Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just borrowed them. Numb3rs and its characters are the property of those that created them. No copyright infringement intended. No financial reward gained. All real places and organisations are used in a fictional sense. Original characters and the storyline are mine however.
Don finds himself in the hands of a psychopath when the tables are turned during a pursuit.
A/N: This is for the bloodthirsty Don!whumpers who were disappointed with the lack of bullet holes he suffered in my last fic, Defence.
Breathing harder the dealer forced himself to keep up the pace. He had no choice; the FBI agent was not only persistent but starting to gain on him as he tired.
Why he'd thought he could lose the determined fed in an abandoned warehouse he had no idea. The vehicle pursuit should have clued him in on that one, the chase across a dozen or so blocks of southern Los Angeles had ended with him totalling the car that he'd stolen to make his escape after the raid. It was a sweet ride, now wrapped around a pole half a block away. When he'd seen the agent leap into his oversized SUV to come after him he'd actually laughed thinking he was home free, sports car versus Suburban? No contest. The laughter soon disappeared as the SUV not only kept on his tail but actually gained on him through the corners. Damn this part of town for not having enough straightaways where he could really open up the sports car to make a break. Pushing the car to its limits he'd finally gained half a block before making a stupid mistake, glancing back in his mirror only to lose control and spin out on the next corner while avoiding some idiot motorist that got in his way.
He grabbed at a support pylon and swung himself around the edge of a wall that seemed to split the warehouse in half. Up ahead were some old boxes stacked rather haphazardly and he made his way towards them. Ducking in behind the pile he peered back, pleased to see he'd regained a little distance as the agent just appeared around the corner. Not immediately seeing his gasping quarry the agent skidded to a halt, weapon out and scanning. Ducking back in behind the boxes he glanced around to see what his options were.
The piled up boxes were almost in the middle of the otherwise vacant space in this rear section of the warehouse. The dark haired agent was over near a wall that supported a set of stairs leading up to where the offices must have once been, now a mass of open framework and gaping holes where doors used to be, obviously the place had been stripped. The glance had also shown him that he was in the only place of concealment at the moment, if he tried to run for it the agent would spot him immediately. Shifting as the agent advanced he kept the boxes between him and the other man.
He needed a weapon. Clearly the agent wasn't going to give up so easily and he was probably going to have to take him out. His own weapon he'd foolishly dumped on the passenger seat after jacking the car and it had disappeared when he'd wrecked it. He needed something new. Tentatively he lifted a flap on one of the boxes and made a new mistake, they were empty and the whole unstable pile shifted. Seeing the agent swing towards him he had to make a break, their stupid rules giving him an edge. Without an obvious weapon in sight the agent wouldn't simply be able to shoot him and any threats to do so would be pure bluff. It wouldn't be the first time he'd called such a bluff.
"FBI, freeze!" The agent yelled.
Giving that command the contempt it deserved he headed back the way he'd come before changing his mind. Turning he made for the stairs and forced his rubbery legs to carry him upwards. In the process of stripping the joint they would have left something lying around he could use, a piece of framing or something. For the first time since pulling up a block back from the house and approaching to see the agents things finally went his way, a couple of yards from the top of the stairs he found a short length of two-by-two. Hearing the footsteps already on the steps he moved on and found himself a new place of concealment. Now that he was up on the mezzanine he could see it wasn't quite as stripped as he'd thought, there were actually some complete walls.
Breathing was getting harder, he wasn't fit enough for this. His life consisted of making buys and on-selling with a tidy profit, a true middle-man. Over recent years the business had become even more cut-throat than normal and he'd become accustomed to resolving most problems with his 9mm. He would have solved this one long before now if he'd still had his gun handy. This was going to have to be done the hard way.
The agent was at the top of the steps and advancing cautiously as his quarry had once more disappeared from view.
"FBI." The agent identified himself unnecessarily. He may have not been wearing a bulletproof vest but it was obvious enough what he was. "Come out with your hands up."
His timing really could have been better, arriving at the house after the excitement of the raid was over and the agents were packing up. Another half hour or so and there would have been nothing and more importantly no-one left to have caused him any dramas. Curse his impatience, a job lot of Ice on offer and he'd become excited about the potential profits, arriving earlier than he otherwise would have done. As was his custom to avoid having some nosy neighbour note his tags he'd parked around the corner and walked in. His own reaction had brought him to the notice of the agents still clustered outside, turning and running upon sighting them. Fortunately the sport car had been stopped at the sign on the corner and he'd quickly forced the woman out at gunpoint. As he sped off he'd seen the agent leap into his SUV and the pursuit was on.
At least it meant that the agent was going to be more vulnerable than normal, the fed's haste to pursue him meant he'd not put on a vest. He'd killed a cop before but that had taken some doing, it had taken a whole clip to the chest before the cop had fallen and lost his gun in the process. Unbelievably the cop had made it back up and he'd had to get more physical as his own gun was empty and he'd had no time to put another clip in. It took several blows to the bullet ridden vest and another to his jaw before the cop had gone down again. He'd finally had a moment and put a couple of freshly reloaded rounds into the man's head and made good his escape. If only he'd still had his trusty nine, he'd have popped the agent before letting him get too close and have been long gone by now.
Speaking of timing, now was the time. Already in motion he stepped out and brought the piece of wood around in a classic baseball swing. It caught the agent across the upper left arm and shoulder eliciting a grunt and causing the man to stagger back. As the agent recovered and started to bring his left hand across and weapon up he stepped in and swung again, this time aiming at the fed's right hand. Now that he'd instigated an attack the rules of engagement meant that the agent could fire back so that had to be attended to immediately. The gun went flying and he heard a satisfying crack as the wood connected breaking the agent's lower arm and producing a sharp cry of pain. The agent went down and rolled desperately away but he was already swinging again, bringing the wood down to connect solidly with his torso. Another grunt as the agent slumped to the floor on his left side and lay motionless. The makeshift club came down again on the agent's right shoulder but he must have been losing his touch, there was no sound of breaking bone and he was a little disappointed.
Breathing hard after the extra exertion a dark shape caught his eye and he tossed the wood aside in favour of the agent's lost weapon. He looked it over as he regained his breath, recognising the logo on the side and remembering that the Glock was the standard issue for federal agents. It was an odd weapon, no external safety or hammer and a strange lever built into the trigger itself leaving him unsure whether there was some trick to using the gun. There was an easy way to find out, he pointed it at the agent and pulled the trigger. The weapon's action worked but all he got was a meaty click and the trigger remained locked back. Grabbing at the slide he jerked it back and saw that the chamber was empty, the agent had been carrying it without one ready to go, he could see the waiting rounds in the magazine just below the feed ramp. Releasing the heavy slide it snapped forward with a satisfyingly solid movement and he saw that the trigger had been reset. A hint of movement had him quickly pointing the weapon back at the agent and pulling the trigger. This time sound of the shot echoed from the surrounding walls.
The agent's body jerked and bright red blood started to stain the pale blue business shirt across his right side. The fed had just rolled and tried to get up having regained consciousness moments before the bullet struck him forcing him back to the floor. He moved in to inspect the damage and saw that his aim had been off, the bullet skimming across the agent's ribs and embedding itself into the wood beneath him. A foot suddenly hooked behind his knee and he tumbled to the floor, the agent had come fully around and was fighting back.
Rolling he got up and fired again at the now kneeling agent, another moment or so and he would have been on his feet. A new blossom of red appeared on the man's right shoulder. He was really starting not to like the Glock, he was far more accurate with his nine. Although, on the upside he was starting to actually enjoy himself upon hearing the agent's new cry of pain and watching him fall back. Scrambling to his feet he kept a wary distance as he considered this new angle.
The last cop he'd killed had been a quick and dirty affair, the need to kill and escape overwhelming everything else as the sirens rapidly approached. Now there were no sirens, no sign of possible interruption. The agent groaned and suddenly bent at an odd angle, left hand reaching down towards his right ankle. Realising suddenly what the man was trying to do forced him to move in quickly, kicking him as hard as he could in the ribs driving the air from his lungs. Shooting him would have probably been far more sensible but the new ideas bubbling in his head made him take the different approach. A snapping noise reached his ears. The force of the blow flipped the fed onto his back and drew another shout of pain as the broken right arm hit the floor. The fed went still again.
Ignoring everything else for the moment he jerked the man's trouser leg up and found the ankle holster. The gun was a miniature Glock, impossibly tiny in his large hand but he tucked it carefully away all the same. It was still a gun and still useful. He backed away and waited, unable now to simply finish it and leave. Recognising the signs he knew he was hooked on whatever this was and he wasn't going to give it away before he had to. The pleasure he took out of surveying the bloodied, limp body was just too good. The rush of power was heady.
The agent's eyes opened after a nearly a minute and sought him out. Expecting to see fear he was surprised when he realised the man was sizing him up, almost ignoring the fact that his own gun was pointed straight at him.
"Don't make this … any worse." The fed finally managed to gasp out. The agent carefully sat up, cradling his broken right arm tightly over what had to be broken ribs with his clearly weakened left. There was a small pool of red on the floor behind him from the bullet wounds to his shoulder and side.
"No skin off my nose if I make it worse for you, Fed."
The agent's eyes narrowed. "I meant … worse for you."
"I've gotten away with this before, why not now?" His words had the desired result, fear flashed over the agent's face before an expressionless mask slipped into place. No matter that the fed now tried to hide it, he'd seen it and the extra thrill he'd felt was all that mattered. He chose his words carefully, "That's right, that cop's back-up never made it in time. I can't even hear yours coming."
"They're coming." The agent insisted.
"Sure they are." He cocked his head to the side as he made it obvious he was listening but there were still no sirens. Having been momentarily alarmed he relaxed and smiled as he figured he was home free and had time for some more fun. "Not gonna find much when they get here." He raised the gun slightly.
The fed's left hand came away from its protective position to be held up in the universal 'stop' position as if that would fend off a bullet. He smiled at the pain in the agent's face at the effort, further evidenced by the way the hand and arm shook and waited to see what the man would do next.
The fed made his play, his voice a little stronger. "Think about it. You do this … they won't stop looking for you."
"I'm sure the cop thought the same thing and that was over a year ago." He taunted.
The agent's mask slipped again and he started to struggle to his feet, clearly determined to put up a fight. He put paid to that by getting close enough to swing the gun in a vicious arc that caught the wounded agent across the temple. The fed fell back and again lay unmoving, out cold. Frustrated he levelled another kick at the ribs and heard another pleasant snap. The agent being unconscious was not exactly what he had wanted to achieve. The second successful kick eased his flare of anger somewhat and he decided to make use of the opportunity to raid the downed man's pockets.
Sitting back he inspected his haul, a wallet, some keys, a slim leather folder, a notebook and pen and finally some coins. He'd also pulled the shield off the agent's belt; it would make a nice souvenir. Flipping through the wallet he pulled out the disappointing collection of notes, a fifty, a couple of twenty's and a five. Not bothering with the cards as they would be too easily traced he tossed the rest aside. The keys he considered for a moment, almost throwing them away after the wallet but changing his mind he slipped them into his pocket with the money, he might use the Suburban to put some quick miles between him and the body when he'd finished before dumping the SUV in a parking lot somewhere. The slim leather folder turned out to hold the agent's official ID. He compared the serious photo against the bloodied face before him deciding that he liked the current one better.
He'd never taken pleasure out of killing before. Including the cop he'd only killed to protect himself or his stock and on the rare occasion to make a point. It was simply a part of doing business in his world and likely to happen again in the future. True, killing a cop or a fed was not generally considered good business but everything had its risks. His sudden new found enjoyment at the task had future potential. If he could get a little fun along the way when he had to kill again he would take that as extra compensation. As for today, the fed had cost him a lot of potential earnings.
But there was no fun to be had from an unconscious victim. The fed still showed no signs of coming around. Bending over the man he slapped at his cheeks without success. Spying the bullet hole in the right shoulder he pressed the muzzle of the gun down firmly, twisting it to dig the front sight in. That worked, the agent groaned and the left hand came up in an effort to fend him off. He was still only semi-conscious so another couple of slaps across the face were in order before he backed off a pace. He wanted the agent to open his eyes to the muzzle of his own gun.
The eyes fluttered open and took a moment to focus. As intended they settled on the muzzle of the Glock before the eyes shifted and met his. The agent held his silence.
"Hello, Special Agent Don Eppes. Nothing to say now?" He demanded, taunting the fed again.
He watched as the man's eyes shifted and hunted around the half-room they were currently in, probably looking for something to help him. The eyes abruptly stopped and widened slightly, the agent had found something. In reflex he started to turn, swinging the gun up and around but found nothing to aim at. Just as the foot hooked around his ankles he realised that it had all been a ploy. Unbalanced he staggered back and just caught himself on the intact wall behind him. Looking back he saw the agent try unsuccessfully to rise only to fall back in agony. Raising the gun he aimed carefully at the helpless agent and squeezed off another shot, relishing the new shout of pain. This time the round went where he intended.
Warily he moved in again from the side this time, even without the new wound the agent couldn't possibly kick him from this angle. Critically he inspected the fresh injury, a neat bullet hole to the front of the fed's right thigh. Peering a little closer he could just see the ragged edges of the exit wound on the back of the leg. The sluggishly spreading pool of blood on the floor indicated that the femoral artery hadn't been hit so he wouldn't bleed out too soon. That had been the reason for the careful aim and he was pleased he'd guessed right. He looked further up the agent's body and saw that the man was still conscious this time but in no shape to do anything other than stare at his tormentor. Aiming carefully, ensuring that his movements and intentions were obvious, he put another bullet beside the last; unsure exactly where the large artery was situated he didn't want to hit it ending this too soon. Another scream of pain and the agent was out again.
Not giving the fed any time he again forced him to wake, pressing once again at the shoulder wound and delivering some stinging slaps to the face. The eyes finally opened first to pain and then to pain-clouded fear. Then there was something new in the look he received now, something like understanding but mixed with confusion. The agent took a few shallow, hissing breaths before opening his mouth to speak.
"'s your name?" The agent slurred; he'd been rendered completely helpless and was now unable to do anything else.
Oh, he did like this! He moved a little closer, making sure the gun was aimed straight at the fed's eyes. The slightly cross-eyed expression was almost enough to make him laugh. "I'm the man that's going to kill you."
"Got that." The agent managed. He took a few more breaths around what was clearly a lot of pain.
Feeling the new thrill of power from knowing he'd reduced the man to this he leant in as the agent continued.
"Like t' know … your name first."
The sass he didn't like. Even though this was all knew to him he knew what he wanted, he wanted the agent scared, wanted him to beg. While he'd seen some fear the agent had himself too tightly controlled even now to give him what he wanted. "How does 'Death' sound?"
The eyes closed for a moment in resignation. The agent obviously accepting he wouldn't get an answer to his question. Instead he asked another, "Why?"
That was better. The word was as much question as acknowledgement that the agent had no power to prevent what was happening to him. His grin returned as the eyes sought his out again. "Because I can." He lifted a foot and gently pressed it over the wounded thigh.
The agent gasped in agony as his face screwed up at the new assault. As the gasp turned to a fading groan he eased up on the light pressure, not wanting to allow the fed to escape back into unconsciousness. There was much to this new game that he had to learn. Using his toe he nudged at the man's bloody shoulder to draw his attention, avoiding the broken lower arm for the same reason he'd eased up on the leg. The agent eventually got himself together enough to look back up.
"What-" The voice broke on a gasp before starting again. "What're y' waitin' for?"
Perhaps it was time. The agent probably had called for back-up so even though he still couldn't hear them they were probably on their way as the man had earlier insisted. But if he pushed it surely he would be able to get just a little more first, his first time shot at this new drug too addictive. His foot shifted again, this time a gentle brush against the misshapen lower arm. "For when I've had enough fun."
The fed's breathing hitched before returning to the painful gasps. He watched with a certain fascination as the agent's muscles clenched about his jaw as he collected himself before opening his mouth. His voice came out suddenly firm and clear. "Get it over with."
That was as good as he was going to get, he realised as the agent dropped his head back to the floor and closed his eyes. From the continued gasps he knew the fed was still awake even if he was trying to pretend otherwise.
"Open your eyes." He ordered. "I want you to see it coming."
The agent ignored him. He again brushed his foot over the broken arm but the fed still refused to look at him even as his face twisted and his breathing stopped for a good second or so. Alright, if he wouldn't see it coming he could feel it. Bending he placed the muzzle of the fed's weapon against the centre of the man's forehead, pressing hard enough to raise a white rim of skin. The only reaction was another hitch in the already laboured breathing.
Regretting that there was no hammer to pull back or safety to click off he put his finger back onto the trigger and started to pull.
Barely able to think around the pain that seemed to come from everywhere Don refused to give his attacker what he wanted. The situation had gone from very bad to somewhere way beyond extreme. After the second deliberate shot to his thigh he'd fully understood what he'd already suspected. The offender had no reason to inflict the damage he had in the way that he had. There had been too many opportunities to escape but the man had lingered and seemed to be taking pleasure out of his agony, forcing him back to consciousness only to inflict more. He'd earlier tried to make the man see sense, but he understood now that it had been doomed to failure before he'd even opened his mouth, serving instead to give the man more pleasure. Now Don had nothing left, in too much pain to do more than just lay there and take it.
Against the new assault on his broken arm he kept his eyes clamped closed. Using his last bit of strength he stuck to the stubborn refusal. At this point he could almost welcome the end the man was offering but he wasn't going to cooperate with the man's demand for amusement before the coup-de-grace was delivered. Feeling the sudden pressure against his forehead Don didn't need any guesses to know what the cold, hard item was. Against his efforts his body reacted and he had to force himself to resume breathing for whatever it was worth.
The sound of the shot was expected but not his painfully indrawn breath that followed it. Don drew another and his muddled thoughts finally caught up enough to figure that he was not the one that had just been shot. The solid thud beside him was welcome until a heavy weight landed across his body and the explosion of pain drove him away.
He returned to cold, dry and odd smelling air and dulled, sluggish senses. His thoughts were still muzzy and Don remained confused even after prying his eyes open to see a white ceiling with bright strip lights. All he knew was that there was danger nearby. His first attempts to move met with failure and panic immediately set in, somewhere in the distance he could hear a steady beeping that rapidly increased in frequency and started to become erratic setting off other noises. He struggled, determined to make his body respond. Figures rushed into view, hands on his left shoulder attempted to restrain him and soothing voices sounded against his ears. He ignored them in his desperation to do something, anything, when an icy chill made its way up his left arm and there was dizziness then nothing.
The next time he woke he regained awareness quickly and understood where he was, even around the meds. He was in hospital, the dry hand holding his belonged to his father who had already responded to his automatic twitch.
"Donny?" Alan's voice broke and he coughed to recover. "Oh, my boy."
"D-dad." Don managed to croak, his voice muffled by the mask covering his lower face.
"Donny." Alan could only repeat, his fingers rubbing gently against the back of his son's hand. He stirred himself without removing his hand and slipped his son an ice chip with the other.
"What happened?" Don asked as the ice eased his parched throat. He remembered most of the assault but not what had happened after his own gun had been placed against his head. There had been a gunshot but somehow he wasn't dead.
Again Alan cleared his throat. "Colby got there in time. The man who did this to you is dead."
Don couldn't ever recollect hearing such satisfaction in his father's voice at another man's death before. At the reminder of his injuries he remembered a period of panic as he had earlier found himself paralysed. He immediately tried to shift and this time found he could move. He froze almost instantly however, everything hurt despite the heavy meds he could feel in his system.
He was also satisfied with the outcome. What had happened to him in the warehouse had gone far beyond some drug user/dealer getting the upper hand over a pursuing LEO. The still unnamed man had suddenly shown a strong sadistic streak, toying with him and inflicting injuries for pure enjoyment instead either knocking him out or simply killing him. The psychopath's 'because I can' rang once more in his ears causing him to shudder involuntarily.
Clinging to his father's reassuring hand he realised it was going to be some time before he pursued another suspect alone.
A/N: So there you have it, pure Don!Whump. Did I overdo it or was it not enough? Personally, I think I broke him.