Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on Human Target which belongs to Fox.It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of Fox.
Thank you Movieexpert1978 for your help, support and beta reading.
Also spelled bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman is an amorphous imaginary who is a non-specific embodiment of terror.
The incident with Guerrero and the old Christopher Chance can be found in the story part one of the "Ryan Exchange," which is a Human Target, White Collar crossover, and can be found in that section on the website.
2006 (Present Day)
The door on the elevator closed behind Winston, as he left, and the newly named Christopher Chance, leaned back, in his chair, his hand hovered over the whiskey bottle, and then dropped away.
He looked round the warehouse thoughtfully, and shook his head, this had been old Chances home as well as his office and yet there was nothing here, not photographs, nothing personal, nothing to mark it as a home, it was as if the man never had a life outside of his business. What a way to live?
But then ruefully Junior found he had to concede the point that his own home was no different. He had brought it through a third party to hide it from the Old Man, picking it out online, and had even paid for an interior decorator to dress it, using money from an off shore account, one less link to the house. He had thought he was buying himself a home, all he was buying was bricks and mortar.
Only, even that was lost to him to him now, he had been too smug, yeah to smug and too arrogant to think that he could kept that place a secret from Guerrero, he should have known better.
It had been a hell of a shock to find Guerrero standing in his house, in a house that was supposed to be so way off the grid it was invisible.
More surprisingly, Guerrero a man with a reputation for never hesitating on a hit, had actually entered the house without a gun in his hand, Guerrero it seemed had come to talk.
They had talked briefly, and he had made it clear to his partner that he wasn't going to give Katherine up, Guerrero was annoyed, but had shrugged, throwing his hands up, turned to walk away, there had been that split second of hope in Junior that their friendship would be enough for Guerrero to keep walking, but then he had remembered just in time who he was dealing with.
Sitting there he could remember all too clearly how they had fought, hell he still had the bruises to prove it. He had sparred with Guerrero before, and seen him fight but he had never fought him in earnest. He had known that although he was taller and heavier than his partner, Guerrero was no walk over; he was faster with his punches and deadly with his kicks. The only way he beat him was by getting up close, so that Guerrero didn't have a chance to land his kicks by crowding him, then using his greater strength to haul Guerrero, off his feet and smash him down onto the table, which had collapsed under him.
That was all the time he had needed to be able to snatch up his gun, his partner hadn't pleaded for his life, he had just told him to get on with it, for Guerrero it was open and close, he had tried and failed, and was going to pay the price with his life.
While he was focused on Guerrero, that he had felt Katherine put her hand on his arm, she had just exchanged a look with him, and he had seen the shake of her head, without saying a word she had told him the killing had to end, and he found himself lowering the gun.
But now forty eight hours late, he knew it wasn't her that had made the difference between him killing and not killing Guerrero, the truth told he hadn't wanted to kill him, he was his friend, they had been through too much together for him to want to end the smaller man's life with a bullet in the head.
But the problem was simple; to leave Guerrero alive would be to show a weakness in front of the one man that could manipulate that weakness to his own ends. On the other hand if he allowed it to look as if she had swayed him, it could be then be written off as a one off anomaly.
So he had ordered Guerrero to his feet told him to turn his back, he was sure that Guerrero still thought that he was going to shoot him, more than likely thinking that he couldn't look him in the face and do it, he had seen the smaller man's body tense for the bullet.
He had hit Guerrero hard across the back of the head, needing to make sure that he wouldn't wake up any time soon. When he had tried to make Katherine go back into the bedroom, to collect her things, he had been surprised when she had pushed past him and knelt down by his partner. It was clear that she was scared of Guerrero, she must had seen and heard enough to know that he had come to kill her, but all the same she knelt down by his side and for a second her hand had hovered over his unconscious body, as if she was trying to get up the courage to touch him.
"Katherine, we have to go." He told her, but she ignored him, and gingerly pulled Guerrero's hooded sweatshirt down at the neck so she could check his pulse and then his breathing. It was then she looked up, and Junior understood the inner strength of this woman. It didn't matter to her that Guerrero had been out to kill her, the fact that he was unconscious, and hurt was enough to make her want to help him.
"I need your help to get him onto his stomach," when he had hesitated she had added. "You didn't want to shoot him, but he could choke if he's left on his back, do you really want him to die that way," she paused then added "I thought not, so what are you waiting for, help me." The last two words where snapped at him, and the next thing he knew he was helping roll Guerrero onto his stomach, as Katherine positioned the smaller man into the recovery position.
She had looked up at him, and without knowing it had, echoed Christopher Chance when she had said. "No one deserves to die."
It was then that he had realized where he had to take her, the one man that could help keep her alive long enough to get to the bottom who wanted her dead and why.
Instead he had got her and got Christopher Chance killed and lost the briefcase that had been the center of all their misery.
It was then he had felt something nuzzling his boot, and glancing down he saw Carmine, reaching down he petted him, and then scooped the pup up into his arms, holding him close. The night came and the warehouse grew dark, but Chance, because that was his name now, cradled the pup in his arms, his only connection with women that he had started to love and had lost too soon.
Twelve months later
Winston sat in his office, his laptop open in front of him, and a mug of coffee in his hand, content in himself as he mused over that last twelve months; it had now been a year since he had resignation as a cop and joined a man called Christopher Chance in the field of personal protection. He wouldn't lie to himself and say that it had been all sun shine and flowers in their partnership. Chance was a difficult man to get to know, and Winston was harboring a deep rooted suspicion that his partner might have a death wish.
The man was brave there was no doubting that, but he risked his life in a way that if he was SFPD would kept the department shrink in business. But this wasn't the SFPD, he had to keep reminding himself, and different rules applied.
Winston was no man's fool, Chance or whoever he was before he took that name was a professional assassin, and they had been adversaries the first time they had met. But between them the cop and the ex-assassin, had a unique set of skill, when they approached a job, it often gave them the upper hand, which so far had been successful.
Had he ever in the twelve month regretted their partnership? The answer to that would have to be no. Even if in the early months there was always a knot in his stomach when he saw Chance with a gun in his hand, wondering if the man was back slipping, but he learned that Chance never killed because it was convenient, he only did it as a last resort. He understood Chance's need for redemption and to some extent shared it.
Chance needed it to pay back for the lives he had taken as an assassin, and Winston was honest enough to realize that for him it was the need to it try and made up for the people that he couldn't save when he had been a cop when they had needed justice and all he could offer them was the law.
One thing that Winston had quickly realized was that he wasn't a field operative, he had been a good cop, but this was something different, and a man that didn't know his limitations very soon ended up dead, in the world that Chance worked in.
He knew it was a touchy subject in the making but he was looking round for someone to join them, and was quietly sounding out a few recently retired ex-cops, that he knew. It was just a matter of time before he found the right man, and then he would have the delicate job of trying to talk Chance into the idea and the man didn't trust easily, trust had to be earned with him.
Just then he was brought back to the present by a knock on the door of his office, and he saw an older woman stood there, her smile was warm and unlike many women of a certain age she hadn't made any attempt to color her hair. He got to his feet, and shook hands "Mrs. Travis, I am Laverne Winston we spoke on the telephone,"
Winston indicated the chair, "Please take a seat."
The woman sank down in it, and made her comfortable as she looked round. "It's very different than I remember it?"
"You've been here before?" Winston asked.
"I use to work with Chris as his computer expert," she gave a small smile, "he disliked new technology, but I taught him to accept it. It is because of one of his former cases that I am here." She gave him a rueful look, "I always knew that would happen one day. The principal in the case was a very wealthy man with enemies. Chris managed to beat the two assassin's sent after him, one was called Junior the other was Guerrero. They were the top hitters for a broker called the Old Man."
Winston couldn't help a small smile, to hear this gentile older lady using terms like hitters and brokers.
She must have understood, because she smiled back, "it also brings a whole new meaning to the word cleaners."
Winston laughed, now this was a client he could get to like.
Martha Travis nodded "I would love one."
Winston got up and made her a cup; Martha paused and took a sip, then looked back at him. "Junior was a good looking blond, but was what I called the King of Winging it. His plans where always way out there, he once, you won't believe it he actually shot a man holding a homemade bomb because he knew there was a load baring wall just along from him, and he would have time to get behind it. He was bad enough, but Guerrero, Chance, my Chance called him and excuse the language, a frigging enigma. He said that Guerrero was a sociopath and that made him more dangerous: when he focused on a target he never let go. Then three months after the Pucci job, I got to meet him in person." She tried to suppress a shudder, as she remembered all too clearly what had happened next.
For once in his life Christopher Chance was lost in thought, when he entered his office, he currently was between jobs, Martha was working on the computer, and…that was when he saw the total fear on her face, it stopped him dead in his tracks.
He started to turn quickly and then stopped as he saw the gun pointed at his head. But more than that he saw who was holding it. The fact that he hadn't pulled the trigger the minute that he had walked in was a minor miracle, Guerrero wasn't known for hesitating.
If he wanted you dead, you died, plain and simple. So why Christopher Chance mused was he still alive and breathing, and it wasn't because Martha was there, that wouldn't have stopped Guerrero.
"Guerrero," he acknowledged the man.
"Seems I owe you, if it wasn't for you, I would be dead." The assassin said.
"You don't owe me nothing," Chance put in forcefully "we all make mistakes."
"Pity that was the only reason you're still breathing," Guerrero gave a slight shrug "have it your way dude."
Martha knew with clarity that he was going to kill Chance, she blurted out "You owe him your life,"she flinched as Guerrero glanced at her "so Chris can call in the favor at any time right."
Chance cut in quickly, "either of us can call in the favor" he didn't want Guerrero looking at Martha as collateral damage. The number of people that knew the smaller man by sight was few, most people never got to live beyond that first sighting.
"One life one favor," Guerrero lowered the gun, but it was still at the ready as he moved towards the door, "pick the favor well dude," then he was gone. Only then did Martha slump into her seat.
"Did he hurt you?" Chris was immediately at her side.
"No, scared the hell out of me, but he didn't hurt me." She shook her head, "I just pray you never need that favor."
"There Mr. Winston is my problem." She lifted her head a little higher, "I was out with my grandchildren the other day at Fisherman's Wharf, just a family day out. My daughter was just trying her camera out, and took this," she pushed a photo across to him, "and you can imagine my horror when I saw this picture, more exactly who was on it. The man holding the Starbuck's is Guerrero." Winston looked at the picture carefully; the man was looking straight at the camera. Of course this was deceptive, at that distance the picture was taken, he could have been looking at anything but the client. But they couldn't take that for granted.
"Have you approached the police about this?"
"No," Martha said levelly, "I have no desire to committee suicide. My Chance died a year ago, as far as I know that favor was never cashed in, so I need to know why he is after me now, he has to understand that I respect the deal we made, and that I will honor it."
"You think that kind of animal is going to respect that." Winston said, allowing the disbelief to color his voice.
"That I have to believe." She suppressed a shudder. "I need to locate him, and make sure that message is delivered."
"Isn't that like poking a snake with a stick and hoping it's not going to bite?" Winston said looking thoughtful.
"My only other option Mr. Winston is to wait and hope that he's not going to come after me." She reached out for the photograph, but Winston held it back.
"Can I borrow this?"
She nodded, as he said. "I'll speak to Chance, and see what we can do to find this man." Winston was very conscious of the look of sadness that flitted across her face as she thought of her Chance. "Do you have somewhere safe to stay, somewhere he wouldn't be able to find you."
Martha nodded "I followed Chris's rules, and a few of my own."
She got up and tapped the photograph, "don't give it to anyone, because he will find out I gave it to you. I know you perhaps don't believe me, and that I make him out to be a bogeyman. But believe me he's what I said and more."
"What did you do or rather Chance did to get this favor."
Martha turned to the new speaker, and her hand flew to her mouth, the man stood there was the blond assassin, Junior.
Winston, did the introductions he didn't miss much and had seen her reaction to his partner, "Mrs. Travis, this is my partner Christopher Chance. Chance our new client, Mrs. Travis." Then as a way of warning adding "she knew Christopher Chance."
Chance closed the distance between them and accepted her hand, his smile was warm and boyish, charming was what she would have thought him if she hadn't know who he really he was.
"You were just explaining what he had done." Chance said pleasantly.
Martha answered "My, Chance was protecting a principal, and during the gun fight, he had set some booby traps, Guerrero walked into one of them, and was critically injured. Chance had him and his partner at gun point. He told me that even if the man was Guerrero he couldn't let him die. He let Junior, take him away. That was the favor that was owed. Now Chance is dead." She paused "My Chance that is, he might think that he doesn't have to honor it."
Chance shook his head, "If Guerrero has made a deal he will keep to it."
"A matter of honor to him." Winston said, his tone showing what he thought of the idea.
"Well for as long as it suits him." Chance said then added seeing the look of worry on her face "But this is straight forward, he's got nothing to gain from not keeping to it." Chance paused frowning "You don't have contract out on you do you, a few thousand."
"No," Martha said quickly.
Chance shrugged and smiled "then you should be okay, if you have a contract out on you then it might, be the time to worry."
"You know him, how well?" Winston asked eyeing his partner carefully as he cut in. But before Chance could answer. Martha picked up her bag.
"You will take care of it?" Martha asked.
"We will look into, and do what needs doing," Winston assured her, as she shook hands with both of them, her hand lingering longest with Chance.
"All I want is him to know that I respect our deal, and that I mean him no harm." She knew how stupid it sounded, but it was all she could say.
Chance escorted her to the elevator and then turned to her, "You worked for Chance, I take it there were surveillance photographs, and you know who I am."
Martha, drew herself up, and looked him straight in the eye, "I know you were Junior, Mr. Chance. Also I know that you know the reason that Chris let you go, better than I do. I gave Mr. Winston a picture of Mr. Guerrero, it was taken accidently by my daughter, it's been wiped from her camera, and the one Mr. Winston has it the only one. I could have lied and said that I left a copy in a safe deposit box, but I am too old for these games. I mean no harm to him, as ironic as it sounds. I just need to know why he was there. You were his partner."
"We're not exactly in touch," Chance said ruefully. "But I will take care of it."
When Chance returned he saw the way Winston was eyeing him. "I was a cop for 25 years, Chance, I know things," he raised a hand "I know you don't like to talk about your old boss, last month when you cut loose and got drunk, you told me what happened when your partner caught up with you. How Katherine stopped you killing him."
Winston paused "more correctly why you didn't want to kill him."
Chance nodded, "I am not going to turn him in, Winston, and I owe him that."
"What can you tell me about this enigma," Winston tapped the photograph, not sure if he was going to get a reply.
"He's …" Chance stopped "complicated …. he's the ultimate professional, but he's got a dark side to him that even my old boss is careful around him. You see Winston what other people threatened, he'll actually do.
Chance lapsed into silence, he was a realist, he had done everything he could to distance himself from this past life. He had cut himself off from his old friends and contacts, avoiding anyone that could tie him to his old life.
It had been a year and Guerrero hadn't come, he could try to convince himself it was because his ex-partner respected their friendship, but then he would always remind himself this was Guerrero, but still he wasn't that far under the radar that Guerrero couldn't have found him if he wanted too. Now this client had him on a direct collision course with him, and he didn't know what the hell he was going to do when they met.
10.00 am the next morning.
Winston watched as the bank clerk removed his safe deposit box from the vault and laid it in front of him. He nodded his thanks, waited for the man to leave before he unlocked it. The note book he took out had a black cloth cover, the writing inside detailed with dates, and names a catalogue of contract killings. He leafed through quickly, and soon the name Guerrero appeared, he whistled softly if half of this was true, the man had been busy, as he paged through he could see that the name Junior soon became linked to it.
The book made sobering reading, he knew a couple of friends in homicide that would be very interested in it. But that would mean giving up Chance, because give the reaction Mrs. Travis had when she saw Chance, he was pretty sure that Chance was Junior, and he couldn't do that. Instead he took out his own note book and copied out a couple of dates and contracts, linked to Guerrero's name, and decided to look into them, and see what he could find out about the man.
Chance put out a few feelers, but hit a brick wall, those that knew Guerrero where not willing to talk, the only one that he thought would talk, had backed off, quickly waving away any offers of money with a "you can't be fucking serious," and turned and all but ran away from him. But that was enough Chance knew to get Guerrero's attention, and then settled back, one of the kindest things that someone had once said about his ex-partner was that he sat like a spider on a web and felt for the slightest tremors on it, and then went in for the kill. That was what he had just done, set the web vibrating. Now he just had to sit back and wait.
Two days later
It was late evening and Chance and Winston had finished a catch up session, and had settled in for a late night beer, before they parted company for the day.
Chance reached down and scratched Carmine behind the ear, the young dog made a huffing sound and padded into the kitchen, returning a few minutes later chewing on some Chinese, it was then Chance felt a chill run through him. It was stupid when a dog snacking on leftovers should do that to you. But it did when the leftovers where in the refrigerator, no one had removed them. Sitting forward he started to reach for a backup gun, but it was already too late, he saw Winston's eyes widen, and he knew that someone had stepped out of the kitchen behind him.
Slowly he turned to face them, knowing that his gun was too far away from him to reach.
"Guerrero." His ex-partner was leant against the door jamb of the kitchen a carton of taker way in one hand and chopsticks in the other, but his gun was in plain sight tucked into his waist band, and Chance knew that any move he or Winston made would be countered.
His ex-partner voice was soft and level, and all that more chilling for that, "Been a while dude."
Chance nodded "a year, give or take a month." The fact he was still alive meant that his old friend wanted to talk, just then he saw Carmine, make his way slowly across to Guerrero, the dog had a habit Katherine said of pissing on people. If he did it to that particular pair of boots he was going to be one dead dog.
"Carmine," he called the animal back, but the pup just sat down in front of the newcomer, head tilted back as far as he could, and appeared to examined him critically and waited for more Chinese when it wasn't forthcoming the pup made a huffing sound again, and turned and walked back to Chance.
Guerrero shook his head, "One hell of a watchdog dude, almost as good as him."
Winston knew better than to react, he saw the ghost of a smile on the newcomer lips and knew that he was just out to needle him into doing something stupid.
Chance said "I think we should talk," he paused "I didn't think killing grannies was you style."
If Guerrero was insulted he didn't show it, "She's a forensic computer analyst, she made some enemies, who want her dead, and are willing to pay for it."
"How much?" Chance asked, and Winston leaned forward just about to cut in, when Chance added. "It's okay; I am just interested what the going rate for an innocent woman is these days."
"$10,000, guilty or innocent, we don't judge dude."
"What did she do?"
"The lady is digging where she shouldn't, her employer's asked her to check on some loses on one of their franchises, it was more a PR exercise than anything else." Guerrero gave a ghost of a smile, "problem was the lady is too good. She has a meeting with her supervisor on the 14th; someone doesn't want her to make the meeting."
"And you would know this why", Winston put in.
"Because they tried to hire me. Once I saw who the target was I got interested, and their computer security might be good, but it's not as good as they think."
Chance took pity on Winston when he saw the puzzled look on the big man's face. By way of explaining he said "No one can do this corporate crap like Guerrero, he's got a way with computers."
"You expect us to believe that an…" Winston took a breath, "that you turned them down." He had done some research into this man and he couldn't see an animal like Guerrero turning down money, and he still wouldn't put it past the man to try and get in with them just so they could have some personal time with their client.
"Dude, if I wanted her dead she would be dead now, and not taking her grandkids to fisherman's wharf."
"Her daughter took some picture, you were in one of them." Chance reached out to the top draw, and then halted as he saw Guerrero tense, only someone who knew him as well as Chance did could see it. So he made sure that he moved slowly and that he drew the picture out carefully, and then held it up.
"That's seriously not cool bro."
At that bro, the last knot of tension eased from Chance, he was the only one that Guerrero ever called bro it looked like he would live through the meeting at least, "I've got some 12 year old Scotch, interested."
At the nod, Chance got up and got a glass for him, and poured a generous measure that was another indication that the worse was past them, if Guerrero was working he would have refused the drink, or gone for a soda.
Once he had accepted the drink, Guerrero sank down into one of the chairs and his foot went up on the coffee table.
"Make yourself at home why don't you." Winston said sarcastically, but it was like water off a ducks back.
"You've been babysitting her." Chance said with a grin, "change of pace for you, how did you like being on the other team."
"Forget it Chance. I don't swing both ways." Guerrero had all but snarled at him, but Chance had seen the slight curl of the lips, which for Guerrero was like someone rolling with laughter. Then he was all business again, "When I wasn't interested the broker went low rent, so far he's employed four hitters to take her out."
Winston was half way out of his chair when he realized that Chance wasn't moving, instead Chance just took a drink "how many are left alive."
"Dude this is me you're talking too." Guerrero said, as Chance grinned at him and then leaned forward to top his glass up.
Winston settled back in the chair, it seemed the threat for the moment had been neutralized but for how long.