Tell me what you know


Author: Delga

Fandom: Spooks/ MI-5

Spoilers: Season 3, episode 9

Summary: But Adam Carter is a man and he's already faced his demons.

A.N. Not mine, don't sue :)


"Tell me what you know."

Five words. A million miles away.

(One room away. There is a man. He is the man. He is not that man).

But Adam Carter is a man and he's already faced his demons.


Tell me what you know.

He knows blood, coursing through his veins, pumping and grinding against his mind in a jumping, thumping rhythm.

He knows blood, like life, slipping away from him; red and bitter on his tongue as he bites down. He knows noise and pain and fear—

godmakeitstopleasemakeitstopjustmakeitstopmakethemstopstopstop

— and he knows eternity in a brutal fashion.


"Tell me what you know."

The man is lying on the floor, the picture of disgrace. His mouth is rimmed with the dry remnants of vomit; his eyes are sunk low into the pits of his face. He's barely conscious.

"Come on, what are you fighting for? What is this for?"

The figure doesn't move. The man is in pain (ohgodsomuchpain) and for a moment, the roles are reversed. Is it he or the mercenary who lies bound and gagged and boxed away? Is it he or the mercenary who is in control?

For a moment, Adam Carter is in a cell and Adam Carter is the tortured.


His palms are sticky, his wrists tight and bound by something harsh. His skin is peeling apart at a genetic level and his mind all the while is screaming and tearing and falling apart.

Tell us what you know.

How easy it would be to give in. How easy, how simple it would be if he were just to give in. Then at least there would be peace. For a little while. At least.

(There is the sense that these are questions, not statements).

Tell us what you know.

He knows that he works for Her Majesty's Secret Service and that his pain is for that honour. He knows that honour is bullshit but he can't let go.


The mercenary (oh god, how brilliantly the word rolls about the mouth like good red wine nipping at the taste buds) has a daughter. Can he use this?

Of course he can. Adam Carter works for Her Majesty's Secret Service, after all.


The question now, of course, is can he do this? Does he have the will, the focus, the strength to keep his mouth shut? Have all the years been leading to this moment, this second when the world is enflamed and his lips are wrought by sixty stitches-

therearesisxtysecondstoanysituationwhereanofficercanbecompromisedyourmouthismadeofthesesecondsifyoucanholdonforthatlaststitchyouknowyouvemadeit

- when lives are dependent on his very breath?

Tell us what you know.

Inside his mind is grating with the insecurity of his life. Outside his body is limp.

(But his eyes still shout: fuck off).


The question now, of course, is can he do this? Does he have the will, the focus – the anger – to do this properly? To go all the way? Will he become what he despises?

"Dammit, tell me what you know! Where's the designator? What's the target?"

(Somewhere in the world there is a son— no, wait, a daughter. Mercenary has a daughter).


The man trembles. It is so cold.

(His mind is hot and dull, thudding away to a pulse that he cannot verify. It hits and smacks against his skull).

And yet Adam Carter is in the desert.

Tell me what you know.

I know nothing, he thinks. I know nothing about anything. I want to go home.

He knows that his body is bruised in places he never imagined possible. He knows that the guard is watching him with those eyes. He knows that the ringing in his ears is from the bells that never stop, the sweat on his face is from the heat he never feels. He knows that he is slowly losing consciousness; slowly losing faith.


Of course, the threat is averted. The daughter is saved. The mercenary is let loose in the world with his weak will and his shoddy morals and his bitter, acrid words.

And Adam Carter saved the day.

He knows what they talk about – knows that he's a 'loose cannon'. He knows that Danny talked to Harry and that Ruth talked to Harry and that Fiona wanted to talk to somebody but knew she never could.

When he talks about cobalt blue, the subtext is overt and bold. How can he know if he doesn't understand the difference between the lines he can cross and the lines he'll never come to? How does he know if he is what they say he is?

He kisses his wife. All that for another day, it seems.


They found him (god knows how many days had passed) on the precipice, looking down into his madness like King Lear on his deathbed. When they came through the door, he didn't believe it was them – believed it to be another trick, another ploy.

Two days later and he was in London and every time there was movement, his body flinched.

His mind was still tender, his muscles still in disbelief. He saw the world as a mirage, a beautiful, wonderful, devastating mirage that had taken him and consumed him whole. The DG took him into his office, made him sit down, told him You don't have to do this now, you know.

Adam Carter shook his head. No. Now was always the best time.

The DG sighed, slapped his knees and walked around to his desk.

Alright then, tell me what you know

FIN