Disclaimer: I do not own Human Target and intend no copyright infringement.
Guerrero rolled his eyes. "Dude, the Old Man will be pissed…"
"Don't fret. I'll deal with him." Mischievous smile playing over Junior's face, he unscrewed a small bottle of GHB and poured a generous amount into the half-filled glass of Ginger Ale on the table. The soft drink's sweetness would cover the salty taste of the drug.
"If this goes wrong, he'll deal with you."
"Stop worrying. We go in, take out the guy, leave again. What should go wrong?" Junior shot him the million dollar smile that he usually reserved for chicks.
Guerrero sighed. There was no talking him out of this.
Baptiste came back from the bathroom.
"Ready to go?" He holstered his gun and put on his jacket. "What was the name of that play again?"
Guerrero reached for the playbill. "The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other. It's a one-act play without words."
"Sounds like pretty barmy shite. Probably a good thing we'll be providing an early curtain call."
He downed his glass of Ginger Ale.
… … …
"It was written by some Austrian author. The play has 450 unnamed characters and focuses on a day in the life of an unspecified town square", Ilsa read from the playbill.
"A town square is the main character? And did I get that correctly, nobody speaks a word?" Marshall Pucci gave his wife his best puppy face.
"Oh, don't look at me like that, Marshall. We financed the new lighting set and they're inaugurating it tonight. We have to go."
"One should think 1.2 million dollars for radio-controlled spotlights should be enough to ransom us from 90 minutes of watching 450 people not talking to each other." He increased the Shar Pei wrinkles on his forehead, knowing full well that Ilsa couldn't resist them.
"Marshall…" She sat down next to him. "I've just spent thirty minutes getting into this dress."
"And I promise I'll take my time with you and won't remove it in less than thirty minutes." His voice had turned into a soft, baritone purr, sending frissons down her spine.
"I think I just remembered some very important appointment, unfortunately colliding with tonight's surely highly entertaining play…"
He pulled her into a tight embrace for a long, deep kiss.
… … …
"And you're sure this will work? I mean, painting a bull's eye on my back and waiting for someone to come and kill me?" The client looked very nervous.
"By showing up at the theater tonight, in your loge for all the world to see, seemingly unguarded, you'll look like a sitting duck. They won't be able to resist. They'll think they can go in, take you out and leave again." Christopher Chance chuckled. "Well, they're in for a surprise…"
… … …
"I think that's enough, young lady." Winston placed a heavy hand on the girl's shoulder. He had caught her right in the act: She was still holding the banker's signet ring in her fist. Big brown bambi eyes filled with tears.
"Oh, please, officer", Ames started to plead, "the judge said if I get caught one more time he'd send me off to CIW level III!"
"Then why didn't you stay out of other people's pockets? Come on, let's go." Winston turned her around and steered her towards the foyer's entrance. He did feel sorry for her. Disastrous family background, hellish foster homes, wrong friends… it was a miracle she hadn't become a junkie or a prostitute by now. But she was a notorious repeater, nevertheless, stealing worse than a magpie. There was nothing he could do.
… … …
The first thing they did when they arrived at the theater was remove the time bomb Baptiste had placed in the building's cellar. Baptiste liked to make his jobs look like accidents. This time he had had a devastating gas explosion in mind that would've not only taken out the target but also most of the other loges' occupants in the gallery.
Junior hated collateral damage, so Baptiste was taking a long drug-induced nap now.
The Old Man would most likely not be amused by that stunt, but if everything went smooth he would yell at Junior, send him off to some idiotic, ridiculously low paid job, ignore him for a week and eventually calm down. That was worth it.
Unfortunately things didn't go smoothly.
… … …
When the shooting started, all hell broke loose in the foyer. Ames, of course, took the opportunity and disappeared. But that was Winston's least problem. He rushed upstairs, as fast as he could.
… … …
They had walked into a trap. Literally. The loge had been tripwired, the target had not been the target but a man posing as the target. A man who knew how to fight.
He beat Junior, flat out.
Christopher Chance could see it in his eyes – the young man would not give up the name of the person who had ordered the kill, under no circumstances. He was well prepared to die for his secret. Understandable mindset; judging from his excellent training level, he was one of Joubert's people. Joubert didn't take kindly to his employees telling on his clients.
But Chance saw something else, too. A very brief flicker in his opponent's gaze as he turned his attention to his partner who was out cold on the floor. "Your client's name or he dies first", the bodyguard threatened, pointing his gun at the fallen figure.
It was idiotic. Of course it was idiotic. This was going to be the end for both of them. They were talking about a couple of seconds more lifetime here. But a couple of seconds more lifetime for Guerrero, with the alternative being to see him die first?
Junior blurted out the name the Old Man had mentioned.
"Down on the floor!"
Junior joined Guerrero. This was it.
Then he heard the safety lock of a gun click back into place.
"Nobody deserves to die", the bodyguard said. "Tell your boss, Christopher Chance said hello."
And gone he was.
… … …
When Winston arrived at the loge it was empty. Bullet holes in the wall clearly indicated what had happened there, though. The walls that separated one loge from the next weren't very thick and the first thing Winston did was check if a stray bullet had hit someone in the adjacent compartment. Thank God the loge, reserved for a Mr. and Mrs. Pucci, was unoccupied.
… … …
Junior was exceptionally silent and absent-minded on their way back to NY. Baptiste - despite being still seriously peeved - kept repeating several times that he wouldn't mention the GHB part of the story and that the Old Man would surely calm down after some yelling, he always did with Junior, but Guerrero knew that something else was on his friend's mind. He had tried to get him to talk about it, but Junior had kept his mouth firmly shut.
Guerrero tried to shrug it off. He didn't tend to dwell much on things. This time, however, a nagging, persisting feeling remained, no matter how hard he tried to push it aside.
This was far from being over and done.
A/N: I'm not really doing the play justice here - I've seen it and it's a lot better than it sounds, once you get over the fact that indeed nobody says a word for one and a half hours.