Disclaimer: No, I don't own the characters - except for Riley - they belong to CBS
A/N: Thoughts are indicated by single quotes.
Chapter One: Reunion (Of Sorts)
'Oh no! Not now! Not in the middle of a crime scene!' But it was there – the all-too-familiar tightening of the chest that signaled the beginning of what promised to be a major respiratory event. 'Maybe I can get to the car before –' but the thought was incomplete. Without warning traitorous lungs shut down and the agent dropped unceremoniously to the ground.
'Where is my inhaler – God, I can't breathe – I know it's in my backpack! I hope I didn't mess up my suit when I hit the ground. Whoa, that's random – but I if I die I at least want to look good. Bad enough that this is happening at a crime scene but does FBI and NCIS both have to be here? Course you'd think with everybody wandering around here somebody would notice that I'm about to die. If I can just get my hands to work so I can get the stupid inhaler – God, I hate that thing, makes me look like a dork – but right now I really don't care how I look.'
The agent felt the backpack being removed and vaguely noticed that someone was going through the pockets. 'Call 911 – agent down!' a voice shouted but it seemed so far away. Awareness was fading fast as suddenly the inhaler was forced between blue-tinged lips and depressed. Then the emergency inhaler did its job – opening the constricted airways and allowing sweet oxygen to once again enter the lungs.
Then the coughing began, as the lungs struggled to loosen the mucus that was still inhibiting respiration. Some part of the agent's brain knew that the embarrassment would come later but right now it didn't matter. A handkerchief appeared, wiping away the expelled mucus as the coughing finally subsided.
'I'm so cold. Why am I so cold? And who is holding me? I don't really care – it feels nice.' The agent relaxed against the chest of the unknown benefactor, not seeing the concern on his face as he supported the younger agent's body against his own, providing warmth and support while waiting for the ambulance to arrive."It's okay," he said. "The ambulance will be here soon. Just hold on." His voice was so soothing. 'Why can't I open my eyes – I need to see who . . .'
Then, as if it wasn't already bad enough, the nausea that always followed the attacks hit with a vengeance. 'Please don't let me puke – please don't let me –' The sausage burrito that tasted so good at breakfast was violently ejected. Again, it was as if the unknown rescuer knew exactly what to do, turning the agent gently to the side to prevent choking – but not quite quickly enough to save the sleeve of his jacket and his watch. Somebody was saying something about an ambulance but the darkness came.
An unknown time later the voices penetrated the cocoon of darkness. Somebody was talking about the attack. "This was, I don't know . . ."
"Scary beyond all reason?" 'Did I say that out loud – wait, I heard hospital' "No hospital. I hate hospitals."
"My god, she's a female version of you, DiNozzo! Movie references and she hates hospitals!"
At the mention of DiNozzo's name, FBI Agent Riley Kendall's eyes flew open. She stared into those green eyes she remembered so well and said with a groan, "Somebody just kill me now!"