'But he fought back the tears as he whispered, "yes.. You have permission."
As the younger agent breathed his last breath, Gibbs stopped fighting as the tears spilled down his cheeks.'

Rated: T

A/N-Written for NFA Challenge 'Shared Pain/Shared Joy'

Please review! =]

"Gear up! We've got two dead marines." Gibbs entered the squadroom, his infamous coffee cup that was seemingly glued to his hand was, of course, ever present.

Simultaneous groans resounded throughout the room, the agents expecting to have been able to go home for the night seeing as though it was a mere 5 minutes before they would have been able to leave.
McGee, Tony and Ziva trudged around, moving much slower than normal.

"I said," Gibbs suddenly stated, "gear up!"
The agents 'came alive' at his yell, hastily grabbing their packs and sigs, rushing to catch up with Gibbs, who was already stepping into the elevator.

"Sorry, Boss." McGee and Tony apologized in unison. Ziva rolled her eyes,
"You two have been around longer then I have, and even I know how he-"
"Feels about apologies." Gibbs finished.

McGee and Tony exchanged an annoyed glance and then turned to Ziva. She shrugged her shoulders, a smug expression on her face. The guys just smirked as they stepped off the elevator.

At The Crime Scene

"McGee, pictures." Gibbs ordered bluntly. "Tony, go talk to the person who found the bodies."
McGee and Tony scrambled about, McGee grabbing the camera case and hastily pulling it out, and Tony grabbing the case file and a notebook and hurriedly walking towards the scared woman whose hands were shaking.

McGee snapped the pictures, hardly fazed by the rotting corpses.
When this realization hit him, it hit him hard.

Had he really been that desensitized to things like this?

When he was in college, or grad school, or even his early years at NCIS, he would have lost his lunch over something like this: Two dead bodies dumped in a ditch next to a busy road and overpass that was over an abandoned scrap yard. The bodies had been exposed to the elements for seemingly days, as their skin was rotting disgustingly.


But now, he was almost running on autopilot, snapping the pictures like he was photographing flowers or something.


He barely heard Gibbs and Ducky talking as these thoughts mulled through his head.
Maybe he heard Tony discreetly flirting with the witness, or…Maybe not?
He wasn't sure.


He followed the yellow numbers that flagged where evidence was that the local LEOs had already placed, them taking him to the edge of the overpass, just off to the side of the road.


McGee was so distracted by his thoughts, he didn't notice the Chevy Tahoe speeding up the road.
He didn't notice that he was standing half-way into the street as he snapped the picture.


He didn't notice that to large SUV was less than 3 yards away.

He did notice, however, the truck clipping him in his side, sending him falling forward.

The truck kept going, the driver seemingly not caring of the unsuspecting photographer they'd just hit.
McGee flew forward, over the edge of the overpass.

"McGee!" He heard someone yell, but he wasn't sure who.

All he knew was that he was falling 30 feet into the shards of metal below.
Somewhere along the way, the camera had fallen from his neck, crashing below.
It felt like he had been falling forever, but to everyone else watching, he hit the ground in a matter of seconds.

Gibbs reached him first, a deep feeling of dread falling over him as he saw his fallen agent.
He lay on his back, his legs contorted. The worst of all, though, was the sharp piece of rotting metal that had stabbed through his back and out his chest.

The left side of his chest.

And if Gibbs knew anything about human anatomy, he knew that the piece of metal was stabbed directly through McGee's heart.

"McGee." Gibbs said softly, kneeling at the young agent's side.
"Boss, I..I'm sorry." He mumbled softly. He was fazing in and out.
"McGee, you did nothing wrong." Gibbs told him, bringing his hands towards the wound, but hesitating.

If the rusty metal stayed in him for too long, it was going to kill him.
However, if the metal was pulled out, blood would drain into his heart, also killing him.

Gibbs fought it.

He fought it hard.

But, the inevitable is inevitable.

Tony and Ziva knelt on McGee's other side, having already called the ambulance.

"McGee, stay with us, Man." Tony demanded, his voice shaking. He'd taken McGee's clammy hand in his, gripping it tightly.

Ziva placed her hand on McGee's forehead, gently rubbing her thumb back and forth.
"McGee, it's going to be alright." She said softly.

Gibbs knew better though.
He just watched the younger agent as he winces in pain every few seconds.
McGee felt like his chest was being ripped to shreds, and he guessed that in a way it was.
The metal shard stabbed through his chest hurt like heck but hurt a lot less than he ever thought it would.

Not that he exactly ever thought about having his heart impaled, but he could have imagined.

"Boss, it hurts."

"I know, Tim."

Gibbs, Tony and Ziva all shared a glance before looking back down at McGee.

"Don't give up on us, McGee." Tony stated as McGee's eyes were slowly starting to close.
"Come on Boss, tell him he doesn't have permission to die!" The desperation was obvious in Tony's voice. "Please!"

"Gibbs, he… He can't die." Ziva said softly, the sadness ever present in her quivering tone.

Yet Gibbs stayed silent.

"Gibbs!" Tony yelled, gripping McGee's hand even tighter, causing McGee to open his eyes again.

The sirens could be heard in the distance as McGee struggled to speak.

"I know McGee."
"I can't..I can't do..It hurts."
"I know."
"It hurts so bad."
"I know."
"Do I have permission?"

The words hit Gibbs hard. Was his agent asking permission to…Die?

"What?" Tony exclaimed. "No! Of course not! You areNOT dying McGee!"

Gibbs swallowed the lump in his throat, his mind reeling.
The moment the surgeons removed the metal, his heart would flood and he'd die anyway….Right?

Gibbs barely heard Tony and Ziva yelling at him to not give McGee permission. He was even less aware of Ducky and Jimmy watching distraughtly and the local LEOs watching with uncertainty.

All he was aware of was McGee, and his pain-filled green eyes staring up at him as he awaited his response.

Gibbs felt the lump rising again, but this time he let it.

But he fought back the tears as he whispered, "yes, you have permission."
As the younger agent breathed his last breath, Gibbs stopped fighting as the tears spilled down his cheeks.

"No! Tim, no!" Tony screamed. He fidgeted about, trying to decide if CPR would work with a rusty piece of metal stabbed through the victim's heart.

Ziva quietly sobbed as she fell back on her heels, her hands placed firmly in her lap, conceding to the fact that this was best for McGee.

"No!" Tony continued to scream, even as the EMTs double checked him.

"God, no! He can't die!"


Tony's head snapped up at the now-stern Gibbs.

"He's gone." He stated bluntly. "There was nothing we could do."

And with that, the two men embraced, truly mourning the loss of their brother, son, colleague and friend.