I found this on my computer a while ago. I decided to post it because I haven't been in the writing mood the past few days. My uncle committed suicide Tuesday morning so forgive me if I don't post anything for a few days. But enjoy the fic any way.
Show Me A Hero…
Neal Caffery stood on the fire escape, hands clenched around the railing. He saw Peter park the car and step out. It was early morning and the street was empty. Neal glanced at Peter and mentally begged him to get back in the car. Peter didn't get the message and headed to the corner of the street.
"Easy, Caffery," Moretti whispered behind him, bathed in the shadows of the early morning, "No tip offs." To enforce the unspoken threat, Moretti pressed the gun harder into Neal's side.
Neal swallowed hard. Since the man had arrived twenty minutes before, he hadn't caught a glimpse of his face. He stayed behind Neal wherever they moved, always with the gun jammed between Neal's ribs. He was going to have a wicked bruise when it was all said and done. He hoped that was all he had at the end of this.
His voice, hard and gravelly, was all Neal was offered from his attacker. Or was it kidnapper? So far the man hadn't actually hurt him, only threatened to blow his head off if he didn't call Peter and tell him to come to the building ASAP. Maybe it was hostage taker. Of course Peter didn't know he had been taken hostage. Peter didn't know Moretti, the art thief they'd been tracking for the better part of the week now held a gun to Neal. Peter didn't know that he was walking in to a trap. Neal swallowed hard.
Neal watched as Peter stepped off the curb, his jacket flapping behind him. He'd be in range when he got to the manhole. Moretti would raise his left arm and fire the second gun he held in his left hand. Neal would have to watch as the only friend he had beside Mozzie fell in an abandoned street. Neal would think of Elizabeth, devastated by the death of her husband, and know it was his fault.
But that was only one option.
Peter crossed the street. Moretti raised his right arm, his finger tightening on the trigger. Neal moved.
"Peter, it's a trap!" Neal screamed as he latched on to Moretti's arm and thrust it up.
The gun fired but Peter was already dodging to the left and running for cover under the fire escape. Neal barely had time to feel the relief rush through him before the second shot erupted behind him.
His body jerked with the impact and he fell to his knees. Neal looked down at the pale blue shirt and in morbid fascination, he watched the wet crimson spot grow. He fell to his side, on to his back. He heard footsteps running away, heard Peter in the distance, but everything was fading.
And Neal Caffery closed his eyes, letting the darkness claim him.
FBI Agent Peter Burke ran for all he was worth. The metal clanged as he took the steps two at a time, hugging the wall. His heart pounded with adrenaline and fear.
Fear for Neal.
He'd wondered why it was so urgent for Neal to meet him at dawn. It had never occurred to him something was wrong. He assumed that Neal had a break in the Moretti case and his revelation couldn't wait until normal hours of the morning. Just Neal being Neal. But now Peter understood. Neal had been coerced, probably threatened. He'd warned Peter, at risk to his own life.
Peter hurried up the third flight of stairs. He stumbled and grabbed hold of the railing to steady himself. His hand slid on something wet. With a growing dread in his stomach, Peter looked down.
In the faint glow of the street lights, Peter saw the red puddle that decorated the grating under his feet and now stained the bottom of his shoe. Something splattered against the back of his hand. He looked down at the red drop and turned his hand over. It was stained red.
Peter's heart stopped. He looked up and saw Neal lying on the fire escape as his blood dripped through the metal grating. Like tear drops.
"No," Peter whispered horrified, "No, no, no!"
Peter raced up the rest of the steps to the fifth level. He didn't remember pulling out his phone and calling for back up, but knew he must have because his phone was in his hand and he was shouting things. His voice sounded far away even to his own ears. Then, finally, he reached the last step and froze.
Neal's face was turned away from him. His entire abdomen was soaked in red. He wasn't moving; his chest didn't rise and fall.
Peter stumbled forward. Jolts of pain radiated up from his knees as they hit the grating. He reached out with shaking hands and grabbed hold of Neal's face, turning it towards him. Neal didn't move, didn't even flinch.
"Neal! Open your eyes!"
Peter pressed two fingers against Neal's neck artery and his heart leapt when he felt the rapid pulse. He tilted Neal's head back and blew one breath into his mouth. He drew in a breath and breathed into Neal again. He turned his head, hoping to feel the breath on his cheek. He felt nothing.
"Too late, Burke."
Peter's head snapped up. The window over the fire escape was opened, the curtain billowing in the morning breeze. The man stood in the frame, smirking and holding the gun in his left hand. He recognized the gray eyes under the white scar above his thin eyebrows, recognized the grim face and thirst for blood from the photo hung on the wall in the conference room.
Moretti grinned wickedly and waved at him with his gun, "What's up, Burke?"
White hot anger surged through his veins. Red hazed his vision. His brain disconnected from the world. He was launching his body through the open window before the action even registered in his brain. His mind didn't recognize the pain that shot through his hand as it connected with the window sill. He only knew his anger and nothing else. He didn't see the startled expression on Moretti's face as he raised the gun. He didn't care. Anger melted it all away.
Peter slammed into Moretti's chest. Both men flew back and crumbled against the wall. Peter heard a bone snap. Moretti screamed in pain. Peter pulled back and raised his fist, plowing it into Moretti's cheekbone. Moretti smashed his gun into Peter's head just behind the ear.
Peter slumped forward, his hand going to his head. He knew he should have kept his gun and was regretting that he'd acted on impulse and attacked Moretti. Now his only saving grace was lying on the metal grating next to his dead partner.
The thought of Neal, drenched in all that blood, not breathing, dying for him at the hands of this killer sent a surge of adrenaline through his veins. He spun around and grabbed Moretti's wrist as the killer brought the gun upright. Moretti tried to aim it at Peter's face, but Peter pushed his arm back. Moretti pulled the trigger.
The bullet missed Peter and lodged in the ceiling, but the force of the gun's discharge caused Peter to lose his balance. The agent fell back as the killer stumbled to his good leg. Peter's vision blurred, the injury to his head catching up to him. His strength was waning and Moretti knew it. He smirked as he forced the gun back towards Peter.
The gun shot echoed through Peter's ears.
Moretti cried out, stumbled and fell on to his already injured leg. He looked horrified at the red growing on his left arm. Peter didn't wait for Moretti to regain his composure. He punched his opponent and watched him fall into unconscious. Peter sighed and closed his eyes.
Then the events caught up to him.
His friend, his partner was dead because of him. He'd failed him and there was no way to change that. No way to fix it. Peter could do a lot of things, resurrecting the dead wasn't one of them.
And how was he going to explain this to Elizabeth? She knew how Neal had gotten under his skin, how the ex con had made him care about him. And she had cared for him too. But he was dead now. He couldn't do the stupid hat trick any more. Couldn't show up at his house unannounced and play kiss-y face with his dog. He was dead.
So why was he hearing Neal's voice?
Peter spun toward the window. The sight was one engraved in his memory for years to come. Neal didn't have the strength to raise his head. He was straining to see Peter while fighting to keep his eyes open. Somehow he'd managed to find the strength to grab Peter's forgotten gun and aim it at Moretti, let alone fire it. But that strength was fading.
Peter scrambled across the floor and pulled himself through the window. Neal tried to smile up at him, but it turned into a grimace when pain washed through him. His back arched, a choked sound erupting from his throat. Peter fell to his knees beside him.
"Neal," he said, not caring that his voice cracked on the name.
Neal swallowed and inched the gun to his hand, "I didn't steal it, swear."
Peter holstered the gun and shrugged off his coat in the same movement. He pressed it over the wound. Thankfully, the blood flow had slowed, but Neal's face was ashen and lined with pain. Peter's stomach clenched at Neal's deathly look.
"You weren't…I don't understand," Peter said shaking his head, "You weren't breathing."
Neal blinked and said, almost defiantly, "Am now."
Peter choked on the laughter that burst out. He looked out to the street and willed the ambulance to appear. It didn't. Peter thought about grabbing his cell and calling again, but to do so would mean releasing the pressure on Neal's wound and letting the blood seep out. And Neal had already lost so much, too much.
Peter looked down at Neal, surprised, "What?"
"Said to call you," Neal said, nodding to the window, "or he'd kill me. Didn't know what to do. I stalled but…sorry."
"No, don't apologize. It's not your fault. Moretti…" Peter looked behind him at the immobile killer.
"Did I get him?"
Peter nodded, "Yeah, you got him in the arm."
Neal frowned, "I was aiming for his chest."
Peter stared at him, "What?"
"Couldn't really see," Neal said, "There were three Moretti's. Knew one of them would have to be the right one."
Peter made a mental note to discuss that tactic when Neal was feeling better and was able to handle the yelling.
Neal groaned as pain suddenly flooded through him. He arched his back and clenched his eyes and mouth shut, riding it out. Peter could only watch it and ride out his own wave of give.
"Jesus, Neal, I'm sorry."
"You shouldn't have done that," Peter protested, "You should have-"
"What?" Neal gasped, cracking open his eyes to look up at Peter, "Just let it happen? Couldn't."
"Yes, you could."
"What about Elizabeth?"
Peter frowned. Stupid Neal and his stupid logic. He hated admitting that Neal was right. But just because he had a wife and a career didn't mean that Neal's life was worth less than his. Or worthless for that matter. Peter was about to speak when the sound of sirens filled the morning air.
"They're here, Neal," Peter said, "Hang on."
"Not going anywhere," Neal choked out, "Told ya already, I won't run."
Peter stared down at him. And as the paramedics raced up the stairs and the police cars parked over curbs, as Neal closed his eyes to ride out the pain and he was pulled away from his partner, FBI Agent Peter Burke wondered when Neal Caffery had gone from ex con man to friend, and why it didn't bother him in the slightest.
…and I'll Write You a Tragedy.
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
I wrote a story about my uncle's funeral. If you're interested in it, email me at monarch empress . See ya.