Lyrics, Neal, Kate

Ten miles from town and I just broke down

Spittin' out smoke on the side of the road

I'm out here alone just tryin' to get home

To tell you I was wrong but you already know

Believe me I won't stop at nothin'

To see you so I've started runnin'

She cursed as her stupid car broke down! It was her own fault for driving this old junker, but it had been Neal's old junker, once upon a time, and it was away to hold on to him. She knew she shouldn't be holding on. That Neal was in the past. Their love was just a job, a mission, if you will. She was sent because she didn't get emotionally involved in the missions. She was professional. And yet, here she was, broken down, on the side of some lightly traveled road, thinking of Neal.

And crying over Neal, she realized as her teardrops splattered against the steering wheel. Get a grip Katie, she thought, you and Neal are over. You never truly were. She wanted to scream, to tell that stupid little voice in her head to shut up. She and Neal had been something. They'd been . . . a lie cut in the voice. You lied to him! You never truly loved him! You were a joke, a sick twisted scheme, there was never any love!

"SHUT UP!" Kate yelled. "SHUT UP! I LOVED HIM! I LOVED NEAL! I STILL LOVE HIM!"Chest heaving, Kate realized that she was right, she loved Neal. And even though he must know about her lies, about what she'd done, she had to get to him, because he was home, because she loved him.

Kate grabbed her purse from the old junker, climbed out of the car and began to jog toward civilization. She couldn't wait.

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter

As long as I'm laughin' with you

I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after

After the life we've been through '

Cause I know there's no life after you

Neal was twisting the bottle in his hands. He couldn't help it, no matter how many times Peter told him what had happened, what she had said. No matter how many Mozzie explained that she was gone, that he should get over her. You didn't just get over someone as beautiful and extraordinary as Kate. Not his Kate. She was special, and he just couldn't believe that she didn't love him, that she had never loved him. No matter how many times Peter and Mozzie insisted it was true.

It couldn't be true. He had proof. He had their first kiss, the first time their bodies met, the first time he whispered, "I love you" and she had whispered it back. He could even tell you the exact scene in which all of those had happened. He had kissed her in Central Park in June, with dogs and school children running around, the smell of fresh mowed grass in the air. The first time they had made love had been in her old flat, the smell of their wine and a scratchy old record playing in the background. The first time he had told her he loved her it had been February. There was snow falling outside the window, and they were cuddled close together on the couch. She had whispered it back after turning to face him, her lips just hovering over his.

Move on, man. Don't give away your life pining after Kate. Mozzie's words drifted through his head, but Neal shook his curls. Kate was worth giving his life away for. He was nothing without her. Without her, life was nothing. There was nothing, no life, nothing, after Kate.

Last time we talked, the night that I walked

Burns like an iron in the back of my mind

I must've been high to say you and I

Weren't meant to be and just wastin' my time

Oh, why did I ever doubt you?

You know I would die here without you

"Can't we go any faster?" Kate demanded. The taxi driver looked at her in the mirror and grunted. "I'll pay. I'll give you whatever you want, please, it's important."

The driver didn't seem to care, if anything he seemed to slow down.

She resisted the urge to scream at him. To steal the cab and drive herself to the airport, where her plane took off in five hours. Tears pricked at her eyes as she thought about how long it would take her to get back to Neal. She banged her head against the window, the scenery blurring. What have I done? She thought, thinking back to when she left.

"I'm sorry, Neal. I just . . . I'm not in love with you any more."

Had she really said that? It was the biggest lie she had ever told in her life. To stop loving him was like trying to breathe in space without a helmet. It was like trying to grow wings at will. It was impossible, simply impossible.

"You're lying, Kate. You said you'd always love me, just like I'll always love you."

He hadn't believed her, which she loved. He didn't doubt her, and she hoped he had kept the faith.

"We aren't what I thought we were Neal. I just wasted my time."

Wasted time? Far from it. Her times with Neal were the best times of her life, and she would always treasure them. She could only hope there were more to come.

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter

As long as I'm laughin' with you

I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after

After the life we've been through

'Cause I know there's no life after you

"Are you still up?" June's voice surprised Neal, making him jump.

"I can't sleep," he held up the bottle in his hands, "ran out of Coke upstairs."

"Just Coke?" June raised her eyebrows, surprised. "Tonight kind of feels like a whiskey night."

"Despite the fact that it's morning," Neal let his sentence linger before continuing, "I've got to work in the morning. Peter will put me in detention or something if I show up hung over."

"Well, that all depends if you have a good reason to be hung over," June pointed out, taking a seat and gesturing for Neal to sit too.

"Peter won't think she's a good reason," Neal muttered.

"She?" June looked at him closely. "Would this be the mysterious Kate?"

"Yeah. Peter, Moz, everyone thinks that I should move on, but I can't. I loved her like I've never loved anyone before, June, and I can never love anyone like that again." He confessed.

"I understand," June said, surprising Neal. "It would be like asking me to remarry after losing Byron. It's an impossible thing to consider, let alone do."

Neal smiled. "She was just so special. There was something about her. I can't let it go. I can't let her go."

"It would be like deciding which limb you wanted to cut off," June stated, finishing his thought.

"Something like that." Neal looked at her. "Peter says that she's done all these things, that she never loved me, but she had too." Tears were forming in his blue eyes. "All of that couldn't have been a lie."

June patted his knee. "It wasn't a lie, Neal. It was magic."

You and I, right or wrong, there's no other one

After this time I spent alone

It's hard to believe that a man with sight could be so blind

Thinkin' 'bout the better times, must've been outta my mind

So I'm runnin' back to tell you

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter

Without you God knows what I'd do, yeah

Kate was sitting in yet another taxi, leaning forward in anticipation. She was here, in New York, and so was he . . . Somewhere. She wasn't sure where Neal was living at this point, but she knew someone who did.

She rattled off Mozzie's address to the driver.

Almost home, Neal, she thought, I'm coming.

"Wait for me." She commanded the driver, who looked at his meter, then back at her and nodded.

Kate stood outside Mozzie's door and retrieved his spare key, before opening the door, silently. I really hope he didn't move, she thought. She cut across the small living room, and put her hand on the bedroom doorknob, before entering. She went to the bedside and saw Moz, sleeping peacefully.

Acting quickly, Kate slammed her hand down on Mozzie's mouth, causing him to cry out and open his eyes in alarm. She shushed him, then forced the balding man to lie down again. "Don't makke any noise, okay?" Mozzie nodded. She took her hand off his mouth.

"Kate!" he started on an angry rant, about how she had wronged Neal, about how he had been since she'd left.

"I know, Moz. I know," she couldn't hold the emotion out of her voice. It was strong, causing Mozzie to stop. "Where's Neal living? What's his address?" Mozzie, watching her, suspicious now, told her.

"Don't call Neal, don't tell him I was here to see you." Kate commanded, running to the cab.

This much closer, she thought.

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter

As long as I'm laughin' with you

I'm thinkin' 'bout all that still matters is love ever after

After the life we've been through, yeah

Know there's no life after you

Neal slowly climbed the steps back to his little place. He took a swallow of his coke, before thinking back to what June had said. "It wasn't a lie. It was magic." Magic. A fitting word. Kate had been magical, mystical. An angel, of sorts. His angel. He rubbed tiredly at his eyes. He'd let his angel get away.

He thought back to that day in prison, about how she'd talked about wasted time, a love that didn't exist anymore, and about how he knew she was lying. When Kate lied, a cute little blush appeared at her cheekbones, just a slight pink colour, unnoticeable to those who didn't know her. But he knew her, he knew her better than he knew himself. And she had lied to him that day.

She hadn't thought she was wasting her time, their love still burned strong, of all of this he was sure, but for a long time, the question of why followed him. Why would she say those things? Why would she lie? Why would she hurt both of them like that? Now that he knew the truth, he wasn't sure he liked it, but he knew that he would forgive her, because this wasn't her idea, she didn't want this for them. He knew that like he knew his heartbeat.

Neal tossed the bottle of coke in the fridge, and headed to bed, when someone knocked on his door. "June," he groaned. He'd thought she'd gone to bed . . .

Know there's no life after you

Kate stood in front of his door for a long time, trying to muster up the courage to knock, wondering what would happen when they saw each other again. She probably would have stood out there until Neal opened the door to leave in the morning, but then she heard him moving around, and her body snapped into action. This was why she came all this way, to see him, to make him understand.

Know there's no life after you

He was already speaking before he even opened the door. "June, I know it was a nice heart-to-heart we had downstairs, but I'm really tired, and Peter will be on my ass tomorrow - " He pulled the door open and stopped. Frozen. "Kate," he breathed.

"Hi, Neal."

He stared at her for what felt like hours. He remembered the last time they had been this close without that plexi-glass separating them. It had been a hard, desperate kiss in an alley, when the feds were closing in, when he'd told her to run, so they didn't get her too. He studied her. She was the same old Kate. She didn't look changed in any way.

"We need to talk," she said.

Know there's no life after you

Oh, God. She hadn't expected him to look like this. The same Neal she remembered. The same soft blue eyes, the same dark curls, the same look. She watched him, re-memorized him, as he was certainly doing to her. She could almost feel his fingers digging into her skin the last time they'd been together like this. A needy, longing kiss in an alley, red and blue lights and sirens all around them.

"We need to talk." She said. Neal stepped to the side, letting her in, and she passed him, trying not to brush his bare chest, but she did anyway, and felt the heat pouring off of it.

"Before you say anything," Neal spoke quietly, as though he didn't believe she were here, "before you say anything, you need to know that you're forgiven."

Know there's no life after you

He had thought that he'd been dreaming, hallucinating, maybe he had been drinking that night and didn't remember, but when he'd slid to the side to let the phantom of his mind in, her fingers had brushed his skin, and he knew that this was real. She was really here.

She stood beside the couch, not sitting, but standing there, looking at him. Kate opened her mouth to speak, but he beat her to it. He told her she was forgiven, because she was. No matter what she did, no matter what she had planned to do, she had come back, and he couldn't live through her leaving again.

Know there's no life after you

Forgiveness.

It was exactly what she had come for, but to have it given without an explanation, any real words exchanged between them, really threw her. "Why would you forgive me?" She hated to question it, in case he changed his mind, but she needed to know.

"Because I love you. Because not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Because there's no one else," he paused and added, "because I still think I'm dreaming."

She decided to let that last one slide, because she felt the same way. None of it seemed real.

Know there's no life after you

"How could you still love me? After what I said?" Her face curled into a mask of confusion, and tears.

"Because you still love me." Neal allowed himself a step closer, and another, and another, until he was close enough to reach out and touch her.

"I really do, love you," Kate whispered. "I can't think of why I would say that I didn't, when it only hurt both of us. I loved you, and every day I was away, it was agony."

"For both of us." Neal took the last step, resting his hands on her upper arms. "Whatever you have to tell me, whatever you have to confess, it can wait for tomorrow. Right now, you're here, and I love you, and you love me."

Kate smiled. "I love you."

Neal smiled back. "I love you too."

And he kissed her.

Know there's no life after you, yeah

June sat in the dark, and watched the young, dark-haired woman go up the steps to Neal's living space. "That must be Kate, "she whispered to the picture of her husband on her lap. She took a sip of wine, then heard a knock, and the squeak of a door, then the closing of the door a few seconds later. Kate didn't come back downstairs, and June winked at Byron. "See? I told that boy it was magic."

Oh my god I'm done! This took me a long time to write, but I'm proud of it, nonetheless. I don't own White Collar or Life After You by Daughtry.

~DI4MGZ~