Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on Human Target which belongs to Fox.It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of Fox.

Thank you Movieexpert1978 for your help, support and beta reading.

Man in the middle.

Human Target  (General Fiction)

Main Characters Winston, Chance, with Guerrero and Ames.

 

The last job  the team had been working on had ended up with them gaining a benefactor, Mrs. Ilsa Pucci; the woman meant well and had financed them, giving the warehouse a go over that at least made it look like a professional place of work. Any arguments that Guerrero had soon vanished when she gave him the run of an arms catalogue he was last seen drawling over a .50 caliber state of the art snipers rifle and looking forward to regular paydays with bonus’s.

Now the person that Winston had been expecting in his office had finally turned up, Ames might be in her mid-twenties but she was a brat. She liked to think she was bad to the core, lived life dangerously, but in reality she was a kid, and she could be turned round if she allowed herself a chance. Now she was in his office and he knew why.

When she had first met them she had been on the other team, and when caught had had a session with Guerrero, he had given her his talk on the five phases of fear, always a party pleaser, Winston thought sarcastically. He had then given her the option, tell him what he wanted to know or lose her finger nails or her kneecaps her choice.  She had talked, anyone in their right mind would.  But Ames had gone on to work with them, now she wanted to ask the fifty thousand dollar question it had only taken her three weeks to buck up the courage to ask was the threat real or would Guerrero have backed down if she had refused to talk, after all  they were the good guys.

Ames slid into the seat opposite him and pulled the green sucker out of her mouth, at least it was one up on her usual chewing gum. She didn’t waste words and jumped straight in “Guerrero he wouldn’t have hurt me, you wouldn’t have let him right.”

The kid Winston knew wanted reassurance, he leaned back in his chair, and gave a sigh, as he mused how many people had through that just before the last thing they had seen was Guerrero pulling the trigger on them. The only person he knew that was truly safe with the slender hit man was Chance.

Winston mused over his own relationship with Guerrero, well over the last six years he was sure that the hit man had grown to tolerate him, and when he had been in the bank with blocks of C4 strapped to his chest he was sure he saw a flicker of concern. That might just have been Guerrero working out the odds on the blast range of the explosives, but even so, there were still times that he thought they got along reasonably well, and those times usually centered round Chance doing something suicidal stupid. 

He liked to think that when Guerrero worked with them they curbed some of his more anti-social impulses, but when he worked on his side jobs Winston wasn’t so sure. With six years going, Guerrero’s name invoked a kind of fear that you could see on the faces of members of the criminal underworld and it wouldn’t be happening if he didn’t follow through on his threats. Not to mention the fact that there were too many veiled references to shampooing out the trunk of his car and leaving people in there to make him think it wasn’t happening.

Being honest with himself, Winston would admit that there were times when he stepped carefully round the smaller man; there was a certain look that Guerrero gave him that told him he was only seconds away from having his brains blown out.  Experience now meant that he could recognize these moments, and had learned how to pull back, and not hem Guerrero in verbally or physically, but to give him an exit strategy. It was hard especially when all he wanted to do was grab the smaller man by the scruff of his shirt and try and shake some sense into him because against the odd he had come to trust him, and knew what it would do to Chance to lose Guerrero. He liked to think that Guerrero trusted him, after all threats aside he had allowed him to handcuff him and walk him into FBI headquarters, and that must show some kind of trust on Guerrero’s part right.

“I mean you wouldn’t have allowed him to torture me would you?” Ames voice cut into his thoughts.

“What….. “  Winston started and then realized she was waiting for an answer. “Of course I wouldn’t have allowed him to hurt you.” That was the truth, he saw the triumph in her face as she started to get to her feet, and Winston knew he had to crush it, because like this she was going to push Guerrero one step too far, and he knew how that would end.

“But Ames,” he saw her pause, and he continued, “if you had lied to him, there would have been no way that we could have stopped him going in there and kneecapping you.” He saw the look of horror on her face. “You see Guerrero is a professional. He takes pride in his work and you would have insulted him by lying to him, he doesn’t joke around, he would have pulled the trigger, and there was nothing that we could have done to stop him.”

Ames’s face was pale, as she said “I was scared when he threatened me, anyone in their right mind would have been scared of him, I mean he’s like… well he’s Guerrero. So I kinda figure now that you were playing good cop, bad cop with him, you know scare the kid witless.”

 “You know his reputations?” Winston asked knowing the answer already.

“Yes, hell yes, but you’re a cop, and Chance.”

“I was a cop and Chance was an assassin, and so were Guerrero and a lot of worse things besides. Remember what Chance said that first time to you, about Guerrero being much worse than the people that employed you. Has Guerrero done anything since then to make you think different?”

She frowned, “But I work with him now, he wouldn’t hurt me, he likes me.”  Ames said carefully as if trying it out to see how it sounded.

Winston shook his head, Ames didn’t realize that she was treading on thin ice, with the smaller assassin, he opened his mouth to reply but was beaten too it.

 “Dude you want to play our game learns the rules, rule one you’re strictly JV, rule two, fuck up a job I am working on, and it will be the last thing you do, think you can remember those.” Guerrero stood there in the doorway cup in hand slowly dunking his tea bag one of his more eerie smiled on his face as he laid out the law.

Ames  turned to face Guerrero and shuddered how could something as innocent as dunking a teabag make her feel sick, she didn’t think she could ever see him do that  again without remembering him in that room.  Even now looking  into his eyes, a very cold wave of fear washed over her and she was transported back to that moment in time, and suddenly all those stories about him that  she had thought was so cool, were very real and very frightening.

In the last few weeks she had worked with Guerrero, she had  thought they were friends, just like she was with Winston,  for God’s sake he had  even open that bar account for her,  they argued but she had seen him do that with Winston, so what was the difference.   She had been so sure that Guerrero wouldn’t hurt her, but now after hearing what he said to her she wasn’t so sure. 

Ames swallowed hard, her mouth opening and closing lost for words, as she took in the way Guerrero was looking at her, and slowly it sank in, she had wormed her way into working with them.  When she had started she was sure that she would be able to call the shots, she hadn’t met a boy that she couldn’t manipulate, showing them a flash of smile and inch of flesh, and they did what she wanted. But now she was beginning to realize her mistake, these weren’t boys all hot and horny for her, but men who considered her one step above jail bait and in their world she was a rank amateur. She had demanded they respect her and in a heartbeat knew her mistake, respect had to be earned and that wasn’t going to be given over night, but by hard work and proving that she was one of the team, through hell and high water.  Ames opened her mouth to say something to Guerrero, to rebuff his words, but the words remained unsaid, and instead she rushed out of the room, and for the first knew that nothing in her life had prepared her for joining the team.

Guerrero didn’t turn round and watch her go, if she was in ear shot it didn’t matter as far as he cared. “Three weeks, you know dude she lasted longer than I thought she would, but she screws up she’s dead meat.” 

“She could be good field operative given time.” Winston conceded, and then added “as long as she’s willing to learn, kids way to cocky.”

Guerrero shrugged, and took a sip of his tea, “Her funeral dude,” and turning on his heels and left the office.

Winston watched him go and heard him greet his partner and then Chance came in and sat down into the seat opposite.  He looked at Chance and shook his head, “You know sometime I wonder how you can be friends with that…..” Winston said trailing off as be became lost for words, and saw Chance smile at him in genuine amusement before added.

“Guerrero’s grown on you.”

“Right.” Winston drew the word out slowly then added, “and so does fungus, but I don’t have to like that.” He paused and shook his head, “Chance he doesn’t have many friends that should tell you something about him.”

Chance shrugged “He has me and you, and he trusts us, and that’s one more friend than he ever had before. Thought there was that kid, Ames’s age that though he was Guerrero’s friend.”

Winston sensing a story and knowing that Chance rarely talked about him and Guerrero, and their mutual past didn’t interrupt him because it looked like it was going to be one of those rare moments.  It was then he noticed that Ames had crept back and was stood just outside of the door ears dropping, it seemed that this story was aimed for another person Winston mussed but even so any glimpse into Chances previous life was a welcome chance to get to know him better. 

Chance settled an extra couple of inches into the soft buttery leather of the chair, and seemed to look off into the distance. “There was this kid, he was an apprentice, he showed promise, and the old man thought he could make the grade, but wasn’t trusted to go out on his own yet. So he put him with me and Guerrero for some on the job training. The hit wasn’t straight forward, but we had had worse. Now all he had to do was sit in the car so that we would have an escape vehicle, he wasn’t our getaway driver, but he was just there to make sure we wouldn’t be trapped. But he was like Ames always thought that he knew better.

The job was blown, and Junior and Guerrero found themselves in a running battle with the private security, the blow to his shoulder spun Junior round and into the wall, but Guerrero was there to put his attacker down with a head shot and the two of them moved from cover to cover, leap frogging each other so that they didn’t get pinned down.

Junior heard Guerrero snarl into his mike for Toby to get the car in place, Junior suddenly saw the threat that Guerrero missed because of his onside conversation with Toby, his good hand shot out and caught the smaller man by the back of his jacket and hauled him to onside just in time to miss two well-placed gun shots that would have taken his head off. Guerrero had just smiled at him, as if he was having the time of his life and sent back a flurry of shots, and they were on the move again.

They came out of the building, bystanders scattering as Toby brought the car up and onto the pavement, but the kid didn’t stay put as he opened fire when they came out. Junior made the car and was turning to give cover fire, when he heard a cry of pain and Guerrero went down, as his leg was knocked out from under him.

The private security was coming thick and fast, and in the distance the kid could hear the sound of police sirens. All Toby knew was that if Junior was caught all hell would be let lose so he tried to pull him into the car, but he sent him flying with a shove and a snarl and wounded or not Junior went back for his friend.  Junior grabbed hold of Guerrero and somehow managed to drag his friend clear and throw him into the backseat of the car, yelling at the kid to floor it.

Toby panicked behind the wheel,  he took off  like a rocket, nearly taking out a couple of taxi’s and a downtown bus, the car was throwing them around inside it, and Junior landed heavily on top of Guerrero, unable to stop a cry of pain as his wounded shoulder impacted with the seat. It was then that  Guerrero pressed his gun to the base of  Toby’s neck and told him to slow the hell down, and the kid finally listened especially when he heard the gun being cocked.

Winston pulled a bottle of the good whiskey from his desk and a couple of glasses and frowned holding the bottle up and scrutinizing the level of the drink, “damn him, he’s been at the whiskey again.”

“Told you Winston, it’s easier to just leave the bottle out, hide it and Guerrero will find it.”

“Would it make any difference?”  Winston drawled, as he filled their glasses

“Hell no,” Chance said with a smile.

“Okay, you were just getting to the interesting part, this kid Toby, was driving so what happened next, you had taken a bullet in your shoulder, Guerrero had taken one in the leg.” Winston paused at the smirk that was on Chances face.

Winston began to grin, “don’t tell me he was hit in the …..”

Chance cut him off, “outside the building,” he supplied.

“Wise ass” Winston said as he took a sip of his drink. It was then he saw Chance raise his eyebrows.

The bigger man laughed “Guerrero was shot in the ass, tell me that’s right.”

“Didn’t tell you that Winston,” but he was smirking. “Well as you can imagine Guerrero was.”

“Pissed off.” Winston added for him.

“Yeah, pissed off, and that was only the start of it. The bullet I suppose technically caught him high in the back of his leg, but near enough his ass to make no different, anyway Doc Mary dug the bullets out of us and stopped the bleeding and loaded us up with antibiotics.”

“Back street, I am guessing.”

“Yeah,” Chance paused, staring into his drink “Well the doctor gave me the bullets; we never left anything behind that could be used as forensic evidence. It was then I looked at the bullets and it was then I saw we had very real problems.” Chance reached forward as he drained his drink and filled it up, and leaned back with the drink cupped in his hand.

“You see Winston, we were using 9mm automatics, and so where the private security with a couple of 45’s thrown in, the bullet they dug out of Guerrero was a .38. Now you see the problem. The only person carrying and using a .38 was Toby, when he was spraying lead all over trying to help us, the kid managed to plug Guerrero.” Chance took a sip of his drink, “Well you have to remember that Guerrero wasn’t as mellow as he is these days.”

Chance got up and gave Winston a sharp smack between his shoulder blades as the big man inhaled and began to choke on his whiskey.

Finally he raised his hand to prevent another well-meaning assault on him by Chance. The blond ex assassin took his seat. “Can’t see what the problem is Winston, Guerrero has certainly mellowed in the last six years you should have seen him back then.” Chance shook his head, “back then he would have killed you for, remember that time you …. Grabbed him and….”

Winston cut across him. “I am still having nightmares about that so thanks Chance for bringing it up.”  The big man topped his own drink up and gave a shudder, “have you ever woken up and found Guerrero perched on the edge of your bed like some evil gargoyle holding a gun.  Once seen never forgotten.” Winston couldn’t help a shudder running though him at the memory

Chance conceded “He was rather pissed off, but your still here so he just wanted a heart to heart that was all.”

“Right…” Winston drawled. “So back to the story what happened to Toby.”

“Toby, right sorry I was getting side tracked then.” Winston noticed that Chance seemed to be running the story back through his head. “Okay I took Toby to one side and told him about the bullet, and that I wouldn’t tell Guerrero unless he out and out asked about it. The kid just laughed and said that Guerrero would understand that accidents happened, and that he wasn’t worried. After all it wasn’t as if he would kill him over that they were friends.” Chance fell silent, just swirling the whiskey in the glass, “He reminds me of Ames, so cock sure and,” he looked up at Winston “and so stupid, the police found him two days later with his brains decorating the inside of the car. No one spoke of it again.”

Winston glanced past Chance to see the shocked pale faced of Ames, as she turned and hurried away, the truth was a bitter pill to have to swallow, Winston mused, and then he turned his attention back to Chance.

“Ames gone?” Chance said.

Winston nodded, he should have known, that Chance had knew she was there all the time. “She took off at the end of the story, “Winston said.

Chance nodded, “I guess what I am saying  Winston, is that Ames needed to keep a healthy fear of Guerrero, now like I said he’s mellowed, and not likely to just blow her head off if she had her MP3 player on too loud. But ….”

Winston cut across him “But where going to have to keep an eye on her in case she steps over the boundaries with him. “

“Let her get to know him, it’s no good if she’s too scared to even talk to Guerrero, but she needs to gain some survival instinct at the moment I’ve seem lemmings with better instincts than her.” Chance drawled.

Winston raised his glass in a mock salute, “To Ames and keeping her breathing for the next two weeks.”  Chance nodded and returned the salute.

The end