A Joe thinks about his hardest mission ever.
Author's note I: First of all, I'd like to say that there are two authors (you know who you are ;)) in the Joeverse who have inspired me to write this one :) I can't say who they are here because that would spoil the story, but you'll find their name tucked to the end. :) But here's a big thank you to both of them for letting use their work as a base for my story.
Just one little thing, English isn't my native language, so don't be surprised about any strange mistakes.
Big thank you to my buddy Rach The Fink and Desert Fox for beta'ing this one :) I owe you guys :)
The Hardest Mission
He stared out of the window, watching raindrops rolling down the glass. It was far beyond midnight, but he didn't mind losing a few hours of sleep. For seven weeks now -since his life had been changed so drastically- this had become a ritual for him. Getting up once or twice in the middle of the night, making sure security wasn't compromised and fulfilling the tasks at hand.
So far, this mission had been the hardest and most challenging one he'd ever participated in. When he'd first been told about it almost a year ago, he'd been scared shitless, to say the least. Though he'd never have admitted it. He, one of the toughest, meanest bastards who ever crawled out of Ranger school had almost started crying at the first Intel and details he'd been supplied with. The only thing that kept him sane was that he didn't have to go through this hell all by himself.
They had told him and his partner that there was no perfect preparation for anything on this mission, since the other party involved was totally unpredictable. But still they had been give a list of basic supplies necessary to get through this all. Gathering them all had sent a shiver down his spine, since he'd never done anything like it before and never even seen some of the equipment they needed.
He sighed deeply. The first rough phases of this mission had been a success so far, but the real beginning of it had been the worst. Never in his would he forget those horrible 15 hours or his partner's screams of pain which were still ringing in his ears. There hadn't been anything he could have done except holding their hands through the entire ordeal. But as soon as it had started it was over. Both he and his partner had made it out alive. That night had only been the beginning of the hottest part of the mission.
The first few weeks had been really rough due to some nocturnal alarms -some of which proved to be false. It had taken three months until the situation had finally been under control and he and his partner had gotten a full night's sleep again. True, there were a few occasional nightly incidents every now and then, but he had taken care of them all by himself.
Nobody, not even his partner, would ever know that he had grown to love and enjoy this mission more and more with each day passing. The only thing he was scared of now was the day this assignment was officially over. A day that was far in the future, yet still way too close for his taste.
It was the day Katie Anne would simply walk out of the door and not need her father to protect her any more.
He looked down at the small human he held in his arms, wrapped tightly in a warm blanket. Katie was his pride and joy, one of the two most precious things in his world. The first few days after she and her mother had finally come home, he'd been scared to touch her because he thought he might accidentally hurt this beautiful creature. Now, watching her sleep in his arms had become his favorite pastime.
It was hard to believe what big an influence this little girl had made in his life. In private, he had loosened up and become... softer, while at workhe'd become harder, tougher and meaner than ever before, if that was possible. Before Katie's birth, he'd only worried about to get his men home safe and alive if possible, but now... he had something more valuable to lose and to make this world a safer place for. And for that, he'd do anything. He didn't only push himself harder, but also the men under his command. Only the best were just good enough to preserve and ensure his daughter's safety and freedom.
With a soft smile, he watched Katie waving her small fists and twitching her mouth in a dream and carefully walked back to the bedroom, marvelling how much she looked like her mother. He made a mental note that if she really took after her mother, he would have to keep the shotgun Wreck and Clutch had given him the day Katie was born ready to keep away all those maggots trying to get their filthy paws on her when she started dating... in about 30 years.
Gently, he laid her back down in her crib that he had made himself, after kissing her forehead. Katie stirred but didn't wake. Smiling, he turned to his bed, taking a few moments to watch his wife sleep. When they had first met, she'd been getting on his nerves -and occasionally still did- but he wouldn't want to miss one single smart remark of hers. Never in his wildest had he thought to marry at all, especially not a woman like her. She could have had any men she'd wanted - there had been more than enough suitors- yet she had chosen him. Not only that, she had also given him a wonderful baby girl. For the rest of life he would thank her and whatever deity was on duty for that.
He slipped back under the cover, careful not to wake his wife. In her sleep, she turned around, mumbling something he didn't understand and snuggled close to him, burying her head in his chest. He slid his arms around her and enjoyed the feeling of her skin under his. Smiling, Wayne Sneeden settled back and closed his eyes. Being Katie's father and a husband to Courtney had started out as his hardest mission... but it quickly had become the best he'd ever been part of and the best he'd ever have.
Author's note II: This existance of this fic is totally to blame on Slayne and Desert Fox, who used their great fanfics to corrupt my poor little creative mind to write this ;) Thank you so much for the great inspiration, guys :). The idea of Beach Head and Cover Girl having a child was inspired by one scene in Home Truths in which a waitress mitakes Wayne's niece for his and Courtney's daughter... it made me wonder /what if/...?