All that happened and just how much his life had changed after meeting Shawn for the first time.
From the beginning, Shawn was always something different. He granted a feeling in Mark that was unlike anything he had felt before. He never remembered life before he was turned, so the feeling was foreign to him. So much so that he couldn’t wrap his head around what that feeling /really/ was. But Shawn just expressed it, for himself and even for Mark. It was then that Mark realized that was the feeling all along. He had been slowly but surely falling for Shawn. /That/ was what he meant when he said that Shawn was different.
Mark pulled his gaze off of the door and glanced over his shoulder. Catching that the sun had risen and it was now early morning. Turning his head back around Mark pushed himself off of the ledge of the desk and went over to the door. Grabbing the handle and pulling open the door. His heart sank when he found no sight of Shawn.
He meant it.
A part of Mark was honestly hoping that Shawn didn’t really mean it when he said he had to go. Mark was honestly hoping that Shawn had been waiting for him outside of the door, but he wasn’t.
Huffing a quick breath Mark walked out of the office and over to the elevator. Pressing for the ground floor Mark walked in after the doors opened and leaned on the back. There he let his mind wander a bit more as he rode the elevator down.
Mark was hoping that maybe, just maybe, there was something that stopped Shawn. That he was still in the lobby and perhaps staring at the front doors, unable to leave alone. It seemed a little selfish, but Mark had just been told the three most powerful words he had ever been told. As far as he could remember. And that changed everything despite it all happening in the span of a few seconds.
Shawn had just confessed his love to Mark and then turned around and ran away before Mark could even think of a response. That also didn’t feel right and to Mark, that justified his own thinking right then.
As the elevator stopped and the doors slid open again, Mark stepped out to the lobby and started looking around. Still not finding any sight of Shawn anywhere. He quickly rushed over to the front doors but stopped a few feet back.
Looking through the glass and out into the free world. Mark just stood there frozen and unsure of to do or what to think. He couldn’t bring himself to step out of those doors into the real world. He couldn’t go out where the normal civilians were and surround himself with commotion. It was all too risky and Mark was too afraid that something would cause a trigger. Making all of his hard work go down the drain. As much as Mark wanted to burst out of those doors and run off to find Shawn, confess his own feelings to him, and finally have the chance to be with him and be happy.
Snapping out of it Mark pulled his gaze from the doors and heaved out a long sigh. Shaking his head to himself he went over to one of the walls and leaned on it. Crossing his arms he tried to shut up his mind and not dwell on everything. A task that was much easier said than done. Mark couldn’t just let something like this slip by, it was too big and too powerful. Even with the very slight chance that Shawn might come back. Mark had to either go out there or try to move on.
Once again, that was something much easier said than done.
Pushing himself off of the wall and heading back to the lift, Mark figured he could go and at least tell Kurt everything that happened. After all, Kurt was Shawn’s best friend, and even someone that Mark grew close to over the past two years he’s been at the base. Kurt was really the only person Mark could confide in right then.
Pressing for the floor of the IT department, Mark rode the lift up and once the doors were open again he went straight for the large all-glass office. Peering around Mark’s eyes quickly went over to the desk at the very back of the office. There Kurt was sitting and typing away on his typewriter.
Heaving out a long sigh Mark went for the handle and let himself in. Walking up the rows and meekly waving at some of the associates who called out to him or that simply greeted him. Heading up the steps to the main desk, Mark looked over and faintly smiled to Kurt when he looked up at him from his work.
“Hey there Temp Director, what brings ya by?”
“Um, Kurt you mind if I pull you out of here to talk to you in private a minute?”
Kurt kept his gaze on Mark. Looking a little confused and slightly concerned. He slowly nodded.
“Sure, is everything okay?”
“I’ll let you know in a sec.”
Still, a little confided Kurt lightly shrugged and pushed out his chair and stood up. Then he followed Mark all the way out of the IT office and into the hallway. There he let his eyes wander a little bit before placing all of his focus on Mark. Clearing his throat he went ahead and voiced his concerns again.
“Marky, c’mon. What is it?”
“Shawn’s gone... he just left a little bit ago and by the way he worded it... isn’t coming back.”
Kurt’s eyes grew a little wider as he let Mark’s words sink in. Shifting his eyes off to the side a bit as he thought he heaved out a rough sigh and shook his head. He glanced at his feet for a couple of seconds before looking back up to Mark.
“I’m not surprised. His dream sorta got tainted and he told me he was planning on leaving. I knew it was inevitable, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.”
Mark nodded and then told Kurt that he could go back to work. Then he watched as Kurt did what Mark said and headed back into the IT office.
Deep down Mark felt bad for leaving Kurt in the dark like he was, but at the same time, it felt it was for the better. Mark cared about Kurt and only wanted to keep him safe and out of the crazy loop that Mark was constantly getting thrown into. He felt bad enough about the way Shawn had to find out. He didn’t want to drag anyone else down with him, it was his fight and something only Mark had to live with.
Exhaling a deep breath, Mark went over to the elevator again and was about to press for the top floor when he heard the intercom system go off. Hearing his name being called and to head down to the lobby. Mark slightly furrowed in confusion and moved his hovering hand to the button and pressed down.
Once he made it to the lobby Mark quickly caught sight of Buchanan. Followed by the group he took with him to go out and hunt down Kershaw.
Mark then rushed over to where Buchanan was standing and looked around a little. Instantly a rush of distress washed over him when he saw the group was empty-handed. Quickly setting that aside Mark placed his focus on Buchanan.
As soon as Mark was close enough Buchanan grabbed Mark’s sleeve of his jacket and pulled him aside as well as a little closer so that no one else could hear. Speaking out in a hushed tone.
“We have a problem.”
“We did all we could and I tried basically everything, but we couldn’t grab him, not without him nearly killing the group that is. So I had to call it and bring the group back.”
Mark studied Buchanan for a little bit and let it all sink in. Right before averting his eyes and letting them wander as he thought. Everything was simply going from bad to worse and Mark wasn’t sure how much more he wanted to take.
Placing all else aside he had to focus on what was happening right in front of him. The matter was too serious to put on the back burner. Despite how hard it was, Mark pushed everything else aside and just focused on this particular issue.
Huffing out a sigh he took a step back as he looked to Buchanan.
“Has he made it to New York?”
“About a few hours ago, and he’s still awake with no means of slowing down any time soon. Listen, Mark, you’re not gonna like this but...”
“/Listen/, Mark, I already have six agents in the infirmary as we speak. You’re the only one who knows how he thinks and how to possibly stop him. I need you.”
Mark backed away from where he and Buchanan were standing. Starting to feel a little crowded he moved back to the middle of the lobby and tried to allow himself to breathe.
Once again he was feeling like all of his hard work was being compromised. Mark had managed to remain asleep for years now and he wanted to keep it that way. Without having a bad slip up and end up doing something he would regret.
Despite always having memories fading in and out, there were some certain events that Mark could distinctively remember. Those events in particular were when he would fade out of black and find himself on the ground. Crying as he looked at his hands that were covered in blood that he knew wasn’t his own. His clothing all tattered and having no clue how he ended up that way. Nothing else came to mind but /that/ was always a haunting memory his tampered mind refused to forget.
In time Mark believed that he knew exactly what triggered him and how to avoid it. Keeping himself as far from those triggers as possible and doing all that he could to maintain a more normal mindset. Although there was a lot of trial and error and it took him a couple of years to master, Mark was able to remain asleep without any slip-ups.
Now, all of that hard work would have to get thrown away. Mark had promised himself that he never wanted to wake up with blood on his hands ever again. And he knew that’s exactly what would happen if he went out there awake. Mark was the main target of Jack and he would go after Mark with no mercy whatsoever. However, what Jack didn’t know was just how powerful Mark had become since his first time getting turned.
Mark was a lot more trained and was a Sleeper Agent for longer. So if Jack went at Mark with full force it would easily trigger Mark and make him lose all control. Then of course Mark wouldn’t stop for a moment until Jack was dead.
However, Mark didn’t /want/ to do that. After all, Jack was just a kid who was lost and fresh out of luck. He had no idea what he was doing out there or why and Mark knew that feeling better than any other memory.
Snapping back out of it, Mark turned around and headed for the stairs. Walking up to the second floor, he decided to check on the six from the group that was in the infirmary. He slowly approached the door and peeked in. Looking around he quickly caught sight of Jimmy who was sitting on the edge of the beds getting bandaged.
Once the medic stepped away Mark heaved a sigh and decided to enter the room. Meekly wandering around a little bit before going over to where Jimmy was. He approached Jimmy slowly and gave him a faint smile.
“Hanegan, hi. Looks like I was one of the luckier ones, huh?”
Moving in just a little closer, Mark looked over Jimmy and tried to assess his injuries. Right before taking a step back to face Jimmy in order to speak with him.
“He got to you too?”
“Just a little. I jumped in an’ lent a quick hand before he dashed off.”
Blinking Mark inhaled as he was about to say something but refrained as he heard footfalls coming through the doorway. Mark looked over his shoulder and saw Kurt walk into the infirmary and head straight over to Jimmy.
He too looked over Jimmy's injuries too and made sure that he was alright and bandaged up properly. He fussed and fiddled a little before Jimmy told Kurt that everything was fine and then he stepped back. Then he looked over to Mark who was now standing at the other end of the room with his arms crossed.
Kurt bit at his bottom lip a little as he looked to Mark and then moved his eyes forward in thought. Huffing a sigh Kurt spun around on his heel and walked over to where Mark was. Approaching him slightly cautiously and moving his hand to behind his back.
“Hey, I just got back from talking with Buchanan. He says you refuse to go out there. Why?”
Mark looked at Kurt and shrugged. Huffing a breath he dropped his arms and placed his hands in the pockets of his suit jacket. Moving back until he was leaning on the wall behind him.
“Look, it’s a long complicated story and I’ll spare you and say that I just...can’t.”
“... Mark, I /know/. And if Buchanan says that only you can take him down, then I think you should do it. He’s right, no one can think like he can except for /you/.”
Mark’s eyes grew a little wider as he heard everything that came from Kurt.
He didn’t know that Kurt knew, or for how long. He figured that out of the three, only Shawn knew. That was why Mark spared Kurt any of the gritty details. Believing that Kurt was left in the dark, but as it turns out, he knew more than Mark had actually thought.
Still, that didn’t make Mark change his mind about going out there. He didn’t want to ruin everything and wake up. Even more so, he didn’t want to be a killer again.
It took Mark a long time to feel somewhat normal and to have some sense of a conscience. He was starting to feel a little remorse for what he had done and less like some cold-blooded killing machine. Mark was feeling closer to human than he had been ever since all of that happened to him. It was a feeling that he didn’t want to let go because he was afraid it would never come back.
Heaving out a long sigh. Mark dropped his head and looked down at his shoes.
“I didn’t know you knew and I get that...”
Mark started before he lifted his head back up and looked at Kurt again.
“But, I’ve been asleep for so long and worked hard on keeping everything under control. To y’know... feel normal, or at least kind of.”
Kurt studied Mark for a few seconds and then lightly nodded. Staying silent for a little longer he took in everything that Mark was saying. Right before he decided to speak up again.
“I know I don’t understand but I can sympathize with you. Really. But Mark, Jack’s /here/ in New York...and Shawn is out there...”
That of course struck a chord with Mark and he knew that Kurt probably did that on purpose. He was smart enough to realize that there had been some kind of strong connection between the two. So he figured that if he mentioned Shawn, that it would get Mark thinking. And it did.
Heaving out a long-winded sigh Mark leaned onto the wall again and dropped his head again. Taking no time at all Mark’s mind went straight to Shawn.
Mark wanted to let it go and think of other things for it to hurt less but none of it was working. The very second Mark heard Shawn’s name he was plastered all over Mark’s mind.
He despised how things had ended between the two of them. But that didn’t mean that Mark cared about him any less. In fact, he still cared a lot and if he wasn’t so damn scared to leave the base, he would’ve ran after Shawn.
Things were going from bad to worse to aggravating and time was slipping through Mark’s fingers. He was left with little choice on what to do and how to solve everything. Jack was now in New York and on his way into the city. The city of which Shawn was in after leaving the CIA. Mark knew that Shawn wasn’t going to leave New York. It was his home and the only place left where he felt safe. Ironically enough where Shawn was right now was the most dangerous place he could possibly be.
Mark was Jack’s main target and vice versa. However, Langley had activated Jack to take out Shawn because he was in the way. Although Shawn fought Jack off and got away, he only got lucky. He didn’t /really/ fight him off. He only sedated Jack and passed out before getting picked up. Leaving Jack to believe that Shawn was dead. Now, if Jack caught sight of Shawn and realizes his mistake, he’d kill Shawn without any hesitation.
When a Sleeper Agent’s mission is left unsuccessful, it makes them even more determined to finish the job. Mark of course knew that since he was programmed with that same mindset. If he were to wake up and see Jack, Mark would kill him with no effort. As well as anyone who would be in the way.
Nevertheless, as much as he was terrified of the chance that he might get woken up again, he couldn’t let Jack run amok with Shawn out there. So he stepped back and really took time to think things through.
Finally, Mark was left with the conclusion of going out there but to remain asleep. It was the only safe way that he could come with. After all, he couldn’t risk waking up in the middle of the city and running into Shawn.
Lifting his head again Mark nodded once and then turned around to leave the infirmary. Going back to the stairs, Mark walked back down to the lobby and met up with Buchanan. As he approached the Director, Mark noticed that both Kurt and Jimmy didn’t necessarily stay in the infirmary and had followed Mark to the lobby.
Mark glanced over his shoulder and checked on them as they stayed behind. Then he looked forward again and went over to Buchanan.
Pulling his suit jacket off he set it on one of the desk chairs and unbuttoned the cuffs of his sleeves.
Buchanan looked up and over to Mark. Lightly furrowing in confusion a second before turning to face Mark fully and cross his arms.
“Under one major condition. I remain asleep, in the exact state that I am right now...normal.”
“Really? Are you sure that’s what you wanna do?”
“I refuse to take that risk. Plus, I’m not from your base. Ya wake me up I’ll snap your neck. Nothing personal.”
“Can’t really argue with that logic... Alright fine. I’ll go set everything up and will meet you in the training room.”
Mark nodded and let Buchanan go. Watching him a moment, he pushed up his sleeves and heaved out another long sigh and closed his eyes. Shaking his head he re-opened his eyes and looked over to where Kurt and Jimmy were standing. A little off to the side they both tried to act like they weren’t eavesdropping on the entire conversation just then.
Cracking a light smile Mark shook his head fondly as he walked back over to Kurt and Jimmy. Casually crossing his arms and slightly tilting his head to the side for a moment.
“Get a good story on the latest scoop did ya?”
Kurt eased up a little and lightly chuckled sheepishly. Moving his arms behind his back again and shrugging.
“We just wanted to make sure everything was going to be okay. It is isn’t it?”
“Hey, I’ll do the very best I can.”
“Y’sure this is what y’wanna do?”
Jimmy asked as he chimed in a little concerned himself.
“No, it’s not what I want to do at all. But it’s what I /have/ to do. Listen guys I know it’s a scary situation but that’s all a part of the secret agent business. Was sure you knew that by now.”
“But we’re all apart now. I mean at least when Shawnie was in Langley, we knew he at least had back up. Now he’s running around all alone with /him/ out there.”
Mark slightly tightened his crossed arms a bit as he huffed out a breath. His eyes wandered around a little in thought before he placed them back onto Kurt and Jimmy.
“I know that too. Believe me when I say that I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure he doesn’t get caught up into this mess and remains safe.”
“Y’really care about him don’t ya?”
“More than you know.”
Just at that moment, the intercom went off and Mark was told to head up to the training floor. After telling Kurt and Jimmy that he’d catch up with them later Mark went over to the elevator and pressed for the training floor.
Once he made it he quickly rushed down the hall and pushed open the double-doors. Approaching Buchanan, Mark unbuttoned shirt and pulled it off. Letting it fall to the floor he grabbed his vest and boots.
Switching out his loafers for his combat boots, Mark sat at the bench and laced them up. Tying them up tightly he stood up again and looked over to Buchanan.
There he handed Mark his holsters and guns, as well as a locator and radio communication device. Lastly, Buchanan wired Mark up with an earpiece.
Mark stood still a little perplexed as Buchanan made sure everything was set up and ready for Mark to use when he was out there. Glancing down at himself he perked up a brow and then looked over to Buchanan again.
“Uh, Clint? Don’t you think this is just a bit too much?”
“You can never be too sure when it comes to Sleepers. You know that.”
“Plus you are still public enemy number one. I’d hate for anything bad to happen to ya, over the years I’ve grown to kinda like you.”
Lightly chuckling to lighten the mood just a bit. Clint took a couple of steps back and looked Mark over. Making sure he was wearing everything properly.
“Alright, ready to go?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be I guess...”
Buchanan nodded and then both of them exited the training room and headed up to the Director’s office. There Buchanan made sure that everything was set up and all of the devices were connected. After that, the two headed back down to the ground floor and it was then that Mark started to feel a little apprehensive.
This was going to be Mark’s first solo mission asleep. Every other time before that he was with a group of fellow agents and they were able to keep Mark calm enough to stay that way. He had the others to lean on and to have his back. But now, he was to go at it all alone and had to keep the triggers at bay by himself.
He knew that there was a chance that his plan would fail and he’d end up waking up anyway. But despite not wanting that to happen at all, it was a risk he was willing to take. He only hoped that it wouldn’t be too brutal and that there wouldn’t be any civilians out there to witness it. It was a terrible intrusive thought, but Mark’s mind was racing around in all sorts of directions right then. The more he stood there in the base the more nervous he was becoming.
However, this was far too important to ignore. Jack was out there still awake and wreaking havoc. Soon he was to enter the city and be surrounded by others. A Sleeper Agent awake and surrounded by people was a very dangerous thing. Innocent lives could get taken away or badly injured for no good reason at all. Not to mention and above all else, Shawn was also out there somewhere in the city. Mark couldn’t let Jack go anywhere near Shawn ever again. He’d fight until his last breath before ever allowing that to happen.
As he stood in the lobby all geared up. Mark slowly took a few deep breaths and did all he could to mentally prepare himself to run out there. He had to think of a few tactics to get to Jack and think fast. Although it was very difficult to take down an activated Sleeper Agent, it wasn’t exactly impossible. Mark only had to make sure he remained at least one step ahead in order to outsmart Jack and be able to take him down.
As soon as Mark cleared his mind he knew it was never or now. So he took one last good look at everything and made sure he had all that he needed. Then he finally moved his feet and pulled open the front doors of the base. Following the locator and getting a lead on Jack. As soon as he got it, Mark moved in the direction that Jack was heading. Remaining one step ahead.