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29 January 2013 @ 02:49 am
Fic: Prioritisation  

Title: Prioritisation
Author: just_jasper
Rating: PG13
Characters: Morgan/Reid (established)
Word Count: 3537
Themes: Angst, hostage sitation, case-heavy.
Warning: Violence, pregnancy themes, political abortion themes (pro-life/pro-choice etc).
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, but I do take liberties with them for no financial gain.
Notes: Takes place in a mpreg-compilant 'verse.
Summary: Morgan and Reid are hostages as a hospital maternity ward is sieged.

-----------------------------------


The unsubs had been smart: they'd planned it for months, and when they'd stormed the hospital they'd taken the maternity ward. Newborns and pregnant people, several at various stages of labour, made for compelling hostages.

Morgan and Reid had been there by chance alone, having just come from another ward to question the staff about anyone who had had to be escorted off the premises. They had a partial profile, and the paediatric and maternity wards seemed most vulnerable considering the recent spate of attacks on family planning clinics they were sure were all connected.

There were four unsubs in ski-masks, armed with automatic weapons; they'd given up theirs without a fight, since they both knew they couldn't take any of them out without civilians getting hurt. The unsubs rounded up the nurses and patients and isolated them in the area with the nursery, so all people on the ward were together, while one kept Morgan and Reid at gunpoint.

The unsubs hadn't anticipating two FBI agents in their group of hostages, and they settled to separate them. Morgan didn't resist as he was marched into an empty room by one of of them and interrogated at gunpoint about whether the FBI knew of their "cause".

"We were just here asking questions."

The unsub hit Morgan hard in the face with the butt of the rifle, and he felt his lip split open with the force. He reeled against the examination bed, unable to shield himself from the blow to his middle. He doubled over, the wind knocked out of him.

“You're an agent of a corrupt government that sanctions the murder of preborn innocents. You cannot stand in the way of the justice we will enact.”

"It's just the two of us," he said, straightening against the pain. "We didn't know you were here, the FBI doesn't know."

The sound of alarms rung in the distance.

"They're about to," he said. "C'mon." He grabbed Morgan roughly by the arm, steering him around and pressing the barrel of his weapon into his back. He marched him back to where the other hostages were being held, past a pile of broken mobile phones, and shoved him in amongst them.

The three captors in the room weren't stopping the three nurses from moving skittishly around in a crouch position, checking on patients and quietening infants, although they kept training their weapons on them threateningly and shifting with annoyance when a baby cried for too long or if someone made to stand up. He didn't see Reid. Morgan counted two women and a man each holding a newborn, and four other women, one with a toddler on her lap, One unsub stood in the doorway to the NICU, and he could see at least two people in there. There were three babies in the nursery cots, which had been taken off their stands and put on the floor amongst the hostages. There were five pregnant people; three of them looked like they were in labour, and Morgan knew this could end badly.

“Why are you doing this?” Morgan asked, in his calmest voice.

“Shut up. Get on the floor.” A gun was brandished at him, and he put his hands in front of him to signal he was complying and slowly lowered himself to his knees. He still didn't see Reid, or one of the unsubs.

When the last unsub returned with Reid, he was bleeding from a cut over his eye and not putting his full weight on the leg with his dodgy knee. Morgan watched as Reid scanned the room, quickly examining the scene. Then, with a confidence that suggested he'd started to develop some kind of rapport with the unsub who had isolated him, he spoke.

“You need to release the hostages.”

The clear leader scoffed. “Do you think I'm stupid?”

“No, I think you're incredibly smart to have been able to pull this off,” Reid reasoned. “And I think you know that if one of these people develops complications with their pregnancy, the liberal media will blame you instead of a government that sanctions the murder of preborn innocents.”

Morgan recognised the phrase, and knew Reid was playing into their ideology. He did the only thing he could to help the rouse.

“Reid!” he exclaimed, feigning shocked and hurt.

“What, Morgan?” Reid snapped, giving him a convincing look of disgust. “You know it's true. The government pushes for the legalisation of murder in the name of 'human rights', but what about the human rights of the unborn? The government has to understand how important those people are.”

The unsubs generally looked a little surprised, but their exchange seemed to have strengthened Reid's position. This was too much like Colorado for Morgan to be okay as he watched.

“You need to decide who your most useful hostages are. Ones the government cares about enough to meet your demands. Someone will call soon, to negotiate.”

The leader signalled for Reid to sit, and he did so, shaky on his knee as he lowered himself. Morgan wanted to reach out and touch him, but he knew he had to keep up the façade of tension between them.

The unsub from near the NICU came closer at the beckon of the leader, gun held aloft.

“Just a premie and parents in there,” he said. “They're not going anywhere.”

As the unsubs gathered to talk, blocking the exit and guarding the door, the hostages shifted around nervously. A nurse came close to them, and Morgan leaned over to her.

“Keep everyone on the ground,” he whispered. “Stay low, and make sure nobody gets up, no matter what, okay?”

She nodded and moved on, and Reid turned to look at him. They both knew if the place was stormed, the hostages being lower down would hopefully limit or avoid casualties in the crossfire. He listened to Reid breathing, small shallow breaths indicative of pain. He thought about Colorado again, wondered how Reid was coping with another hostage situation. By now the team would be on site, having found them unable to be contacted and the hospital would be in lockdown.

The wall phone rang, startling the hostages, and the leader answered it while the other unsubs turned their attention back to keeping them quiet.

“Yes,” the leader said. “You don't need to know my name, only our demands: the immediate cessation of abortion procedures and the provision of birth control state-wide. The immediate shut down of all clinics that provide abortions in the state.”

Morgan ran a hand over his face, and glanced at Reid again. The demands were just as extraordinary and unrealistic as he'd imagined they would be. He didn't imagine that the leader, at least, would be willing to consider that what he was demanding was impossible to implement. There was only one way it was going to end, the only variable would be how many would die.

“Yes, they're alive.” The unsub was looking at Morgan and Reid in particular now, and gestured to one of the other armed men. They were ushered away from the rest of the hostages, backed up against a wall. “We're going to release the civilians. If anyone attempts to breech our perimeter, these agents will die.”

Morgan almost smiled – this was a huge win, and a tactical mistake from the unsub's point of view. Reid had done a good job of subtly implying that they were more valuable than the civilians for negotiations. As long as they weren't still captive when the unsubs realised they'd given away their only bargaining chip worth anything, perhaps they'd get out unscathed. Two of the unsubs rounded up the civilians, as a third went into the NICU.

“No!” came a woman's voice. “She can't be moved! She can't breathe without the machine!”

“Leave the kid! We're not gonna kill a kid unless you keep yelling.”

“She needs me, I need to be with her!”

“Move, bitch, you're getting out of here!”

The NICU baby's parents were force at gunpoint out of the room, the woman in tears and the man nervous and twitchy, like he was about to do something stupid.

“It's okay,” Morgan called out, which earned him the barrel of a gun pressed into his neck. He continued anyway. “It's okay, we'll make sure she's okay. We're staying, We're FBI, ma'am, we'll look after your baby.”

The woman nodded reluctantly, and began to cry in earnest as they were rounded up with the other civilians and herded towards the exit.

“Go on then,” the unsub guarding them pressed, manoeuvring them into the NICU. It was even further away from the exit, even more difficult to get to. There was only one vantage window, from which they could see two of the captors sending civilians out of the poor to the maternity unit.

The premature baby in the incubator unit was breathing with the aid of a machine, and Morgan put himself in front of it. He hoped it wouldn't come to it, but the incubator was in the general height that bullets might be if things ended that way.

Reid leant his hand on the incubator and grimaced in pain. Morgan glanced questioningly down at his knee, and Reid nodded minutely.

“This corrupt government will always prioritise its own over the innocents,” the leader said from the doorway. “They cared less about whether those precious lives were safe than you. You're what they want. This government kills thousands of preborn people every year while it protects the agents who protect killers.”

The phone rang again, and the leader moved to answer it. The other unsubs had placed themselves strategically; one guarding them in the room with them, the leader in the room with the phone, and two patrolling the front, looking for any signs of approach. Morgan knew it was likely there were eyes on them, unless they'd been able to disrupt he security cameras that even a small hospital had these days.

“Yes,” he said into the receiver. “Will you meet our demands? What? We have two of your agents here. If our demands aren't met, we will kill them.”

Morgan and Reid glanced at each other; Reid looked pained, and was panting a little against the evident pain in his leg.

“We-” the unsub faltered, looking back at the captives. “We have a child here too. If our demands aren't met, we will kill the child. You have an hour to confirm your compliance.”

As soon as he put the phone down, the unsub in the room with them piped up. “We're not really gonna kill the baby, are we?”

“What your government fails to understand,” he addressed the profilers, rather than his accomplice, “is that some must be sacrificed for the many. If they fail to meet our demands, that child will die by their hands – your hands - not ours.”

“Fuck,” Reid breathed, wobbling on his feet.

“Reid-” he murmured, as the leader turned away to pace.

“I'm fine.”

Fifty minutes later in tense silence, with only the leader's occasional insistence that they were agents of a corrupt system, the lieutenant unsub was getting edgy. “We can't kill a baby, boss. We can't. We're doing this to save babies, hundreds of thousands every year.”

“All causes have martyrs. Their selfish waste of human life will be forever on them.”

“No, we can't kill a kid. That's not right. We can't kill a baby, John!”

It was almost expected, that the leader would fire several long burst rounds into his accomplice, loud in the quiet of the NICU where there was just a faint beep of the machinery keeping the infant alive. When it went quiet again after the hail of gunfire, the beeping continued, and Morgan exhaled through his nose.

“A man must be willing to die for what he believes is right,” John said.

One of the other unsubs came back to see what was going on, and from their vantage point Morgan and Reid could see the last one by the door, clearly panicking. He turned, met their eyes briefly, and then bolted out the door, clearly favouring giving himself up than dying for his cause.

As soon as the leader realised he'd been deserted by a comrade, his temper worsened.

“They'll call soon,” he announced, “and they'll meet our demands. If they don't, they'll have even more innocent blood on their hands, innocent blood that the media cannot twist to be a useful or necessary murder. They will never forget today. They won't forget.”

He raised the gun, pointing it at Morgan and Reid in turn as he stepped slowly into the ICU.

“On the ground.”

“You don't have to do this-” Reid began, but John thrust the gun at him and Reid's legs buckled when he tried to avoid the jab with the barrel. He was pale and looked woozy, and Morgan knew they must have messed his leg up badly.

“You too.”

Morgan knelt, and then went on to his front as the man pressed the gun between his shoulder blades.

“Get over here!” he commanded, and the remaining unsub trained his gun on the agents as John approached the incubator. Morgan held his breath until the shots were fired. There was an electric crack and fizzle and the chick of tiles shattering, and then the reassuring beep of the machinery was gone. He'd shot the electrics, and Morgan knew they had minutes, if that, before the baby would go into respiratory arrest, and they had to act immediately.

He pushed himself up and swung his legs around hard into the lead unsub's, knocking him off balance. He grabbed for him, knowing that if he didn't keep him close he'd be able to aim the gun and plaster him to the wall. He twisted his hands in the fabric of the man's coat and wrestled him to the ground, gritting his teeth against several blows to his neck and face with the body of the rifle. He managed to get a hold of the weapon and twist it away, and used the body of it to slam into the man's nose. He cried out as blood poured out of him, disorientating him for just long enough for Morgan to scramble up and over to the bewildered other unsub and tackle him, giving him much the same treatment and managing to knock him out cold. By then John had recovered, and as Morgan sensed Reid moving about he reached for the gun, forcing the barrel upwards just as a round was fired up, hitting the ceiling and dusting them in plaster and glass.

He landed a well-aimed punch at the man's groin, and has he doubled over in pain Morgan was able to wrench the rifle away from him, cast it across the room and wrestle him to the floor. One of his fingers felt broken as he fished in the man's jacket for the cuffs he'd taken from them when he disarmed them, and cuffed the man's hands behind his back.

“Stay down,” he barked, as he pressed him into the floor. He went back over to the unconscious man and did the same with Reid's cuffs, immobilising both of their threats.

When he turned back to Reid, his throat tight with the thought of what he might see, relief washed through him. Reid was on the floor, looking even paler and slightly clammy, with the tiny premature infant resting in blankets on his lap as he timed his squeezed on an ambu-bag, helping the baby to breathe the way the machine had.

“You okay?” he asked, even though Reid looked far from it.

“Yeah... are you?”

Morgan gave a dark chuckle, and wiped blood from his mouth.

Less than a minute later there was noise and commotion as a swat team stormed the area to secure the incapacitated assailants. They were followed by paramedics, who took the baby from Reid and spared a word for his quick thinking. Their team wasn't far behind, in their Kevlar and sheathing their guns.

“We missed the action, then?” Rossi said, the edge of relief on his dry wit.

“Yeah.”

“Reid, are you okay?” Blake asked, as JJ met the paramedic with the baby and accompanied her out.

“Fine, yeah,” he said weakly. His eye had begun to swell shut below the cut on his eyebrow. Morgan reached for him to help him up, and he was unsteady on his feet.

He started to move away, but Hotch called out. “Morgan, wait. There's blood on the floor.”

He looked back, and sure enough, there was a smear of blood where Reid had been.

“Reid, did you get shot?” he asked, attempting to body-check Reid, who was clinging weakly around his shoulder.

“No, I didn't get shot,” he said. He glanced around at the team, slightly panicked, then to Morgan, before he looked down. “I... I'm having a miscarriage.”

“What?”

“He hit me with the gun and I-ugh,” Reid groaned, his knees wobbling again. “It hurts.”

“I got you, Spencer,”

“Medic!” Hotch called. “We need a medic.”

---


Morgan had his hand x-rayed as Reid was in surgery. He'd lost quite a lot of blood, and they'd put him under general anaesthesia, and Morgan wasn't allowed in. His third finger on his right hand was broken, and ended up in a splint with his middle finger. He met Reid out of surgery, and passed the team without talking to them on the way to recovery. He knew the team were worried, but they'd stayed away so they could have privacy when Reid woke up from the D&C.

“Hi,” he said groggily.

“Hey, beautiful.”

“Is that baby okay?”

“Yeah,” Morgan nodded. “You did good.”

It was quiet in the room as Reid woke from the anaesthesia and Morgan sat in the chair beside the bed, watching him.

“Eleven weeks,” Reid said eventually, turning to look at Morgan.

“That's how far along you were?”

“Yeah, I think, if the date of conception is when I'm assuming; that night on the sofa after the case in Ypsilanti. I found out last week. I was still processing, and we've been busy. I was going to tell you after this case.”

“Did you wanna keep going with it? The pregnancy,” Morgan asked. While knowing Reid had gone through the trauma of miscarrying made his heart ache, he wasn't sure how he felt about a pregnancy they hadn't planned or even discussed the possibility of.

“I wasn't sure. I thought when I told you we'd talk about it.”

“You went in the field, though,” Morgan reasoned. “You think if any part of you had wanted to be pregnant you wouldn't have risked it?”

“I guess,” Reid shrugged and nodded, studying Morgan's face. “I'm sorry, if you wanted this. That. The pregnancy, I mean.”

“No, I'm not-” Morgan shook his head, and reached for Reid's hand. “I just wish you'd have been able to make the choice, y'know? Instead of having the choice made for you. You know I'm open to being a parent, but I'd only be down for pregnancy if you were, and I always figured you wouldn't want to be pregnant.”

Reid nodded, as he stroked his hand over Morgan's bandaged fingers. “I tried to keep my front to you so you wouldn't see the blood,” he admitted. “I thought that without the ability to clarify what was happening you'd assume I'd been sexually assaulted, and you...”

“Might not have been able to stay calm,” Morgan finished for him. “Yeah. The doctor says you'll be able to go home in a few hours, but you have to take it easy, have a few days off. You okay?”

“Yeah,” Reid nodded, exhaling through his nose. “I feel-” he smiled and shrugged, and Morgan could see his eyes shimmering a little wetly, “relieved, but... sad. Even though it's not as if I wanted to be pregnant.”

“It's still a trauma,” Morgan said gently. “Miscarrying. Miscarrying while you're being held hostage. You did so good, keeping it together.”

He stood, so he could lean over and place a kiss on Reid's forehead. Reid lifted a hand to his neck and held him in place, pressing their foreheads together.

“It did get me thinking.”

“What?”

“Finding out I was pregnant.”

“Oh. What about?”

“Children. With you.”

“Yeah?” Morgan breathed. “And?”

“It's not as terrifying an idea as it used to be. Not altogether practical, though.”

“No. It's a big step.”

“We'd have to change a lot of things in our lives.”

“We would.”

“I'm going to keep thinking about it.”

“Okay,” Morgan smiled, and kissed him. “Don't fret, pretty boy. As long as I've got you safe, everything else is just extras.”

 
 
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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
freakingdork: computer!aggressorfreakingdork on January 29th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
oh god jasper, I don't even know what to say about this, except that, as always, your writing and characterization and even the idea behind the fic impresses me.
Jasperjust_jasper on January 29th, 2013 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks bb :D
Chensuu: Morgan and Reid smileschensuu on January 29th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
Terrific story. Loved the Morgan and Reid interaction and the concern and love they have for each other. Beautiful.
Jasperjust_jasper on January 30th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
Thank you :)
thrace_adams: Criminal Minds Morgan behind Reidthrace_adams on January 29th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
As always your fics are amazing. The characterization is remarkable as is the world you built.
Jasperjust_jasper on January 30th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :)
dopeyangel101dopeyangel101 on January 29th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
As always, excellently written, showing both sides of the story on something which is still a hot topic of debate.

Well done.
Jasperjust_jasper on January 30th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
Thanks :)
vix_spesvix_spes on February 6th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
This was wonderfully written with the characterisation and tone completely spot on. Thank you for a beautiful fic.
Jasperjust_jasper on February 7th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )