For SignedSealedWritten. Written to – hopefully – satisfy your prompt. I dedicate this to you. Thank you.
This is an extended/missing scene from the White Collar season two finale, "Point Blank," assuming that Mozzie did die.
I wrote a fic for the end of the season one finale, wherein Kate died, titled Running. Now I have made this one to portray what I think could have happened if Mozzie died.
Neal Caffrey ran at a full sprint.
He didn't care where he was going. All he wanted to do was run. All he wanted was to get away.
Peter drove. Neal sat in the passenger seat, his wide eyes scanning the streets for any sign of his friend. Peter was talking but Neal only caught bits and pieces. He did manage to understand that Peter wanted him to tell him where Mozzie was.
His arms pumped at his sides and his legs leapt forward in great strides. The wind ripped through his hair, making the soft curls bounce with every step. He ran blindly, the wind stinging his eyes. His mouth was open with ragged breaths, the wind making his throat raw. The wind was all around him and seemed only to be hindering his run rather than help it.
Mozzie was a man of habit and Neal knew that at this time, the little guy chose to have a cup of tea on a park bench. Neal relayed this message numbly and the car screeched around the corner towards the destination. Peter put a police light on his dashboard and drove faster.
He raced through crowds, ignoring the people that had to step aside to allow him to pass, their glaring eyes going unnoticed by Neal. In tight spaces where the sidewalks were chocked with people, he bumped blindly against those that couldn't move out of his way fast enough. He didn't stop.
They made it to the park and Neal jumped out of the car before it had even stopped. Peter parked immediately and followed after Neal, his hand ready on his gun. Neal walked quickly, a pace just below a trot and moved forward through the park. While Mozzie liked to have his tea in the park every day, his paranoia had him sitting on a different bench each time. Now they had to find him.
He ran on the sidewalks, often running into traffic as he crossed the street to keep going in a straight line. He just wanted to get as far away as fast as possible. Going straight was the best way to do it. The cars honked angrily but they fell on deaf ears.
Peter saw him first and called to Neal. They ran over to a bench where a bald man was tipped over as if he had taken a nap. But Neal quickly realized that Mozzie was not sleeping. The red stain over his chest was proof of that. Neal staggered back as Peter knelt in front of the smaller man, checking for a pulse. Peter turned, eyes flashing, and demanded that Neal call an ambulance.
At some point, a loud beep resounded from the tracker on Neal's anklet, informing the ex-con that he had run past his radius. But Neal didn't slow or turn around. In fact, he hadn't heard the beep at all. He just kept running, the cold air scraping down his sore throat.
The ambulance came and medics bustled around Mozzie. They lifted him onto a gurney, shouting medical jargon that Neal didn't have the current mentality to translate. He just kept his gaze locked onto that listless little man with the bloodied and motionless chest.
Neal stumbled and brushed up against a stone wall he hadn't acknowledged until now. He didn't pause to catch his breath. Panting, he pushed himself away and staggered down the alley he had run down. His legs felt wobbly beneath his body and his chest heaved with every aching breath.
Peter was talking to one of the medics. The medic shifted his gaze to Neal and dropped his voice for only Peter to hear. He said only a few words and then turned away quickly to jump into the ambulance after Mozzie. But Neal could tell by the look on the agent's face what he had already feared.
Mozzie was dead. Just like Kate.
He was now officially alone.
Neal broke free of the alley into a pocket of empty space. Forlorn buildings rose up on all sides and alleys snaked through them. He stumbled into the small clearing where the sun strewn straight down upon him from the sky. But he felt no warmth.
Neal fell to his knees and slammed his clenched fists against the concrete ground. He bowed his head between his arms, his nose inches from the ground, his back arched forward. He clenched his jaw until it hurt and curled back his lips to bare his teeth.
And then he couldn't hold it in any more.
Neal opened his mouth and screamed.
His voice tore up his raw throat and erupted from his lips. The sound echoed in the alley, assaulting his owns ears with his anguish. He screamed in the same heart-wrenching tone that he had when he lost Kate: full of sadness, anger, helplessness.
He screamed until his lungs were depleted of all air. He paused to breath in a ragged breath that burned down his throat and tried again to empty his lungs with another scream but his voice refused. A strangled cry came out instead.
He could feel that he was trembling. His back was too tense and his legs were too weak to pick him up again. He blinked open his eyes for a moment to see that the concrete below his face was already darkened with a strain from his tears. The water trickled from his face to splash against the ground, spreading into a dark blob, much like the blood that had spread from the bullet wound on Mozzie's chest.
Neal's stomach heaved but he swallowed forcibly to keep down the contents that threatened to come up.
He gasped audibly and for a few terrified seconds, he couldn't catch his breath. The wind that had previously assaulted his body now refused to aid him. He couldn't breathe and shudders ran through him with the fear that he would simply suffocate on land.
Suddenly, footsteps echoed in the quieted clearing and Neal heard someone curse. He sensed, rather than saw, someone kneel before him and then two strong arms took hold of his shoulders. He was pushed up and managed to catch a glimpse of worried brown eyes gazing out from a face flush from running. And then he was pulled forward into a warm embrace; his cheek pressed against a broad shoulder; his tears staining a tanned throat.
"Come on, Neal," a gentle, breathless voice urged with a hint of trembling fear. "Breathe."
Neal opened his mouth and tried to remember how to complete the task asked of him. He managed to suck in a ragged breath and the air returned to his lungs. He released it just as quickly and greedily gulped down more.
"That's it," the voice soothed. "Just keep breathing."
Neal took another breath, this one longer, and released it with a struggling ease. He performed this act again and again, feeling the air move in and out of his body, feeling the movement of his chest rising and falling. His breaths slowed and calmed as he felt his body relax little by little against the person that held him; falling limp so that his head slipped to slump against the person's chest.
He felt the person tense against him and then relax again with a sigh mixed with relief and compliance. A hesitant hand brushed through Neal's hair, clearing the stray strands from Neal's face. Then the hand came to a rest on top of Neal's head and stayed there, the arm blocking the empty alley from view. Neal graciously closed his eyes with an audible swallow.
And as Neal quieted, he was able to hear the heartbeat of the one that held him. It pounded dully and in a rhythmic sequence in Neal's ear, the sound oddly comforting and assuring. He became aware of the movement of the person's chest beneath his head as if rose and fell with each quivering breath.
"It's ok, Neal. I've got you. It's going to be ok."
It was a lie. But Neal wanted to believe it.
Kate and Mozzie were dead, but Peter Burke was still alive. His heart still beat and he was still breathing. Neal clung to that fact as he lifted his arms to take hold of the back of Peter's jacket.
He wasn't alone.
And Neal was alive. He was breathing. And he would keep breathing.
He would live for both Kate and Mozzie. And he'd live to stay by Peter's side.
He would breathe.
He would live.
For the ones that he had lost and for the one that he still had.
I think there is more Neal whumpage because it is easier to break him. We have seen what happens when Neal breaks. Peter is harder. We haven't seen him lose control the way Neal does. We don't know what happens when he breaks and thus find it harder to write about it.
Just a angsty little theory I came up with while writing this.
SignedSealedWritten, I don't know if you wanted a angsty fic but I hope you like it. Thanks again for the inspiration.
Until next time,