Hey you guys! I know I haven't posted in a while. A lot of stuff has been going and with it being my Junior year of high school I have wayyy too much to do and wayyy too little time to do it. So please bear with me. I WILL publish the next and final chapter TOMORROW. If I do not and am, in fact, lying to you all right now I would like to give you permission to destroy my Avatar: The Last Airbender DVD collection. Thank you all. (:


"Shit!" Tony shouted.

The car bomb had reached the 60 second mark.

He'd had a hunch that the kid they were looking for was around the area. Unfortunately…he was right. Dammit- the one time I'm right is the only time I wouldn't want to be, Tony reasoned. The thoughts tumbled through his head at top speed, rolling and speeding past each other in his mind as he used his body as a human battering ram. I couldn't be holding a lottery ticket could I? His brain spat.

Tony was hardly aware of his thoughts. Sarcasm was always his way out. It was second nature. Too bad Brian had no way out.

The desperate face behind the bulletproof glass was terrible. Tony backed up and once again pummeled the windshield with all of his strength in an attempt to shatter the seemingly unbreakable barrier between him and the boy. The bright red sedan was the only vehicle in the parking lot. The little boy, Brian, in the front seat was trying desperately to roll down his window, but with no keys in the ignition it was useless. And they were both running out of time.

The gap in the window was only about 5 inches. Sweat ran down Tony's forehead and he could feel the cool rivulets traveling down his brow.

30 seconds.

He wiped the sweat away as he rushed to the driver's side where the door was welded shut. Dammit- he knew- he knew it wasn't enough. Damn, his team should have fucking listened to him!

"Brian!" He barked. The authority in his voice seemed to calm the boy down just long enough to stop him from obsessively pressing the button above the door handle. The terrified 9 year-old's attention was immediately attracted to Tony. His panicked eyes met the guarded eyes of the NCIS Agent.

"Brian-,"He swallowed. He didn't want to think about what he was about to do. He couldn't afford to think. "Brian, I'm gonna hafta hurt you to get you out okay buddy?" Tony said hurriedly, gesturing frantically with his hands.

17 seconds.

Brian barely hesitated.

Trust washed over the panic in a strange blend on the boy's face and he nodded frantically. Tony wasted no time reaching inside the car window and he decked the poor kid hard enough to knock him out. Even through the duct tape DiNozzo could hear the little boy scream in fear and felt his attempt to jerk away from the agent seconds before his fist made contact. Tony held fast and pressed his lips together. Brian passed out from the pain almost instantly.

Without wasting time Tony hauled Brian up by the armpits, gritting his teeth as the window's hard edge bit into his forearms and quickly, in a clumsy, panicked frenzy, forced the small boy's form out the window. There was no room to be gentle. Tony noticed the clock from the corner of his vision.

7 seconds.

Brian's arm was stuck. He glanced back at the clock -6 seconds. Tony closed his eyes and tried not to think about it. He still winced when Brian's left arm snapped. The grating, popping noise resounded in the quiet of the lot as Tony's legs bounded across pavement as fast as they would go, Brian hanging in his arms.

He was almost a yard from the car when the world exploded. Tony wrapped his body around Brian's, hugging him protectively as the blood red flames plumed around him and a solid wall of air knocked the breath out of his lungs and tossed him violently through the air. He couldn't tell how he reached the ground so fast.

He hit the pavement on his back.

Tony's head snapped back and hit the concrete. The last coherent thought he had was of the color red.