Thefts That Didn't Happen as Planned

By PaBurke

Fandom: DC Comics

Word Count: 300


The Degas painting had been bought from a gallery eight years ago. The exchange had been so discreet that Neal hadn't heard a whisper of the current owner. So when he happened to see the Degas in the background of a police officer's private photo, he knew that he had hit the jackpot.

Discovering the officer's schedule was easy. Picking the lock of the apartment was cake. Walking out of the apartment with the framed painting was a bit of a challenge, but with a box from a nearby mirror store Neal was set. No one looked twice at him.

He figured that he was scot-free.

Then a voice woke him out of a deep sleep, by calling his name, his real name and not the alias that he had been using. Officer Grayson was sitting on the end of his bed, in full uniform. He was double-checking the painting for damage. Neal couldn't help but to wince at the dirty boots on the bed sheets.

"You stole from me," Grayson stated.

"It won't happen again."

"Good. The painting was a gift from a happier time. I like having it where I can see it and not hidden away in some Charleston warehouse."

That was too specific. Yeah, Neal had a Charleston warehouse stash, but this Blüdhaven cop shouldn't know that. "How did you find me?"

Grayson shrugged and Neal decided that he would learn that shrug. "I am a detective. Stay out of my home." Garyson let himself out of Neal's apartment and –considering that half of the Blüdhaven police department should have been under indictment for brutality- Neal considered himself lucky.

He did pack up all of his belongings and leave Blüdhaven. While he was in transition, he moved his Charleston, North Carolina, stash to Charleston, South Carolina.