Pretty soon after that Gibbs was moved to his new room on the 8th floor as arranged. Ziva was settled into her neighbouring room. She and Tony called in to say hi to Gibbs a little later that evening. Gibbs was glad to see her. She looked better than when he had last laid eyes on her. The swelling was starting to subside at least. Her demeanour seemed no different than usual. She was maintaining her professionalism in the face of the threat that was facing her. She was adamant that Hadar was long gone and that all her father's and Gibbs' concerns were unfounded. It was some time later when she and DiNozzo finally returned to her room. Gibbs lay back and was quickly asleep. McGee tried to get comfortable on the armchair in the corner of the room. He tugged aimlessly at a blanket which the nurse had left for him. He knew he wouldn't sleep though. He tried to rest and watched as Gibbs slept. He thought back to the horror he felt a few days ago when he realised that Gibbs was injured on the beach. It had surprised him how deeply he cared for his gruff boss. Gibbs had been hard on him at times but he was finally realising why. Such treatment had brought him to the stage where he had the confidence in himself to deal with any situation, just like tonight. With the armchair turned facing the door, he sat and waited.
Tony was similarly set up in the other room. Ziva was comfortably tucked in for the night. She had been given pain killers to help her sleep which seemed to work. Tony rested his feet on the side of her bed and lay back on his armchair. He was dozing when a loud noise jolted him back to his senses. He sat up suddenly as the door to the room opened and in hurried the two Mossad guards that had been posted outside the door.
"What is it?" Tony asked getting to his feet.
"The fire alarm," one of them replied. "Officer David needs to come with us."
By this time, Ziva was stirring. She woke to find three men standing over her. She was a little disorientated at first and could not figure out what was going on. Tony filled her in.
A similar scene was playing out in Gibbs' room. McGee was awake and recognised the fire alarm immediately. He ran to the door and looked out. Ziva's guards were not outside her room. People were starting to file into the corridor. He returned to the room and straight over to Gibbs.
"Boss, are you awake?" he asked looking down on Gibbs who still seemed quite out of it courtesy of the pain meds and antibiotics.
"Boss?" he said louder than before. This time Gibbs stirred. His eyes were heavy and he felt like he had only closed them.
"What is it, McGee?" he asked drowsily.
"Fire alarm, Boss. I don't think it's a drill," McGee informed him.
"Great!" Gibbs groaned as he tried to sit up. McGee grabbed a wheelchair that was stored near the bathroom. "I won't be needing that," Gibbs told him straight out as he swung his legs out of the bed. "Get me some pants," he barked at poor McGee.
McGee looked around the room and found a pair of green scrub pants and a t-shirt that the nurse presumably had left for him to use. When McGee turned back with the pants he saw Gibbs try and stand for the first time. He looked shaky to say the least. Gibbs wasn't going to admit it but as he stood the room started spinning. He felt as weak as a kitten. The wound from his recent surgery felt tight and painful and he grimaced as he tried to straighten up. He sat back onto the bed feeling more than a little defeated.
"Let me help you Boss," McGee offered as he held out the pants to Gibbs. Much to Gibbs embarrassment, the young agent got to his knees and helped him put on his trousers. This was definitely a moment both men would hope to soon forget. Gibbs thanked him trying to play down his embarrassment. His pride had already taken a beating so while it was at such a low he agreed to sit in the wheelchair. McGee considerately made no comment. His mind was focused on the job at hand, getting Gibbs to safety. The pair left Gibbs room and almost collided with Ziva, Tony and the guards on the corridor.
"Woah, McGeek, where's the fire?" Tony quipped smiling at the pun.
"I don't know," McGee replied remaining serious. "I'll find someone and ask," he said before running to the nurse's station. Patients and staff were milling around the area looking for instructions on where to go and what to do. From their actions and the nurses faces McGee could tell that this was not a drill. He spotted one of the security men stopping people from using the elevator.
"Hey," McGee hollered. "What's going on?"
"All I know is that shots were heard on the fourth floor. Some guy claiming to have a bomb. We've been told to evacuate the building," he told him.
"Thanks," McGee replied turning and running to tell the others. The fourth floor was where Ziva's old room was. It had to be Hadar.
"Armed man on the fourth floor," McGee told the group. "We have to use the stairs to get out. The elevators are closed off."
"C'mon then," Tony said following the signs for the stairwell. McGee took the handles of the wheelchair and guided Gibbs towards the stairwell door. The two Mossad officers started down the stairs followed closely by Tony and Ziva. McGee helped Gibbs to his feet.
"I can walk McGee," Gibbs growled hating that he had to depend anyone for help.
"I know you can, Boss, but if you fall down these stairs, Tony will never let me hear the end of it," McGee joked, trying to make light of the situation. Gibbs didn't argue, knowing full well that his falling down the stairs was more a probability than not. He threw his arm around McGee's shoulder and the two agents carefully began their descent. Their journey was slow and agonising. Gibbs was starting to feel the full effects of the surgery and felt more grateful for McGee's support than ever.
As they reached the landing for the fourth floor they noticed Tony and Ziva were stopped and appeared to be arguing.
"There's no way you're going in there," Tony shouted, blocking the door.
"What are you two yelling about?" Gibbs asked unimpressed by the two agents carry on.
"She wants to go and talk to Hadar, try and make him see sense," Tony explained unable to understand her reasoning.
"Do we even know what's going on in there?" Gibbs asked sitting on the step to catch his breath.
"Only what we've heard," Tony replied. Gibbs was about to suggest something when they heard a volley of shots and screaming from inside the fourth floor.
"Ah hell," Gibbs muttered. "It sounds like he has hostages."
The NCIS agents looked at each other. They knew Gibbs would not walk away and leave innocent people to their fate at the hands of a terrorist.
"Have you guys weapons?" he asked the two Mossad agents.
They each nodded and produced Sig Sauers from their shoulder holsters and displayed them to Gibbs.
"Any others?" Gibbs asked impatiently. The officers looked over at Ziva who encouraged them to show him what else they carried. They each removed Glock G21's from the small of their backs.
"Good," Gibbs said please that they were amply armed. "DiNozzo, McGee, have you got yours?" He wondered if they had been allowed to keep theirs. Much to his surprise they both still had their weapons.
"Okay, we need to see what's going on in there," Gibbs explained. "DiNozzo, do you think you can get in without being seen and give us a Sit Rep?"
"No problem, Boss. Be back in a jiffy," Tony grinned as he quietly opened the stairwell door a crack. He scanned the corridor. It appeared to be empty. Cautiously he opened the door just wide enough for him to slip through. Silently he crept along the abandoned hallway. As he neared the reception area he could hear voices. He was sure he could also hear sobbing. He noticed that the glass in some of the doors was shattered and he could see bullet holes in the walls. He stopped short of the seating area and the reception desk. His eyes were drawn to a smeared blood trail on the floor. It looked like someone had been shot and dragged into one of the bedrooms. Tony knew he had to risk it and try to see what was going on. He got as low as he could and approached the corner with caution. Taking a deep breath he craned his neck around the corner. He drank in the scene before him. It was Amit Hadar, no question about that. He appeared to be acting alone. He was armed with a short barrel automatic weapon. It looked like an MP7 from what DiNozzo could see. Tony couldn't see the hostages though. Hadar had them on the ground behind the reception desk. He stood menacingly between them and the elevators. He appeared highly agitated. Obviously he hadn't expected not to find Ziva. His plan had been scuppered. He was frustrated and trying to figure a way out of the situation he was in. Tony could see his desperation. As he turned towards Tony's direction, Tony could have sworn he had glimpsed an explosives vest before he had to duck behind the corner to avoid discovery. Tony was sure that Hadar hadn't seen him. He had seen enough to report back to Gibbs.
As quietly as he could he crept back along the corridor, frequently watching the direction he had just come from. Ziva opened the door of the stairwell for him as he reached them.
"Well DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked keenly.
"It's Hadar alright. He has hostages but I couldn't see how many. He's armed with an MP7 and an explosives vest. I don't think he plans on leaving here alive. Its just a matter of how many he brings with him," Tony informed them.
"I will talk to him," Ziva said bravely.
"Not a chance," Gibbs replied. "I can't risk him taking you as another hostage. We need a plan. McGee, DiNozzo, you two spent time on this floor. Is there another way to get to the reception area?" Gibbs asked.
"Besides through the elevator, the only other way is through the corridor. You can go from here in a square right around the floor to the opposite end of the reception area. There's a staff area over there and some labs as far as I can remember," McGee told him.
"Okay, we'll split up. You, what's your name?" Gibbs asked one of the Mossad Officers.
"Yael," the officer replied.
"Give Ziva your spare weapon," Gibbs ordered. The officer didn't hesitate and handed her his Glock. Gibbs looked at the second officer and raised his eyebrows to enquire as to his name.
"Micah," he replied.
"I'll be needing yours," Gibbs said with his hand out. The officer hesitated and looked at his colleague. After an exchange of glances Micah agreed and handed Gibbs his spare handgun.
"Right," Gibbs said getting uncomfortably to his feet. Tony looked at him barely able to veil his concern. "We'll split into two groups. Ziva, Tony and Yael, you guys go to the far side of reception. Do you guys have communication devices?" he asked the Mossad Officers.
"We have," they replied.
"Good. The rest of us will wait to hear from you before we approach the area from this end. We need to get the hostages out of there. Try and see what kind of detonation switch he has for the explosives. If you can put him down without setting off an explosion, do it," Gibbs directed. "Don't take any risks."
"No problem Boss," Tony replied. "Are you sure you're okay to do this?" he asked his boss out of concern.
"If I wasn't I'd say so," Gibbs replied curtly although inwardly appreciating his younger charge's concern. "Be careful," he said as the group of three left the relative security of the stairwell. Gibbs sat back on the stairs taking advantage of any opportunity to rest up. He was going to need all his strength for what was to come.
A/N - Another chapter should finish this. Hope you can wait another few days.