Unlikely Connections
PG - NC-17
Summary: What if Michelle was never involved with CTU? What if she had a completely different life and then along comes an agent who turns her life upside down?

"Scarecrow, can you hear me?"

Michelle kept typing away at her terminal but listened to what was going on around her. They were in a van outside of AVG Pharmaceuticals. She wasn't running point, but just like what Mason had told her she was the lead tech on this mission.

Nervous didn't come close to what she was feeling.

She heard a deep scratchy voice in her ear. "Roger. You guys see us?" When Michelle didn't respond immediately, Nina tapped her on the shoulder. "Oh yes, yes. We have both locators online." She turned to give Nina an apologetic glance but the other woman just smiled and gave her a thumbs up.

"Ok guys, we all know this is a tough one. So let's get in, get what we need and get the hell out."

Michelle heard Sheppard respond first, followed by Almeida.


"Roger that."

She watched her screen carefully. The two figures moved swiftly toward the back of the compound. If it wasn't for their heat signatures she wouldn't have seen them at all on the video. Nina had explained to her that Jinx and Scarecrow were the best "ghosts" they had. Still, Michelle had butterflies in her stomach and it wasn't completely because this was her first time out.

Tony reached the edge of the perimeter and knelt down by the edge of the fence. "Ready Dessler."

Michelle tapped furiously on her keyboard before speaking into her headset. "Cutting power in one, two, three."

Right on time, the compound went dark and Sheppard snapped through the fence and pushed Almeida through first, covering their rear as they headed for building 4357. Michelle watched them move together smoothly. Just as they'd predicted, three more heat signatures showed up from the front of the compound.

Nina watched over Michelle's shoulder as the tech brought up another screen focusing in on the guards. "Three to the front. Scarecrow, one to your four and six. Jinx, to your nine."

She was still getting used to all the terminology but she knew that the numbers told the agents exactly where they'd find their company.

Both agents spoke. "Copy that." Michelle watched them suddenly split and head directly toward the guards. In less time than it took Nina to relay their positions, she watched the two guards near Tony fall to the ground right before the one near Sheppard. Swiftly, they made their way back to each other and stopped at the door to the building they were looking for.

"Dessler." Michelle sighed at his tone and curtly said "It's open."

Tony glanced over at John and he wanted to smack the smirk off his face. He dropped back into the job at hand and pushed through the door, gun first. The tranq gun was lighter and took a bit to get used to but the two guards outside were good practice. The barrel of Tony's gun was the first thing to enter the room, swinging around the edge of the door before he risked a peek. He turned to John and nodded it was clear. They both immediately holstered the guns and went straight to a large safe inlaid into the wall on the left.

Nina muted her mic and spoke to Michelle as she leaned against the side of the van. "Now we just wait. Sheppard can break into anything so this shouldn't take long."

Michelle just nodded, not feeling as relaxed as her boss. Nina could tell she was nervous. "You've done great, Michelle. Relax. We'll be out of here before you know it."

Michelle took a deep breath and smiled back at her. She turned back to her monitor watching the two men work. She just couldn't shake this feeling she had. For something so important they'd planned for months, this was too easy. It wasn't her place and she knew she always seemed to let her mouth get her into trouble but she couldn't help but say something.

"Nina...doesn't this feel odd to you?"

"How do you mean?" Nina looked confused and glanced at the screen. "They seem to be moving at a good pace."

"It's not them. It's just, this whole thing was so top priority. We went over everything for months and now it's taken them less than ten minutes to get to the safe. Only three guards? That doesn't seem strange to you?"

Michelle hadn't muted her mic so Sheppard and Almeida were listening to the women. John was the first one to say something. "You know, she's got a point. This wasn't anything like we expected." The women couldn't hear them. They'd muted their mics as soon as they'd started work on the safe.

Tony spoke as John tilted the cracker slightly, the laser beam passing over the locks and giving him a number on the LCD screen. "You're complain'n that it's actually easy for once?"

"No, I'm just saying that if what we're pulling out of here is what we think it is, then only having three security guards on duty makes no sense."

Tony just smirked and kept an eye on their surroundings. "Our reputations precede us." He glanced over and saw the worried look on his partner's face. "It's fine, man. You're almost done."

In the van, Michelle had turned to face Nina as she'd tried to explain what was making her so jittery. In the middle of another attempt to make her boss understand, her terminal beeped. She swung back around quickly and started typing.

Nina leaned over her. "What's going on? What was that?"

"Someone's blocking our signal."

Nina's eyes grew wide and she switched her mic back on. "Jinx? Scarecrow? Come in?"

"Both signals are down, send and receive."

"Shit! Can you get them back online? They're blind out there. It might be nothing but we can't-"

She hadn't even finished her warning before two heat signatures appeared on Michelles monitor, one from each side of the building that housed Tony and John. "Oh my God. Shit shit shit! Michelle, get them back NOW!"

Michelle tried everything she could think of but this wasn't just a block. They knew they were coming. "There's nothing I can do. They knew. They had to have known what we were planning on doing." Both women stared at the monitor for a few seconds, watching the two outside signatures move their way into the building toward the two unmoving signatures they knew were Tony and John.

Nina didn't have time to think, she just reacted. "Michelle, grab a gun." She pointed to a line of cases under one of the terminal desks. "We've gotta go help them."

"What?! But I haven't even-"

"Michelle! They're gonna kill them if we don't go now!" That seemed to get through to the housewife. She pulled the gun up and Nina couldn't help but notice her hand shaking. She kept it to herself as she tried to soothe her. "Just follow my lead, ok? I won't let anything happen to you. We just need to even the odds a bit." Nina gave her what she hoped was a reassuring smile and pulled the hammer back on her gun. "Let's go."

"So, she's cute and smart. Obviously she's too good for you." John didn't look up from the safe but he didn't have too. He could feel the death glare his partner was sending him. He just smirked as he worked.

" ." Before Tony could say more, a soft click sounded and they smiled at each other. John turned the handle and slowly opened the door. "Like taking candy from a baby."

"Yeah, a nuclear armed baby." When Tony didn't get a response to his joke he turned to his partner. Sheppard wasn't moving. He just kept staring inside the safe. "What? What's wrong?"

"It's empty."

"WHAT?!" Tony pushed him out of the way and looked inside the safe. He reached in and ran his hand around the cold metal walls but there was nothing there. "What the hell is going on?"

A shot barely missed John's shoulder. They both fell to the ground and took cover behind a stack of crates. Tony unmuted his mic and spoke harshly into it. "Dessler? Dessler?! Nina?!"

John shook his head indicating he was getting nothing but static also. "Fuck! This was a trap."

"And we fell for it." Sheppard moved around to the other side of the crate and fired at the shadow he could make out on the far side of the warehouse wall. "You don't think...I mean, why can't we reach Dessler and Myers?"

Tony just squeezed his eyes shut hard, not letting that thought take up residence in his head. "We focus on getting out of here. Nothing else."

Sheppard took a deep breath and nodded. He pulled the 9mm from his side and cocked it. "I know I saw one coming from my side. You see anything?"

Tony squinted around the crate. "I think so. Movement to the-" Before he could finish John pushed him forward and down to the ground. "Duck!"

One of the men had made his way behind them and nearly took Tony's head off. Sheppard moaned but swung around and put a bullet right between the guy's eyes.

Tony grabbed him and moved them both behind another crate further in the back. He was practically dragging John. Something was wrong. "Sheppard? Sheppard you ok?"

"My leg." He groaned again. "I took one to the leg." Tony holstered his gun and moved down to his partner's leg. It was dark in the warehouse but the small amount of light that was present made a section of Sheppard's pants look shiny and slick. "Shit." Tony reached out and pushed on the wound and John bit his lip to keep from making any noise from the pain.

Too busy with trying to keep Sheppard from bleeding out, Tony didn't notice the guy come up behind him till he heard the click of the cocking gun. He froze and glanced at John. The other agent barely nodded but it was enough to let Tony know they'd been caught for sure. Frantically trying to think of something, he jumped when he heard a shot and the guy behind him go down with a surprised yell. Tony swung around and pinned the guy to the floor, knocking his gun out of reach. He zip tied the guy then turned when he heard more movement behind them.

"Tony? John? You guys ok?" Nina came out of the dark and Tony let out the breath he didn't know he'd held.

"Yeah. Nothing serious but Sheppard took one to the leg. We need to move quick and get the fuck outta here." The two agents pulled Sheppard up to his feet and draped his arms over their shoulders. John winced and they started to limp along toward the back of the warehouse and to the opening in the fence.

Finally it dawned on Tony that he'd not seen Michelle. He was about to ask Nina when he saw her, gun at her side, coming around the corner. "It's clear. If we go now we should be able to get to the van before the others come."

Nina was panting from helping to carry the much larger man. "Others?"

Michelle pulled a small LCD screen from her belt and held it up for her. Multiple orange and red blobs were moving around to their left but making their way towards them. She nodded towards the guy they'd left. "What did you plan on doing with him?"

"Shit. I completely forgot about him." Tony took in a few deep breaths, glancing between the exit and the guy. Finally he looked up at Michelle. "You think you can help Nina? I'd like to take him with us. Figure out what the hell is going on."

Michelle's eyes widened but she just nodded and took over John's left side. They continued to shuffle out and eventually got Sheppard set up in the van, lifting his leg and injecting him with a field pain killer. Nina smiled at the look of concern on Michelle's face. "Don't worry, it's a clean shot. He'll be fine."

"Yeah it just hurts like a mother fucker." John squeezed his eyes shut tight.

"You're such a baby." Tony shoved their hostage into the very back of the van. "Now you sit like a good boy or I'll color the walls with your face." He turned and noticed Michelle wouldn't look at him. She just kept typing away at her computer. "Let's get going, Nina."

She nodded and moved to the driver's seat. Tony grabbed the bar above his head as they started moving out. "That was a damn good shot, Nina. Caught him right in the shoulder." The hostage groaned out something in another language.

"I didn't make it."


"I said, I didn't make the shot." She looked up into the rearview mirror at him. "Michelle did."

Tony just blinked back at her and then looked down at Michelle.

She still wouldn't look at him.