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TOOL OF THE TRADE

Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Tool of the Trade
Author: marinw
Characters: Burke/Ramirez/Jack/Ryan
Spoilers: Day 6 Debrief Mobisodes.
Rating: PG
Summary: The Day 6 Debriefing from Agent Burke’s perspective.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. I can’t resist pulling at all those dangling plot threads.
A/N: This fic is a companion piece/prequel to “Standard Procedure.” It was inspired by a recent exchange I had with xandra73 in which she reached this very solid conclusion: Rick Burke is a psycho.



This was going to be fun.

Rick Burke thought of all times he hadn’t been there to do Jack Bauer’s bidding. When left to his own devises, Bauer would employ any number of ploys in his interrogations: Suffocating. Shooting suspects (or their wives) in the thigh. Things that involves lamps, electrical cords, or towels. Bauer usually succeeded in getting his intel but his methods were sloppy, undisciplined, and often very, very messy. He had no respect for the art of interrogation, no patience, no appreciation for subtlety. Burke cringed when he read the reports. Bauer was an amateur. An embarrassing amateur.

The times that Bauer had used Burke’s expertise were somehow even worse. Yesterday had been the last straw. Bauer’s deranged behavior had resulted in the death of Bauer’s own brother. It was Burke’s Juice that caused Graem Bauer to have his fatal heart attack, and therefore it was Burke’s perfect record that would be forever tarnished. Losing a subject was so…unprofessional.

So turnabout was fair play.

Burke kept one eye on the clear, one way glass showing the interrogation room and another on the smaller, identical image on his laptop. Bauer looked like hell: A fine layer of blond stubble had sprouted on his annoyingly handsome jaw. The sandy hair was greasy and uncombed, his skin was grey and his shirt was wrinkled.

Not so hot now, are you, pretty boy?

Bauer’s dark blue eyes darted around the small room. He was clearly agitated, and the debriefing hadn’t even started yet. Burke could barely stop himself from licking his lips. Burke loved a challenge. He couldn’t wait to get started.

•••••

Ramirez was questioning Bauer about his time in China. Burke was suppose to be monitoring the biometrics, but he couldn’t resist taking a look at the inventory that Cheng had provided. His eyes widened in approval. Now this man was a pro. Rumor had it that Cheng might be granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation. Burke hoped it would play out that way. Cheng would be an excellent person to work for.

But then Burke thought about Marcus Holt. What happened to him was so unfair. Holt had spent years faithfully serving his country, only to be betrayed by an unhinged rogue agent who couldn’t take what he was only too happy to dish out.

•••••

“Agent Ryan, is there a problem?” Asked Ramirez.

Ryan regarded the biometric readout. “His respiration is rapid, his temperature and heart rate are elevated, and his blood pressure is through the roof. And he just got back from twenty months with Cheng. This man needs to be in a hospital. ”

“The hospitals are pretty full right now,” replied Ramirez. “In case you haven’t noticed, a nuke went off yesterday.”

“Then maybe our medic can do something for him.”

“She can do that when we’re done. And I don’t recall asking you for your medical opinion,” said Ramirez.

Ryan eyed the huge syringe Burke was lovingly cradling. “That’s a lot of Juice.”

“It’s the standard dose for a one-hundred and sixty pound man,” Burke stated. “He can handle it.”

“Are you sure that’s the correct weight? Chinese prisons aren’t known for their cuisine.”

“Stop telling me how to do my job. This is just a stimulant," Said Burke.

“If Jack gets any more stimulated, his head is going to explode. That shot could kill him. He can’t talk if he’s dead.”

Ramirez was growing impatient. “A word of advice: Don’t refer to your subject by his first name. It compromises your professional detachment, and detachment is everything. I called you in here to do one simple thing: restrain Bauer. Now follow your orders, or you’ll be the one being interrogated.”

Ryan kept shifting his gaze between the readout and the syringe.

“Today, Agent Ryan.” Said Ramirez.

Ryan went to do as he was told.

•••••

If was after midnight by the time Burke got home. The entire night had been a waste of time.

Ryan was such an idiot. He couldn’t even work a pair of handcuffs.

Burke opened his briefcase and retrieved the still-fully loaded syringe. He regarded the tool of his trade with reverence.

He had to be careful. If too much of the Juice went missing it would raise suspicion. But Ryan’s incompetence did have one upside: Once the Juice was out of the vial, it couldn’t be put back in. It would be a shame for it to go to waste.

Vintners enjoyed a fine glass of wine. Chefs a good meal. Tobacco growers a good cigar. This was no different. Besides, it wasn’t fair to make his subjects endure anything he wasn’t willing to do himself.

Ryan had been right about one thing: it was a rather large dose. But Burke had built up quite a tolerance. He sat down in the lazy-boy and pushed up his sleeve. It was becoming difficult to find a good vein, but he managed.

He waited for the pain. The sweet, wonderful pain.

END

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
cybertoothtiger
Jun. 3rd, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
O_o!

Okay, so this was perfect. Per-fect!

I think I read it before, and that's why this is exactly what I was imagining with the Burke plot bunny. Because you nailed it!

Not so hot now, are you, pretty boy?

Oh yes, he is.
marinw
Jun. 3rd, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Didn't know if you've read it or not. I know that you lurked for awhile before joining in on the fun.

Burke is fun to write beacuse I just can't take him seriously.

Can't wait to see what you do with *your* Burke plot bunny.
cybertoothtiger
Jun. 3rd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
I don't really have anything to add to your version. I even love the double-entendre of the title.

My plot bunnies are multiplying so rapidly I'm running out of carrots. *G*
marinw
Jun. 3rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Me too. I am writing a fic right now. It's the promise of Africa!Jack. I'm going to have to toss out a lot of my personal canon, but I totally don't mind.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )