“Target is coming on site now.” Steven whispers into his earpiece, watching the brunette cross the dancefloor to the open bar from his place on the balcony. “Hold until further notice.”
Their mission was fairly simple. A tip had been given to them regarding the art thief they’d been trailing for months. Apparently, the artwork stolen from the Museum of Modern Art was in his hands. Two decoy buyers were sent in, who would determine the art’s legitimacy, and signal Steven and Andrew to take him in. Steven turned to his partner, currently sipping at the free-flowing champagne. In all honesty, he’d probably taken the job for the booze alone.
The event they arranged the sale at was as high-end as it could be. New York’s richest businessman, hollywood’s finest actors and directors, and the most talked-about artists were all in attendance. Frankly, Steven felt out of place. He’d always been the sniper on the roof, or the backup just outside the door. He’d never been right out in the field for this.
Adam, however, decided this time would be different.
“It’d be too suspicious if Andrew went alone.” He explained calmly, but the look in his eyes were almost playful. “He needs a date. You’re a good actor, i’m sure you can handle it.”
“Goddamn, he owes me.” Steven mumbles into his champagne.
“What’s wrong?” Andrew finally looks up from his own drink and at Steven, cocking an eyebrow.
“Nothing, nothing!” Steven shoots a half smile at him, almost no sentiment behind it. They were pretty open with their disdain for eachother. It’s not that he DISLIKED Andrew, per say, but Andrew was his direct competitor to moving up in the organization. They were tied in almost every way, and Steven would be damned if he let Andrew surpass him.
His attention is redirected by the sound of voices coming from the entrance below them.
“Oh shit, is that-”
“It’s Goldsworth” Steven hisses and taps his earpiece. “Adam!”
“Yeah?” Steven can hear him munching on some sort of snack over the radio and he rolls his eyes.
“Goldsworth is here.”
“Oh damn, really?” There's a shuffling noise, probably a bag of chips, and Adam gets closer to his mic.
“He’s a serial killer, that warrants a little more than an ‘oh damn!” Steven lowers his voice to not alert those around him.
“You think he’s with Mcclintock?” Andrew slides his chair closer to Steven.
“Has to be. I have no idea why else he’d be here.”
“Do you think they know about any of this?”
“I’m not sure. Goldsworth is probably backup, though. A seasoned thief like him would take any precaution I’d imagine.”
“One hell of a power-move, hiring a serial killer as your bodyguard.”
“A power-move..?” Steven whispers to himself, and shakes it off. He takes out a pair of glasses and casually wipes them off before putting them on. “Adam, we’ve got bugs on the floor right? Get me a visual.” His line of sight changes the the ground floor, a clear shot of the under-area of the balcony is clear.
“The targets are approaching the decoys.”
“Let's move down there. If things get hairy we won't have time to react up here.”
“Rodger.” Steven returns his view to normal and begins to walk towards the staircase when Andrew puts his arm around his waist, causing him to tense as a shiver runs up his spine.
” Andrew smirks and leans in to whisper. “We’re supposed to be a couple, no? Gotta act like it.”
“R-right.” Steven nods. “Asshole.” He adds on, barely above a whisper. They make their way to the ground floor and Steven b-lines for the bar. Two champagnes in one night probably isn’t his best decision but dammit, if he has to keep this up he earned another glass. He turns around and watches the targets on the other side of the room, whispering between themselves. Andrew places himself on the chair next to Steven, sliding his glass to the bartender for a refill.
“So do you think those are their actual names?”
“I seriously doubt it. They’d be idiots to use their actual names.” Steven sips at his own drink. “Decoys are on the move. Be ready for anything.”
The two agents designated for the sale make their way over to the criminals. Steven squints, trying to see them over the crowd.
“We got ears over there?”
“No, something’s jamming the signal.” Adam responds.
“We’ll have to listen in the old fashioned way.” Andrew stands up and offers a hand to Steven. “The dance floor is right between us and them!”
“You’re kidding, right?” Steven glances at his hand and back up at Andrew’s expectant face.
“Listen, if something is jamming our signal they’re probably onto us. Moving over there without reason would be stupid. Besides, it’ll make the couple act more believable.” He smirks with that last point, and extends his hand further. Steven narrows his eyes as he sets his glass down.
“Fine, but I get to lead.”
“You’re a go-getter! That’s an endearing trait, you know.” Andrew playfully bites at the air between them and as Steven takes his hand, he drags him out to the dancefloor. The music slows as they settle into a comfortable sway, Steven placing a hand on Andrew’s hip and his shoulder, making their way closer to where the deal is taking place.
“Can you hear any better?” Steven whispers.
“Not really.” Andrew lets Steven twirl him and looks at him from over his shoulder. “But I don’t mind an excuse to dance.” He winks as Steven returns him to face him and just snorts. He’d be lying if he said Andrew had twisted his leg to get him out there, but there was no way in hell he’d admit it.
“I’m impressed you know how to dance.”
“A good spy must be prepared for anything.” He glances over and sees the decoys moving with the targets to the alleyway. “Must be their deal is going well. Keep on your toes.”
“I see you take your own advice. You just stepped on my foot.” Andrew shuffles his feet further away. He sighs and looks at Steven with half-lidded eyes and a small smile tugging at his lips, a look that he can’t quite decipher that makes his gut churn. As much as he hated it, he wasn’t blind. Andrew was very attractive, and anyone would be flustered if they were face to face with
“I never said I was a master at this.” The music quickens it’s pace, and they change theirs in turn. Steven jumps when his earpiece crackles loudly, causing Andrew to stumble.
“The-oming! They’re hea-ed for th-main hall!”
“Shit, they’re calling for backup.” Steven presses the earpiece again. “What's the approach? Do you need assistance?”
“St-ay wh-you are! We’re o-eir tail! They ma-ve ba-up!”
“Goddamn this thing!” Steven shakes his head. “We’ll be waiting for them. Signal us when they’re in range.”
“The verdict?” Andrew cocks his head to the side. He begins to pull away but Steven tightens his grip around his waist.
“Don’t give away our position. They’re on their way back here.” They begin to dance again as the music picks back up. Andrew brushes his hair away from his face as they turn.
“Do you know what happened?” Steven shakes his head.
“Couldn’t say, the connection was too unstable.”
“They probably knew this was a scam from the beginning.” Andrew shifts his weight a bit, as he closes his eyes to think. “Goldsworth is famous for playing with his food, he was stringing us along this whole time. Dammit!” He looks back up at Seven when suddenly a gunshot rings out. Their attention is diverted to the doorway where another man is holding a gun in the air, several lackeys behind him. A woman screams and people begin to scramble.
“NOBODY MOVE!” The man yells. His lackeys move out, moving in various directions, forcing people back towards the center of the room. “OUR BOSS LET US KNOW THAT THERE WERE A FEW RATS AMONG YOU. SO-SCURRY OUT OF YOUR LITTLE HOLE AND NOBODY GETS HURT!”
Andrew turns to Steven, a glimmer in his eye Steven hadn’t seen all night.
“Let’s have a little fun! Hey Adam- play us something good!”
“Huh?” Andrew snaps his fingers.
“Rock It For Me, if you’d please!” The music begins to play in Steven’s earpiece and he looks at Andrew, bewildered.
“Is this just a regular thing for you two?!”
“Shut up, it’s my turn to lead!” He brings him in closer, and pulls him in for a swing. “Get ready!” He unholsters his gun and shoots the ring leader right between the eyes and turns to Steven, leading him further across the dancefloor. Steven takes that as his cue and pulls his gun, trying to keep up with Andrew as well. Andrew takes him by the wrist, pulls him in close, and then spins him, grabbing his hand again to stop him again. Steven takes the chance and reaches out to fire, landing a shot on one of the others. Andrew grabs him by the waist and he smirks, and they both use the other’s shoulders as leverage to fire at two gunmen running after them.
“How many we got left?”
“Just the one!” Steven spins him and dips him, to which Andrew leans back and fires at the last attacker while upside-down. Steven pulls him back up, but slightly too fast, and suddenly they’re inches apart from each other with foreheads touching. His breath hitches as he looks into Andrew’s green eyes, which are darting from his own to his lips. He feels his face heat, and steps away quickly to collect himself. He’d gotten too caught up and now he was paying the price.
“Amazing strategy! I’ll admit, that was...fun.” He smiles sincerely when the radio perks up again.
“Tar-ets moving in!”
“Copy that!” Just then the backdoor swings open. Goldsworth and Mcclintock run through, brandishing their own weapons.
“Just passin’ through! Move along an’ you can keep your heads!” Mcclintock cackles, and Goldsworth clears a table and bolts for the stairs, while he heads for the front door.
“I’ve got Goldsworth! You go for him!” Steven yells and the two split. After making sure Andrew and the other agents are on their way, he lunges up the stairs taking them two a a time. Ricky turns around and fires a few rounds at his feet, which he jumps back to avoid. He swings a corner into the main stairway and chases the other the stairs. His advantage in height allows him to keep up with the other, though the vertical climb up the stairwell keeps him from fully catching up. The chase stops a few floors later, when Ricky fires at him again to throw him off. Steven stumbles back, grabbing the railing to keep himself from falling, and follows through the door. He slows down when he sees Ricky at the edge of the room at the floor length window. The killer turns around to face Steven.
“So, this is….an interesting situation.”
“Hands up, Goldsworth.” Steven points his gun and Ricky rolls his eyes.
“Oh, don’t bother. You wouldn’t shoot me, you’ve got too much riding on me being alive.”
“Such as?” Steven steps closer, his gun still trained on it’s target.
“The location of the stolen works? An admit it, you’re dying to know how I pull my…’stunts’ off.” he swings his own weapon absentmindedly around on his finger.
“Just step away from the window, Goldsworth.”
“Aw, come on, that’s not even my name!” Ricky teases, leaning forward and rocking on his heels.
“Well, do I have the honor of knowing what you real one is?” Steven tilts his head to the side. It was a long shot, but he might as well try.
“You first.” Ricky smirks.
“I asked you!”
“You want it that bad?”
“..It’s Steven. Now you.”
“No last name?”
“And eye for an eye, as they always say.” Steven chuckles.
“Okay, fair.” It hits Steven how casually he was talking with a murderer, and he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
“Y’know, I should really get going…” Ryan sucks air in between his teeth, and groans. “I hate to break up this nice chat, but I’m afraid my ride is here!”
“You’re gonna leave your partner?”
“Who do you think my ride is? I’d be more concerned about yours!” Steven puts his guard back up, allowing himself to make his way closer.
“What the hell did you do to Andrew?”
“Nothing permanent! Also i’ve been here with you the whole time so I didn't do it myself. Think things through, Stevie.” He turns on his heel to face the window again. “Y’know we should double date sometime! I think it’d be wonderful!”
“Andrew and I aren’t-”
“Don’t give me that, I saw the heart eyes you two made at each other ever since I showed up!”
“Wait a second-” He brushes it off as the more important part of that statement processes “-you and Mcclintock?” Ryan smiles.
“Like Bonnie and Clyde, don’t you think?” He cackles at his own joke. “Anyways, Shane is waiting for me, so I really must go. Toodles!” He waves and jumps out the window. Steven curses under his breath and rushes over, looking over the edge. Somehow, he’d gotten down- it was only a few floors but still a long fall- and the getaway car was already speeding off. He could see Andrew’s figure on the pavement around the corner.
“Shit!” He gets up and runs for the door.
“Aw, fuck.” Shane looks down at Andrew, who was holding his leg and trying to stop the bleeding. “My bad, I really hate to do that, but my man is waitin’ for me up there, so…” He trails off.
“Don’t bother! Just let me outta here, and you’ll leave this alive. Deal?” Andrew huffs but doesn’t bother to argue. Shane spins around on his heel and whistles grabs keys from the valet’s desk, and strolls outside. As the car drives off he rolls over and pulls himself up, hobbling outside.
“They’re already- dammit!” He collapses again. He tries to steady his breathing as he hears somebody run through the doors.
“Andrew!” Steven rushes to his side, taking his jacket off and using it to compress the wound. “Oh crap, oh crap- are you alright?”
“Yeah, I feel great!” He winces as he tries to sit up.
“I’ve requested medical aid from Adam, they should be here any minute.” Steven inspects his leg, and tries to wrap his jacket around the wound.
“Y’know-” Andrew takes a deep breath as the compress tightens “after my leg is fixed and shit- we should...I dunno, grab a coffee or something.” Steven looks up, staring out in space processes what was just said to him.
“Are you asking me out...while I tend to your bullet wound?” He slowly looks at Andrew.
“Only if the answer is yes.” Andrew smirks playfully. Steven sighs, and shakes his head as he laughs.
“You are absolutely insane. Of course I will.” Andrew smiles and leans over to peck him on the cheek, which makes Steven’s face turn red in a millisecond.
“That’s- thats for after we go on a date.” He buries his face in his hands.
“Oh, I think we know eachother well enough at this point.” Andrew smiles softly.
“Yeah...shut up.” Steven pouts. “We should go dancing.”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea!”