So clearly I've never met a bandwagon I didn't like, but who can blame me? After all, this time said bandwagon is sporting Jeremy Renner, and his behind is a sight I can totally get myself behind.
Blame to one Alex Kade for dragging me into this little challenge, and thanks to my betacreature Askita for looking over this even though she hasn't seem the movie yet. (And yes, I'm trying to convince her... she's just a little stubborn apparently.)
BTW, as always when I post to FANfiction dot net, I don't own a damned thing here.
1. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
It's not that he's afraid of heights or so he tells himself firmly, and as often as necessary, when their team is pulled into yet another massive building for a mission.
He's not. Will's just really, really not fond of the sight of the ground several hundred feet below him as he's dangling out yet another window.
It's getting to be a habit, and he's even less fond of that fact.
He just can't seem to stop his own descent. He'll dive after the others without a thought, with no notice of his own safety.
No, he isn't afraid for himself, he realizes in a moment of clarity.
He's afraid for them, for the team, the family he's only now found.
One day they'll fall out of his reach and out of his life. He just has to try to catch them, to break his own inevitable fall one moment at a time.
2. Woman – Maroon 5
She's got a swagger, his mind tells him, and he shouldn't be surprised it's the voice of his oldest and most chauvinistic friend from training. It would be more amusing if it was Ethan or say Benji, but hell if the voice isn't right in its portrayal of the woman strutting her way through the crowded club.
"She does know how to move," he mutters to himself, ignoring Ethan's raised eyebrow and Jane's snort of amusement. Benji's head deep in his iPhone, oblivious as usual. Will might give him shit about that later.
Maybe much later, he decides with a slow smirk as the redhead tilts her head and then winks at him.
Will stood and slapped Benji on the shoulder and then nodded to the other pair, ignoring their knowing looks.
He'd see them in the morning. Well, maybe. If they didn't get a mission, he might just turn the likely one-night-stand into a weekend. Assuming she was agreeable, of course.
Dear god, let her be agreeable…
3. Down with the Sickness – Disturbed
Will flexed his hands slowly, feeling the bite of the metal cuffs digging into his wrists. Someone in this place had at least some experience then – they hadn't left even the slightest bit of room for someone like Jane with her double jointed thumbs to slide out of the cuffs. Well… that or they just weren't paying attention to how tight the cuffs were when they slapped them on him.
No matter. They were still cuffed in front. He wasn't nearly as immobilized as he could have been.
As he should have been.
He eyed his reflection in the grimy two way mirror on the wall in front of him. Whoever was watching on the other side wanted him intimidated and cowed by the cold and the hard corners.
They clearly hadn't planned this well. They hadn't even attached the cuffs to the table or to the floor.
Sloppy, he thought, keeping a deliberately bored expression on his face, ignoring the blood dripping down his face and the pain in his ribs. Any time now.
The little shit who'd dragged him in returned with a friend, and Will almost smiled to see they'd been dumb enough to holster their weapons before entering.
It was almost too easy.
4. Livin' on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
There was something comforting about a dive bar with a ratty jukebox in the corner. Somehow those sorts of places seemed to breach any language or culture boundaries. Either a guy belonged there, or he didn't.
Brandt might not belong – at least not Brandt-the-suit-wearing-analyst. But Will? He could fit in just fine. He leaned back against the surprisingly comfortable though predictably battered padding of the booth he'd acquired for this particular surveillance mission.
Benji had laughed at the thought of The Helper being the go-to man for this job, but Ethan had only looked thoughtful and then approved the choice. Jane has been inscrutable except for a very small smile.
Regardless of why his teammates had voted him in, he was grateful. Ten to one, the mark might not even show, but he'd had this evening and this bar, and Bon Jovi on the jukebox.
It felt like home. Not that he'd admit it.
5. Heal Over – KT Tunstall
It was a little unnerving, the way his new teammates seemed to read him like a book. He'd never thought his face revealed all that much, but they seemed to find his moods easy enough to figure out.
They knew when to leave him alone – to let him brood alone in a corner with a glass of something better left unnamed. They knew when to approach and share the bottle silently, or when to give him that look that said "You can talk if you need to."
And then he would.
It shouldn't have been simple to do. He'd heard more than once from family and friends and ex-lovers that he was too closed off, too controlled to ever really get closed to.
And yet. And yet…
These three never seemed to see him that way. They just seemed to see him, and that simple fact soothed old hurts more than he could have known.
He didn't doubt his team knew, though.
6. Ready to Love Again – Lady Antebellum
It was stupid. Fuck it was beyond stupid and right into insane. There was no romance in their world. The blinding example of Ethan and his lovely un-dead wife was only one of the instances Brandt has seen of agent/civilian relationships going very, very wrong.
But hell. He just couldn't get her off his mind. He'd all but stumbled onto her – literally in fact, tripping all over himself to keep from tripping over her and the ridiculously ugly massive mutt she'd been attempting to walk. She'd been apologetic and the mutt had just been a handful jumping up to rest its dinner plate paws on his shoulders and attacking him with sloppy kisses.
He was mildly, alright hugely thrilled the rest of the team hadn't seen the spectacle.
Somewhere in the embarrassing encounter though, Will had found himself charmed by the flustered way she'd tried to wipe off the mud from his shirt and the clear, if exasperated, affection she'd had for the dog.
She'd just seemed real, genuine as few things in his life often were.
He hadn't asked for her number or her name, but that didn't stop him from thinking about her.
7. Train Wreck – Sarah McLaughlin
The fact that he'd stumbled on to her again in the grocery store around the corner had actually be an accident. That didn't mean he was upset by the turn of events, though part of him was screaming out a warning that he'd be anything but good for her.
But she'd smiled at the sight of him, eyes lighting up and reaching to warm something deep inside of him, and he hadn't been able to help smiling back.
He'd carried her bags home, deftly avoiding the big mutt when it tried to investigate the bags. That had lead to coffee shared on her little terrace, which lead to an impromptu dinner, and then to a dance in the dark that neither had questioned.
It was the first time in years he hadn't been afraid. He'd slept soundly, any nightmares chased away by the scent of her hair and the feel of her in his arms and the sound of her heartbeat thumping in time with him.
8. Days With You – Fuel
Nothing that good lasted, of course. Little things began to give her away, controlled movements of her body that seemed out of place on the slightly klutzy girl she'd pretended to be, glances out windows and down the street, friends she was careful never to allow him to meet.
She'd seemed so very, very interested in his own friends though.
He'd hated himself at the time, but Will knew better than to ignore his instincts.
It took Benji less than an hour to track down the real identity of the woman Brandt had almost fallen hard for.
That she wasn't a civilian wasn't anything like a shock by that point.
He didn't bother going back by her, back by their, apartment again.
Will told himself he only missed that damned dog. Missing the bitch was something he would never admit to.
9. Alice – Avril Lavigne
A rave was probably the least likely place to be, and he cringed at how he must stand out even in the ratty jeans and t-shirt Jane had scrounged up for him. He was still easily twice the age of most of the people in the room, and the fact that he was sober only made him that much more obvious. Scanning the room for one face in particular, he buried another cringe at the headache the flashing lights and pounding beats were inflicting upon him.
It would be easy in a place like this to let go and lose his fucking mind on one or twelve of whatever the kids were passing around. Hell, it was almost even tempting after the month he'd been having.
But no, he told himself firmly. He was stronger than that. He would always be stronger than that.
For once the voices in his head agreed with him, he thought wryly, hearing the comforting tones of his team over his ear piece.
He could do this. It was good to have a mission, dubious locale not with standing.
Will nodded to himself and forced his way through the crowd to the terrified young woman he'd come to retrieve. She looked up at him, eyes wide and her hands trembling.
"Can I go home now?" He nodded, smiling softly. There'd be a pack of imbeciles trying to keep her trapped in their drug-fueled maze, but that wasn't a problem. He tucked her hand in his and pulled her close, trusting his team to guide him out of the haze and back up into the sunlight.
10. Lost in My Mind – The Head and The Heart
Will never knew when he'd get called for a mission, or even if he ever would again. That meant each time he walked away from the team might be the last glimpse he had of them, of the family they'd been slowly building. He wondered if they ever felt the same pang of regret and grief at the thought.
He hadn't wanted this, hadn't wanted any of it. Not the missions and the responsibility of countless lives, not the feel of a weapon in his hands again or the way his mind took to the field agent persona like sliding on a new set of clothing. Especially not the trust of a small group of such brilliant individuals, of that surety in their eyes that he'd come through for them the way they came through for him.
He hadn't wanted it, and now he wasn't sure he'd survive if he ever lost it.
Will spent those days and weeks in between missions lost in self appointed tasks that meant nothing to anyone but him. Tasks that wouldn't suffer if he dropped them the instant his phone rang.