But when Tim went to move his friend, he gasped at what he saw.
Alex was lying in his own blood.
Di and Kristen rushed back at his gasp. Looking down, their eyes widened and tears sprung to their eyes. A nice big patch of red was forming on their friend's white shirt. Tim ripped off his jacket and put it on the wound: a shot to Alex's side.
"I didn't realize he was shot," Kristen said, kneeling down.
"He probably didn't realize it," Tim said sadly.
"We can't wait for an ambulance, it'll be too late," Diana said. "We have to drive."
"Penny's car is too far away," Tim said hurriedly, trying to help Alex.
"There's a car in Lisa's garage. If we can make it to my place, we can drive out of here and call the police," Diana said.
Tim nodded, and they moved to pickup Alex. He was unconscious and basically dead weight at the moment, but between the adrenaline-high kids his size wasn't an issue. Tim put his arm around his shoulder, and Kristen picked up the slack on the other side. The house was only a block away.
Diana sprinted ahead. She burst through the door, found the keys, and picked up the phone.
An obnoxiously tired voice answered.
"9-1-1," Diana rushed out.
Tim and Kristen were halfway there, when they heard a car swerve around the corner.
"Faster," Tim grunted.
"My name is Diana Fritz. My friend was shot...We're driving him to the hospital now.. There is an armed man after us. He's wanted by- yes, the same man. Hurry!"
She slammed the phone into its cradle, and pulled open the garage door. It stuck on the way up, and she had to use all of her strength to keep it moving.
"Come on, come on," she murmured. She jumped into the front seat and jammed the key into the ignition. It took three tries to get the car to start. When the engine finally caught, she ran around and threw open the back, just as Tim and Kristen reached the house.
"On their way," she said.
"Great. Kristen, drive. Di, come help me with him."
They gently put Alex down across the backseat, and Kristen jumped in the front. She slammed her foot on the gas, and the car took off so fast Di and Tim's brains rattled in their heads.
Tim reapplied his jacket across his wounded friend's torso.
"It's my fault-"
"It's not your fault, Tim McGee, so please don't," Di said gently.
He nodded and was silent. Kristen was an excellent driver and the car was shooting down the empty road. Tim looked out the window to see a pair of headlights gaining on them.
"How did we get here?" he wondered.
Alex was paling faster and faster. The jacket was saturated and no longer effective.
"Hold on, everybody," Kristen said a little too late. The vehicle, which was old and shaky as it was, practically plowed through a rut in the pavement, joggling the passengers roughly.
The headlights got brighter as they approached the back of the car.
"That man is not going to-?"
Di was cut off when the front of the car collided with the back of theirs. It threw the car out of rhythm, making it fly all over. It was steadied and accelerated again, gaining distance from their pursuer, who was trying to right his own little car.
"Ow!" Tim yelped when his head hit the window.
"You ok?" Kristen shouted over the sound of the car bumping and correcting itself.
Tim was not ok. Physically, his forehead was cut and blood was sluggishly trickling down his cheek. But it didn't really hurt, it was a minor cut and the amount of adrenaline pumping through the three kids could keep them going through much worse injuries. Emotionally, mentally...that was a different story.
Tim was exhausted, not to mention stressed. (Obviously.) He was afraid. He could see flashes of him, Di, Kristen and Alex all dying either in a fiery car crash or at the hands of the crazy man after them. As if his anxiety wasn't bad enough- in fact it was skyrocketing through the roof of the car. It was too much. His usual kind, calm demeanor was gone for the moment.
"Sure!" Tim yelled sarcastically. "Who taught you how to drive?!" he muttered.
Struggling to keep the vehicle on track, Kristen narrowed her eyes in the rear view mirror. "I heard you, Tim. I'm sorry for trying to keep us alive!"
"Stop it!" Diana shouted, louder than she ever had been before. "How in God's name is this helping?! We're gonna be ok. The police are will be here soon! Just keep driving, K."
Everyone went back to their tasks. Tim simmered for a moment, then felt bad for snapping. He absently promised himself to apologize to Kristen when they got to the hospital. Looking down, Tim gently patted Alex's shoulder, concerned. His friend was going to die if they didn't get him help very soon. How would it be to have to explain to James that Alex was killed? Violently?
His train of thought was interrupted by a little bit of blood getting into his eye. Di looked up and made eye contact with him. Her nose scrunched a little when she saw him squinting from his injury. She glanced around the messy car until her eyes landed on a stray bandana, which she picked up and used to wipe the blood off of his face. Her expression was bravely focused, similar to one you might see on a Red Cross worker giving aid to a disaster victim. This was a sort of disaster, wasn't it?
At least someone could keep it together...
Kristen was basically standing on the pedal, and the speedometer was reporting the dangerous rate that they were speeding. As Diana finished helping Tim, Carroll's car came up closer.
"He won't give up until he kills us...or dies trying," Diana said, recalling what Tim had said in the hospital a while earlier.
"Where are the police?" Tim wondered.
Even if the police were nearby, it wouldn't have helped at that moment. Carroll's car got close to their back left tire, and knocked it again.
It was inevitable that the two vehicles would go all over, turning and spinning and tires screeching. With credit to Kristen, she tried her hardest to maintain some control but to no avail. The kids' wheels went off the road and back on again, and the fighting cars slammed for the final time, ending with a nasty crash.
One car was on its side. Unfortunately, the kids were in it.
Tim and Di were dazed and hurt by the impact. In their attempt to keep Alex still, they both threw themselves over him, colliding into each other. When the vehicle flipped over, both hit their heads. However, whether or not they had concussions was almost irrelevant, since they had to get out, fast. Kristen's shoulder and head were bleeding harshly; for some reason the airbag didn't go off and she hit the steering wheel. She was unconscious.
Tim's vision blurred. He sat up to see little flashes of lights dancing around. He absently considered the fact that he hadn't seen lightning bugs all summer- funny they'd make an appearance now!
His hands were numb, and he wasn't sure why his jeans had big patches of red...Diana was shouting but it sounded like she was miles away.
It all came rushing back to him, and his eyes snapped open wide. They needed to get out. No one was going down without a fight.