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WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS

Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Whoever Fights Monsters
Author: marinw
Characters: Bill/Curtis
Rating: PG. This is angsty even for me.
Summary: Set at the beginning of Day 6. Bill and Curtis drive to the Point Mugu Naval Air Station and discuss what they have to do when they get there.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company, whose evil exccs are currently paraphrasing Seinfield’s Soup Nazi: No 24 for you!
Summary: This plot bunny was hatched by one of kcountess's always-eloquent journal entries: How long did Bill have to prepare for Jack’s return and subsequent trade to Fayed? A shout-out to the editing superpowers my new beta,sardonicynic, who also provided the musical inspiration. The Nietzche is for cybertoothtiger. NIN, Nietzche and 24: Three things that just go together.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into any abyss,
the abyss also looks into you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche



“Don’t tell him about Audrey.”

“Yes, Bill. I figured that.” Curtis sat behind the wheel of the black Ford, staring straight ahead into the still-dark morning. Neither of them could look the other in the eye.

I don’t know if I can do this.

That was a private admission. Bill couldn’t admit his doubts to Curtis, or Nadia, or to President Palmer. He could speak in confidence to Karen, even if his wife was the National Security Advisor. And he had to admit it to himself.

I have to do this. There isn’t a choice.

Curtis sat beside him, solid as ever. The CTU Director of Field Ops was so professional he was almost a cliché. He could stay detached. Bill was grateful for that.

Bill had dreaded this moment for four days, since the President had negotiated the release. Wayne Palmer had accomplished what Bill had spent months trying to do. What Audrey Raines had died trying to do.

Back to work:

“We have to discuss what we’re going to do if he doesn’t cooperate,” Said Bill.

Jack. His name is Jack. At least say his name.

“I brought a shot a Valium. Enough to subdue him,” Curtis answered. His eyes still focused straight ahead.

Christ.

“It might be easier if we sedated him,” Curtis mused.

As Bill shifted his weight he felt the awkward shape of the handcuffs hidden in his pocket. They made a slight clinking sound.

“No. I have to talk to him first. I have to explain the situation. I have to make him feel like he has a choice. Even if he doesn’t. But stand by with the shot.”

We're no better than they are.

“I thought you would take that approach. You want to give him some dignity. Or at least the illusion of dignity,” Curtis answered as if he and Bill were discussing how wide to make a perimeter. Almost. “I had the clothes delivered. I assumed at least a ten-pound weight loss. It’s all is set up. Oh, and my barber is standing by.”

“Your…barber?!” Curtis thought of everything.

“He’s Special Forces. Has a high security clearance. We can trust him.”

“Thank you. I appreciate your attention to detail.”

“As long as we don’t lose sight of the big picture. I know that this operation is distasteful. But it’s necessary. We have to terminate Assad.” Curtis said ‘Assad’ with just a little too much venom.

Bill wondered if that was cause for concern.

No. He’s just angry that sacrificing Jack is the only way to eliminate our target.

They approached the base. In the lights of the runway Bill could see that the large plane with its long wings and bloated fuselage had already landed. It was a beast.

This is obscene.

Bill felt a lump rise in his throat. He pushed it back down.

There has to be another way to stop Assad. There has to be.

There wasn’t.

Curtis parked the SUV. Bill grabbed the file. The two men left the vehicle and waited for the transport plane to taxi to a stop.

END

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
catch22girl
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Ow. Great job with Bill. I love his thoughts and the foreshadowing of what happens with Curtis and Assad.

I'm not a huge Curtis fan at all and the version of him in this fic is one feels very true to the show.

I can see this scene happening really easily and loved how you showed Bill's sickness at what they have to do.
marinw
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
The second time I saw 6.01 I almost felt worse for Bill than I did for Jack. It’s lucky for Bill that Jack escapes, or Bill would have had to have dealt with the same sort of feelings that Jack had after he shot Ryan Chapelle. I love all the parallels.

Curtis was a little hard to get a sence of. He was quiet, but I think there was a lot oing on beneath the surface.

Thank you for commenting so quickly.
kcountess
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
AUGH. *loves* I love seeing this peek into Bill's head. Just thinking about what he must have felt, not knowing what shape Jack would be in and knowing what he has to do is just...ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. *hugs Bill*

And I think after reading this I can write a scene for RP with Bill I've had percolating. Unless I find a guinea pig willing participant.

Edited at 2008-01-26 06:22 pm (UTC)
marinw
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ah. Sweet, wonderful, Bill Guilt. It just doesn’t get old.

As you pointed out in your journal, having DAYS to think about what he has to do must have been wrenching for Bill.

Happy to return the inspiration
sardonicynic
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
EEE!

Well, you already know how much I love this. But it bears repeating. Because I love this. *G*

Your description of Curtis here:

Curtis sat beside him, solid as ever. The CTU Director of Field Ops was so professional he was almost a cliché.

Absolutely makes me squee. Because it's so spot-on. Every time we see him (saw him, meep) he's (was) only ever rock-solid and just-the-facts-ma'am, game face on, ready to do whatever was necessary for success. (Well, until that final confrontation with Assad and Jack.)

And gah, your Bill makes me wibble, and these lines:

Bill felt a lump rise in his throat. He pushed it back down.

'There has to be another way to stop Assad. There
has to be.'

There wasn’t.


Get me right there every time I read them.

EEE, your writing. *hearts*
marinw
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
*pumps fists* I’m always happy to be the cause of a good wibble.

And EEE, your editing! This is why I pay you the big bucks. Okay, so I don’t actually pay you, but if I did, this would be why. *hugs* Thank you for your help with the frakking LJ coding.

As for Curtis: Well, maybe it’s the one’s who repress everything who really bear watching. Jack may compartamitize, but he’s certainly capable of emotional displays. Maybe that's why Jack's not completely insane,
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )