Author: amanda: jaclyn’s twin sister / writefiction
Beta: Trench / glambert813
Artist: Missy Miss / missynicole
Pairing: Adam Lambert / Tommy Joe Ratliff
Notes: Completely AU.
Warning: Violence & strong language
Word Count: 2,086
Fic Master Post
Art Master Post
Summary: Thomas Hanson joins Witness Protection after witnessing his best friend's murder. He gets placed in some boring New England town. But when he starts to fall for one of his handlers, Marshall Adam Lambert, things begin to get tricky and not so boring. Does Adam feel the same? And what happens when you fall in love with a US Marshall when you're in the Witness Protection Program?
I can do it, Thomas thought, Just gotta get back out there and just spit it the fuck out. He splashed his face with cold water once more and wiped up the droplets with a towel. He took a deep breath and exited the small bathroom.
Just as he was about to enter the living room, he heard a loud bang that sounded almost like a car back-firing, but Thomas knew the difference. It was a gun shot. He immediately dropped to his hands and knees and peeked around the door-frame to see his best friend, and the guy he had been about to spill his feelings for, drop to the ground. His dead eyes were staring right at Thomas, blood spilling from the hole between them.
Thomas gasped and clamped his hand over his mouth. The man who had shot his best friend, and was still standing over him, turned in Thomas’ direction. Thomas’ eyes went wide as he saw the frightening look on the man’s face, only enhanced by the ugly looking scar that traveled from his temple all the way down his cheek to his jaw.
Thomas scrambled to his feet as the guy turned his gun on him and raced towards the door of the apartment. He heard the gunman fire behind him, but he didn’t feel any pain, so he was almost sure he hadn’t been hit. But he had heard that in times like these, with adrenaline coursing through your veins, you didn't always feel pain. So he couldn't be one hundred percent sure. All he knew was that his feet couldn't carry him down the stairs, out of the building and to his car fast enough. When he reached his car he jumped inside and sped away as fast as he could.
He wasn’t sure where he was going, he just knew he had to get away. Suddenly he pulled up outside of the police station and thanked god that his brain had been functioning enough to get him there. He hurried inside without bothering to lock his car doors.
He was crying as he made his way to the front desk. “You’ve gotta help me!” he exclaimed to the woman officer behind the desk.
“Sir, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“It’s my friend!” Thomas exclaimed. “He’s been shot!”
“Sir, where is your friend right now?”
“He’s still at his apartment! This scary looking dude shot him between the eyes and then he shot at me as I ran from the apartment! I came right here!” Tears burned his eyes and dripped down his face.
The officer spoke in to a radio and another officer came through the security door and led Thomas inside the inner parts of the precinct. The dark-haired officer took Thomas to an interview room and sat him down. “Son, let’s start with you telling me your name,” he said.
Thomas took a deep shuddering breath. “My name is Thomas Hanson,” he informed the officer.
The officer nodded and wrote this information down. “I’m Officer Landon. Now tell me everything from the beginning.” So Thomas began to tell Officer Landon what had happened to his best friend. He couldn’t stop stuttering and crying and he felt like he was going to throw up. Officer Landon got him some water and Thomas sipped it slowly, trying to calm himself down. But it wasn’t working that well.
“He’s going to find me, I just know it,” Thomas told Officer Landon quietly. “He’s going to find me and shoot me just like he did to Dave!”
“Look, Thomas, we can protect you. You don’t have to be frightened,” Officer Landon replied.
“What do you mean?” Thomas asked, his chest still heaving a bit with emotion. “Like put me in a safe house till the trial’s over?”
The officer shook his head. “No,” he answered. “The man you picked out of the photo array is a very well-known higher up in a local drug cartel.”
“What?!” Thomas exclaimed, more fearful for his life than he had been previously. “He’s definitely going to find me now!”
“Thomas, calm down,” Officer Landon commanded gently. “Because of who this man is and how connected he is, we can offer you Witness Protection. If you agree to it, you’ll be moved somewhere that he can’t find you and your name will be changed. All you’ll have to do is testify for the prosecution when the time comes. But you also have to realize you’ll be cut off from everyone you’ve ever known.”
Thomas nodded slowly. This sounded horrible. But he knew if he stayed he could be putting his mother's and sister's lives in danger along with his own. So he nodded again saying, “Yeah, I’d like that. I don’t want to die. Not now. Not over this. And Dave wouldn’t want me to be in danger because of him. I just… I can’t believe he’s gone.” Another flood of tears came upon him.
Officer Landon gave him a box of tissues. “It’ll be okay, Thomas,” he told him. “We’ll get you out of here and you’ll be safe.” Thomas only nodded, unable to speak at the moment for fear that he might throw up. Officer Landon then escorted him to another room that was filled with cots. “Why don’t you lay down and rest while we get things in order.”
“Get things in order?” Thomas asked.
“Yes, we need to get some officers over to your friend’s apartment to investigate the scene of the crime,” Officer Landon explained. “We also need to contact the US Marshalls and gather up some officers to take you home so you can pack a few bags before you leave.”
“I… I’m leaving tonight?” Thomas asked. “What about my family? My friends? Don’t I get to say goodbye?”
The officer shook his head. “I’m afraid not, son.” Thomas hung his head and climbed on to the nearest cot. He buried his face in a pillow and cried himself to sleep.
A few hours later a woman with long brown hair woke Thomas with a few gentle shakes. When he noticed the cots in the room, the events of the night started flooding his brain. He had hoped that it had all been a nightmare but he was wrong. Tears started to well up in his eyes. “Dave?” he asked the pretty, young woman.
“I’m sorry,” she murmured.
Thomas nodded sadly. “Yeah, that’s what I thought,” he whispered.
“My name’s Detective Stewart,” the brunette told Thomas. “My partner and I will be taking you home so you can pack your bags. Then we’ll bring you back here and the US Marshalls will take it from there. Okay?”
“Whatever you say,” Thomas muttered and threw his legs over the side of his borrowed bed. He rubbed his eyes with his fists and sighed deeply. Then he followed Detective Stewart from the room.
They met up with a rather muscular looking man who introduced himself as Detective Williams and shook Thomas’ hand. The detectives escorted Thomas out through the back door of the precinct and in to an unmarked car. They headed towards Thomas’ house in silence. When they were half way there Detective Stewart spoke up. “Just get the essentials,” she told him. “And enough clothes for a week. Marshalls will come to pack up the rest of your things and they’ll get them to your new home for you.”
“Do you know where that’ll be?” Thomas asked.
Detective Stewart shook her head. “I’m sorry, only the Marshalls are privileged to that information. It’s easier to keep the secrecy of where you’re going. They won’t even tell you right away.” Thomas nodded and sighed as he leaned back in his seat. He looked out the window and watched as his neighborhood eased on by. He thought about how this would be the last time he’d ever see this place. See these sights, smell these scents or hear these sounds. He sighed again as they pulled up to his apartment.
The detectives cleared each room as they went, only allowing Thomas to enter a room when they deemed it safe. Thomas quickly packed as Stewart and Williams guarded him. Then they got back in to the unmarked car and headed back to the police station. The next few hours were just a blur to Thomas. He was exchanged between so many handlers, he wasn’t sure who was who by the time he landed in some small town in New England. He’d forgotten what the name of it was because he was so exhausted, the late time and adrenaline finally getting to him. The last thing he wanted to do was talk to more people. He just wanted to get to wherever they were going to stash him and sleep. But of course, his life couldn’t be that simple.
When they arrived at the Marshalls’ office, Thomas was immediately escorted in to a conference room where he sat in silence with a Marshall. He was supposed to be meeting his designated Marshalls. They were going to inform him of the Witness Protection Program rules and where he’d be going to live out the rest of his life. He sighed heavily, so exhausted. Suddenly the door to the conference room opened and in walked a woman with long blond hair and bright green eyes. She was petite but muscular. You could tell by the way she walked and held herself that she could handle anything that came her way. She had this air of confidence that made you feel safe, which Thomas perceived to be a good thing since she was going to be protecting him for who knew how long.
Thomas’ breath caught in his throat when he saw the next Marshall that walked in. He was tall and lean, his long legs clad in tight black jeans. He looked strong with his broad chest and muscular arms. His hair was the color of a raven and his eyes the clearest blue that Thomas had ever seen. His heart skipped a beat when the gorgeous man shook his hand and introduced himself as Marshall Adam Lambert and his partner, the pretty blond, Rebecca Taylor. Thomas was mesmerized by the sound of his voice and the stony look he gave him, almost like he was stealing away his emotions.
Thomas had a feeling things were going to get complicated rather quickly. He knew that feeling in the pit of his stomach. The one that stated he was developing a crush on this handsome dark-haired man and it was coming on quickly. Thomas didn’t know what he was going to do. It was hard enough to concentrate on what Adam was saying when all he could do was watch those perfectly shaped lips move.
Adam snapped his fingers in front of Thomas’ face. “Hey, you with us?” he asked.
Thomas shook his head to clear the thoughts of Adam from his head. “Yeah, sorry, I’m just… really exhausted,” he said.
Adam nodded. “It’s okay. I know it’s been a long and stressful day for you. But you have to pay attention right now.” Thomas scrubbed his face with his hands and looked back at the Marshall. “You’ll be cut off from all your friends and family from now on. Although sometimes we can arrange for you to visit with your immediate family once a year just to check up on them. But they will never go to your house and you will never go to theirs. Every year it’ll be a new and different secret location that Marshalls will escort everyone to.”
Thomas nodded. At least he’d be able to check up on his mother and sister every year. He couldn’t imagine what his family could be going through. First his father passed away and now he was going in to hiding. Life was definitely going to be tough for them. He could only hope they would understand why he had to do this.
“Now, you’ll have to sign this contract stating that you've had all the rules of WITSEC explained to you and that you will testify for the prosecution when the time comes. If you don’t abide by these rules and don’t testify, you’ll be kicked out of the program and we won’t be able to protect you anymore,” Adam explained. “And from now on, you won't be Thomas Hanson. You’ll have a new name and identity.”
“And what’s that?” Thomas asked.
“From now on you’ll be known as Tommy Joe Ratliff."