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Damaged – Ch. 11

The disadvantage to being a sniper on a rooftop is that no one has your back. Of course, in the CIA, no one has your back anyway, so it was relatively simple for Reese to sneak up behind the first of the snipers, put his gun to the man’s head, and yank out his earpiece, disabling his ability to call for help.

“I’m only going to ask this once,” Reese said, his voice low. “Where is Agent Snow?”

“I- I don’t know,” the sniper said. Jesus, he sounded sixteen.

“Wrong answer,” Reese said, hitting him at the base of his skull with the butt of his gun, the impact slamming him forward into the brick ledge where the sniper rifle rested. Blood gushed from his broken nose as he dropped to the ground. Reese used his foot to roll the young man onto his face so he wouldn’t drown in his own blood, then pulled the rifle down and began dismantling it, tucking the firing pin into his coat pocket to render it useless. He quickly searched the sniper, turning up two more handguns, which he took with him.

The second guy was a little more difficult. He was smart, setting himself up with his back against a wall, giving Reese no choice but to shoot him, putting one in his shooting arm and one in his knee. The shots echoed from the nearby facades, but would largely go ignored by the majority of the populace. Only the agents on the street below might pay any attention, if they even heard it over the noise of the traffic.

Reese walked up to the writhing man, placing his foot on the injured knee and pressing down, the hoarse scream startling a flock of pigeons off the roof of the library.

“Where is Agent Snow?” Reese asked, looking the man in the face and letting him see the absolute lack of fucking around in his eyes.

“Bread truck- Two blocks north- Please!” Reese slammed his gun into the man’s jaw, probably breaking it and definitely knocking him out. He stripped him of his weapons, then turned to the sniper rifle, running his hands over the cold metal. Pointing it north, he peered through the scope, locating the bread truck. Standing a few feet away was another operative, but not Mark.

Taking a deep breath, Reese swiveled the rifle, sweeping along the crowded city street, picking out his targets and planning his shots carefully. Finch would never forgive him if he injured an innocent bystander. He’d probably be pretty pissed if he knew what Reese was about to do, but some things could not be tolerated, and the kidnapping and torture of Reese’s friend was at the top of the list.

Remembering the sight of Finch writhing in the bottom of that bathtub, soaked to the skin, struggling to breathe, terrified and in pain, filled Reese with a cold, seething anger, the kind that made the world grow quiet, focused down to a single point at the other end of a sniper scope. It was different than the hot, blind rage that had filled him in that hotel, where he’d shot those agents dead without so much as a hesitation. He regretted that. He took aim at the first operative, the one standing across the street from the library, his finger slowly squeezing the trigger.

The shot made almost no sound, the recoil far less than Reese was expecting, and the man went down like a ton of bricks, clutching at his left knee. Trust the CIA not to settle for less than the best. Reese moved on to the next target, taking him down as he turned to see why his fellow agent was screaming. Reese loaded another round into the chamber, dropping the third with a shot to his right shoulder as he ran toward the first two. He scanned the streets, looking for any that he had missed, but all he could see were panicked civilians running and ducking for cover.

Reese shifted his focus to the bread truck, to the agent standing on the sidewalk, speaking into the receiver tucked inside his sleeve, a look just shy of panic in his eyes. Reese lowered the barrel of the rifle and put a bullet in his knee. Before he’d even hit the pavement, Reese was taking aim at the right rear tire of the truck. He fired, the vehicle listing to the right, but it evened out as he disabled the left rear, too. He stayed for the length of a single breath, hoping Mark would have the balls to show his face, but when he didn’t appear, Reese dropped the rifle and made for the stairs. He wasn’t there for target practice, nor for revenge.

Police sirens filled the air, the street clogged with frantic people and gawking motorists, the sidewalks crowded with onlookers from the nearby buildings. No one noticed a guy in a suit slipping into a narrow alleyway.

Gun drawn, Reese entered the library, making his way up the stairs and through the maze of corridors, all his senses on high alert. Only when he reached the main hub and found it undisturbed did he allow himself to lower the gun and relax a little. Mark had no idea about this place.

Moving quickly, Reese found Finch’s laptop, power cord, and a spare pair of glasses on his desk. Feeling justified for once, he rifled through the drawers, turning up another cell phone and several thick stacks of cash. He pocketed everything and tucked the laptop under his arm, casting one last look around the room as he headed for the hall, but he stopped as his gaze fell on Finch’s array of computer monitors. If Mark did find the library, if the CIA tech-boys managed to crack Finch’s encryption, it could have disastrous consequences. For that matter, if they got their hands on any of this stuff – Reese’s cache of weapons, the photos from the surveillance of past numbers, Finch’s list – it would compromise the entire operation.

Reese hesitated. There was gas for the generator and enough munitions in the other room to level a building…which would be the smart thing to do. That was why an operative never got attached to things – or people – because everything was disposable. His gaze slid over Finch’s book collection, reverently protected behind heavy metal gates secured by a padlock and chain. He’d be devastated.

Stepping over to the generator, Reese crouched down and shut it off, the lights flickering once before winking out, the hum of electronics falling silent. Pulling out his pocket knife, he used the blade to loosen the screws and remove the back panel, slicing through every wire he found beneath. No sense making it easy. Next, he went to Finch’s computer, opening the tower and yanking out the motherboard and hard-drive. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it would have to do.

Laptop under his arm and gun in hand, Reese exited the building, heading on down the alley, away from the chaos he had caused, but a squad car pulled up in front of the alleyway entrance, two uniformed officers jumping out. Reese pressed himself against the wall of the library, hidden behind a dumpster, and glanced toward the near end. Red and blue lights flashed and danced over everything, but the sidewalks were still packed with people. The cops would be busy with crowd control and trying to take witness statements. No one would notice him. He hoped.

Stepping out of the alley, he chanced a single look up the street, half the NYPD swarming the scene, miles of crime scene tape being strung, and ambulances carrying away the victims. Briefly, he wondered if the snipers had been found yet, then chided himself for getting soft. They were lucky he hadn’t put two in the chest and one in the head. A year ago, he would have.

Sidling along behind the onlookers, he mimicked their movements, their expressions, trying to avoid drawing attention. He lingered at the edge of the crowd for a moment, looking for the weakest point in the police barricade, then tucked his gun away and strode straight toward a nervous-looking rookie, his gaze darting from the street to the nearby rooftops, his face pale and his sidearm unsecured.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to-”

“Save it,” Reese said, flashing Stills’ badge.

“Oh, sorry, Detective,” the kid said, stepping aside to let Reese past.

Reese hesitated, then turned back. “What’s your name, officer?”

“Murphy, sir,” the rookie said with the wariness of someone who was no stranger to being dressed down by a superior.

“Well, Murphy, you might want to secure that weapon before somebody decides to grab it out of your holster.” The kid cursed under his breath and scrambled to obey. A small smile tugged at the corner of Reese’s mouth “And relax. Initial trajectory reports indicate that the shots came from up there-” He pointed to the rooftop two blocks away, the opposite direction that Murphy had been looking. “And whoever it was is long gone.”

“Thank you, sir,” Murphy said, though he didn’t seem all that relieved. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. What kind of crazy son-of-a-bitch shoots up a crowded street?”

“Maybe he had a good reason,” Reese said with a one-shoulder shrug. Murphy looked at him like he’d just grown a second head. “That’s a joke,” Reese explained, giving him a friendly clap on the back. “Lighten up.” He headed for his car, parked just a short two and a half blocks away, but it felt like two and half miles. He could feel that itch at the back of his head again and he quietly reached beneath his coat and pulled his weapon. He hadn’t survived that long by ignoring his instincts.

He made it one block, then two, the eerie feeling fading as he approached the car, but he still glanced around to make sure he wasn’t being followed or watched. No one was paying him any attention, all the flashing lights at the other end of the street so much more interesting.

It was the aberrant behavior that caught his eye first, a man in a dark suit ignoring the police cars and ambulance that went screaming by, walking up the side street toward him. The bald head and sharp eyes only registered after. Mark. Reese hesitated, his grip tightening on his pistol. Mark hadn’t seen him yet. He could just leave. Or he could put a bullet between those soulless eyes.

Reese took another step toward the car, and like a predator drawn by the movement of its prey, Mark’s head snapped around. Their eyes met. Mark reached for his gun, but Reese already had his in his hand. Mark drew his weapon; Reese was already aiming. Mark raised his arm; Reese had his finger on the trigger. Reese fired.

The bullet hit Mark in the shoulder, knocking him back and sending his shot wide. People screamed. Reese ignored them. Face twisted with pain and hatred, Mark straightened up, using both hands to raise his weapon. Reese fired again, the bullet grazing Mark’s cheek and tearing through the shell of his ear, blood streaming down his face and neck. They stared at each other for a moment more, then Mark let his arm drop and pressed his other hand to his wounds. Reese turned and walked to his car, climbed inside, and sped away.

Knowing Mark as well as he did had its advantages. He knew Mark wouldn’t have hesitated to kill him, but he also knew that the man wasn’t ready to die. And he knew that Mark knew that he wouldn’t have missed such a clear shot. He wasn’t sure why he’d settled for a graze. He wanted to kill Mark for what he’d done. And perhaps therein lay the answer. He killed people because he had to, not because he wanted to, and he wasn’t going to let a backstabbing piece of shit like Mark push him into the dark again, not after all Finch had done to draw him back toward the light.

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One Comment
  1. Mayme permalink

    so i’m probably not going to continue reading “damaged” today but i needed to tell you this: your fanfiction and your writing skills are utterly amazing (i also read through lots of other of your ffs here and I’ll probably leave more comments but i think this one is my favorite untill now? ❤ ) i really love how you depict the relationship between reese and finch and that each of them think that they are not "good enough" to be loved. i can't wait to see where this is leading, also because it's absolutely in-character (plus i have to admit that in the beginning of watching POI i was in denial of this pairing but then… i ship them like i don't know what these last days and weeks hahah and i feel really lucky for finding these amazing stories of yours)! moreover i loved these rather "action"-scene parts. you really should consider writing more of them (i adore epic BAMF!Reese <3)
    what i also wanted to say: i quite enjoy your writing style especially the dialoge between the characters and the description of their feelings which is surely not that easy?

    (i hope my english was understandable? it's not the best…)
    anyway: keep up the great (and incredibly hot ) work hahah 😀
    i love it!

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