Author: cedricsowner PM
Set in the very early days of Winston's and Chance's partnership. Guerrero has only just come in. And now it's time for the first overseas operation... FINAL CHAPTER UPRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chance & Winston - Chapters: 13 - Words: 17,190 - Reviews: 58 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-31-12 - Published: 07-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8357974
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Human Target and intend no copyright infringement.
For a brief moment Winston fought the urge to yell. Then he remembered that he wasn't a cop anymore. There was no superior in the room next door who could send him to another useless waste of time anger management seminar. He could yell as much and as long as he pleased now. No more entries into his personal file.
No more personal file.
Definitely one of the perks of his new life.
One of the downsides, however, was currently sitting in his office chair, feet propped up on his desk, and munching away on his egg salad.
"NO WAY!", Winston yelled to his heart's delight. "There's absolutely no way we're gonna take this job!"
"Dude, I don't get it. You two do pro bono all the time. What's the difference now?" Guerrero finished off the egg salad and placed the empty plastic box on the table next to his feet. Was he intentionally turning it clockwise so that the label that marked it as Winston's was clearly visible?
You bet he did.
"He's got a point", Chance spoke up from his corner of the room, leaning against the wall, arms crossed, looking from Winston to Guerrero and back again. "This woman, what's her name…"
"Abigail Porter", Winston grumbled.
Guerrero grinned, recognizing Chance's maneuver for what it was: A test of how far Winston had inwardly already accepted the idea of taking that job, although outwardly he still fought it so fiercely. The fact that he had memorized the woman's name although Guerrero had only mentioned it once was a good sign and helped Chance decide on his next steps.
"Yeah, right, Abby." Chance nodded, pretending to remember only just now. "She might very well be in danger. And the father is going to cover our travel expenses, so no drawing on our capital stock. The mortgage is safe. Where's the problem?"
Winston squinted his eyes. This was not the first time his newly found business partner had shown remarkable problems memorizing stuff. Was it a health issue, thanks to the numerous times he had received blows to the head? Was it because he didn't care? Or was he playing games with him?
The past three months had given no indication whatsoever that he couldn't trust Chance. But three months wasn't exactly much time to get to know a person. And the arrival of that lowlife Guerrero about six weeks into this business relationship hadn't made things easier either.
"We're not going to take the job…" Winston was talking very slowly now, as if addressing a child "... because I'm dead sure that you…" he pointed at Guerrero and abruptly raised his voice "…have an ulterior motive!"
Guerrero raised his eyebrows at him: And that is a bad thing because…?
Chance wordlessly shrugged his shoulders: Yeah, most likely, what can I say?
Winston threw his hands heavenwards in despair. What had he gotten himself into? Mumbling expletives, he exited the room, slamming the door so violently that the glass rattled in its frame.
"Winston!" Swift ex-assassin steps behind him, catching up with him way before he had made it to the elevator.
"We do owe him this, you know. Guerrero takes money issues very seriously."
And their last job hadn't exactly been profitable. In the end they hadn't been able to pay him. Awkward situation and potentially dangerous. Truth to be told, Chance had expected all sorts of retaliations from his friend. Guerrero asking them to protect someone, however, had taken him by surprise.
Doing a small-time crook like Ax Garrett a favor was totally unlike Guerrero. Winston was absolutely right, there had to be some sort of ulterior motive. Chance just hoped it didn't involve killing someone. Guerrero and he had a very clear agreement. Blackmailing, hacking, counterfeiting yes, including certain disciplinary sanctions – you just couldn't run a business of Guerrero's kind without a few reminders of whom you were dealing with thrown in every now and then – but NO contract killing anymore.
As far as Chance knew Guerrero had kept his side of the deal so far. And up till three months ago he would have never wasted a single thought on the possibility that he could break his word, once given.
But then they had fought, in the cabin, for Katherine's life. Although the bruises of their clash were long gone, the remnants of this conflict still lingered between them, like some sort of slightly festering wound. The kind that looks okay on the outside but hurts when you touch it. They needed to resolve this somehow. But the idea of actually talking this over with Guerrero… ugh…
Well, Chance thought sarcastically, maybe in England, over a good cup of tea.
"Whatever Guerrero's true motive may be, that woman…"
"Abigail", Winston added almost automatically.
"Yeah, Abby…" Chance fought the urge to grin "…she does need our help. Ax Garrett pissed off the wrong people. He needs to be sure that his daughter is safe while he's sorting his mess out. It might be just me, but isn't that in accordance with our mission statement?" He gave Winston one of his boyish smiles.
"She's a criminal's daughter", Winston snapped, actually much more irked by his partner's newest display of sudden memory loss than by their – sigh – new client's parentage.
"That's not her fault." Suddenly Chance grew very serious. "And she doesn't even know it anyway. She's been living in England for most of her life, never met her father."
"So how are we going to play it?", Winston asked, defeated.
"Since Abby is part of an Open University group on an excursion through the north of England I don't see many problems blending in."
"Open University excursion?" So far nobody had mentioned this minute detail to Winston. He hated group tours! One rainy spring weekend years ago his wife had bullied him into a bird watching tour in Maine. He had managed to get kicked out of the group on Saturday after getting into a fight with one of the group members, an unbearably arrogant jerk… and right in time for his 49ers game… but that was another story.
"Excursion?", he repeated, breathing in deeply to get enough air for another round of yelling.
"Yeah, dude, we're seriously going to brush up your general knowledge on English history." Guerrero was sitting on the leather couch in the lobby, right behind them. Winston hadn't heard him coming.
"We're expected in York tomorrow evening." Of course he had already booked a flight.