TITLE: "Not My Kids!"
CHALLENGE: November 2003 Challenge (the Children Challenge)
RATING:PG-13 (just to be safe)
SUMMARY: When terrorist take a children's hospital hostage, they get
more than they bargain for... 7 more to be precise.
ARCHIVE: yes, please
COMMENTS: Can't live without them!
AUTHOR: The Chronicler
"Not my Kids!"
By The Chronicler
"This is embarrassing." J.D. complained for the umpteenth time.
Nathen and Rain exchanged amused glances over his bed. Doing his best, yet failing miserably, to hide his smile. Nathen continued to tuck the blankets in around the young ATF Agent. "It was an honest mistake, J.D. They'll have it fixed by morning." he assured.
"Morning?!" J.D. huffed. He glanced around the room, being sure to glare at every single Thumper, Bambi, butterfly, smiling sun, sleeping moon, waving sunflowers... "I have to stay here all night?" He reached out and grabbed Rain's arm. "I'm not that bad. Honest! Good as new. I'll just go home to my very own bed in my very own bedroom... without the Mickey Mouse company haunting me from the walls."
Again the husband and wife looked at each other.
With a sigh, Rain sat down on the bed beside her patient. "J.D., you twisted your knee pretty bad. You need to stay here until the swelling goes down and we can get a good look at it. Now, that is going to take all night." She glanced around the room. "I'm sorry I wasn't there when they brought you in."
Nathen couldn't help but chuckle. Something that earned him a scathing glare.
"You think this is funny?!"
The ATF medic shrugged. "You can't blame them, J.D. You look like a kid! You were unconscious. None of us or Raine were there. You're lucky some one had the mind to call ATF rather than the cops when they found your piece."
J.D. suddenly sat upright. "My gun! Where's my..."
Nathen held up his hands. "Buck picked it up when he and Chris last
checked up on you."
"Oh." The young ATF agent began to lay back again, only to shot straight up once more. "Buck! Buck saw me? In here?" With a groan he collapsed back into the pillows. "I'm never gonna hear the end of this."
Chuckling, Raine leaned over and kissed him gently on the forehead. "Get some sleep. Ezra is wandering the Children's Ward. And Nathen will be around for a while until I get off duty. So, if you need anything..."
"New room?" he tried one more time.
Raine smiled. She brushed his bangs out of his eyes. "Sleep. I'll see you in the morning." And, with that, she rose up, grabbed her husband's hand, and lead the way to the door.
"'Night, J.D." Nathen offered, before he was dragged out.
Alone, J.D. threw a weary glance about at the cartoon figures. "Yea... well, I'd sleep a hell of a lot better if they left me my gun."
Ezra Standish slipped out of the room, closing the door as quietly as possible behind him. With a tired sigh he headed for the nearest coffee machine.
Nurse Cragon saw him coming and quickly poured him a cup. "Really, Agent Standish, you need to find a balance between work and the children." she once again reprimanded him for his late hours.
Ezra shrugged. "Just being sure the next generation learns the proper way to deal a winning hand of poker." he answered her.
The nurse frowned. "Speaking of such, I was playing cards with young Jefferson the other day, and you know what happened? He cheated!"
Ezra's coffee mug paused an inch from his lips. "Oh?"
"Yes, oh." She eyed him, trying to hide her amusement with anger she really didn't feel. "The little cheat was dealing from the bottom of the deck. Beat me out of three candy bars before I caught him."
"mmm..." Ezra frowned. "I thought I taught him better than that." he mumbled.
Nurse Cragon smiled. "You taught him not to cheat?" she asked hopefully, though knowing better.
"No." the ATF agent confirmed. "I taught him not to get caught. Seems he's due for another lesson."
The woman chuckled softly. "Well, it will have to wait for a get together on the outside."
Ezra glanced up at her sharply. "Our Master Jefferson his being released?"
"Judge Jefferson had him moved to a private, more secured hospital." She shrugged. "Apparently, despite our ATF connections, we simplyaren't safe enough for his baby boy."
"My." was the only answer Ezra offered, before turning and starting down the hall.
What he couldn't say was that it was probably at ATF's request that the boy be moved. His father was sitting on a high profile case of a very bad guy. It had taken the unity of several different law enforcement agencies six years to finally bring him to justice, the ATF being the one to bring the key evidence to the table... a massive shipment of guns. As in most big, bad cases, threats had been made. In this particular case, attempts had been tried.
Though Ezra would miss the bright and talented boy, he was glad he was put somewhere safe. He just wish he had had the chance to say...
The Agent turned back and stopped cold.
Men, all covered from head to toe in one way or another, leaving nothing visible to identify, were silently swarming over the nurse's station. There were dozens through out the halls, locking the elevators, peeking into the children's rooms, rounding up the staff. Each one carried some form of sub machine gun.
Instinct made Ezra's hand flinch toward the gun in his shoulder holster, but training stopped him. Shoot one, two, maybe three... but dozens? And then there were the children and the staff to consider...
One of the intruders walked straight at him, coming to a stop only inches from the Agent's face. The stocking face cover moved just enough that Ezra could tell he was smiling.
"Ezra..." Nurse Cragon squealed as she was backed away from the alarm.
"Stay calm." Ezra told her, his eyes never leaving the man in front of him. "Do whatever they tell you to do. Don't give them any cause to do anything more stupid than they already h..."
A gloved hand slammed into his jaw, sending him crashing to the floor in a daze.
"Hey!" was shouted from down the hall.
"Nate! Don't!" Raine cried as her husband leaped forward to try and help his friend.
But they're attackers quickly dropped the Agent to the floor beside
Rough hands patted them down, quickly removing their weapons. Even rougher hands rolled them over on their stomachs and cuffed their hands behind their backs.
"Get off of him!" Raine protested. "I demand to know just what the hell you are doing in my hospital!"
The man who had faced of with Ezra, stepped over the bound men, and came to stand in front of the doctor. He looked her up and down, before his hand snatched out toward her.
Raine flinched, but did not back down.
Again, the mask moved, revealing a smile. Instead of hitting her, though, he grabbed her name tag and twisted it until it had ripped free from her lab coat. He glanced down at it, then at the woman again. "Dr. Jackson, you attended to the Jefferson boy? Where is he?" he asked in a calm, almost reassuring tone.
The intruder snapped about to glare at him. "You have a comment?" he asked, crouching down at the agent's head. grabbing a handful of hair, he titled Ezra's head at a painful angle.
"A quick, silent, precise invasion and overthrow... military accuracy." Ezra observed. "So well trained. Everyone did exactly what they needed to do to take control of the hospital. Very excellent."
"I hear a but..."
"All the preparation you must have gone through... And you screw up at the most basic level. The boy isn't here. Bad intel." Ezra explained.
With a growl, another intruder stepped forward and kicked Ezra in the ribs with such force, it ripped him out of the apparent boss' grip and slammed into Nathen.
"What the hell?!" The violent intruder glanced about, then finally glared at his boss. "What the hell?" he repeated. "We just took a freakin' hospital ward, Charlie! And the brat isn't even here? WHAT THE HELL?!"
"Shut up, Richi." growled the first as he pulled off his mask. "Double check every bed just to make sure. But, even if he isn't here, we still have a ward full of children. Even better."
Nathen and Ezra looked at one another.
Vin Tanner groaned. "Buck. Come on. The kid is probably asleep by now. Hell, I'm probably asleep by now." To illustrate the point, he yawned.
"Yea, yea." Buck grumbled. "I just want to look in on him one more time. Just make sure he has everything he needs." He lead the way through the lobby of the hospital, directing their way to the nearest elevator.
"You've already checked on him... three times." Vin complained. "We've been up since 4am. I'm tired. I want to go to bed."
"One more time." Buck assured. He tapped the bottom for the elevator and looked up to watch the numbers fall as the car was lowered.
But the numbers didn't change.
Buck frowned. But, with a sigh, shrugged, and slid over four feet to the next elevator. He tapped the button and looked up.
The numbers didn't change.
Vin stepped back and watched as Buck moved to the third elevator.
Again, nothing moved.
Doubling up his fist, Buck moved to the fourth and last elevator and punched the button.
"Well, crap!" he growled. "I do not want to take the stairs five flights this late at night." None-the-less, he started for the entry to the stairs.
"Gee, here's a wild notion: lets not take the stairs five flights up." Vin tried as he slumped after his friend.
Buck didn't even glance at him. He yanked open the door and started up the stairs. "I told you, I'm gonna check in on J.D. one last time. He wasn't even awake the last times. He couldn't tell me if he needed anything."
"And you couldn't tease him about the room." Vin added, slowly following him up the stairs. "Did it accure to you that it wouldn't be any different this time considering that it is after one in the AM, J.D's been up just as long as the rest of us, and he has the added..." he paused to yawn, "twisted knee and cracked skull."
"Bumped." Buck corrected. "He bumped his head. Not cracked."
With a sigh, Vin gave up. Hanging his head, he tried to imagine himself in bed... hell, anywhere... sound asleep. In this zoned out state, the climb seemed to go by actually too fast.
The sharpshooter was jolted awake when he ran into Buck's back. "Huh... oh, sorry." he mumbled, then yawned.
Buck threw him a glare. Turning to face him, Buck straightened his friends coat, adjusted his hat, and tried to make him look presentable. "Come on. Straighten up. You don't want J.D. to think visiting him is inconvenient."
"At one in the morning... Breathing is inconvenient."
Buck turned and reached for the door.
"Vincent Tanner, I happen to be the supoir..."
"Buck, look at the door." Vin growled.
With a sigh, Buck stepped back and did as his friend bid.
At first, nothing seemed out of place. It was a simple, ordinary, steel fire proof door. Cold, thick, so on and so forth.
Then he saw it. A silver-gray tape around the edge of the door, sealing it. A very fine line ran under the center of the tape.
Being the bomb expert on the team, Buck understood exactly what he was seeing. "Vin, what are the chances that all four elevators would be down and no one working on them in a busy city hospital?"
"Not likely. Is that what I think it is?" Vin wondered, already digging into his pocket for his cell phone. He was suddenly very wide awake.
"Likely." Buck licked his lips. "Wanna tell me who'd want to rig the door to a children's ward to blow?"
Vin grabbed his arm and started to lead him back down stairs. "Come on. We gotta call Chris."
Bambi was staring at him.
With a growl, J.D. turned away.
But he could feel Bambi's eyes boring into his back.
"Alright!" the young Agent suddenly snapped siting up He glared back at the cartoon deer. "I ate one deer! Only one! Vin shot it, not me! i didn't even like it... that much... Alright! I loved it! Particularly with that cherry wine sauce stuff that Ezra brought! And if you don't stop staring at me I'll eat you too! And your buddy Thumper just for good measure!"
With that, ATF Agent and cartoon character faced off through the dark of the room, daring the other to make the first move.
The door clicked.
J.D. dropped back into bed and closed his eyes. if the Nurse knew he wasn't asleep yet, she'd dope him up... again. And then he'd be having a problem with that damn grinning sun too! What the hell was that thing grinning at anyway?!
Soft, padded foot falls sounded as someone crossed the room to the foot of his bed.
J.D. frowned. That wasn't the nurse. Through slitted eyes, he dared to peek.
At the foot of his bed was a dark clad figure. He was looking at his chart with a penlight. After a moment, he started to move up his bed, flashing the light over his braced knee. He paused to adjust the submachine gun under his arm.
Suddenly J.D. kicked his good leg up, striking the intruder in the side of the head.
He stumbled back. Quickly regaining his composure, he surged at the bed again, only to run right into J.D.'s fist. He dropped to the floor with a grunt.
J.D. swung his feet off the bed. Instinct, made him reach back to hold the hospital gown close as he stared down at the still form just under his dangling bare feet. "What the hell did they give me anyway? First I'm arguing with Bambi, and now I'm fighting off assassins with machine guns in the children's ward of a hospital. And they blame screwed up kids on the school systems."
The leader of the intruders flipped through his prisoners' wallets. He laid the two wallets out on the counter and scratched his chin. "So, what are two ATF agents doing here, at this time of night?" He glanced down at the two men who still laid on their stomachs on the floor. "Agent Nathen Jackson?" He looked up at the doctor who sat in an office chair between the agents and the wall. "Dr. Raine Jackson, there a connection?"
"Nathen's my husband. He was just picking me up." Raine quickly explained. "Ezra volunteers to spend some time with the kids whenever he can."
"What a nice guy you are, Ezra." Charlie mumbled. "A nice guy, indeed. ATF, huh?" He tapped the wallets on the counter top. "What an unhappy coincidence for you."
Ezra stiffened. He glanced at Nathen who glanced up sharply at his wife.
"What are you going to do with the children?" Raine demanded, not wanting to think about what might be in store for her husband and his partner.
"The children will stay in their rooms. The staff will continue with their duties under supervise guard." Charlie explained. "Everyone does just what they're told and if the judge does just what he is told, than we'll be out of your hair in 48 hrs." He allowed his eyes to settle on the woman. "If they do not do as they are told in the slightest of ways..." He let the sentence hang.
"You'd kill innocent children?" Nathen growled.
The intruder shrugged. "if it comes to that."
"Charlie!" cried one of the intruders as he came jogging down the hall.
The leader stepped away from the computer at the nurses' station and glared at the man. "Quietly, man." he hissed. "No need to alarm the children."
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. But..." The man stopped before his commander, pausing to catch his breath. "Donny is down in room 511. His weapons are gone. The bed is empty." He handed over the chart he had found on the floor.
Charlie frowned. Taking the chart he glanced over it. "So, Dr Jackson." Charlie started as he stepped over to the woman. "What can you tell me about young Mr Dunne?" he wondered, handing her the chart. Raine flinched, but she quickly recovered.. "Dunne?" Her tone was masterfully controlled as she lied. "Ah, J.D. He's just a child. You don't need to concern yourself with him."
Charlie wasn't buying it. 'Course, he had plenty of reason not to. "Really, Dr. Jackson, you are telling me that I do not have to by concern about a missing boy with a twisted leg who, not only took out of one of my men, but is now wandering the halls with a submachine gun and a pistol?" He smiled. "Now, I am concern."