Woo, Catch Me drabbles! Mostly in honor of the tour going around this fall, otherwise due to my ridiculous love for Catch Me the musical, movie, and book, and the genius behind it all, Frank Abagnale, Jr.
Based off a little 30 or so day drabble challenge I thought would be awesome to do. So I'll either keep it Hanratty and Frank's freakin adorable father/son relationship, maybe a few with Brenda, or Frank Sr., who knows. But they'll all involve Frank because anyone who really knows me knows I know Frank like the back of my hand.
Anywhoodlie, to prevent rambling further, enjoy!
There's no phone booth, there's no cape.
There's no Steve McQueen to help me make my great escape.
That was for sure.
To be truthful, it hadn't really hit him until his feet hit the pavement, pounding with every exaggerated stride he took. The street flew by from there. Not one person gave him a second thought- didn't he hang out with those troublemakers down the street anyways?
He ran for his life. He ran from home, from security, from the father and mother he loved so dearly, from everything he knew.
A divorce, they told him. He'd seen kids at school disappear because of divorce, when parents split and moved far away. Half of them were never heard from again. The other half turned harsh and cold, and thoughts of either were pushed right out of his head.
No, he forced himself to think. I don't have to choose mom, and I don't have to choose dad.
Dad. His store was headed straight for its last days in business. How could he leave him?
But mom, too. All alone with nobody to look after her (though he had suspicions about the president of the club his dad was in). She said she'd stop smoking, too.
How could they make him choose? How could they even consider it? Didn't they know he loved them both so much?
Maybe running would bring them back together. Maybe they could be a happy family again. Maybe…
But he wouldn't think about any of it. He focused on his stride. Powerful. Purposeful. That distant point in the world calling for him, "Come."
He kept running. His eyes searched the streets, the shops, until they fell upon a train station. Frantically, he felt inside his jacket pocket for any spare change.
All he had was a checkbook.
I'm not afraid of stopping
This end could be my start.
The kid was miserable, that much Hanratty could tell.
Of course he didn't have a whole lot of sympathy. He couldn't. This guy was a con, and it could all be an act. "Misdirection," he remembered himself saying. "He's a con, he has the technique."
But this was no technique he'd ever seen. Not the sympathy card. Not the look on his face.
"Your dad's dead, Frank."
He froze completely, hand still in the air from having gestured at a painting in his head, an alternate ending to this abrupt one he had the wildest, most desperate hopes for. Such desperate hopes.
Had it been anyone else, Hanratty would've pitied him.
"Yeah, sorry to be the one to tell you. Metro stairway-"
"You're lying to me."
Frank shook his head, turning and walking in a complete circle around him. His eyes were glazed over with tears, try as he might to blink them away, and such only allowed them to fall freely.
"Frank, I wouldn't lie to you."
"No!" His voice cracked, a knot forming in his throat as he willed his tears away. He would not be weak. Not now. "You don't get to say that! That's not how this ends!"
He was breaking all over. His will was one slip from shattering, and the glue, the feeble hope, the wild, ridiculous determination to continue evading capture wouldn't last long.
He was wanted on five continents.
Hanratty watched as fellow policemen and agents closed in on Frank. For the first time, or so it seemed, he acknowledged the fact that he was a kid. Just a kid, not even twenty years old.
And what nineteen year or so old wouldn't avoid federal prison?
He knew the circumstances. He knew the consequences. He knew how it had to end.
But for so long he'd been an independent actor, writing, directing, and producing his own scripts. This new direction, this sudden authority Hanratty and the federal government held was so new. So unexpected.
He had no business being a con man. He was just a kid.
It was for that reason he shooed the others away. Damn the odd looks, the disapproving and the muttering as they backed off and out of the terminal.
He was just a kid. Just a kid.
Hanratty paused for a moment, watching Frank carefully. He was in a sorry state. Wild eyes, tousled hair, breathing heavily. Desperate for understanding.
For a father. How could he have been so cruel?
Carefully, he stepped toward him. As he expected, Frank backed away, but he only kept on.
"Frank, I don't have all day." But the look in his eyes was a little gentler. A little more understanding. Willing to coax him into giving up. "They're guarding the perimiter, Frank. If you fly tonight, you face prison in Europe, Asia-"
"I know." It was the first time the kid had spoken since his emotional outbursts, of which he clearly had yet to recover from.
He continued. "If you stay here, there's at least a chance of being treated as a juvenile, maybe a lighter sentence."
He watched Frank pause, confusion clouding his teary eyes. "Why are you doing this for me?"
"I'm arresting you, Frank."
"You're treating me like a person."
Another pause. Hanratty took the chance to stride over and clip one handcuff around Frank's wrist, the other on his.
"You're a kid, Frank. I'm gonna help you out. Alright?"
It took a few moments for the confusion to fade from his expression. Hints of questions passed over his face, but those damn tears were spilling now, and this time, he did nothing to stop them.
"Why do you care?"
Hanratty looked him straight in the eye. He couldn't say it, not again. He'd been a jerk telling him earlier, not at all sympathetic to his own father's death, and now he was going to make up for it.
That, and as much as he convinced himself otherwise, he really did care.
Despite the handcuff keeping one arm to his side, Frank leaped over and clung to him, burrowing his face in his shoulder.
Much to his own surprise, Hanratty found he really didn't mind, and it wasn't long before he returned that hug.
"Come on, Frank, we're outta here."