I See Red

Tony didn't really know what was happening. His breath was rasping out of his lungs as he gasped for precious air. They came swiftly and shallowly but never really working as he forced his chest up and out for more oxygen.

In the back of his mind his brain registered the gurgle that was coming from the back of his throat and he absently attributed it to himself.

His vision blurred, the crates he was hidden behind swam in front of him. The ceiling of the warehouse shimmered before him and he fought hard to focus on the pale and shocked face in front of him.

His hands and feet felt cold and he could nearly feel the hot liquid pooling around his skin, slipping below his neck and soaking into his hair. He shivered and his whole body jarred in pain. The shock of it snapped his nerves on end as he processed it. He bit out a yelp in surprise and the man infront of him shook himself out of his stunned silence.

"Tony." He half moaned, his fingers coming down onto his body. A hand disappearing from Tony's eyeline and plugging the hole at the base of his neck. Tony felt pain surround where his probie's hand was staunching the flow of his blood and slowly his vision returned for a moment, the blurred edges returning to full colour.

"You'll be alright." He whispered harshly, his head flung over his shoulder to see something behind him but Tony didn't have the concentration to even realise there was a commotion in the room or for Tim calling for help. Dimmly he was aware of footsteps, shouts. A blast of a gun and a cry. Ziva's face flickered in his mind at the sound.

"Ziva." He mouth moved and the whispered ragged breath must have been loud enough for Tim to hear him.

Tim's face contorted and with a swift nod he called for her. Tim's face turned back to his senior partner and he let out a gasp as he released the breath he had been holding.

"She's coming now." Tim assured him and gave a quick nod to reassure himself in the process. "She's coming."

Tony nodded but his neck wouldn't move and suddenly when he blinked she was there infront of him. Pale, shock in her eyes, fear in her face. She stumbled slightly at the sight of him and Tony wanted to frown.

"Come back." He sighed and Tim screwed his eyes shut. Ziva fell to her knees, Gibbs taking a shuddering breath behind her. There was faint sounds of sirens outside the building but none of them moved.

Ziva's small hands pressed into both of his cheeks, either side of his face.

"Tony." She breathed. Her voice small and tight. Her eyes glistened with tears as she looked at her partner, her best friend, her love. "Please..." She trailed off and if Tony had the energy he would've quirked an eyebrow. He watched as she pulled back a shaky hand and wiped across her cheek as a tear slipped out. He was a little astonished to see the red smear across her cheek. Blood. Thick red and real blood. Her trembling fingers came back down and touched his clammy skin again but he could barely feel it.

"Tony." She whispered, coming down close so her breath felt warm against his skin and her lips brushed his skin as she spoke. She didn't care that Gibbs was standing behind her or that McGee was right beside her, his fingers plugged in Tony's neck. "Don't leave me, please." She took another deep breath, only the smell of blood assaulting her nostrils.

"After everything - " Ziva couldn't find the words and her voice cracked not allowing her to continue. She didn't move however. She didn't care that his blood soaked into her shirt and turned it a ghastly coloured of crimson. McGee's own shirt sleeves were a dark red in sharp contrast to the white of his colour. Tony's clothes were too red to tell what colour they had been previously.

"DiNozzo." Gibbs barked, finally making his mark on the situation. He knelt down on one knee a sad smile on his face and Ziva couldn't make out what his sentiment was behind it. "Everything's going to be fine." His hands brushed his Senior Agent and his smile fell from his lips as he felt the already cooling skin of the best agent he had ever had. "We'll have you in a bed in Bethesda in no time. Back in the field in a week."

"Can't wait." Tony finally gasped out. "Boss."

Gibbs didn't smile, his gaze fixed remotely on the pale face of Tony. The lie bubbling in his stomach. His eyes flicked up to see Ziva, her whole body basically lying over Tony's. And McGee, the every dutiful probie to Tony trying to save his life with no avail.

"I never took my chance." Tony muttered and the three people around him looked up to see his lips move slowly and softly. "I never took it Ziva."

Ziva's face crumpled slightly and Gibbs frowned as Tony's eyes searched hers. His hand raising slightly and gripping her wrist.

"I let all the distractions get in the way." He whispered, his focus solely on his partner. "On purpose. I didn't want to ruin it. If I took it and it wasn't returned it was wasted. Ruined in my head and I could never believe that it would've happened some how. Hoped it would be great."

Tony was rambling slightly and it didn't make much sense.

"Chance." He said more forcefully. "I'm sorry for that."

Ziva gave out a little cry to herself and stooped further over to be closer to him.

"Don't hate me for it." He whispered to her and she shook her head quickly.

"How could I?" She whispered back.

Doors burst open to the warehouse. Paramedics running in, police too. Gibbs stands up and waves them over but doesn't leave his place at Tony's side. From his higher vantage point he can see Tony's blood creep further and further away from his body. The wide scarlet surrounding body of liquid confirmed his worst fears.

"All I see is red." Tony murmured and Ziva frowned. He blinked and Ziva shook him strongly.

"Open your eyes Tony. Tony!"

Tim and Gibbs waited on bated breath as his eyes lazily opened again. A smile graced his lips one last time as he looked at Ziva.

"Ani ohev otach." He breathed. Ziva let out a loud gasp and fell back a little in shock. His fingers falling from her hand and landing with a soft thump on the concrete below them. Tony gave another ragged breath before he stopped breathing all together and Ziva moaned.

"No no no." She muttered under her breath as she reached for him again. But the paramedics had reached them finally. And they were pushing Gibbs out of the way, taking over Tim's place at his neck and reaching around Ziva to feel for a pulse. Gibbs stumbled back a little as the speed of events around him pulled him from his reverie. He watched as they pumped at his chest and hooked him up to monitors and bags of saline and drugs. His wide eyes taking in the blood soaked and smeared bodies of Tim and Ziva who were still both on the floor, meters away from the limp body of Tony. Tears dripped from their faces as they watched them work on Tony. Tim's eyes took in the appearance of them all. And just like Tony all he could see was red.