As Shawn finally boarded the jet, he went over and found a seat near the window and strapped himself in. Moving the folder that was under his arm to his lap now. Shawn just looked at the front of it for a little while. Re-reading the name at the top left corner over and over. He felt so terrible that he never had the chance to really meet Agent Mandel. For the entire duration of his time in the New York base, Shawn was stuck in that closet all day doing absolutely nothing but staring at a blank wall. Sure after meeting Mark officially, Shawn could’ve visited the training room more often and had the chance to meet Christopher officially, and it wasn’t like he cared about getting into any trouble. But for some odd reason, while in the New York base, Shawn actually followed the rules. Staying away from the training room and everywhere else really.
Now, however, he regretted all of that. Wishing that he could’ve broken the rules and ran off to the training room. Getting to meet Chris officially as well as seeing more of Mark. Even though back then, he didn’t want to believe that he was falling for Mark. But that was something Shawn only laughed about these days.
Just as he was about to open the folder he stopped as he heard Jack calling to him. Shawn gave him a quick smile before setting the folder on one of the side tables. Then he turned his chair to give Jack his full attention.
Meanwhile, still back inside the main lab of the HQ. Clint and Mark were finalizing the plan. Going over to the experiment tables, Clint dug around until he found what he was looking for. Pulling out two explosive devices and a small toolbox. Then he walked back over to Mark, holding the items in the air in front of his face.
“Once everyone is in the Executive Building later. We install these onto the walls and synchronize the timers. Once that’s over with, we bolt.”
“Okay, but who gets where?”
“The upstairs can be a little risky. Might not have enough time to make it out of there. I’ll take that one.”
“What? No, I can’t risk that, I don’t want to lose you too!”
Clint heaved a sigh and placed the devices on the table beside where he was standing. Then he put everything inside of the toolbox and took it in hand. After that Clint regarded Mark for a few seconds and placed a hand on his shoulder. Lightly squeezing it before speaking out in a confident tone.
“It’s a risk that I’m willing to take. You have a chance to finally live a normal free life and I don’t want to take that from you. Besides, I got the chance to know myself, and he’s an asshole.”
Heaving out a sigh Mark reached up to his shoulder and grabbed Clint’s hand. Taking it off of his shoulder he let go.
“Alright fine... and you’re not /that/ bad.”
Clint chuckled before he walked with Mark out of the HQ once and for all. Clint walked ahead to allow Mark to have some time to himself and to wrap his head around everything that was about to happen.
And that was exactly what Mark did.
Looking up at the building where it all started. Mark stooped and took some time to think. Realizing that he never had to step foot in that godforsaken place ever again. It was a strange feeling and it wasn’t really anything cathartic. In fact, it just made Mark feel angry. Angry about what they had done that to him, taking away everything that he knew and all that he was. Changing him into a completely different person who will never know who he used to be.
Mark had believed that he was a good kid from a good family. But all of that was a lie. They made him think he was something good when he wasn’t. They praised him when they shouldn’t have. Most of all half of himself was an uncontrollable monster with targets implanted in his tampered mind. Making him some soulless killing machine with one thing on his mind and nothing standing in his way. Granting him to have activation and deactivation terms that he wasn’t aware of and for all of that, Mark was glad to be rid of that place for good.
Shaking his head Mark caught up to Clint and entered the jet with him. Unable to help it, Mark smiled over to Shawn before having to become serious again. Closing the door behind himself he stood beside Clint and listened as he started explaining everything.
“Alright, this is the final mission. While Mark and I are over at the Executives’ building about to blow the place to bits. Wexler, you along with Kershaw, Danes, and Devlin are to head over to the base and lead the rest of the agents out of there. As well as gather anything else that may have been left behind, and more importantly, we want you there and safe. Wait for our call and come on the subway, I’ll give you the codes. And if I don’t make it back, just know that I’m proud of all of you.”
Shawn looked to Clint and lightly furrowed in confusion, shaking his head in disbelief of what he had just heard.
“...Wait, what’d’ya mean if you don’t make it back?”
“Don’t worry too much about that right now Shawnie.”
Mark chimed in reassuringly, then he shot a glance at Clint before going over to the empty seat beside Shawn and sat down. Strapping himself in as Clint headed into the cockpit for liftoff.
Turning his chair over, Mark did a quick double-take as he noticed the vanilla folder on the side table between his and Shawn’s chairs. Extending his arm out Mark used his fingertips to slide the folder close and read the name of the file on the left corner.
It was Chris’s full file.
Lightly shaking his head at the sight, Mark couldn’t believe it. How did Chris’s file make it onto the jet?
Pushing that aside he quickly glanced over to Shawn and pieced it all together. /He/ was the one who grabbed Chris’s file and brought it on the jet. That made Mark think back when Shawn had been entrusted with the file about the Sleeper Agent 2.0 Project back in Virginia. However, this time Shawn had been more sneaky about the whole thing. After two years of knowing the guy and even falling in love with him, Mark was still getting surprised by Shawn. Whenever it came to rules and regulations Shawn had the tendency to ignore all of that and just whatever he pleased. No matter what it was.
Shaking his head fondly at that Mark reached over to the table and used his fingertips to move the folder closer to him. Then just as he was about to reach up and grab it he stopped as soon as he heard Shawn’s voice ring out and say his name to gain his attention. Lowering his hand Mark placed it in his lap and gave Shawn his full attention instead.
“Why did Clint say that he might not make it back?”
Mark regarded Shawn and tilted his head a little. Giving him a soft reassuring smile and shaking his head slightly.
“He’s worried he might not make it out of the building in time before it blows. But, he will make it out, I’ll make sure of it.”
“An’ what if you /both/ don’t make it out in time.”
“I said I’ll make sure of it, alright?”
Shawn then huffed a breath with a trill of his lips and sat back in his chair. Reaching over to the table he grabbed the vanilla folder again and just looked at it a moment. Right before heaving out a soft sigh and setting it down in his lap.
Swiveling his chair Shawn turned it to look out the window while they were in the air. All of a sudden everything came rushing through his mind all at once. He knew that now was the time where he shouldn’t start second-guessing everything /again/. Yet there he was. Shawn knew that he couldn’t run nor did he really want to. But the old feelings still managed to creep up in his mind. Now, Shawn was too involved and couldn’t just run because of fear. He knew he had to stay and make sure Mark would make it out when it was all over. The plan seemed very extreme and even crazy, which made sense coming from Clint, but regardless, it was really out there. Not to mention severely dangerous. But Clint knew that otherwise, he wouldn’t have said what he said.
Shawn actually wished Clint never had said what he said. It only made him feel that much worse about it all. Sure, Shawn didn’t want to lose Mark and that was obvious, but he didn’t want to lose anyone else. Kurt and Jimmy were already his longtime best friends, and Jack and Clint grew to become his friends after coming back to the CIA. They all meant so much to Shawn and after hearing what Clint said, he was certain that the CIA really was serious business and that it meant not coming out alive.
He already felt that first hand when Jack had attacked him after he got activated and he nearly beat him to death. Then again when Mark was activated and slammed him against the concrete wall multiple times. A fact that Shawn still didn’t tell Mark, nor ever would. The CIA wasn’t at all like how Shawn had originally thought back when he agreed to go after Jimmy said something. Back then Shawn thought he was just getting a second chance. He had no idea that the chance meant risking his own life and almost losing it.
Soon after a year at the New York base and almost another in the Virginia base as a real agent. It all became too much for Shawn, causing him to run when he did. However, after overthinking and that pull that Mark had caused after leaving him. Shawn came back. Now, he was getting his original wish of getting himself and Mark out of there once and for all. But there was a chance that Mark might not make it out alive, and that was driving him crazy.
Snapping back into reality, this was it. Clint was landing the jet in the field of the New York base and soon he and Mark were about to head into the Executives’ Building. Leaving Shawn and his friends to lead the agent out of the base, and for Shawn, to pretty much panic until he knew Mark was back and safe. Heaving out a long-winded deep breath, Shawn prepared himself for anything. Or at least gave it a good try.
Taking hold of the folder Shawn listened ad Clint re-told the plan again and then opened the door. Shawn waited as his friends piled out first, then he let Clint and Mark step out as well. But Mark grabbed Shawn’s hand and walked with him instead. Then he lightly squeezed Shawn’s hand before letting it go. Still remaining beside him, Shawn quickly grabbed Mark’s hand again as Clint started.
“Alright, you guys know the drill. Everyone just made it into the main conference room about thirty minutes ago and those things last about three hours. So, we’re gonna head to the subway now. Jack has the codes, remember to wait for one of us to signal.”
With that Clint started for the subway, but Mark stayed behind as Shawn was refusing to let go of his hand. Lightly tugging his arm to gain his attention, he waited until he finally looked up at Mark.
“Shawnie, I gotta go. I told you I’ll do everything I can to come back to you. Both of us, but you have to let go so I can... y’know do just that.”
Shawn heaved out a sigh.
“Okay, I love you.”
“I love you too. Never stopped.”
Mark quickly kissed the back of Shawn’s hand before letting go and then he ran off the catch up with Clint.
Shawn watched him go before turning around to look at Jack while he started. He glanced at his watch a second and then looked back up to the group.
“Alright, Clint said that everything was going like normal, so they’re all in training.”
“I can turn on the overhead microphone and tell them to pile out, then Jack you can lead them out of the base.”
Kurt chimed in and Jack nodded. Agreeing with the plan. Then they each headed over to the main entrance of the base. Leaving Shawn to slowly follow behind. However, he wasn’t alone, and Jimmy walked along with him. Lightly nudging him with his elbow.
“‘Ey, think of it like this. We did it. Hell, I figured we’d all be dead or somethin’ after a month. But look at us now, we’re blowing this shithole to bits an’ getting everyone outta here for good.”
“Wow, that was weirdly reassuring... in your own way.”
Shawn and Jimmy both chuckled as they entered the building and then went their separate ways. Jimmy saying that he was going off to help Jack wrangle the agents, and Shawn headed over to the IT Office and caught up with Kurt. Helping him everything he needed to set up the overhead microphone. Shawn plugged everything in as Kurt switched on the microphone and spoke into it. Explaining to the other remaining agents that they were free to leave to premises once and for all.
Over at the Executives’ Building. Clint and Mark had just walked out of the subway and onto the field again. There Clint was looking through the toolbox again and making sure he had everything that they needed. Once he checked over it all a couple of times, he closed the box and looked over to Mark. Noticing that all of a sudden seemed a little on edge. Lightly tilting his head to the side he looked over to his friend with concern.
“Hey, you alright?”
Mark lightly scratched at his right arm with his opposite hand. Looking around the area a little bit. Right before snapping out of it as he finally registered Clint’s voice. Looking over to him and dropping his hand from his arm.
“Huh? Yeah, just a little nervous I guess. But I’ll be fine.”
“It’s a lot, I understand. Hell, I’m nervous too, and I’m regretting what I said about not making it back.”
Regarding Clint with a soft look in his bright green eyes, Mark smile and placed a hand on Clint’s shoulder, much like what he always did with Mark.
“You will. We both will, we just gotta try our best.”
Clint nodded and patted Mark’s hand on his shoulder before he dropped it again. Heaving out a deep breath, he reached into the toolbox and headed Mark one of the explosive devices. As well as the right tools he needed to set it up and activate it.
“We’ll do all that we can. Ready to finally end this, number one agent?”
Mark glanced down at the things in his hands for a couple of moments. Then once he heard Clint’s words he looked up at him and shook his head.
“I’m not your number one agent. Chris is, he’ll always be the number one.”
“Number one forever.”
Clint called out as he started for the main entrance of the Executive Building. Mark stayed behind for a few moments as he looked down at his hands once again. Then back up at the building.
“This is for you buddy. Number one forever.”
He said to himself as he shook his head fondly and ran over to the main entrance of the building. Catching up to Clint as he instructed that he was to head up to the top floor where the main conference room was. After that, he headed straight for the elevator and left Mark on the ground floor.
Mark looked around to make sure that no one was in sight nor watching him before he decided to get to work. Walking over to the back end of the lobby, Mark set down the device and his tools on a nearby empty desk. Right before he grabbed the explosive device and four screws. After that, he went into the back storage room and grabbed a drill. Plugging the tool in he then took the explosive device and pressed it on the wall. Taking each screw and putting them through each hole. Mark took the drill and screwed in each bit one by one.
Once that was all taken care of, Mark set down the drill and took off the front framing of the explosive. Grabbing the pliers that Clint handed him, Mark connected each wire properly and switched the controls around. Making sure that the explosive would set off properly. As soon as that was over with, Mark placed the frame back onto the device on the wall. Going through his pocket, he fished out a radio communicator that Clint placed on Mark’s person at some point, and switched it on. Turning the dial to the correct signal before speaking into it.
“Hey, you all set up there?”
‘Roger that number two.’
“Hilarious. Ready to sync the times?”
Mark listened as Clint told him how many minutes to set the device. Reaching over he pressed the buttons up for five minutes and then once Clint gave the signal, they both pressed ‘Start’ at the same time.
Heaving out a sigh, Mark stepped back and watched the numbers count down on the little screen. Suddenly everything finally started to feel real. This was it, this was the last fight before Mark was set free. However, he was still scared to go out there into the real world.
He didn’t know life outside of the CIA and wasn’t sure if he would be able to handle it. All of it was a lot to take in and he didn’t want to leave it on Shawn to have to “watch over” him. He didn’t him to live in constant fear and worry for when there may be an instance where Mark may wake up again.
He knew that he hurt Shawn already. He wasn’t saying anything about it, but Mark knew better. He wasn’t sure what he was really capable of, but he knew that it had to be more than he was thinking. There had been so many times where Mark woke up with blood on his hands and unmoving bodies surrounding him. It was something he never wanted to experience ever again. But at the same time, he knew that there was no off switch, no cure, no way to end it all. Not unless Mark was killed. And even though there were times where that thought had crossed his mind in the past. He knew he couldn’t just give up that easily. There was still so much to live for and Mark realized that now. He would be free and surrounded by people he loved. He knew he had to stay for their sake as well as his own.
Ending it all was the easy way out, sure, but Mark didn’t want to take the easy way out. He was done fighting, for the CIA, but he’ll continue fighting for the ones he loved.
No matter what it took.
Closing his eyes, Mark shook his head and snapped out of it. Reopening his eyes he blinked and looked to the screen. Gasping as he saw that time was quickly running out. Without much thought, Mark started for the stairs. Dashing up the steps, he tried to see where Clint had gone and whether or not he was coming down.
After climbing up the stairs for a few floors, Mark dashed down one of the hallways and kept his speed until he collided right into the person he was looking for. Both he and Clint fell back and onto the floor. Simultaneously letting out a rough grunt as they went down.
Shaking his head Mark quickly got up and grabbed Clint’s wrist. Hoisting him up to his feet, he was about to say something but was cut off as Mark pulled him with him down the hall and over to the nearest elevator. Quickly pressing for the ground floor, Mark pulled both of them into the lift. Looking up as the number counted down, his mind flashed back to the explosive device on the wall. Shaking that off, he felt Clint yank out of his grip. He glanced at him over his shoulder before he heard the ding and the elevator doors slide open again.
Grabbing Clint once more Mark pulled him through the lobby. Glancing at the time on the device, his heart nearly leaped out of his chest as he saw the time.
“Do I have any other choice?!”
Mark just shook his head at Clint’s remark as he continued to pull him through the rest of the lobby and soon out the door. Tightening his grip on Clint’s wrist a little more, Mark kept his pacing as he ran out of the building and through the front field.
Just barely making it out of reach.
The devices in the building counted down to zero and activated. Both going off at the same time, causing the building to irrupt in the blink of an eye. The explosion was enough to knock both Mark and Clint off of their feet and into the air. Throwing them both onto the ground a few feet forward from where they were standing. Luckily they landed on the foliage that had collected on the field. Both of them tumbled and rolled down the hill before getting forcibly stopped by a tree that had fallen.
Smacking onto the side of the dead tree, Mark shook his head and tried to pull himself up. After a couple of failed attempts, he managed to grab hold of Clint who was already sitting up. Looking forward to the building as it got swallowed by large flames. Hearing the foundation crack and crumble, Mark pulled himself up and looked over to Clint. Both of them simultaneously flinching as the building collapsed into itself. Heaving out a sigh Mark shook his head and tried to let out a cheerful laugh.
“We... we did it!”
He cheered out as he lifted his arms in the air. Then right as he dropped his arms his head fell forward onto Clint’s shoulder in front of him and he passed out.
Rummaging through his pockets, Clint pulled out his now cracked radio communicator and switched it on. Swiveling the dial for the correct signal he called out for Jack. Telling him that the deed was done and that they both made it out alive. As soon as he heard Jack respond to the call and explained that they were on their way. Clint dropped the device and then looked at the view. Smiling he repeated Mark’s words of ‘we did it’ quietly to himself. Then Clint closed his eyes and fell backward with Mark into the leaves and passed out as well.
After some time Jack rounded up Kurt, Shawn, and Jimmy and used the codes that Clint gave him to ride the subway over to the Executives’ side of the agency. By the time the boys had made it, the building was nothing but rubble engulfed by massive flames. Jack called for the fire department to extinguish the fire, as well as the medics to grab Clint and Mark and send them over to the nearest hospital. As soon as help arrived, Jack continued to take charge and helped the fire department get the fire under control, and then he made sure that Clint and Mark were safely sent into an ambulance and would be properly taken care of.
All while Jack was doing everything. Kurt, Jimmy, and Shawn did their part and pitched in when they could. That was until Jack told Shawn to ride in the ambulance with Mark. At first, Shawn declined, saying that he would be fine and wanted to help. But Jack insisted and sent Shawn into the ambulance regardless of what he was being told.
Inside the ambulance, Shawn was honestly unsure how to feel right then. He was glad to see that Mark was alive but still didn’t like seeing him down. Shawn had seen it too much already that he wasn’t sure how much more he could take. Shaking his head he tried not to think about that right then and looked over to Mark. Taking one of his hands a moment Shawn gently squeezed and let go again. Looking down at his person, Shawn’s heart sank as he realized that he wasn’t holding onto Chris’s folder anymore. Quickly gasping to himself he smacked his palm to his forehead and heaved out a frustrated sigh.
He stole that file for Mark to keep and now he lost it before having the chance to give it to Mark.
As the ambulance made it to the hospital, Shawn was escorted by the medics into the waiting room as they worked on Mark and Clint,
Unable to sit still Shawn paced back and forth and let his mind race.
He still couldn’t believe that he /lost/ the fallen agent’s file and that the Executives’ Building with every higher up in it, was completely gone. As Shawn sat and thought about that he realized just how crazy and horrific all of that really was. By the time Shawn and his friends made it, the building was gone, and there was nothing left but rubble and flames. Every person that was inside of that building was gone and that was a dark and morbid thing to think about. They were all living people that vanished in a heartbeat.
Lightly shuddering to himself. Shawn tried to think of something else. But instead, he just let his mind race on as he paced the floor. Only stopping every now and again to grab a snack or something. But once he was done eating he went right back to pacing back and forth. It wasn’t until a nurse came out and stopped Shawn from his excessive pacing. Informing him in a calm tone that he was allowed to see Mark now.
Removing his hat, Shawn smiled and nodded to the nurse. He followed her over to Mark’s room and thanked her as she left. Entering the room, much to his surprise, Shawn saw that it was a shared room and that Clint was right there beside Mark’s bed. That made Shawn’s nerves ease up a little and caused him to chuckle. Shaking his head fondly he pulled up a chair and placed it between both beds and he sat down. Scooting the chair a little closer to Mark’s side, Shawn very cautiously took Mark’s hand like before. Lifting it to his lips, Shawn planted a soft kiss on the back of it and squeezed it again. As he set it down again he looked up and noticed that Jack, Kurt, and Jimmy had entered the room smiling.
Smiling back Shawn sprung out of his chair and went over to hug Jack. Thanking him for everything then as he pulled back, Jack kept his smile and held up the folder.
“You dropped this back at the Executive Building.”
Shawn’s smile grew wider as he thanked Jack again and took the folder in hand. Placing it on the table beside Mark’s bed Shawn went over to hug Kurt and Jimmy before they each settled down. Going back to his chair Shawn grabbed the folder and set it on his lap.
“Oh hey! You also forgot Marky’s file back there too. But I got it!”
Kurt chimed in as he leaned on the wall and opened it up. Skimming through the pages.
“Did ya know Mark’s middle name is Adonis? It’s so fitting!”
“It is, but I think part of it’s ‘cuz he’s half Greek.”
Shawn laughed as he looked at the file before himself and was about to open it. But stopped as he saw movement from Mark. Quickly setting the folder down Shawn went over to the side of the bed and watched as Mark slowly woke up. He tiredly smiled at Shawn and asked where Clint was. But right after he looked over he noticed that he was in the bed right beside him. Chuckling a bit Mark lightly coughed and pulled himself to sit up. Shawn tried to go over to him to stop him but then got pulled in by Mark and much like before Mark caught his lips. Kissing Shawn gentler than before, he reined some of it since he was still in a lot of pain. But he still kept it sweet and slowly pulled away. Smiling he ran his fingers through Shawn’s hair.
“We’re free my love.”
“We are, now you’re mine to keep.”
Mark’s smile grew and he moved up just a little more to kiss Shawn’s cheek. Completely overwhelmed yet overjoyed that they were now free and that they were able to live their lives however they pleased. As well as Mark being able to live a normal life as a person instead of a living breathing weapon. It was going to be a learning process and there may be slip-ups, but he knew that he wasn’t going to be alone, and was surrounded by the people he loved the most. All of that was worth the risk in the end.
After a few days had gone by and Mark and Clint were finally emitted out of the hospital. Rounding up the group and they all took a walk through the city together. Sauntering along the streets and sidewalks of the city. The group made it all the way to the outskirts of the city and back to the edge of Manhattan. Stopping in front of the New York base of the Central Intelligence Agency. The boys stood in front of the field and looked beyond to the now-empty building. Each standing side by side and close to one another in their little group. Standing in silence for a few moments before Jimmy’s voice rang out and finally broke it.
“I can’t believe it’s really over...”
“Is this end?”
Shawn asked right after as he looked up and over to Clint. Shaking head in response, Clint moved the brim of his hat over his eyes a little more. Then he placed his hands on his hips and heaved out a long sigh before answering.
“Not even close. It is for us, but they’ll be back. One day.”
Shawn kept his eyes on Clint and nodded silently. Then he moved his gaze up at Mark as he wrapped his arm around his neck and shoulders.
“Good luck in the future.”
Looking forward to the base silently for another few moments. Clint, Mark, Jack, Kurt, Jimmy, and Shawn took their eyes off of the building once and for all. Then started toward the city again. Shawn glanced back at the building one last time. His mind instantly going back to that day and remembering standing in front of the base for the first time. Breaking into the base, fighting off security, and meeting Mark for the first time. Back then Shawn didn’t even realize how much his life was going to change after that very day. Having no idea that one day he would call himself a real-life agent as well as leave after a year. Only to come back and end the organization. So much had happened and Shawn knew that they would be back.
Probably bigger and harder than ever before. A lot more harsh and ruthless, but until that day came. It was all over and for Shawn, he knew he would never have to step foot in the Central Intelligence Agency organization ever again. Heaving out a deep breath, Shawn felt a light tug from Mark and he looked up at him. Softly smiling to his love, Shawn wrapped an arm around his torso and walked alongside him. Never looking back at the New York base ever again.