Chapter Eight

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A Hospital in Paradise, Ohio

***

John sat outside of Marina's hospital room, looking in on Gibbs and Sarah. The two hadn't budged from Marina's side the entire time. 

The bathroom door opened, and Sam exited, giving a look towards Gibbs and Sarah. "How's she doing?" he asked. 

John shrugged. "They got the blood transfusion going, but other than that, I don't even know." 

The elevator dinged, and Tony came in, dragging Mark James by the arm. "Brought this guy," he growled, throwing Mark into a chair. "Kate and McGee are going to be here soon." 

As if he had heard Tony come in, Gibbs looked up and over in their direction. His gaze hardened when it landed on Mark, and he looked over at Sarah and said something. She looked over, too, and tears started welling up in her eyes again. She set her jaw and stood up, stomping towards the door. 

Sam whistles softly. "I would hate to be James right now." 

She slammed the door open, and Gibbs followed, slamming the door behind him. Tony smirked. "Hey, boss. Brought him." 

"I can see that, DiNozzo," Gibbs muttered, folding his arms and looking at Mark. "Where are Kate and McGee?" 

The elevator dinged again. "Right here, Gibbs," Kate announced darkly as she and the junior agent stepped out, approaching. 

Mark swallowed. "Look, I don't even know what I did wrong!" he shouted. "Yes, maybe I pulled a few pranks - " 

"A few?" John shouted back, and Mark's glare swung to him. "You ram people like Sam into lockers, hit them in the head with football passes that could've given him a concussion, and you put paint bombs in my, Sam's, and Marina's lockers? Are you kidding me?" 

Mark stood up, fuming. "This doesn't concern you, Smith." 

"Oh, I think it does," John snapped, standing up as well. "Sam's my best friend, and Marina's closer to me than a sister. You didn't know, but do pranks against a federal agent count as assault?" 

Gibbs tilted his head, thinking. "It actually might," he agreed, sounding a little happy. 

Savannah emerged from the staircase, walking side by side with Henri. "So there's the mess that got us all here," Savannah growled, folding her arms and staring at Mark. 

Mark turned onto her next. "What, that bitch back in there?" 

There was a growl of warning from everyone, but Savannah just smirked and walked forward. She was a few inches shorter than Mark, but she didn't let that stop her from getting in his face. "Lemme tell you something," she whispered. "I've been stuck in a lab for three goddamn years being experimented on. I'm stronger than you and the entire football team combined. I've got endurance better than Gibbs. My reflexes are even better than any predator of prey. So I'd watch where you step, James. Because no one is out to get my best friend without me knowing and being a bitch to stop anything from happening to her." 

Mark just smirked. "Until I get a solid reason, I'm not stopping." 

Savannah threw back her head and barked in laughter. Mark actually took a few steps back. "You're threatening pretty much a super girl, three extremely pissed off classmates, and four federal agents about keeping Ari's life hell?" she asked. She burst out laughing. "That's a good one." 

"If she's that special, then where were the agents when she moved here?" Mark snapped. "I didn't see anyone except the Smiths." 

Savannah's eyes widened, and there was an even louder overprotective growl from everyone. Each agent took a step forward, but Sarah got to him first. She slapped him across the face, hard enough that his head slammed into the wall behind him. "You idiot," she snarled. "You twisted bastard! You threaten every person near me, try to prank my friends, and you pick on nerds because you think it's fun!" 

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