Disclaimer: I do not own Human Target and intend no copyright infringement.

Authors Notes: Ok, I am willing to admit defeat. I come from a city of elite sports teams…including the Steelers. This season has been a tough one. Sure we had injuries and some bad plays, but all in all, I just wish we could have made the playoffs.

This story was only meant to be about paper footballs. Why? Because if you have ever in your life needed something to curb your boredom, those little triangular pieces of paper will save your life. However I must warn, don't ever play while drinking. Just don't do it. You have been warned.

Furthermore, we are coming into 2013 and the first issue on my agenda to address is to vet all my furry kids. That's right: shots, wormers, ear cleaning etc. And the best part…is the bill. Yup. Multiply 90 x 2 dogs x 300 plus a farm call for a horse and flea medicine for the cat (who apparently has many grandchildren) x random additions for things they don't really need x 45 (because Napoleon needs an allergy shot) = I WILL BE BROKE BEFORE THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY. So the conclusion is this…it would have been much easier to deal with if I knew we were going to the playoffs.

As for the story, once again, the Chance/Ilsa theme is an ongoing gig for me. I just admire the balance of power in the relationship. I have to say though, that if I were writing the show's script, there wouldn't be this much heavy interaction. It is just too much to carry through in my opinion, but I would love to see the developing relationship throughout the show.

Ok that's all for that. Enjoy. No wait..there's one more thing…it really angers me that I have ZERO clue, what this Fiscal Cliff is all about. All I know is that if Biscoff cookies go up in price…I will lose it!

Football Conference

Ilsa sat quietly and stared across the conference room table. She was deep into the report that lay in front of her. Chance dreaded paperwork. At the end of each month, she required a complete expense breakdown. Since Winston was on vacation, he had to take his place to review it.

He leaned back in the leather chair and sighed. "Argh! Why do we have to do this?" She kept writing without looking up. "Well, considering I could get audited at any moment, I need to doctor the books. You seem to destroy everything you come into contact with." When he didn't respond, she looked up at him and he smiled. She shook her head then went back to writing. After a few minutes passed, he started to get restless. He reached over to her stack of papers and pulled out a blank sheet, then fiddled and folded for a few moments until he had a stack of paper footballs in front of him.

She glanced up. "You are such a child Mr. Chance." He shrugged. "You're such an adult Mrs. Pucci." He leaned forward and started lining up the footballs. Christopher Chance was mischievous when he got bored. Sitting and watching Ilsa work was beyond boring to him. He plucked the football and it landed in front of her folder. She didn't look up. He lined up another and plucked it. This time it landed on top of her file. She narrowed her eyes at him and he returned a sheepish smile. He plucked a third. This time it landed in her lap. She put her pen down. "Really? You seriously did not just do it again."

He sucked in a breath and plucked another. She watched as it glided across her hand. "Throw another. Go on." She was daring him. "So help me if you…" He smiled. "I am warning you Chance." He called her bluff. Before it landed on the table, she abruptly stood up and he threw his hands up in defense. "Okay, okay I'm sorry!" He chuckled as she sat back down.

"You think this job is easy. I will have you know that everything you and your colleagues destroy, it has to be carefully catalogued and tagged so that we can actually stay in business. Speaking of, you just so happened to put a significantly large dent on the side of the mayor's car when you were chasing an alleged murderer down the street last week. Considering the mayor has to drive a custom bullet proof vehicle, it's going to come hard out of the bottom line." Chance just looked at her. He missed half of what she said simply because his job wasn't about the numbers. Not to mention the fact that he enjoyed just admiring her. "Well I caught the guy didn't I?" She shifted in her chair. "Yes you did well enough. Now I am the one who makes sure the damage is repaired."

He nodded and agreed with her. "Well, you make a great boss. Am I your favorite employee?" She shook her head. "Not hardly. Simply because you cause the most trouble." He dawned the mischievous grin again. When she dropped her head, he took the opportunity to launch another football. Her sixth sense kicked in before he could react and she was halfway around the table after him. He was slightly quicker and looked over his shoulder as she yelled at him. "If I catch you, I'm beating you!" He laughed at her attempt to threaten him. "You gotta catch me first slow poke!"

He ran up to his loft and when she caught up to him, he was standing behind the couch smiling. "Isn't this much better than that boring paperwork?" She didn't respond because she was too busy catching her breath wondering how to catch him. He mimicked her movements as she stalked around. "Do you ever stop acting like a child?" He took a deep breath. "No. Acting like a child is fun. You're no fun when you work."

She walked around slowly and then made her move. As Chance darted, he completely missed the heap of clothes on the other side. When he sidestepped them, he lost his footing and fell helplessly to the couch. "Shit!" Ilsa leapt on top of him. "NOW! I told you to stop taunting me!" She slapped him in his arm. "OW! Stop you crazy woman!" She smacked him again. "Are you going to stop bothering me?!" He smiled up at her. "Maybe if you didn't hit like a girl, I would take you seriously." She scowled at him then smacked his other arm. "Keep it up!" When she attempted to smack him again, he grabbed her wrists with ease. "Chill out!" She struggled against him, but he wasn't letting go. Finally he stilled her and looked into her eyes. "Do….you…give…up?"

She relaxed into his grip. "You don't play fair." He placed her hands on his chest and let her wrists go. "Why? Because I'm stronger than you?" He was rewarded with a small smile. She leaned down until her lips were inches from his. "No." He snaked his hands around her waist and gently massaged. "So, you want to use your wit and charm against my strength?" He moved his hands under her silk blouse and to her lower back. "I can use my wit and charm instead."

She rubbed her nose against his. "So you're saying that you want to play fair?" He closed his eyes and inhaled her scent. "Mmmm, I always play fair. But….you…madam..on the other hand…play a little dirty." He could feel her smile against his cheek. "But I'm sure you like dirty."

He pulled his hands from underneath of her shirt and held her face, brushing his thumbs along her cheek bones. She closed her eyes as he slowly drew her face down to meet his lips. They were warm and inviting. He always enjoyed kissing her because it made his heart race. It was always passionate and always left him wanting more. He pressed his tongue against her asking permission and she obliged, parting her newly swollen lips. They wrestled for what seemed like an eternity until she broke apart from him. "Using your wit and charm I see." He moved his hands back to her waist. "Is it working?" She stretched her body out fully over top of his. "Well clearly I am not getting any work done." He licked his lips. "Well maybe you shouldn't associate yourself with strange men. I hear it can get you into trouble." She stole another kiss from him. "I'll take the risk."

2 hours later

Somehow they managed to make it to his bed. He rolled over and stared at her and figured she was tired from the earlier work and had fallen asleep. It had always mesmerized him watching her sleep. She had one arm under her head and the other lay across her midsection. Her breathing was even and he watched with intent as her chest rose and fell. Every so often she would take a deep breath and stir.

A small lock of hair fell in front of her eyes. He quietly reached out and placed it gently behind her ear. She stirred again and he silently willed her to stay asleep. It was a rarity. Even when they spent time together, she was on the go. It was always some charity event here, or jetsetting there. But she was always a phone call away. As much as he wanted her to keep sleeping, the internal Pucci clock woke up. Her eyes fluttered as they managed to meet his. After a few moments, she took a deep breath and closed them again. "So, how often do you watch me in my sleep?" He moved closer to her. "As often as I can when you actually sleep. But that isn't as often as it should be."

"Well, I would but I have to worry about you coming back from a mission in one piece. You know I invested a lot of money into you and your operation. I think I deserve a decent return on investment." He met her lips in a quick kiss. "Well I think you get a lot more than a good looking ex-assasin." She wrapped her free arm around his waist and kissed him with every word she spoke. "I got...a handsome….strong…overly stubborn….reckless….wild...which can be a good thing…brave…mmmm…." She looked at the ceiling as if to find an answer. He interjected. "Oh you forgot dashing, mind blowing, sexiest man alive, over achiever…" She laughed. "Ok, you're pushing your luck now!"

She rolled back over and Chance put his arm around her waist. They lay there for a few minutes without closing their eyes. Ilsa knew that Chance wasn't much into her style of living. Dressing high fashioned, attending events and rubbing shoulders with people who made headlines in newspapers all over the world. What she did take away from him was that he tolerated it. Regardless of the circumstance, he would still be with her when she asked. "Ilsa? Have you given any thought to your future? Like, getting remarried, or kids and stuff?" Her body stiffened and her eyes went wide. She wondered where that came from. Never in a million years did she think he would ever talk about something like that. It was also something that she hadn't given much thought to over the past few years. She gathered her thoughts and wondered how she was going to answer his question. He shook her slightly. "Hey…earth to Ilsa…still with me?" She placed her hand over his. "Yes, yes. I'm sorry, I zoned out a bit there. I um…never really gave it much thought. I mean…Marshall and I never….never discussed it. We were always so busy. You know..on the go. How about you?"

She wanted to escape the topic as fast as she could. It wasn't that she was worried about the subject matter, but she was worried about the subject matter…..with him. He held her a bit tighter. "Well, I know that my life doesn't exactly have a baby mode built into it, but I could see myself settling down…maybe raising a family. I would hang up my guns for baby booties." She forced a laugh so that he would at least feel like she was ok talking about it. But to her luck, that didn't last long. He splayed his fingers over her belly and gently caressed it. It was his soft voice that made her melt. "You know, I think you would make a great mother. You have such a natural instinct."

She really wasn't sure what to say next. It had hit her like a ton of bricks that she was at a point in her life where she should have started a family or at least been thinking about it. The truth of the matter was that she loved children and she could have had a million of them. She also knew that she was afraid to be going down this road with Christopher Chance. He was in his own world as he continued to caress her stomach. He apparently had no clue that she was uncomfortable. He always knew she was resilient but wasn't aware that this subject matter wasn't her best.

"So what do ya think? Boys or girls?" Ilsa swallowed hard and stuck with it. "I don't know. I…I guess either would be fine. As long as they are healthy." He chuckled. "Well I know whatever you had, they would be spoiled rotten. Nice clothes, best schools, and a no-nonsense attitude like their mother." She smiled at the thought of matching Prada outfits. "Yes. I suppose I would pass on my tastes. How about you? I guess they would be learning self-defense before they learned to walk." He leaned in and kissed her hair. "Well it depends… maybe a boy. But if I had a little girl….NO WAY! She would not be anywhere around the bad guys. No way…no how." Ilsa wanted to turn around and see the negativity on his face thinking about protecting his own daughter. But she was still a little nervous that he had even mentioned any of this.

"And furthermore…there will be nooooo dating. EVER!" She turned a bit but didn't make eye contact. "Now Mr. Chance, you can't let the girl be locked up. You can't protect them forever either….." He interjected. "Well I can surely protect her from the world..until she is at least thirty." She laughed again. She was finally beginning to relax about their discussion.

"Oh, Mr. Chance you are too much to take in." He tightened his grip once more before burrowing into his pillow. "Regardless of what happens, I'm sure if we have kids they will be fine." Her eyes went wide again. She wasn't looking for anything to take away from the conversation but that last comment made her wonder. Did he mean their own children or "their" children….together. Millions of thoughts were racing through her head and she closed her eyes trying to forget what he said. She liked Chance, but he was talking about children. She was aware that he wasn't getting married anytime soon nor did he ever talk about this to begin with and now it was driving her crazy.

"Let's get some rest Ilsa. I jog earlier now to beat the sun." She was relieved he had closed the subject and wouldn't have to comment anymore but was still disseminating what he said. She figured though if they both went to sleep, it would be forgotten in the morning.

The alarm went off promptly at five. Ilsa groaned as he rolled over to shut it off. He leaned back over and kissed her cheek. "Go back to sleep." He got up and put on his jogging attire and laced his shoes. As he was brushing his teeth he peered out of the bathroom and smiled at Ilsa's slumbering form. He liked her, but he liked her even more when she was in his bed. He could make out a small portion of his shirt that she stole sometime in the night. He was also fully aware that her slacks were tossed on the back of the couch, leaving his mind to wander graciously.

When he finished in the bathroom, he walked out to find her staring at him with sleepy eyes. He frowned. "You're supposed to be sleeping." She smiled up at him as he approached the bed. He leaned down and kissed the top of her head. "You know, I was serious about the kid thing. I know ours will be just fine. And I know you would make a great mom." There it was again. What was he getting at? What did he mean by all of this? She wouldn't be able to go back to sleep now that he repeated it. She wanted so badly to ask him for some simple clarification. His blue eyes stared back at her questioning browns and his smile only made his innocence in the matter more apparent.

Before she could say anything else, he leaned down to meet her lips. It was one of those early morning kisses that they could only melt further into. Slow, sensual, erotic and something that would more likely lead to other acts. She tugged at his collar and pulled him down over top of her. She deepened the kiss and rubbed her fingertips along his cheeks. He was caressing her body and his hands were roaming freely. She was feeling wonderful until he got to her stomach. Like the night before, she tensed up when his palms spread across her bare belly.

She didn't want to make any quick moves, so she gently grabbed his shoulders and pushed him up. He gave her a look of question at the sudden loss of closeness. She managed smile. "Mr. Chance, I would hate to be the reason you missed your early morning jog." His look of relief made her heart stop beating one hundred miles an hour. Her excuse worked well enough. He grabbed one more quick kiss then got up. He turned back around and put his hand on her belly again. "Just promise me one thing." He was getting sentimental and downright domestic. "When I knock you up, you have to kiss me just like that every morning before I go running."

There it was, the answer to the question that nearly kept her up all night. The one thing that even Ilsa Pucci couldn't address. He was actually telling her that he wanted to father her child…or possibly her children. The man probably wanted a team of little Christopher Chance's running around. Before she could answer, he kissed her one more time then walked to the stairs. She lay back down with her eyes wide open at the incident that unfolded before her. She wondered how it had gotten to this point with him. Maybe it was the feelings she had. Maybe he was moving much faster than she thought possible. The only thing she could figure out was that this new Christopher Chance had given her a challenge she had to think about. After a few minutes passed she was able to close her eyes, and escape back to sleep.

Ilsa rolled over to an empty space beside her. She was dressed in a pair of sweats and her bra. She searched her memory bank for the events that occurred the night before and was in shock and surprise from the revelations of her ex-assassin business partner. As she sat up on her pillow, Chance emerged from the bathroom. "Hey sleepy head. You wanna run with me?" She looked over at the clock and it read quarter after five. Then she looked back at him. "I thought you already left to run?" He gave her a questioning look. "Uh no. I just got dressed. Did you go boozin' last night?" She shook her head. "Oh, no…I must have just been dreaming or something." He bent down and gave her a quick kiss." If you say so. I'll be back shortly. Get some rest."

When he stood back up, she realized that the exchange she had with him was all a dream. The talk about "their" kids, his touching her belly and the overprotection he would provide…especially if he fathered a girl. She couldn't figure out though if she was unhappy or not. She wasn't sure is she wanted it to be real. Then, within a split second, she realized that Ilsa Pucci was never one to back down from an awkward situation. She sprang up out of the bed and ran to the top of the stairs. "Chance wait!" He turned back around and started back up. "Yea? What's up?" She dropped her head for a moment. When she looked back up, she was met with a pair of concerned blue eyes. "Do you think I would make a good mother?" He looked at her and pursed his lips.

"No." The blood drained instantly from her face. She was thankful the sun hadn't charged through the windows to reveal her disheartened face. She wished she could have crawled into a hole and died and couldn't imagine he would even make the comment let alone be that forward with her. She wasn't sure if she should respond back to him or just let it go. There she stood clad only in sweats and a bra, feeling completely exposed to him. She was at the lowest place she could be and wanted him to just leave.

Instead, he made his next move.

In one step he was standing nose to nose with her. He placed his palm on her bare belly and gently caressed. "I don't think you would make a good mom, I think you would make a great one." He kissed her one more time and smiled. The weight of the universe had instantly been taken from her shoulders. This locked in her reassurance of knowing she was capable. Of course there was still the question of whether or not Chance would entertain being the father of her children. She didn't want to make it obvious that she was overly concerned about the matter. "Why don't you go back to sleep. I'll come right back to bed when I get back. I promise." She curled her lips into a smile then placed her hand over his…that was still resting on her stomach.

"Ok." She stole one more kiss before he turned around and went back down the stairs. Before he stepped out of sight he turned around. "But if we have a girl, she ain't datin' till she's at least thirty!" Then he disappeared...and there it was again. He had said it again. The collective inclusion of…we. She dreamed about Christopher Chance confiding in her about his future plans, and now the dreams were apparently playing out before her eyes.

She let out a heavy sigh when the elevator chimed. When she got back into bed, she pulled the duvet up to her chin and closed her eyes. For the first time in her life, Ilsa Pucci had come to the realization that Marshall was now a part of her past. With the thoughts of this new revelation with Chance, she laid her palm on her stomach and drifted to sleep.