His clothes covered in her blood, his cheeks drenched in hot tears, Jack Bauer walked out of the operating room. No.
He couldn't have lost her. She couldn't be gone. It wasn't the way things were supposed to happen. He was out—they were out. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair. He'd had his share of pain! What had he done to deserve losing the one person who he could save—who could save him? What wrong had he done to deserve it? Somewhere through the pain came a lust, a slow-smoldering desire for revenge. She would not die in vain. She would not.
Maggie Young was put in charge of taking the body to the morgue. She supposed as a med student, she could have expected a worse job, but seeing the people they couldn't save was hardly inspiration to work in the medical field. Blood bags were still hooked up to the red-haired woman, but the monitors were off. Maggie sighed, it was such a pity. She moved over to collect the surgeon's tools and bumped the monitor by accident. It scooted slightly across the polished linoleum floor and clicked on.
Maggie jumped a mile in the air.
"Doctor!" she shrieked. The surgeon was outside the door, and he dashed in, his shoe-covers nearly slipping on the sterilized floor.
"What is it, Maggie?"
The doctor blinked, aghast, at the monitor, and then invoked four swear words, two deities, and his mother's name, then ran to the operating table, pulling a fresh set of gloves on and snapping his mask back into place.
"Miss Young, turn the rest of those machines back on. Not sure how she re-started her own heart, but I'll be a janitor again if I let her slip away this time. And call in the other nurses."
Maggie was half-terrified, half-exhilarated. Her first OR! It was a short-lived joy, for she was shoved into the observation room once the surgery staff got back into the operating room.
Surgery took three hours and when Renee was sewn up and fixed, Maggie was assigned to her. Beaming, Maggie followed the unconscious red-head's wheeled hospital bed to a room in the new wing. She was so excited, she sat for another hour and a half until Renee woke up.
"Jack?" she croaked in a hoarse whisper.
"No, I'm Maggie. You're in the hospital and you're going to be just fine."
"Umm…I don't really know. Jack who?"
Renee almost laughed, but was still feeling woozy from the painkillers and whatever was in her system to keep her knocked out. It came out as a coughing-gagging sort of sound and Maggie hurriedly poured a glass of water and practically forced it down Renee's throat.
"What do they say he's done?" There was emphasis on they, and Maggie immediately changed tactics.
"I think you should rest, Ms. Walker."
"What's he done?" she demanded.
Maggie reeled off a list and Renee nodded.
"How long until I can get out of here?"
"Oh not for at least a few days."
"I don't have that kind of time. I need to get out of here NOW, before Jack gets himself killed!"
Maggie briefly considered telling Renee that Jack was considered armed and dangerous and that orders (according to the news anyway) were to shoot on site. That would just add additional stress.
"If I tell you that I will get a hold of Mr. Bauer for you, will you just relax?"
"You can't get a hold of Jack, so stop feeding me lies. Do you have a cell phone?"
Maggie noted that the patient was remarkably coherent considering the fact that she was dead on the table for at least four minutes, probably more. It was a miracle in and of itself that she could still talk.
"I said do you have a cell phone?"
Doctor Andres walked in, and lit his eyes on the pair of talking females.
"Miss Young, you were supposed to alert me when she came to," he said severely.
"It was only a minute ago, Doctor. She's been demanding to see Jack Bauer ever since."
"The fugitive Jack Bauer?"
"Delusions…that's not good."
"Actually, doctor…Mr. Bauer was the man who brought her in." Maggie had seen him leaving, his face a mask of agony and regret. It was only now that she made the connection between the distraught man and the fugitive she had seen on the news.
"I see. Miss Young, here are her charts. Seeing as this is your only patient, I expect her to be the best-treated in the hospital. I'll come check on you in a few hours."
"Yes Doctor, I won't let you down."
As he walked away, Maggie could hardly contain her glee. Renee was less optimistic.
"Do you have a cell phone?"
"Yes, I do. No, you can't use it. You're supposed to be resting."
Renee scowled and closed her eyes, waiting for Maggie to get distracted or bored or leave to use the bathroom. It took another hour and twenty minutes for Maggie to stand, look down at her patient, and turn towards the bathroom. Renee carefully leaned forward, biting her tongue to keep from hissing in pain, and lifted Maggie's phone from her back pocket. As the girl shuffled towards the nurses' station, Renee dialed Chloe's number.
She waited three minutes and tried again.
Three more minutes.
Chloe picked up the phone.
"Chloe? This is Renee. Where's Jack?"
"Renee? They said you were dead."
"Well apparently they were wrong. If the nurses are anything to go by, it looks like my heart re-started after Jack left. Where is he?"
I don't know. Hang on. Where are you?"
"Saint Michael's Hospital. Room 317."
"Can you get out?"
"No, they won't let me."
"Okay, hang on, Renee."
Using Arlow's phone, Chloe frantically re-dialed the satellite phone.
"Yeah, what is it Chloe."
"I need you to go to Saint Michael's Hospital."
"Chloe, I already lost Renee there. I can't go back."
"Well there's someone there I need you to take with you. Room 317. Fifth floor." She hung up.
Jack arrived in room 317 and as he saw who was lying in the hospital bed, clean sheets spread over a very alive Renee Walker, he fell to his knees, unable to believe his eyes.
She just shook her head and Jack stumbled clumsily to his feet and ran over to her bedside. His fingertips caressed her face, her hair, memorizing every perfect living cell of her.
"So did I."
"Renee, I have to get out of the country."
"I know. Chloe told me."
"I want you to come with me."
She doesn't need to say anything, merely pushes herself out of bed. The painkillers are beginning to wear off and she's still weak from blood loss. Jack looks at her and as she wavers, grabs her arm to help her stay standing. Her head swims.
"How do you feel about London?"
Renee smiled a little dizzily, though from the joy of being with Jack or from the blood loss, she didn't know. He half-carried her to the elevator after snatching a container of Dilaudid tabs from the cabinet, chuckling at some poor sap who had left them there and was going to get in serious trouble for leaving a prescription painkiller in a public medicine cabinet. As they rode the elevator down, he held her and refused to let go.
After leaving the hospital, they take a cab to the airfield and Jack calles in three different favors to bypass the need for passports and questions.
Their pilot speaks with a heavy Scottish accent and refers to Jack as 'laddie'. Renee, now settled in with new painkillers, laughed gaily at this. Jack wonders about getting her drunk sometime to compare the effects.
Can she hold her liquor? he wonders. Everything is blurred together in a feeling of relief so intense that it is almost as though he is on painkillers too. She is all right. Whatever happened earlier doesn't matter because his reason for everything, for breathing right now, is dead asleep with her head lolled over on his shoulder in blissful drug-induced slumber. A tiny snore buzzes in her nose as she sighs and shifts to be more comfortable.
Jack fell asleep somewhere over the ocean and slept soundly until a heavy Scottish accent blares from the speaker.
"Good mornin' laddie! Up and at' em!"
Renee groaned, half because of the wake-up call and half because the painkillers that hours ago had been her lifesaver, had worn off and a steady throbbing was beginning to emerge from her abdomen.
"Fasten your seatbelts, laddies and lasses, we're landin'!" the Scottish voice booms.
Jack pulled his lap belt on and checked Renee's before pulling out a bottle of water and another tab. Handing her both, he opened his bag and also pulls out a half-squashed sandwich. She gets the non-squashed half.
"Eat this. It'll help."
Renee was about to protest when her stomach gave out a loud rumble. Saying nothing, she tosses back the pill, quickly guzzling the water to get it down. The sandwich is eaten slower, but Jack kept an eye on her still.
As the plane rumbled down the tarmac, and Jack made a phone call to acquire identification, Renee looked over at him. He saved her. In more ways than one actually, but nonetheless, he was….is….her proverbial night in shining armor.
"Thank you," she whispered, and Jack responded by pressing his lips to her forehead, her soft mouth. The man on the other end of the line has no idea that he is giving them life. He is only aware that he is providing ID for a couple who needs to lay low.
The plane slowed further and Jack hung up, kissed Renee again. They clung to each other, to the fragility of life and to the new adventure they were about to embark upon. As they waited to disembark, words slide through Renee's head.
Once upon a star
The things that should go wrong
End up going right
A rescue is made
A crisis averted
A person is saved
A gaping wound mended
With just the right words
That life has a way
Of taking the broken
Making it okay.
A new day was dawning for her, for Jack. She was ready for it. And as she rested her forehead on his chin, his lips on her hair, she felt that today, right now, was one of those sometimes.
Finally got around to watching the 24 season finale and because Renee stayed dead I HAD to write something where she made it. Poem is entirely original and is copywritten to me. It is already published so leave it be. Hope you enjoyed it!