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.

WHO DO YOU TRUST

Human Target (standalone) Main characters Winston/Guerrero  (general fiction)

 

The Present

Winston stood there, his life was on the line, and he knew that he was going to die, as he looked at the man stood opposite him, on first glance the man didn’t look dangerous, five six if an inch, slender build, but if you looked closer you saw it. The air of menace that came off him, it was like looking at an apex predator, the ice cold blue eyes that looked at him through round rimmed glasses, the eerie smile. It made Winston’s blood run cold.

“Guerrero.”

“Hi dude,” then all Winston saw was the muzzle flash of the gun….

Two months earlier

Winston had been a cop, he had put in his twenty, but it had cost him his wife, when his drive to bring down the dirty cops in his department had become an obsession that had dominated their lives together. It had resulted in him ending up resigning and throwing in his lot with an ex-assassin now called Christopher Chance, who was attempting to redeem himself by saving people who needed help that the police were unable to give.

But working with an ex-assassin brought with it a downside, a very living and breathing sociopathic downside that Winston wasn’t sure he was able to deal with in the form of Guerrero. 

Guerrero: the man’s name brought terror to the criminal underworld with a bad reputation and, he was the most dangerous person Winston had ever met, hell he was worse than the people they were going up against. When other people threatened to do things to get information, Guerrero did them as easy as other people breathed. It sickened him to have to work with the man, he had demanded and pleaded with Chance to cut Guerrero loose, but Chance refused, he was his friend and that was that. So if Chance wouldn’t or couldn’t cut the tie that existed between them, he could, and would face Chances retribution later.

Slowly he took a flash drive out of his pocket, and slipped it into one of the USB ports on his laptop, each file on the drive was connected with a contract murder.  The killings had no obvious connection to each other, they had taken part in other cities over the last ten years, and there was nothing to connect one killer to all of them except one thing. It was so small that he didn’t blame the other detectives from missing it, missing it because they hadn’t known to look for it but he did.

It had started with an offhand comment of Chance about a newspaper editor that had been killed. Winston couldn’t remember the whole conversation but he had accused Chance of killing the man, and Chance had denied it, and without realizing it his eyes had drifted over to Guerrero. He had put two and two together, and through a friend of his pulled the file from SFPD headquarters on the hit.

The ball had started rolling when he had been looking at the file in his office when he had looked up and focused on the kitchen just in time to see the slender hit man raiding the icebox.  Guerrero had turned closing the door and straightened up with chopsticks in one hand and a carton of Indian takeaway in the other. It was then the penny had dropped. What if this was a habit of Guerrero’s, Chance had said something about the smaller man having a fast metabolism, as the reason he was always eating. There was no denying the fact that every time he came into the office, he had his head in the icebox, stealing food, perks of a freelancer, was Guerrero’s argument if he was called on it, he had even caught him wolfing down the lunch he had brought in. So could that be a link?

 He opened up each file and studied the scene of crime photograph. There it was, it wasn’t in all of the pictures but in quite a few, food out on the table, or the odd take away carton in the kitchen. He had found what no one else had done; a link to tie together Guerrero’s hits.

Winston leaned back from the screen, it wasn’t proof, but it was a starting point that could be exploited. This would be the first time that anyone had connection towards proving just what Guerrero had done. All he had to do once he could prove it was have a quiet word with one of his friends at the SFPD and let them take over; they would be fighting each other for a chance to take Guerrero down.

Guerrero was a man that deserved to be in prison for everything he had done. Hell, if there was any justice in the world that sociopathic freak would be on death row now, or more likely given what he knew of him, sat in a straightjacket in one of the maximum security facilities for the criminally insane. Winston shook his head as he  thought of Chance, was the man that blind that he didn’t see what Guerrero was, the man was sociopath or so damn close he was in spitting distance of it.

Damn it, Chance even  encouraged him to come around, Guerrero, had been working with them off and on for the last six months, Chance insisted on bringing him in on all their jobs, and when he had challenged him on that Chance had just smiled and ignored him yet again. In honesty it was an argument that Winston was getting sick and tired of having with the ex-assassin that he now regarded as his friend. 

 The big man got up and walked over to his own personal coffee maker, Winston poured himself cup and took a long slip, savoring the taste of the blend, it was his one little vice, after drinking all the bad coffee that cops seemed to thrive on, once he joined with Chance he had pushed the boat out and brought the good stuff. But the coffee today tasted like bitter tar, as he turned back to the laptop, he pushed away the feeling that he was betraying Guerrero, the man was a dangerous killer, and all that mattered was getting him behind bars, so why did he feel guilty?

Just then Chance walked into the office. “Guerrero’s got a lead on McMasters,” Chance paused when Winston made no effort to reply to him, Chance frowned and asked “something wrong Winston?”

Winston got slowly put his cup down, “No, not with you.”

Chance made a guess “Guerrero.” The younger man shook his head at the same time as he smile reassuringly, “I keep telling you Winston you can trust him, he’ll watch your back for you,” but his tone indicated that he had had this argument before and was  getting fed up with it.

“Unless someone pays him more.” Winston drawled.

“He wouldn’t do that, I told you Winston, as long as you pay him on time, Guerrero isn’t a problem. Don’t pay him, and then you really are screwed.”

“And that’s suppose to reassure me,” Winston said dryly, to Chances retreating back, as he remembered what had happened with they had first come together six months ago.

 

Robert Glass Investment Brokerage Firm.

They hadn’t been in business together long, a stock broker had been insider trading and was ready to blow the whistle on his colleagues, when he had arranged to meet them in his office on the 14 floor.  The man had been nervous, and was sat opposite them filling Winston and Chance in on what was happening. Chance had just got up and moved to the widow, when it shattered as a bullet punched through the glass and blew the man’s head apart spraying Winston in blood and brains. One bullet one kill.

Winston had wanted to go after the killer, but the case dropped out from underneath them. The police had taken over the case and there was no client to pay them so he had reluctantly give up on finding the sniper. When he had spoken to Chance about it, the ex-assassin had looked thoughtful, and told him to drop it, and when pushed he just stood there and told him point blank that he wouldn’t go after the killer. But Winston wasn’t going to give up easily, and he refused to give up on the argument, when Chance turned to walk away he caught his arm. Chance froze, looked down at his hand and then up to his face, the man he had grown to consider his friend was gone, and the man that he had once been was there. He had shrugged Winston’s hand off him and then “calls it professional courtesy Winston and leaves it at that.”

Three days later when they got a new job and needed a third player. Chance had breezily told him he had the perfect man in mind for the Aunt Linda they had planned, an old friend.

Looking up at the clock, Winston saw that the man was running late, he was about to comment on it, when the lift opened and a man stepped out.

It was Chance that did the introductions, Guerrero that was Guerrero, Winston was staring at the smaller man, and he wasn’t what he had expected. Small and slender with his round glasses and long hair he looked more like a computer geek than an elite hit man.  

Winston still had enough contacts from his SFPD days to have heard the name, he had first been hearing about Guerrero eight months ago, that was when the man must have hit San Francisco. But he had brought one hell of reputation with him, and since then had proved it was no beard, already his name was feared not only by the criminals but by the police who had found their informants suddenly mute when his name was mentioned.  He was a contract killer, an expert sniper, that started Winston thinking and he extracted information in the most painful way possible, no one in their right mind would want to cross him. And here was Chance greeting him like a long lost friend, and the monster, the animal that was Guerrero was actually smiling and calling Chance bro.

Guerrero hadn’t acknowledged him when they had been introduced, just turned on his heels and headed into the kitchen, something on his face must have shown because Chance just shook his head and when he had opened his mouth to comment had just said, “He’s not much on conversation, but he’s the man you want guarding your back and if this is going to work we need another player.”

“You said we need a sniper. Is he as good as they say?”

“He’s good at over one mile out.”

“Just tell me, that bastard wasn’t the one that took out our client.” Winston waited, Chance didn’t answer him, but it was easy for the ex-cop to read the answer. “And you think that we can trust him, what’s to stop him taking out this client just because the other side pays him better.” Winston splat the words, at the same time as he waved a hand in the direction the smaller man had gone.

Chance gave a sigh, “Guerrero wouldn’t have got involved the last time if we have taken him on as client before he accepted the job. He doesn’t want any of the him and me type situations developing, but he’s an old friend,” he paused “Guerrero’s the best at what he does, it might not be pleasant, but it gets the job done and we need him on this one,” for a moment Winston thought that Chance was going to add something, but he just gave a shrug and followed Guerrero into the kitchen, leaving him fuming.

There first job together had then gone to hell in a hand basket, but the client had walked away alive and that was all that mattered, now he had to pay Guerrero, and that made him feel sick to the stomach.

“What the hell is that dude,” Guerrero looked at the bottles of Japanese whiskey that was lined up on the table in front of him.”

“Whiskey, worth $900 a bottle, we don’t get paid in money, its barter.” Winston had started to explain, “it makes it easier to keep transactions under the radar.”

Winston refused to be intimidated but all the same he had to stop himself from taking a step back at the fury he saw in Guerrero’s’ face as he got up real close and personal to him, and heard the distinct sound of an automatic being cocked, looking down he saw the gun in Guerrero's hand.

“Guerrero, NO,” Chance was suddenly there, he didn’t make a grab for the gun he knew better than that, like this he had to talk Guerrero down. “Winston made a mistake, pure and simple, he’s new to this.”

Guerrero appeared to ignore Chance, but since his friend hadn’t pulled the trigger meant that he had reached Guerrero, the man was at least listening to him.

When Guerrero spoke his voice was soft but chilling to Winston, “Dude that’s not cool, seriously not cool, I get paid in cash none of this crap.” He swept a hand out and two of the bottles of whiskey crashed to the floor, breaking and spilling the drink across the floor.

“What the hell.” Winston didn’t get to finish what he was going to say, as the gun Guerrero was holding was now pointed down at his knee and he saw the man’s finger tightening on the trigger.

Guerrero continued in the frightening calm voice of his, “Now Chance knows that, and since he wouldn’t stiff me it has to be you Winston. Are you out to screw me over dude, because if you are I’ll start on the kneecaps and work my way up.”

 “That’s why I have this.” Chance said smoothly handing him an envelope, not taking offence as the money was checked, as Guerrero stepped back from Winston, finally he got a smile and a nod of the head, and a  “Next time bro.”  Guerrero looked back at Winston one last time with a sarcastic comment of “amateur”, and then strode out of the warehouse.

“That money was for…” that was as far as Winston got, when Chance rounded on him, cutting him off in mid-sentence. Chance was usually easy going but now his face was deadly serious.

“Winston, I told you to pay him cash, you just insulted him, and people that do that don’t exactly live long and happy lives. A man called Billy Frank short changed Guerrero once,” he paused “only once, last I heard they had to use DNA to identify him after he gone through a meat grinder.” Chance seeing the shocked look on his friends face added, “Winston you got to remember this, Guerrero, he’s a good friend, well the closest I have to one, but you piss him off, and I am going to have a problem holding him back. It’s only because you’re my friend that he gave you this warning, don’t waste it he only gives one.”

0-0-0-0-0

Three months later

Chance had managed to escape with the client, with Guerrero putting down suppression fire from the roof top opposite. He was keeping six men pinned down to allow the escape, now was the time for him to move, and he knew that the moment he stopped, they would be swarming all over the building. He was the only link to the where their target had gone, and they would want to hunt him down.

“Dude.”

“Yeah, I got your back door.” Winston drawled over the communication link.

Guerrero, put down one last flurry of fire, threw the rifle over his shoulder, grabbed the rope, and started to abseiled down the side of the building. When the first bullet smashed above him he increased his decent, as more bullets slammed round him. He hit the ground hard, and then went down on his knees, as he freed himself of the rope, his hand snapped up and he fired as the first of the men came into range.

“Dude where the hell are you?” His voice was drowned out by the roar of an engine as a saloon car came round the corner of the building, the alley way was narrow, but Guerrero just managed to get in as the car was floored, it barreled out of the alleyway, and out onto the street, taking the corner in a scream of rubber and a shower of sparks as it ripped the wing off the car. 

Any hope he had they were going to get away clean was lost as in his rear mirror Winston saw a car coming up fast, Guerrero swore, and was leaning out of the car window, as he exchanged fire with them, trying to force them to keep back to give them a chance to get clear.  It happened almost too fast, Winston had to jump the light, and the car was hit, it spun round, Winston’s hand shot out, grabbed Guerrero by the back of his jacket and hauled the smaller man back into the vehicle before he was thrown out. Just as the car was hit against and flipped being thrown over and over in a bone crunching roll.

The car crash had been a bad one; the car had been throwing across the road like a kid’s toy. Winston head was ringing. The engine was still running until it came to a stop and all he could hear was the drip, drip, drip of escaping fuel.  Guerrero was silent, his body limp and unmoving. “Guerrero!” Winston yelled at him as he reached out to tug at his arm, they were going to have to get out of the car and fast it could blow any minute, as if to illustrate the point he heard a whoosh and fingers of flames started to lick round the engine. “GUERRERO!” Winston yelled louder at him, and pulled at his arm but the smaller man’s body just flopped, his head rolled to one side and Winston saw the blood that covered it, he had lost his glasses in the crash there was a deep cut under one eye, where they had lacerated his face and there was a nasty head wound.

The flames began to get bigger, the window screen cracked as the heat built, Winston was struggling with his  car door, pain was radiating from his back, and his leg, but he refused to give up,  swearing under his breath,  he managed to force the door open, and crawled out, in the distance he could hear the wail of sirens, reaching back into the burning car he wrapped one large hand  round Guerrero’s arm, and he began to drag him out through the driver’s door. Winston refused to leave him; one thing kept pounding through his head no one deserved to die. 

Winston finally with one last effort hauled the smaller man out, half dragged and half carried him way from the car knowing only he had to get them away from it, suddenly there was a whoosh of air, and he was being thrown forward at the same time as there was a loud roar as the car exploded. Winston hit the ground pinned Guerrero under him, the big man moving so that he was covering him protecting him as the metal and glass and burning fuel began to fall round them.

Winston gave grunts of pain as he was hit, but he didn’t move and to do so would lay the unconscious Guerrero open to further injury. Slowly he lifted his head, and swore under his breath as his injured made themselves known as he got to his feet, he bent over his hands resting on his knees as he let the world slow down and the feeling of nausea abated. Too many people where now milling around the scene, he ignored the people demanding to know if he was okay. Lifting his head he could see the flashing bars of the police car, he looked down at the man at his feet. One call to Detective Spencer, all he had to do was tell them that this was Guerrero, and……  Winston shook his head, bent down, hauled the smaller man up, and over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift, giving a groan as he straightened up and began to walk away. Melting into the growing crowd of on lookers.

Twenty minutes later, Guerrero was still unconscious, and Winston was seriously worried, head injuries could leave someone in a coma and the longer the smaller man was out cold the worse it could be. Fishing into his pocket, he pulled out his cell, by some miracle it was actually working, Chance would have gone emergency deep with the client, so he couldn’t contact him, Guerrero had some shady doctors for these sort of emergencies, but he didn’t know their numbers or addresses so he rang the only one he knew could help him.

“Michelle, its Winston.” He said a quick pray as he explained to his ex-wife what had happened, there was a long silence and then she told him to come over.

That was how one hour later he was stood in his wives bedroom with Guerrero on the bed, and Michelle carefully examining him, she was an experience trauma nurse at the local hospital, her hands firm but gentle where running over Guerrero, checking for injuries.

She looked up finally, “His shoulder is dislocated, he’s got heavy bruising to his ribs, a wrenched knee and ankle, and whip lash to his neck. But my main concern is the head injury; carrying him like that Winston could have…” She saw the look on her husband’s face, and didn’t continue he was already beating himself up enough he didn’t need her add to it. “As long as he comes round in the next half hour he might be alright, if not then we’re going to have to take him to hospital.”

What followed wasn’t pleasant as Winston helped Michelle with getting Guerrero’s shoulder back in place. She saw the way her ex-husband looked a little grey round the gills, as he had felt bone scrap on bone as they manipulated the shoulder, she smiled at him and gave his hand a squeeze.  For such a big and powerful man, he had a soft heart, and that seemed to extend his friend here. She tried to reassure him, “Believe me its better we do it now, before he’s back with us,” then added “don’t worry your friend is going to be okay.”

It was ten minutes later that Guerrero opened his eyes, looking up at him, blinking trying to focus on the blur that was leaning over him, when his hand lashed up, Winston caught it, before it could hit his throat, pinning it against the bed by his shoulder. “Easy Guerrero its Winston.” He felt the hit man tense and then what he didn’t expect was that Guerrero relaxed when he heard his voice. Releasing his hand Winston used the dimmer to soften the light in the bedroom, and immediately he saw the effect on Guerrero as the pain in his face seemed to ease.

The next hours where never going to be good, unable to give him a painkiller, Guerrero was battling a killer headache and pain that radiated through his body. He was drowsy; Michelle tried to reassure Winston that a certain amount of drowsiness was very common after a head injury. Hard on the heels of that was the vomiting, but again before Winston could get too worried she was reassuring him that it was a common symptom, but like the drowsiness had to be monitored, if it got worse or was prolonged, then and her voice had gotten firm, then like it or not his friend had to be taken to hospital for treatment and to hell with what problems it caused.

The chair in the bedroom was a killer, Winston looked up from his paper, checked the clock and then bending down gave Guerrero’s shoulder a shake, the reply he got was obscene and to the point proved that the hit man knew exactly where he was and who he was with. So Winston settled back into the chair, Michelle had checked him over, once they had finished with Guerrero, and apart from some spectacular bruising he had gotten off lucky, the pain in his back flared. He looked at the  bed, what the hell, and went over to the far side and eased himself down, sitting on the  top of the blanket, he pulled and tugged the pillows until he was comfortable, angled the bedside lamp and began to read his newspaper. An hour later he reached a hand over and shook Guerrero, the smaller man, head snapped round, and he only just had time to lean over the side of the bed as he threw up again. He would have fallen off the bed if Winston hadn’t clamped a large hand round his arm and hauled him over so he landed onto his back.

Guerrero lay on his back, one hand thrown over his eyes, “Tell me you’re not in bed with me dude.”

“Don’t flatter yourself Guerrero, your virtues safe.”  Winston chuckled.

Slowly Guerrero lowered his arm, whatever he was going to say was lost as he rolled back onto his side and began to dry heave. Reaching over Winston took the bottle of water from the bedside table, unscrewed the bottle and then tapped Guerrero on the shoulder, and handed him the bottle, when he paused his head turned to him Winston qualified, “There’s some mineral supplements in there, you need them.”

When he hesitated Winston plucked the bottle from his hand, gave a huff of disbelief and took a drink, and handed it back.  Then he pointly went back to his newspaper, watching Guerrero out of the corner of his eye, as the man took a careful drink, and only then continued to sip it until half of it was gone. It seemed he wasn’t the only one with trust issues in this partnership.

The hours past and it was now early morning, Winston could hear the birds starting their early morning chorus. Finally he decided he could get himself some sleep, Michelle had been in and out all night checking on them and she had finally agreed that Guerrero seemed to be over the worse of it, and he could be allowed to sleep through.

Winston woke up an hour later, with a weight against his arm, he looked down, and swore under his breath. Guerrero had rolled over in his sleep and his head was now resting against his arm, there was no way the man was comfortable. Winston looked up to the heaven for help, and then moved his arm slowly, the smaller man’s head slide down so that it was resting against his chest, this left Winston with his arm hovering over the sleeping man, not sure where to put it. Slowly he lowered it, to rest against Guerrero, hell if the man was going to kill him when he woke up he might as well get comfortable in the meantime.

He never got a thank you from Guerrero for pulling his ass out of that burning car and getting him clear of the police, and they certainly never spoke about what happened when Guerrero woke up that morning and found himself cuddled against him, but there had been an expression on his face that Winston would paid good money to see again, and who could have through that Guerrero could move that fast from a horizontal position, it had made his day.

The man went back to his food stealing ways, with his side jobs when he wasn’t working with them that would have given Winston nightmares if he allowed himself to dwell on it. Guerrero was the same pain in the ass he had always been, taking a perverse pleasure in annoying him.  He couldn’t be sure but there was times when he thought he saw Guerrero looking at him, as if he was puzzling out a computer encryption, something that he couldn’t quite get a handle on, because in Guerrero’s world no one did anything for nothing there was always a price.

Present

“Guerrero.”

“Hi dude,” then all Winston saw was the muzzle flash of the gun….

Tony Edwards, when he had seen the man step out in front of them had expected him to try and talk him down to get  the ex-cops release, he had his demands all ready, that was when he heard the name and it was as if he blood has turned to ice. It was that fraction of a second freeze that killed him. It was all it had taken for two bullets to be double tapped through his mouth, severing his motor functions so that he couldn’t pull the trigger even if he had time to try. The wall behind them was a splattered with his blood and gore as he collapsed.

Winston twisted away from the falling body and then turned to Guerrero, who gave him one of his more eerie smiles as he holstered his gun.

“Thanks.”

“Any time dude.”

It was then Winston saw his old partner Detective Spencer and his men coming up, Guerrero was trapped, knowing his dislike for the police Winston knew he had to do something before it became a blood bath. He moved round the slender hit man so that he was blocking him, and Winston large hand quickly pinned Guerrero’s hand against the gun, and he stared down straight into his eyes. “Trust me.” Then added,  “If we have to walk into a police station, I’ll walk you out that’s a promise.”  For Winston it was as if the temperature in the room had just plummeted when Guerrero answered.

“If I step on foot into prison………” Guerrero didn’t finish the threat.

Winston pulled the gun out of his hand, making sure that he handled it, his prints smothered the gun, and he kept the gun pointed down as he turned.

“Mick good to see you, got a bit of a situation here.”

Detective Spencer’s eyes slide from Winston, to the man stood partly hidden by his old friend, the other man only came up to Winston’s shoulder, even as he heard him explain what was going down he couldn’t take his eyes off the smaller man. It was the cop gut feeling that kept him alive, that was telling him that to take his eyes of the smaller man could be fatal. “Best start talking Winston, and who’s your friend.”

“A colleague,” Winston glossed over, as he continued “he arrived just before you did, luckily I managed to take Edwards down, first otherwise it could have got nasty.”

“This yours then.” He nodded towards the dead body of wife killer.

Winston met his gaze levelly. “I didn’t have much chance since he pulled a gun on me.”

“You’re going to have to come in with me Winston and your friends a material witness.”

Winston didn’t have to turn round to feel Guerrero tensing behind him, “He arrived too late, he didn’t see anything, he’s just a freelancer we bring in, communication, computers that sort of thing, wrong place, wrong time.”

Spencer looked from one man to the other, and then fixed on Winston, as if he was trying to work out what was going on. “Okay he can go, but I want contact information on him in case I need a statement from him.”

0-0-0-0-0

Six hours and one call to his lawyer later, Winston got back to the warehouse, Guerrero was sat behind his desk his feet up, and resting on the edge of it, a left over carton of Chinese’s in his hand.  “About Edwards, thanks.”

“Where even now dude.” Guerrero drawled.

Winston shook his head, “Not quite,” then his hand shot out caught the carton and pulled it free from the smaller man’s hand, and before he could react he dropped a foot long sub in his lap, then turning on his heels and walked way.

In the kitchen Winston stopped he looked from the empty carton to the memory stick he had fisted in his other hand, at any time during the last six hours he could have taken it out and given it to Spencer, sure it didn’t dot all the I’s and cross the T’s. But……….. He shook his head that would have been a poor way to have repaid Guerrero.

Redemption came in many forms, he mused, the lives that Guerrero’s helped save couldn’t out weight the number of people he had killed or the misery he had and still brought down on people. But the truth was, working with them curbed Guerrero, so maybe that was the start, he could never see Guerrero embracing redemption like Chance did, but each time someone didn’t die, maybe it was one step closer. He broke the memory stick beyond repair, and put it into the takeaway carton and dropped them both in the waste disposal.

Who do you trust, that was a question Winston faced every time Guerrero entered the warehouse and finally the answer was simple did he trust him with his life?  The answer was finally a  resounding yes; did he trust him with a client? Possibly with a large side order of mistrust, Chance certainly kept him away from them.  Would he trust him with his family, the answer was….. well the jury was still out on that one. But it was a step forward and one that he could live with. 

The end.