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This is not how it was supposed to go. They were not supposed to be here; OA in the hospital lobby, awaiting news on his critically injured partner, while Maggie was in the operating room, fighting for her life.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl, as OA replayed the day in his mind, over and over again. Everything started out as a normal day for the duo.. Well, as normal as their day could be. The Behavioral Analysis Unit had flown in from Quantico the day before, to assist with a case. This wasn't the first time Maggie and OA had worked with the BAU. They had actually developed friendships with some of the members, several months prior on a few cases, and had stayed in contact. So, the pair had jumped at the opportunity to work with the team on this most recent case.

There had been three deadly shootings in the past four days. There were multiple victims, and no reason to believe that it was over. After hitting a wall at every turn, thy finally found a solid lead: Jeffery Haynes, a potential witness.

Maggie and OA had went with JJ, the BAU's recently promoted Unit Chief, to interview Jeffery. OA drove them over there, and Maggie took the lead introducing them.

Jeffery had appeared disheveled and frantic, but the agents chalked that up to him witnessing one of the fatal shootings. However, as they made their way back to the SUV, moments later, they began to realize that something was really off. By the time the three pieced together that he was their suspect, it was already too late.

Time seemed to stop as a single gunshot rang through the air. Drawing their weapons, OA and JJ realized two things; Jeffery was already running, and Maggie had just collapsed to the ground. The bullet had tore through her chest.

OA was at her side in an instant, while JJ sprinted off in the direction of the suspect and called for assistance.

The three agents hadn't seen Jeffery come around the side of the house. They had been standing near the SUV, piecing together new information. OA, and JJ weren't facing the side of the house, but Maggie was directly in Jeffery's line of fire.

By the time Maggie had seen the gun, he already pulled the trigger. She felt excruciating pain rip through her body. She fell to the ground, her entire world threatened to go black.

OA placed his hand on Maggie's chest, immediately applying pressure to the wound. He knew JJ would have radioed for help, and an ambulance would be there soon. "Come on Mags. Stay with me. Help is on the way." Blood was seeping through his fingers and he could tell that Maggie was already struggling to breath. He pressed down a little harder, not only to slow the bleeding, but he also knew that if air got in through the wound, Maggie's lungs could collapse. He could hear a cop car screeching around the corner, and knew that JJ's back up had arrived. 'Good, one less worry.'

All Maggie could register was the sound of OA's panicked voice. She tried to focus on his eyes, as he hovered over her, but the pain was making it incredibly hard to concentrate. All she wanted was for the darkness to take over, but she tried to hold onto the sound of her partner's voice. It was getting really difficult to breath. She felt her eyes start to drift shut.

"No, Maggie! Open your eyes!" OA silently cursed the medics for taking so much valuable time. "Sweetheart, you've got to stay awake. I know it's hard, but you have to keep your eyes open."

Maggie barely nodded, desperately trying to stay awake, but it was getting harder to breath with every passing moment. She tried to speak, but no words came out.

"Maggie, do not try to talk. Save your breath." OA's concern grew when Maggie began coughing up blood. He knew then, the bullet had punctured her lung.

Maggie's eyes closed again, and this time she wasn't responding to OA's voice.

"Maggie! Maggie, you have to wake up!" He was desperately calling her name, knowing that if she didn't open her eyes soon, there was a good chance that she wouldn't open them at all. Fearing the worst, OA put two fingers on her neck. Tears stung his eyes when he couldn't find a pulse. He could hear the sirens a few blocks away, but Maggie couldn't wait that long.

Interlocking his fingers, OA placed both hands on the brunette's chest, immediately starting compressions. He cringed when he heard one of her ribs crack from the force. After thirty compressions, OA tilted Maggie's had back and gave her two breathes. Still no pulse, so he started the process again.

After the third time, OA finally felt a pulse, although Maggie was still unconscious. He was exhausted and covered in sweat, but let out a sigh of relief when the ambulance came screeching to a halt in front of them.

Everything was a blur as two paramedics jumped out and rushed over to the two agents. OA blocked everything out, and before he knew what was happening, he was already climbing into the back of the ambulance. He took a seat next to the stretcher, and grabbed Maggie's small hand. She was, without a doubt, the strongest person he knew. She had already overcame so much in her life. OA just hoped and prayed that this could be added to that list. "Fight Mags. You have to stay with me."

Chapter Text

Maggie didn't wake up at all during the ride to the hospital, and OA didn't let go of her hand. He tuned out the medics and the machines, only focusing on the brunette in front of him. Seeing her like this broke his heart. He continued to stroke her hand, while the guilt began to sink in. "I'm so sorry Mags. I shouldn't have let this happen.

The paramedic in the back of the ambulance continued to work on Maggie. He had her stabilized for now, but the agent needed surgery as soon as possible. The hospital had already been alerted, and the operating room was being prepped.

When they arrived at the hospital, the medics unloaded the stretcher, and rushed Maggie into the ER, while OA stayed right by her side. Doctors and nurses surrounded them and immediately started moving Maggie to the operating room, while firing off stats about her condition.

As they reached the doors of the OR, a nurse stopped OA from entering, causing him to reluctantly let go of Maggie's hand. He brokenly stood still as he lost sight of his partner. His phone ringing inside his pocket brought him back to focus. "Yeah."

JJ's soothing voice filled the speaker. "Hey, how is she?"

"She… they just took her into surgery." OA's voice was shaky as he struggled to relay the information that still didn't seem real. ''She stopped breathing before the ambulance got there." He could hear JJ's breath hitch. "The medics got her stabilized, but she hadn't woke up since." OA paused, fist clenched at his side. "JJ? Where is the coward that did this to her? Where is Jeffery Haynes?" Just saying his name made the agent want to vomit.

"He's in custody. Took off running into the woods, but backup arrived quickly and we cornered him."

That made OA feel slightly better, knowing that Haynes wasn't running free. He thought he heard the sound of a car engine start up, on the other end of the line, then the sirens of the SUV blaring.

"I'm on my way to the hospital now. I called Jubal, and my team. Everyone should be there within the next few minutes."

"Okay. OA disconnected the line. He slowly made his way into the waiting room, and sunk down into a plastic chair. He rested his head in his hands, but quickly sat back up when he realized they were covered in blood. Looking down, it was on his clothes too, and suddenly he couldn't breathe, because the sight of Maggie's dried blood, made it all seem much more real.

OA had to get the blood, her blood, off of his hands, or he was going to be sick. Finding the nearest restroom, he locked the door and turned on the water until it was scalding. He scrubbed his hands until they felt raw, but was finally able to get the clean. He didn't even try cleaning his red-stained shirt… just shut off the water and stared in the mirror.

OA knew that he was about to lose it, so he quickly choked down his emotions, and re-entered the waiting area. It was a relief to see some familiar faces. Not only were Jubal, Dana, and Kristen there, but so was JJ, and her whole team.

Omar took a moment to admire the two teams. Maggie was deeply loved by all of these people… And OA knew that she would be greatly humbled if she could see all of them here.

JJ walked over to where OA was standing, and gave him a brief hug. "Any news?"

"No. I haven't heard from anyone since they took her to surgery."

The blonde smiled sympathetically. "How're you holding up? Or is that a really dumb question?"

OA's eyes grew dark. "I just can't stop seeing her, lying on the ground, coughing up blood." He shook his head, and grimaced at his own words.

JJ led OA over to a couple of chairs, and they both sat down. "Maggie's strong. She will fight. You have to believe that she will fight with everything she has."

"I know she will… but what if that isn't enough." He focused his gaze on the shiny, white tile of the hospital floor.

JJ just shook her head, with tears in her eyes. She knew there wasn't anything she could say to the other agent… because truthfully, no one knew if this was something their friend could overcome.

"Why her? I mean… it should have been me." OA couldn't even look at JJ, much less meet her eyes. "I didn't protect her. I should have protected her."

"OA, OA listen to me. There is noting you could have done. Haynes blindsided us. This is his fault, not yours. You can't put this on yourself. OA, you saved her life on scene. Without you, Maggie wouldn't have made it to this hospital."

OA shook his head at how sure JJ sounded. "Why her?" He quietly repeated his previous question. "She doesn't deserve this. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know that nobody deserves this, but this is Maggie. The strongest, most caring, down-to-earth person I know, is having to fight for her life. It's just not fair. I've only known her for about two years, but I can't imagine my life without her. It terrifies me to even think about the possibility."

OA grew quiet. He was quiet for so long that JJ started to worry… but then, he finally spoke up again. "You know, she amazes me." He gave a small smile, the first one in what felt like a lifetime. "Maggie's the best person I know. She has the kindest heart. She's so passionate, about everything she does. If she believes in something, or someone, she will fight for that cause, for that person… and never give up."

JJ smiled as OA's face lit up while talking about the brunette. The look in his eyes confirmed what the profiler already knew. "OA, when Maggie comes through this, you need to tell her how you feel."

OA's brown eyes shot up to her crystal blue ones, and it was as if she was looking into is soul. "Wh- what do you mean?"

"You know what I mean. Whether you realized it before today, or not, today just confirmed it." JJ reached over and gently touched his hand. "I know she feels the same. She just needs to hear you say it."

The agent slowly nodded. When he spoke, his voice was rough, and full of emotion. "I know. I know. I should have told her before, but… And now it might be too late." The thought that he may never get the chance to tell Maggie he loved her, made OA sick.

"Oh OA." JJ wrapped her arm around OA's shoulders. "You'll get the chance. It's not too late." She knew there was a good chance that she was wrong, they both did, but they had to hold onto some sort of hope.

The two teams sat on the waiting room for nearly four hours before they heard anything. OA was extremely close to losing it. Jubal had brought him a go-bag, so that he could change out of the blood-stained clothes. Finally, a middle-aged man, dressed in scrubs, came through the double-doors.

OA almost knocked his chair over by standing up so fast. He locked eyes with the doctor, but seeing the grim look on his face, made OA's heart sink. He thought for sure the doctor was about to confirm what, deep down, he already knew.

"I'm Dr. Ryson. I operated on Agent Bell. She lost a lot of blood, and the bullet punctured her right lung. We were able to repair most of the damage, but still had to insert a breathing tube."

OA's eyes went wide. "Wh- how is she now? Is she going to be okay?"

"She is stable right now. I'm not going to lie, it's still bad. She flatlined once during the surgery, but we were able to revive her. If things go well over the next twenty-four hours…"

OA cut him off. "If?!"

"Agent Bell made it through surgery. That is a big deal. We just have to take this one step at a time."

The crushing weight was back. Even after an update, OA still didn't feel any better. His voice broke. "Where is she? I need to see Maggie."

"Soon. You can't just yet. She isn't even in a room, she's still in recovery. Someone will come an get you when we move her."

OA felt like he was going to collapse. He tried to remain calm as he asked again. "Where is she?"

"Agent…" Dr. Ryson started to protest, but the agent wasn't having it.

"No, I.."

JJ stepped in between the two men. "I get what you're saying Doc, but maybe you could make an exception. What could he hurt? Maybe it would be good for Maggie."

Sighing deeply, the doctor knew he didn't want to argue with either one of them. He looked pointedly at OA. "You have ten minutes with her. That's all."

OA nodded his thanks to the blonde beside of him, then followed the doctor through the doors. They made their way down several hallways, and then eventually the recovery ward.

Dr. Ryson stopped outside of a closed door. "A nurse will come and get you after ten minutes. Agent Bell needs her rest."

"I understand. Thank you." OA carefully opened the door and gasped at what he saw.

Maggie looked so pale. She was hooked up to an IV and various machines. She had a breathing tube down her throat, and OA's heart broke all over again. He stepped into the room, shutting the door behind him, and sat down in the chair beside of the bed. Grabbing Maggie's hand, Omar had to fight back the tears. "I am so sorry Mags. I didn't protect you."

Guilt consumed the agent, and he couldn't help but choke up. "You've fought so hard… just a little bit longer. Please come back to me Mags."

All too soon, the ten minutes were up, and a nurse stuck her head in the door. "I'm sorry Agent, you have to step out now. You can sit with her again, once she is moved to a room."

OA reluctantly stood up. He squeezed Maggie's hand one last time, before leaning over and placing a sweet kiss to her temple. "I'll see you soon Mags."

Chapter Text

By the time Maggie had been moved to a room, everyone had been at the hospital for over eight hours. It was well past dark, and Maggie had yet to open her eyes. Doctors were convinced that she wouldn't wake up until tomorrow afternoon or evening, best case scenario.

OA, of course, and JJ were staying all night. Everyone else had left, in hopes of getting some sleep before coming back the next day in shifts.

A nurse had told the two agents that one of them could go back with Maggie, so OA had settled beside her bed in a recliner for the night.

The same nurse led JJ to the family lounge so that she could be somewhat comfortable. OA had tried to convince her to go to the hotel, but she had stubbornly declined by saying that she didn't want to leave them. She made sure to tell him that her phone would be on, and to let her know if anything happened.

OA slid the small recliner as close to the bed as he could get it, and took hold of Maggie's hand. "I'm right here, Mags." He was exhausted, so listening to the steady beat of her heart on the monitor, he closed his eyes and let sleep finally take over.

FBIFBIFBI

When OA woke up the next morning, the clock read: 6:44am. A nurse came in shortly after to check Maggie's vitals.

OA was relieved that Maggie had made it through the night without any complications, and was greatly progressing. He ran his fingers through her dark hair. "You're doing great, Mags. Keep it up." He pulled out his phone and texted JJ, asking if she was awake. She replied within seconds saying that she was on her way up to the room, and not even three minutes later, a gentle knock sounded from the door.

JJ stepped in once she received the okay from OA. "Hey. How's our girl?''

OA smiled. "No problems through the night. Vitals look good, and they should be able to remove the breathing tube in a few hours. She's definitely on the right track."

JJ returned the smile and carefully sat down on the edge of the bed. "That's amazing.'' She lightly placed her hand on Maggie's arm and began talking to her. She had no clue if the brunette could hear her, but she was going to treat her as if she could.

A while later, Kristen and Jubal came back to the hospital to stay for a few hours. JJ went to the hotel to get some rest, but promised she would be back later that evening.

Jubal told OA that they would be there if he wanted to go home for a bit, but he still wanted to stay with Maggie. He did, however, go downstairs long enough to get some coffee.

Around lunchtime, Kristen and Jubal went out to the waiting area to update the rest of the agents, while the doctor came in to check on Maggie. "I'm going to get the nurse in here, and we will go ahead and remove her breathing tube. She's breathing well enough on her own."

OA nodded. "Okay. Does that mean that she's going to be okay?" He was hopeful, but still a little nervous to ask the question.

"It will take time, of course, but yes, thing are looking good. She's made tremendous progress just overnight."

The nurse came in, and they carefully took the tube out. OA cringed, although he knew that Maggie probably couldn't feel anything.

When the doctor, and his nurse, left the room, OA resumed his position beside Maggie's bed. With her hand in his, he began talking softly to her… about anything and everything. He decided then, that it was time to tell her what he had wanted to for so long.

Moving closer, OA rested his head on the pillow next to Maggie's, and started whispering to her. "I love you, Mags. I have for a while now. I know I shouldn't because, because you're my partner, but I can't help it. I love you, everything about you. Your bravery and compassionate heart, the way you never give up… you're unstoppable… that radiant smile that brightens up even my worst days.. And the way your eyes light up when you get excited." He couldn't help but smile as he listed some of his favorite things about Maggie. "I know it's cliché, but it's true. Things have been changing between us… I can only hope it's because you feel the same about me." OA softly kissed her on the head. "Come on Mags. I just need you to open your beautiful eyes." He continued to lay with Maggie, just listening to her slow breathing.

When it first happened, OA thought he had finally lost it… but then he felt it again. Maggie had slightly squeezed his hand. "Maggie?" Looking to her heart monitor, he saw that her heart rate had sped up a bit. He was about to go get a nurse, but stopped when he saw Maggie's eyelids moving. She was finally waking up. "Maggie?"

Chapter Text

Maggie was finally waking up. She let out a soft groan, and after a few attempts, was able to open her eyes.

OA smiled brightly at the slightly disoriented agent. "Hey Mags."

She swallowed a few times before trying to speak. "O- OA." Her throat was dry and it hurt just to get OA's name out.

OA grabbed his bottle of water and helped his partner take a small sip. "You had a breathing tube in until this morning. I'm sure that's why it hurts to speak."

Maggie gave a small smile of thanks for the water. "How long have I been out?"

"Might as well say about twenty-four hours." He wasn't exactly sure how long it had been since they'd first arrived at the hospital, considering every minute felt like an eternity. "Do you want me to go get the doctor?"

The brunette shook her head, but cringed when she made herself lightheaded. "Not yet. Just tell me how I'm doing."

"You've made so much progress.. Just overnight. The surgeon repaired the damage to your lung. You still had to have a breathing tube in for a while.. But this morning you started breathing fine on your own. You're going to be okay Mags.'' OA had to look away when it came back to him how close she'd come to not pulling through. He cleared his throat, and changed the subject. "Jubal and Kristen are here. JJ was here all night. She said that she would be back later."

Maggie smiled, grateful to have such amazing friends.

"I should probably let Jubal know that you're awake." OA pulled his phone from his pocket and sent Jubal a text.

The next two hours were a blur. Jubal and Kristen came in to visit. The doctor explained to Maggie her condition, ad ran a few tests. Maggie was completely exhausted and couldn't help but fall back asleep afterwards.

Kristen and Jubal left after Maggie went to sleep, as they had to get back to the office, but Dana and JJ came in shortly after.

With a lot of effort, the two women were able to convince OA to go home for a bit. Dana had to practically order him to.

OA was reluctant to leave, but Maggie was asleep, probably for a while… and he knew that he wouldn't be doing any good for her if he burnt himself out. He nodded his thanks to JJ when she gave him the keys to her SUV. "I won't be gone long. Just enough to take a shower, and grab a bite to eat."

FBIFBIFBIFBI

True to his word, OA wasn't even gone two hours. When he got back, Dana told him that Maggie had been awake for a few minutes, but was already back out.

JJ and Dana went downstairs to the cafeteria, while OA took his usual spot beside Maggie's bed.

Maggie woke up shortly after OA came back in. She gave him a warm smile. "Thank you for being here."

"I'll always be here for you Mags." OA shifted in his seat, knowing that he needed to have a talk with his partner. He never imagined having this conversation in the hospital, but he didn't want to waste anymore time. "Maggie, I, uh, I know that this probably isn't the best time, but I need to tell you something."

Maggie looked sort of surprised, although she had a feeling that she knew what this was about… and she became kind of nervous. "Okay."

OA moved a little closer to Maggie, and started to subconsciously rub her arm. "Mags, I, I love you. I don't know when it happened, but I've wanted to tell you for a while… I should've told you before, but I didn't know how to. Things have been changing between us… but I don't know what that means, or how you feel. All I know is that I love you… and it took this for me to realize that I needed to tell you. You're my world Maggie."

Maggie was completely silent. It took her a moment to process the fact that OA just told her he loved her. She knew he was right about things changing between them. She had felt it too, over the past few months… but didn't really expect either of them to bring it up. "Um, okay, so bare with me here OA, because you and I both know that I'm not good with saying how I feel… but I'm glad you told me. I've been too afraid to be honest with you… and myself really. I do feel the same. Like you, I don't know exactly when, but it hit me hard. I tried to deny it, but… now I don't want to." She covered OA's hand with her own, and smiled brightly at him.

OA's eyes lit up, as he stared at Maggie in surprise. "Really?"

She nodded and her smile grew. "Really."

OA returned the gesture before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on her lips.

Chapter Text

"I'm fine, I'm fine." Maggie stubbornly insisted as OA helped her into his truck. It had been almost two weeks since the shooting, and the agent was finally being released. Her wound was healing nicely, and she was breathing completely fine on her own.

OA had barely left Maggie's side during her stay in the hospital, and was now taking her to her apartment. He would be staying with her for a while, as he didn't want to take any chances… and neither of them minded the time together. They hadn't really talked about what was happening between them, but it was definitely there, and they didn't think it had to be defined. The two agents were happy, and being together was what mattered to them.

So here they were now, in front of the hospital, getting settled into OA's truck. "Really OA, I'm okay." Maggie was slightly out of breath, but hadn't had any problems getting into the truck.

"Okay. I just want to make sure." He shut her door before making his way to the driver's side. Moments later, they were on the road. "Do you need anything before we get to your apartment? Need to stop anywhere?" OA briefly took his eyes off the road in order to look over at the brunette.

Maggie shook her head. "No. I just want to go home." She held OA's gaze for a moment before turning to look out the window. She didn't really want to admit it, but this whole ordeal scared her. Coming so close to death made her realize how lucky she truly was… and she never wanted to take that for granted again. Reaching over the center console, she grabbed OA's hand in her own.

OA glanced down at their intertwined fingers and smiled, squeezing Maggie's hand. He didn't let go, even when he parked the truck in front of Maggie's apartment. The agent didn't make a move to get out of the vehicle, just turned to face his partner.

Hoping to convey everything that needed to be said, OA leaned over and captured Maggie's lips with his own. It was gentle, yet passionate, and they only separated when the need for air became too much.

OA, a bit breathless, smiled and nodded towards the apartment. "Ready to go in, babe?"

Maggie's cheeks were slightly flushed, and she smiled right back. "Yeah. Let's go in."

OA jumped out of the truck and ran around to help Maggie. He grabbed her bag, and put a hand on her waist to make sure she was steady.

Maggie usually wouldn't have accepted this much help, but she knew it was also for OA's peace of mind. So together, they made their way up the steps to her apartment.

A little while after getting settled in, Maggie felt her phone buzz in her pocket. Sitting down on the bed, she checked the screen and saw that it was a text from JJ. 'Doing okay?'

The blonde profiler had to take her team back to Quantico, almost a week prior. None of them wanted to leave Maggie, but JJ had fought the higher-ups for as long as she could. They had cases that they had to take on.

Maggie smiled and texted JJ back. 'Yeah. Just got home… Thank you for everything.'

'Of course, sweetie. We're just glad that you're doing well. I will call you tomorrow… By the way, you and OA seem really good together ;-)'

Maggie found herself smiling again. She had told JJ about OA's confession, and the unit chief couldn't be happier for the couple.

'He's amazing. Talk to you tomorrow.' After sending a response to her friend, Maggie looked up as OA entered the bedroom.

"Hey. You hungry? Jubal and Kristen stocked your fridge." He came over and sat down on the bed beside Maggie.

"Not right now. I just want to take a moment to enjoy being home."

FBIFBIFBI

Later that evening, Maggie and OA were relaxing on the couch, watching a movie that neither were paying much attention to. They were both lost in their own thoughts. She was curled up into his side, with her head on his chest, while his hands rested on her back and hip.

Maggie couldn't believe how lucky she was to be here, like this, with OA. She looked up at him and gave a loving smile.

OA returned the gesture. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm great…. I love you." She had never really been one to say 'I love you' much, but it was different with OA. After this experience, with their line of work, Maggie knew that anything could happen to either one of them, at anytime. She didn't want a single day to go by without telling OA how she felt.

Maggie raised her head, and OA kissed her deeply. He rested his forehead against hers. "I love you too Mags, always."