Of Things Broken

Fourteen

Warm sunlight slanted through the window, falling in a warm pool on his outstretched legs. He reached for the TV remote, channel hopping until he found the cartoons. Simple, mindless entertainment. It was exactly what he needed to chase the image of a thug with a gun standing over him from his mind.

It was barely noon, but his stomach rumbled, despite the breakfast pancakes Sam had plied him with. The blonde haired man smiled ruefully, knowing the pancakes were just an excuse. Sam had used the time to go over the tricks and tips he'd picked up over the years for staying safe. The shooting had hammered rule number one firmly home- don't be predictable.

His hunger faded a little as he thought about the events that had led up to his shooting. He'd thought that he was safe, and found that belief was sadly mistaken. It wasn't one that he planned to make again.

The sun shifted, inching higher on his body. It hit his chest, the gentle warmth easing the lingering aches and pains. He pressed a hand over his broken rib, a chill racing through him as he thought about just how lucky he'd been. If the bullet had deflected the other way, it would have torn through his heart. The thought made him shudder.

Deliberately, he turned his attention back to the TV, a small smile edging onto his face as he watched Bugs Bunny's antics. Ever since he'd been released from the hospital, he'd found the quiet gave him too much time to think… gave him too much time to dwell on the shooting. He kept the TV on almost constantly, letting the background noise fill his head.

Hunger rumbled through him again. He yawned and eased to his feet, swinging long legs off the couch and on to the floor. The smooth wood felt cold against his bare feet. He padded through to the kitchen and flipped on the coffee maker with a tiny pang of guilt. The doctor had warned him off coffee, but it was his one sin, along with the occasional bottle of beer.

He opened the fridge door, eyeing the assortment of wrapped dishes with fading interest. His kitchen looked like a bake sale had exploded inside of it. Two plates of chocolate chip cookies lines his work surfaces. He pulled the milk from the fridge and filled a glass, snatching up three cookies to go with it.

A sharp knock on the door made him pause in the hallway, snack in hand. It came again, and he decided that he really couldn't ignore it, as much as he wanted to.

He set the cookies down on a side table and picked up his gun from the living room. A vague feeling of worry made him pause, then duck down, ignoring the spy-hole in the top of the door in favour of one he'd installed himself, further down. Fancy physics gave him a clear view of the visitor's face.

He tucked the gun in the back of his sweat pants, and opened the door. "Hey, Gary," he greeted his old undercover partner. "Long time, no see. What brings you to my door?"

The small, wiry man smiled and clapped Deeks on the shoulder. "I heard what happened to you, and I was in the area. Thought I'd drop by and see how you were doing."

"Better and better every day," Deeks said, and turned away. "Hey, you want a coffee? I just put a pot on to brew."

"Nice place you have here," Gary smiled easily. "You must be doing well for yourself."

Deeks shrugged, a little stiffly. "I do alright," he muttered, and turned into the kitchen. "Still black, two sugars, right?"

Sudden, quick movement behind him made him turn. The nagging stiffness from his injuries made him too slow. The fridge handle pressed into his stomach as his old friend shoved him against the appliance, twisting his arm behind his back to keep him from moving. Deeks jerked as cold metal touched his wrists.

"Tell me where it is," Gary snarled. "And I might not shoot you with your own gun. I'll make it look like a suicide. They'll think you were just another washed up cop who couldn't hack it."

As if to emphasise his point, he pressed the gun barrel to the base of Deeks' skull.

"Tell you where what is?" Deeks managed to get out. The pressure against his back was making it hard to breathe. "Damn it, Gary. Have you lost your mind?"

"Let me refresh your memory, Deeks," Gary said flatly. "Four years ago. We were in deep cover inside a drugs ring. The leader told you where he stashed his cash before we busted his ass and packed him off to jail." The gun shifted, trailing lower to press against Deeks' neck. "Well, he was just knifed to death in jail, so I figure that money is ours for the taking."

Deeks shifted a little bit, trying to ease the pain screaming through his side. "There never was any money. It was all a ruse. He spent what he had on more product… most of it went up his damn nose."

"Uh-huh." Gary scolded. "I don't believe you… strange, when you're living in a nice place like this, isn't it?" He tightened his fingers on Deeks arm. "See, me and my wife, we have a little house that'll never be ours. That money would come in real handy right about now."

Cold fear wound through Deeks as he listened to his old friend's voice. The wiry man was fearless and utterly ruthless, ideal on an undercover mission, but damn scary when he was standing at your back with a loaded gun. Pain painted red lace around Deeks' vision. It would drag him under.

Gotta do something now, before it's too late, he thought. The blonde haired man set his feet against the floor and shoved backwards with all of his flagging strength, driving his head into his old friend's face. It sent them staggering backwards a step.

Gary twisted, using the motion to sweep Deeks' legs out from under him. Deeks landed in a pained heap, arms twisted cruely behind his back. "You're going to pay for that, you bastard," Gary snarled and pointed the gun at Deeks' head. He pulled a capped syringe out of his pocket and leaned over Deeks, pressing him against the floor with a knee in the spine. "I have something that'll make you talk."

Deeks thrashed like a hooked fish, fighting to keep that needle out of his skin. It didn't work. The needle pierced his skin, sending a rush of warmth through him. The last thing he heard before blessed darkness swallowed him was his old friend's maniacal laughter.


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