A/N: Big thanks for everyone who comment and put this story in alert! This is for you guys! So I'm back with this story but please read carefully and don't kill me - well, not YET! And anticipating your questions it's not last chapter :) But next will be after New Year so I wish you all happy holidays!
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar or the characters, just having some fun with them.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
When he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was thick white fog surrounding him on all sides. Horrible cold painfully stabbed in every part of his body like a frozen needles. He could feel the heat escaping from him, as his warm breath blow around into his face, then turned into an icy blast, imbued with flecks of ice.
He stretched out his hand uncertainly ahead and took a step, unsure whether he has stable ground under him. He moved slowly at first and quietly and then started to run, ignoring the piercing cold attacking his throat and lungs.
He could feel his heart pounding heavily in his chest. He turned around.
Nothing but whiteness.
He made a step forward and suddenly lost his balance.
He began to fall.
He screamed . . . screamed . . . screamed from entire lungs, as never before in his life.
Finally, he hit the hard ground with enormous power.
Darkness and cold surrounded him everywhere. He lay motionless, with no sign of life, and his blood flowed out of his mouth. Suddenly, an immense pain pierced his flesh and viscera.
The first gulp of air and the awareness of life hurt immensely. Closed eyelids slowly and carefully, with great reluctance, opened. Misty eyes stared into the void. He tried to say something, to scream, but only moved his lips. Everywhere was heard the beating of his heart, which seemed to struggle in his chest like a young bird trapped in a cage. Bright lights illuminated the place, in which he was located, and in the corner of his eye Neal saw with horror that he wasn't alone on the floor.
Near him lay bloodied body.
"It's your fault, Neal," he heard Kate's familiar voice.
"Your," repeated the echo Mozzie.
"Your fault," came to him voices of Peter and Elizabeth. "Because of you we all died."
No, no, no . . .
That's not true . . . can't be!
Suddenly a strange sound came to him.
The light dimmed, so that now only a thin stream illuminated motionless Caffrey's body.
Something was coming inexorably and Neal struggled helplessly, unable to get up and escape. Several large spiders covered his body, driving its legs under his skin.
Neal gave only a silent scream. . .
In the room there was a sudden and shrill beeping when Neal woke up in horror, rising up nearly out of bed to a sitting position and desperately trying to pull a needle from an IV pole and a plastic tube stuck into his nose, that was delivering oxygen.
"Neal, Neal . . . everything's OK . . . hey . . . relax," Peter tried to calm him to no avail.
"Please, hold him down" quickly said a nurse injecting a sedative to drip.
Peter hugged Caffrey as delicately as he could, and when he felt the young man relaxes under the influence of the drug, carefully arranged him back on the bed.
Peter was becoming increasingly furious with this situation.
He hated when he had his hands tied. They tried to figure out who kidnapped Neal, killed Fowler and took the music box, but in vain. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. Once they found a clue, they always came to the impasse. These people were very good and had connections at the top. All evidence, all the witnesses suddenly disappeared.
Someone demolished Diana's apartment, painted on the wall: "This was one of those nights where there is no hope for the dawn." Quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Were they suggesting something?
Trashed room and the inscription could only mean one thing - they were to leave this case.
But that wasn't the end.
Someone tried to frighten Elizabeth and June. Someone almost smashed Jones, when he was crossing the road, while he was speaking with Peter over the phone.
Who the hell were those people?
"I searched entire Neal's apartment and guess what I discovered, my dear suit friend?" Mozzie began mysteriously, as they talked in one of mysterious places, reminiscent of old plant. When they entered the roof Peter saw perfectly neat garden.
"Impress me" snapped nervously Burke, sitting on a wooden bench.
"Our enemies could take the music box, but they won't open it without it," Mozzie pulled from his jacket pocket a golden part of the music box that was the key. Peter looked at him amazed, but not entirely surprised. After as long as he have worked with Neal and Mozzie, he could expect anything from them.
"You know that they will be looking for it?" He said, knowing that Mozzie will hide it somewhere safe. But he had to remember the fact that they were playing with dangerous opponent, who had his people everywhere, and they already got Mozzie once.
"Be careful," he said, although he knew very well that he didn't need to.
"Keep an eye on our friend," replied Mozzie. "They may have music box and records, but they don't have me, Neal and Suits" he threw out, walking away.
"What do we do, sir?" Jones asked as the three of them met at the office. This whole situation was slightly bigger than them. It would appear that their opponent is always one step ahead of them and is blocking their every single move.
"For now, nothing. We guard Neal in the hospital and we pretend that we left the case of the music box. Let it calm down. We'll look and see if our opponents don't do any unfortunate for them moves," he decreed sharply, seeing tired faces of his friends.
"Keep your eyes wide open," he commanded sternly.
When he entered the dark hospital room he found Caffrey conscious, propped high on the pillows, with his glassy eyes fixed on the large, dark window.
"Neal, finally our prince woke up," Peter tried to keep loose and light mood between them. He walked closer and looked carefully at his friend, who seemed not at all respond to the presence of the agent. "Neal?" Burke touched Caffrey's arm, who looked at him as if first time seeing him.
"Hey," he whispered. "Didn't notice you coming in, you said something?"
"How do you feel?" Peter asked, sitting on a chair beside the bed.
"There were better times. You don't have anything, right?" Neal looked away.
"No, but I don't give up. We have a backup plan," Burke assured him. He didn't want Caffrey to worry. The only thing he should focus was getting back to health as soon as possible.
He didn't expect Caffrey's reaction, who grabbed his hand and looked, scared, straight into his eyes.
"No, please, Peter!"
"Neal . . . " Peter knew that Neal isn't now able to think rationally under the influence of all those drugs and antibiotics, that he is wounded and in shock. But then Peter . . .
"Promise you'll drop any further investigations," in Neal eyes was fever and fear. He began to tremble all over the body. "Please . . . I don't want anything bad happening to you because of me."
"Hey, we'll be all right," he assured. He lied in good faith, seeing in what condition Caffrey was. At this time, Neal didn't need to know.
Then the nurse came into the room.
"Hello, gentlemen," she greeted them pleasantly and went to check out all the machinery that surrounded the patient. On a tray, which she kept in her hand, she had a syringe.
"Time for antibiotics," she explained, seeing Peter's uncertain face. She made an injection and went out leaving them alone.
Peter wanted to ask Neal something, when he suddenly clutched his hand tighter and squeezed his eyes in pain.
"Neal!"Burke sprang from his chair and picked up the button to summon help.
"It hurts," Neal whispered with despair in his voice, not being able to draw air into lungs and tears flowed down his cheeks.
Peter stood by the door watching helplessly as team of doctors is fighting for Neal's life.
He knew that for good of his friend he must make a very drastic decision. So when the doctor turned to him, Peter only nodded his head in sign of assent.
Machine utter a shrill, flat sound and on the monitor labeled as green, solid line.
Neal Caffrey died on 20 October at 17:45...