In direct defiance of Undercovers' recent unfortunate cancellation, I decided to finally type up this second fanfic of mine and post it. I have a third idea, and unless I decide it's just not worth it, I hope to write it within the month.
This story was a plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone, but it's also my earnest attempt to give Hoyt some characterization beyond the annoying bits we've seen. It looks like he might do something badass in next week's episode though, assuming we actually get to see next week's episode... It's just a shame he didn't become three-dimensional sooner.
"Bill Hoyt, C.I.A. Freeze or I'll shoot!" Hoyt aimed his weapon at the mirror, legs apart in his best impression of a fighting stance. "No," he muttered, frustrated, and tried again, raising his gun one-handed and turning to the side. "Agent William Hoyt. The jig is up, gentlemen."
Hoyt sighed, dropping the gun back to his side. He'd been at this for nearly ten minutes; no matter which way he played it, he couldn't stop himself from looking like a kid playing with his father's gun… and was that a British accent he'd slipped into at the end there? What was wrong with him?
Steven Bloom never looked this ridiculous when he was on a job. In fact, he oozed suave confidence out of every pore. If his awesomeness could be bottled and sold, Steven Bloom would be a millionaire. Hoyt perked at the thought of a medicine cabinet full of Steven Bloom Awesomeness and briefly imagined himself with a shaved head and mustache… but quickly dismissed that thought upon the realization that he'd more likely resemble a sickly Jewish skinhead.
The young agent ran a nervous hand through his hair and checked the time. Still fifteen minutes until he was expected exactly one floor above the posh Parisian hotel room he was now in. The Blooms were already upstairs meeting with the mark, hopefully unaware of the setup. Hoyt would enter under the guise of room service and provide backup at the specified time. Unfortunately, their mark was a paranoid conspiracy nut who searched every visitor he had for hidden electronics, so radio silence was a must. Hoyt hated being on the outside; he'd much rather be up front at Steven's side but instead he was here tapping his toes while Steven was off doing some more unspeakably awesome things no doubt…
Damn it, Bill! The tech expert scolded himself mentally. You're letting your brain do that run-on thing again. You always do that!
When Hoyt was little… littler in any case, his mom always used to say that if he could get his legs to run as fast as his brain, he'd have half a dozen Olympic track medals right now. Instead, what he had was a dining cart with a 9mm and a hopeless infatuation with his immediate superior.
Contrary to popular belief, Bill Hoyt was not, in fact, just a moron with a mancrush. Even back at the academy—no, especially back at the academy—he'd been made fun of and ridiculed by his peers for his obsession with Steven Bloom's illustrious reputation. He couldn't help it. Ever since the first demonstration video they'd been shown back in hand-to-hand combat courses, Hoyt had been hooked. When the agent's name came up again in several notable case files that were being studied in his classes, it was an invitation to look further.
His first week in the academy, Hoyt spent every waking minute sitting in the C.I.A. library stacks with just one box of oh-so-many filled with thick files detailing Agent Bloom's missions. Hoyt would sit there, enthralled, as if he were reading an adventure novel, which in a way, it kind of was. If you added in the extra thrill of knowing you were one of the handful of people in entire world authorized to actually read that 'story' then it made it all that much more exciting; it was so much more than paperwork to him.
Hoyt checked his watch again. Time for him to get going. Compulsively he checked to make sure his weapon was still there, and the safety off and ready to go.
He was nervous. He was always nervous on missions, whether out in the field or between a set of headphones, listening in. And despite more than a dozen operations as a backup to the Blooms, he was still nervous around Steven. He couldn't help it; no matter how much he tried to convince himself to relax, he couldn't stop the bad habits born of innate anxiety—the rambling, the hero worship, the interruptions… It was very important to Hoyt to appear impressive, not because the agency would demote him… he just didn't want to let Steven down.
Hoyt's thirst for approval was inexhaustible; it was also irrefutably textbook. Even the novice psychologist could determine that Hoyt's lack of male companionship in his youth led to his uncontrollable obsequious behavior. Hoyt's father had passed away young, leaving him to grow up as the only male in a house with his mother, grandmother, and three terrorizing older sisters. On top of that, his intellect, his arguably 'geeky' leisurely pursuits, and a childhood bout with asthma made it damn near impossible to bond with boys his age, so instead Hoyt spent his afternoons and summers letting his sisters paint his fingernails pink and put barrettes in his hair. He didn't find it humiliating until he was 11. That was the year his grandmother started buying him a spy novel series about a man named Luther Stone, handsome playboy and seducer of women by day, spy extraordinaire by night. His nana gave them to him as Hanukah gifts and by the end of the following summer, Hoyt had bought all 35 novels in the series and read and reread them until the covers were torn, pages bent at all his favorite parts. Hoyt supposed it was those novels that convinced him to enter the C.I.A… so when Steven entered the picture—a real life Luther Stone—Hoyt was entranced.
It was such a shame that the man had retired, but then—lo and behold—he made his reentry to the spy game a few months back, accompanied by his wife, another rockstar agent retired too early. Hoyt literally jumped at the chance to work with them. Others wanted in as well but he knew they didn't stand a chance. No one knew as much about Steven Bloom as Bill Hoyt did, possibly even Steven Bloom himself.
Hoyt reached the hotel elevator and got on next to an elderly couple already waiting inside. "Bonjour," he smiled at them after the doors closed. "I'm just… delivering dinner," he informed, though no one had asked him what he was doing. The couple just smiled back at him politely and said nothing, quite possibly due to the fact that they didn't speak English. Hoyt's eyes wandered up the ceiling. Damn it, you've really got to learn some language skills! Pull it together, Hoyt!
Thankfully, his mind didn't have time to wander far as the elevator doors slid open on his intended floor. He willed himself to focus, as the Blooms were counting on him to provide backup in less than five minutes. They were taking down an arms dealer by the name of Daniel Benoit by posing as potential buyers. Hoyt replayed the mission rundown they'd had in the previous hotel room an hour before.
"Man, nothing we've ever found on this guy has been able to stick," Steven had commented as he finished cleaning his weapon. "I even took a crack at him once, about seven years ago, before I left the agency. Remember I told you about that one, honey?"
Samantha had opened her mouth, ready to reply, but of course Hoyt was already responding long before the final term of endearment dropped on Steven's lips. "Oh, yes, I read all about it. The Benoit case of 2003, where you posed as an international art dealer to infiltrate and… you weren't… talking to me…" Hoyt sputtered, averting his sheepish gaze from Steven's sardonic one.
"Nice try, but you still ain't no 'honey' of mine," Steven said reproachfully.
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Just be at your mark on time," Samantha continued, rolling her eyes. She flexed her left wrist, massaging the bone where she'd bruised it the night before while taking a fall off a low roof. It was still bothering her, but not enough to compromise the mission, as she continued to assure them.
Steven continued explaining the mission, simultaneously loading bullets into his gun. "We're expecting only three men, so we should be evenly matched. But expect a lot of firepower, obviously."
Firepower, check, Hoyt mentally tallied, tapping his foot. But only three guys. You can do this; you'll be alright.
"Are you sure you've got this?" Steven's voice broke through his reverie.
"Oh, yeah, I'll be fine. Don't worry about me," Hoyt brushed off.
"I wasn't." There was a beat while Hoyt met Steven's gaze and followed it over to an incredulous Samantha.
"Right. Sorry. Your wife again." Hoyt looked down at the floor. "Sorry." It had occurred to Hoyt, then, how ridiculously ironic it was that in his eternal quest to appear more impressive, he often came off looking more asinine.
But Hoyt didn't know how to come on as anything but 'too strong' and it was still evidently off-putting to Steven and Samantha, even after months of working together. The young agent was learning a lot working next to the couple, but Steven still had yet to take him under his wing and mentor him as Hoyt so desperately wished. In all reality, Steven probably considered him no more than a necessary annoyance.
Hoyt found his way to the intended door—441—and positioned himself before it, only to be assaulted by another barrage of unwanted thoughts he'd been trying to avoid.
Perhaps he was too green after all. Everyone back at the academy had scoffed when he was picked for this team. Perhaps his superiors made a mistake sending him out in the field this early. There were so many others who might have been more help to the Blooms; why did Hoyt get picked?
The abrupt answer to that question was not another self-deprecating musing as Hoyt had expected but rather a startling rat-a-tat as three bullets pierced the door in front of which he was standing, whizzing just past his left ear and embedding themselves in the wall opposite.
Hoyt blinked away his confusion and reacted automatically, slipping out his weapon and kicking open the door even as another eruption of gunfire burst from within.
Inside the room was chaos, and it definitely wasn't expecting Hoyt anymore than he was expecting it, judging from the flabbergasted looks on the Frenchmen's faces.
Good, that's good, Hoyt thought, seizing the element of surprise and taking out one of the men. Before he ducked behind the bathroom wall he did a quick head count and assessment. There were definitely more than three men. He'd counted at least six he could see. Samantha and Steven were across the room, ensconced by an overturned couch that had seen better days. Days before bullets had ripped it to shreds, that is.
That was definitely going to be on the C.I.A.'s tab.
Are you really thinking about that now? Hoyt scolded, mentally slapping himself then peeking out from behind the wall again, only to feel a few more bullets zip past his ear. He snuck his weapon out, firing off a few rounds at random and hoped they were hitting home, but there was no way of telling. This wasn't really going the way he'd hoped.
There was some more exchange of weapons fire, and someone from Benoit's team screamed in agony as they took a bullet in the chest, then Steven's voice found its way to Hoyt over the din. "Hoyt! Benoit's getting away! I need you to cover me so I can go after him!"
Except Hoyt wasn't sure that was possible, a pessimistic belief that was punctuated by another bullet embedding itself into the floor near his foot. He took a deep breath. "Alright, Bill, man up," the young agent muttered to himself. Steven was counting on him… He took a few more deep breaths and launched himself out into the no-man's-land, aiming and firing without any clear objective in mind. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Steven dart out from his vantage point and disappear into another room but Hoyt concentrated on the situation before him. Samantha ducked behind the couch again as a burly man shot at her, then whirled to train the gun on Hoyt… only to be taken down by two surprisingly well-placed bullets from the young agent's gun. Hoyt dove behind an armchair to take cover from the final gunman, who was taken out moments later by Samantha. After what seemed like an hour, but was in actuality probably more like thirty seconds, all the threats had been neutralized and Hoyt peeked out from behind his hiding place warily.
There was a commotion from the other room then Steven emerged, dragging a handcuffed Benoit, who was bleeding from a shoulder wound where Steven had winged him.
Hoyt only semi-registered the scene as Steven roughly shoved Benoit down onto a chair, adrenaline running through his veins. "Well, that was fun! Definitely wasn't expecting you to bring all your friends, Danny boy."
The arms dealer swore roughly at him in French and spat in his direction while Steven helped Samantha check on the remaining men in the room, to see which ones were dead, and disarm the ones that were merely incapacitated. Hoyt wanted to get up and help them, but his brain was sluggish, still in shock from the unexpected ambush. Samantha made her way over to him and gave him a hand and a friendly smile, pulling him upright. He looked down, brushing off his hotel uniform absently.
Steven handcuffed a live one to the couch leg, kicking away his gun, and looked over in the pair's direction. "Hey, are you okay?"
"Oh… yeah, I'm f—" Hoyt squeezed his eyes shut. "Sorry, you were talking to your wife again."
"No, Hoyt, actually, I'm talking to you this time. Are you alright? You look a little—pale, you know?"
Hoyt looked at Steven, then over at Samantha, who gave him a small reassuring smile and nod. There was a beat as Hoyt's brain caught up then an irrepressible smile spread over his face. "Yeah, I'm alright. I just… wasn't expecting that."
"You and me both, kid. Good shooting by the way."
Hoyt finally snapped out of his stupor, but only to enter a new one of barely-contained glee as he assisted the agents in apprehending the arms dealers, sirens wailing to life in the distance to come to their aid. He was talking to me! He was asking if I was alright! Hoyt thought. Well, he wasn't just 'alright'… he was fantastic.