Author's note: I passed all my exams and however I still have my job I have a lot more time to write for a while, this means uploads will be more frequent if everything goes all right.
Here's the second chapter, so read and enjoy! And as always, please rewiev! Thank you for it in advance!
The hospital-corridor was like any other hospital-corridors in the country. Or so Sam saw it. He spent too much time in hospitals, it was clear. They were walking slowly, looking for the proper room-number.
Suddenly an elderly man stormed out of one of the rooms next to them. He slammed the door and cursed then he looked up and glimpsed the three agents. He walked to them distinctly. Is it so obvious that we're from FBI? Sam wondered.
"VCTF, right?" the man asked and Bailey nodded. "I'm assistant director Leary" he said. "Leader of the organized crime department."
"Bailey Malone" they shook hands. "Agent Waters and Agent Grant."
Sam nodded but John was watching the door that the assistant director had slammed before.
"I'm glad you are here. This case is running out of the hands of the locals… and to tell the truth mine too."
"How is Agent Brody?" asked Sam. "Can we talk to her?"
"She's too well and she's insufferable as always. But this time I have to agree with her… at least in some things!"
"Why, what happened?" asked Bailey. John was glaring at him as if he wanted to tell him not to ask more questions.
"The pen-pushers… somehow they found out that the victim was an agent. It's out now, and it ruined Brody's cover. I suspect she's already on Drakov's death-list… I decided to put guards on the corridor, but she almost bit down my head." He shook his head. "But yes, of course you can talk to her. Just beware because she might be dangerous right now…" he added with a dry smile.
John was already on his way to the door and the others were right on his heels. When he opened the door however he had to dodge as some hard thing – as Sam later realized a book, moreover the Bible itself that was there in every room! – was thrown at him.
"I see your temper didn't change" he said, and the young woman's face split into a huge smile.
"John! They told somebody would come from VCTF but I didn't hope it would be you!"
"Who else could talk some sense into your thick head?"
But he smiled and walked closer to the bed. Sam saw surprised bending him down and put a kiss on the woman's cheek. John wasn't the kind to show much affection and he was always uncomfortable in such situations but now it didn't seem so.
"How are you?" he asked then.
"Fine, it's nothing. Only Leary makes a big deal of it. That's why I got angry with him…"
"So you throw things at your boss?"
"Only when he behaves like a jerk."
"By the way, this is my boss: Bailey Malone, and our profiler Samantha Waters."
"Hi." Agent Brody greeted them, and added. "John said a lot about you. Take a seat, because I guess you would like to hear my story."
"Yes, if you are not too tired." Bailey said, however it was plain that she was everything but tired.
"So, actually I don't know how much I can help" she started when they were seated: John next to the bed the others a little bit further away. "I don't know where to begin… How much do you know about my job?"
"Nothing." Answered Sam. "Or not very much."
"All right, then. So I worked on the Drakov-case. Have you ever heard of Vlad Drakov?" John nodded, the others shook their heads. "Well, he is the head of the Russian Mob here in town and he's on the job taking over the whole country. My task was to join his gang and get as much information as possible, it took a lot of effort and time to gain his trust but I succeeded. I got into the higher ranks. So as I said he tried to expand and he tried to form some coalition. That's why we were in that warehouse the night before. We should have met some Triad-members there… We were waiting outside but they were late and Jerry, my partner there - he became impatient and went inside. Then I heard some strange noises and went after him. He was bleeding on the floor and the next moment somebody smashed me from behind. I don't really know, then… the next I remember I was pushed to the wall and he stabbed me in the shoulder."
"How did you escape?"
"I realized that he must be that famous Mob-killer, as the papers call him and I improvised. I told him that I'm not a gangster, but an undercover agent. It was funny because he looked almost stunned… I didn't see his face as he wore a mask but still I had the feeling that he was wavering. And then he left."
"So simply?" asked Bailey.
"Yes. I think he believed me."
"Yes, it must be so. This strengthens our profile" said Sam. "He is after the bad guys, so to say. He didn't want to kill an 'innocent'."
"Did you hear this, John? She told I was an innocent!" and she laughed out.
"It's just because she doesn't know you!" John said.
It was obvious that this game has gone on between them for ages.
"And now, my dear, could you bring me my clothes?"
"What for?" asked back John warily.
"To dress up of course, would you want me to go out in this hospital-gown?"
"Are you already released?"
"Who cares? I'm ready to help you in this case."
"Director Leary said you are under protective arrest…" mentioned Bailey which was a big mistake.
"Protective arrest!" Brody said disgusted. "A big shit! I won't stay here, and I don't need guards, either. It's enough that I lost my cover, and I have John here to protect me!"
"You should stay in bed…" tried John.
"And this is said by you, who has that brace on the leg and is still working! You definitely won't order me to bed! All right!" she pushed the blanket from her and stood up.
She might move a little bit gingerly, but others nobody would tell that she was stabbed only half a day ago.
"You can stay, I'm going to dress in the bathroom." And with that she vanished behind the door.
Sam and Bailey looked at John as one.
"She's like a hurricane!" said Bailey and John smiled.
"You don't have to tell me!"
"Where do you know her from?" asked Sam.
"We grew up together, and worked together for a while."
"How long has she been working undercover?"
"Let's see, forabout two years, I guess. She even let herself imprison for a while. But don't think that she behaves like this because she spent too much time with the bad guys…" John said seeing Bailey's expression. "She was always like this…"
They were interrupted by Agent Brody coming back. She was wearing black jeans, black T-shirt and an also black leather-jacket. She looked everything but an FBI-agent.
"Well" she looked at them expectedly. "Can we go?"
Sam smiled, she couldn't change it she found Agent Brody rather … interesting. Bailey stood up and John sighed.
"I guess we have no other choice…" he grumbled.
"I'm glad you realized at last!"
A few hours later they were sitting in the local FBI office. They talked over the case again and actually they came much closer to the solution.
"To sum it up: the guy is after gangsters. He always knows where to find them and always strikes when they are alone or two together. Due to Agent Brody about this meeting only a few people knew: some of Drakov's men and those who read her report."
"An FBI agent would perfectly fit the profile. Somebody who saw that investigating against the mob is a useless fight, who maybe lost somebody close to him in this fight and who has access to every important information" said Sam.
"I'll look after who had access to Angie's report" John volunteered. Angie wasn't there at the moment, as she was summoned to Leary and probably had another argument.
"I'll go with you" Sam said and stood up.
They walked down the corridor to Leary's office that Angie showed them before. The assistant director offered her secretary's help, and now they were eager to use it.
After they had explained what they needed, the secretary told them that id would take some time and adviced them to go to the cafeteria until she found the documents. Sam was already thirsty for a coffee so she talked John into it.
After he could ascertain that Angie was all right and they spent the last hour or so arguing cheerfully about every topic possible, John was more relaxed than Sam has ever seen him. She couldn't stand to say out loud what came to her mind.
"You are really close friends, Angie and you, aren't you?"
"You can say so, yes. I've known her since I can remember… actually she was my first love" he smiled and Sam was surprised by this openness. "And the second one as well…" he added.
"What do you mean?"
"It's a long story, but in short she was the first girl I've ever kissed… Then only a few weeks later I ran away from home. We met again almost two years later here in New York and then we started to date in earnest."
"You ran away from home?"
"No, I still live with my father" He said sarcastically.
"Sorry. I just thought that…" then she realized that she didn't really know what she thought.
"Her father helped me to find a place after that" he suddenly went grim. "And he paid for it dearly."
"What happened?" Sam asked warily. By now she had realized that Patrick O'Doyle was more than dangerous. "My father framed him and he was sent to jail, where he died 'in an accident'" He said bitterly.
"Oh, I'm sorry…"
"Tell it to Angie. She was only 17 and her father was her only family."
"Why did you ran away?" Sam asked to change the subject slightly.
John just shrugged. It was obvious that he didn't want to talk about it, and Sam didn't want to push.
John really didn't want to talk about those days. It were the worst childhood memories he had. He was so happy, and suddenly everything went wrong again…
It was a bright spring-day and John and Angie were walking home from school earlier today, as it was carrier-day there instead of lessons. John didn't know why but once he just took her hand. Angie didn't even look at him, just squeezed back. Nothing special happened, they walked in silence but it was somehow different.
They stopped in front of the O'Doyle house.
In that moment Angie seemed so … alien to John. She was somehow different, almost like a real woman. He knew that she loved her, but until then – or to be honest until a few weeks ago! – he always thought about her as his best friend. Now though…
"You know… I was thinking…"
At any other occasion Angie would have said something funny, but not now. She only looked at him questioningly.
"About the ball… would you come there with me?" he asked in one quick breath.
Angie's eyes went wide for a moment and John thought that she would say no but then…
"I wouldn't want to go with anybody else… but are you sure that you want me?… Every girl…"
"I don't care the other girls especially not Veronica Blakely, if you are talking about her." Blakely was a cheerleader who always was on his heels at school. He once heard the girls after training talking about the ball and Veronica said she was sure that John would ask her. Until then, to tell the truth he didn't even think about the ball.
But then he decided that he would go with Angie and nobody else. Yes she wasn't a popular girl or at least not like the cheerleaders but in John's opinion she was much prettier and he could talk with her about everything and she had those special ideas all the time that made him laugh and…
Without planning it he leant forward and kissed the girl – not on the cheeks like many times before – but on the lips. And she kissed back. They were a little bit clumsy but it's been the best moment in John's life.
When they departed Angie smiled at him uncharacteristically shyly and gently caressed his hand.
"I'll see you tomorrow…" was all she said before she walked away.
It was good so, there was nothing to talk about because what they've just done seemed absolutely natural. He was standing at the garden-gate and watching her until she disappeared at the corner.
When he stepped inside the house he expected nothing wrong, he felt as if he were walking over the clouds. He should have known better, of course…
He went into the living room and saw that his father was there but didn't see any of the signs.
The next moment he was knocked to the ground. The blow surprised him so much that he couldn't stay standing.
A kick in his stomach made his brain work again. This isn't good… I should stand up… he thought, but he wasn't given a chance. After some more kicking his father hauled him up to the feet and pushed him to the wall. The iron-hand tightened around his neck. John's vision was blurry but he could make out his father's face and what he saw wasn't very promising. Patrick O'Doyle was furious and was raging.
"What…?" he tried to choke out a question but it was cut in two as his father banged his head against the wall.
"Career day, what? Talking to the cops? Don't tell me you want to be a cop!" with every word he hit his son's head against the wall and John felt darkness swimming in at the edge of his vision.
"How do you know?" he whispered hoarsely when his throat was at last released and he fell to the floor.
"So you don't even deny it!"
Another kick and John felt one – if not two – of his ribs breaking.
"I knew you were a failure but I've never thought that you would betray me like this!"
John tried to protect his head with his arms though in vain. There was a sharp pain in his forearm and a blow – or was it a kick? – still landed in his face and blood immediately flood his mouth and nose. The only thought he could manage was: This time he will really kill me…
Somehow this thought didn't really frighten him though, maybe because his mind was too confused to feel scared…
After that he didn't remember much. At some point he felt sharp pain in his shoulder and left arm but despite of that he didn't even feel the pain.
After some time his father calmed… or maybe just got tired, and stopped. By that time John was barely conscious and even breathing took enormous effort so he didn't even try to rise his head. He heard the door and later the sounds of a motor starting… and then he blacked out.
He was woken up by a gentle touch on his face. However he didn't really realized that it was gentle, so he tried to move away from the hand. Sharp pain in his head… and his abdomen… He moaned out loud.
"John! Please, open your eyes!"
This wasn't his father… He opened his eyes at last and looked in the worried eyes of Angie. She was obviously on edge of tears which frightened John… Why would she cry? She never cried. Did something happened?
"John… please… I called the ambulance… so, hold on, okay?"
He didn't understand. Something was very wrong…
"Why…?" his question was an inaudiable whisper and he tried to sit up. Though the sharp pain he felt when he reclined on his left arm, prevented it. He cried out and remembered his father… and the beating. But… If Angie called the ambulance then he really must have looked like crap… Not as he felt any other way.
"I called my father as well…" Angie whispered and John realized that she was not just worried… she was scared and almost in panic.
He wanted to tell her that he was okay but didn't manage it. It was so dark in the room, he could barely make out her face anymore… It was hard to breathe. As if somebody had put a heavy stone on his chest. Everything went black again.
The next time he woke up he was lying in a bed. He felt weak as never before. He couldn't even open his eyes to look around but he guessed he was in a hospital.
He became aware of voices next his bed. Two men, they were talking about… him.
"So, what did you say happened to him?"
"I don't really know. He's my daughter's friend and when she went over to him, she found him in this condition in their house." This was Mr. Brody's voice so the other one must have been a doctor.
"I see. What's with his parents?"
"He lives with his father… his mother died. I don't know where his father is though."
"Hmm… do you think that his father did this?"
For a moment he thought Mr. Brody would say yes… but Simon Brody wasn't a hero and he had enough problems without having Patrick O'Doyle as an enemy.
"I can't imagine that a father could do something like this to his child." His best friend's father told then.
"I've seen some terrible things here already…" answered the doctor.
"How is he?" asked then Mr. Brody.
"Bad. He had inner bleeding when he was brought in but the surgery went well." Surgery? He had a surgery? John wondered but then concentrated back on the conversation. "Both his arms are broken" continued the doctor "and so are five of his ribs and the left collarbone. He also has skull-fracture which really worries us."
This started to be too much information for his drained mind and he slowly drifted back into sleep.
Two days later he was awake but still dizzy and tired beyond everything. He had Mr. Brody for visitor. The man was serious and rather grim nothing he used to be.
"I'm sorry John." He said.
"It wasn't your fault…" he said in a slurry voice. That was partially caused by the medication he got, and partially by the bandage over his nose.
"The police was here… and I told them that I didn't know who did this to you."
"This was the best you could do."
"I'm not so sure… Look, his time your father went really too far. I don't think that this can go on like this…" John almost cut in but Mr. Brody raised his hand to make him listen. "I'm not talking about going to the cops… but you could escape, run away…"
"Don't say anything. I have a very good friend in Los Angeles. I talked to him and he would take you in for a while. Until you need it… just think about it, okay? And when you decide just let me know…"
Then he didn't say anything but when he was allowed to get out of bed and saw his own face for the first time in the mirror he made a decision. Because he realized that if he stayed here for much longer he definitely won't live many more birthdays…