Disclaimer—Characters belong to JJ Abrams. No copyright infringement intended. Any similarity to events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Author's Notes—To Kerry, as always. The most incredible beta, the most fantastic travel consultant, and, most importantly, the greatest friend.

Feedback—Always greatly appreciated.

Spoilers—Post Ep to Echoes

Archive—Let me know, thanks.

That Guy—Weiss's thoughts on a day poorly executed.

I wanted to be that guy. The only problem is, I haven't been him in a long time. And it's very difficult to be that guy with an audience, even if it's just her half-sister who also happens to be a very dear friend of mine. It was just that that guy would've given her a hug. She'd been through quite the ordeal and hurt and... She looked like she could've used a hug. Hell, I know I could've used one right then, too.

She'd been kidnapped. From a restaurant in broad daylight. While difficult for amateurs, sadly, these were professionals who knew precisely what they were doing. That's what makes part of this job so difficult, so challenging, so mind-boggling, dealing with those types of people. In every mission that comes through the doors of APO, that comes across our desks, there are startlingly frightening people. Professionals in every imaginable criminal enterprise. Every party to that operation, every target, every syndicate, they're all very, very good at what they do. And that means that we have to be even better.

And we weren't. Not today.

And, I swear to God, I think it would've been faster if I'd flapped my damn arms to get back from Johannesburg. We had a full contingent in South Africa. Nadia only had Sydney. Sark, we can handle. Hell, Vaughn can kick Sark's skinny, scrawny ass any time he damn well pleases. Anna Espinosa is another character altogether.

There's something else I've learned in this job: never, under any circumstances, underestimate a woman.

Because, there's no doubt in my mind that Nadia could put me into ten kinds of pain, and Sydney, too.

Just not right now. Not now because Nadia is still in critical condition. And that kills me. Because, I still can't be that guy. I can't be that guy at cruising altitude and hundreds of miles from the hospital where she's being cared for.

I can't imagine losing her. Not losing her and being away. Well, I can, because obviously I just said it. But I don't want to think about that. Knowing that there was nothing I could do because we let Sark get the better of us. Sark. Maybe the hobby I take up next will be Sark Assaulting. Vaughn certainly found it cathartic. To beat the hell out of the man that kept me from being closer, from being able to spend more time with my... my... is she even my girlfriend? We really haven't discussed that. I mean, I'm her big scoop of Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream, but... Whatever. She's the girl I care about. Sark kept me from being at her side when she needed me. At least... when I wanted to be there for her.

Her life hasn't been easy. And now she's got family. She has her sister. She has her father. And I guess I could sort of count as something, at least.

I want to count for something in her eyes. I want to be that guy. That guy she counts on. That guy she needs. That guy who can be a comfort.

I want to be that guy.

End.