-1That Voodoo that you do...

(this story is in part inspired by
one of the very first movies rated PG13
that I saw as a kid that scared me silly:
Dreamscape.)

Neal didn't understand what was going on till it was too late. The agent with him was caught unawares as well. Neal just knew that he saw Sam twitching and writhing in the suspect's hands when nothing should have been happening. He made to help the other agent when two sets of strong hands pulled him back and held him, one black gloved hand over his mouth to keep him silent. All he could do was watch in helpless horror as Sam's eyes widened ever so much more then rolled back and closed. The agent's head fell limply forward, chin resting on his chest as he sat in the chair. The suspect, a so-called 'guru' of religious enlightenment named Hajimari Goru, smiled and turned to Neal.

"Seems you are not what you seem. But soon you will know that I take what I want. You will be my followers. Your friend will break and so will you, Mr. Caffrey." Goru's words made Neal pause. How did he know his real name? It didn't make sense when they had been doing well in disguise up till now.

"Take his friend to rest and bring Mr. Caffrey to sit in his place." Goru smiled menacingly, Neal struggling to free himself as he watched two other men carry Sam off.

"Please have a seat, Mr. Caffrey. You won't want to leave once we have our little 'consultation.' All my clients have one and never wish to leave my bankroll empty once I've 'helped' them over their problems." Goru continued to smile as Neal was forced into the chair but not tied down. The two men who held him moved back ever so slightly although he heard the cock of the gun from one.

"What are you going to do to me?" Neal spoke softly, trying hard not to be afraid. He turned slightly to look at the goons.

"Don't mind them. You won't mind anything once we're done. Relax, Mr. Caffrey. Your friend told me all about you during our consultation just now. I want to learn more." Goru held out his hands towards Neal, dark green eyes glittering at the con who tried not to make eye contact. The man laughed.

"My eyes are not what you should be afraid of. You noticed I wore gloves until now. There is a reason for that." Goru's hands were thin and rather artistic looking. Nothing seemed wrong with them that Neal could see. There were no burns or scars but something about what the man said and how he had held Sam's face and hand had scared him. He pushed back into the chair as much as he could although he wasn't tied down. That was another thing that confused him. Why wasn't he tied up? Then it happened.

While Neal watched Guru's right hand reaching for his face, he didn't notice the left touch his own. It was like an electrical shock as he felt himself drugged it seemed into submission. Just the touch to his hand, light as it was made him lean back into the chair and almost pass out. He was conscious but he felt subdued as if he had been given something. He saw Goru smile.

"Excellent! Now to see what you know. It won't hurt... much." The man chuckled evilly, Neal unable to respond beyond a roll of his eyes to watch the man's hand touch gently at his temple. Neal gasped, mouth gaping to scream but unable to as the other hand continued to touch his own and keep him still by some mysterious means.

Neal seemed to find himself in some other place. He didn't know where or how but he was in a room, sterile and white. He looked around to find he was tied to a gurney securely, arms and body immobile. A figure in white approached that he recognized almost immediately. It was Goru.

"Hello, Mr. Caffrey. Welcome to your subconscious. I intend to pick every bit of information I can to see how useful you are to my organization. I do it with all my members. Those I cannot use, well they simply end their own lives with nobody the wiser. Let's hope you don't qualify for that group." The man smiled, Neal struggling against the bonds without success. The man tut tutted at him.

"Don't be in such a rush. The road to true enlightenment is slow and steady like the turtle. I'll take my time with you. You seem an interesting specimen." Goru slowly pulled on latex gloves and a nurse appeared with a small portable table that was covered.

"Where am I? What is this place?" Neal felt like he was dreaming but he was awake. Goru pulled the sheet off the small table to reveal medical implements. Neal gulped at the severity of them.

"I won't demonstrate these on you yet, but your colleague. He is still with us. One touch is all it takes to bring someone over. Nurse, will you please roll the other patient inside?" The nurse, faceless and with a mask over her mouth nodded and left. A few minutes later she returned with another gurney holding Agent Sam Jackson. He looked terrified, staring across as he saw Neal.

"Caffrey? Where are we? No... don't touch me!" He started to scream when the nurse and a few other faceless figures in scrubs started to hold him down and pull tools off the table. Goru smiled.

"Your friend is not useful to me but I wanted to demonstrate a few of my 'techniques' at dealing with spies and unbelievers. Nurse, if you will." Goru pointed at a nasty looking dental device that obviously held the mouth open. The nurse grabbed it and with some effort placed it in the agent's mouth. Sam struggled but the implement kept his mouth open while another tool was taken, a large scalpel. Neal was made to watch as the nurse slowly cut the agent's tongue out. Sam gave a muffled scream, another nurse searing what was left of the tongue with a hot iron to stop the bleeding. Sam thrashed a little while before he finally fell limp and his eyes went dim. He wasn't dead but he had obviously gone into shock.

Neal turned his head away as much as he could and threw up over the side of the bed. When he had gotten over the worse of his shock he felt nothing but anger and rage at what had happened.

"You bastard! What the hell kind of sick crap are you doing here?" Neal thrashed, trying to free himself as he saw Goru approach him, face close to his.

"This is my talent. I can enter your mind and find out all your deepest, darkest secrets and make you do what I wish. It feels just as real as being awake and I do little harm to the body. Your friend will never speak again and nobody will know why. He's nothing but a shell now. His mind has been broken because of what he thinks has happened to him. We'll leave him where the FBI will most likely find him. You on the other hand... hmmm..." Goru smiled again, looking up as a monitor appeared to the side. He watched the screen as images appeared. Neal turned his head to look and saw memories... his memories up there like a movie.

"I see much potential in your talents. I could use a man like you. If you came willingly, it would be so much nicer than what I had to do to your associate there." Goru continued to smile, Neal looking at Sam as they wheeled him out of the virtual room and out of sight.

"Whatever this is, it's not real. You won't fool me and I won't do anything you ask." Neal gazed up at the man looking in those green eyes finally and glared rebelliously. Goru chuckled but it was a dark, low sound that made Neal shiver.

"Fine, I prefer seeing how long it takes to break a man with my talents." Goru pulled the table with the tools closer and waved his hand over it as if unsure what tool to pick. Neal watched as the nurses came back and made a circle around him. Their unmarked faces devoid of anything but a hint of mouth and eyes frightened him.

Goru finally turned and with his gloved hand touched the young man's chest briefly. A nurse nodded and opened up his shirt till his chest was bared. Goru touched Neal's chest again but there was an odd sensation as the man's hand began to ease slowly through his skin and disappear into his chest. He could feel the fingers move and wrap around his heart, at first gently then more tightly. Neal gasped as he felt his heart fight to pump through the clamping of Goru's fingers.

"Do you feel that I have your life in my hands, Mr. Caffrey? Just one tight squeeze and your heart will stop. If I pull it out, you will be dead instantly. Nobody will know it was anything but a natural heart attack." The man continued to grasp his heart, Neal struggling to keep it together as he felt his body start to shudder in response.

"It's... a dream." He muttered, trying to keep himself alive. He was dreaming. He had to remember that or he was going to be nothing more than a vegetable like Sam or worse, dead.

"Dream... I'm having... a... nightmare." He kept fighting it despite the pain in his chest. He felt those thin fingers digging into the flesh of his heart when suddenly he screamed and passed out.

()()()

Peter was worried when they didn't hear anything for a while from Neal or Sam. Both had gone in posing as potential clients for a so-called enlightenment guru named Hajimaru Goru. The man claimed to heal the sick and cure the ills of those with problems. Some people swore he could do all he said but they had received a few cases of people who said their relatives ended up dead after visiting the man. They had committed suicide it seemed on their own but not until they had signed away all their monies to Goru. It had been decided that Neal and Sam would go in as two business associates with business problems wanting help. Neal used his Nick Halden alias and Sam went in as Jason Myers. It had worked up until the consultation when everything went insane.

The two-way mic had been working but they heard very little due to some odd interference suddenly that seemed to feedback into the mic. Peter took that as a sign to pull their people out and go in. They had a warrant to search the place but had hoped to get something juicier with Neal and Sam undercover. So far they had heard very little except that Neal suspected the man of doing something dirty. Each of the consultations was private with only associates able to sit in on them. That was why Neal had been allowed into Sam's but then everything went quiet as the feedback happened over the two-way. It gave Peter a chill, knowing something was wrong.

"We have to go in now! I feel some thing's wrong. Get everyone ready for the storm." Peter saw Jones nod and everyone was in their gear and ready. They exited the van and ran across the field to the stone wall and metal gate that surrounded the compound just outside of NYC. Someone picked the lock and they were in.

Peter paused about halfway when they heard a scream over the earpiece. It was Neal. He was gasping for air and screaming in a stifled manner. A choking sound followed that drew cold chills up and down the agent's spine. He hurried his pace and they stormed into the building quickly subduing most of the guards. There were several rooms but none of them seemed to have Neal. Finally they found an ornate door to the back of the compound that was away from everything else. It was locked so they batted it down and entered.

Peter entered the room after the SWAT team seeing Neal slumped in a chair, eyes staring ahead blankly as his head leaned back and over the chair, mouth agape. His face was pale, a thin sheet of sweat across his face. A man in his 60s, with platinum gray hair. apparently of Asian descent was crouched over him, one hand holding Neal's right hand in his and the other hand touching the young man's temple lightly. Neal's body shuddered ever so slightly as he lay there in the chair.

Peter ran forward despite the two armed men behind Neal. Jones and crew subdued them and Peter pushed the older man aside breaking their touch. Almost immediately, Neal's body relaxed and he seemed to twitched slightly in relief as his blue eyes rolled back and closed. Peter shook the young man gently.

"Neal? Neal wake up! Neal!" He kept shaking the young man but he didn't respond except for a rasping breath. He felt cool, shuddering with each touch as Peter tried to revive him.

"Man down! We need a paramedic here! Someone find Sam!" Peter yelled into his walkie-talkie as he turned to look at the older man who glared up at him with a self-satisfying smile as he pulled some white gloves over his hands.

"What the hell did you do to my partner?" Peter looked about to kill the man but Jones motioned for two agents to pick the man up and lead him away. Peter turned when the man spoke.

"His heart may not take the shock of what just happened. You should have let me finish." The man's tone was full of dark humor, a chuckle escaping his lips. Peter turned back to Neal and shook him again.

"Neal, it's Peter. Wake up!" He slapped the young man's face when he wouldn't respond. He heard an answering cough as if the young man had just been pulled from a body of water. The cough was wet, Neal shifting slightly. Finally his eyes fluttered open, those deep blue eyes staring blankly ahead before focusing on their surroundings and Peter. Neal blinked a few times before he his lips twitched and he tried to speak.

"Pe... ter?" His eyes looked haunted by something before the young man convulsed, overturning the chair. Peter held him down flat on the floor, pulling off his tie and putting it in the young man's mouth to keep his tongue in place.

"Where are the paramedics?" Peter held Neal down as much as he could, Jones helping him. Neal continued to thrash as if having a seizure. Finally a group of men in white appeared and started working on Neal.

"He's having an epileptic seizure. Anyone know if he's taking meds?" The EMT looked at Peter and Jones, but both shrugged.

"He's not epileptic. I know that for certain but he may have been given something. I don't know what." Peter stood back, running a hand through his hair worriedly as he watched the EMT's work on his partner. Jones patted him on the shoulder.

"He'll be ok, Peter."

Neal was finally stabilized after what seemed forever. Peter went with the younger man in the ambulance, trying to figure out what went wrong. Another ambulance was taking Sam who apparently had a seizure of some kind but was unresponsive and in a catatonic state. Until both men were at the hospital and given a full examination, nobody could say what had happened to them.

Peter held Neal's hand in his, speaking softly. The younger man seemed to respond by squeezing his hand if he tried to remove it. He had the feeling Neal was afraid of something but until he woke up, he wouldn't know what had happened.

()()()

The examinations on both men came back negative. Neither had been given anything that would have caused their symptoms. Everything seemed to be natural, Sam having reacted to something highly stressful that caused what they think was a stroke. The man was in the prime of his health and barely 35. There was no explanation to what happened to either man. Neal seemed to have come through a little bit better but it looked like his heart had taken a beating. He had some indications of bruising on his heart that could not be explained by the doctors. They suggested a temporary regiment of aspirin and a small dosage of nitroglycerin till they were sure his heart had healed. In the meantime he was not to over exert himself.

Peter took everything in stride but worried about his friend who had still not waken up after two days. They said he was still resting from whatever trauma had bruised his heart. He would wake up when his body had healed. Sam was in ICU even though he had been stabilized. The fact he was in a coma despite everything indicating he should be fine puzzled the doctors. They wanted to make sure they kept him under close observation should the same affect Neal.

On the third day, Neal finally woke up. He looked terrified, sitting up and staring around the white room in fear. It took three orderlies and Peter's voice to calm him down. Even after all of that, Neal insisted Peter stay with him alone and the orderlies leave. Nurses and doctors seemed to frighten him more so than usual. Neal looked about to run when the doctor came in to check his vitals. Once they had gone, Neal seemed to calm down a bit.

"Neal, how are you feeling? We were worried about you." Peter didn't hide his concern for his friend, just glad the young man had waken up. He kept thinking about Sam's catatonic form in ICU.

"Peter, I'm awake, right? Those are real nurses and doctors?" Neal's question was odd but he seemed sincerely afraid of something. Peter nodded, holding his friend's hand in his own.

"Yes, they're real. Why do you ask? Does this have something to do with what happened to you and Sam?" Peter regretted saying the agent's name when he saw the wide eyed look of horror on his partner's face.

"Sam... Goru did horrible things to him!" Neal looked about three shades paler and nauseated, Peter pulling a wastebasket close so the young man could vomit. Once he stopped, Neal leaned back on the pillows and closed his eyes, his breath raspy.

"He... got inside... our heads. Peter. How did he... do that?" Neal's eyes popped open and he looked at his friend helplessly as if asking for some answer. That spark he normally had was replaced with absolute fear. Peter grabbed some tissue and wiped his friend's mouth and offered him some water. Neal drank hungrily before he leaned back exhausted yet again.

"I don't understand. How did he get inside your head, Neal? Some kind of hypnosis?" Peter was trying to understand what happened when Neal shook his head, his eyes still shut.

"No... he just 'touched' my hand and then my temple and he was inside. I don't know how it worked. Goru... he reached inside and squeezed my heart with his hand!" Neal started to get agitated as he spoke, hands grasping at the bed tightly, his breath growing ragged as he began to hyperventilate. Peter brushed the young man's hair from his face gently, speaking low and trying to calm him.

"It's ok, Neal. I'm here and Goru is in jail. He won't be getting out. We didn't get the proof we needed but what he did to you and Sam was enough to put him away. If Sam dies, he will never get out of prison. You're safe." Peter tried to be as convincing as he could, feeling the young man begin to calm a bit, eyes opening.

"Sam... he didn't... deserve what happened. He thinks..." Neal stopped speaking, his face suddenly relaxing as he passed out. His face was flushed, skin pale. Peter checked his pulse and it was rapid but normal. He had just fainted from exhaustion. The young man seemed more vulnerable than usual, Peter wanting to know how someone could break a person in so little time. He might have to go talk with Goru himself.