getting the better of him, he didn't notice much of his surroundings when they dragged him into his dark prison and dropped him callously to the ground to open the cell.
Gibbs was instantly on his feet when he heard someone coming into the shed. A gun was pointed on him and he instinctively took a step back looking for a weapon and cover none of which were anywhere to find. The cell was totally empty with just some blankets lying in the corner.
While he had been quite glad about that, just half an hour ago when the sun went down and it got really cold in his prison, he sure as hell wished now for something he could use against his kidnappers. So he could only stand back and wait for whatever they had in stow for him.
He didn't have to wait long for them to make a move. "Get into that corner, now and lie down, hands behind your head!" The one with the gun ordered waiving the weapon to the corner farthest away from the entry.
While Gibbs knew that that would give them even more of an advantage against him and would make him even more vulnerable, there wasn't a thing he could do against in. At the moment they were calling the shots.
He slowly backed away to that corner, trying not to make any sudden movements and give them any reason to shoot him. Lying down on the floor he could see the second guy dragging someone into the cell and dropping them to the floor.
Before they left again one of them through a package at Gibbs "He'd better be still alive in the morning or there will be hell to pay." He said cruelly and left the building together with his friend.
Only when the door had closed behind them and the locks were put into place Gibbs started to move. He didn't trust those perbs to not suddenly come in again and start shooting. By now he was pretty sure they were those kinds of people who liked to play with their victims and torture them. From what he knew about them and everything he had seen in this place, he thought, he would better play it safe and wait for his chance.
He slowly made his way up to the guy lying curled up on the floor at the cell door. He didn't move but Gibbs wasn't stupid and knew this could very well be a trap.
When he got closer he could see that someone, probably ugly number 1 and ugly number 2 had done quite a number on him. The man seemed to have passed out.
Gibbs crouched down next to him to inspect the damage inflected on him.
Carefully he put one hand on the guys shoulder taken aback when he suddenly flinched. "Easy, I'm not trying to hurt you." He said in what he hoped was a soothing voice. "They are gone for the moment. It's just you and me."
He slowly turned the man onto his back. Two confused brown eyes focused slowly on him. The guy seemed to be quite young, maybe in his early thirties. Like McGee a little voice in his head seemed to say. Too young to die in a hellhole like this.
He let his eyes hover over the wounded man to inspect the damage done to him by their kidnappers. He had some bruises on his face, but what was more worrying was the blood still oozing slowly out of a wound on the side of the head. Gibbs knew that he most probably had a concussion, too.
He absently wondered what must have happened to him to get mishandled like that. Whatever it was he must had put up a big fight.
Letting his eyes wander down his breath caught when he noticed the big bloodstain covering most of the guys right side. A moan brought him back to the situation at hand. "Easy buddy easy." he tried to calm the hurting man. "It's gonna be ok, you hear me."
Looking around his meager cell and the locked doors he knew the guy needed help and as it looked like he was the only one who would give it.
For a minute he sat back, contemplating their options. Leaving the guy lying in the middle of the cell was no option. It was just to open and they would be too vulnerable.
Looking around the cell he eyes got caught by the blankets in the corner. That was as close to perfect as it would get. He just needed to get the wounded man into that corner. The blankets would help keeping him warm and the corner itself would provide at least some shelter.
A movement and another moan from the wounded man pulled him out of his thoughts. "Easy, don't try to move" he tried to soothe him again, gripping the man's shoulder with one hand to keep him from moving and agitating his injuries. He knew he needed to calm the man down if he wanted to keep him alive and for that he had to get him to trust him at least a little bit.
This was easier said than done given the circumstances. Gibbs was sure if their roles were reversed, he wouldn't exactly be to trusting to some guy in a dark cell after being kidnapped and manhandled.
"What is your name? " he asked trying to get him to talk. When there was no reply, Gibbs went on "I'm Gibbs." He stated. "I'm a federal agent with the NCIS. Those bastards got me a couple of hours ago."
That got a reaction but not exactly the one Gibbs had envisaged." The man suddenly started struggling against Gibb's hand still on his shoulder holding him down. "Did you see anyone else here?" he rasped agitatedly. "Any other prisoners?" This action nearly seemed to do him in and he sacked back down again gasping in pain.
Gibbs shook his head. "No, I haven't seen anyone else but those crazy bastards outside." "What is you name?" Gibbs asked again, his concern growing when he saw the man's eyes starting to close again. "Try to stay awake, ok? I'm pretty sure you have a concussion."
The wounded man's eyes opened slowly as if they were weighting a ton. Just before they fell close again those pain-filled brown eyes met his. "Jake, my name is Jake Green." He heard the guy say just before he passed out.
Waking up was a slow and painful process for Jake. His eyelids felt heavy when he tried to open them and his eyesight was blurry at best when he finally managed it. He had to blink a couple of times until the world came to focus. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what he would have hoped for.
The first thing his eyes set on was a grimy old-looking wall connected to an equally worn looking ceiling. He was cold even though he was covered by blankets, which were smelly but they still should have kept him warm enough.
Idly he wondered where he was and what had happened. Then it all came back to him with a blow.
Someone telling him that Jerry and Dan were missing, him going to D.C. to find them, some crazy guys kidnapping him, the warehouse… It all crashed back into him at once and he tried to get up abruptly, panicking, desperately trying to find out where he was and if he was safe.
Unfortunately, he noticed pretty soon that that was not a good idea. The dull pain in his head and side flared up so suddenly that he couldn't hold back a moan and blackness seemed to overtake him again.
He fought hard to stay awake. It was just too dangerous, he didn't know where he was and if he was safe.
Bracing himself he tried to breath through the pain. It was only when the stabbing pain ebbed away slowly that he was able to register what was happening around him.
The first thing he noticed was that someone was talking to him, trying to calm him down and to stop moving. Then he felt the arm on around his chest, holding him tight against something. Or someone? Everything was still a bit fuzzy. But the voice didn't stop and while his instinct pretty much screamed at him to get out of the grip holding him, his mind told him to try and listen and keep his strength for when he actually had a chance winning. And at the moment he was just too exhausted to put much of a fight.
The voice hadn't stopped and slowly he was able to make out what it said. It was telling him that he should take it easy, to calm down and not hurt himself any further. And it knew his name.
Opening his eyes again after what seemed to have been forever but could have been just a couple of minutes Jake noticed that he was half lying on someone in what seemed to be a dark cell. While he didn't remember the room itself he was unfortunately pretty sure of where he was.
He looked at the guy whose thigh apparently had served as a pillow for him. He was sitting leaned against the wall and seemed vaguely familiar, but Jake couldn't remember if he had ever seen him before.
"Hey" he just said, still trying to get his bearing. "Hey yourself" the man replied the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. "It's good to see you awake. I'm Gibbs in case you don't remember. I'm a federal agent with the NCIS" the man introduced himself. "You were pretty out of it when they brought you in. And the other 2 times you woke up," he added.
Then the man, Gibbs, Jake silently corrected himself, picked something up from the ground. "Drink!" he just said holding the mug out to Jake who took it without thinking about it. Too instilled were those instincts to follow orders after just leaving the army.
Even though his mind warned him that it could be anything in there, but he pushed that thought away. He was just too thirsty to really care.
The water tasted slightly shale but Jake couldn't bring himself to care. Careful not to drink to much he gave the mug back his hand slightly shaking from the exertion.
"How long have I been out? " he asked the other man. Gibbs looked at his watch "Three hours. Looks like you needed it."
Jake abruptly remembered that he was still half lying on the guy and tried to sit up holding his side "Sorry for using you as a pillow, man." He rasped slightly embarrassed. His side still hurt like hell but at least the pain in his head had ceased a bit.
Gibbs stopped him grabbing his shoulder. "Stop that!" Gibbs growled, pushing him back down gently, belying his scruff tone. "That wound doesn't need any more aggravating." He said in a no-nonsense tone which made Jake instantly think of his dad.
He lied back carefully, trying to get comfortable. "How long have you been in here?" "A couple of hours." Gibbs replied "What about you?" he asked. Those guys said something about someone nearly getting away. Was that you?" "Yeah" Jake laughed without humor. "They let me go two days ago just to hunt me. And I'm not the first one, they must have done this to so many people. Man, it's so twisted. They showed me photos, trophies…" here Jake trailed off. He had to stop to get his bearings back and to get those horrible images out of his head.
Gibbs tightened the grip he still had on Jake's shoulder. It looked like the kid had been through quite a lot. Then he went into full investigator mode. "Did they say anything about how many people they killed in their hunts?"
This brought Jake out of his dark musings. After thinking some moments about it, he replied "They didn't exactly say how many. Just that there were a lot. But shit, some of these photos look old, black and white old. They must be doing this for ages. Why did no one ever find out about it and stopped them?" Jake said getting angry. But the agitation aggravated his wound again and he hissed in pain holding his side.
"Stop moving!" Gibbs ordered gruffly. Let's have a look at that wound again. "He added when he saw fresh blood on Jakes shirt. "Again?" Jake asked surprised. "Yep, who do you think looked after that wound in the first place? Those hillbillies out there certainly didn't care much if you lived or died." Gibbs snapped roughly, pointing to the main building.
Only than Jake noticed that someone had put some bandages around his midsection. "Thanks man." He said studying the bandaging. "How bad is it?" Jake asked turning to Gibbs. "You will live." Gibbs just replied sounding more confident than he actually was.
The wound itself wasn't that bad. If he got Jake into a hospital soon, he was pretty certain that the younger man would be fine. But here, in the hands of crazy criminals in the middle of nowhere, he wasn't so sure. If the wound got septic they wouldn't have much time. And getting hunted certainly wouldn't help.
After changing the bandages Gibbs noticed that Jake was too tired to stay awake any longer. Now he was sleeping again his head propped against Gibbs thigh.
The wound hadn't looked too bad. At least the bleeding had stopped but he also had noted some redness around the edges which could be a sign of a starting infection. He tried to clean it at much as possible under this circumstances but he was worried. The guy seemed to be pretty much at the end of his rope. An infection now would probably kill him. Thankfully the head wound seemed to be mostly superficial and the kid had shown no further signs of a concussion. But they had to find a way to get out of here and find help soon.
He had already tested the cage for weak connections or other ways out of it, but no avail. Their only chance to get away seemed to be when they were let out for the hunt.
But he didn't know how much Jake would be able to help him, if he even was able to walk or run tomorrow which Gibbs strongly doubted. But what other possibilities did they have.
He couldn't leave Jake behind as they would as sure as hell kill him and make him their next trophy. Leaving him in a hiding place was probably not safe either. If he even could find one, it was probably one their hunters knew about anyway. They had been doing this for quite a long time and probably knew everything about this entire area.
They came back in the middle of the night. Gibbs exhaustion had finally gotten the better of him and he had drifted off to sleep, one arm draped over Jakes chest to assure himself that the younger man was still alive.
Tiredness and the man lying half on him slowed his reaction time and he was caught of guard when two sets of arms suddenly griped him.
He tried to fight them when he was pulled away from Jake, but something hit the back of his head and he found himself falling forward unable to do anything about it. The force of this beating nearly made him pass out. He fought hard against the blackness rising up around him and it barely registered when one of his attackers kicked his rips to make sure that he was really unconscious.
He could hear Jake crying out in pain, but he couldn't do anything but trying to hold onto his own consciousness,
Jake was woken roughly when Gibbs was pulled out from under him and he was unceremoniously dropped to the floor.
He crashed hard onto the floor gasping in pain when the force of the impact jarred his wound. He heard some commotion behind him so he turned over just to see two guys manhandling Gibbs. He knew he had to help him but when he tried to get up a hand gripped his hair from behind, pulling him up painfully.
"Hi Pretty!" someone said behind him. "Did you miss me?" Unfortunately, Jake knew the voice of his attacker only too well after the last few days.
"What do you want you asshole?" he countered. As always his mouth got him into trouble and he was roughly pulled up and pushed against the wall. The force of the impact made him cry out. The pain in his side excruciating when it came in contact with the wall.
He then heard his attacker call out to the other two guys. "Leave the old guy, he is done for now. Help me hold this one. I want to have some fun."
One of the other guys tried to argue against it. "But Roy said to leave them alone until the hunt." The guy holding Jake against the wall didn't seam to care much. "What he doesn't know won't hurt him." He stated self assured.
"Now you on the other hand, Pretty" he went on "You will be in quite a bit of pain. But don't worry; I'll make it good for you."
When Jake heard this, he suddenly realized what this was all about and he began to struggle harder against his attacker. There was no way that he would let this crazy bastard rape him.
But while those couple of hours sleep had gotten him some rest, he didn't stand much of a chance against three guys holding him. His energy left him after only a short time and soon the hands of his attackers were the only thing holding him up.
"Oh Pretty," the guy behind him said right into his ear "all this struggling really turns me on."
Jake shortly wondered if Gibbs was ok, but was only all too soon distracted by the matter at hand. He could feel hands opening and pulling down his pants and his boxers but he could not do a thing about it.
One set of hands held him from each side so his attacker was free to do whatever he wanted.
Suddenly he felt something hard and blunt pressing against him. He mobilized his last bits of energy and caught his attacker off guard. He managed to head butt him hard and heard him cursing when he let go to hold his hopefully broken nose.
When he tried to get out of the grip of the two goons holding him against the wall one of them suddenly was ripped off of him and he nearly sank to the floor having a hard time trying to hold himself up. Then the other guy was gone and he was suddenly free. But without anyone holding him up he couldn't stop himself from sinking down to the floor totally exhausted physically and mentally. He hardly noticed when his bare skin hit the ground.
When his attackers finally let go of him, Gibbs stayed motionless on the ground. Fortunately, he could slowly feel the blackness receding. But it was to slow. He was worried about what they would do to Jake as he clearly seemed to be the one they were interested in.
Finally he felt strong enough to move and opened his eyes. What he saw made his blood boil.
Those two guys who had attacked him were now holding Jake against a wall while a third guy was just about to rape him.
He jumped up ready to tear him away from the younger man, when Jake seemed to have gathered all his remaining energy for one last desperate strike. He threw his head back hard, hitting the third guy's nose head on. The guy had to let go of Jake while trying to hold the blood back which was gushing out of his nose.
At that moment Gibbs went into the fight, tearing the second guy off Jake rendering him unconscious quickly with some well placed blows. Then he went for the third guy, not stopping before he was out of the picture.
Then he was ready for the last guy, the guy who nearly had raped Jake, but a gun shot hitting the ground just in front of his feet stopped him abruptly.
"I would not do that if I were you." A voice warned him. Looking up he saw the guy who seemed to be the boss of this merry place was standing at the entrance of the cell with some goons pointing their guns at them.
"Jerry" he began turning to the still bleeding guy. "What the hell is going on here?" 'Jerry' was visibly shrinking away from the angry tone of his boss. "Roy, we just wanted to have some fun with Jake here." he replied making a pointing hand motion to Jake who was still sitting half naked on the ground seemingly not noticing what was going on around him, as Gibbs noted worriedly.
"Fun?" Roy pressed on angrily. "Didn't I tell you to leave them alone until morning? If he is hurt to badly he can't run."
He didn't actually expect a reply and was not getting one as Jerry just looked to the ground like a scolded school kid. "We will talk about it later. Get out of my sight now and take Darcy and Clem with you!" Roy ordered, motioning to the two goons still on the floor.
Roy threw another glance at Jake who had started shaking slightly, but didn't move otherwise. Turning back to Gibbs he motioned with his gun to Jake. "Take care of him. We won't let this hold us back tomorrow." Not waiting for a reply from Gibbs he turned around and left the cell.
Gibbs went to Jake as soon as they had left. Kneeling down next to him he tried to access the damage done to the younger man.
He knew that bastard 'Jerry' hadn't managed to actually rape him but he seemed to have done more than enough damage. He was still shaking and his gaze unfocused
"Jake come on kid, talk to me." Gibbs ordered softly, trying to reach him. He grabbed one of the blankets putting it around Jakes shoulders. "They are gone now. It's going to be okay, Jake, you hear me. Come on, snap out of it." He said, putting one of his hands on Jakes neck turning his head slightly to catch his eyes.
That finally showed success when Jake's eyes slowly focused on the agent. "Hey kid, are you back with me?" Gibbs asked to make sure Jake had really snapped out of it.
The younger man had stopped shaking by then but there were still some tremors running through him now and then. He nodded slightly then let his head sink against the wall behind him closing his eyes.
Gibbs, not even halfway satisfied with that response, put a hand on Jakes shoulder to rouse him. The response he got should not have surprised Gibbs. Jake nearly jumped startled by the sudden contact his eyes blinking.
"Hey it's ok. " Gibbs soothed. He still hadn't gotten any real response out of Jake which worried him. "Jake, are you alright? He asked, even though he knew Jake wasn't even close to alright with that wound in his side which had started bleeding again and being assaulted by those bastards. But is seemed to serve it's purpose. "I'm ok." Jake replied slowly, looking anything but.
But it was enough to assure Gibbs for now. "Come on; let's get you somewhere more comfortable.
Gibbs got up and reached down to help Jake. After getting him on his feet, leaning on the wall, Gibbs unceremoniously pulled up Jakes pants.
Looking up Gibbs notice Jake tried to look anywhere but at him. Putting a hand on his shoulder again got the other man's attention. "Hey, it's ok, you hear me." he ordered softly, holding Jake's gaze until he was sure the other man had really gotten what he was trying to say. He then put his arm around Jake to support him and then they were slowly making their way back to their spot in the corner.
Arriving back at the blankets, Gibbs slowly let the other man sink down letting him sit leaning against the wall. He than went on pulling the blood-soaked bandages of Jakes torso.
Jake inhaled sharply when the last bits of the bandage were lifted pulling slightly on the healing flesh. "Easy son," Gibbs said, inspecting the wound worriedly.
Although he was worried about the blood loss he was glad to see that the infection hadn't progressed any further. He cleaned the wound again and put a fresh bandage on it.
Jake kept his eyes shut close in the meanwhile, an involuntary gasp or flinch when things were getting to bad the only signs that he that he was actually awake.
After redressing the wound Gibbs noted that the tremors running through Jake's body had gotten stronger and more violent again. A bit later Jake had started shaking in earnest again, all the physical and emotional stress taking its toll on the young man.
Gibbs knew he needed sleep. Hell, they both needed it badly. He sat down next to the younger man with his back leaned against the wall helping Jake to lie down his head cushioned on Gibbs thigh. This seemed to have helped Jake catch some sleep earlier, so Gibbs hoped it would do again.
He kept a hand on the young man's shoulder to offer him a bit of support and comfort. He just hoped that the kid would be in a better mental and physical condition after getting some sleep.
Half an hour of no sleep later, Gibbs made a decision. He was not really the touchy feely guy, by god his friends and co-workers certainly could confirm to that, but he had to do something to calm the other man down so they both would be able to get some sleep. He carefully pulled the unresisting man up so he was laying half way in his lap, his shaking body leaned against Gibbs hard chest and his head supported on the older man's shoulder.
He wrapped his arms around Jake, a blanket covering both of them and started talking softly about whatever came to his mind to soothe the younger man and only stopped when the tremors stopped and the exhausted man fell asleep. Only then Gibbs let himself drop off into a fitful sleep.
The morning came far too early for Jake. He was woken up by loud voices and dogs barking coming from outside the shed. He actually felt halfway rested and surprisingly warm which seemed to be a rare occurrence these days.
Then the events of the last days all came back to him and he tensed up.
Suddenly he felt an arm around him tightening, but before he could start to panic again he heard Gibbs voice right next to his ear, telling him that everything was ok. He then noticed that he was half leaning against and half lying on Gibbs, which made him feel quite embarrassed but also warm and safe. So he leant back again trying to relax. They would be coming for them soon enough.
Suddenly Gibbs voice pulled him out of his dark thoughts. "How is your side?" He asked softly.
Jake took a moment to listen to his body. "It's not too bad. I don't think it's infected. At least it doesn't feel like it." He assured the older man. But he knew that they had to check the wound and change the bandages again. With Gibbs help he moved to sit against the wall.
Gibbs had only managed to get only very little sleep sitting on that hard ground and with the events of the next day looming over them. But he knew that Jake needed sleep more than him at the moment. That's why he kept in the same position letting Jake sleep half lying on him the entire night. Every now and then Jake would start up from a nightmare and the only thing Gibbs could do was trying to calm him down.
He could hear the commotion outside in the morning. People, and he used that term loosely, getting themselves and their dogs ready for the big hunt. He could hear the excitement in their voices. Suddenly Jake started tensing up. Not sure if he was in the fits of another nightmare or waking up, Gibbs held him closer and started to talk to him softly trying to calm him again. This seemed to help as Jake relaxed and leaned back into him again.
After talking a bit to Jake and checking and rewrapping his wound Gibbs was assured that the younger man had come through the events earlier that night more or less in one piece. His wounds seemed to be healing nicely despite of the rough manhandling that he had gone through; and mentally and emotionally Jake at least seemed to have pushed everything aside to deal with it later, when this nightmare was over.
They came for them shortly afterwards. It was five of them who led Gibbs and Jake out of their cage. Roy, the leader, was the only one Gibbs recognized.
Jake seemed to have recovered enough that he could walk only lightly supported by Gibbs. Gibbs just hoped that he could keep that energy for a while to give them at least a chance to get away.
They were led past the main building through the front yard and Gibbs made a note to remember as many of the faces of the people standing there staring at them as possible. There were mostly men but he could see some women and even 2 children in the assembled crowd. Thankfully he didn't see that brute Jerry anywhere. Jake could do without that reminder of last night.
A look around told him that there were at least 20 people. The men were all geared up ready for the hunt. Their weapons were a mixture of various riffles, hand guns, knifes and even bows. Most of the equipment looked like it was older and well used, but Gibbs was certain he had spotted at least one Desert Eagle and maybe a Sig and he was sure as hell interested in how they had acquired these weapons.
Jake had told him that they usually gave their victims at least an hour before they came after them. Gibbs just hoped that they would wait that long this time. They all looked very eager and impatient in the prospect of a challenging hunt,
Apparently Jake had noticed that, too for he threw an uneasy look at Gibbs. As a silent reply Gibbs shortly tightened his grip at Jakes arm trying to convey what he couldn't say out loud. Jake seemed to understand him and relaxed slightly but still ready to fight or flight. Whatever would happen, they would take as many of those bastards with them as they could. And hopefully, at least one of them would make it out of here and bring them all down.
Jake made sure to note the exact time when they were released. It was ten o'clock in the morning which meant they had until 11 to get as far away as possible. Roy had them assured that they had one hour before they would start hunting them. To keep it "exciting" the leader of the hunting band had said.
"Exciting, my ass," Jake panted as they made their way through the woods away from the ranch. "If I survive this I'll retire. No more excitements. I've got enough."
"You know, "Gibbs replied, glad that the younger man felt well enough to joke. "There is a curse, May you live in interesting times…"
Eleven o'clock came too soon. They had already had had to slow down. Jake wasn't strong enough to keep running for such a long time. By now they were partly running and walking, slowly making their way through the forest while still trying to cover their tracks and confuse the hunters.
There weren't doing to bad Jake surmised. They hadn't seen anyone yet and it was already early afternoon. They could hear the dogs now and then but thankfully Jake had remembered a small river which had been big enough to hide their tracks and their scent.
Unfortunately, that was where the good news ended. Jake could feel that he was getting weaker and he had to lean more and more on Gibbs. It wasn't that bad yet but he knew that he was slowing the agent down.
Without him, Gibbs could make it out of the woods and maybe bring some help. When he told that to the older man he had gotten a slap on the back of his head to his astonishment. "Ouch, did you just really slap me? Why the hell did you do that?" He had stopped walking, looking at Gibbs half wounded and half shocked.
Gibbs turned to him, angrily pushing him against a tree. "I won't leave you behind" He growled, looking hard at Jake.
He saw the flicker of fear in the kid's eyes before he remembered that manhandling an assault victim wasn't really a good idea. But he had been so angry. Leaving Jake behind was no option. They would kill the kid when they found him or use him to get Gibbs.
He knew that he probably had triggered a flashback when Jake stiffened up and pressed himself even more against the tree. He loosened his grip on the younger man but didn't let go totally. "Jake, shit, I'm sorry" he said gently. "I'm not going to hurt you and I'm not leaving you behind. Come on kid, snap out of it"
"Don't call me kid" came the soft reply. Apparently there was still some fight left in Jake, Gibbs noted relieved. Seeing that the kid still looked a bit spooked he grabbed his chin and turned Jakes head so he could look into his eyes. "Make me." He replied with a smirk, enjoying a shocked look which was quickly replaced with a grin.
Mission accomplished, Gibbs thought to himself smugly. But he quickly got serious remembering their precarious situation. "Are you ok?" he questioned Jake, trying to gauge the mental and physical condition the younger man was in.
For a moment he had been back in the cage, Jerry and his friends holding him against the wall, ready to rape him. Gibbs voice snapped him out of it quickly enough but it still left him rattled. Telling Gibbs off for calling him 'kid', seemed to be a good idea to cover it up.
Truthfully, he didn't mind Gibbs calling him kid. It didn't seem to have the same bad association than when his Dad called him that. With his Dad he always felt young and stupid being called kid. And his Dad had known that and had enjoyed calling him kid in front of everybody.
With Gibbs there was no bad history. Strangely enough coming from him it actually seemed more like an honorary name than anything else.
Jake didn't know what to expect from talking back to Gibbs, but it certainly wasn't Gibbs grabbing his chin, looking into his eyes, smirking at him and telling him to 'make him'. He was so shocked, that he actually forgot about being upset and embarrassed.
After Gibbs had ascertained himself that Jake was none the worse to wear they took off again, their pace just a bit slower than it had been as Gibbs was starting to get a bit concerned about the reserves the other man had left.
Unfortunately, their luck came to an end very soon. Gibbs heard them just a tenth of a second before they came onto them. It was a hunting group of five armed to their teeth with dogs leading them. Gibbs didn't know why he hadn't heard them earlier. He put it down to his exhaustion from the mental and physical stress of the last few days and his distraction from having to keep a bit more than one eye on Jake.
Three of them threw themselves directly on Gibbs deeming him the bigger threat, while the other two tried to take out Jake.
Gibbs didn't have much time to check up on the kid. He was quite busy trying to keep alive himself. He managed to dodge the knife aimed for his midsection, grabbed his attackers arm and twisted the weapon out of his hands before rendering him unconscious with a well aimed elbow to the head.
Before he could grab the knife on the floor he was hit hard from behind and he fell to the ground. He managed to dodge a following kick by rolling aside and got a hold of the knife of the first attacker in the process. Jumping up he caught his second attackers fist with his own, dodged the big hunting knife he had in his other hand. Using his momentum he turned both of them around and push his attacker into the third guy that hat come up behind him the knife ready to strike.
The third guy, just noticing that he had killed on of his friends, stopped shocked for a moment. This split second was enough for the marine to get behind the attacker and shove the knife into his neck, effectively taking him out. Only then Gibbs let himself draw a quick breath turning around to check on Jake. He didn't like much what he saw.
Jake had been taken totally by surprise when those five men had jumped out of the bushes. Of course he shouldn't have been, he knew they were hunting them after all, but the running had taken quiet a lot out of him. His wound still seemed to be ok, though. The tight bandage Gibbs had inflicted on him certainly helped even if it had been torture when he put it on.
Two of them came directly onto him from both sides. While Jake always had gotten into fights, he didn't have a close combat training like Gibbs had. Trying to dodge the first attack he vowed that he would get Gibbs to teach him some stuff if they ever got out of this alive. He didn't have much time for thinking after that.
He managed to render one of his attackers unconscious through a lucky shot but that was when his luck left him.
The second guy managed to grab him and suddenly he had a knife on his throat and the guy told him not to move. Shit. It was just in time to see Gibbs getting rid of his last adversary.
The emotions in Gibbs eyes when he saw the quandary Jake was in was nearly too hard to bear for the younger man. It went from concern, to shock, to a quick flicker of helplessness, which scared Jake more than anything, and ended in fury. It was in this moment that Jake knew that they had to do something before the other two guys, who were just unconscious woke up again or the rest of the merry band caught up with them.
Gibbs was to far away though and from his look he wouldn't do anything before he knew Jake was out of the grip of the attacker.
Gibbs slowly advanced towards Jake and the man holding a knife to his throat but was stopped very effectively by an abruptly increasing blood stream on Jakes neck, resulting from the blade being pressed in further. "Don't move any closer or I'll slit his throat." the man threatened.
Jake knew he had to do something, but didn't know what. Gibbs was close enough now, to take the man down, but he had to get away first.
Luck was on their side again. The dogs, which had been left roaming free for the attack, apparently had found something else to occupy themselves with and had found something else to hunt. The sudden barking of the dogs startled the attacker holding Jake. For Jake this split second of distraction was enough to step hard onto the foot of the man. The pain made him loosen the pressure on Jake's throat for a split second. This was enough time for Jake to grab his arm and twist out of his attackers reach.
For Gibbs this was the chance to act. As soon as Jake was safe out of the way he struck the last man hard in the stomach and finished him off with a well placed knee to the head.
When he turned around Jake was standing there, one hand on his side and one on his neck. Gibbs could still see the blood slowly trickling down under his fingers but other than that the young man seemed to be in one piece.
Relieved he turned around to collect some weapons when suddenly a force hit him and he fell to the ground. Jake shouting his name sounded far away in his ears. At first he thought he had been hid by a bullet but than he saw the arrow shaft protruding out of his shoulder.
Suddenly Jake was over him pulling him out of the way behind a tree. "Gibbs, come on, don't do this. Hold on, we have to get out of this." From their hiding place Jake could see two more men advancing from behind the trees.
Desperately he looked around for a weapon. One of the guys Gibbs had killed was lying around 3 meters from their position. Jake could see a handgun sticking out of his belt. He figured with a bit of luck he could probably make it. It was their only chance.
Gibbs saw what he was about to do and wanted to hold him back, but the pain in his shoulder made it hard for him to move.
Jake jumped up, rolled to the dead man grabbing the gun out of his belt. This was familiar. Even as just a driver in Iraq there had been situations like this, where he had to react quickly and shoot fast and accurate.
All his shots hit their target. He had been well trained for situations like this. If you drove supplements, medicine or food through a war zone you'd better be well prepared to defend it and your life.
He only went back to Gibbs when he was sure that both of them were dead. Gibbs looked at him appraisingly. "Looks like you've been holding out on me, kid." He stated his voice reflecting the pain he was in.
Jake crouched down next to him. "You never asked if I could shoot," he joked looking at the wound trying to figure out what to do with it.
They had to get going but with Gibbs injured like that, he wasn't sure how much of a chance they had. It had been Gibbs who actually had made it possible that they got this far. He himself wouldn't have been strong enough. And he wouldn't be strong enough to support Gibbs not as exhausted as he already was.
Gibbs could see the helplessness in Jakes face. "We need to break the shaft off." Jake just looked at him, having been miles away in his thoughts. "If we want to get going we have to break the shaft of the arrow." Gibbs elaborated patiently. Anyone who knew him would have been surprised at this. Patience was not exactly his strong point. And usually his orders sounded more, like, well, orders. But the kid didn't need this. He looked at the end of his rope already, anyway. And he was not one of his agents. Briefly he wondered what kind of agent the kid would make but quickly pushed the thought aside. They certainly had other things to worry about.
Jake looked at Gibbs questionly. "Are you sure?" "No I'm not," Gibbs growled, the pain getting the better of him. "It's the first time I ever got shot with a fucking arrow but we need to get away from here. They will have heard the shots. This place could be swarming of those bastards soon."
Jake wasn't offended by Gibbs tone. Something told him that this was more like the man usually was. He still wasn't sure but he would go with what Gibbs thought was the best for them. After everything they went through together in that short time he trusted the man.
"I never asked, but do you have a family waiting for you?" Jake asked, figuring he needed to distract Gibbs and that it was a save topic. Obviously not as there was a sad look flicking over Gibbs face before it became unreadable and he looked aside. But the question had fulfilled his purpose.
Jake grabbed the arrow and broke it off in a quick move, feeling with Gibbs when the movement made him gasp in pain. He gave the other man a moment to get a hold on himself before trying to get up to grab some weapons.
He didn't get far. The blood loss and the loss of adrenaline hit him out of the sudden and his legs carved under him. He just managed to catch himself with one arm before he fell on Gibbs.
"Shit" he swore, when the dizziness lifted a bit and he was able to see his surrounding again. Gibbs had put an arm on his shoulder and was looking at him worriedly.
"I'm ok'" he said, reassuring the other man. "Just got up to fast." He tried again, this time taking care to move slowly and made it to a wobbly stance. Slowly he made his way over to their attackers, gathering some knifes, guns and water only stopping to give one of the guys, who was showing signs of waking up another kick.
He gave some water to Gibbs and drank some himself. "You think you can make it old man? " He asked teasingly, trying to make light of the situation.
Gibbs propped himself on one elbow smirking at Jake even though he was in pain. "You just wait. I'll show you."
Together they actually managed to get both of them on their feet. "We make quite a pair, don't we?" Gibbs observed. He knew it didn't look good for them, but he hoped that his team had heard the shots they had fired and were on their way. Of course they probably weren't the only ones who might have heard the shots. They would have to keep their eyes open.
Gibbs didn't know how long they had walked through the bush, when they came to an edge of a cliff which blocked their path. Down in the valley he could see some lights, but they didn't have any way to get down to them. They went back further into the forest as the cliff was too exposed for them to hide.
Unfortunately, that didn't help them much. This time Gibbs heard them advancing. He stopped abruptly, startling Jake out of his thoughts.
They came at them from all sides at once. Gibbs didn't even know who to shoot first, but he and Jake managed to hit a couple before they were taken down. Gibbs lost his footing when Jake was roughly pulled away from him. Hands grabbed him and he fought tooth and nail to get away from them and to Jake. But there were just too many of them.
He could see Jake being dragged away closer to the edge of the hill, still fighting and even rendering one of his attackers unconscious. Then Gibbs thought his heart would explode. Jake had managed to get to his hidden gun and took out two guys advancing on them.
That was when his luck ended.
Gibbs couldn't do anything but scream out Jakes name, when a bullet hit the younger man, the force of the trajectory twisting him around and over the edge of the cliff. He could only watch helplessly as his young friend fell to his certain death.
Seeing what had happened to Jake made him fight his attackers even more furiously. Only stopping in his rage when he recognized the voices of his agents trying to talk sense into him.
When he came back to his senses he noticed that all the attackers that were still standing had been taken into custody and the hands holding him belonged to Tony and Ziva and not to his attackers.
Calming down his only thought was to get to Jake. The kid couldn't be dead. He just couldn't not after everything they had been through.
Unfortunately, his body thought differently, the blood loss finally taking its toll on him and his legs gave out under him. Only the supporting hands of Ziva and Dinozzo were holding him up.
It took a moment to get his body under control, but when he did he steered to the cliffs edge.
When his agents tried to hold him back he growled at them. "Either let me go or help me. I have to get to Jake." As none of the other agents was sure what he was talking about, they followed his lead as always and supported him when he went off in the direction of the cliff.
Gibbs thought his heart would burst, when he saw the kid clinging to the steep surface his feet only supported by a small tree. Fortunately, his agents only needed to have a short look at the situation before calling in reinforcements.
Tony climbed down to support the kid and as much as he trusted his agent, Gibbs wished that it was him. He wanted to know if Jake was ok. It was strange how quickly he had come to care for the kid. They knew each other just for over a day and Gibbs was usually much more reserved, but something in the kid and the situation had brought out the protector in him.
It didn't take long until someone arrived with a rope and Jake and Tony were pulled up into safety.
Gibbs sank to the ground next to Jake even ignoring the medic that had arrived on his side desperately wanting to know if Jake was ok. The kid was lying there with his eyes pressed shut in pain. The wound in his side had left an even bigger blood spot by now and there was a new spot on his upper arm close to his shoulder. Altogether he looked like something the cat had dragged in, but he was alive and that was all was counted for Gibbs at the moment.
"Shit Kid," he swore and much to the astonishment of his agents his voice took on a pleading note. "Are you ok? Come on open your eyes."
"Argh, I think I do this too often." Jake moaned but did what Gibbs wanted and opened his eyes.
"What? Gibbs barked, his gruffness hiding his concern. "Nearly getting killed?"
"No," Jake replied, smirking at him even though his eyes were still reflecting the pain he was in. "Seeing your ugly mug, old man, every time I open my eyes." In the background he could hear Gibbs' agents pulling in a shocked breath, but he wasn't sure if that came from him talking to Gibbs like that or from Gibbs actually grinning at him when he did it.
When Jake woke up he found himself in a hospital. Looking around he spotted Gibbs lying in a bed beside him watching him. "Good morning, sleepy head." he said smirking at Jake.
Jake looked the older man up and down, thankfully noticing no other bandages than the one his shoulder. "Are you ok? Did they get the arrow out without problems?" he asked concerned. "Yeah, no self respecting marine would ever let himself taken out by a puny medieval weapon." Gibbs joked, relieved that the kid was awake and seemed ok.
Than he sobered up. "It's good to see you awake. You got me worried there for a bit, passing out like that when the helicopter arrived"
"It was probably better that way." Jake joked. "I hate flying with other people."
"You are a pilot?" Gibbs asked only half surprised. There was a lot he didn't know about the kid. "I suppose we didn't have much time to talk about stuff like that." He surmised. "I didn't even know who to call for you. Do you have family?"
"Yeah." Jake replied, looking away from Gibbs. His family was still a sore subject. "We don't really get along. I always was the black sheep of the family. The one who did everything wrong. Got into trouble. They probably think I'm in prison now. My Dad is actually a lot like you. He is a marine, too."
He was stopped by Gibbs hand on his arm. So taken up in his tirade he hadn't even noticed him getting up and coming closer.
"If your Dad is anything like me, than he would be proud of you." Gibbs growled looking straight at Jake willing for the kid to believe him. "You know what I see, when I look at you? I see a young man, who has seen and survived more than he should have, but he is brave, responsible and has a good heart. And he can shoot like hell." He smirked, saying the last part. "You would make a good agent, if you ever decided you wanted to do something like that.
Jake looked at Gibbs. He trusted the older man. They had been through quiet a lot together. "Thanks Gibbs." He said, moved by what the older man had said. "But you didn't know little Jake Green. He was a stupid kid, who did stupid things."
"Thank god he grew up then." Gibbs stated. "Yeah, thank god he grew up." Jake agreed wholeheartedly.
"So, how are you doing anyway?" Gibbs asked concern clouding his voice. "I mean, being kidnapped, hunted, injured, nearly getting killed and the other things. It's quite a lot for anybody to deal with." Both men knew that he mostly meant the attempted rape, when he talked about the 'other things'.
Jake didn't really feel comfortable talking about any of this yet. "Are you offering to be my shrink, Gibbs?" He asked sharply, trying to deflect the question. It was still to raw and he was having a hard enough time pushing everything away.
The slight slap on the back of his head he got for this shouldn't really have surprised him. "Don't take that tone with me, kid." Gibbs growled, grabbing Jakes chin and forcing him to meet his eyes. "I know what you're doing and it won't work. Not for long. I don't care if you talk to me, a shrink or some bum on the streets, but it's not good to keep everything in, believe me."
Deep down Jake knew that Gibbs was right. He could see it in his eyes and he knew the man had seen a lot in his life. "I know Gibbs. I'm just not ready yet."
"So, what are your plans now, kid?" Gibbs asked, changing the topic when he was assured that what he had said hit home. He hoped the kid would stay in touch, but would support him what ever he wanted to do.
Jake pondered about this question for a moment before he replied. "I don't really know. I want to do something with my life. I might actually think about that agent thing. Although I love being a pilot. Maybe I will find a job in that field again. And I think it's time that I talk to my family. I haven't seen any of them in the last 5 years."
Jake slowly got tired and he saw that Gibbs eyes were falling shut, too. But there was one thing, he wanted to ask before they both fell back to sleep. "Hey Gibbs, do you mind teaching me some of those moves you used to bring the bad guys down when we get out of here?"
Gibbs grinned. "Anytime, kid."
Just before he fell back to sleep, Gibbs remembered that he probably should have let someone know that the kid was awake. But on the other hand, the hospital staff would pester them to soon enough anyway.
Anyone make it to the end? What do you think? *bites her nails*