Should Have Known Better

by Deavon

Summary: Revenge... is a cold, cold word. Vin is feeling Particularly blood-thirsty, it's probably that wild Texan blood of his. Warning-Character death (Or is it?)

Disclaimer: Not mine, I just walk them upon profit made, only enjoyment gained.

Vin snuck a glance around the corner, glad to see the gloomy corridor apparently clear of all enemies, after the last encounter he'd lost his main weapon. That damn fool had tried a gut kick and he'd brought his rifle up to block and the rifle had ended up buckled beyond use. It was only luck; and a little skill that he'd managed to outrun the still armed foe. Reaching the end of the corridor, the lithe tracker stilled, falling completely silent as something, he wasn't sure what, made him draw the long hunting knife from his belt. Crouched low, he peeked into the following room, his keen gaze swept over the large fireplace, dusty, moulded couches, spider web covered ceiling and dim, dark curtain covered corners, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, he was about to stand up and breeze quietly through the door when he noticed a twitch on the far left side of the room. Tanner thanked his good instincts when a dark skinned man became visible, almost hidden in the gloomy shadows.

Knowing he hadn't been seen yet, Vin held still, the slightest movement and the man would be on him, and without a gun, he'd be almost helpless unless he could take the man hand to hand, in close quarters. ‘>Patience is a virtue', he kept telling himself, glad for his ranger training, as he crouched, unmoving until finally the dark figure turns his own searching gaze on the other entrance, trying to cover both doors. The instant the enemy's back was turned Vin was on the move. Silent as the night itself he crept, still stooped low, until he was concealed behind the couch, about four feet from his intended target. He was ready to make his move when the dark eyes swept back towards him and Vin froze, sure his stifled attack had been seen, but the dark man finally turned back towards the far door, unaware of his own peril.

Vin acted.

Silent like a wraith, no steps sounded on the floor to give him away as he slithered into position behind the unsuspecting figure, standing slowly. Vin was less than a hands breadth from the completely oblivious man, directly behind him. A small hand covered the others mouth drawing the head back and a softly drawled “Boo” in that soft lilting Texan voice was all the warning given, before the wicked knife in Vin's right hand slit the stretched throat.

Standing idle over the broken body at his feet, Tanner smirked, they really should know better. Kneeling down, he searched the body, confiscating a gun, which was reassuring, despite not having the familiarity of his rifle. He also took the boot dagger and the shoulder holster dagger from the still corpse. Patting the dead man on the shoulder he spoke quietly as he rose “1 down...5 to go...”

Leaving the dead, broken body of his team medic, Nathan Jackson, sprawled on the grimy floor of the murky living room.

Vin left the body and the room without a second thought, gun in hand, knives conveniently placed, instincts finely tuned, Tanner was on the hunt.

The next corridor and the one after that were void of life, each as grotty and rundown as the one before, it wasn't until he reached the grand old staircase that led to the ballroom that light began to stream through the unfettered windows, although the illumination only succeeded in highlighting the layer of filth and cobwebs that covered every surface. Indulging himself, Vin slid down the banister, something he'd always wanted to try, before landing silently as ever at the base of the stairs.

The ballroom was disarming in its appearance of safety. The clear view of the wide expanse and several exists seemed to make it a strategic hot spot, yet Vin knew that such a wide area was deceiving in its safety; once you were out in the open it would be too easy to be picked off from any of the aforementioned doorways. Vin knew better than to try to cross the extensive vastness.

Apparently JD did not.

Watching as his youngest team member crept out of one of the galley doors and only seeing a clear expanse of safety begin to cross to the other side, Vin almost felt pity, almost let the kid go, then he remember the merciless teasing and mocking he'd received at the hands of the young computer programmer and any mercy he felt disappeared. Lifting his weapon he sighted the small but stocky figure in the crosshairs, waiting for the exact right moment. Finally, when he judged it to be the right time he called “Hey JD...!” and as expected the young man turned towards his voice, seeing Vin he started to draw his weapon, but was too slow, Vin took him with a headshot, and he crumpled to the once shiny marble floor, eyes vacant and unseeing.

Now he just had to loot the chatterbox's body...but Vin knew he had to be careful, lest he fall foul as JD had in crossing the dance floor. He studied each entrance for movement intently and when satisfied, leapt out from his covered spot by the staircase and zigged left away from JD, before abruptly zagging right. He tucked, rolling across the floor until he could successfully use JD's own body as shelter. A quick search recovered a silenced pistol, several yards of rope and a ration pack. Patting the limp arm he said “Thanks JD” as he got to his feet and escaped out the side door, glad for the cover the corridor full of suits of armour provided after feeling so exposed in the hall.

Reloading his weapon he murmured “2 down... 4 to go...”

The corridor after the statue filled one was so long and dim lit that even his keen eyes couldn't make out the far end, and leery of a trap he inched his way along, sticking to the wall as much as possible, after several agonising minutes, expecting to be shredded by bullets at any given second he reached the end of the long stretch unharmed, only to find a closed door. Unsure what to expect, but not willing to go back, he crouched down and tried the handle, stunned when the door seemed to ghost open before he'd really turned the handle; nerves perhaps. The room appeared to be a bedroom, and he could see that someone had been there recently if they still weren't in the vicinity. The light was on and a fire was cheering the otherwise dank room nicely. The light allowed Vin to see into the next room, an immensely long chamber, seemingly set up for aerobics, fencing or sport of some description, although long unused. It was the sight at the far end of the rec room that worried him.

A huge man, bear like in girth and height, shirtless, muscles flexing in the sunlight streaming through the open window. The only bonus was he seemed unarmed. Vin knew that body anywhere, Josiah Sanchez was almighty big man, with fists that hit like a hammer, Vin didn't want to go hand-to-hand with him, and he knew the distance was too far for a decent shot without his beloved rifle, He'd have to get closer. He was about to move into the bedroom when he noticed the figure on the bed.

Buck Wilmington, at rest on a fine ladies bed. How typically Buck.

Seeing the man there however made Tanner wonder what the hell he was waiting for, he had to know Josiah was there, and he had a rifle. Buck may not be the best shot, but with a target like Josiah...Shaking his head at the ladies mans inattention to his surroundings, Vin raised the silenced pistol, intent on taking him out the same way he had JD, when a glimmer of something metal shining in the light caught his eyes to his right. Turning he noticed the odd shaped metal arch that surrounded the door into the rec hall, and suddenly it all made sense.

A metal detector.

Any attempt to enter the room with a gun or knife would set of the alarm and alert Josiah. Triggering the alarm also meant instant closing of a hardened lead barrier several meters into the room, kind of like a built in safe room. Buck was waiting for an opportunity, but he'd gotten lapse in his own safety. Buck himself was big man, but no one on the team could hope to take Josiah in a fist to fist contest, unless they were deathly enraged first, he was just that powerful. Making a decision Vin lowered his gun sight from buck, and belly crawled across the room until he was concealed behind the room chair, out of Bucks sight, he spoke.

“Yo Bucklin...” he almost smiled at the way he heard Buck sit upright like someone lit a fire under him. Blue eyes swept the room, although Buck already knew who had spoken “Tanner! I'm gonna skin your scrawny ass! Where are you...?” he hissed. Vin just smiled, staying carefully concealed where he was, replying “Gotta proposition for ya...we take ‘>Siah together, between the two of us we can probably can his ass” Vin already had it all planned in his mind, now Buck was the deciding factor, Vin listened as the older man spoke quietly “Oh yeah...and why should I trust you? Vin shook his head at the man's distrustfulness, not that he could blame him. Putting all the innocence and hurt in his voice he could Vin continued in his thick Texan accent “Aww Buck, It's me, Like I's a ever gonna do something so low..Ez maybe, but not me, ya have ma word.” Buck fell hook, line and sinker, and in several minutes the duo had the plan finetuned and were currently discarding all metal, remembering belt buckles, guns and knives. “Let's go” Buck said.

Vin entered the metal detector first, sighing with relief when it stayed silent, he thought he'd accounted for everything, but you can never be sure. He was almost half way down the room when Josiah turned seeming to sense his approach. The big preacher grinned at the small form approaching. Unless Vin was insanely enraged, he knew this was in the bag. Sure Vin Tanner was a wild cat who knew every dirty trick in the book, and most that weren't, but in the end he was just so damned slim.

Vin saw Josiah flexing his muscles, gearing up for a fight, and as he drew closer they began to circle each other. Step for step they wove a loose circle, waiting, weighing up their opponent, until finally Josiah lunged. Vin felt the brute strength as Josiah slammed him up against the wall behind him, breath wheezing in his throat. He felt helpless; dangling uselessly from Josiah's tightening ham fists. His vision began to cloud and his lungs felt like they might implode at the same time his head exploded, and then he smiled. He had Josiah right where he wanted him.

Buck waited until Josiah was otherwise occupied by the struggling Tanner, who had become a livewire in his grasp. The big man's back was directly to the door and Buck pressed his advantage while it was available. He surged into the room, trusting Vin to keep Josiah's attention. He got closer and closer to the tussling pair and then without stopping he threw his arms around Josiah's neck and tightened his hold, refusing to be thrown off for any reason, knowing that once he let go, that was it, game over. Josiah tried to run and slam Buck into wall, but the newly freed Tanner grabbed his legs and held on, causing the man to fall heavily. Once down, Vin added his slight weight while Buck tightened his strangle hold as much as possible, until finally Josiah's struggling ended as he lapsed into unconsciousness. Pretty as you please, Vin snapped the now loose neck. Leaving Josiah, skin tinged blue, eyes bulging grossly, completely and unbelievably dead at the direct hands of the slimmest team member.

Buck was looting the body, pulling out several rations and a hard won flak jacket, without looking up he asked Vin “What do you want junior?” Vin smiled at the yearning look Buck was directing at the flak jacket as he replied earnestly “I'm right for supplies... you go ahead and take it all....” at this point Buck looked up in shock, although not surprised at the sharpshooter's generosity, after the beating the smaller man had just taken, surely he could use the rations to help restore his energy. Buck, who wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth, nodded his thanks as he gathered his new acquisitions and headed back to the bedroom, Vin followed leaving another dead body in his wake.

Back in the bedroom, both Buck and Vin were busy restoring their metal equipment as Buck spoke “We make a pretty good team slick, who are we gonna get next......” Tanner re-sheathed the boot knife and straightened answering “You” and shot Buck between the eyes with the silencer.

Looking down at the eyes, open and shocked in too recent death Vin smiled, speaking “Didn't Chris ever tell ya not to trust a Texan...particularly when they go by the name of Tanner.....I'll be having that nice jacket now Bucklin....” and so proceeded to strip Bucks equipment, putting the flak jacket straight on and glad for the reassuring familiarity of the rifle in his hands, as he prepared to go after the two most dangerous members of the team. “4 down...2 to go... ”

Vin exited the room via a broken window, repelling down into the gardens and surrounding estate using the rope he acquired from JD. He knew exactly where he'd find his next victim. Ezra wouldn't be in the house, among all the dirt and grime; he'd have taken up a point of great cover in the gardens somewhere.

Sure enough, after an hour and 24 minutes slinking through roses and tulips Vin spied the southerner relaxed on the green grass, not a care in the world, obviously not expecting anyone to think to look for him in the grounds, he should have known Vin better by now. In hindsight, Vin should also have known better than to think Ezra Standish let anything slip by unnoticed, especially when the conman suddenly tackled him, straight into the pond behind them. Fighting his way to the surface, and swatting at the hands that kept trying to push him back under Vin thought he was done for, when a freak accident on the slippery pond bed landed Ezra in the water beside Vin, and the tracker used the few seconds of startled surprise to shove the astute man under, holding his head down and sitting on his chest.

Vin refused to be budged from his spot on Ezra's chest and the fact that Ezra was short of breath from the struggle and fall worked in Vin's favour and within two minutes of dogged fighting Vin felt the man go limp beneath him. He waited several more minutes to be sure, Ezra was a crafty one, and when there was no change he dragged the boneless, heavy, waterlogged body from the water and quickly looted the man. After storing the binoculars and several pieces of the good quality jerky Ezra had hoarded, he used the reminder of JD's rope to tie several hefty rocks to the body and dumped it back in the pond with a farewell comment “Ezra, Ezra, Ezra.......5 down...1 to go....”

Vin retreated back to the ballroom and sat in the middle, Chris would come to him.

Sure enough, several minutes later the black clad agent stalked into the room, launching into a tirade the instant his eyes lit on his best friend. “Stupid, scrawny assed Texan....Jesus Vin, you killed all of them...even JD and Josiah...I can't believe you! What the hell are you playing gonna kill me too...wanna use my gun? Gonna blow my head off?” Vin shook his head, almost sadly...”” “Course I ain't gonna kill ya Chris, I could never Kill know that.....I'm a just gonna sit here.....” and that's what the smaller man did, just sat rock steady in the middle of the ballroom.

Chris shook his head angrily “”Oh no you don' can't kill all the others and refuse to fight me....come on shoot me...kill me!” Chris bellowed at Vin.

The sharpshooter shook his head “I ain't doing it and ya can't make'll have to kill me....” Vin said tauntingly.

Chris was vibrating with suppressed emotion “ I can't kill you, and you know it, you stupid mangy Texan ...I can't kill you and you won't kill me....but one of us has to die to get out of this.....only one still alive will end it....” the blonde said forcefully.

Vin's soft “I Know” brought the massage home to Chris. “You're gonna make me do it...I'm actually gonna.....” he sighed in resignation “Fine Vin....I hope it was worth it.....” and Chris raised his gun and pulled the trigger.

Blowing his own brains out the back of his head.

Chris slumped to the ground, dead and Vin reached over and closed the unseeing green eyes of his best friend. “6 dead...all over” he murmured.

Vin rubbed his eyes, tired from the lack of sleep, the room he was in was quite and only an eerie glow broke the stifling darkness. His own breathing was the only sound in the silent room.

Then abruptly he let out an almighty “whoooo-yeaaaah” and punched his fist into the air.

Getting up he pressed a button and the eerie light disappeared as he left the room. He wandered through the house, reaching the well lit kitchen, and took an empty seat at the bench. He poured his coffee, drank deeply of the blissful aroma and finally turned to look about the room. “You really should have known better....” he said with smug self-assurance.

Six sets of eyes met his, each chagrined, awed, exasperated and happy.

They really should have known better than to play against Vin in JD's new Online Multiplayer computer game.


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