The Dutchman's Revenge
Spoilers for season 1.
References to Pilot episode.
Neal had been sleeping up until the annoying buzzing sound that woke him. It wasn't the alarm on the clock radio but his cell. He rolled over and pulled the item towards him, glancing down at the number and the time on the screen. It was Peter and it was early. He clicked a button and pushed the cell to his ear as he continued to lay in bed.
"It's my day off. What's up?" Neal sounded testy but really he was glad to hear from Peter. He liked having days off but lately he'd missed hanging out with the agent and his wife. They'd been busy with various other projects which left Neal to fend for himself when it came to having plans for dinner or going out. He could hear Peter speaking quietly on the other end of the phone.
"Sorry, I had a case file come up you might be able to... help me with." Peter's words made Neal perked up a bit, sitting up in bed as he leaned back against the backboard.
"Sure. Where do you want me to meet you?" Neal listened as Peter gave him the address of a subway station, which was odd in itself but he took the address down and told him he'd be there ASAP. He pulled himself out of bed, replacing his cell on the nightstand. Neal was still pretty sleepy having expected to sleep in for once but it was good to visit with Peter especially if it meant a case he could run free on.
He showered and shaved in record time, threw on one of many nice suits so kindly provided by June and tossed on the fedora he'd learned to love. He took a quick glance at himself in the full-length mirror before grabbing up his phone, coat and wallet and making his way out and down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs he pulled on his coat and buttoned up, wrapping a dark cashmere scarf around his neck. It was still chilly in NYC despite it being April. Neal made his way outside and caught a cab to the subway station.
Neal was deep in thought as he tried to wake himself up along the way. It was strange that Peter would call him on a day off for a case but it stranger that he would ask him to meet at a subway station. Maybe the Taurus was broken or El had it, he wondered about this as he sat in the back of the taxi staring out the window at the passing scenery. Finally the cab stopped, Neal paid and stepped out into the chilly morning air. He walked the half a block to the station and down the stairs. The station was unusually "quiet" for a weekday morning which made Neal wonder again why Peter asked to meet him here.
He took the last few steps, two at a time hearing the sound of a train pass by and disappear into the distance. Neal looked around the empty terminal and started walking slowly, his footsteps echoing in the quiet of the tunnel. Peter was no where to be seen but he knew this was the place and time. Neal checked his watch.
"Neal..." Peter's voice rang out in the silence of the tunnel, echoing slightly. There was an odd tinge to it that made the young man hesitate as he turned to face his partner and friend.
"Peter? Everything ok?" He was beginning to think something was up, Peter's demeanor different than usual. The agent shrugged weakly, face ragged looking and tired. Neal started to walk towards him when Peter held up a hand making him stop. That's when another figure popped out behind a pillar near his friend. Neal took a moment to recognize the figure: round face, thin brown hair, roman nose... Curtis Hagen, The Dutchman. He saw the man grin at him menacingly as recognition hit.
"Hello, Mister Caffrey. Glad you could make it to this little rendezvous. Your "friend" here was kind enough to lead me straight to you." Curtis Hagen's tone was dark and unforgiving and very European. Neal noticed the man held a gun to Peter unseen until now. Neal gulped, noticing the fear in his friend's eyes that he had only guessed at. He had to act cool, talk the man down and make sure Peter was safe.
"Curtis Hagen. How's the art forgery business going?" Neal tried to appear unperturbed by the situation but it was hard with Peter being held at gun point. Curtis chuckled lightly, a not so friendly smile on his face.
"Not so good since I was arrested but now I'm out and well... I thought you might be able to pay back the debt you owe me. I lost quite a bit of "face" with your little "visit." If you choose to help a fellow art forger out, I might not kill your "friend" here." Hagen pulled a hand around Peter's chest, pinning his arms and held the gun to the agent's chin. Neal nodded slowly, hands up watching the scene play out as he tried to figure how to get Peter to safety. Hagen wasn't playing games. He continued to act as cool as he could, a stiff smile on his lips.
"Hagen, what do you want?" Neal kept his tone low and obviously cautious. He didn't want to cause anything to happen to Peter and Hagen seemed more than aware of that. The man grinned evilly.
"For one, I'd like to have the Spanish Victory Bond again. I know you can get it for me." Hagen continued to hold the gun under Peter's chin dangerously. Neal blinked at the man's words, wondering what the man was thinking. He'd never be able to sell the piece. He saw Hagen observing him and nodded reluctantly.
"Ok. Anything else?" Hagen just smiled at Neal's obvious helplessness.
"That would be it for now." Hagen waved him away with the gun as if he were an errant child late for school.
"Get along. You have three hours to get this done or I shoot your "friend" and I don't think his wife would take kindly to that." Hagen clucked his tongue condescendingly making Neal want to strangle the man but he had to be cool. He nodded tersely in reply, giving Peter a "hold on" look as he turned to exit the terminal.
Peter Burke was tired. He had just spent the past 24 hours or so on a stakeout with little sleep. Neal was off this case so he had sat it out with Jones in the municipal truck. They were both wired for when they needed to leave the vehicle and made their way closer to get images or else just take a break. The agency had gotten into the habit of having everyone wired during most cases for safety's sake.
"Jones, I'm heading home. You ok?" He heard a slight crackle of movement then a reply.
"Yeah boss. Get some sleep. I'll call you if anything comes up." Jones sounded pretty alert but he had only been on the scene a couple of hours. Peter nodded, making his way to his car down the block. He was in the middle of a yawn, hand over his mouth, eyes partially closed when someone bumped him coming from in front. Peter took a step back, saying: Excuse me but the man didn't move and that's when he heard the cocking of a pistol. Something was jabbed into his stomach and the man looked up into the agent's eyes. Peter blinked recognizing the man.
"Hello, Friend." Peter swallowed hard at the man's words, the unmistakable accent of Curtis Hagen. He had put this man away with Neal's help within a few weeks of bringing the young con out of prison. Hagen looked pissed but smiled.
"I'll just relieve you of this." Hagen reached inside Peter's jacket and pulled his piece out, dropping it into his pocket. He moved behind Peter and pushed the gun into his back.
"Curtis Hagen, when did you get out?" Peter felt the gun pressed into his back and his voice went high at the end, a little laugh coming from Hagen. Peter moved forward slowly towards his car unsure of what was going to happen.
"Don't worry, Friend. I'm not going to shoot you... yet." Peter gulped, pulling out his keys and opening up the vehicle. Hagen stopped the agent from going in, putting a hand on his shoulder as he pushed the gun against the back of Peter's neck. The agent froze waiting for something to happen. It did. Peter felt a crack on the back of his neck at the base of his skull, collapsing against the vehicle as he passed out.
Jones sat in the municipal truck listening to footsteps walking on the pavement. He laughed to himself. Peter must really be exhausted if he forgot to take his receiver out of his ear. The agent was about to say something when he heard Peter speak followed by the sound of what could only be described as the "cocking" of a pistol. Jones perked up wanting to respond but he remained quiet, listening to everything in hopes he might figure out a way to help.
"Hello, Friend." Silence followed the voice, a European accent maybe British. The voice spoke again.
"I'll just relieve you of this." Jones listened as there was movement.
"Curtis Hagen, when did you get out?" Peter spoke but his voice held something that sounded like fear. Jones continued to listen till he heard what sounded like a blunt object hitting something solid and a groan from his boss. Jones immediately picked up his cell and began calling Hughes, while still keeping tabs on the situation. Apparently Hagen was driving Peter's car and talking on his own cell to someone. The man didn't know Peter was wired which was a good thing.
"This better be good... Jones?" Hughes sounded sleepy. Jones let the director know what was up and heard a bellow on the other side.
"Get someone on your stakeout and take over this operation, you heard me Jones?" Hughes sounded like he was walking into another room, the sound of a door closing nearby. He continued to bellow out commands before they ended the call. Jones sighed, calling up other people as ordered and waking up people as necessary.
Peter woke up a few hours later, his head throbbing. He tried to move but found himself handcuffed to a pipe in a utility room of some kind. He could smell exhaust and hear the sound of trains. It made his head ache more, the vibration shaking the whole structure. He groaned, something stuffed in his mouth, tape pulled over his lips tightly. He tried to move but hung from the piping, steam burning at his wrists, his feet barely touching the floor. He heard a sound from behind him, trying to turn and saw Hagen standing there in a doorway.
"Ah, you're awake. Good. I need you to make a phone call to your partner." Hagen walked over, gun in hand. Peter blinked at the man, seeing his cell in the other hand. Hagen pulled the tape and rag from Peter's mouth and held the cell to his ear. The agent coughed listening as the number rang then finally picked up.
"It's my day off. What's up?" Neal sounded testy. Peter glanced over at Hagen and the gun speaking quietly.
"Sorry, I had a case file come up you might be able to... help me with." Peter's voice was hesitant from having been gagged and knocked out. Neal didn't seem to notice.
"Sure. Where do you want me to meet you?" Neal seemed excited unaware of the trap he was walking into. Peter gave him the directions to the subway station, ending the call quickly. Hagen hung up the cell and smiled smugly.
"Good work, friend. You'll live a while longer today." Peter glared at the man despite feeling exhausted and dizzy. Hagen returned the gag to the agent's mouth and unlocked one cuff, Peter collapsing to the floor. He felt his arms pulled back and recuffed as Hagen pulled him up to his feet.
"Come along. Your partner is waiting." Hagen yanked the federal agent by the cuffs out of the small utility room, Peter just barely keeping up.