A/N: I know we're all freaking out about TK - I certainly am - but I decided to put a slightly different twist on this version of the scene :)
Owen saw the gun pointed at TK, the finger moving to pull the trigger, and he didn't think twice.
He didn't even think at all.
He just jumped.
"TK, are you hit?"
TK barely heard Paul over the ringing in his ears. He remembered busting down the door, taking a step into the room, and then his world had narrowed down to the gun and only the gun. His life flashed before his eyes, his heart in his throat as the gunshot blasted through the air, and then he was on the ground.
"I- I don't think so," he mumbled. He sat up slowly, swallowing down a wave of nausea, patting his stomach where he was sure the bullet had been heading. "I don't- I don't feel anything."
In fact, the only pain he felt was the ache of falling. And… being shoved?
The ringing was still fading. Vaguely, he was aware of a commotion to his left, and it sounded like Judd, but Paul coming to crouch beside him distracted him before he could put any thought into it. His friend gripped his shoulder, checking for himself that TK was unharmed. But he still looked… scared.
Why did he look scared?
Paul didn't say anything. He just looked across TK, towards Judd, and very belatedly, TK turned to see what was going on over there.
Terror slammed into him, knocking away every single trace of TK's shock.
His dad lay a few feet away on his back, breaths coming in sharp, short gasps. Judd knelt over him, blood running out of Dad's side beneath his hands, and his words finally reached TK – a mixture of reassurances and pleas for Owen to hold on.
TK scrambled to his dad's side. He fumbled for something to hold, anything to do, but Judd was taking care of the bleeding with Marjan scrambling to help, so he ended up cradling his face, forcing his bleary gaze to look at him, torn between desperately shaking him awake and treating his dad like a fragile piece of glass. "Dad!"
Dad blinked, taking a second to recognize TK, and a smile spread across his face. "TK. You're ok."
TK swallowed. "Yeah," he said, wishing he wasn't, wishing it was him and not his dad with the gunshot wound in his stomach. "Yeah, Dad, I'm ok."
Dad lifted his hand, heavy fingers brushing TK's cheek. "You're ok."
TK caught his hand, holding it in place, clutching it for dear life. "Judd," he rasped, glancing back at the older man, "tell me he's gonna be ok."
"We're working on it, kid," Judd said, the soothing tone of his drawl undercut by his nervous glance at Dad. "We're not gonna let him go easy."
Dad's head start lolling away from him, pulling TK's attention instantly back to him. "Dad! Dad, no, stay with me, stay with me!"
Dad's voice was barely a breath, petering out as his eyes drifted shut. TK set his hand down to grab his face again. "Dad, wake up. Wake up! Dad!"
Dad had always taught him that no one was invincible, and it was a lesson TK had heeded. He knew there was no guarantee of his dad coming home at the end of his shift. He had lived that reality through a number of disasters, both as a kid and an adult. The cancer had brought it crashing home all over again, knowing the disease his dad fought, watching him avoid meals and run off to vomit and pass out on the couch the moment they got home.
But some part of him had still believed it. His dad was a damn good firefighter and one hell of a fighter – even 9/11 hadn't stopped him, and cancer was a battle he would surely win. He just wouldn't die. He couldn't.
Yet here he was, slipping away in TK's hands.
TK's voice was a choked, desperate sob.