A/N: I do not own Mission Impossible or any of its affiliate characters.
"Abort! Rendezvous at the safe house at 0400!" Ethan shouted as their pursuers rounded the corner and opened fire.
The team scattered. Therefore, there was no one to notice when Ethan stumbled or to help when he took cover and had to address the blood seeping out of his stomach. Ethan shed his jacket, balled it up, and shoved it under his shirt, pressing it into the wound. Then he was on the move again.
It took another ten minutes or so to lose his pursuers. By that time, Ethan was starting to feel the blood loss. His head was beginning to spin, and he was starting to feel nauseous. He didn't even want to think about what would happen if he threw up with a bullet lodged in his abdomen. Looking down at his watch, Ethan realized he had a couple of hours until rendezvous. In his condition, the safe house was about half an hour away.
Ethan was sorely tempted to go now and crash until his team arrived. But as team leader, he couldn't set that kind of example. What now? Ethan eventually decided to find a reasonably safe place to hide as close to the safe house as possible. That task took about an hour, much longer than it should have. The bullet wound was still bleeding sluggishly, the continued movement keeping the blood from clotting. Ethan was really feeling the blood loss now. It was becoming nearly impossible to concentrate on one single thought for any significant period of time, and the world around him had been spinning lazily for the last half hour nonstop. With his last bit of energy, Ethan set the alarm on this watch to ten minutes before rendezvous before he slipped into a daze, practically oblivious to the world around him.
The first beep snapped Ethan back to the present, but it took him a minute to remember where he was and what he needed to do. Right. Safe house. Blood. Blood? Ethan realized that he was sitting in a small pool of what had to be his blood. His clothes were soaked with it too.
Struggling to his feet, Ethan tried to start moving toward the safe house. The first time he gained his feet, he went straight back down. The second time, he went slower and managed to remain upright, though for how much longer, he didn't know. Leaning heavily on any available structure, Ethan slowly made his way to the safe house, one hand pressing his now-soaked jacket into his wound.
Remembering the knock to get in took several minutes, and coordinating his body to perform it took several more. Once the door opened to reveal both Brandt and Benji, unharmed, Ethan relaxed just slightly. That was all it took to send him crashing into unconsciousness. He didn't even register hitting the floor.