Hi everyone! So this is my first story. Please be nice, flames will be disregarded anyways. I hope you all enjoy!

please leave a review, constructive criticism is definitely welcome!

I'll start with the intro and then get into the good stuff in the next chapter.

Disclaimer: don't own, so don't sue (please!)

It happened when Kate died. Each and every friend and coworker of hers remembered her in their own way, through conversations. Each team member said the things they never said, were ashamed to say, or thought they would hear from her. Blame, sympathy, memories.

The next time it happened to Gibbs, it was Mike Franks' death. He had hoped it would never happen again. So the next time it did, it was totally unexpected.

It was too early in the morning to be out. Tony, Ziva, and McGee's phones rang at 4:30 in the morning, Gibbs' gruff voice notifying them of a dead Marine. Found in a field in Virginia, not far from Washington D.C.

Within an hour and a half- would Gibbs accept anything later?- the team was out and working, groggy as they were.

Despite the early hour, the team worked diligently. (Maybe the promise of coffee on the Director for a week did the trick.) Tony was helping Palmer and Ducky pack up the van, while Ziva, Gibbs, and McGee finished up with the evidence where the body was found. The sun was just coming up over the woods that lined the field. The sun rays were welcome, and as Tony looked around, he happened to see a glint off of a gun on the edge of the trees, about 20 yards away from where he stood.

"Shooter!" Tony shouted, clearing the few steps over to where Ducky and Jimmy were. He provided cover as he herded them behind the cover of the ME van.

However, Ziva, Gibbs, and McGee didn't have as much time to react. Ziva did hit the ground in her classic Mossad style, but she was still exposed in the big open field. Running for cover might have been as dangerous as staying put.

"Boss!" McGee said, pushing Gibbs down. Though the Team Leader was already moving towards the ground, McGee pushed him just as a shot rang out.

BOOM!

The single shot. That was it. The agents weren't sure if the sniper was waiting for a better target, or if one shot was the intended amount. Tony peeked from behind the van, and Ziva looked up from her position on the ground. The flash Tony had seen off of the gun was gone.

But that was when she noticed McGee.

He was standing there, swaying slightly. He had an look of astonishment on his face, but also confusion. His hand was held over his chest.

"McGee?" she asked worriedly. Gibbs stood up just in time for the junior field agent to close his eyes and fall on his back.

"Tim!" they both shouted, catching him and laying him down. During the fall, his hand was moved, and now they could see the deep, dark red stain on the front of his shirt.

"TONY!" Ziva yelled. "McGee is hit!"

"Palmer, call an ambulance!" Tony said as they rushed to the still form on the ground.

"Get my medical bag, Anthony!" Ducky ordered as he knelt down on the ground. "Ziva, cover his wound. Jethro, is he breathing?"

Ziva pushed her hands over her teammate's chest. Gibbs checked McGee's breathing.

"No, Duck, he's not!"

Tony sprinted over with the bag. Ziva absently heard Palmer say something about an ambulance being on its way.

"Timothy? Timothy my boy, can you hear me?" Ducky asked, as he worked on keeping McGee's heart beating. He shouted instructions and moved expertly.

"McGee," Gibbs said. "Come on, McGee."

Tim stirred.

"That's right, buddy." Tony muttered, terrified. "Listen to Gibbs,"

"His pulse is fading, Doctor," Jimmy informed urgently.

"B'ss?" McGee slurred.

"I'm here, Tim," Gibbs said. But McGee lost consciousness before he could acknowledge it.

Minutes passed. Everyone was oblivious of the medics that arrived until they pushed Tony out of the way. They moved even faster than the field team did, quickly placing McGee onto a stretcher and rushing into the vehicle.

"I'm riding with him," Gibbs growled. The look on his face dared anyone else to question it. He jumped in next to Tim as they sped off to Bethesda.

The paramedics rushed into action again, passing back and forth tubes and stabilizers.

Gibbs found a spot near Tim's head that was not being crowded at the moment. He leaned in and spoke to the agent who was his youngest son. "Listen to me Tim," he said. "I had hoped that I would never have to tell you this, but You. Will. Not. Die. We need you here, son. Keep fighting Tim. That's an order. You hear me? You will not die."