AN: Gonna start you off with a little action, hope you like...
"McGee pictures, Tony sketch," Gibbs ordered as soon as they scrambled their way down the hill to their new crime scene of the day.
"Uhhh…" McGee cursed under his breath as they reached the bottom.
"What?" Gibbs asked. "What, McGee?"
"I left my camera topside."
"Tony, where's yours?"
"Didn't grab it Boss." He said, smiling. "Figured McGee would be taking the pictures."
The following headslap caused him to squeal.
"Well, McGee," Gibbs said, gesturing upwards. "Go get it."
McGee glared at Tony before turning and heading back up the rather steep incline. He passed Palmer about halfway up. "Look at that, you're actually not late this time. Where's Ducky?"
"Not here," he said, in a strained voice. He was juggling all his equipment and trying not to fall at the same. Unfortunately, Palmer had never been good with hills.
"Yeah, I got that, Palmer. Where is he?"
"He wouldn't tell me." Palmer said. "All he said on the phone was 'personal business, don't be nosy'." He smiled shyly. "But I think I've got it covere—ahh!"
McGee caught his arm, saving him from what would surely have been a painful effect of gravity. "Sure ya do."
McGee patted him on the shoulder. "Careful on the way down. It's a long way." They continued on their separate ways.
McGee finally made it to the top, panting and sweating from the effort. He stopped, hands on his knees, grateful for forcing himself to take the stairs lately. He stood up, heading for the van, when something appeared in the far left side of this vision. It was a woman. She was dirty and looked nearly dead on her feet.
"Ma'am?" he called out. "Are you okay?"
She continued walking toward him, not acknowledging.
McGee felt weird. He knew something was wrong with the situation, but couldn't pinpoint the cause. He was about to reach for his phone to call Tony and Gibbs when something in the woman's waistband glinted in the sun.
McGee drew his gun, taking aim. "Ma'am, I need you to lower the weapon carefully to the ground."
A noise behind him made him turn. A man was standing to his right, gun trained on McGee. He backed up, attempting to keep them both within his sight when a shot rang out from the woman, hitting the mound of rocks behind his head. He shot her twice in the chest just as he saw a second man jump out from behind some trees.
The first man's shot was true, hitting McGee in the far left side of the chest. He dropped to one knee in pain. He took three shots, hitting the man only once in the head.
The second man fired at McGee, forcing him to duck and roll. McGee shot him from the ground. Blood sprayed from the new wound in the second man's leg. He screamed out in pain and grabbed the wounded limb.
McGee saw the opportunity and jumped up, covering the distance between them. He tackled the man and pinned him down, holding the hand with the gun to the ground, dropping his own in the struggle. The man jerked his gun arm out from under McGee's hand and rolled on top. He tried to aim, but McGee grabbed it as well.
They both struggled to gain the upper hand, for it was clear that the losing prize would be death.
At the first shot, Tony immediately dropped everything in his hands and took off up the hill, which seemed even steeper in his haste to get to his partner. He heard Gibbs and Palmer right behind him.
Two more shots rang out from above, causing Tony's heart to jump up into his throat.
"Palmer, call an ambulance!" Gibbs called out.
"Okay," he said, and Tony heard less movement as Palmer stopped to use his phone. Gunshots were sounding off in random sequences. "We're coming McGee!" Tony shouted, scrambling up the hill as fast as he could. His foot slipped a little and he had to pause momentarily to regain his footing.
After a few more seconds, the gunfire stopped, The silence began weighing down like a rock in Tony's chest. Please be okay, he begged silently.
Ten feet from the top one last shot pierced the air with a crack.
"McGee!" Tony yelled, drawing his weapon, as he neared the top.
A hand grabbed the back of his shirt. Tony tried to fight against it, not realizing why Gibbs was holding him back.
"Tony, wait." Gibbs said quietly. "Get a look before you go running out there and get yourself killed."
Tony carefully peeked over the edge. There was only stillness. Four people were on the ground. One on each side and two in the middle, one on top of the other. He didn't recognize the ones he could see, so he figured McGee must be on the bottom.
"Clear," Tony said, climbing over the ledge and running to the middle two bodies. No. Not bodies. "McGee," he pleaded, pushing the unknown man carelessly off of his friend. "Please be okay."
The other man was clearly dead, so Tony hoped that the large red stain on McGee's shirt was not his own.
"Palmer!" Gibbs yelled over the edge. "How long?"
"Ambulance will be here in tem minutes," he called back. "Is McGee okay?"
"No. you better get up here."
Tony had found the wound in McGee's chest. "Oh, God. Gibbs!"
"What?" he ran over.
"He's been shot." Tony began putting pressure on the wound.
Gibbs kneeled down and put two fingers to McGee's throat. He then put his ear next to his mouth. He looked up at Tony. "Pulse is slow, but he's breathing okay." He ran back to help Palmer.
The blood was beginning to seep through Tony's fingers. He pushed harder, receiving a groan from the fallen officer. "You with us, buddy?" Tony asked
He grunted. "It hurts."
"I know, man, but I gotta keep pressure on it."
Pain was twisting McGee's face and he suddenly let out a cry just a Palmer arrived. He fell to his knees on Tony's left, father away from McGee's head. "Was it a though and though?" he asked, urgently.
"I don't know." Tony answered.
"Close range, it probably was." Palmer was taking off his NCIS jacket. He crumped it up. "Lift him up so I can get this under him."
Tony did what he was told.
Palmer quickly probed for the exit wound. When his fingers came out bloody, he placed his jacket in the right spot and pushed down on McGee's shoulder, causing him to yell again.
A pang of sympathy shot though Tony's heart. "You're gonna be fine, McGee," Tony said. "Palmer's got it covered."
McGee almost smiled. "P—Palmer?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes, McGee, Palmer." Palmer said, rolling his eyes. "I do almost have a medical degree, you know."
Tony couldn't help but laugh, as McGee's smile widened.
Gibbs knelt at McGee's other side. "Glad to see you can find some humor in this situation, Tim."
Palmer put his hands next to Tony's. "Here, let me," he said. The look in Palmer's eyes told Tony that he knew Tony would rather be comforting McGee, than hurting him.
"Okay, ready. One, two, three." He raised his hands at the same time Palmer put his down.
The sudden change caused McGee to scream. He lifted his hand and grabbed Tony's arm, holding it in a vise grip. It hurt, but Tony gritted his teeth and rode out the pain with his best friend. He put his other hand on McGee's shoulder and felt the muscles straining. His back was attempting to arch in a natural reaction to the pain.
"Hey, buddy, you gotta calm down," Tony said, moving his free hand to McGee's hair, not noticing that it was still sticky with blood. McGee didn't seem to hear him, so Tony gave him a slight headslap, focusing the young man.
"McGee, look at me." Their eyes met. "I know it hurts, but you have to try and relax or you're just gonna make it worse."
McGee nodded slightly. The look of trust in his green orbs let Tony know that he was trying. His grip began to loosen and Tony slipped his arm back to grab McGee's hand.
Their gazes didn't separate even when they heard sirens in the distance and Gibbs left to flag the EMTs down. Tony tried his best to convey as much comfort through their connection as he could and took the tightening and loosening of the grip McGee still had on is hand in stride. McGee was starting to wheeze, and there was a small trickle of blood making its way out of the side of his mouth. Tony wiped it away with his thumb.
"You're doing great, Tim."
"F—First name," McGee managed even though he was choking on his own blood. "Must be ba—ad."
"No," Tony choked out, tears were beginning to fall, and he didn't try to hold them back. "Didn't I say you were gonna be fine?"
McGee smiled. "I…" his eyes rolled up and his grip went limp.
"McGee?" Tony tapped him on the cheek. "McGee! Come on, you gotta stay with me!" There was no response. He looked considerably paler than before with all the blood from Tony's hands on his face. "McGee!"
"Tony!" Gibbs yelled, in a scared voice, running back, followed by the ambulance. "Oh my God," he said, as he saw what was going on. He covered his mouth with his hand.
The paramedics jumped out of their vehicle the second it stopped. They immediately began working on their charge.
Palmer explained to them what had happened and where he had been shot.
Tony felt Gibbs tugging at his jacket, but he refused to leave his partner's side. One of the medics felt McGee's neck. "Weak pulse," she said.
"Come on, Tony," Gibbs said calmly in his ear, coming from out of no where. "You gotta get out of the way."
Tony allowed himself to be lifted up and slowly and reluctantly let go of McGee's hand.
The male paramedic took over for Palmer and in minutes the two managed to get McGee onto the gurney and into the back of the vehicle.
They took off with sirens blaring up the road and they all watched until they couldn't hear them anymore.
AN: I've got about three more chapters completed, I want to try and pace them out so I can get more done. I don't want to have long periods of no activity. If you've got any questions, suggestions, criticism, or comments, slip me a line. Love to everybody!