|Who Am I?
Author: Morralls PM
Sterling offered him his freedom, and God help him, he considered taking it. Nate's journey to learning who he has become, and what that means for him and his team.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Angst - Nathan F. - Words: 1,457 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 2 - Published: 03-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5825187
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I've been meaning to write this fic for a while, and the season two finale gave me the perfect opportunity. The fic is based off of the song 'Who Am I?' from Les Miserables.
If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned.
Who am I?
"And my team?"
"They go down. Every last one of them." Sterling said unfeelingly. "They deserve to go down. They're criminals, Nate. Thieves."
So? What did that matter? They were good people. Them being thieves, criminals wasn't what was important. They used their skills to help people, made people's lives better, and brought down those who were trying to hurt others. They were a noble lot, Nate's thieves. He had always been a firm believer that people weren't defined by their titles, but by their actions. His team had proven themselves to him many times over in their two years together. Them being thieves didn't matter at all.
"So that's the deal. You bring me Kadjic and the guns, and I cut you, and you alone, loose, because at the end of the day, you're always right." Sterling shook his head. "You're not a thief. This is your second chance."
Nate let Sterling take his flask back, sipping from his drink and staring at the drawing his little boy had given him so many years ago, conflicted. He could take the deal. He could stay free and let Sterling bring the rest of them down. Four thieves in exchange for one honest man. He allowed himself a wry smile. Honest man indeed. He wasn't an honest man anymore. If he was truthful with himself, he hadn't been an honest man in a long time. He was the leader of a team of thieves.
Four thieves in exchange for a broken drunk was more like it.
Still... "I'll take the deal, Sterling." If he were honest with himself, he didn't know if he would take the deal, but he only saw two ways out of this mess, and whether Sterling knew that or not, it wouldn't change the plan he had forming in his mind. "Tony Kadjic's ship is at the docks. I'll meet you there."
Sterling smirked. "I'll be waiting. You might want to reconsider your old job, Nate. We could use you."
"Working for you?" Nate scoffed. "Get out. All of you, get out."
"There's no way out of this Nate. You won't get away from this. Not even if you scatter and go to ground. I will find you."
"I'm not going to run." Nate snapped. "I just want you out of my apartment. You and your FBI friends."
"All of you, get out."
Agent Nevins looked appalled. "But-"
"I said get out." Sterling snapped. She gritted her teeth but waved everyone out of Nate's apartment, leaving him alone, unsure what he was going to do. He didn't know.
It was time to call Sophie.
Can I condemn this man to slavery.
Pretend I do not see his agony.
This innocent who seems to bear my face
Who goes to judgement in my place.
Who am I?
He stepped wearily up to the second floor of his flat, leaving the team behind arguing over the best ways for them to do their own part. Hardison would clear out his accounts, but it didn't matter. Whether he chose to give them up or not, it didn't matter. He paused at the top of the stairs, watching them banter. They didn't know anything was wrong, and if everything went right, they wouldn't know until it was too late for them to change it or argue with him. Then again, with his luck, nothing would go right and he wouldn't have a choice at the end of the day. He was past caring now. He watched them, thought of Sophie and the words he finally managed to get out. I need you. They were at ease, teasing Eliot about Tara calling him 'Sparky.' Nate watched the look on Eliot's face turn from irritation to anger, but he didn't worry. Eliot wouldn't hurt them if his life depended on it. The strange group of thieves had somehow become friends, and then had become something closer than that. It was odd for Nate to watch them, to see them for what they really were with no denials or sugarcoating. He would call them his team, his thieves, but they had become more than that to him. They had become his family. He was Dad, Sophie was Mom. Eliot was the angry, overprotective big brother, and Parker and Hardison were the little ones. Someone to be protected, loved, and just like that, his decision was made. Maybe he had known it all along. It was him or them, and his choice was made.
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I'm not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die be no more than an alibi?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know.
I made that bargain long ago.
He gave me strength to journey on.
His wrist was cuffed to the chair and he didn't bother trying to get free. His thieves would be along to get him soon, and there were more important things on his mind than trying to get free. It wasn't really that important to him. He stared at his hands in his lap.
"It's been a long time since I've done this..." He murmured, the words sounding strange without someone concrete there to hear him. "Too long, I know, but I'm hoping that Your ears are still open to me. I'm praying. Paul would be ecstatic." He laughed ruefully.
"I'm not asking for anything that I think is unreasonable. They're thieves, I know, but You know even better than I do that they're good people. I can't be there to watch over them, so I'm asking if You can do it for me. They deserve to have lives that don't... well.. No. They're exactly who they want to be. Hitter, hacker, thief.... grifter...." He shook his head. "I just want them kept safe, because I won't be there to make sure that they stay out of trouble. They do bad things, but they're good people, and isn't that more important?" He sighed. "Watch over them, please. You know how important they've become to me. Especially Sophie. She deserves better than a beaten down man like me, but for some reason, I'm what she wants, despite all my faults, and I know I have plenty of them. She deserves someone who isn't afraid to tell her that he loves her, someone who isn't afraid to be there for her when she needs it, but for some inexplicable reason, she wants me. Help me to show her that I want her too, that, even if I can't say it to her, I do love her. I need her to know that." He heard someone down the hall. "Keep them safe, and help me find out who I am now. Please." The door burst open and Eliot stood over and unconscious someone, panting.
Who am I?
"You don't have anything. You don't have a case on anybody... unless you arrest me, and only me."
"Nate, no." He soft voice behind him almost broke him, but he had made his choice.
"I agree to return the state's evidence. I testify to what Kadjic told me, how he put the hit on Benano. Hell, I'll even give you Benano's evidence against the gun-running."
"Nate." He turned to Eliot. "I can take these guys."
Hardison shook his head sadly. "It's just ten more yards to the chopper, man."
"Listen guys." Nate sighed. "I got you into this. This is the only way to get you out. And I can feel you thinking, Sterling, and don't. Don't bother. And if you touch one of them, the deal is off. Nevins loses two years of work, and your first case with Interpol..." He didn't have to finish the sentence.
"So... you're my case, or I have no case?"
Sterling looked furious at having to settle. "We'll call it a draw, then."
Who am I?
"My name is Nathan Ford... and I am a thief."