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.

Special thanks to Movieexpert1978 for your help, support and beta reading.

No one deserves to die

 Human Target  (General Fiction)

Main Characters Winston, Guerrero with Chance and Ilsa.

The Present

Ilsa Pucci, looked round the office, and took a deep breath, her team as she liked to call them where hurt and in hospital. Ames and Chance had both been caught in an explosion, when the enemy had triggered off some grenades. This left her, helping the one remaining injured member of the team who was currently lying on the couch, his eyes closed and to all intensive purposes asleep.

The injuries had been Ames fault as she had been trying to prove herself as a field operative, and Guerrero had taken a bullet low down on his side, which had dropped him, and from what she had heard he had then taken out the shooter, and his back up. It had also according to Winston been touch and go for a moment if he was going to add Ames to the death count. Chance had come to the rescue, but the attacker he downed in rescuing them wasn’t dead and had managed to trigger the explosion. Chance had thrown himself across Guerrero to protect him, and ended up getting hurt by falling debris. She had heard Guerrero talk about explosives before, and had the feeling that one of their early missions had gone spectacularly wrong because of them, but he wasn’t exactly the sort of person you could pump for information, so she resigned herself to never getting the full story.

It was then that Guerrero woke and she watched as he carefully and painfully got to his feet, he swayed, and she caught hold of him, only to have him take her down as he fell back down onto the couch, pinning her under him.

 The breath was knocked from her, and for a long moment nothing happened as they both got their breath back, and then slowly Guerrero raised his face from her cleavage, and she found herself nose to nose with her most notorious employee.  “Hi dude,” his smile was wicked, he was enjoying himself

“Mr. Guerrero, if you think I am a dude you certainly need new glasses.” She said dryly.

He gave a chuckle, and started to push off her when pain knifed through his side and he slumped back down on her, taking hurried deep breaths as he tried to control the pain.

Without thinking about it she rubbed his shoulder, while he rode it out. Then he slowly lifted his head again, “Sorry boss,” he glanced down “nice dress.”

The mischief got the better of her. “Mr. Guerrero, I hope that’s your gun in your pocket.”

For a heartbeat he just looked at her, said something she only just caught, that made her laugh, and then he  rolled onto his side so that she could get out from under him, whatever he was going to say  trailed off, as he saw the blood stain on her white dress, his hand reached down and touched his bandage, it was wet with blood.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Winston came out of the elevator carrying a large pink box of donuts and heard something that he never believed he was ever going to hear in his life and he was sure the mental picture would scar him for life.

“GET THEM OFF NOW, MR. GUERRERO, AND DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK, IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR PANTS OFF NOW I AM GOING TO DO IT!

THAT IS SERIOUSELY NOT COOL,” Guerrero shot back.

“THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE Mr. GUERRERO.” The speaker was Ilsa Pucci  their boss, and she was  talking to their resident gunman, computer hacker and borderline sociopath Guerrero, like Chance he was an ex-assassin but who had a perchance for side jobs that would make most people run screaming into the night.  But that didn’t appear to be stopping Mrs. Pucci.

Turning the corner Winston stopped dead in his tracks, Mrs. Pucci was stood with her back to him, hands on her hips, and in front of her was Guerrero, in a dressing gown that was three sizes too big, one pocket weighted down with whatever gun he was carrying, his jeans where undone and riding low on his hips, and he was minus his glasses and shirt.

Subconsciously, Winston lifted his free hand and patted his breast pocket for Guerrero’s glasses when…….

Ilsa turned with a look of triumph and said the fatal words that nearly had Winston out of the door and running for his life. “There you are Mr. Winston; you can help me get Mr. Guerrero’s pants off.”

 

0-0-0-0-0-0

Six years earlier.

Detective Winston’s connection with Chance begun with the Katherine Walters case, when he had kidnapped his witness in an attempt to save her life, he had failed; she had died in an explosion.  But the result had been that Chance as he was now calling himself had gone into the personal protection business in an attempt to make sure that no more innocents where lost.

That was when their  working relationship had started  he had left the police force after getting in his twenty years, not because he disliked the work, but because there was a rotten core in his department, that was poisoning the very force he loved.

He had decided then and there, there had to be a better way, and he had found it in a most unusual form of his partner. He had invested his police pension in their joint private security service, and in the first month, the pension money was the only thing that had kept the business afloat. Winston was aware that he entered into the business with under no illusions about his new partner.

Chance had been an assassin and had had some sort of epiphany because of the death of Katherine Walters, and turned his life round.  He now laid his life on the line to keep his clients alive with the motto no one deserves to die, a motto he lived by.

Against the odds, Chance was a good man working hard towards his own redemption, but he was stood with one foot on a slippery slope, and Winston considered it his job to keep his friend from falling and keeping him alive so that he could gains some peace of mind.

Their name was beginning to circulate as the people to go to when all else failed, and even some of Winston’s old friends from the SFPD had come to them when the official channels had failed them.

But that was when the problems began to start, one of their would be clients had put in a call to them, a meeting in a public place, only they found him in the back alleyway, a bullet to the back of the head execution style. Then two months later  another would be  client was waiting for a meet when the fire alarm went off in the  building, and he had evacuated, only to meet a high velocity sniper bullet face on.

Chance had been thoughtful at each of the killings; it was as if he was putting together a piece of a puzzle. When he had pushed, Winston had found Chance reluctant to talk.

To Winston it seemed that their luck had changed the next couple of clients had successfully employed them, and they had walked away with their life back and their persecutors in prison and paid them in goods that could be sold at a good price, life was looking good.

Then the bad luck came back, Philip Goodwin called them he had information that people wanted, and he was sure that they were going to grab him, he desperately needed help.  Winston, put a call into Chance that he had accepted the case and was heading over to pick up the client. It was when he arrived at the address, he was met by Goodwin’s wife, she looked puzzled and then scared as she said that Philip had already been picked up by one of Winston’s team.

“This man what did he look like?”

“You mean he didn’t, my God,” Mrs. Goodwin’s hand flew to her mouth in horror, “We… that man he has Philip.”

“Mrs. Goodwin, what did he look like?”

“Philip didn’t really let me see him, he took him straight into the den,” she frowned, “I only saw him from behind, he wasn’t very tall, and slim,” she raised a hand to indicate the height, “ well dressed,” she looked at Winston in despair. Philip wouldn’t have gotten into the car, if he thought the man was a threat. Phil had been a linebacker at college he is still fit he can take care of himself.”

Winston tried to reassure her, but he knew that she was desperately trying to convince herself that everything was going to be okay, but this had all the hall marks of a professional job, and that gave him a nasty sinking feeling, he pulled his cell phone out, “Chance, Goodwin’s been taken, I’ve got a discipline of the man that took him, not much small, slim, and yeah…. How did you know that?”

The police had been called in by Mrs. Goodwin, but she wasn’t able to give them anything they could use to help identify him. Winston had used every contact he had in the underworld but nothing turned up, the snitches where silent, the body was found two days later, he had been tortured, and the information extracted. From his contacts Winston had managed to get a copy of the autopsy report, it made grim reading. Whoever had broken Goodwin was an expert, that narrowed the field but again he came to a dead end, no one wanted to talk about him. 

0-0-0-0-0

Chance leaned back into the chair, “So you’re no closer to finding him.”

“You’re not back slipping on me are you?” Winton asked his eyes boring into his partners.

“Why would you think that?” Chance said a bemused look on his face.

“We have a psychopath on the loose, he’s been killing our clients, and you should have seen what he did to Goodwin, yet your sitting on your ass and no doing anything. You tell me why?” He paused and leaned into the man he called his friend “what the hell aren’t you telling me Chance.”

  “It’s just his way, he’s letting me know that he’s in town. “ Chance said as he got to his feet, and then pulled a small electric box from the drawer of the desk, and began to scan the room for bugs.

“You know this guy? Is he a threat to you?” Winston didn’t try to hide his concern. “Am I right that he’s calling you out?” The big man knew that it could happen, a former associate coming to San Francisco to get even with Chance.

“If he wanted me dead, I already would be Winston. Also he killed them before they became our clients; he didn’t want it to become a “me or him” type of problem.  This is just his idea of an introduction; we didn’t exactly part on good terms last time.”

“And that would be why?” Winston demanded.

“When I was hiding Katherine,” Chance’s voice dipped slightly flattening on her name, the wound caused by her death was still raw, “he was sent to talk me round and kill her. We fought, and both had the drop on each other at different times, but neither of us pulled the trigger. I ended up knocking him out, and then took off with her. I heard on the grapevine that he had gone rogue, the sometime I did.” Chance paused; Winston saw the way that the other man seemed to be weighting him up.

Winston didn’t push he just waited, and was rewarded when Chance continued.

 “It appeared my old boss sent people around to talk to him, he didn’t like the fact that he let me go, and didn’t take the shot, well they weren’t in the same league as him. There were four of them, the police found three of them inside the hotel and one outside in the parking lot and ….. Well you don’t need to know what happened to the broker that crossed him, by recruiting them for my old boss. But it wasn’t pretty, my guess was that he was pretty pissed off at the time with me because I went rogue, and those four well he could never suffer fools gladly.” Chance shrugged and bent down to pet Carmine, the Rottweiler puppy that was his only physical connection with Katherine, and ran the scanner over the dog, and then grinned as he took a bug out of the collar, and dropped it into a glass of water.

“He bugged the frigging dog,” Winston said in disbelief, and then watched as Chance continued checking the whole office, finding three more bugs, that explained how he found out about their clients. Winston suppressed a shudder, he felt in response to knowing that his office had been broken into his private space violated by this unknown killer.

“So he’s killing our clients, Chance those people didn’t deserve to die, to become some psycho’s calling card.”

“It’s what he’s paid to do; he’s like me an assassin.”

Winston felt a cold lead weight in his stomach, “You retired remember.” He said levelly. For a long minute Winston couldn’t breathe until with a jolt Chance seemed to come back to himself.  “The contracts were out there and the broker filled them, with …….. Well with him here, he would be the first choice.”

“The police.”

“Winston they won’t get close to him.” Chance picked up the file, “this new case, Judith Cross, what do we know about her.”

0-0-0-0-0

But Winston couldn’t allow it to go, Chance had move onto the next case, and it was a major tell about his partner, Chance wanted and worked towards his own personal redemption, but….. but he could walk away from those other murders, with a ruthlessness that was staggering. Yet he risked his life without a pause for Judith Cross, it was a puzzle that Winston couldn’t yet figure out. But what also worried the bigger man was who was to say that this psycho rogue assassin wouldn’t turn his sights on Chance at some later date, and come after him, they always said that attack was a good defense.

If Chance was prepared to let it go, Winston wasn’t he started to hunt around for leads on the rogue with renewed vague.  But  he draw a blank this rogue was prowling the underworld like a great white, silent and deadly, and striking hard and fast, and only leaving a bloody smear on the water. Not even his old police friends had a name for him yet, but he was making them nervous.  But Winston wouldn’t give up.

It came to a head one morning, when Chance was out on one of his much hated 10 mile road runs.  Winston had walked into the office and found him sat there picking away at the left over Thai food takeaway they had brought the night before.  The man was slender, with longish auburn hair and glasses, a moustache, goatee and needed a shave; he looked like a computer geek. But this man was different when he looked at him, they locked eyes, and Winston had felt an ice cold shudder run down his spin, this man was dangerous. He could see the man looking him up and down evaluating him, and then saw the twist of the lips, and the shake of the head. 

“Seriously dude, if you’re the best that Chance can afford, he’s got problems.” The smile he gave him was eerie chilling.

“What are you doing here?” Winston demanded.

“Set out the invite dude, and Chance didn’t take me up on it, “he drawled.

“You killed them you bastard,” Winston snarled and started forward, only to  be pulled up short  by the gun that was now in the man’s hand and  pointed at his head.

It was then that Chance came in, for a few minutes there Winston wondered what was going to happen, the two men face off each other, the tension so strained that he knew that if it broke, there would be death in the air. But suddenly it had dissolved, and the two men Chance and the newcomer were talking to his horror like old friends.

Finally Chance turned and did the introductions, “Winston, Guerrero. Guerrero, Winston my partner.”  The big man couldn’t help but notice the stress that Chance had put on those last two words. If he was fanciful he could have thought that Chance was warning the smaller man off.

Guerrero, looked at him and then dismissed him. Winston could feel the anger building in him, at the almost casual contempt that this killer was giving him. Right at this very core Winston could feel that fight or flight feeling seeping through him. Ruthlessly he pushed it down; he would protect Chance even if it meant protecting Chance from himself. There was no way he was going to let his friend back slide.

The two men took themselves off and into Chance’s living quarters, and half an hour later they left together. Any hope that Winston had that Guerrero’s visit was a one off, was squashed, it was clear that he was here to stay.  Then to his horror he found that Chance was finding ways to included Guerrero in on their jobs and whenever Chance called, Guerrero was always there when he needed him.

 So as much as he disliked Guerrero, hated what he was, and everything he stood for.  Hell, just being near him set off every cop sense he had, the same one that he kept him alive on the streets was telling him that, that turning his back on Guerrero was dangerous. 

But what he couldn’t dispute was that Chance had come out of the depression that he had fallen into after Katherine Walter’s death because of the man, and for that he was grateful to Guerrero. Chance liked to wing it on missions, and whereas sometimes Guerrero would back him to the hilt in his crazy plays, then there were the times when Guerrero shook his head and drawled “seriously uncool bro,” and Chance would chance plan in mid stride. For that Winston was thankful that he had help running herd on Chance, but that still didn’t mean that he totally trusted Guerrero. Winston was all too aware that when Guerrero helped them, it was Chance he was helping, not the client, and that his loyalty was to Chance and to him alone, as far as Guerrero was concerned Winston mused he was just baggage that got in the way.

The more Guerrero came around the more Winston tried to pump Chance for information on him, Guerrero was like a time bomb waiting to go off, but Chance had waved him away, obviously very reluctant to talk about the him, and they shared history, and you only had to hear the two men talking in a fractured shorthand, that included references to Aunty Suzie and Uncle Billy, to know that.

Now he had a name Winston went back to information mining but no one wanted to talk in detail once they heard Guerrero’s name. One of them had hissed as he thrust the fifty dollars back at him, “You think I’ve got a death wish man, you want info on Guerrero, do it on your own time, it’s your funeral. Because man if he hears you’re digging he’s going to come after you, and all that’s going to be left is a grease stain, man, a fucking grease stain”

0-0-0-0-0-0

Chance always brought Guerrero in, but as often as Winston had made it clear to Guerrero he wasn’t needed and it was the last job, the smaller man would turn up next time. He was good and even Winston couldn’t deny that. 

Winston sat in his office, and took a long shuddering breath, and looked down at this hands and the blood that was ingrained in them. Blood belonging to his friend. It was just 8 hours ago when a job that should have been a walk in the park below up in their faces, and resulted with Chance in hospital with assorted broken bones and Guerrero in the wind. 

Getting slowly to his feet Winston went into the kitchen and washed his hands, watching almost mesmerized as the dried blood was scrubbed away, he just wished his memory could do the same. He knew that until the day he died he would see that explosion and the way they had been thrown around like the toys of ungrateful kid. He looked up and saw the haggard look on his face reflected back at him, and rubbed a hand over it, and glanced at this watch, and headed out the door, he had promised Chance he would come back that afternoon, and the man was stubborn enough to do without his painkiller until he came. .

Hospital

Winston  stood by the bed looking down at  Chance, this friend had his leg and arm in plaster, and was breathing with some difficult because of his bust ribs, but it didn’t stop him threatening to get out of the bed and out of hospital if Winston didn’t find Guerrero.

“Damn it to hell Chance, I’ll go and get that bastard if he means that much to you.” Winston shook his head and swore under his breath, “Okay Chance, you have to give me some clues here, where would Guerrero go. That guy doesn’t exactly run on all cylinders.”

Chance gave a groan of pain as he eased himself up, and threw the blankets off. “Winston if you’re going to be like this I’m going to get him myself.”  But the pain that exploded through Chance left him panting for breath as the pain from his injuries washed over him and caused him to fall back on the pillow.

Winston’s large hands curled round Chance’s arms holding him secure, “okay, okay, I’ll go find him.”

Chance took a deep breath, sweat soaking his face from the efforts he was making, “Winston, he would have gone to underground, he doesn’t trust hospitals or doctors, and they keep too many records. He’s got some under the radar contacts, butchers but they get the job done.”

Winston swore under his breath, “So who do I start with.”

Chance reached for a pad and began to scribble a list of names, any one of these three he might have gone too. “You have to find him Winston, I don’t know how badly injured he was when he got me out of there, he took off too fast.” It was the nearest that Winston had ever got to hearing Chance beg.

The plea hit at Winston touched on a secret he would never tell a soul, it was a simple one; the idea of Guerrero out there wounded, and alone disturbed him. So when he said “Don’t worry Chance, you let the doctor do what he needs to, I’ll bring Guerrero in even if I have to drag him in,” he actually meant it.

Chance nodded his thanks and then added “Just watch yourself Winston,” he paused as if not sure how to say it, “if he’s hurt he’s going to be pissed and when that happens, Guerrero can become unpredictable and…...”

“Great just what I need a paranoid psycho, and let me guess the body count goes up.” Winston put in levelly. 

“Not a psychopath, a high functioning sociopath according to the shrink.” Chance said, with an edge of pain to his voice.

Winston, opened and closed his mouth, “He’s got a shrink…………..” he paused “makes sense.”

But Chance continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “Right up until he shot him….” There was a long paused and then he added “shouldn’t have tried to restrain him, suicidal to say the least.”

Winston made a chopping motion with his hand, “Let’s get this right, that food stealing psycho……..” then he added in disbelief. “He killed the shrink, and you didn’t think that was a wakeup call.”

Chance looked almost peaceful as he said “it’s his own fault for trying to restrain Guerrero you know he doesn’t like handcuffs.”

“Riiiiiiiiiiiight”  Winston drawled he opened his mouth to continued when Chance gave a groan of pain as he tried to sit up a bit more, only to have Winston, leaning over him, supporting his weight as with his other hand the big man tugged the pillows in to place bracing his body, into a more comfortable position. Seeing his friend like that Winston told him what he needed to hear that he would look after Guerrero  the one man Chance called his oldest friend.

One thing that Winston had ascertained very early in their working relationship was that he thought that Guerrero exhibited all the personality traits of a sociopath. He was a ruthless cold blooded killer, who had no problem with taking the most direct methods in gaining his objectives, a master assassin and a torture expert his name was feared across the San Francisco underworld for a very good reason. Guerrero, didn’t bluff, he would go straight them to the heart of any problem, and bend it until it until it worked for him.  Now it was chilling for Winston to hear Chance say that and realize that he was 100 percent correct about the slender hit man.  The idea of Guerrero being more unpredictable and unstable as usual was a frightening thing to contemplate. Winston favored Chance with a wry smile, “you know you don’t pay me enough for this” he grumbled, only for Chance to say, “You know he likes you don’t you Winston?” The big man shook his head.

“He has a great way of showing it,” then as he left the room he paused and added over his shoulder for effect, pleased at the smile he got from Chance as he added “pay me, what the hell am I talking about you don’t pay me full stop.”

0-0-0-0-0

The Richardson Family Clinic

Doc Mary was in her sixties, at one time she had been a brilliant doctor and surgeon, but that had all ended when her only daughter had died in a hit and run accidently, three hours later a rich trust fund kid had been brought in by his friend. She had learned that he had wrapped his car round a post, but from his drunken raving she learned he had first killed her daughter when he had run her down on the sidewalk. That night she had broken her oath as a doctor of “do not harm,” no one had ever learned the truth, but she knew, and had begun to drink. Until one day she had been too drunk to make it into the operating theatre, she had gone to the Betty Ford Clinic to try and save her life and her career, and come out of rehab sober, but her surgery days where long gone, no hospital wanted to risk their reputation using her.

She had instead committed herself to the Richardson Family Clinic, a small charity funded clinic, and found some happiness there until one day she had received a phone call just before she locked up. The man’s voice had sounded strained, but what he said had turned her cold. Whoever he was he knew she had murdered and his price was simple as she was to stay behind when the others had gone. That night she had found herself, staring down the gun in the hand of an injured man. He was bleeding heavily and   would have bled out if she hadn’t helped him.  Her skill had kept him alive, and so she had started her present career.

Since then he and men of his ilk had visited her it was always the same she was needed to sew up knife or gunshot wounds that would have proved an embracement at the hospitals with their rules on notifying the police. She hadn’t seen that man for nearly a year and now he was back, the man responsible for dragging her down into the criminal depths. He lay on her table, she took in the damage to his body, the shoulder wound was more messy than serious, but a spear of glass had sliced deep into his flesh at his hip. He, she had never pressed for a name, had taken several hits from flying wood and metal splinters that she would need to remove it from his back.

Mary set to work, tackling the hip would first, since it was the deepest of this wounds, once it had been cleaned and stitched she moved onto the next injury. The cuts to his back she closed with butterfly bandages and the deeper ones she closed with a couple of stitches. His knee was swollen, but ice packs and rest would help that. He looked as if he had been fed though a meat grinder, but she knew better than to ask.

As always he refused any form of anesthetic that would put him under. She knew the reason why it was pure and simple he was too paranoid, he didn’t trust anyone to watch his back.  The moment she was finished she knew he would pay her, pocket the antibiotics she gave him and then leave, without giving himself any recovery time. Only then would she sink down into her chair and take a shuddering breath, pleased to have survived another encounter with him.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Winston had drawn a blank at the three names on the list, this time Guerrero had really gone U-boat  on them, sat in the SUV the big man slammed his hand onto the steering wheel in frustration, how the hell as he going to find him now.  There had to be a way!  Looking out the window at a woman taking her dog for a walk he couldn’t help but think how easy it would be if they could just GPS chip  Guerrero, the idea made him smile, then the smile faded as he remembered something. 

Guerrero would have removed the GPS from his own cell phone, but Winston remembered the two men had exchanged cell phones and that Chance’s cell was still in the glove compartment of Guerrero’s car. Now if the phone was still on? Quickly he fished his own cell out, and began to dial, luckily he had a couple of friends still active in the SFPD who owed him a couple of favors, and it was long before he had the location of the cell phone.

It was early morning when he pulled up outside of all things a family care practice, he drove by and then parked his car and walked back towards it, he found the Eldo, as Guerrero called his beloved car, parked a block away, shinning his flashlight into the car he could see the ink black stains on the driver’s seat, and on the door. Blood, to be precise Guerrero’s blood.

Winston frowned if so then Guerrero must have been bleeding quite badly to leave that amount of blood behind, which wasn’t good. It didn’t take much to follow the trail of blood spots to the back door of the building, his hand resting on his gun. It might be Guerrero in there, but there was no way of knowing what other low lives might be there.  Winston pushed against the door it was locked. Knocking wasn’t going to get him any answers, so he just kicked the back door in.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Doc Mary heard the door crash open, she spun round as the intruder came in fast, even laid on the table on his side her patient’s hand snapped up with a gun in his hand, and he fired, at the last second he jerked his hand up, and the bullet ploughed into the wall, missing the newcomer by inches.. But even so it was now fixed on the newcomer’s head, his fingers resting on the trigger. The newcomer nodded politely to her, “Sorry about breaking in, I…..” he never got to finish.

Her patient cut across him, his blue eyes behind the glasses cold and unforgiving. “How is he?” One question and his tone of voice demanded an answer.

Winston ignored the intimidation he had expected that.  “He’s going to be fine, sent me to bring you home,” he wasn’t surprised when Guerrero didn’t ask about the client, she didn’t even register on his radar, he barely tolerated her.

“Don’t need help.” Guerrero all but snarled at him as he pushed himself up into a sitting position, trying to brace himself, the gun in his other  hand never wavering from its target, between Winston’s eyes even as the color drained from his face from the strain .

Winston looked him up and down critically, taking in the injuries; carefully he made his actions slowly precise as he holstered his weapon, and raised his hand again to show it was empty. Then carefully, Winston move forward slowly, he knew that any fast movement and Guerrero’s would see it as a threat, an attack and shoot.  So Winston edged closer towards him, he kept his voice level, just like he would do if he was approaching a dangerous injured animal, that at any minute might go straight for the jugular, “I made a promise to him, I said that I would bring you in, don’t want to make me a liar do you.” Winston said pleasantly, by now he was stood almost against the table, he knew that this wasn’t going to end well.

Guerrero has a stubborn independent streak a mile wide that was only surpassed by his paranoia, he knew the smaller man would just try and ignore him, and do his own thing, well this time it wasn’t an option. Now Winston was aware that unlike Chance he couldn’t talk Guerrero round when he was like this, so he decided to go straight to plan B, after plan A,  which was appeal to Guerrero’s better nature, did he have one? Winston mused, failed.

Okay what the hell, Winston thought and then went where angles feared to tread, he was about to poke the bear. “You’re not fine; you try and get to your feet and your fall flat on your ass. Am I going to need to put you out of your misery”,” he growled.

The gun came up, just as Winston knew it would, for a big man he was fast on his feet, with one hand he lashed out hitting Guerrero’s wrist hard enough for the gun to fly out of his hand, and his other hand caught the smaller man round his throat, as he took him down backwards onto the table, in a controlled move.  The sudden move would have triggered the pain that raged through the smaller body, and he clearly saw it etched on Guerrero’s face, but he didn’t have time to worry about that now. Using his weight Winston pinned the smaller man’s body to the table, even as he tried to avoid putting too much pressure on the already abused body.

He might be trying to avoid hurting Guerrero, but the smaller man was under no such restraints, and Winston only just managed to pull his head back in time to avoid a head butt that would have broken his nose, and smashed his teeth, as he tried to pin the now violently struggling man down, all he could do was hang on until the adrenaline rush died off. Leaving Guerrero, struggling for breath and glaring up at him.

Winston breathed a sigh of relief, leaned over him “Guerrero, I…” that was as far as he got as Guerrero tried to take a bite out of his nose, he only just got his head out of the way in time. Just then Doc Mary syringe in hand and managed to inject Guerrero, that started another round of struggling, and then his body began to become sluggish, and Winston saw the flash of fear in his eyes, as Guerrero realized he was losing conscious, and that he would be helpless in his hands. 

Winston felt Guerrero’s body go limp under him, and he counted to 20, and then slowly eased himself up off Guerrero, ready to increase his hold, if the smaller man was faking it, but he wasn’t. 

“What did you give him?” He demanded as his questing fingers located a steady, slow pulse at Guerrero’s throat.

“It’s a sedative, it’s not going to hurt him, just keep him under you get him the hell out of here.” He could hear the fear in her voice.

Winston saw the worried look on her face, as she looked at her patient, as she seemed to realize just what she had done and to the kind of man she had done it to.

“Don’t worry he’s going to be okay about this, once he’s calmed down.” Winston tried to reassure her, knowing that a snow ball in hell had more chance of surviving, than Guerrero suddenly acquiring a forgiving nature.

But Doc Mary wouldn’t have anything of it, she shook her head “You don’t understand, he’s, he’s going to kill me for this, and I’ve seen what he’s done to people, I’ve put them back together again after he’s …,” she trailed off.

Putting a hand onto her shoulder, Winston gave it a squeeze to reassure her. “He’s not going to do anything; he’ll understand you did if for the best.” Even as he bend down to picked up the gun off the floor pocked it, he watched as she checked the injured man’s wounds, to make sure that he hadn’t pulled any stitches in the struggle. Finally contented he hadn’t done any damaged she finished padding the wounds and then nodded that it was alright for Winston to take him.

She watched in silence as the big man, pulled the wounded man’s clothes back into some semblance of order, then turning handed him a blanket.

He nodded his thanks, and then dipped his hand in his pocket and pressed some money into her hand; she tried to push it away, muttering “he’s already paid me.” But Winston wouldn’t allow her to refuse, “you need to buy new locks for the back door, take it.”

Winston wrapped Guerrero in the  blanket and then  realized that a fireman’s lift because of his wounds was out of the question so he hefted the smaller man up into his arms, the man might be smaller, but he was all lean hard muscle so he was heavier than he looked,

He carried Guerrero out to the SUV, and installed him in the front seat where he could keep an eye on him. Carefully he lowered the seat back and then hesitated when he saw that the smaller man was shivering. Quickly he stripped off his own jacket and used it as an additional blanket, to cover Guerrero with, before safely belting him in.  All the time he was driving, Winston kept one eye on his charge, once he got him back to the warehouse, he carried the smaller man up to Chance’s apartment, and laid him down on the bed.

He took the hit man’s glasses and put them on the bedside table, and then removed his sneakers socks, and then reached for the snap on his jeans, and offered up pray that Guerrero didn’t come too at that time. The one thing he had learned real quickly was the Guerrero protected his personal space, and trying to touch him even with the most innocent intent was libel unless your name was Christopher Chance to getting your head blown off. So there was no way that Guerrero was going to take it well if he woke up to find him with his hands down his pants.

Finally he got him comfortable, he hesitated one thing he knew was that when Guerrero came round the first thing he was going to do was make a run for it, so he  pocked the glasses, Guerrero was myopic, it would at least slow him down. The honest truth was this would be the first time that Guerrero would be totally dependent on him, and that wasn’t going to go down well. Before when he had been hurt Chance had always been there, able to go toe to toe with his friend, using all his knowledge of him to make him do what needed to be done, concerning his health. 

It was then Winston heard the patter of paws as Carmine came into the bedroom.

The dog had belonged to Katherine Walters when he was a puppy, he was now a two year old Rottweiler and without an aggressive bone in his body. He padded up to the bed, cocked his head, and then pushed his nose against Guerrero’s hand, snuffling it, and then laid down by the side of his bed, his head resting on his paws, lying between the door and the sleeping man. 

Winston smiled and gave Carmine a pat, the big dog, might be crap as a guard dog, but he was good at acting as a sheep dog when people where ill, he stuck to them like glue, he had now attached himself to Guerrero, so where he went the dog would follow him.  Winston’s grin broadened like this if it was between Guerrero and the dog his money was on the dog.

Now sure that his charge would stay in one place, Winston went back downstairs and breathed a sigh of relief, his wayward sheep was now back in the fold.

0-0-0-0-0-0

An hour later

Guerrero was still out cold when Winston checked on him, so he patted Carmine, and made a fuss of the dog, and then went back down stairs, and settled in one of the chairs, near enough so that he would hear if he was needed, he placed the gun on the low glass table. Anyone coming through the door to get to Guerrero would have to go through him first.

The bang upstairs was loud there was a cry of pain, and Carmine started to bark, Winston took the steps two at a time, and came flying into the room, just as a gun lined an his head and the trigger was pulled, but instead of the roar of the gun, there was only the dry click. Winston threw up a pray of thanks that he had unloaded Guerrero’s gun, leaving it by the bed only as reassurance for the injured man.

Guerrero was on the floor on his stomach, struggling to get up snarling at him, his face was flushed, and sweat covered his body as he slumped back down onto the floor again. Not wanting to loom over him, Winston knelt down, keeping his hands out. “Easy Guerrero, it’s just me.”

The smaller man turned his head and looked at him, his lips pulled back against his teeth, in pain, “fuck off,” he managed to grate out.

Winston shook his head, “not going to happen.” As much as he wanted to help, Winston kept back; Guerrero’s lowered his head down to rest on his arm as the bigger man could see him try to ride out the pain.

Finally he lifted his head, “can’t do this,” he grated out.

Only then did the bigger man close the distance between them, his large hands, gentle as he coaxed Guerrero onto his back, and then slide one arm under his knees the other arm under his arms, and lifted him up.  The blood soaked into Winston’s suit as he lifted him up and put him on the bed, the wound on his hip had burst open. Quickly Winston peeled the bandage back, immediately he could smell the decay, and saw the redness of the wound. He cleaned and dressed the wound, getting Guerrero to take the antibiotics and pain killer.

The next 24 hours for Winston was something he hoped to one day forget, it became clear to him that the antibiotics was not working,  the infection was taking hold, pulling out the paper  that Chance had wrote the doctors names down on, Winton began to ring round. The amount of money promised to the doctor would have to come out of his own pocket, but the man came that was all that mattered.

The Doctor didn’t look like he expected him, the man was young and well dressed, and he looked nothing like the butchers that Chance had called them.

Doctor Tom as he was told to call him worked quickly, tutting in annoyance. Finally he had cleaned and re-dressed the hip wound, and then checked out the other wounds, but all the others seemed clean and uninfected. As he prepared a syringe for a powerful broad based antibiotic, he spoke, “I found foreign matter in the wound, it was enough to cause the inflection. “

“But I was feeding him the antibiotics.”

The doctor took a deep breath, “I checked on them, they didn’t look right, the capsules are filled with icing sugar, you could have fed them to him until dooms day and they wouldn’t have done any good.”  He paused, “you were lucky the wound burst open, and otherwise it could have killed him,” Then he briskly added “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Winston paid him and saw him to the door with a thank you.

 For the next six hours he stayed by Guerrero’s side, only finally leaving him when the antibiotics took hold and the fever died off. One of the things echoing through his head was what the doctor had said hesitantly at the door. “There is no way that could have been an accident, the matter and the antibiotics sabotaged.  Someone wanted him dead, and they wanted him to suffer.”

0-0-0-0-0-0

Winston managed to get a message through to Chance, who he knew would be climbing the walls. The message was simple “what was lost has now been found.”

The big man wished that he could say that the next four days with Guerrero made him understand the smaller man better, it hadn’t, but he had been surprised to get a “thanks dude” off him, as the injured man finally was able to make a shuffling walk to the refrigerator.  

By then Chance had been released and the two men both seemed to calm down now that they were with each other which allowed a shattered Winston some rest. Guerrero never did anything with there being cold clear logic behind in, it might be warped logic but it was always logic so it was no surprise to Winston when he opened the paper and saw the face of Doc Mary staring back at him, he didn’t have to read further. Why the doctor had tried to kill Guerrero was something Winston knew he would never understand that she had got so close to doing it was chilling, if it hadn’t been for Chance’s insistent and the fact he had gone after him, Guerrero would have collapsed and died helpless and alone from the infection.

 

Present Day

Winston stopped at the bakery and got the donuts, this time it had been so much easier than the first time he had been entrusted with looking after Guerrero while Chance was in hospital. For starters he knew the man better, and it might damn him to hell, but he actually thought of the smaller man as his friend. This time he didn’t have to house sit Guerrero on his own, he had Ilsa Pucci their boss to help out. All he had had to do was sic her onto Guerrero, and the hit man was a lost cause, the lady was a regular bull dog, she took the care of her employees very seriously.

The job they had been working had gone to hell in a hand basket, Chance and Ames had been taken to hospital and when Guerrero had tried to make a break for the hills, he had been effortlessly scooped up by Operation Pucci, and whisked off to a private clinic, and been under the knife within an hour of the explosion. Once out of recovery, he had been taken back to Chance’s apartment, and was reaping the benefit of first class antibiotics and painkiller.

Whatever he had been given, Guerrero was certainly feeling no pain, and was floating, he was talkative, a first for him , and seemed to be joined to the hip with Ilsa; she would turned round to find him stood there. Only to have him compliment her on her dress, and then get right in her personal space, without his glasses, he would have  trouble focusing on her, and so he would reach up and lightly touch her face and hair, only then would he  allow her to take his hand and lead him back to bed, a hour later it would happened again, and again always the same pattern. But instead of being angry or uncomfortable, Ilsa would  taken it all in good humor.

Today he had promised Chance that he would talk to Guerrero, since he had come off the painkiller the day before he would be more lucid. Chance’s words echoed back in his mind “its best he mellows out before he see’s Ames, remember the wood chipper?”

Winton remembered trying to suppress a shudder, he wasn’t an idiot, he knew that Ames was in serious trouble with Guerrero, it was her stupidity that had caused them to be injured, and people that endangered Chance didn’t get to do it again. So it meant that when saw Guerrero today he was going to have to have a heart talk with a man that had a very direct way of removing threats and who currently was at his most unpredictable, unstable best, and wasn’t known for his forgiving nature.

Even so Winston thought it couldn’t get any worse could it.

Winston came out of the elevator carrying a large pink box of donuts and heard something that he never believed he was every going to hear in his life and he was sure the mental picture would scar him for life.

“GET THEM OFF NOW, MR. GUERRERO, AND DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK, IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR PANTS OFF NOW I AM GOING TO DO IT.

“THAT IS SERIOUSELY NOT COOL,” Guerrero shot back.

“THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE Mr. GUERRERO.” The speaker was Ilsa Pucci  their boss, and she was  talking to their resident gunman, computer hacker and borderline sociopath Guerrero, like Chance he was an ex-assassin but who had a perchance for side jobs that would make most people run screaming into the night.  But that didn’t appear to be stopping Mrs. Pucci.

Turning the corner Winston stopped dead in his tracks, Mrs. Pucci was stood with her back to him, hands on her hips, and in front of her was Guerrero, in a dressing gown that was three sizes too big, one pocket weighted down with whatever gun he was carrying, his jeans where undone and riding low on his hips, and he was minus his glasses and shirt.

Subconsciously, Winston lifted his free hand and patted his breast pocket for Guerrero’s glasses when…….

Ilsa turned with a look of triumph and said the fatal words that nearly had Winston out of the door and running for his life. “There you are Mr. Winston; you can help me get Mr. Guerrero’s pants off.”

As she turned he saw the blood stain on her dress, and the soddened bandage on Guerrero’s side.

“What happened,” Winston asked, it was Ilsa that answered.

“Mr. Guerrero tripped on the coffee table, and caught hold of me to stop falling into it, and we ended up on the couch. It’s opened up the wound, it needs dressing.  He’s refusing.”

“Right,” Winston drawled, and he carefully placed the pink box down, Guerrero glared at him through his glasses.

Winston noted the gun in the pocket of the dressing gown, and was fully aware it was loaded this time. Last time when Guerrero had been out of his head with fever, the gun had been empty, which meant that if Guerrero shot him this time it would be because he meant it.

 “Sorry you’re not going anywhere, Chance wouldn’t like it.”  Winston threw in the name, hoping that it would calm him down.

Guerrero got right in his face, tilting his head up, making Winston all the more aware of their height difference, as he glared up at him, which was slightly spoiled by the fact that Guerrero was obviously having problems seeing him without his glasses, it made Winston smile, although he did his best to suppress it, it reminded him of a nearsighted owl.

A finger prodded his chest, bringing him back to the present. “Touch me, and I’ll feed your….” That was as far as he got when Ilsa cut across him, her cut glass British accent stopping him mid-sentence. “You will do no such thing, Mister Guerrero.”  She had pulled herself up to her full height, “you are bleeding Mr. Guerrero, and you will sit your arse down, and let me see to it now.”

 Guerrero turned slowly, to face her, Winston’s hand shot out and caught his elbow when he swayed and nearly fell. But what surprised the big man was that instead of pulling away from him, or flinching, Guerrero accepted his touch, as he guided him back to sit on the couch. “Thanks dude.” Two words he never thought he would hear from Guerrero.  

Seated the smaller man cocked his head to one side, and the smile he gave Ilsa was one of his most innocent, which meant it wasn’t innocent at all, as she settled next to him, and reached for the   bandage.

 

Two days later

Ames woke after a good night sleep, the sleeping pills worked well, only to find the nurse looking at her with a shocked expression on her face, Ames turned her head and swore the pillow she was sleeping on was shredded by bullets, someone had entered her room last night and   put two bullets into her pillow. She didn’t have to been a mind reader to know who had done it and why.  It looked like she had a lot of apologizing to do when she got back. She just prayed he accepted it.

 

The end.