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posted in 24_fanfic

Title: How It Ends
Author: marinw
Rating: R for violence and gross medical stuff
Characters: Jack/President Taylor/Henry Taylor
Summary: Spoliers for Day 7. Jack sacrifices himself. Again
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.

A/N: I originally wrote this for an armbell challenge, so apologies to those who have read an earlier version. The prompt was “Exposed”. An AU. We hope. Thanks to my betasardonicynic.
Also: This will be my last post until October as I’m off to Italy next weekend.

Jack was about to testify when the gunmen stormed the courtroom. It was the one day that President Taylor had appeared at the hearing. That wasn’t a coincidence.

Where was the damn Secret Service when they needed it? How could they just leave the president exposed?


He was wearing his new suit. One usually didn’t wear Kevlar to a congressional hearing. Usually. That left his body exposed.

Jack heard the sound of automatic machine gun fire a millisecond before it started.

He jumped out of his chair and lunged towards the president.

“Madam President! Get down!”

Jack threw her to the floor, covering her body with his own.

By the time the Secret Service had eliminated the gunmen, the president was still unharmed. Henry Taylor, First Gentleman, helped her to her feet. She was remarkably composed, even though her black suit was now covered with blood. Jack’s blood.

Jack knew what was happening because he had been shot before. He could tell by the sudden, eerie silence where the noise should be. He could tell by the sudden red stickiness of the formerly immaculate carpet.

Soon there was the roar of an ambulance siren.

Now the EMTs were frantic in their work. Two pairs of latex-gloved hands lifted him onto a gurney. They ripped open his shirt, leaving his scarred chest exposed. His intestines were falling out of the holes the exit wounds had made,

They pierced his arm with a large needle as they attempted to replace his red blood with clear saline.

Jack saw all of this because he was watching himself from above.

A mask was placed over his face. Someone gently slapped his cheek.

“Mr. Bauer! We need you to keep your eyes open, okay?”

Go away. I’m tired.

“He’s bleeding out! We have to move him now!”

Their actions were of no relevance. He wanted to tell them not to waste their time. It didn’t matter what happened to his body. He didn’t need it anymore.

He finally had what he wanted: A death that meant something. Saving the president from an assassination attempt. That was a good death. He could work with that.

As the blood flowed out of him the deadly sensation of light-headedness was replaced with a feeling of peace. Not that he had ever been religious.

There was no need to struggle. Not anymore.

It felt so good just to let go.

“We’re losing him!”


The mask was removed. A thick tube was inserted in his slimy throat, forcing air into his empty lungs. A jolt of electricity surged through his chest.

His mind was pulled from its peaceful disembodied place and slammed back into to his damaged body. His body was the last place he wanted to be.

The noise became louder. The pain returned.

“I need some epi!”


God, this hurts.

He had almost forgotten how much it hurt.

“I have a sinus rhythm!” the voice cried, triumphant over the sound of the siren.

The tube was withdrawn and the mask replaced.

So this isn't the end.

He was disappointed.