I'm not really sure what this is. I just kind of wrote what I wanted to write and kept writing. Oh well.
No Distance Left To Run
Tony didn't really know what to do. He felt so helpless. He wanted to be in that room with all the doctors and all the nurses as they ran around frantically. Shoving plastic tubes into chests and hooking up bags of blood and drugs. He wanted to be in there shouting at them all like the doctor who he took to be the head honcho around the place was. He wanted to be running like the interns to the blood banks demanding cross matches or to the lab with little tubes of blood. They would come bursting out of the trauma room and sprint off down the corridor and round the corner. Everyone who entered the room looked all serious and this didn't calm Tony down at all. He wanted to be stitching up his partner. Closing the slashed arteries and the veins that had been burst open. Clogging the wound in his chest that was spilling blood.
Anything, anything at all that would mean he wasn't stuck in the waiting room jiggling his feet nervously with everyone else. Across the room he could see Gibbs staring at him. A face of worry and disappointment. Guilt rushed through Tony as he thought back to the past hectic few hours. It was his fault. And none of the rest of the team were going to tell him otherwise. Abby was curled up in the corner, Ziva beside her a comforting hand covering the paler one. Somehow both of them had got to the hospital quicker than Tony had, and he had been in the ambulance.
And suddenly they were pulling the bed out of the room and out of the emergency department all together. From his place near the door Tony could see them doing them, and he was on his feet before any of the team could stop him and he was dashing down the corridor after him.
"Where are you taking him?" Tony cried out breathlessly as they piled into the elevator, the nurses and the doctors and the bed. They all looked funny in the tiny little room, for a second they all had absolutely nothing to do, just wait until the doors closed and they were on their way. Tony stared at them all, crammed into the room. His eyes drawn to the sickly looking McGee in the bed, and the smears of blood across the scrubs of the people around him. His stomach twisted.
"Surgery." A doctor told him, he was quite out of breath too. The doors began to shut and Tony's face twisted. "We will keep you posted." The doctor managed to shout out before they slid closed. Tony fell back against the wall deflated, they always said that and almost they never did. When Tony closed his eyes he could see it all play out in front of him. He wished he could open his eyes but his body wouldn't let him, it forced him to relive it all. He could feel his heart thump as it did earlier. He could remember the smooth cool metal of his gun in his hand, his finger poised over the trigger. It itched to pull it as his pulse hammered in his ears. His stomach tightened and twisted as adrenaline kicked in. His head felt a little light and he pushed his legs further than before. His speed picked up and he took gulping breaths of air to keep him at a steady pace. He remembered Ziva and Gibbs in his ear as they cried out to him. He remembered them shouting at him as he messed up and left McGee unprotected. He turned the corner and skidded to a halt at the bottom of the flight of stairs. There was a man crumpled at the foot of them. He jumped over it, making sure it wasn't McGee and took the steps two at a time and slammed into the door at the top. The sun blinded him as he ran out onto the roof, wind was blowing harder up here than it had been on the ground outside. It whipped past him, his hair and shirt ruffling in the breeze. Tony took a bracing breath as his eyes finally focused on the scene before him.
"No." Tony breathed. There was three of them on the roof already and only Tony and McGee in the whole building. Two of them had their guns trained on Tony as he came into their eye shot. He couldn't see McGee anywhere but the other man furthest away had his gun pointing stage right, where Tony presumed stood McGee. Tony gasped for air, his muscles finally protesting for their exertion previously.
"Don't move." The men called to him. "Drop the gun." Their accents were foreign and Tony even remembered that one of them had blue eyes. It was funny what you remembered in times of stress. He didn't drop his gun. They fired. The shots rang out across the roof and Tony let his instincts kick in. He fell to the concrete, his knees screaming in pain as he landed. Rolling over he saw the blue of the sky as another shot rang out. There was a few shouts and footsteps. Tony looked up and saw that one of the men was now on the concrete, a steady flow of blood flowing from a wound somewhere on his body. The other two, the same ones who had been pointing their guns at Tony now were running around the air conditioning shaft. Tony's heart stopped, they were aiming at McGee.
"Oi." Tony roared and scrambled to his feet. He squeezed his finger and a bullet flew out of his gun. It hit one of them in the shoulder and he stumbled back, his gun falling from his hand. He backed away in shock and tripped over his friend who was already on the floor. Tony sprinted after the last man as he disappeared around the corner and out of sight. Three successive shots sounded out and Tony flung himself around the obstacle. The last of his breath ripped out of him as he simultaneously saw McGee fall and he fired the remaining bullets in his gun at the man who was standing over him.
"DiNozzo." Gibbs had barked in his ear. "Tony." Ziva cried. "What happened." Gibbs again. "Is McGee ok? McGee. DiNozzo!"
"Get an ambulance." Tony shouted into the air and he knew that Gibbs would hear him in the microphone hooked up to the earpiece. Then he ripped the earwig out of his ear as they started demanding answers to their silly questions that didn't matter any more. The only thing that mattered was McGee. Tony leapt forward and skidded to a halt beside McGee. Instantly he plunged his hand down into the nearest bullet wound, there was two. One in the shoulder and another in the leg. His other hand plugged that hole too, but blood spilled between the cracks too quickly.
"You need to get out of here." McGee was telling him as his eyes rolled back. Tony fell to his knees beside him, his mouth open in shock as he tried desperately to process what was going on. His fingers still "There's more of them Tony. Leave me, save yourself."
Tony stared at him incredibly. "You really don't know me at all do you Tim?"
Tim stared at him for a moment, this eyes focusing and unfocusing.
"How bad is it?" He asked as Tony pulled off his tie. Tony made quick work of tying it as tight as he could muster around McGee's left leg. Tony glanced away from the knot he was pulling tight and at the pool of blood that was flowing too quickly out of his leg.
"Not bad at all." Tony lied. "You'll be fine, stop whining Tim." He tried to be light but McGee knew how serious it was, just Tony calling him by his first name was confirmation enough. And he had done it twice already.
"Tell Abby." McGee started but Tony glared at him.
"No." Tony told him and grabbed his gun. He checked his magazine, empty. He crawled over to where McGee had dropped his gun and checked it too. One bullet. Shit. "Don't do this. I'm not passing along any famous last words. You can tell her yourself."
"Tony." McGee pleaded. "Just leave me."
He was staring at the sky now with a faint smile on his face. "It's pretty here."
Tony sighed and grabbed McGee. He threw his arm over his shoulder and hoisted him up. One hand securely wrapped around McGee and supporting his weight on his shoulder, the other gripping his gun. He hauled Tim with him and dashed to the door without the other man seeing him. He knew that at least one of the men on the roof was still alive. The stairs were difficult but he managed to get to the floor and trail McGee who had helpfully lost the use of his legs towards the elevator. There was a bang behind them and Tony glanced over his shoulder to see the last man jumping down the stairs after them. He punched the button a few hundred times until the doors finally slid open. He jumped into the small room and turned to see the final man pursuing them. With a well aimed shot he took him out, he stumbled back and tried to use the railing behind him for support. He wasn't dead but severely wounded. Tony glared at him, hoping he didn't come after them before the elevator had started to move. The doors slid painfully slowly closed as Tony punched the Ground floor button. Dropping McGee's gun onto the floor of the lift. He had no weapon for any of the other bastards in the building. The lift took an abnormally long time to go down six floors but time stretched for Tony who had pushed McGee against the wall and plugged two of his hands against the two wounds again, pushing enough pressure to stem the blood flow. The whole time Tony was chanting Hail Mary's under his breath and he hadn't even realised it.
Getting to the ground floor had been glorious. They had tumbled out of the doors and onto the dusty old marble floor just as another suspect came out of the woodwork. In a moment of madness Tony lunged to protect McGee as the man took aim but when he blinked he was on the floor and Gibbs was looming over him. His face a scary picture of determination.
"DiNozzo." He barked and Tony rolled off of McGee, his hand still staunching the blood flow from McGee's leg.
"Tim." Tony panted, none of his words making it successfully from his brain to his lips. "Bullets. None."
Gibbs glared at him before turning his attention to Tim who had paled and was loosing consciousness. "Over here." He shouted behind him and suddenly paramedics appeared. Tony had never felt so happy in his life. He could vividly recall the paramedic gripping his wrist and pulling his hand out of McGee's leg. The other checking Tim's airway quickly. They had him ready to go within minutes, shouting orders at each other and working in tandem to stop the blood. Tony had watched them from a few metres away in a sort of dazed fashion. He was still on the floor, behind him another team of NCIS agents were filing into the foyer of the building and starting to process the grand room.
"I'm coming with you." He told them in a strangely calm voice. Over their shoulder he could see Gibbs glare at him.
"DiNozzo." He warned but Tony ignored him and scrambled to his feet, following the paramedics to the ambulance.
"Tony." A voice called him out of his reviere and Tony opened his eyes. He was no longer in the abandoned hotel but in the brightly lit hospital. Ziva stood in front of him, a concerned expression on her face. "Are you alright? You weren't hurt too were you?"
"No no." Tony shook his head. He glanced down at his suit and saw it unsurprisingly covered in blood.
"You should go home and get changed." She told him in a quiet whisper. "He will be in surgery for some time. Tony shook his head silently and leant off the wall.
"I'm not leaving." He told her and without a word Ziva understood. She slipped her hand into his and stood beside him. Tony looked at her quietly but didn't comment as she squeezed it reassuringly. She pulled him back down the corridor and into the waiting room where Gibbs glared at him again. Tony sighed and let himself fall into the chair beside Ziva and Abby. Abby reached across and pulled his other hand into her own. The three of them, silently contemplating the situation they found themselves in.
Gibbs watched as he paced. McGee had been in surgery for over two hours now and Tony had got restless about ten minutes into that time. He had watched as he had sat between the two women of the team. Ziva had sat, her hand wrapped around Tony's and she had stared at the side of his face, without really seeing for a long time. Gibbs hadn't missed the concern that crossed her face as she worriedly stared at her partner's face. He knew there was something going between them but he supposed that now wasn't really the time to question his fragile team. On the other side Abby had let her head drop to Tony's shoulder and her watery eyes had shut but Gibbs knew that she wasn't asleep, she couldn't be able to with worry. Tony had started off slowly, his thumb nervously running over Abby's hand, his fingers in his other hands had tapped against the plastic arm of the chair he was sitting in. Then his foot started to tap until his whole leg had jiggled. Abby had watched his heel repeatedly thump off of the linoleum rhythmically through half lidded eyes until he bounced off the seat and started to pace.
"Tony." Ziva sighed. "Sit down."
"There's no point wasting all your energy." Abby had sighed and let her head fall back against the wall. She let her eyes slip shut again as tears threatened to fall again.
"Don't blame yourself Anthony." Ducky half chastised the younger man. At this Tony threw a furtive look at the two older men across the room. Ducky was watching him concerned but Gibbs had a glint in his eye that Tony knew held him at least partly responsible. So then he had moved his pacing out to the corridor, where he had further to walk before turning on the spot and coming back the way he had just came. Gibbs saw the younger man every few minutes, his face set in a deep frown, deep in thought.
Tony was going through the events in his head, yet again. He thought through all of the places where had made a mistake. He had let only the two of them enter the building without waiting for backup. He had let McGee go off on his own. He had wandered around the lower floors checking the rooms. He had ignored Gibbs' warning about the men they were looking for. Underestimated their weaponry and their guts. If he had been quicker up the stairs and out onto the roof. If he had took them out without thought. If he hadn't fell to the ground while McGee had took the opportunity to shoot at them. If he had jumped in front of them. Tackled them when he had the chance. Tony swiveled on his heel and turned to see the doctor walk towards him.
"What happened?" Tony asked immediately at the sight of him. "Is he ok?"
Behind him he heard the other gather around. Abby's heels clumping on the polished hospital floor. Ziva beside him, two of her fingers hooking around his thumb to seek comfort and reassurance.
"Can we see him?" Abby asked hopefully to his left.
"I'm sorry." The doctor sighed. "We did all that we cou-"
Abby let out a high pitched cry but Tony had hardly heard it. He didn't realise that he was falling, his knees buckling. He fell to the ground in front of the doctor who had winced at the visible reaction of grief in front of him. Tony stared at his hands, still slightly pink with his blood on them. The blood that no longer pulsed through Tim's veins. His chest felt tight, his breaths coming short and shallow. A hand on his shoulder anchored him but his head spun.
"He had lost too much blood." The doctor continued. "We did everything we could."
"Wasn't enough." Tony murmured, pain stabbing through his chest as he tried to breathe normally again. He was gone. Another partner was gone. And just like last time, Tony had blood on his hands. His stomach twisted as he thought of Kate. Both of them he would never again speak to. He was vaguely aware of Gibbs pulling Abby away into somewhere more private as she sobbed loudly into his shoulder. Ducky began to go over the details with the doctor, the medical jargon going over his head. Mildly he was aware of Ziva's hands on him as she sank to her knees beside him. A shudder rolled through Tony and he panicked for a moment in case he was going to throw up. A sob escaped his mouth and his shoulders shook.
"Tony." Ziva murmured beside him, she manoeuvred them so they sat against the wall. "It'll be alright." He couldn't speak any longer, a silent wrecking guilt overcame him. Ziva squeezed his shoulder again and he turned almost automatically into her. He let her hug him. His hands coming up to twist in her hair and grip her shirt. She supported him and buried her face into his neck. His eyes slid closed but all he could see was Tim, his pale face as he lay dying on the roof.