Helo there. How are you?

First: I'm so sorry I delayed the posting as If I was waiting for the sounding of the apocalypse trumpets. =O So sorry, I hope you are still interested.

Second: Somehow I lost contact with my friend trouble97018. She had given me a lot of suggestions before we couldn't contact anymore. I hope she is alright.

Fusco ran as fast as he could after Alan, but his poor physical conditioning didn't help him. He thought that maybe it was time for him to get back to the gym, well, think about it later, let's get the guy. He ran down the stairs with an energy he hadn't felt for a long time. After all, it was good to be remember how great was to be a cop… a clean one. Maybe calling the back-up would help, but he had to be sure Carter left the building with the smug son of a bitch first. Mister Batman-in-a-suit got his ass kicked out hard this time, and he deserved it… deserved it for the things he has been forcing Fusco to do and for being an assassin… Fusco wanted to believe that… well, at least the smug assassin saved lives he couldn't. Damn it Carter for driving her words into his mind.

"Damn it!" Fusco said when he stepped out of a door and saw an outdoor area of the building. Alan could have gone anywhere from there if he was able to climb the wall.

He reached for a burning area in his shoulder and noticed he was grazed, nothing serious, though. Suddenly he saw a figure running from one tree to another. He pointed the gun at the man and ran towards the tree. He knew Alan's gun was empty, but he was not sure that the guy had only one gun.

"NYPD, put your hands in the head and come out…" Fusco locked his aim and got ready to shoot at any time.

"That guy is dangerous; you should be after him, not me…"

Fusco heard a desperate voice from behind the tree and approached carefully.

"You have nowhere to go."

"He is assassin! He tried to kill me…" Alan shouted.

"Yeah…" Fusco rolled his eyes. He knew what John was and he probably agreed with Alan in that statement, but… "Come out on your own and I don't have to shoot!"

Fusco took some more steps towards the tree.

But in a moment of distraction, he found himself being suddenly tackled . Both men fell to the ground and Fusco's gun flew away from them. Alan straddled him and started hitting him. He fought dirty and Fusco was finally able to actually knock the guy out with a rock he found laid next to them.

"God… I hate you, John! I should give this guy a medal, not clobber him with a rock!" Fusco didn't really believe that. It just felt good to whine.

He breathed hard and shoved Alan off him, than he stood up and reached for his cuffs. He cuffed the guy's hands and slapped him to wake him up. He needed to find Carter.

"Wake up and get up!" Fusco commanded.

Alan opened his eyes but didn't focus on the scene because of the dizziness. Still with the gun pointed to the perpetrator, Fusco grabbed him by the shirt and put him up.

"It's a mistake…" Alan said, but still a little out.

"Shut up and walk!" Fusco reached for his cell phone and tried to call Carter.

At Some Dark Room

"It's impossible…" Finch whispered looking to John.

"We are going to need a blanket…" Carter said. "We can't carry him… he is too heavy… and we need to keep him warm, he's in shock." Carter looked at the broken puppet in her hands.

"I think I have one in the trunk!" Finch couldn't avert his gaze from John's body.

"Go get it!" She commanded when she saw Finch was still there frozen.

He walked out to get the blanket. He was completely lost and he hated it. Finch was the kind of man who always had things in control, who always knew the next step.

" 'S cold…" John croaked and she felt his breath on her neck.

"It will be over soon…" She ran her hand on his hair and re-arranged his arms on his lap to a better and comfortable position, well… if that existed on his condition… Damn it, his legs were brutally damaged.

He let out a painful breath.

"What a mess did you get yourself into, huh… ?" She lectured him, but not in a lecturing tone, more like a worried mother tone.

"Yeah…" He whispered weakly.

"You know, John… I came in desperate to kick your smug ass."

"Seems… like… everybody… wants that…" His voice was weak and he swallowed hard. He didn't know if it was blood or his thirst speaking again.

"Because you are a smug son of a bitch…" She tried to get his attention away from his pain.

"Because I'm monster, a killer…"

Carter felt her heart shattering apart like an imploding building, there was such intense emotion in his voice when he said that. She didn't have words to answer him back and she came to the conclusion that Alan not only broke John physically, but also brutally psychologically.

"Do you want some more water?"

"No…" He tried to shift himself comfortably against her body.

"Soon it will be over, John…" She held him closer.

She couldn't tell him that he wasn't a killer. Carter wasn't the kind of person who would go for white lies in order to make people feel better. White lies were as dangerous as lies themselves, even more, because they gave false hope and the only thing that came out of false hope was frustration. She would rather stay there holding him instead of comforting him with empty words.

She felt her phone vibrating and reached it in her pocket to answer.

"Carter!"

"I have him. What now?" Fusco had a tone of victory in his voice.

"Where are you?"

"Outdoor floor!"

"I need your help here!"

"Be right up!"

Carter turned her attention back at John.

"John, are you with me?" She touched his forehead when she saw he was closing his eyes and catching his breath.

"Yeah…" He whispered. "... just cold... hard to breathe…"

"I know… just hang on!"

She turned her head to see Finch entering the room with the blanket. He stretched it on the floor as fast as he could.

"Here's the blanket and some wet towels."

"He is having trouble breathing…" Carter said reaching for a towel. She began to wipe the blood on his face carefully.

"I was worried about that… We have to move fast. You help him lift his hips and I slide the blanket under him."

"John… can you lift your hips with your good leg just a little?…" Carter asked looking at his eyes.

"Don't… know…" The thought of that made John shivers and he spoke in and hesitant and desperate tone.

"You have to try… you can do it… okay… on 3…? I'll help you."

"Yeah…"

Carter helped him lift his hips and Finch slid the blanket under him with great accuracy. John moaned in pain, but it worked.

"Okay…" Carter laid his torso slowly on the blanket.

They laid John on his back. It would be bad for the burns he had there, but first of all, he needed to breathe, and another position would make it really harder than it already was. John's arms sprawled randomly on the floor and Finch kneeled beside him to rearrange them. He stared at John's wrists and thought how agonizing the situation must have been. It must have been like being in a crucifixion.

"I don't think I can carry him!" Finch stood up and looked at Carter. He had never felt so helpless before.

"It's okay, Fusco is coming… He's got Alan."

"We should remove his underwear… It's steeling warm from his body." Finch said worried.

"I'll take this off, okay…?" She kneeled back beside him and touched the waistband of his underwear on the side of his hip.

His wet underwear wasn't contributing to keep his body warm. It was wet with liquid Alan had thrown on John's body during the torture, and blood coming from the cuts on his chests and probably some urine, after all it had been 26 hours of extreme torture.

"… No… asking me… on a date…" He managed to speak, but his voice was a low whisper. Carter smiled and Finch smirked.

"Dates are for boring people!" She played his game.

She slid his underwear of his body, carefully to not graze it on the burn on his thigh. Finch helped her with that and covered John's pelvis with a towel.

"Where the hell is Fusco?" She asked worried.

Carter ran a wet towelon his face to clean the blood. She carefully cleaned the cut on his brow, and then moved to the bruising on his cheekbones.

"Back… is… burning…" John whispered with trouble breathing.

"Try cooling the burns, detective… I'll call Fusco."

"Gonna lift you to the side a little…"

She did and he moaned painfully again and that was cutting through all the tissues of Carter's heart. She started applying cool compresses on the burns of his back and wiping the blood. The silence fell upon the room and the only sound was John's irregular and difficult breathing.

"Nice tush." She made a remark and he smirked.

"Still… want to… kick it…?

"Hmm… Yes… You need some boundaries!" She smiled with the ambiguity of that statement.

"Do I… huh?"

She chuckled with his will for flirting when he couldn't even breathe! At least it would distract him of the pain.

"Where are you, detective?" Finch spoke on the phone when Fusco picked up.

"Having some trouble with trespassing the guards without being noticed. I could use a little help, by the way."

"Hang on a second!"

Finch accessed the cameras by his cell phone to help Fusco.

"Can't… breathe…" John whispered and Carter laid him back on his back. The other position was not working… so it was either the burning or the difficulty breathing.

"Come on, Fusco…" She spoke to herself and rearranged the towel on John's pelvis.

She fastened his legs just a little and carefully, so she could apply the towel on the burn on his thigh and wipe the blood coming from the cuts. The knee was in a bad condition. Blood wasn't circulating as it should and John could lose half of his leg. Also, knee fractures came with horrendous pain.

Fusco walked in the room by the same door he had run after the perpetrator in question. He had his gun pointed to Alan and made him walk by his command. Carter locked her eyes on Alan and he smirked while looking at John's body on the floor.

"Holy mother of Christ!" Fusco approached and stared at John. "Got your ass really kicked hard this time, huh…"

The look of disapproval on Carter's face made Fusco swallow hard and avert his gaze.

"Sorry…"

As they approached, Alan lost control and ran to John. Before anyone could stop him, he kicked John's ribs and spat disgustingly in his face. John tried to scream but once again it came out as a painful groan. He rolled over to his side and buried his face in his arms. Carter lost it! Grabbing Alan by the suit and jerked him away from Johnshe shoved him against the wall and cocked her fist back to hit him, then stopped.

"Coward!"

"Bitch!" Alan screamed.

"Carter!" Fusco screamed and approached. He pushed Carter away and grabbed Alan. "Calm down!" He stared at her.

She shook her head and went to John. Finch was kneeling beside him and touching his lower back. John breathed hard and moaned painfully on the floor.

"He is going to throw up…"

Finch realized and moved to turn John on his side so he wouldn't choke with his own vomit. Carter helped him and held John's head. John threw up his guts again. Damn it the pain must be terribly scaring and horrendous. Carter and Finch didn't know how John was hanging on! Maybe he was really invincible, or had some life level that Finch could load it all the time. Carter caressed his hair while he was vomiting and Finch touched his ribs to check for broken bones.

"Hmmm…. Ahm…" John moaned in pain while vomiting.

"Breathe… John… just breathe…" She wiped the spit on his face with a towel.

"Hurts… … He whispered and tried to lie on his back again, Carter helped him.

Carter felt her heart ache. Invincible…? Maybe yes… but Unbreakable… no… not so much! She wiped the vomit off his mouth and chin, and damn it. Let's move fast.

"Fusco… help me!"

"What!" He turned his head to look at Carter.

"Help me carry John."

"No way! I've already helped more than I should. I'm gonna call for back up and then grab a beer!" He claimed.

"Fusco… please!" She pleaded in a way she would never do in a normal situation. Carter was losing it! Fusco thought.

He stared at her eyes for some seconds, and she stared back. He could swear he saw her anger reflected into tears. Tears she held bravely.

"Okay… I'll help you… but it's for you, not for him!" he pointed to John.

"Shut up!" Finch exploded in a calm and peculiar way. "He is a good man. You can't even be a man!"

"Yeah, I'm dirty, I'm a coward, I'm a lot of things, but I don't go there shooting people and killing them and exploding everything along the way!" Fusco snapped.

"Enough! Knock that guy out and let's go!" Carter said and Fusco walked to Alan and hit him in the head with his gun.

Finch was frustrated he wasn't the one who could carry John. He had never felt as helpless before.

Carter helped Fusco pick up John in a fireman's carry. They lifted John carefully and started walking to the elevator. Finch accessed the cameras from his cell phone and made clear for them to go unnoticed.

"He is heavy!" Fusco claimed.

"Shut up and walk, Fusco!" Carter snapped back.

They entered the elevator with no problems.

They walked out of the building. Finch had already parked the car closer. He ran to open the backseat door while Carter and Fusco carefully laid John inside the car. "Great, now I'm all wet and blood stained.

"Shut up, Fusco!" Carter said and got inside the backseat.

She grabbed John and arranged him so his legs could be stretched through the backseat.

"Give me your coat, Fusco." Carter asked.

"Now I'll have to freeze because of him!"

"Give me your damn coat!"

He muttered but gave her the coat anyway. Carter covered John's lap and legs with it.

"You'll be fine, John… just hang on!" She whispered.

"I'll stay, call for back up and keep an eye on the guy!" Fusco said.

"Fusco…?" Carter called and he bended down to look at her inside the car.

"What…?"

"Thank you…" She stared at him.

"I'm doing this for you… not for him… He put me in a lot of trouble." He emphasized.

"Yeah… right…" She didn't actually believe that.

Fusco smirked. "Get him and his smugness to the hospital fast!"

"Stop with the whining!" She smiled and Fusco closed the door.

Finch started the car and drove fast to a near hospital.

Carter held John like he was her own son. He buried his face on her neck and stayed there, breathing with difficult and moaning and hoping all of that pain could be over soon. The cold made John's naked body shiver constantly. Finch turned the heat on, but it wasn't enough because John was also in shock. Carter was wiping the blood on his chest and abdomen while she listened to his breathing with attention. After a moment of silence, he whispered low.

"Carter…?"

"Hm…" She ran the wet towel on his abdomen. The blood seemed to not end.

"I'm sorry…"

She could swear she heard him sobbing.

"For what?"

"Everything…" He swallowed hard.

"Don't do this, John! Do you want some water?" She ran a hand over his hair.

"Yeah… hard to… breathe…"

"Just hang on…" She arranged him better on her lap.

"Here, detective…" Finch stretched his arm and gave the bottle to Carter at the backseat.

"Here…" She led the bottle to his mouth and he drank it. Once he finished, Carter put the bottle away and wiped the spilled water from his chin.

"I'm glad I met you, John… You are a brave man…"

She slid the towel slowly through his skin to wipe the blood on his chest and abdomen.

"… done… terrible things, Carter…" He seemed to be losing consciousness.

Carter looked at the rear view and saw the hurt on Finch's eyes looking at them.

"…" He let out a sob.

Oh, boy… he was going to cry again and Carter's heart would ache again. John crying was surreal.

"Just… let it out… John… let it out." She encouraged him to cry. After all he had gone through, it would be scary if he didn't cry at all.

"Can't… do that… anymore… can't… kill… horrible things… 's cold" He breathed hard and sobbed and moaned painfully.

"Nothing… is left…"Finally he couldn't hold it anymore. He cried shamelessly. He cried his shattered soul out. He cried an unknown desperation. He cried all the hurt that he had been hiding and burying inside. He watched his life through a flashback and he only saw death, coldness, victims, blood on his hands, dead bodies, good people vanishing on acids, bullets, holes; violence… desperation, pleadings for life…

"Just… let me go…" He whispered and Carter held him close.

"Don't say that!" She held a cry.

"John, John… focus on my voice…" Finch spoke. "No matter what you did, no matter how horrible was the things you did… what matters are what you do now… don't let your past leave you blind. Don't hold on to what you can't leave behind, to what it's gone… just leave it behind…"

Carter held him close and let him pour his soul out on her shoulders. She held her tears with all her forces, but eventually she couldn't avoid a drip that ran through her cheekbone.

They arrived at the emergency room and Finch checked John in with an Alias. Snow had been monitoring the Hospitals since the day he almost killed John. It was very risky to take John to a Hospital, in fact, but they had no choice.

"I've checked him in as Gregory Callum! As soon as the doctors finish his treatment, we have to take him to the library. Snow can be monitoring cameras too!" Finch approached.

Carter was sit at the waiting room with her face on her hands. She tried to hold her cry desperately and was interrupted by Finch's voice when he approached and sit beside her.

"I can't take the risk to make him go through all of this again… God knows what will happen if Agent Snow get his hands on John."

"It's not your fault!" Carter reassured him and leaned her back against the chair. She looked straight forward in order to avoid Finch to see her eyes.

After minutes of silence and only echoes from Hospital daily routines, Finch spoke.

"Thank you, detective…" He looked down at his hands.

"…"

"You didn't need to do it… and yet…"

"I would have done anything…" Carter finally looked at Finch and let him saw the tears.

Hope you liked! Thanks for reading. =D